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Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 06 2008,21:53   

Home schooling is a major effort by the far-right to isolate childern from science education. Today in California, a State Appellate court ruled that home schooling parents in California must have valid teaching credentials.

From the LA Times,
Quote

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.

Advocates for the families vowed to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. Enforcement until then appears unlikely, but if the ruling stands, home-schooling supporters say California will have the most regressive law in the nation.


The first burst of "Christian Academies" was in the early 1970s when  
desegregation laws had resulted in court cases forcing school race integration.  The "Christian" "Conservatives" quickly established seperate, segregated schools based on their "Christian" "Conservative" values.  They also began a campaign for "vouchers" to remove funding for public schools.  If the public schools would dare teach those "mudbloods" then Christian Conservatives should not pay for them.

It is not an accident that these "Christian Conservatives" are the core of the creationist movement.

The Libertarian wing of the far-right are also enemies of public education, but only for the purest of motives.  The same motives that promote clear cutting forests.  The same motives that oppose anti-racist labor laws.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,07:54   

Thank you, yes, this is a lovely little stay tuned story.

Too bad the reporter missed the obvious line, that the Creo's will "appeal to a higher authority".

Oh, well, probably a newbie assigned at this point.

I'm looking forward to a reporter with the "all hell breaks loose" story.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,08:57   

Hehheh.  Good.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
dheddle



Posts: 540
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,10:31   

Count me out of the glee over this one. This is simply a case, it seems to me, that you are delighted because something bad has happened to someone you don't like--the homeschooling families who tend to be religious. But this is just one more instance of the intervention of the omniscienct nanny state. And I suspect people who jump for joy when the state intervenes into the personal lives of citizens in "a good way" will be equally outraged if the state intervenes in a way that violates what they believe is a fundamental right.

I sent both my boys to public schools, but being devoutly religious I know probaby 50 or so families that homeschool their children. On average, in my experience, the home-scooled children are more prepared for college than the public school students, including in math and science. It is not unusual for a homeschooled kid to be doing calculus in about the ninth-grade age group. Yes, some (a surprising minority) will do the YEC/Bob-Jones science, but most use decent text books. (True, they won't teach evolution, but they won't teach creationism either--they will teach biology "factoids", parts of plants, ecosystems, etc., exactly what my kids got at the best public high school in New Hampshire.) There is no way that you can justify that clamping down on homeschooling is good because the students will now receive a better education: the data don't support it, nor the anecdotal evidence such as the well-known fact that some of the nation's most elite colleges recruit homeschooled students.

As for the credentials, that is a red herring. (This is, as almost anyone should be willing to admit, a union issue.) And especially when it comes to math and science. In personal experience, and also professionally through educational outreach from the national lab where I do my research, I have come across too many credentialed teachers who are math phobic and science phobic (and, of course, some outstanding teachers, but as far as math science goes, that's the exception) . There is no way that it is manifestly obvious that forcibly placing all the homeschooled students into their local public schools will result in their receiving a better scince/math education. No way.

So jump for joy that the fundies took a big loss, but don't pretend the reasons are pedgogical, because you can't make that case beyond platitudes. Nasty evidence like scores on standarized tests say otherwise. Just be honest and admit that you are delighted that the nanny state (this time at least) stuck it to someone you despise--and don't worry too much about who they stick it to next time.

So no, I don't think this is good news at all.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Kristine



Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,11:28   

I have been hesitant in my enthusiasm for homeschooling, but from what we're seeing at the museum I share Heddle's concerns - more and more kids are being homeschooled and they are tending to out-perform other students. With the internet resources out there, at least in relation to art databases, the curricula that are being constructed, at least in Minnesota and at least with regard to art, are quite good. Evolution and the age of the earth do come up with regard to our collection, and after a flurry of "We don't believe cats change into dogs" comments our ratings are "excellent" from homeschoolers.

So I'm taking a wait-and-see approach here. Remember that adage about good intentions. After what NCLB did to Minnesota schools, heretofore considered among the best in the nation, I'm cautious here about "credentials."

