This week has seen a couple interesting articles and issues arise concerning the state of education. Most of you know that I am not a big fan of Public Schools…not by a long shot. I’m not saying it’s impossible to get a good education from a public school; I am saying that the chances of getting a good education in a public school are slim. I’d rather play the lottery, to be honest. With public school curriculum required to contain a great deal of gay-friendly content, and the proliferation of self-esteem based content, I think kids would be better off teaching themselves, for crying out loud. Being gay is NOT okay, and I don’t want kids to be told that it is. It infringes upon my beliefs (and the truth as clearly presented in the Word of God). People don’t send their child to school to have their self-esteem worked on…that’s not the job of the school, but more and more, I read about schools not being very concerned with the "right answer", and instead focusing on making sure the child feels special. This is why our school system is churning out graduates who are incapable of taking on the real world. The school system is more and more releasing people who are increasingly reliant upon the government for their living. This is a self-serving system, and we would be best off without it.
An article in the Modesto Bee this week was very interesting, to say the least:
With the government educating your children, you have no say in what they are being taught. You sit there and trust that your government knows best about economics, civics, etc. but you don’t know. Whoever is in power is able to ram whatever crap they want down your child’s throat. Increasingly, schools are pushing a social agenda. This paragraph from the above article really sort of pissed me off when I read it:
Gleason says SB 777 has resulted in California schools not being allowed to use the words "mommy" and "daddy" anymore. "Children will be taught that sexual orientation and gender are merely a matter of personal choice," says Gleason, "and they will be taught to find what is ‘right’ for them." The Web site for Gleason’s group argues SB 777 essentially makes it lawful for public schools to "indoctrinate" children as young as pre-kindergarten to accept as normal and morally acceptable homosexuality and "other sexually deviant lifestyles." In addition, says the group, the legislation represents a "complete reversal of 2,000 years of Christian moral teaching on human sexuality, family and marriage."
You ok with that? You ok with the government’s inept method of instructing your children on how sexual deviancy is really ok? As young as kindergarten??? You also ok with them being more concerned with your child’s self-esteem than whether or not they can perform basic math, read legal documents, or have more skills that which flipping burgers requires? I’m not ok with any of that.
I’m also not ok with the burden that is being placed on teachers in our system. My wife teaches in the public school system, and what she tells me is happening is that teachers are having to start at the basics each year. I don’t mean the three ‘R’s', people. I mean teaching respect, discipline (self-discipline, not spanking), courtesy, etiquette, etc. Wait a minute…shouldn’t parents be doing this? Isn’t that THEIR job?? If children don’t know THOSE basics, there’s no way learning in a classroom can take place. We are placing more and more requirements on students these days. I’ve been told that if a child doesn’t know how to read before starting Kindergarten, that child is officially behind. What, are they teaching advanced rocket science in 3rd grade now? And yet with these additional restrictions, we’re still turning out people who can’t write coherently or spell to save their lives. (I could place some of the blame on spellcheck, but that’s another blog post.) Teaching in a public school has come to mean "glorified babysitting", because there’s not a lot of learning that goes on in the classroom. It’s all about crowd control anymore. Trying to force the children to listen to lessons is taking the place of actual teaching, and I’m not interested in sending kids into that environment.
In California, we have the Standards, which are admittedly a great thing. A set of standards that a classroom should be required to teach each year…it’s a good idea. But teachers aren’t teaching these things. They’re teaching to a different set of standards: Standardized Tests. You see, the funding a school receives, and the benchmark to see how well a teacher is doing is determined largely upon how well students do on these standardized tests. So it’s in a teacher and administrator’s best interests to ensure that each student does well on these tests. But what is in the student’s best interests? Is Life a multiple choice test? Shouldn’t our children be required to know concepts so that they can apply them to the rest of their life? Or should memorizing factoids in order to pass a test be the new norm? Teachers are teaching to make sure their students pass these tests, and they are eschewing the Standards to do so.
So what do you do? You can send your children to private schools, but that causes its own sort of problems. Some Christian schools are not accredited, which means your children could be taught a substandard curriculum, with more emphasis on God than on what has really happened in history. (There is a particular Social Studies curriculum I’m referring to here, but I’m not going to name it. Get involved with your child’s learning, and maybe you’ll find out what I’m talking about. If you do, supplement it with a healthy dose of reality, for your child’s sake.) Not to mention the fact that private schools don’t necessarily guarantee that the person teaching your child is a very good teacher, any more than public schools do. I’m not against teaching about God, of course. I think Bible classes are very useful, but there is a place for learning about actual history, don’t you think? Teaching that Christopher Columbus was a devout Christian who was displeased with what his men were doing and asked them to stop isn’t really helpful to that end. So if public schools are out, and private schools are out…what now?
For years, homeschooling your children has been an option. But a recent ruling in Southern California has cast doubt upon whether this will be an option for long. Check out this article:
(By the way, a great thesis statement on that article. "Parents who lack teaching credentials cannot educate their children at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California’s home schooling families.")
A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said "What’s best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher." If this were happening on a one-and-one basis, away from the influence of children whose parents couldn’t give two farts about their child’s education, and when the social indoctrination of the left is kept out of it, I couldn’t agree more. Having a professional teacher (who did well in their course of study) tutor your children would be great. That’s not what Public Schools are, though. That’s not what you get when you send your child to public schools.
Let’s hold up children who have had a decent homeschool education against public school graduates. Let’s look at the relative success of the Charter School programs in the State of California. I can tell you right now that I agree with the father from Sacramento who said that if they are no longer able to homeschool their children in California, they’ll leave California. Yeah, like many of us need more in the way of reasons to leave the Left Coast. (Or, as my friend likes to say, the People’s Republic of California.)