Utterly Meaningless » 2007 » September

REASON #1,454

Filed on September 6, 2007 at 9:02 pm under by dcobranchi

No head lice? Ewwww.

Because nothing says back to school like a head full of disgusting, tiny, crawling, egg-laying, reproducing, itch-making parasites… One mother at school recommended tea tree oil as a preventative – a few drops when you shampoo. But when I saw her recently she mentioned that her kids had picked up head lice in summer school. It’s almost enough to make you want to homeschool.


Filed on at 8:57 pm under by dcobranchi

As a scientist, I’m glad these kids will be exposed to the theory of evolution. As a parent, I worry about governmental over-reaching. Of course, it is Canada. Different country. Different culture.


Filed on September 5, 2007 at 6:06 am under by dcobranchi

The CoH is up.


Filed on at 5:35 am under by dcobranchi

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a very nice article on a group of local homeschoolers. The reporter (female, of course) goes out of her way to stress that it is a secular group and that more than just fundies homeschool.

Included is one of the better photos I’ve seen. No kitchen (or picnic) tables visible.


Filed on September 4, 2007 at 6:02 am under by dcobranchi

An ad in the Adsense strip to the right points to http://homeschool.ws That top-level domain is registered to Samoa.


Filed on at 5:54 am under by dcobranchi

It looks like the fix is in for a daytime curfew in Waco, TX.

The ordinance would require any student younger than age 17 to be in school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on regular school days unless they meet specific exemptions. Home-school students, students pursuing dual-credit off campus and those allowed to eat lunch off campus would be exempted for those activities, McDurham said.

Once a student is found to be in violation of the ordinance, he or she would be taken to a processing center run by the Waco Independent School District that would identify where the student is supposed to be during curfew hours. Other schools in the Waco area, including private institutions, would have a contact person who would be in charge of transporting the students back to school, where they would return to their normal class schedule… Key to making the daytime curfew work for those students with exemptions to be out of school will be a system to identify where they are supposed to be if found off campus. McDurham said Waco ISD has agreed to provide ID cards to any school or home-school student who would like to have one.

The card would say where the student is supposed to be during certain times of the day or identify them as a home-school student. If parents of home-schooled students decline to request a badge, a note written by a parent would be sufficient to explain the student’s circumstance, McDurham said.

Although parents who home school their children have expressed concern about how the proposed curfew would affect their students, the concept so far has garnered support, McDurham said.


Filed on September 3, 2007 at 9:06 pm under by dcobranchi

Joel Turtel has to be the lamest of education writers around. He manages to fill up many column-inches while really saying nothing. In his latest, the only “facts” he provides are a quote from the Moonie Times. In 1999.

One thing I did learn, though, is that Turtel must be a fan of National Lampoon’s Animal House. First, Turtel:

To cover their embarrassment at the constant failure of these “innovations,” the educrats then blame everyone but themselves. They blame the kids, the parents, “poverty,” or “society.” Or, they say they need more billions of dollars to try a new variation of the “innovation” that didn’t work for the last ten years. Parents can’t take their kids out of these failed schools because they can’t afford the private schools. The free-market can’t punish these public schools for their incompetence and poor results because these schools are an insulated government monopoly and the teachers are protected by tenure.

And now the famous Otter Defense:

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female party guests — we did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg … isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do what you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America! Gentlemen!

BTW, read the first three grafs and see if you don’t think Iraq.


Filed on at 7:28 am under by dcobranchi

They’ve obviously never been to Chinatown in San Francisco:

Not mandating English fractures the country

There have been numerous letters lately concerning the emphasis placed on young students to learn a second language, more specifically, Spanish. Comprehending and becoming fluent in any language other than English is a commendable goal. Surely, we are not so conceited to think that English is the only language; however, I do object if and when Spanish is mandated as the second language in order to appease those who refuse to put forth the effort of assimilation by learning the language of their adopted homeland.

It seems that every business today has signs posted for the public in English and Spanish. Questioning these policies, I have been informed that, because of the economic impact of the Spanish community, businesses are catering to them in their native language.

This attitude translates that immigrants from the 1800s until perhaps the late 1970s did not have an economic impact and therefore there was no need to compromise on their behalf.

I perceive this need to bend over backwards as a direct insult to those early immigrants whose contributions made this country what it is.

Being an immigrant myself, I understood that my family and I had to learn the language, and adapt to this country’s principles and culture. We maintained our native language and culture in our home.

This country allows individuals their personal preferences. Nowhere else in the world is that possible and yet, for the mighty dollar, we are well on the way to fragmenting this country!