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
JohnW



Posts: 2767
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,11:40   

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 07 2008,08:31)
Count me out of the glee over this one. This is simply a case, it seems to me, that you are delighted because something bad has happened to someone you don't like--the homeschooling families who tend to be religious. But this is just one more instance of the intervention of the omniscienct nanny state. And I suspect people who jump for joy when the state intervenes into the personal lives of citizens in "a good way" will be equally outraged if the state intervenes in a way that violates what they believe is a fundamental right.

I see this as the court recognising the right of all children, regardless of who their parents are, to get an education.  The court is simply ruling that those who home-school their children need to know what they're doing, and be able to show that they know what they're doing.  If we changed a few words:

Quote
Parents who lack surgery credentials cannot remove their children's spleens at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California's home surgery families.

would it still be an "intervention of the omniscient nanny state"?

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 07 2008,08:31)
I sent both my boys to public schools, but being devoutly religious I know probaby 50 or so families that homeschool their children. On average, in my experience, the home-scooled children are more prepared for college than the public school students, including in math and science. It is not unusual for a homeschooled kid to be doing calculus in about the ninth-grade age group. Yes, some (a surprising minority) will do the YEC/Bob-Jones science, but most use decent text books. (True, they won't teach evolution, but they won't teach creationism either--they will teach biology "factoids", parts of plants, ecosystems, etc., exactly what my kids got at the best public high school in New Hampshire.) There is no way that you can justify that clamping down on homeschooling is good because the students will now receive a better education: the data don't support it, nor the anecdotal evidence such as the well-known fact that some of the nation's most elite colleges recruit homeschooled students.

Clamping down on bad homeschooling is good because those students will (or at least should) now receive a better education.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:00   

I've heard much anecdotal support for the idea of homeschooling getting better results than public education.

I'd like to see the studies that show that, however.

I'm certainly in favor of the state ensuring that a parent-teacher knows his or her ass from a hole in the ground.  A parent who teaches their kids that the earth is 6000 years old, demonstrably does not.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:09   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 07 2008,12:00)
I'm certainly in favor of the state ensuring that a parent-teacher knows his or her ass from a hole in the ground.  A parent who teaches their kids that the earth is 6000 years old, demonstrably does not.

Why should any home-school that teaches that be treated any separately than any of the private schools that do so?  The implication of your statement, whether it is what you intended or not, would be that all such private schools should be shut down, as well.  I can easily see that failing constitutional muster, presumably under the free exercise clause.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:27   

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 07 2008,10:31)
Count me out of the glee over this one. This is simply a case, it seems to me, that you are delighted because something bad has happened to someone you don't like--the homeschooling families who tend to be religious. But this is just one more instance of the intervention of the omniscienct nanny state. And I suspect people who jump for joy when the state intervenes into the personal lives of citizens in "a good way" will be equally outraged if the state intervenes in a way that violates what they believe is a fundamental right.

I sent both my boys to public schools, but being devoutly religious I know probaby 50 or so families that homeschool their children. On average, in my experience, the home-scooled children are more prepared for college than the public school students, including in math and science. It is not unusual for a homeschooled kid to be doing calculus in about the ninth-grade age group. Yes, some (a surprising minority) will do the YEC/Bob-Jones science, but most use decent text books. (True, they won't teach evolution, but they won't teach creationism either--they will teach biology "factoids", parts of plants, ecosystems, etc., exactly what my kids got at the best public high school in New Hampshire.) There is no way that you can justify that clamping down on homeschooling is good because the students will now receive a better education: the data don't support it, nor the anecdotal evidence such as the well-known fact that some of the nation's most elite colleges recruit homeschooled students.

As for the credentials, that is a red herring. (This is, as almost anyone should be willing to admit, a union issue.) And especially when it comes to math and science. In personal experience, and also professionally through educational outreach from the national lab where I do my research, I have come across too many credentialed teachers who are math phobic and science phobic (and, of course, some outstanding teachers, but as far as math science goes, that's the exception) . There is no way that it is manifestly obvious that forcibly placing all the homeschooled students into their local public schools will result in their receiving a better scince/math education. No way.

