Apparently it's now impossible to get a quality education in a public school. Frankly, that is plainly and completely ridiculous.
Yes, it is a ridiculous notion that a quality education cannot be had in a public school. But, it's a question of what you consider a quality education. My kids will start with a classical education. Public schools don't offer that. They will learn higher math (including Calculus - as high as I can teach - or whatever is higher, if someone in a home-school support group is a math whiz.) Unless, of course, my kid wants to be a bricklayer. I'll try to disuade him from this path, teaching him that he can lay bricks and do other things.
It's the rest of the curriculum that bothers me. I don't care much for racial pandering, and don't do it. Neither will my kids - they'll learn to treat people equally, but not to treat any group of people specially. I don't think women are all that damned mistreated, and those who are usually stay in that situation for their own reasons (lots of times, that reason is pure stupidity.) I will teach them that women can do anything a man can do, but I will also teach them that there are physical differences between the sexes which may make one sex more suitable for a given job than another (i.e., most of the time, men are physically bigger and have greater upper body strength.) All this, of course, with the understanding that a big, strong woman is just as capable of busting concrete with a sledgehammer as a big, strong man.
I will also teach my kids about guns at an early age, and teach them to respect, but not fear them. I will teach them how to handle, clean, and shoot a gun, because these skills are valuable. I'll probably even teach the kids to hunt. And work on cars. And program computers. And raise stuff in the garden. And care for animals. And teach them about the founding of this nation by having them read the writings of the men who did it. And encourage them to riddle me with questions until I can't answer one, and then we'll research and find the answer together.
Yes, all this stuff can work alongside a public education. But, why fill their heads with crap in a public school, and then have to scoop it all out later and teach them properly? Teach them right the first time, and the lesson becomes more valuable and less confusing.
And I highly doubt than anyone who was home schooled is going to "eat [me] for breakfast."
Good luck, then.
The real problems with public schools take a lot more than a quick fix. They're deep reaching and more than anything require the participation of the parents.
That's one school of thought. Another school might say, "insanity: (defn) doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different reesult." These are the people who don't care for public schools, but would rather their kids get a good education.
I, personally, want my kids to have as good an education as they can get. I am skeptical, however, that a public school can teach them the things that I want them taught, or that it can teach them well enough, or that it can refrain from teaching them things I don't want them taught. So, chances are I will undertake their education myself.
While I will agree with you that the public schools, if they are to return to a state of excellence, will need the involvement of parents, I disagree that that is possible with the current system of schooling. Maybe it would be better to abolish government-funded, government-controlled, union-run public education and return schools to their local communities. That way, a parent's suggestions and concerns can be met with due diligence, rather than deferring to some nebulous national curriculum, program, or government entity to remove blame for lousy performance from local administrators. And, maybe free market schools are a way forward, where competition can weed out the weak schools or force them to get better.
So everyone in the entire US has given up responsiblity for everything?
No. But, it's a lot easier for people to give up responsibility for their families, and that's what's hurting our kids' educations and futures.
Don't forget the part about being the world's largest military power either. Or winning the cold war. All because of responsiblity.
Being the world's largest military power has very little to do with "responsibility," but a lot to do with politicians' and industrialists' irresponsibility. And, we won the cold war because the Soviet Union was even more irresponsible than us. Their irresponsibility was rooted more in their entire system, from top to bottom, than ours. As it was more pervasive, it was more crippling. But, that doesn't excuse us for have a 5+ trillion dollar national debt.
Now, seriously, while some parts of American society has become irresponsible, not all of it has. It's only the part that's seen on TV most of the time.
Not all of it has, but the problems are far more pervasive than you see on TV. Hell, I don't even watch TV but about once every two weeks or so. If I want to see personal irresponsibility that leads to the destruction of a society and the ruination of some really bright kids, I need only look out my front door. Trust me, it ain't pretty.
"It's not my fault; it's everyone else's who doesn't care." Public schools need a lot of work and placing blame isn't going to help too much.
But that's really where the matter hinges, don't you think?
We have to start being responsible again, we can't get around that. The most direct path to responsibility, and the most meaningful, is being responsible for yourself and for your family. After that, if you want to be responsible for helping others, your neighborhood, your city, county, state, nation, continent, world, or whatever your scope of interest, that's just fine. But, responsibility, like charity, begins at home.
