Utterly Meaningless » 2006 » September

HED OF THE DAY

Filed on September 30, 2006 at 8:18 am under by dcobranchi

Nice.

Colleges Coveting Home-Schooled Students

The article is pretty darm good, and includes one of the best home education quotes I’ve seen:

Terry Smith, a political science professor and the school’s dean of academic affairs, home-schooled three of his four children in the 1970s and ’80s. Each of those children went on to graduate from college, with two earning master’s degrees.

“All of my professional work has been influenced by this family schooling experience,” he said. “We’re all teachers and learners. They’re just the apprentices, and we’re the master learners.”

BB IS TOO WATCHING

Filed on at 6:32 am under by dcobranchi

The Fayetteville Observer needs a new Editorial Page editor, too. One who won’t write idiocy like this:

If you live in or commute to Cumberland County, you might be pulled over and questioned this fall. Your license tag may be photographed as you zip down Interstate 95. The camera may catch you again on the return trip. Don’t worry about it.

The comprehensive travel survey commissioned by the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has a purpose, but the purpose is neither prosecution nor persecution.

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy, outside the vehicle, for someone tooling down a public highway. You’re already subject to surveillance by radar and by red-light cameras, both of which can entail legal consequences. So let’s not be gulled into a bogus “Big Brother” debate about widely used techniques that will yield nothing more grievous than data useful to the very people who will be studying all those comings and goings.

Pulled over?! They’d better not pull me over and then start (politely) asking survey questions, as they will definitely not like the (impolite) answers.

I hope this is just bad writing. If not, we’ll need new leadership as well as a new editor.

AND SPEAKING OF REPUBLICAN BASHING

Filed on September 29, 2006 at 6:41 pm under by dcobranchi

This is just plain sick. And the irony is off the scale.

14 to go.

WOWSA!

Filed on at 4:59 pm under by dcobranchi

Ooooo! K12 can update its website in under 2 months:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2006
Contact: Jeff Kwitowski
jkwitowski@k12.com or (703) 483-7281

K12 Inc. Completes Modifications in Science Curriculum to
Reflect Pluto’s New Status

Online curriculum provider sets a new standard as one of the first publishers to change its science curriculum to reflect Pluto’s new status as a “dwarf planet”

Herndon, VA- Since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) vote on August 24, 2006 to change Pluto’s status as a planet, teachers and curriculum supervisors across the country have scrambled to get the most accurate, up-to-date information for their students. However, that is not a concern for the hundreds of teachers and over 25,000 students who are using the innovative, web-based K12 curriculum in schools across the country.

Today, K12 Inc., a leading provider of high-quality curriculum and academic services, announced that they are one of the first education publishers to complete all the modifications to its science program in every grade to reflect the IAU’s new classification for Pluto as a “dwarf planet.” The teachers, students and families in schools using the K12 curriculum were notified of the updates to the science curriculum and can now access the most accurate information about our solar system through the K12 Online School.

After hearing the news of the IAU’s decision, the K12 science team immediately set out to make the changes to the K12 Online School, electronically updating the text and graphics in the science curriculum.

“This is a significant accomplishment for K12 since most publishers change their products every five to seven years,” said Mary Catherine Desrosiers, K12’s Vice-President of Product Development. “Because K12 has developed a powerful, web-based learning program delivered through K12 Online School, we are able to make the changes to our science curriculum in real time and quickly distribute the new information to the teachers, students and schools we serve.”

Desrosiers added, “Science teachers often note that science is not carved in stone. As new information becomes available, and as new discoveries are made, science changes. The science team at K12 has effectively responded to the ever-shifting field of science by literally rewriting the curriculum in the K12 Online School with great speed so that students receive the latest scientific information.”

The following is an example of one of the text changes:

Old Version: [The planets] differ widely in size as well as distance from the sun. The largest is Jupiter; the smallest is Pluto. Pluto is so small and its orbit so different that scientists debate whether it should be considered a planet at all. However, traditionally it has been known as one. Its orbit is far from circular. Sometimes it even dips closer to the sun than Neptune’s orbit, making Neptune the farthest planet at times.

