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Thread: Fundamentalist Christianity, Homeschooling, and Educational Neglect

  1. #11
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    Right. Children aren't property. They have rights independent of their parents wishes.
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    I have taught students in college who graduated from approved public high schools and they can't even write a correct sentence, so why would home teaching scare people so badly.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarabethv View Post
    I have taught students in college who graduated from approved public high schools and they can't even write a correct sentence, so why would home teaching scare people so badly.
    I'd say that outcome is pretty scary regardless of the type of education that failed these students. However, I get the impression from reading some of the accounts on the blog I linked above that the lack of a good education in certain religious homeschool communities can be pretty close to intentional and goes hand-in-hand with an abusive cult-like environment.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djiril View Post
    I'd say that outcome is pretty scary regardless of the type of education that failed these students. However, I get the impression from reading some of the accounts on the blog I linked above that the lack of a good education in certain religious homeschool communities can be pretty close to intentional and goes hand-in-hand with an abusive cult-like environment.
    I suspect that, all things being equal, there is no "one size fits all" approach to education.

    The problem is, all things aren't equal. Public school increasingly offers a heavily-politicized education that in many cases drowns under its own weight. it sounds like people are describing a similar situation in some homeschools; I wonder what the respective percentages of success are.

    There is a deeper issue, however, than educational efficiency, and that is the right of the parents to rear their own children. I think there was a federal court case within the last few years that reiterated that principle, though I don't know in what context. Didn't the California legislature recently try to do away with homeschooling and get stopped cold by the courts? That may have been it.

    I see someone has mentioned the rights of children irrespective of what their parents want -- or believe is best for them, which is the same thing. Well, sure; you never know what a parent might do. I mean, we can't watch everyone all the time. Yet. This is a situation that simply cries out for more regulation.

    I saw an interesting presentation recently on Progressive tactics of Constitutional misinterpretation and manipulation. I was impressed. The "general welfare" language was mentioned as a principal weapon. That rings a bell, for some reason.
    Last edited by Tom Terrific; March 16th, 2012 at 06:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiberias View Post
    Homeschooling because your local public schools are inadequate has always seemed to me much like refusing to vote because you're unhappy with your elected officials.
    I disagree with that analogy. When people refuse to vote, that has no negative impact on the politicians running for office, but when families homeschool their children, the school district loses the federal funds it would have received from those students' attendance.

    Before I removed my son from the public school system, I attended a school board meeting. I didn't get on the agenda to speak; I first wanted to observe to see if the school board would be one possible way to resolve the bullying problem. I was completely disgusted. With one exception, which was a vote to approve the application of someone who wanted to become a substitute teacher, the entire meeting was taken up with addressing teacher union grievances! That was it! I expected the meeting to be about bettering education for our children, but it was more like a union meeting, not a school board meeting, so I felt that any efforts I would spend there would be an utter waste of time. No wonder our schools are in such trouble. The union is running the show while our children are falling further and further behind the educational level of their peers from several years ago. I don't believe that is a coincidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonwitch View Post
    The union is running the show while our children are falling further and further behind the educational level of their peers from several years ago.
    Precisely.
    I don't believe that is a coincidence.
    It isn't. Like all unions, their primary interest is getting as many goodies for their members as possible. Such goodies, like tenure, are usually detrimental to the students and their educations. Right now the governor of my state is trying to expand the voucher program, make it harder for teachers to get tenure, and base things more on merit and performance instead of seniority, because right now things like pay levels and who gets laid off is based solely on teacher seniority rather than teacher competence. And the teachers are fighting him tooth and nail. Never mind the fact that every indicator clearly show that the Louisiana education system is among the worst in the nation and to hell with what's best for the students. Watching the local news and seeing these teachers whine about the fact that they might have to actually perform on their jobs is sickening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valnorran View Post
    Watching the local news and seeing these teachers whine about the fact that they might have to actually perform on their jobs is sickening.
    Imagine nationalized health care with doctors' and nurses' unions.

    The real reason that such a system is a Progressive's wet dream is that, once everyone is unionized, someone will have to make the deep, dark policy decisions about who gets how much of not enough. Guess who.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valnorran View Post
    Precisely.

    It isn't. Like all unions, their primary interest is getting as many goodies for their members as possible. Such goodies, like tenure, are usually detrimental to the students and their educations. Right now the governor of my state is trying to...
    Of course individuals and groups seek whatever advantages they can acquire within a society. That's natural. It's true that the public education system is a mess too. My wife subs and she's got stories, let me tell you. Also, since you mentioned it, tenure was initially developed to ensure that academics in higher education systems are free to pursue knowledge based on their experience and expert opinions, without administrative interference; I agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense for the K-12 public education system.

    But the unions aren't the root of the problem. The problem is the way we fund electoral politics. There's an obvious inherent conflict where candidates' campaigns are funded by people they'll have to negotiate with on behalf of the state if elected. The same conflict exists in the private sector because lawmakers are responsible setting policies that directly impact their largest donors, particularly though tax law, but also safety regulations and the likes, which industries that pollute prefer to minimize for the sake of their bottom line, etc.

    But, in a state like yours, where the public unions are more likely to fund opponents of the current ruling party, there's a big push to crush the unions, and there's obviously no corresponding effort to eliminate the source of their own comparable conflicts of interest. Their rhetoric is nakedly disingenuous. It's clear their intent is to weaken their political opposition, period.

    They may succeed in crushing the unions because the general public seems to be pretty oblivious to the real problem. That's not necessarily a good thing. Unions historically do a lot of good for the whole society when they have no choice but to negotiate in good faith. The auto industry has some good recent examples. The bottom line is that if we could remove electoral politics from the equation, I think the public unions would serve the system much better than they currently do.
    Last edited by R. Eugene Laughlin; March 18th, 2012 at 10:55 AM.
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