Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » SAYS IT ALL

    Filed at 8:46 am under by dcobranchi

    After reading through this rant on why home education is evil, I just knew this idiot was a teacher. He is, at SUNY- Stony Brook. One ‘graf ought to be enough:

    Let’s start with the common criticism of public schools. I have a very good friend who sent his kids to private school on the ground that the public ones where he lives are not good enough (which is actually debatable, since he lives in an area where public schools have a good reputation). As much as my friend is a kind person, smart, and generally speaking liberal, I still haven’t been able to making him understand why public schools perform, on average, less well than private institutions. The answer is two-pronged, and rather simple: good private schools have more money (which implies a variety of things, but chiefly a better teacher/student ratio, the single best predictor of a quality educational experience), and of course private schools can select the best candidates and discard the rest. But neither less money nor the inability to fail students are ingrained into the definition of a public school, they can both be changed, if the public so wishes.

    I think if I were a professional educator (as opposed to an amateur just faking it) bent on proving the superiority of a g-school education, I’d make sure that I could at least string a paragraph together without multiple errors in both logic and grammar. Private schools, of course, function on significantly less money than the g-schools; homeschoolers, infinitely less. And then there’s that last sentence. It’s just a blog, and he’s just a college prof at a two-bit school, so perhaps I should cut him some slack. Naaaaaah!

    UPDATE: He doesn’t have TrackBack turned on. Anyone want to set him straight?

    4 Responses to “SAYS IT ALL”

    Comment by
    October 24th, 2005
    at 9:36 am

    Homeschooling is not infinitely cheaper. Considering that a college educated stay-at-home parents is not earning, the opprotunity costs for homeschoolsing puts it in the college prep private school category. Thus, homeschoolers should always compare themselves to the Sidwell Friends of the world instead of the inner city public schools.

    Also, the college professor is comparing college prep private schools to suburban college prep public schools. In that comparison, the public schools are cheapr. If you compare St Albans in Washington, DC to Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax, the public schools is cheaper and is producing higher mean SAT scores.

    Comment by
    October 24th, 2005
    at 9:40 am

    Lots of assumptions in there–

    1) Who says that home educating parents have to be college educated?

    2) Who says that they would be working outside the home if they weren’t home educating? Rumor has it that there are such folks as SAHMs.

    3) The writer does not specify what kind of private school he is discussing. Why do you assume it is only the most expensive?

    Comment by
    Brian Sassaman
    October 24th, 2005
    at 12:27 pm

    One of my 4 kids is doing the Robinson Curriculum, so he is pretty much teaching himself!!! And he has no college degree 😉 From all indications, he is the best teacher he ever had.

    …so put that in yer pipe and smoke it, Doktor Massimo.

    from Plath’s Lady Lazarus:

    So, so, Herr Doktor.
    So, Herr Enemy.

    I am your opus,
    I am your valuable,
    The pure gold baby

    That melts to a shriek.
    I turn and burn.
    Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

    Comment by
    Andrea R
    October 24th, 2005
    at 12:41 pm

    By his own logic, a low student/teacher ratio is “the single best predictor of a quality educational experience”. I would think he’d be trumpeting the benefits of home ed, since the ratio in many homes is far better than it could ever be in any kind of school.

    In my house, it’s 1:2. One parent for every 2 children, even counting the oldest who is “done”, and most of their learning is independant from us.