New Version: [The planets] differ widely in size as well as distance from the sun. The largest is Jupiter; the smallest is Mercury. Pluto is so small and its orbit so different that scientists debate whether it should be considered a planet at all. However, in 2006 scientists determined that Pluto should be considered a “dwarf planet.”

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. is a leading provider of high quality education programs and academic services. K12 has developed a comprehensive, research-based learning program in traditional subjects, including curriculum, tools, materials and an innovative lesson delivery system. The K12 core curriculum covers the subjects of English/Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Art, and Music.

Central to the K12 learning program is the Online School (OLS), which hosts over 10,000 interactive, engaging and comprehensive lessons presented in a mix of printed and multimedia forms. The Online School also includes lesson assessments, planning and progress tools, and an attendance tracking system to determine the number of instructional hours completed by the student.

The K12 learning program is used by over 25,000 students across the country in a variety of public schools, including traditional schools and classrooms, public virtual (online) schools, and other education settings. There are currently 13 states and three major cities (Chicago, Houston, and Washington, DC) with public virtual schools that use the K12 curriculum.

I hope they didn’t pull any muscles patting themselves on the back.

This silly press release does point out one of the advantages of online texts relative to the dead-tree version. It’s a whole lot quicker and (almost) infinitely cheaper to update a website than it is to print a new edition.

Of course, I just updated my website in five minutes.

HAD ENOUGH?

Filed on at 5:58 am under by dcobranchi

The General’s right.

PRETTY GOOD COLUMN

Filed on September 28, 2006 at 9:20 pm under by dcobranchi

I really don’t like the term “homeschooling movement,” but other than that quibble, the Kaseman’s are spot on in their latest HEM column. A snippet:

Because homeschooling is created by individual homeschoolers, what each homeschooler does impacts the movement. This gives us exciting opportunities. We can create and choose approaches to education. The hard work we do and the decisions we make have an effect beyond our families. But with this opportunity comes responsibility.

Setting Precedents–When we interact with public officials or institutions in ways that other homeschoolers (or sometimes other homeschoolers in our local area) have not done before, we set precedents that either help or hinder others. When we act responsibly to break new ground while keeping requirements to a minimum, we are opening doors for others. For example, if we use the minimum documentation necessary to gain admission to a local technical school by convincing admissions officers that we are qualified even though we don’t have a conventional high school diploma, we open doors for homeschoolers who come after us. (A situation like this requires careful balancing. Suppose we have extensive course outlines, certificates from correspondence schools, high SAT or ACT scores, and other documentation. It’s best to think carefully, assess the institution’s usual requirements and the personalities and biases of the people we are dealing with, and set a precedent of submitting the minimum information to meet only requirements that are reasonable.)

However, some precedents are harmful. Suppose a school official demands to see our curriculum and progress reports. It may be tempting to provide the materials since this would supposedly keep us out of trouble or help us get out of a tight situation. We might think we’d also be educating the official about the strengths of homeschooling and perhaps increasing our confidence by knowing we have the approval of school officials. But by complying with such a request without further investigation, we risk setting a precedent and encouraging school officials to demand such documentation from other homeschoolers and to demand this (and perhaps more) from us in the future. It’s much better to contact experienced homeschoolers (perhaps through a statewide homeschooling organization) and find out if such documentation is required by law. If it is, how do homeschoolers comply with the minimum requirements of the law and thus keep government regulation of homeschooling to a minimum? Finding out how others handle this situation enables us to avoid setting precedents that will increase government control over homeschooling and reduce our homeschooling freedoms.

This point can’t be hammered home often enough. (Are you paying attention, NCHE?) It’s not a slippery slope argument. It’s the nature of all bureaucracies to grow and seek to extend their reach. When we provide more than the bare legal minimum we are just helping to grow the beast. And why would we want to do that?