So jump for joy that the fundies took a big loss, but don't pretend the reasons are pedgogical, because you can't make that case beyond platitudes. Nasty evidence like scores on standarized tests say otherwise. Just be honest and admit that you are delighted that the nanny state (this time at least) stuck it to someone you despise--and don't worry too much about who they stick it to next time.

So no, I don't think this is good news at all.

Oh come off it Heddle. Get off your high horse.

We have been living in what you call a Nanny State since this country was founded.  We are a nation of laws, not personalities (present administration exempted for some damn reason).

I have 3 kids.  2 went to a "Christian School" through 4 and 6 grade.  Youngest has only attended public schools.  They have all out-performed the norm, and the youngest is kicking some ass in math and science, and turned down attending gifted class at the local high school.  I am sure that there is actual science out there to back up my anecdotal story.

You wrote:  "Just be honest and admit that you are delighted that the nanny state (this time at least) stuck it to someone you despise--and don't worry too much about who they stick it to next time."

Yes I am delighted that the we, the people, stuck it to someone I despise!  It's called democracy.  If you don't like it, try a theocracy - I hear they have a nice one in Iran you might like.

edited:  I changed the metaphor?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:29   

OT sorta...I have never really understood what appears to the the left's (color me a lefty, fyi) opposition to vouchers.  Yeah it takes money away from public school, it also takes a body out of the public school system thus in theory the money "lost" would balance with one less body in class.

As a parent I have no desire for my children to step foot in a public high school.  We plan to send ours to private school instead and I'd love to get some of my school taxes refunded in the form of a voucher that I could use to help pay for their private school education.

Just sayin'...

edit: hey heddle watch who you color "gleeful" over this homeschool thing.  Some, like me, could care less about the home school "system".  I am neither gleeful nor concerned.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:35   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Mar. 07 2008,12:29)
OT sorta...I have never really understood what appears to the the left's (color me a lefty, fyi) opposition to vouchers.  Yeah it takes money away from public school, it also takes a body out of the public school system thus in theory the money "lost" would balance with one less body in class.

As a parent I have no desire for my children to step foot in a public high school.  We plan to send ours to private school instead and I'd love to get some of my school taxes refuned in the form of a voucher that I could use to help pay for their private school education.

Just sayin'...

edit: hey heddle watch who you color "gleeful" over this homeschool thing.  Some, like me, could care less about the home school "system".  I am neither gleeful nor concerned.

Private High School in my area: $9,400.

http://www.viator.k12.il.us/prospects/finance.htm

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
dheddle



Posts: 540
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:40   

J-Dog,

Quote
Yes I am delighted that the we, the people, stuck it to someone I despise!  It's called democracy.  If you don't like it, try a theocracy - I hear they have a nice one in Iran you might like.


My friend, I'm somewhat disappointed. I argue that ending homeschooling would not obviously, by a long shot, result in improved education for those students. That is perhaps debatable.  But you tell me that if I don't like it I should try living in the theocracy of Iran. That seems well below your argumentative standards, which I have come to see as, while often caustic, nevertheless almost universally clever and amusing. Go live in Iran? --- America, love it or leave it? Really, now.

P.S. I feel compelled to point out that I'm a Baptist, and we make a credible claim to having introduced to the western world the modern concept of separation of church and state. The last place I'd want to live in is a theocracy.

Mr. Christopher,

Understood.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:40   

Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 07 2008,12:35)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Mar. 07 2008,12:29)
OT sorta...I have never really understood what appears to the the left's (color me a lefty, fyi) opposition to vouchers.  Yeah it takes money away from public school, it also takes a body out of the public school system thus in theory the money "lost" would balance with one less body in class.

As a parent I have no desire for my children to step foot in a public high school.  We plan to send ours to private school instead and I'd love to get some of my school taxes refuned in the form of a voucher that I could use to help pay for their private school education.

