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  • MAGICAL THINKING

    Filed at 8:08 am under by dcobranchi

    Four out of five editorial writers agree that a regular program of standardized testing will purify the hearts of criminals and eliminate child abuse:

    There are also tragic cases, in which ill-prepared parents use home schooling to avoid the hassle of daily public school or parochial school education. An example of this appears in this morning’s Omaha World-Herald. A 10-year-old girl, who was supposedly being home-schooled, was found locked inside a bedroom with the door locked from the outside.

    The girl weighed 59 pounds, which is about 29 pounds below average for a girl her age

    As terrible as that case is, local authorities said rural areas, including McCook, are not immune from isolated cases of neglect by a small percentage of parents who home school. There have been at least two similar cases in McCook. In one instance, the odor was so bad inside the home that it caused authorities to retch. Worse, officials found no books inside with which to teach.

    In another case, after neighbors reported children at home throughout the school day, authorities found an itinerant family that had fled from Alliance after being reported to school authorities there. The same thing happened here, with the family packing up and leaving after being checked on by authorities.

    Although neglect of home schoolers is an isolated problem, it is serious and needs to be addressed. Attention should be focused on the problem by the Nebraska Legislature, which needs to consider testing standards to make certain that home school students are progressing adequately in core academic subjects, such as reading, writing and arithmetic.

    6 Responses to “MAGICAL THINKING”


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 8:19 am

    We’ve really dumbed down the meaning of “tragic,” haven’t we? The girl was not being starved. There is no indication of abuse. She was often seen outside playing with her dog. At most, I think the parents are guilty of gross stupidity. Tragic? Hardly.


    Comment by
    forty-two
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 10:12 am

    What I can’t believe is that the average weight of a 10 year old girl is 88 lbs! That seems ridiculous. When I was that age, I think I weighed 60-65 lbs. Granted, I was a bit small for my age, but still! To think that half the 10 year old girls in America weigh over 88 lbs – and that this statistic is treated as the “healthy” weight so the paper can have fun implying the girl was horribly malnourished, instead of merely small or relatively in shape for her age.


    Comment by
    Gene
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 12:57 pm

    That is funny that they all come back to “testing” as the answer.

    All the tests I have given my kids indicate that school is a major fraud that impedes the learning process for millions of hapless children.

    Has anyone noticed that child abuse and menticide is always acceptable when conducted at the hands of, or while in the care of, a state approved credentialed professional?


    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 7:28 pm

    I was thinking the same thing, Gene. I guess they couldn’t scrape up two examples of g-school kids that have been abused. Of course, that would prove that testing is not the answer. Well, maybe not to them. (I think I just retched)


    Comment by
    Tad
    February 24th, 2005
    at 11:28 am

    five out of four editorial writers can’t place cause before effect, or draw other appropriate conclusions from evidence. Journalists should not be permitted to play with statistics or publish opinions without first being tested for competence in the art of reasoning… But that is just my opinion.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    February 24th, 2005
    at 11:41 am

    And a reasonable opinion it is!