DUMB REASONS TO (TEMPORARILY) HOMESCHOOL

Filed on at 8:23 pm under by dcobranchi

If you really feel that the g-schools have some kind of gay agenda and that’s a problem, fine– homeschool your kids. But pulling them out of school for the month of October because that’s Gay & Lesbian History month is just plain ignorant.

FAVORITE SON?

Filed on at 7:02 am under by dcobranchi

OK, how many of y’all knew that Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Yahiye Gadahn (aka Azzam the American) was home educated? Me, neither.

In the late 1970s, Phil Pearlman took a crucial turn, changing his name to Seth Philip Gadahn and moving his wife, Jennifer, and Adam to 60 acres of land his parents owned in Riverside County. …

The life he chose was decidedly different, one free from even the most basic conveniences. The 10-by-10-foot wooden shack Gadahn built on the side of a hill had no running water and no electricity, with an outhouse nearby. He raised goats, running a few hundred on his land, and sold the meat to a Muslim market in Los Angeles…

But the goat farming didn’t prove profitable for Seth Gadahn, so he became a handyman to support his growing family. After Adam, the Gadahns had two girls and a boy, and they home-schooled their four children.

GERMAN HOMESCHOOLERS

Filed on at 6:41 am under by dcobranchi

I haven’t written about them because I don’t know anything about German law or society. And I suspect that the people on this side of the Atlantic who are attempting to scare the sheeple don’t either. So, I’m merely reporting the fact that they appealed to the European Human Rights Court and lost. I expect that this will mean the end of the world is nigh and that the black helicopters (or is it U.N. blue) are soon going to swoop down and drag our kids off to be indoctrinated in the g-schools.

HELP WANTED

Filed on at 5:55 am under by dcobranchi

I believe the Fayetteville Observer is ready to hire a new person to write the “headlines” assigned to individual LttE. The latest debacle is truly awe-inspiring:

Americans is what we are, just Americans

Dumb is what we is, too.

I STILL DON’T GET IT

Filed on September 27, 2006 at 10:07 am under by dcobranchi

Looks like I get to drive some more traffic to Scott’s site, because he still confuses the heck out of me. Do they teach opacity at Harvard Law? :-)

SHOCKING!

Filed on at 6:48 am under by dcobranchi

Black parents want the best for their children, too. So says the SanFran Chronicle.

2 NEW BLOGS

Filed on at 6:41 am under by dcobranchi

JJ and Nance have teamed up here. And JJ’s daughter is blogging here.

A BUSINESS PROPOSITION

Filed on at 2:22 am under by dcobranchi

I have to re-build the Homeschool Blogads Network as there has been a software upgrade. If you’re already a member of the network, please update your adstrips by logging in to your blogads account and creating a new strip. If you’re not yet a member or don’t have an adstrip on your blog, please contact me.

Please pass the word. Before the software change, we were getting several buys per month.

Click here to see if you’re already a member of the new (& improved) Homeschool Blogads Network.

HEADS UP

Filed on September 26, 2006 at 5:17 pm under by dcobranchi

Looks like we’re about to be subjected to yet another round of stereotyping.

Actress Kara Holden has become quite the scribe. With quite a few scripts floating around Hollywood, Holden struck gold when Warner Bros. picked her up for a family comedy.

According to Variety, Warner Bros. has picked up Kara Holden to pen the script for the upcoming comedy Home School. Andrew Dean will produce.

Home School tells the story of an absentee father who suffers an injury that prevents him from working. Stuck at home, he decides to pull his kids from school and teach them himself.

UPDATE: Here’s a nasty little post on the same topic.

MOVE OVER, CHRIS

Filed on at 5:05 pm under by dcobranchi

COD pointed out this online quiz.

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock – you’re the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!
How Logical Are You?

BLUE HAWAII

Filed on at 10:52 am under by dcobranchi

Well, more like red and gold Hawaii at the CoH.

WOW!

Filed on at 9:53 am under by dcobranchi

Just read this. You’ll be glad you did.

And I’m ordering the Martha books.

ANDREA VISITS A HEAD SHOP

Filed on September 25, 2006 at 6:41 pm under by dcobranchi

With her kids. In the US that’d be grounds for a call from CPS. Good thing Canada’s more civilized.