Just sayin'...

edit: hey heddle watch who you color "gleeful" over this homeschool thing.  Some, like me, could care less about the home school "system".  I am neither gleeful nor concerned.

Private High School in my area: $9,400.

http://www.viator.k12.il.us/prospects/finance.htm

One of the schools I have in mind for my daughter runs closer to 12k per year.  

Yeah I'm all for vouchers :-)

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Ra-Úl



Posts: 93
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:41   

My son, now 18, was home schooled because his mother thought the public school environment was turning him into a little beast; she though his dislexia was not being properly addressed, also. The result is not an astonishingly accomplished student, but a well-adjusted young man. Heddle's example of students doing vcalculus at a ninth grade age, seems to me something done by parents who both value mathematics and who know calculus. Tom is not science oriented, but Tom's mother and I both know mathematics and science, specifically human paleontology and osteology, and he has a good grasp of biology. His main accomplishements are in art and language: his writing is exemplary, for a young person who learned to read around twelve, his vocabulary extensive and precise. He reads his work in public, he blogs his drawings and stories, and will go to college to work on both. Considering the often casual job we did with him, I think most of the credit goes to a wilfull but curious boy who was not really adedicated student, but who came out of this ahead of his age group in language, and at least at his age group in social studies, math and science. It takes more dedication than I had, but his mom did not work for years to ensure his instruction. She took education courses at a local university, and had a school teacher friend help with his curriculum. I have friends who home schooled their children because thei lived in isolated areas, and who have gotten their children into Ivy League schools. They are liberals, Christian but not fundamentalists, and accept modern science. Not all home schoolers are reactionary science deniers, and some become able teachers even in areas that are not their main strengths.

Ra-Úl

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Beauty is that which makes us desperate. - P Valery

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:44   

My glee is that some standards are going to be enforced.  

You must be able to have a historical and social perspective.  Historically, public education, and the labor union movement have been the strongest forces for social equality in the USA.  Social inequality is rampant in societies that disallow poor people education along with lack of basic nutrition and health care.  

Wealthy families certainly can provide better health care, and better educational opportunities for their children.  They also buy them out of trouble- "rehab" instead of felony convictions for drug use.  However, public schools can provide a solid basic education along with some nutritional and medical support.  I don't even care if the poor childern are religious right, in fact many will be.  The ruling yesterday in California was the result of a physical abuse case in which the family court judge discovered that the other childern were not being educated.  The wealthy sponsors of the anti-school movement are the same southern racists that control the Republican party today, a result of school desegregation, and Nixon's "southern strategy" in the 1970s.

So one source of glee is that anything that attacks public education attacks social justice.

The larger social picture is that a well educated public is the most critical factor in preservering what is left of the Constitution, and is essential for making more rational choices about scientific research goals and responding to such things as global warming, HIV-AIDS, etc.  I would other wise not care if the religious extremists on the creationist fringe isolated themselves, and doomed their childern to sweeping and shoveling.  (Or journalism).

There is no question that well educated, well motivated and economically well off parents will be excellent home schoolers.  I would rather see them involved with their community.  I would rather see their knowledge and enthusiasm helping more than just their childern.  (More of that social justice thing).

Edited to add: Several people have observed that they are now for vouchers.   Of course- why pay for the education of other peoples childern.  We have no childern and I demand all my taxes back that paid for your brats.  You breeders have used the roads and parks more than I do, I want that money back too.  Fair play?

Edited by Dr.GH on Mar. 07 2008,10:50

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,12:57   

Heddle - Sorry to disappoint you, I will try to do better in the future!  I was attempting to take your argument to it's nth degree, and as an action-oriented kind of guy, proposed a fair and balanced, win-win solution.

Christopher - That's a lot of fund-raising dude!  (Does that include the uniforms BTW?)

Ra-Ui - Congratulations - you should feel proud - our kid's success is what it is all about, and I think you had to work extra hard to make it come out okay.  Good on you.

