Overmanwarrior's Wisdom

Official Site of Rich Hoffman. Connecting the dots in a complicated world.

Video Games are Superior to Public Education: So why do we spend so much money?

with 12 comments

It is disturbing to hear from advocates of the OSBA, the Ohio School Board Association, that because of declining funding, schools may have to give up well-known extracurriculars such as music and art in the future. Well, this is just preposterous. The funding for public school is not the problem; it’s the financial expectations of the schools themselves that’s the problem. And when it comes to the OSBA, when 1/3 of all of Ohio schools were looking for money in the last November election, and none of those schools have a long-term plan for balancing their budget in the future, it is the fault of the OSBA for not helping their school boards adjust to the changing times. This is because the OSBA is simply an extension of the organized labor position and exists purely to keep that branch of the education institution intact. So rather than adjust to the changing conditions in education, they are advising school boards everywhere to hang on to the expensive past.

If teachers and administrators weren’t trying to make 65K to 100K a year for essentially a part-time job, there’d be plenty of money for all these electives. There’s no reason to give up art teachers or music in public school. But in addition to that, it could be argued that those parts of public education have virtually no impact on a child’s life and are not even worth the discussion.



I know people who actually work as artists and are excellent painters or sketch illustrators, and not a single one of them will testify that it was a public school teacher who inspired them. Most of the time it is a father or a mother who bought them their first pencils and inspired them to get started, and they learned by doing. And when it comes to music it is the parents who buy the instruments for their children, and the teachers just assign projects so that the child can practice. But these days that’s all changing.

Rocksmith is a new video game that can be played on Xbox or Playstation 3 and directly allows the game counsel to plug straight into an electric guitar. It in essence allows a player of that game to learn how to play a guitar with a computer program, which is much more effective than a personal instructor or a music teacher in public school. As a matter of fact, there are a number of video games on the current market such as Rockstar and Guitar Hero that allow a player to learn what a tempo is and how to hit a note.

While I was watching a group of young people playing this game my first thought was that personal music instructors were going to be going out of business. And public education would no longer be needed to teach the basics of music instruction. There will always be a need for those who wish to take their music to live performances to be a part of a band in public education, but for the kids who just need a basic appreciation of music I would say that Rocksmith, Guitar Hero and Rockstar are far more effective than anything done in public education today. And these days almost every child has access to these devices, even the extreme poor. I know of several families in known poor areas where the children would rather play an Xbox game than eat, and they will spend their money on a new gaming system before they do anything else.

And as to art, programs like Corel Draw, Adobe and Photoshop are making artists out of anyone who cares to learn. The process is so simple these days that the basics of any artistic achievement can be experienced with a computer program. Public school is no longer needed for these basic skills. In fact, they are terribly insufficient by comparison.

So when the OSBA sends out their spokesman to write “letters to the editor” in the local paper proclaiming that public education is suffering because there isn’t enough funding from the public to support public education, they are speaking from a perspective that is similar to those who would rather use a horse and buggy to get to work as opposed to a car. Public education is way behind the curve and they are insisting on a huge organization driven by organized labor to support their jobs, they are not interested in the best and most efficient way to become educated. They are interested only in job maintenance.

There is absolutely no reason that foreign language should still take two years of high school education, because Rosetta Stone Software is much more effective in that category. Most people I know can’t remember any of their foreign language studies they received in public school just a few years after their gradation. But users of Rosetta Stone Software are able to learn a new language in months and can actually use those skills immediately, because the teaching method works better than the way it’s done in public education.

The only reason public education needs to be staffed at the levels they currently are is to give those public employees something to do. It is proven that the effectiveness of public education is seriously failing, and the pubic education model as it’s set up as one of the Ten Planks of Communism by progressives as free education for all, is a failing model that I think should be scrapped completely as insufficient. People don’t appreciate what they don’t pay for as proven by the welfare system, and public education is no different, so there are serious flaws that need to be completely rethought and now is the time to do it. I would say kids would be far better off with less public education and much more personal interaction with their parents and video games. That is how you make a successful child. It’s not some coffee breathed teacher sitting like a monarch in the front of the class teaching art. There are only two reasons to continue on with public education and that is to keep those employees in the system employed, and to provide a baby sitting service for the busy parents who need somewhere for their kids to go while they work in their careers. But as far as actual teaching quality, it’s just not there, and can easily be replaced with video games like Rocksmith, Rosetta Stone, and Photoshop.