OWN A PIECE OF ED HISTORY

Filed on September 24, 2006 at 6:54 pm under by dcobranchi

Via Helen Hegener, some genuine John Holt memorabilia is up for bid at eBay.

PLEASED TO ME YOU

Filed on at 4:20 pm under by dcobranchi

Despite all I’ve read about the film Jesus Camp, I completely missed this. Pretty funny.

OT: UTTERLY INCOMPETENT

Filed on at 3:23 pm under by dcobranchi

Sears just plain sucks. I’ve ordered two dishwashers from them in the last week. The first I did over the phone because I couldn’t get their website to work. The CSR placed the order. Five days later I still hadn’t heard back on delivery time so I called. The dishwasher was no longer available, so the order was canceled. Of course they didn’t bother to notify me. Yesterday, I ordered a replacement online. I called their misnamed Customer Service Department to confirm that the order was placed and that the dishwasher was available. No problema. Today I got the email notifying me that it was NLA.

Both dishwashers are still available (and supposedly in stock) via the website.

BLACK AND WHITE

Filed on at 8:45 am under by dcobranchi

The State (Columbia, SC) has a (rare) thoughtful Op/Ed on politics and school choice. PPIC is Gov. Mark Sanford’s (failed) proposed tax credit for non-public education.

VOTE REPUBLICAN?

Filed on at 7:50 am under by dcobranchi

Why the Hell would I want to do that?!

From yesterday’s NYT:

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

Anyone who still supports these morons just isn’t paying attention.

A “FREE” EDUCATION

Filed on September 23, 2006 at 9:48 pm under by dcobranchi

This is pretty cool:

Yale University said on Wednesday it will offer digital videos of some courses on the Internet for free, along with transcripts in several languages, in an effort to make the elite private school more accessible.

…The 18-month pilot project will provide videos, syllabi and transcripts for seven courses beginning in the 2007 academic year. They include “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Fundamentals of Physics” and “Introduction to Political Philosophy.”

COUNTY FAIR

Filed on at 7:31 pm under by dcobranchi

Yes, we’ve gone country. Here’s probably my favorite pic from the 2006 Cumberland County (NC) Fair.
This ride was unbelievably fast. I must have shot a dozen frames panning just as fast as I could. This one was really the only one that came out in focus.

Katelyn is on the left. The other girl is Bret (from the support group we hang with).

DO FREEDOM FRIES GIVE YOU FREEDOM GAS?

Filed on at 6:27 pm under by dcobranchi

Just to prove that I’m an equal opportunity curmudgeon, this Democratic proposal is among the dumbest I’ve ever heard. (WARNING: If you watch this video under Firefox, it will screw it up. You’ll have to do an “End Process” after CTRL+ALT+DEL.)

LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed on at 2:51 pm under by dcobranchi

Gridlock is good:

Republican policies favor corporations

After years of one-party rule by the Republicans, let this moderate independent voter review what we’ve gotten for letting them control all three branches.

Their policies have always favored corporations over people; they’ve made no secret about that. Their smaller-government philosophy has trumped the Preamble’s general welfare clause. We suffer at the pumps while Cheney’s energy policy gives $16 billion to oil companies for “incentives and research.” Their idea of a free market at work is for unrestrained capitalism to reign, because, of course, corporations have our best interests in mind.

This rubber-stamp, lockstep Congress has given Bush almost everything on the neoconservative wish list. He has appointed the biggest polluters to the mining commission, put lobbyists in charge of the various environmental agencies and generally is selling off every facet of government to the corporate world. They let the pharmaceutical companies basically write the Medicare bill, the oil companies write the energy bill, polluters write their own rules and if they had their own way, Social Security would be controlled by the Wall Street churners.

They serve mammon while posing as the party of moral values, but overlook Jesus’ admonitions concerning war (“Blessed are the peacemakers,” “live by the sword, die by the sword”), taxes (“Render unto Caesar,” “to whom much is given, much will be required”) and the death penalty (“let the sinless cast the first stone”).