Doc GH - Yeah.  I hear you - we do like the parks - thanks for chipping in - I can send you pictures of us smiling in parks all across the country - where's your closest park?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,13:07   

Dr G, just to be clear, *I* don't have an issue paying school taxes (i.e. educating other people's kids) I'd just love it if I could get some education money to go towards my own childrens private education.

I don't see that happening and I'm not losing any sleep over it.  The bottom line is I am not relying or nor expecting the state to educate my children.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
bystander



Posts: 301
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,14:46   

I agree with David and I don't think that this is a good idea. I think a better idea would be to recognise homeschooled kids officially and enforce a ciriculum on the kids. This means that the homeschoolers can teach any crackpot things they want but they must also teach a minimum of english, math, science etc.
You would do this be having standardized testing every couple of years.
This happens in Australia with homeschooled kids and private schools. They have to teach the ciriculum first which includes evolution before anything else.

  
Amadan



Posts: 1332
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,15:53   

I'm with the nay-sayers on this one.

Here in Ireland the Constitution recognises parents as the primary educators of their children. Now while that is historically grounded in Catholic doctrine, it is a position I support. In fact, it simply recognises reality.

Legally, it doesn't mean that parents can just opt their kids out of education. In fact, home-schooling here requires approval of standards etc much as the California judgment seems to. However, that is not assessed simply by reference to a teaching qualification, which would be a disproportionate barrier. Instead, the parents have to show that the curriculum and methods they use are good enough, and the kids are periodically assessed by the Dept of Education.

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"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
PennyBright



Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,16:22   

Hrmphh.  I think CA is taking it too far to demand that homeschooling parents have the same teachers credentials as public school teachers -- teaching your own child/children is a different kind of pedagogy then teaching a large group of unrelated children from varied backgrounds.   I don't know what degree of state oversight existed before, though,  so it may or may not be an improvement on the earlier situation.

Personally,  I like the OH regulations fairly well though I think they wimp out on curriculum issues by allowing the exception

"...home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent..."

However,  OH homeschoolers are overseen by a certified teacher who assesses the childrens skill yearly and reports to the local superintendent of schools.   I'd like to see 'assessment' better defined then it is currently - right now it is *very* easy to get someone to rubber stamp assessment forms.   I wish they were a bit more rigorous.

I do wish to point out that the view of homeschoolers as wholly motivated by religion is a broad (and necessarily inaccurate) generalization.   It's just that we secular homeschoolers are a quiet minority in the homeschooling movement,  and spend most of our time on things like science museums, classical theatre and camping, rather then political activism.  I'd estimate that our local homeschooling community is about 85% religiously driven.

For a decent overview of the research on homeschooling, see the research bibliography at Nels Tomlinson's website: http://geocities.com/nelstomlinson/research.bibliography.html  It's been a few years since he's updated it,  but it's a fairly comprehensive collection of info about the research out there, and some relevant case law for those in the US.  Bias note - Nels is a homeschooler.   However I've seen no evidence to suggest that he's left out relevant research that may be negative to homeschoolers - if you know of any,  let me know,  and I'll be sure to include it in the future when I reference his site.

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Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,16:50   

Quote
There is no question that well educated, well motivated and economically well off parents will be excellent home schoolers.  I would rather see them involved with their community.  I would rather see their knowledge and enthusiasm helping more than just their childern.  (More of that social justice thing).

I agree with that, although I think that parents can never be real honest educators for there children. But it's stupid to think you can ignore parents in education, and parents who know what they're doing should be involved with school (homework assignments, extra lessons outside school, workshops etc). But ofcourse, only parents who know what they're doing. Most parents I know and see around here are FAR from qualified to teach stuff, and that doesn't have anything to do with religion (except for the religious-extremist part of the population from the village I live in), they simply don't know enough.
In the end, it's not about what the parents want, it's about what the kids want. Let them explore, discover, make own choices and let them learn from mistakes.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,22:01   

Quote
Doc GH - Yeah.  I hear you - we do like the parks - thanks for chipping in - I can send you pictures of us smiling in parks all across the country - where's your closest park?
 Hey, the pics would be great!

