Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » PRO-HOMESCHOOLING EDITORIAL

    Filed at 4:20 am under by dcobranchi

    … in USA Today). Not one snarky comment. USAT usually publishes a counterpoint to their editorials; I’ll see if I can track one down.

    UPDATE: Yep- here it is. As I expected, it’s by an educrat and is about as dumb as they come. It’s time for a fisking:

    The popularity of home schooling, while not significant in terms of the number of children involved, is attracting growing attention from the media, which create the impression that a “movement” is underway. Movement or not, there are compelling reasons to oppose home teaching both for the sake of the children involved and for society.

    Approximately 2 million kids are homeschooled. True, this number pales in comparison to the 100 mill or so in the g-schools but homeschoolers vastly outnumber charter school students. Are charter schools also not a movement? Let’s move on to his reasons homeschooling is bad for the kids and society.

    Home schooling is an extension of the misguided notion that “anyone can teach.” That notion is simply wrong. Recently, some of our best and brightest college graduates, responding to the altruistic call to “Teach for America,” failed as teachers because they lacked training.

    Perhaps. But he’s comparing apples and oranges. I’m sure pedagogy and classroom management techniques are important when one is trying to manage 25 6-year-olds. Homeschooling families tend to be large but not that large. Educational “tricks” are just not a concern in a homeschool.

    Good teaching is a complex act that involves more than simply loving children. Research on student achievement overwhelmingly supports the “common-sense” logic that the most important factor affecting student learning is teacher competency.

    And what does this say about the approximately 25% of g-school teachers who are officially not “highly qualified?” These teachers didn’t even minor in the subjects they’re teaching. Are they incompetent? Or is the definition of competence somehow tied to an education degree? And, what are we to make of the fact that on the recently released SAT scores, education majors had the lowest aggregate scores? Apparently, competence doesn’t have much to do with knowing English, Math, or the subject matter.

    While some parents may be competent to teach very young children, that competence will wane in more advanced grades as the content and complexity increases.

    Thank God for the g-schools! Otherwise, how would our kids learn to walk, and talk, and use the bathroom, and tie their shoes, and, and, and…

    But schools serve important functions far beyond academic learning. Attending school is an important element in the development of the “whole child.” Schools, particularly public schools, are the one place where “all of the children of all of the people come together.” Can there be anything more important to each child and thus to our democratic society than to develop virtues and values such as respect for others, the ability to communicate and collaborate and an openness to diversity and new ideas? Such virtues and values cannot be accessed on the Internet.

    If the g-schools are so important for developing citizenship, why do 12% of g-school teachers send their kids to private school (compared to 10% for the country as a whole). Don’t the teachers care if their kids grow up to be good citizens? And, to answer the question, yes, there are more important things than an appreciation for diversity. How about the ability to read the Constitution? In my home state of Delaware, only 2/3 of the 10th graders can read on grade level and fewer than half perform at level on the state math test. Educrat, take the log from your own eye first.

    The isolation implicit in home teaching is anathema to socialization and citizenship.

    This “socialization” issue has been beaten to death. Move along. Move along.

    It is a rejection of community and makes the home-schooler the captive of the orthodoxies of the parents.

    Oh, I see. It would be so much better to subject the kids to the orthodoxies of the NEA and the educrats (click here for a good example in a college setting). Besides, the first compulsory attendance law wasn’t enacted until 1852. How did the country survive all those parents indoctrinating their kids?

    One of the strengths of our educational system is the wide range of legitimate forms of public, private or parochial schooling available for parental choice.

    And homeschooling is apparently an illegitimate choice? Geez!

    With that in mind, those contemplating home teaching might heed the words of the Roman educator, Quintilian (A.D. 95). In opposing home schooling, he wrote, “It is one thing to shun schools entirely, another to choose from them.”

    I couldn’t find that quote but I did find this gem by the same Roman orator:

    I would, however, be folly to shut our eyes to the fact that there are some who disagree with this preference for public education owing to a certain prejudice in favour of private tuition. These persons seem to be guided in the main by two principles. In the interests of morality they would avoid the society of a number of human beings at an age that is specially liable to acquire serious faults: I only wish I could deny the truth of the view that such education has often been the cause of the most discreditable actions. Secondly they hold that whoever is to be the boy’s teacher, he will devote his time more generously to one pupil than if he has to divide it among several. The first reason certainly deserves serious consideration. If it were proved that schools, while advantageous to study, are prejudicial to morality, I should give my vote for virtuous living in preference to even supreme excellence of speaking.

    Is there any doubt that the g-schools are “prejudicial to morality?” Q.E.D.


    Comment by
    September 3rd, 2003
    at 7:03 am

    “Schools, particularly public schools, are the one place where ‘all of the children of all of the people come together.'” What is he smoking? Most of the public schools in my city are virtually 100% black and poor (based on percentage qualifying for free lunch). The kids come together with other kids from exactly their background. There are arguments for public education, but this is not one.