Divided government seems the only way to ensure rule by cooperation and consensus. Let’s clean house.

M. Victor Highsmith
Greenville

OT: VOTE REPUBLICAN

Filed on at 7:29 am under by dcobranchi

Or go to Hell. Literally.

“Whether Republicans deserve the power they were given, the alternatives are downright frightening,” Dobson told more than 3,000 attendees at the Pittsburgh “Stand for the Family” rally.

…But if a politician shares his principles on issues from judges to marriage “and is committed to the God of the universe, and from my perspective, Jesus Christ his only begotten son … it would be a sin not to go to the polls and vote for him or her,” Dobson said.

Hey, Cav, save me a seat, OK?

PRETTY GOOD

Filed on at 7:14 am under by dcobranchi

but she(?) forgot the obligatory negative quote from the educrat.

A Jakartan teacher writes about home education. American media– Please take notes.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Filed on at 6:43 am under by dcobranchi

There’s a Gookin on the warpath. :-)

WELCOME

Filed on September 22, 2006 at 5:17 pm under by dcobranchi

Jeanne has been added to the stellar roster of posters here at HE&OS. [That was not sarcastic. I think the folks who hang out here at HE&OS are among the leading lights in the home education community.] I’ve always enjoyed her comments, and I’m sure her (many future?) posts will be equally well-argued.

Homeschooling and Feminism

Filed on at 2:26 pm under by dcobranchi

It’s not a brand new book, but if you want to read more about “maternal desire as a central feature of women’s identity” (from the jacket), pick up Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life by Daphne de Marneffe (2004). This book affirms and explains mothers’ desires to focus on nurturing their children as a positive, empowering choice and an experience that encompasses growth and creativity for women. De Marneffe doesn’t dismiss feminism (in fact she uses it as a framework, devoting a lot of time to explaining its history and various permutations) or mothers who work outside the home, but she also demonstrates that feminists and mothers who work outside the home should not dismiss women who are spending generous amounts of time nurturing their children. And somehow, miraculously, she does not succumb to The Mommy Wars.

Contrast this with another 2004 book, The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it Has Undermined Women by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels. They don’t get it. They figure that homeschool moms are homeschooling as an ultimate expression of momism – by raising the stakes of raising children to levels that are impossible for most women to achieve, in order to create kids that can out-perform everyone else’s kids. (The fact that some homeschooled kids outperform some schooled kids is, for my homeschool mom colleagues, a sort of nice unintended consequence, but far from the goal these women have for themselves or their children. A good thing, too, since some homeschooled children don’t outperform some schooled children). I actually cringed as I read their misunderstandings and misrepresentations of homeschooling mothers. Read more »

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Filed on at 1:17 pm under by dcobranchi

Great timing. Just as the weather turns, Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free iced coffee. The coupon is good for today only.

PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF

Filed on at 12:54 pm under by dcobranchi

If you’re going to criticize the g-schools for dumbing down education, you ought to make sure that you don’t make stupid mistakes like this:

7. Once children learn to read and write well within two years of intense study, they doesn’t need a public school at all. With their parents’ help and guidance, they can direct their own studies and education at home. Over two million children do this right now-it’s called homeschooling.

I know Turtel’s supposedly an ally, but I’ve never been particularly impressed with his stuff.

SUSPEND DISBELIEF

Filed on at 7:20 am under by dcobranchi

I think this movie won’t be on my Blockbuster.com queue any time soon.

Small-budget film seen as big hit with Christian audiences

In the church-made, feature-length movie, “Facing the Giants,” the Shiloh Christian Academy Eagles are facing the Richmond Giants in the state high school football championship game.

Time is running out, the Eagles trail 23-21, and Shiloh’s starting kicker goes down with an injury. With two seconds left to play, the Eagles’ back-up kicker, David Childers, is sent in to face Goliath, er, the Giants, to attempt a 51-yard field goal against a brisk wind.

A VERY STRANGE OBSESSION

Filed on September 21, 2006 at 8:59 am under by dcobranchi

What is it with conservatives and bestiality?

