Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Just Sued The School System

[Prince Ea:] Albert Einstein once said, everybody’s genius But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, today on trial we have modern day schooling. Glad you could come. Not only does he make fish climb trees but also makes them climb down and do a ten mile run.

Tell me school, are you proud of the things you’ve done?

Turning millions of people into robots, do you find that fun?

Do you realize how many kids relate to that fish? Swimming upstream in class never finding their gifts. Thinking they are stupid. Believing they are useless.

But the time has come, no more excuses.

I call school to the stand and accuse him of killing creativity! Individuality! And being intellectually abusive.

He’s an ancient institution that has outlived his usage.

So your honor, this concludes my opening statement and if I may present the evidence of my case, I will prove it.


[Prince Ea:]
Exhibit A : Here’s a modern day phone, recognize it? Here’s a phone from 150 years ago. Big difference right?

Stay with me…

Here’s a car from today, and here’s a car from 150 years ago. Big difference right?

Well get this…

Here’s a classroom of today and here’s a class we used 150 years ago.


Now ain’t that a shame? In literally more than a century, nothing has changed.


Yet you claim to prepare students for the future? But with evidence like that I must ask, Do you prepare students for the future or the past?


I did a background check on you and let the records show that you were made to train people work in factories.


Which explains why you put students in straight rows, nice and neat.


Tell em’ sit still. Raise your hand if you wanna speak. Give em’ a short break to eat and for 8 hours a day tell em’ what to think.

Oh, and make them compete to get an A.


A letter which determines product quality. Hence grade A of meat.


I get it.


Back then times were different. We all have a past. I myself am no Gandhi. But today, we don’t need to make robot zombies.


The world has progressed, and now we need people who think creatively, innovatively, critically, independently with an ability to connect.


See every scientist will tell you that no two brains are the same. And every parent with two or more children will confirm that claim. So please explain why you treat students like cookie cutter frames or snapback hats. Giving them this one size fits all crap.

Watch your language.

Sorry, your honor.

But if a doctor prescribed the exact same medicine to all of his patients the result will tragic.


So many people would get sick yet. When it comes to school, this is exactly what happens. This educational malpractice.


Where one teacher stands in front of 20 kids, each one having different strengths, different needs, different gifts, different dream. And you teach the same thing the same way? That’s horrific!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the defendant should not be acquitted. This may be one of the worst criminal offences ever to be committed. And lets mention the way you treat your employees.


[Judge:Overruled. I want to hear this.

[Prince Ea:]
It’s a shame, I mean teachers have the most important job on the planet, yet there underpaid.


No wonder so many students are short changed.


Let’s be honest, teachers should earn just as much as doctors. Because a doctor can do heart surgery, and save the life of a kid. But a great teacher can reach the heart of that kid and allow him to truly live.

See teachers are heroes that often get blamed. But they’re not the problem. They work in a system without many options or rights.

Curriculums are created by policy makers. Most of which have never taught a day in their life. Just obsessed with standardized tests. They think bubbling in a multiple choice question will determine success. That outlandish.

In fact these tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned. But don’t take my word for it, take Frederick.J.Kelly. The man who invented standardized testing, who said and I quote.

“These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned.”


But don’t my word for it, take Frederick J. Kelly, the man who invented standardized testing, who said, and I quote: “These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned.”

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, if we continue down this road the results will be lethal.

I don’t have much faith in school but I do have faith in people. And if we can customize healthcare, cars, and Facebook pages, then it is our duty to do the same for education. To upgrade it. Change it.


Do away with school spirit cause that’s useless. Unless we’re working to bring the spirit out of each and every student, that should be our task.


No more common core, instead. Let’s reach the core of every heart in every class. Sure math is important, but no more than art and dance.


Let’s give every gift an equal chance. I know this sounds like a dream. But countries like Finland are doing impressive things.


The have shorter school days. Teachers make a decent wage.


Homework is non-existent and they focus on collaboration instead of competition.



But here’s the kicker boys and girls.

Their educational system outperforms every other country in the world.


Other places like Singapore are succeeding rapidly.


Schools like Montessori, Programs like Khan Academy.


There is no single solution, but let’s get moving. Because while students may be 20% of our population.


They are 100% of our future.


So let’s attend to their dreams and there’s no telling that we can achieve.

This is a world in which I believe. A world where fish are no longer forced to climb trees.




Hey, guys, my name is Prince Ea, and I want to say thank you so much for watching my video. But now I want to know what you think.