We have a single lot (40x100 feet) city park two blocks away.  Slides and swings for the little ones.  We have lots of apartment houses in the neighborhood, and the kids have very few places to play.  There are two quite large parks on the bluffs overlooking the harbor, and down by the river channel there is a large city park (land owned actually by the water district) where the little league baseball, and youth socker league play.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 07 2008,23:02   

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 07 2008,11:31)
True, they won't teach evolution, but they won't teach creationism either--they will teach biology "factoids", parts of plants, ecosystems, etc., exactly what my kids got at the best public high school in New Hampshire.) There is no way that you can justify that clamping down on homeschooling is good because the students will now receive a better education: the data don't support it, nor the anecdotal evidence such as the well-known fact that some of the nation's most elite colleges recruit homeschooled students.

Determining the relative effectiveness of homeschooling is probably impossible, given the fact that parents who home school self-select along several dimensions (motivation to home-school, felt sense of competence TO home school, time and resources, etc.). A randomized trial isn't going to happen. Suffice it to say that the data (as reported by Heddle) indicates that those who do self-select seem to do an adequate job.

Vis the watered down content of the public presentation of biology, that has a long history nationwide, and surely occurred in response to creationist/fundamentalist pressures, and the desire on the part of school systems to avoid conflict since Scopes (which was a defeat for education, not a victory). The fact that fundamentalism/creationism has managed to impair science education and advance ignorance in both private and public venues is nothing to celebrate.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,00:43   

Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.

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dheddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,06:36   

Richard,

Quote
Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.


Richard, I am not sure whether you are joking or not, but I'll answer as if you were serious and I'll answer anecdotally.

In my experience home-schooled kids socialize just fine. They are, I'm sure you know, not recluses. They get a lot of exposure to other kids either by extracurricular activities (you probably know, by virtue of the fact that their parents are still paying taxes, in most states they can be in the school orchestra, Latin club, etc.) They also tend to be part of home-schooled groups that organize group activities and, for the younger kids, playtimes. And finally they tend to be members of churches and church youth groups.

Are some of them weird? Yes indeed. Surely, however, we'd agree that a lot of kids in public school are weird.

I think it is a myth that they are social misfits.

Reciprocating Bill,

Quote
Vis the watered down content of the public presentation of biology, that has a long history nationwide, and surely occurred in response to creationist/fundamentalist pressures, and the desire on the part of school systems to avoid conflict since Scopes (which was a defeat for education, not a victory). The fact that fundamentalism/creationism has managed to impair science education and advance ignorance in both private and public venues is nothing to celebrate.


That’s a fair point. That science education among home-schoolers  being “as bad” as the public school science education is nothing to celebrate. But let’s separate two reasons why public school science education is bad.

1) Public schools, because of low pay, have trouble recruiting (in general—there are of course glorious exceptions) competent math and science teachers—who in most cases can earn twice as much or more in industry. This is a congenital defect. If you fix this problem then you will presumably fix it by improving public schools across the board, and at that time fewer parents will opt for home schooling.

2) The science curriculum is bad in the public schools, in part due to the influence of creationists in the community. This is the point you are making, I think. That if we did have a good biology curriculum in the public schools, then the public schools could leap ahead of the home schools. But I don’t think so—because what the state often does (and should do) is mandate that the homeschoolers pass a standardized test that is based on the state’s approved curriculum. If a hefty evolution content is added to the curriculum, then the homeschoolers would have to study that content and pass the test. One could say “yeah but their parents will be telling them just study this ‘crap’ to pass the test” and that would be true and besides the point. Parents have always been allowed to tell their kids what they think is crap. And it would also conveniently ignore the fact that a great deal of public schooling involves “studying for the (standardized) test.”