I can show that I care by educating my kids. But, I don't think public schools can give them the education I want for them. So, I will find an alternative method.
From top to bottom, all we hear from public school advocates is that the system needs more money, more teachers, more resources, more this, more that, more everything else. But, when you look back to a time when education in this country wasn't bad, you'll see that these demands clearly do not hold water.
In constant dollars, we spend tons more money per student now than we did, say, in 1950. And yet, education consistently gets worse in public schools.
Our student:teacher ratio has dropped incredibly since then, too. And yet, education consistently gets worse in public schools.
We've even set up a cabinet-level department to oversee education at the national level, and this department is essentially beholden to the NEA (who purport to be looking out for the best interests of the students, but if that were so, they'd be a student union, right?). We spend lots of money, time, and resources on education. And since the institution of this department, education in this country has degraded at an ever-increasing rate.
And now, parents have to work more to pay for all of it. And don't have that time to spend with their kids, and involved in their schools. Not that public schools want parental involvement, anyway. Just ask some parents here on K5 what experiences they've had with public schools when they've wanted to get involved with their kids' education.
I particularly appreciate how it is always brought up that students are taught to be good little automotons responding to commands at the same time that they also don't listen to what a teacher says.
No. They're being taught that there is very little value in knowledge, and no value in taking control of, and responsibility for, your own actions. They're taught that it's better to live as a member of some nebulous "society", in which the best thing to do is to just get by and take the easy way out at every turn, than to do what's right. They're taught, not to be automatons, but to be mindless. Automatonism follows as a natural side-effect.
Guess what? Some students obey authority and others don't. No one's being conditioned to accept an authoritarian government.
My kids will be taught to evaluate authority, and question it, and obey it when they think it's right. But then, it's not really obedience, is it? My kids will be taught to resist an authoritarian government with every fiber of their beings. They will be taught to be skeptics, and to take everything that comes from an "authority figure's" mouth with great, huge grains of salt, and to verify that information for themselves. Hardly anyone in the public school system is taught these things. I wasn't, for sure. I learned to do this after I finally woke up. I'll see to it that my kids have their eyes open, too.
And some 12 year olds are just idiots; just like a significant portion of the American public. This isn't a fault of the public school system; that's a fault of genetics.
Neatly skirted. But not so fast. You obviously did not read "and that's what the teachers at school say." I'll agree that some twelve year olds, just like a significant portion of our population, are utterly idiotic. Some of this is nature, and some of it is nurture. I'd be willing to wager, though, that this kid wasn't lying when she said what she said. I can remember teachers asking me what right I had to question some government policies I didn't agree with. At that time, I didn't have any real sort of knowledge or grounding from which to answer - just a gut feeling that something wasn't right. My kids will be able to answer.
The analogy to teaching a pig to sing isn't valid given that the students can learn the subjects if they are willing to;
Which is why I threw in that bit about the horse and the water. But, that's the point upon which the whole schmear rides. If the kid isn't willing to learn a subject, he shouldn't be there to annoy the rest of the kids who do want to learn it.
You fail to understand that a high school diploma represents that a person has a basic skill set. If we remove requirements, there is no guarantee that that skill set has been met.
Wasn't it you who remarked about seing Seniors in High School barely able to read and perform basic mathematical operations?
Given that, it would seem that a diploma is representative of exactly nothing, and is a guarantee of exactly the same thing.
There also is the point that they are required because the school system feels that all people should have a familiarity with the subject whether or not they want to. Yes, it's coercive but it's being applied to a minor who in reality probably can't decide what's best for themselves.
But, do the needs of the many really outweigh the needs of the few, at the whim of a school system? Or vice versa? Is it right to insert a disruptive element into a classroom full of kids who would otherwise be willing and able to learn the subject matter? Does it not work to the detriment of kids who want to learn to put a dummy who doesn't care whether or not he learns into that class?
Most students given a choice would never go to school.
I disagree. Wholeheartedly. Some would, but they would certainly learn the folly of their errors, and find that they are responsible for remedying that situation, should they so desire. Most, however, would choose to go to school. And because they'd not be forced to be there, it might motivate them to learn for the love of it rather than because of compulsion.
Removing compulsory schooling could return schools to a place of scholarship, rather than making them a giant, state-run babysitter. If we want a state babysitting service, why don't we just create one and be done with it?
