There was a time when all I read was science fiction books. I often wondered how those authors could come up with some of the stuff they wrote. Here’s my stab at a science fiction short story.
The City by the River Closes the Schools
Once upon a time in the near future, where a city sits by the river, the community agreed to stop educating their children. They ultimately achieved the dubious distinction of being labeled with the lowest ranking educational achievement on their planet. This honor satisfied so many that they graciously accepted their fate and settled in with their destructive practices year after year.
There was always a small army of malcontents who challenged the status quo, but they could never muster up enough ammunition to compete against the embedded and entrenched system of failure that the apathetic masses desired.
Finally, the destruction was complete after the leaders realized that it cost a tremendous amount of money to maintain a failing system when they could get the same results for free.
Schools closed, instructors took positions on other planets, and children no longer were forced to be stigmatized by their inadequate classroom achievement.
Some parents continued not to care about their children’s education and their children found creative ways to spend their days.
Other parents sought creative ways to educate their children. They taught them at home, formed learning communities among like minded parents, joined churches that offered education options, bussed their kids to schools in other communities, paid for private education, or simply moved away from the City by the River.
Since most of the school taxes were paid by homeowners, they rejoiced to not have to pay school taxes anymore. They never liked paying to educate children from families that didn't have to pay taxes. With the savings, the homeowners improved their properties, increased their savings, and had an increase in lifestyle, as many of them were approaching their golden years.
As time passed, more and more young parents moved out of the City by the River to find affordable housing and free schools for their children. In their place arrived more and more aliens, also known as working families, who purchased properties and made the City by the River an attractive place to live.
Ten years after the schools closed, a grand study was conducted which concluded that education is successful when parents have to make choices on how to best educate their children. It was proven that the ancient system which mandated that children be warehoused in their own communities under the auspices of education often did not result in educating human beings beyond the 4th grade level.
Schools did return to the City by the River years later and were formed by the aliens who saw to it that they worked together to create the most effective learning situation for their children using the resources they had available.
The success of the City by the River sparked other planets to adopt the same philosophy of totally destroying their failing education system and starting over again by populating it with only the aliens who need it, want it, and can deliver it.
For those other planets that did not have the courage to embrace change, they stayed right were they were.