    Comment by
    September 3rd, 2003
    at 1:54 pm

    “Schools, particularly public schools, are the one place where ‘all of the children of all of the people come together.'” They come together in class, where they are forced to stay together, but once the lunch or recess bell rings, the majority tend to self-segregate, mostly by race, then by social class, then by intelligence or interests (i.e. sports, etc.) There were a few groups here and there that were ‘odd’ in some way-mixed classes or mixed ethnicities or mixed interests- but they were very small. That’s how my schools self-divided, anyway. And we had many many lessons in ‘diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘getting along’ and all those things. Rather than all together, the kids are all together, separate.

    Comment by
    September 3rd, 2003
    at 8:28 pm

    WOO HOO!!! You GO, Daryl!!! WOO HOO!!!

    Comment by
    September 3rd, 2003
    at 8:44 pm

    I went balistic when I was reading this in the paper today. What condesending tripe…all pissed off over the 2 million kids the educrats can’t indocrinate into the next generation of commies. And his yammering about “legitimate” choices, of public, private, parochial schools….want to place bets on if this guy favors school vouchers??? His type of “choice” only exists for the elite.

    Comment by
    September 3rd, 2003
    at 11:44 pm

    Huhmmm?? The first compulsory law in 1852 & approx. at Graduation time later civil war breaks out in our country. Could it be that all those children forced in school maybe didn’t learn how to get along with others????? Could the rewrite of history by educrats be hiding the real cause of the Civil War????? No wonder they’re so sensitive…about socialization.

    I mean gee the above conclusion has as much merit as the babble by this educrat. YUCK

    But here’s a real question for you if educrats believe you need a teaching cerificate/credentials to be able to teach your own children why are most entry level college courses often taught by students working on their masters degree?????? & that’s not just masters in education.

    My husband’s an engineer but he taught basic programming while finishing his degree. No teaching backround.

    My Dad’s teaching electrical 101 at community college & doesn’t have a teaching degree only 40+ years as a technician & has been recruited by the local votech to fill in while a teacher goes on sabatical. The students loved him & feel like they’re getting a jump on college or workplace skills.

    And then there’s charter schools who made a huge deal about recruiting teachers from the real business/manufacturing world to teach students at the highschool level & then getting rave reviews about how prepared their students are for college or the work place. No teaching degrees there.

    And I won’t even go to the news stories this month about who always seems to be striking at the beginning of the school.

    We are supposed to understand their walking off the job at our children’s educational expense but heaven forbid we take our children out of the system at the expense of their union jobs.

    Daryl if you blogged only strike stories this month I’d bet you blog your fingers off!!! Ok well I lied I did go there. Sorry I learned to fib during my public school education it’s a habit I’m currently trying to break. Forgive me & my public school manners & grammar I’m a product of the system what can I say??HAHA

    I’m only homeschooling so my kids can have a better life/education than I did…

    Comment by
    September 5th, 2003
    at 5:35 pm

    I enjoyed your rebuttal to this asinine article.

    I guess it would have pained him to do some real research and find out that studies show that, besides doing better than the PS counterparts when tested, that HS kids did well even when the parents were only high school graduates or even dropouts. I guess he is such a superior educator that he never had to recommend that a student get a tutor in a subject that he or she was weak in, just as a parent that is weak in a subject might do if they felt they weren’t strong enough to teach or have time to learn themselves. And he and the rest of America needs to get over the notion of pale, listless children stuck in a house with no friends or outside interaction. It seems as if we are never home, between activities of life and taking children to various activities (with or without the group being involved). Instead of cramming life into the few hours between after-school time and bedtime, we have all day to learn and do. I guess he doesn’t think very much of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor [homeschooled and most would agree highly educated; not stifled or a repressed hermit]. With the teacher shortages increasing, many areas are recruiting ANYONE with a high school diploma and a pulse to teach. We all know teachers that not only don’t love the subject they teach, are not even in their specialties. He totally discounts the benefit of the one-on-one teaching environment with the one person that knows the child(ren) better than anyone-THE PARENT!

    My quote- “Mothers are the very BEST teachers” Glenn Doman, founder of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. also- “Better to have a mother or father with adequate training that loves and adores their kid, than a professional with superior training that does not love the child.” [this is slightly paraphrased as I was taking notes during a lecture-but he was referring to parents, especially those trained to help their brain-injured children]

    There is another Quote from the Smithsonian Instute, regarding the Recipe for Genius, and the 3rd thing was “as little contact with peers outside of family members as possible”. Those that have the book The Well-Trained Mind can find it there.

    As for the children coming all together, they may be all together, but it isn’t the Coke commercial sing-a-long that he seems to be imagining. That also includes the name-calling, fighting, bullying and worse that goes with it. [guess he missed those school shooting stories as well].