I’d like to rip a few pages from a book. Yes, education is key to a good society and being a civilized human being. It all depends, however, on what country we’re all located in. Germany has the best model of education I’d like to point out, so you German peoples who can read this, take notes please.
First, the primary school is like all primary schools. Germans have a fancy name for their primary school, greumschool, sort of. I hope I got that right, something like that. But their primary grades cover kindergarten, which is a word derived from German as well, through about the fifth or sixth grade in America. You might spend about five or six years in the schools there, primary grades being the usual fundamentals in learning. Next, you go to German middle schools, which cover about seventh through twelfth grades, but here’s the kicker: sometimes you are able to get tracked into classes and vocations that exercise your strengths. This is something America has no concept of, or at least lacks. In the tenth grade, German style, you’d take a special aptitude test, the Avitur, I think that’s what it would be called. This test would determine, for example, that Little Otto will grow up to be an automobile mechanic, or perhaps little Charlie could end up being a teacher. Your son or daughter is not expected to pass or fail this test, it is purely a test to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. And someone ripped pages from Germany when they wrote the book City of Darkness. Ben Bova, acclaimed scifi author, wrote this story in an earnest attempt to look at America’s future. Bova wrote a story in which all sixteen-year—olds prepare for their “career vector” life choice. Much like the Avitur test in German educational systems, Bova’s career vectors determine which career you will go into. Boys and girls I think choose their career paths, and Ron wanted to be an engineer, or astronomer, or astronaut. However, his dad wanted him to go into business, but Ron was like, fuck it, no. Oh no I won’t. And that’s where the story begins in reality.
The difference in Germany’s education system and the American system is truly astounding. Unfortunately, America is systemically biased and racist, which could lend itself to people manipulating Blacks and Browns to lower class and dirty jobs in the sphere of aptitudes. it already happens, but we need unbiased and antiracist teachers to believe in these bright young African American minds. Trenton, my partner in crime, is a good example of someone who would benefit from a good aptitude track record. His testing would have to have accommodations in it, yes, but he’d pass the English, math, and IT portions of such a test. Maybe we should do something to see if kids would like technology. What would an American aptitude test look like?
I’d say we could try putting in the usual English, other languages would also be offered. Perhaps German, Latin, and Spanish should be. offered as options to take in the aptitude test. But before you get your own version of the main test, you’d have to take a survey. The survey would gauge your likes, dislikes, and other things, but it would show you career paths you might be interested in. Next, you’d have to take a written test, something like one with English, reading, a bit of basic math, sciences, and music and the creative theories and such. Based on the aptitudes tested and the survey question results, then you’d be further tested and then the counselor would meet with the student. The student would use the objectives, some strengths and weaknesses set down by the counselor, to determine career opportunities. For example, if little Willie wants to take cooking and cook for a hobby, he would write in his survey that he enjoys food, food preparation, and other things. Then, he’d take an aptitude test that would study how well he measures, remembers recipes, and can understand and convert Imperial units and European or SI metrics. Those are important, especially if setting the temperature of an oven. Little Willie could be given home economics as part of his aptitude results, but then he’d be given extra math courses if he says, for example, I’d like to own a restaurant. I am using the example of a little Willie because girls are often the ones tracked into home economics classes, which should not always happen, so I decided to go with a guy’s name instead.
There are just a few different aptitudes we have to avoid, however. First, no test would ever find that a girl is fit for nothing but sex work. Second, a test would not favor birthmothering only for girls. To be a sex worker or birth mother would be written off as gender biased aptitude statements, and might be a cause of many a lawsuit to a school. Blind women need a fair aptitude result that might put them in better positions, things like restauranteur or master chef, or perhaps they could be given the option of journalism, or even construction work and engineering if they love designing floor plans. The possibilities must remain endless. Germany offers this to all german students, so why the hell not! America, wake up. You need something that totally beats out the standardized test scores. Teachers, teach the students, and let them invite all possibility into their lives. For example, Little Caitlin in kindergarten builds things with legos, loves to play with micromachines, cars, and trucks. Not like her girl classmates, Caitlin would love Star Wars and science related shows growing up, and then, at fourteen, she would do well in middle school science. Here’s another idea: compile this student’s records into her high school aptitude test, and then the counselor could sit down with sixteen-year-old Caitlin and say, “Well, you’ve done lots of things in science. You have a strong aptitude for science and tech, so here are some options. You could do web design, software engineering, or perhaps acoustical engineering, music production, …” blah blah blah blah blah. Caitlin would then choose the career choices she wants, none of which involves sex work, birthing, and cooking. There you have it. If Bill in kindergarten was messing with his mom’s cooking stuff, then later pretended to make food with Play Dough, then later decides to serve folks at a diner, sixteen years later, Bill could bee a chef. Bill would still have to include cooking in his aptitude things, but when little Bill grows to be a middle schooler, the aptitude thing would include all the A pluses he gets in food preparation classes, food sciences classes, and so many other things he could get to know through math, algebra, and so on. Bill would still take a life skills selection in his classes, so will everybody else. However, when he turns sixteen, Bill’s aptitude tests and his guidance counselor will state, “You have shown strengths in these subjects, and weaknesses in these others.” The counselor and Bill will work together to decide what Bill will do for his career path. Either of these students could be your son or daughter, in a far distant generation somewhere. What’s the catch? No standardized test scores.