An article hailing the achievements of an 18 year old young man hailing from Bremerton, WA who has recently accomplished the rare feat of earning every merit badge currently available through the Boy Scouts of America caught my eye. Talk about bling! Then, as I thought about it a bit more, I wondered which of those skills was his favorite in learning. He did after all learn to scuba dive, play the bugle, and design a tent warming system using hand-warmers. It would seem that there would be two approaches to his achievement; quality vs. quantity. There is no way that he was able to master every task but he certainly mastered the task of setting a goal and reaching it. Kudos to him! This wouldn't work for every kid and he achieved this because he wanted it, not his parents or his teachers.
That's when I discovered that his parents were his teachers. He is homeschooled and because of the freedom that comes with homeschooling he was able to accomplish this rare achievement. It appears that there have only been 129 scouts to have accomplished this task, ever. His parents helped him stay focused, chauffeured him, and financed his learning. They did what no school can truly do and that is the beauty of homeschooling, although, not necessarily the focus in this story.
I've heard about a movie coming out called, Race to Nowhere in which the climate of today's educational system is explored through the feelings, frustrations, and realizations of today's students as they look at what they are actually accomplishing and if these accomplishments actually mean anything. It's a very telling look into the reality of "education".
That's when I came across this video of a young lady giving her valedictorian speech in which she questions the very system in which she excelled while suggesting that her success is not worth as much as she thought. She also pays homage to a teacher who helped point out some of these ironies and that because of that one teacher, there may still be hope for her, but that she is still afraid. Based on her insights and honest questions, I don't think she needs to fear anything, especially her future.