The cries for financial help from groups like the OSBA and all the school boards across Ohio are similar to the Amish demanding sports cars. In both cases these groups chose to forgo technology to keep the status quo. Public education is being held down by the labor unions and their satellite organizations like the OSBA and it’s their own fault that they require so much money to operate public education. It’s their failed policies and ineptness which dictates multi million dollar budgets that must be funded on the backs of our property value, and it’s 100% wrong, and a dismal, unmitigated failure.

So let’s be honest and call public education what it is, and stop pretending that it will save the lives of our children, because it hasn’t and it’s not going to. Only a parent can do that, and a family structure behind a mom and a dad like grandparents, aunts and uncles. Public education is a baby sitting service that is wasting the time of millions of children and teaching them that wasting their life away waiting for school to end will not make successful adults, so a continuation of this course will be at society’s peril. So fear not dear reader, public education is a failure due to its own policies, not because you don’t want to send them more money. If you want your kid to learn music, buy them an Xbox and the Rocksmith video game and leave them to it. In a matter of months they will be more proficient than if they had taken music for 5 years in public school. And that is just the way it is, we all know it………….except the public education system and the employees who have dug their fingers into the past with the fear of embracing the future.

The public education cries for financial help are a self-fulfilling prophecy, and should be ignored. The world will not end for your child, so don’t worry about it. Cutting off the money supply is the best way to help those addicts of our tax money, because by giving them more money you are just prolonging the inevitable, and that is not good for anybody.



Rich Hoffman

12 Responses

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  1. When my granddaughter was in the second grade she became totally turned off by school. She told me that, “the only reason I go to school is to have a social life.” Pretty profound statement for a second grader. When I visited her school on grandparents day, I saw exactly why she was “turned off” by her school experience.

    Every time she raised her hand the teacher told her to put it down. That she knew she knew the information, she wanted kids who weren’t quite sure to try and answer. In other words we want to embarrass the children who give wrong answers in front of the grandparents. We don’t want to hear from you. Well the schools did a great job of turning off a very intelligent little girl and she simply “got by” for the rest of her school experience. Sad that a kid with a genius IQ ended up being a waitress. That’s what the government schools accomplish. Dumb down the populace so that the “talking heads” can easily influence their decisions.

    When our founders established our Constitution, there were no provision for government established schools. Most of our Founders were “home schooled” either by parents or tutors. Most were well read. In fact the most of the population, including many slaves, could read and write. Their skills were not at the third grade level, but more advanced than high school graduates of today.

    Thomas Paine’s, “Common Sense” sold 600,000 copies to a population of 3,000,000, of whom 20% were slaves and 50% indentured servants. Were the colonists geniuses? No! The fact is that reading, writing and arithmatic only take about 100 hours to transmit. That is as long as the audience is eager and willing to learn. Millions of people teach themselves these things. If you look at a fifth-grade math or textbook from 1850 you will note that book is equivalent to a college textbook of today.

    The point is that we don’t really need expensive prisons of education as they are set up today. They offer little opportunity for creativity and real learning. They are simply housing children in boxes that offer little time for creativity and real learning. They are, as my second grade granddaughter stated, an opportunity to socialize. Often this socialization doesn’t turn out so well.


    December 28, 2011 at 4:32 am

    • Agree with you on all points here. The problem I see, as a parent with kids in elem. school, is that the parents are socialized to accept this bureaucracy as the only way to educate their kids. So many parents I interact with acts as if they are powerless to provide instruction or discipline their kids. They expect the school system to raise their kids, and to provide activities to their children that they are unwilling to share with them. Parents want their social life after work, and do not spend the time with their kids in meaningful ways. I walk into so many filthy homes with junk thrown everywhere, not to mention parents who don’t or can’t cook beyond microwave meals. What is a kid to do, when even in upper middle-class homes, the parents are absentee or unwilling to spend the time to educate the child at home? The parent is the first and most important teacher in life, and it’s no wonder that kids coming out of highschool are so unprepared for life. They have no skills, other than the ability to use their cell phone and ask mom and dad for money.

      It’s really up to those parents and grandparents with the understanding and means to take their children back from the state, but also to take the state back from the statists. I can’t stand the political environment, but unless we actively work to change it, we will continually be stuck with this unhealthy relationship. And I’m not going to leave my kids to be exploited by those who have already consider my hard earned income their’s to take on a constantly increasing basis.


      December 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

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