How can we together create a more efficient, effective just better future of learning?


Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Later, they moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton*. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.

After World War II, Einstein was a leading figure in the World Government Movement, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he declined, and he collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the determination to solve them. He had a strategy of his own and was able to visualize the main stages on the way to his goal. He regarded his major achievements as mere stepping-stones for the next advance.

At the start of his scientific work, Einstein realized the inadequacies of Newtonian mechanics and his special theory of relativity stemmed from an attempt to reconcile the laws of mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. He dealt with classical problems of statistical mechanics and problems in which they were merged with quantum theory: this led to an explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules. He investigated the thermal properties of light with a low radiation density and his observations laid the foundation of the photon theory of light.

In his early days in Berlin, Einstein postulated that the correct interpretation of the special theory of relativity must also furnish a theory of gravitation and in 1916 he published his paper on the general theory of relativity. During this time he also contributed to the problems of the theory of radiation and statistical mechanics.

In the 1920's, Einstein embarked on the construction of unified field theories, although he continued to work on the probabilistic interpretation of quantum theory, and he persevered with this work in America. He contributed to statistical mechanics by his development of the quantum theory of a monatomic gas and he has also accomplished valuable work in connection with atomic transition probabilities and relativistic cosmology.

After his retirement he continued to work towards the unification of the basic concepts of physics, taking the opposite approach, geometrisation, to the majority of physicists.

Einstein's researches are, of course, well chronicled and his more important works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), Relativity (English translations, 1920 and 1950), General Theory of Relativity (1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The Evolution of Physics (1938). Among his non-scientific works, About Zionism (1930), Why War? (1933), My Philosophy (1934), and Out of My Later Years (1950) are perhaps the most important.

Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities. During the 1920's he lectured in Europe, America and the Far East, and he was awarded Fellowships or Memberships of all the leading scientific academies throughout the world. He gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1935.

Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life. He married Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their marriage was dissolved in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who died in 1936. He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.

From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1967.

The History of Multiple-Choice Tests
I've been enjoying my free copy of Seth Godin's recent manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams.

He shares the interesting origin of multiple-choice tests in Section 10, Frederick J. Kelly and your nightmares:

In 1914, a professor in Kansas invented the multiple-choice test. Yes, it’s less than a hundred years old.

There was an emergency on. World War I was ramping up, hundreds of thousands of new immigrants needed to be processed and educated, and factories were hungry for workers. The government had just made two years of high school mandatory, and we needed a temporary, high-efficiency way to sort students and quickly assign them to appropriate slots.

In the words of Professor Kelly, “This is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders.”

A few years later, as President of the University of Idaho, Kelly disowned the idea, pointing out that it was an appropriate method to test only a tiny portion of what is actually taught and should be abandoned. The industrialists and the mass educators revolted and he was fired.

The SAT, the single most important filtering device used to measure the effect of school on each individual, is based (almost without change) on Kelly’s lower-order thinking test. Still.

The reason is simple. Not because it works. No, we do it because it’s the easy and efficient way to keep the mass production of students moving forward.

Memorizing information is pointless when you have a computer in your pocket with all the world's information just a touch away. Is the only thing we can teach these days is how to get a high test SAT score? 

I find it odd that teachers spend more time teaching youth to memorize trivial information (like "When was the war of 1812?") than they do teaching them to competently search and find it on the Internet. Oh, that because most teachers are technically illiterate? It's not their fault, I mean the administrators over at the school district won't "let" them stray from the curriculum.

I often hear teachers complain about students attitudes and how flaky they are. Here's an idea, what if we taught youth to make commitments (and keep them), to overcome fear, to deal transparently, to initiate, and to plan a course?

Can adults teach youth (or other adults) to desire lifelong learning, to express themselves, and to innovate? I believe it is possible. I believe it is more likely on an outdoor retreat, camp, or field trip than in a classroom via a boring power point presentation.

REAL LEARNING is not done to you. Learning is something you choose to do.

The world has changed and unfortunately the school system is exactly that, a industrialized "system," working on a massive scale, that has significant byproducts, including the destruction of many of the attitudes and emotions we’d like to build our culture around. In the early industrial economy of the 19th and 20th centuries the two biggest challenges were finding enough compliant workers and finding enough eager customers. School was invented to solve these problems, and it worked.

The 21st century economy needs creative thinkers and problem solvers, not mindless cogs that are obedient, on-time, and work to make widgets cheaper and faster than the day before.
Stop Stealing Dreams.
What is school for?

