I’ve been reading the articles on RiseOut, an online “news center focused on deschooling, youth activism, and other related issues concerning the rights of youth in the U.S.” There are entries on deschooling; unschooling; youth media; racism; the Highlander Folk School in New Market, Tennessee; Dr. “Patch” Adams; a review of the book, The Teenage Liberation Handbook, How to quit school and get a real life and education (by Grace Llewellyn); critiques of school segregation (and recent Supreme Court decisions that support it), credentialism, and military conscription.
Most of the articles on RiseOut are well-researched, thoughtful, and provocative. They remind me of the wonderful book, Letter to a teacher by the schoolboys of Barbiana, in which youth in Italy present a searing critique of their education and the unjust society it supports.
Both the Barbiana book and RiseOut address the question that Earl Kelley asks: What is real in education?. Kelley answers that the bedrock reality is the the actual life of youth.
The Obama administration’s proposed “Cradle to Career” education plan, has many good components, but education reform will never accomplish much if schooling continues to be separated from actual life and fails to come to terms with the issues raised in RiseOut.
From the RiseOut site:
We provide a diversity of alternatives to education that are self-directed and decentralized from standardized schooling. We support a young person’s choice in dropping out of school, free of social stereotypes and biases. We aim to provide a plethora of alternatives from a 12-year prison like sentence of state schooling, while staying vigilant of abuses against young people through diagnosing, segregation, ageism, adultism, sexism, and other assholisms.
A message to those who have decided to quit school:
Instead of dropping out, we applaud you for your courage to “riseout” from a nightmarish disposition of compulsory schooling. We hope RiseOut can be a resource for sharing your stories and providing choices towards regaining control over your own education.