How Schools in New Orleans Are Trying to Grow Children Like Monsanto Grows Corn

A teacher in New Orleans sees some startling similarities between the education of the city’s children and the way that commodity crops are grown on industrial farms…

By Stefin Pasternak
The way we educate our children in many schools in New Orleans these days shares some startling similarities with how industrial farms raise commodity crops. Industrial farms prefer the complete uniformity of straight, orderly rows of a single crop rather than the organic relationships of different organisms that support one another in a true ecosystem.  Many of our schools prefer to educate children under the veil of a culture of straight, silent lines, seeking to produce identical outcomes rather than cultivating the organic interactions and freedoms that breed healthy children and communities.1

Industrial farms prefer to control as many variables in the growing process as possible instead of encouraging a diversity of variables to yield different growing environments.  Many schools try to control as many variables in the teaching process as possible instead of encouraging a diverse array of teaching styles and critical thought.

Industrial farms prefer to genetically engineer crops for yield at the expense of taste and nutrition, leaving us with a surplus of tasteless, nutrition-less food-like plants.  Many of our schools prefer to educate kids who score basic or above on a battery of dozens of standardized tests, but who cannot fend for themselves in the real world, rather than kids who lead happy, healthy lives and build healthy communities.

And as is well understood these days, industrial agriculture does all this to the complete and total devastation of our ecology and climate.  So what of the schools who raise kids this way? Continue reading →