Geri T. Hasapis


Filed on at 7:25 am under by dcobranchi

I just can’t understand the hatred some folks have for those less fortunate:

Library not best place for homeless to cool off

A big jeer to whoever wrote the editorial in Aug. 7th paper suggesting that the homeless, those with alcohol-related problems and those marginalized residents of Fayetteville without air conditioning go to the public library or the mall to seek relief from the heat. The library is a place that parents encourage their children to visit as an educational experience, but not in the context you suggested. I am sure the merchants and management at the mall were equally thrilled by the suggestion.

Now, going to the Social Services building is an excellent idea in that they can mingle with their peers and perhaps allow the liberal employees there to better see who they are throwing our hard-earned tax dollars to.

Gregory O. Eacker


Filed on at 5:47 am under by dcobranchi

Ho hum. Just two Category 5 storms in a row.

And kudos to the folks editing the Wikipedia page on Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes. Including Felix, there have been only 31 Category 5 storms since 1928. Six of them in the last three years.


Filed on at 5:25 am under by dcobranchi

How does an editor let this graf get into a (supposedly) legit paper?

Just about everyone complains about the out-of-whack emphasis on the SAT and its rival entrance exam, the ACT. Parents, students, teachers, counselors, college admissions officers, think-tank experts — they all dis it to varying degrees, and some colleges have stopped requiring the tests.


Filed on September 2, 2007 at 11:49 am under by dcobranchi

I really hate the new name of I-AA football, the “Football Championship Subdivision.”


Filed on at 11:22 am under by dcobranchi

You would think that after all of this time, editors would understand this basic fact.

In the northern states, the Catholic schools educate a significant percentage of the population. The schools are not elitist, nor restricted to students of one race or even the Catholic faith. They simply offer an alternative to the public schools. So do charter schools, magnet schools, home schools and elite private schools.

The result is a variety of options for parents to consider for their children.

There’s nothing to fear from an expansion of Baptist schools in North Carolina. It won’t lead to a return of segregation. They won’t become madrassas propagandizing our youth. They’ll just ofter one more choice and, on the bottom line, our state will be better educated because of that.

That criticism aside, I have to agree with the overall tone. More choices in education in NC would be a very good thing.


Filed on at 11:12 am under by dcobranchi

Here’s a review of a new book on our favorite college.


Filed on at 8:47 am under by dcobranchi

This bilingual program is making stupid assumptions:

When Aviles enrolled his daughter Gabriella in a Glen Ellyn kindergarten class, he was startled to learn she had been assigned to the bilingual program. Aviles and his wife decided to home-school the girl, who speaks only English.

“She shouldn’t be put in the program just because her last name is Aviles and she’s brown,” he said. “We purposely wanted her to learn in English because that’s the language she’s going to have to use the rest of her life.”


Filed on at 6:47 am under by dcobranchi


A common language isn’t xenophobic

Rochelle Williams’ column (“Language barrier,” Aug. 17) defending Spanish-immersion classes is a reminder that too many Americans are more interested in promulgating foreign culture in our borders, rather than in defending our unique American culture, the most obvious part of which is our common language. For my part, I am no xenophobe, so keep your name-calling to yourself. Furthermore, Ms. Williams’ parents apparently agreed with my point of view, and prepared their daughter to function as an American citizen by seeing she learned English.

People with any situational awareness know that 10 percent of the Mexican population is living in our country illegally and that constitutes an invasion. Our state and local governments respond by providing them with free health care and educational benefits. Illegal immigrants even pay less at our universities than other Americans.

All the while, the illegal immigrants take billions of dollars annually out of our economy and send it to Mexico. But you want to demonize your fellow Americans as xenophobes; I say shame on you.

Mike Lopez
Hope Mills

Just a reminder– this entire “controversy” is about a voluntary program in an elementary school to teach Anglophones Spanish. God forbid our children should learn any language but good ol’ Murkin.


Filed on September 1, 2007 at 9:58 am under by dcobranchi

I agree 100% with this one.

…happy to be home-schooling

I question the judgment ability of any principal who thought it was OK to deny parents their own children after they had properly identified themselves. What moment in time did those parents sign away their parental rights?

Stating that they did not violate school policy is the ultimate bureaucratic answer. Such a statement requires no common sense, no critical thinking.

I thank God every day that we decided to home-school our children. They are bright and happy, and I can take them with me whenever I want without the permission of Ocoee Elementary officials.

Norman Booth

Mr. Booth is referring to this article, which details how the schools who seem to have thought that in loco parentis means “the parents are crazy if they think we’re letting our kids go.”

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