Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » NYT ON HE

    Filed at 6:48 am under by dcobranchi

    The New York Times has a lengthy piece on home education on Long Island (Wooh! Wooh!). It’s pretty good, and the obligatory quotes from the union president are just precious:

    [S]ome professional educators have major reservations about putting that degree of control in parents’ hands. Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers union, said in home schooling he sees “a lot of well-intentioned but misguided parents who think this is a better way to educate their children.”

    “If they were presenting something that met the needs of students both socially and academically, it would be worth looking at, but that’s not the case,” Mr. Iannuzzi said.

    … It is the potential for imprinting a particular worldview that concerns some educators. Mr. Iannuzzi, the teachers’ union president and formerly an elementary school teacher in Central Islip for 34 years, said he believed that a major drawback of home schooling was that “these students are denied exposure to students from other cultures and ethnic backgrounds.”

    “When we think of democracy, we think of a system that depends on its pluralistic nature and depends on shared educational experiences so we understand what we’re each talking about,” Mr. Iannuzzi said. He said the real issue was social interaction. “Public education has always understood that was part of its mission,” Mr. Iannuzzi said. “As a classroom teacher, I can validate that the whole issue of educating the total child – social, emotional and psychological development – all comes from peer interaction and relationships that these children are denied.”

    The view of the teachers’ union, he said, is that uncertified home-teaching and exempting students from standardized tests “detracts from what the state is trying to do towards higher standards and validating progress.” Thus the union has pressed the Board of Regents for tighter regulation of home schooling and urged that home-schooled students be required to take Regents exams and other tests.

    There’s so much good stuff in there, it’s probably fisk-worthy. Anyone want a clean shot?

    2 Responses to “NYT ON HE”

    Comment by
    August 22nd, 2005
    at 9:18 am

    “these students are denied exposure to students from other cultures and ethnic backgrounds.”

    Oh help. This one always causes me to snort. In the schools I attended, ‘cultural diversity’ meant that some kids’ parents worked for Motorola, some for IBM, and some for Texas Instruments. The only kids with different “ethnic backgrounds” were the ones whose engineer parents came from Taiwan or India. I was shocked to go to college and learn that our town was a third Hispanic and a third African-American; you couldn’t have known it from the public schools I went to.

    Do these critics really reflect on their own school days and remember hanging out with kids of many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, soaking up the multiculturalism?

    Comment by
    August 22nd, 2005
    at 9:36 am

    Growing up in Nassau County, Long Island in the ’60s, I had never even seen an African-American until I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. I can literally remember the first time.

    The only diversity we saw was whether you went to Mass or synagogue.