The idea is that we force them to take these classes on the idea that some day they will realize that they want to do something more with their lives than they already have.
So, I'll force your sister to have sex with me, with the idea that some day she'll realize that she really did want to have my kids.
And yes, I would consider being an engineer as doing more with your life than being a bricklayer.
By whose measure? An accomplished mason may disagree with you. And, having been acquainted with a few engineers, I can tell you that lots of the masons I've talked with have more sense. And you dare accuse me of elitism? Piffle.
It may be true that I am an unabashed elitist. But that just means that I am an unabashed realist. And that doesn't mean I can lay bricks as well as a mason, whose training and experience makes him much better than I at that.
It's my opinion, backed by my years of observation, that people have their own innate genius. You may be a hell of a computer programmer, but can you finish concrete well? Similarly, a cement finisher may be hell on wheels in his field, highly acclaimed, and whose expertise and raw talent make him highly sought after, but he may not be able to program his VCR.
You laugh at him because he can't fathom any use for a binary tree, or even what one is. He laughs at you because you have no concept of what a bull float is, or how to screed a slab that's thirty feet wide. Best if you stop laughing at each other and have a beer.
Maybe that's my impression because I am from a blue-collar family. YMMV.
That's right, let's keep down the bluecollar workers. Wouldn't want them to be intelligent or anything.
You are ridiculous.
Public schools seek to create informed citizens. Given that we live in a republic, it is paramount that we have a citizenry that is able to understand the political situation.
Before the advent of public schooling, we had just that sort of citizenry. I have posted elsewhere in this article a quote by H.L. Mencken, who is the "father" of U.S. public schools. Ah, hell. Once more, just for grins:
That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner.
Otherwise, we will be given an ineffective and corrupt government.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized
citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.
Yes. I see. And we can see how well public schools have done for us. Now, look back about 150 years and see how we compare, as citizens, to those people.
That is why it is important to have public schooling so that we will have a citizenry that is able to have a basic comprehension of what global warming is, of how the economy works, of past events in American history so that we avoid them in the future, and things of that nature. To do otherwise is to destroy this country in the future.
The problem is one of balance.
While public schools may teach what global warming is, they do not teach what it is not, and that which it is not is a proven theory grounded in solid science and borne out by good, realistic, predictive models that the upswing in global climatic temperature, as evidenced by many years of good, solid data collected in a rigorous way, following stringent guidelines, is anthropomorphic in nature. I think it's important that kids know the whole issue, rather than just hearing only one side of it.
With regards to the economy, I can assure you that what I was taught in school bears very little resemblence to that which I observe on a daily basis. I was taught that rich people should pay more taxes, and that their existence was a drag upon the rest of us. I was taught that welfare is good, and that the government does not control enough of the economy. I was taught that the Soviets' five year economic plans were a good idea, but that they implemented them poorly, and that our own government could do much better. Well, that, delta a little bit of rhetoric.
And the notion that kids in public schools receive anything like a balanced, whole-picture view of events in our past is so laughable that I won't even bother to remark further upon it.
They have a better shot at it than without public schooling. An uneducated citizenry is one of the greatest threats to a republic.
The problem is, kids today are not taught to analyze and critically think about rhetoric spewed at them by politicians and media figures. They accept the (Democrat) party line, knots and all, without thinking. Only after they leave school, get a job, and are somewhat responsible for themselves, do they really wake up. Even then, some cannot see that everything the government does to "help" us is bullshit, and that they're only interested in stealing your money to buy themselves more power.
And frankly I think they've done a fairly good job at running the government up to this point.
I think you misspelled "ruining."
We live in a fairly free country (and if you bring up issues such as the DMCA, stuff it, because if that's the biggest of our concerns than we're doing pretty damn well) that has a long country of doing such and will most likely continue doing so in the future.
The DMCA nonsense will sort itself out, in time. The ones that bug me are no-knock searches, warrantless searches, secret evidence, electronic surveillance of, and reconnaisance against our citizens, FBI, DEA, and local SWAT agents shooting unarmed, innocent civilians because they had the wrong address, gun confiscation, hate crimes legislation, and excessive taxation. To name a but a few.
The country is safe and the economy is doing well. So what exactly is wrong with the education level of the citenzenry?
Point. Set. Match.
i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.
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