Against School

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Taylor Larza
Professor Theis
English 104
5th March 2013
Larza v. Board of Education
“Against School” is an essay that argues the true effectiveness of the current public school system, and how it affects children later in the real world. John Gatto, a teacher of 30 years in the Manhattan school system and winner of many prestigious teaching awards, discusses how high school was just a breeding ground for boredom. The boredom not only affects the children, but also the teachers. Gatto believes that the children in the school should be able to manage themselves, and not be put under any restrictions by teachers. I believe that many students in the public school systems are deprived. Standardized tests restrict teachers from teaching in depth because they have to teach for success on a test, rather than teaching kids how to comprehend and apply to the real world.

Gatto at the beginning of his essay describes the boredom that children experience in the current public schooling system. When he asked children why they were so bored most responded with “the work was stupid, or it made no sense” (Gatto 148). The Author also brings up a story that his grandfather told him in his younger years; he says “The obligation to amuse and instruct myself was entirely my own, and people who didn’t know that were childish people” (Gatto 149). His point that he is trying to prove is one that if students are feeling bored in the classroom they should pursue learning on their own outside of school.

Although Gatto only speaks about homeschooled children or even kids who didn’t attend school very often, he stresses the facts of uneducated persons can rise with the proper work ethic and motivation. He lists multiple founding fathers of our nation including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and many others (Gatto 150). He mentions how throughout history kids didn’t generally go to school, yet “the unschooled rose to be admirals” (Gatto 150). Gatto singles out some major...
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