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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The K-12 Jail

I just read an article about some Misery school banning "Slaughterhouse Five". It seems from what I've read, that the books being banned are ones that allow young readers to think out of the box or to think about what being human really means. I started thinking about banning "thinking out of the box." Then I started to realize, when you think about young people thinking out of the box who comes to mind? Gifted kids for one thing. Effectively, because of selective funding cuts, gifted kids have been banned really. Put them back into the regular classroom where their minds can be beat back into the box along with the rest of the kids. And of course, while we're doing that, let's find other innovative ways to be sure kids' minds never come out of the box. California leads the way on things, so California got rid of school libraries. Basically, if you have a Pay Pal account or credit card, you can read whatever you want. Otherwise your mind will be shaped into a compliant form or thrown in prison, whichever is more convenient to the political element of the moment.

Gifted people, while making up 5% of the population, make up 20% of the prison population according to articles I've seen. I guess in that sense, the K-12 jail is preparing them for their future.


  1. Not to go off on a tangent when I agree with your central point that schools don't serve gifted kids well these days, but I don't really buy the often-mention, rarely-supported claim that 20% of the prison population is gifted. The book that made that (dubious) claim has a pretty negative take on giftedness, and other sources (as well as common sense) make that estimate out to be much higher than reality.

    I recommend checking out this thread on a discussion forum that tackles this issue:

    Thanks! :-)

  2. I thought criminals tended to have rather low IQs on average. According to The Bell Curve (ugh, hate that book, but it does have some good stats) low IQ correlates fairly strongly with criminality, while high IQ correlates strongly with many positive things like social success, lower divorce rates, higher employment rates, higher earnings, higher education, etc. If anyone has any further information, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!

  3. One of the troubles with statistics is that it really matters how you slice them. For example, I suspect that very few gifted kids drop out of a private program aimed at gifted kids, with the dropout rate rising as you head toward less accommodating environments. The "K-12 Jail" is a name coined by some bitter gifted who were stating at the time that it's better to get out of the K-12 jail as quickly as possible and into college.

    If one has been bullied, bored, trapped in a box with no hope for improvement, one will likely drop out and their mind will likely not be in a good place with regards to society in general. Especially, and this is point I was really trying to make, if a gifted person is forced into complying without question to a limited slavish mindset. The same mindset that abhors books with thoughts outside the box.

    Anyone can be made into a mean person or one who hates society. They just have to be beat on, receive little education, and put in a fighting for existence position. And once one goes there, anything in terms of criminality, no matter who you are, is possible.