George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Yearn to Learn

September 9, 2015 Updated September 8, 2015

America is facing an epidemic. It is diluting citizens’s blue blood, whacking at their white picket fences, and smashing their 4th of July cherry pies. The epidemic goes by the name of “The Yearn to Learn.” It is time to annihilate this lasciviousness so that the children’s lustful curiosity will no longer stifle the potential of America.

The American school system was created in the 19th century to meet the needs of industrialization. Public education’s sole purpose was, and is, to create the future workforce of America. This system is failing miserably. American students rank 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries (OECD, 2012). Only 46 percent of American students finish college (OECD 2010). Approximately 1.1 million American students drop out of school every year (EPE, 2012). If these trends continue, the education system will be starving the workforce worse than art starves a man wearing a beret. At the forefront of this learning ebullition stand radicals like Ken Robinson, who has attempted to sway the system away from doing its job. Ken Robinson brainwashes students with mutinous suggestions such as “creativity is as important as literacy.”  

One can only hope that the school system has deafened the children from hearing the claims of iconoclasts, like Robinson, who believe school is about “learning” and “curiosity.” Educators are doing their best to close students' brains from this outlandish way of thinking, and instead instilling in students the idea that learning is all about getting into a good college. This notion stems from a noble place but is hopelessly romantic. In truth, the purpose of school is to get into a great college, then get a great job and find a great wife and be financially secure and emotionally stable and have 2.5 kids raised on hot dogs and potato salad. The Founding Fathers did not come to America because they were “just curious” and wanted to “branch out.” NO. The founding fathers risked their lives at sea for 116 days so that the children of America could have the means to get great degrees/jobs/wives/2.5 kids/hot dogs.

The bottom line is that the Yearn To Learn sickness has gone too far. The epidemic has spread, and the system has no choice but to eradicate the infected. As the standardized test results have shown, today’s children aren’t showing that they possess the artistry to swallow and regurgitate information. It is time to replace the Yearn to Learners.

The vaccine lies in technology titled Student 2.0, which will be easy to manufacture and will be produced in bulk at a fraction of the cost the government spends sending a child to public school. Unlike current students, Student 2.0 can be programmed in any work field. Student 2.0 will operate ten times faster than humans, increasing productivity by ten percent and making America ten times richer. With all this new dough circulating, within a year each state will have enough money to rebuild four bridges, install 10 charging stations downtown to promote electric vehicles, and make public transportation free for seniors.

When wives come of birthing age, the average American family will no longer feel pressure to produce children. The work a family’s child would have been doing to help support the family financially will be done by Student 2.0. Less pressure to produce children will also help reduce overcrowding, the world’s population problem, and reduce America’s carbon footprint. Not only will America be leading in education, it will also be making strides environmentally.

One might ask, “What will America do with all the children without a school system to provide babysitting hours and to secure kids a job in the workforce? Will they wander like savage dogs through the streets of America, Monday through Friday, terrorizing cities?

Never fear! Children will be provided with just enough schooling to know how to run the machines that will manufacture Student 2.0. Unfortunately, teachers were not being paid enough to affect the economy and the loss of teachers will yield no economic benefit.

It won’t take long for the rest of the world to catch on to America’s success and to start demanding new students of their own, which will give America another export.

Education experts suspect that not all countries will be ready to upgrade their students, however. Studies predict that Finland will hang on to its lackadaisical workers, and suggest things like “keep students in school by engaging them with smaller class sizes and better paid teachers” or “get rid of standardized tests” and ”individualize learning,” which they’ll expand on by saying  “create a system that instills curiosity, creativity, passion, and accept that it is impossible to test these things.”

Perhaps America is just a small fish in a big pond, but with Student 2.0, America can make a splash. While speaking at a public elementary school in Philadelphia in 2009, George Bush stated “Rarely is the question asked, ‘is our children learning?’" Soon enough, no one will ever have to ask that question again.

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we’ve preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.

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