Conservatives may think they have good reason to embrace a Constitutional amendment purporting simply to guarantee privacy without qualification. They would be wrong. Such an amendment, which would be broadly drafted, opens the door to sweeping interpretations unless clarified along the lines of protecting parental rights and in cases in which the right to privacy conflicts with the law… Society runs the dangerous risk, in this permissive age, of sanctioning activities such as sex with minors, beastiality, hard-core pornography.

I just have serious doubts that, if it were suddenly legal, we’d be overrun with Catherine the Great wannabes. But I run in fairly liberal circles. Maybe the other side of the political aisle knows their hearts better than I do.

And to keep this from being totally OT, the obligatory home education quote:

Conservatives place great precedence on common law and thus respect the right to have one’s home free of governmental intrusion. Certainly, homeschoolers understand that.

BOYCOTT ROSETTA STONE

Filed on September 20, 2006 at 5:57 am under by dcobranchi

I don’t think I’ve ever called for a true boycott before. Here’s the deal (from the Teachers Edition Yahoo group):

I spoke this morning to the head of Rosetta Stone’s legal department– very nice man but not very accomodating. Fairfield Technologies will not allow their software products to be resold by individuals. You must be an authorized seller. If they find your product on eBay or Craig’s list or any other eBay affliate, they will pull them. I did get him to admit that this was their policy not a legal issue since legally I have the right to resell. However, as long as these sites have an agreement with Fairfield, then Fairfield is at liberty to pull listings. I expect you will find other software companies will be “jumping on the bandwagon” so be prepared.

Robin, eclectic educator

So, you can’t re-sell a $200 language program when you’re done using it. That’s just wrong. We’ve purchased their products in the past (Arabic). Never again. And I urge all home educators to follow suit. There are lots of other language programs available.

Contact info:

info@RosettaStone.com

Fairfield Language Technologies
135 W. Market St.
Harrisonburg, VA, 22801

THE NEXT FASCISM

Filed on at 5:38 am under by dcobranchi

First there was the real thing. Then came the dodo-heads’ dittoheads’ fake Islamic version. And, now, the scariest one of all– Okiefascism. Skip has a good post on how the end of the (sports) world is nigh.

SHUT UP AND TEACH

Filed on September 19, 2006 at 6:17 pm under by dcobranchi

Is that supposed to be advice for all the other teacher/bloggers?

Joe Thomas, 37, a high school history teacher in Mesa, Ariz., writes Shut Up and Teach. He calls it “therapeutic” and rarely writes about his classroom. He often writes simply to defend teachers. “Public education does a really good job,” he says. “Warts and all, it’s one of the best things government has ever done.”

FJ passed along the USAToday article, which is actually not bad.

THANKS, BILL

Filed on at 5:48 pm under by dcobranchi

Microsoft pushed through two updates in the last few days. One of them seems to have broken Media Player 11. Both Beta 1 and 2 would not maximize when launched. The only solution was to uninstall 11 (which automatically restores WMP 10).

TUESDAY AFTERNOON

Filed on at 5:36 pm under by dcobranchi

and the CoH is up here.

MEN: TREAT YOUR WIVES LIKE CHILDREN

Filed on at 9:18 am under by dcobranchi

Scott’s advice to married men. I really don’t grok conservative Christianity.

ARRRRRGH

Filed on at 6:15 am under by dcobranchi

It’s the best day of the year. And on a related note I actually forced myself to watch the stupid Wife Swap show last night, just to see how the homeschoolers were portrayed. Homeschooling was not explicitly mentioned, but the signs were there. The family did dress up as pirates and yelled “Arrrrgh!” a lot. Thank God the HE angle was downplayed.

UPDATE: Now I get it. The family that appeared are the folks behind Talk Like a Pirate Day. I’m not sure they home educate, though.

UPDATE II: Duh! They swapped episodes.

SEASON PREMIER

Filed on September 18, 2006 at 6:39 pm under by dcobranchi

What’s the Wife Swap obsession with home education about?

