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LOTD

Filed at 9:45 pm under by dcobranchi

A g-school teacher who gets it:

Don’t knock homeschoolers

As a career educator with 35 years in U.S. schools, public and private, your March 10 editorial, “Parents have right to teach their kids,” caught my eye.

While I suspect many conservative strict-constructionist judges would argue that such is not a constitutional privilege, it is every parent’s obligation to provide their children with an education that will adequately prepare them to be a competitive adult in the 21st century.

No matter how appeals of this recent decision may play out, I’d go even further and recommend the repeal of all compulsory education laws. Instead, the Legislature should enact a new education code making all public schooling voluntary while at the same time permitting anyone of any age to pursue education at public expense. This would instantly end the discipline problems that result when students who do not want to learn are legally forced into a public school system that is ill-equipped to deal with angry adolescents, some of whom have gun fantasies.

Think of how encouraging the learning milieu would be if everyone in every class was present because they wanted to be there. Do I think this will happen? Not a chance. There are way too many monied interests committed to public ed as it currently exists.

But legally beating up on the homeschoolers won’t help anyone. Is home schooling perfect? Of course not, but a generation or more of home-schooled students who have excelled at America’s Ivy League universities is proof that many parents are doing something right. Give those parents a break. Don’t hit ’em with certification requirements.

LARRY RETZACK
Colton

4 Responses to “LOTD”


Comment by
Sunniemom
March 21st, 2008
at 6:27 am

If Larry lived in my hometown I’d buy the man a steak dinner for that comment!

I am meeting more and more folks involved in public education that feel the same way. My dh met a curriculum salesman who was retiring, and when my dh told him we homeschool, he gave him all of his samples ( I am talking boxes and boxes of texts and TEs) and ranted for 45 minutes about how badly schools hoover.

I donated most of the books he gave us a to a charitable foundation that sends educational materials to countries like the Philippines, but what a peach to want to help us like that. Maybe I’ll take him to dinner. 😀


Comment by
don
March 21st, 2008
at 10:31 am

It struck me as I read his commentary that the K-12 system is set up to essentially force kids into going to school when they don’t want to, whereas the post-secondary education system often keeps out people who want to attend (with high tuition, admission requirements, etc.).

Seems kinda backward. Try to imagine a system that would provide education for those who want it, when they want it. Kids could take classes based on their interests. They could attend year-round or just a few months. Adults who wanted to learn skills for a new career could do so regardless of their financial constraints, or could just pursue subjects of interest. People would actually learn stuff rather than going through the memorize-regurgitate-forget cycle. We could have a truly well educated populace.

Too utopian of me? Probably, but I can dream can’t I?


Comment by
Nance Confer
March 21st, 2008
at 4:01 pm

OK now — group hug for Larry! {{{}}}

Nance


Comment by
Larry Retzack
May 25th, 2008
at 3:05 pm

I don’t even know what this site is, but Don March has outlined exactly what I was driving at: making all public education free and voluntary while including eligibility for anyone of any age at any level.

For Sunniemom, tell me where you are & I’ll do my darnedest to show up for that steak. And Nance, thanks for the hug. I needed that.