The economy has changed, probably forever.
School hasn't.
School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it's not a goal we need to achieve any longer.

In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we've been doing, we're going to keep getting what we've been getting.

Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.
A Note To Young Designer

To you, anonymous hero knighted by the gods and entrusted by them to design the environment of mankind for the years to come, i dedicate this book. In your years of school, you will desperately try to find your "way". And your search will be desperate until some day you discover that a school can only teach you how to learn and how to work by opening your mind not to one way of knowledge, but to the many ways opened by men of vision into the unknown territories of art - since it is true that there is an infinity of different ways to reach art, and that all are good, if they are authentic.
After years of intolerance, you will find yourself some day left high and dry on a shore deserted of your dearest idol, with a bitter taste in your mouth. Because it is true that unless an artist believe in everything, he believe in nothing. Be ready to die for what you believe in today, but submit your idols to trial by fire, relentlessly, and keep those which retain, through the ordeal, the original strength of their mettle.

You will also soon discover the vanity of saying of a work of art that it is greater than another work of art. You will realize that the humblest work may possesses eternal greatness if it possesses sincerity.

When at length come your years of fulfillment you will find yourself alone, the only judge of your decision, in the awesome position of the doctor at the deathbed of his dearest patient. No one then will tell you what can be done to bring life flowing again into what death is ready to snatch away. No one will tell you if you are right, or wrong, even the experience and knowledge of your past years may be of no avail. Your only sure guide will always be your intuition. 

Do not be afraid: either of your ideas, no matter how wild - the ideas to others, no matter how disturbing. Fear is the motive of all intolerance, while no truly tolerant man can ever be afraid, and the artist must be uncompromisingly tolerant. 

As a corollary to this, live dangerously. The mountain climber is only rewarded by the summit after having risked his life many times during the climb. Beware then of contracting too many insurances. Close your eyes to ads and magazines; don't ever forget that your work may make the magazine, but the magazine will never make your work and may well destroy the faith you have in yourself.

Avoid brainwashing of any kind, commercial social, political, religious. Don't let yourself be tagged by a leash of honor in 'ism' that will make you one of the flock, but will blindfold you from seeing the beautiful lamb of the flock that happens to live on the next ranch. You, as an artist, must believe in everything, mostly in the impossible. Don't ever forget that by your intuitive foresight you will find solutions to problems that seem impossible today, but which will become commonplace in the next generation. 

Don't work for success, whether success to you means a degree, a position, money, or honors. You cannot reverse the process of nature: since no fruit in spring can produce flowers in the fall, you cannot visualize the harvest before the seed matures into a healthy, full grown plant. A hot house may grow faster products, but none that can compete with the authentic product of the soil. This attitude will force you to give "no" for an answer more often than "yes", if you are concerned only with the integrity of your production. Then your "YES" will be uncompromisingly sincere. The worst lie is the lie you give to yourself as an excuse for success.

Burn your idols once in a while, and start all over again. 

Art is not a process of feeling little wings grow in your backs and grow and grow until they become angel wings and carry you smiling to a heaven fragrant with sweet violin sounds and harps: when your wings start to lift you above ground, some good devil will know enough to clip them short and you will fall and get hurt. Only through succession of flight and falls will you experience art and grow in stature as an artist. 

Often you will find your beliefs today in contradiction with yesterday's loves. Although your personality will never change, your vision of the world will. In your wonder trip discovery of life, you will not rest in worship at the feet of only one idol, but will give to every new idol as it passes by a silent prayer of recognitions as thankful tribute to the enrichment it has brought to your mind.

Flout the rules as often as you can in a masterly way. Recipes are for poor cooks. Great chefs make them. The canvas of rules and codes that you have had to learn must be transgressed with vision for any art to be born.

Finally, during all your life as an artist, learn through painstaking experimentation, exercise and practice, how to acquire a masterly knowledge of your craft. 

As for your equipment as a designer, it is not costly: it will consist of your hands, your eyes, and your mind. There will be your most essential tools; they are all the arms you need as a young warrior in the battle of design. All shortcuts, mechanical and otherwise, are signs of defeat and ineptitude. Art is the highest form of athletics, and the greatest artist- a Beethoven, a Paganini, a Heifetz, or a Picasso - are among the most hard working 'manual laborers".

Only through the constant practice of your grammar, your scales and arpeggios, vocalizes and sketches, will you become articulate in your art. 

All the rest is nonsense.

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