In the season opener of ABC’s hit reality show, “Wife Swap,” a high maintenance former beauty pageant winner who insists on perfection in her palatial home and spoiled daughters swaps places with a junk-collecting, blue collar mom who believes that grooming and primping are a total waste of time. The episode, “Jeffrey/Greiner,” airs MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

…Shannon heads to the Pennsylvania home of the blue collar Greiner family, where mom Belinda (43) and her husband, George (42), live with their two children, Madison (10) and Seth (9). The Greiners live in a loving but cluttered den filled with animals and their junkshop finds. What the family can’t get for free, they find in the trash or buy at thrift stores. They live in sweats and jeans, and Belinda has bought daughter Madison new clothes only twice in her entire life. Belinda cares more about spending time with her animals and her children than she does about cleaning up after them. She spends every waking hour of her day with her kids, even home-schooling them so she can have more time with them. In order for Belinda to stay home with the kids, George must work 16 hours days as a carpenter to support them. He spends so much time fixing other people’s houses that he has no time to work on the countless unfinished projects in his own house.

AS IF THERE WERE ANY DOUBT

Filed on at 6:26 pm under by dcobranchi

Here’s the lede in a Chris Klicka (HSLDA)-authored piece on the nascent homeschooling movement in the Dominican Republic:

The Dominican Republic is a lush tropical island nation located in the heart of the Caribbean. The country is home to 9.5 million Spanish speaking inhabitants, 95% of whom are not born-again evangelical Christians.

Because we all know that only evangelical Christians are interested in home education.

LETTERS

Filed on September 17, 2006 at 7:11 pm under by dcobranchi

They write letters. IN home educators respond.

WHEN POLITICS AND HOMESCHOOLING MEET

Filed on at 6:37 pm under by dcobranchi

This front-page WaPo piece [Username: HEOS1234@mailinator.com Password: HEOS1234] on the utter incompetence of the Coalition Provisional Government (CPA) in Iraq is lighting up Left Blogistan. It includes this tidbit:

Many of those chosen by O’Beirne’s office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq’s government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.

That’s our favorite non-accredited fundy HSLDA-backed college, of course. Read the whole article. But not on a full stomach. The cronyism makes FEMA look like a well-oiled machine.

OT: WHAT THEY SAID

Filed on at 6:18 pm under by dcobranchi

As might be expected from the Fort Bragg hometown paper, the Fayetteville Observer tends towards the conservative side. Which makes this editorial all the more remarkable.

LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed on at 2:47 pm under by dcobranchi

From Indiana:

Boards don’t have authority

To the editor:

The candidates for school board should be questioned hard on how they plan to run the public schools. But since the board does not run home schooling, candidates’ attitudes toward home schooling are not relevant, contrary to what Kelley Coures has written.

The simple fact is that no one running for school board would have authority to implement any of his suggestions. Policy toward home schooling is set at the state level, not the school board level. Home schooling is therefore not a legitimate school board election topic.

Coures says home-schoolers should be forced to take and pass a test each semester. No candidate for school board would have legal authority to implement this.

Coures suggests that home-schoolers who do not score high enough should be forced to enter the public schools. No candidate for school board would have legal authority to make this happen.

He suggests that home-school teachers should have certain qualifications. No school board member would have legal authority to implement this.

Coures suggests that home-school teachers should be required to follow the same curriculum outline as the public schools. No candidate for school board would have a legal basis to implement this.

He suggests that home-schooled students’ medical records (physicals) be filed with public schools. Ditto.

Coures suggests that social workers “visit” home-schooled students “throughout the year” to “evaluate their condition.” As with all of his previous suggestions, no candidate for school board would have legal authority to implement this.

Aside from the fact that Coures’ suggestions cannot withstand the light of logic, school board members should be elected based on how they plan to use taxpayers’ money on behalf of parents who have chosen to trust their children’s education to the public school system – not on their attitude toward students who are not in the system.

Scott A. Woodruff

Attorney

Home School Legal Defense Association

Purcellville, Va.

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