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,07:11   

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 08 2008,07:36)
1) Public schools, because of low pay, have trouble recruiting (in general—there are of course glorious exceptions) competent math and science teachers—who in most cases can earn twice as much or more in industry. This is a congenital defect. If you fix this problem then you will presumably fix it by improving public schools across the board, and at that time fewer parents will opt for home schooling.

Of course, it is the same general political strata (the religious right) that both advocates home schooling and opposes "government schools." They seek to impair public education - e.g. attempts to eliminate the Department of Education, oppose taxation and/or support regressive tax codes, establish voucher programs, etc. They've been first in line to block means to substantial nationwide improvement of public education through, for example, increased teacher salaries to attract better talent, reduced class size, etc.
         
Quote
2) The science curriculum is bad in the public schools, in part due to the influence of creationists in the community. This is the point you are making, I think. That if we did have a good biology curriculum in the public schools, then the public schools could leap ahead of the home schools. But I don’t think so—because what the state often does (and should do) is mandate that the homeschoolers pass a standardized test that is based on the state’s approved curriculum. If a hefty evolution content is added to the curriculum, then the homeschoolers would have to study that content and pass the test.

Let's do it. The religious right has been a drag on education in all settings. So I don't need public education to "leap ahead" of home schooling - let them leap together. If it improves the science education children in home schooled and private settings, that would be great too.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,07:40   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 07 2008,12:09)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Mar. 07 2008,12:00)
I'm certainly in favor of the state ensuring that a parent-teacher knows his or her ass from a hole in the ground.  A parent who teaches their kids that the earth is 6000 years old, demonstrably does not.

Why should any home-school that teaches that be treated any separately than any of the private schools that do so?  The implication of your statement, whether it is what you intended or not, would be that all such private schools should be shut down, as well.  I can easily see that failing constitutional muster, presumably under the free exercise clause.

I'd happily bite this bullet and say that, yes, the private schools should also be shut down. The philosopher Stephen Law has a series of blog posts on this topic, and advocates a similar conclusion, essentially arguing from equality concerns - and noting the unacceptability of letting so much turn on the 'luck' of being born to some parents or others.

So far as the "free exercise" line of arguments go in favour of homeschooling (and private schools), I think they've got a fairly obvious flaw: the classic (and sane) limit of any person's liberties is the liberties of someone else. A parent's "free exercise" doesn't extend to determining the lives of other people just because those other people happen to be their children.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,08:46   

Quote (philbert @ Mar. 08 2008,07:40)
 
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 07 2008,12:09)
 Why should any home-school that teaches that be treated any separately than any of the private schools that do so?  The implication of your statement, whether it is what you intended or not, would be that all such private schools should be shut down, as well.  I can easily see that failing constitutional muster, presumably under the free exercise clause.

I'd happily bite this bullet and say that, yes, the private schools should also be shut down. The philosopher Stephen Law has a series of blog posts on this topic, and advocates a similar conclusion, essentially arguing from equality concerns - and noting the unacceptability of letting so much turn on the 'luck' of being born to some parents or others.

Oh dear God, I don't even know how to say this diplomatically, but having read some of Law's justification all I can say is that it is a huge pile of rubbish.  While picking a few quotes out to encapsulate a position is inherently problematic, I think the following summarizes his argument.
 
Quote
However, it is clear, is it not, that the statistics revealing how the mere 7 percent who are privately educated come to dominate the high status professions strongly suggest that private education has a powerful effect when it comes to enhancing the life chances of those lucky few?

and
 
Quote
And by significantly boosting your own kids' life chances, you do inevitably restrict the life chances of other kids.

So, his argument is essentially that private schools must be banned because they are too good at what they do. Ignoring for a moment that we are talking about the opposite situation of private/home schools being poor at providing an education,  I have to state my revulsion at this.  The idea that we need to work towards equal opportunity by ensuring that everyone has the same crappy education is the worst sort of social engineering.
 
Quote

So far as the "free exercise" line of arguments go in favour of homeschooling (and private schools), I think they've got a fairly obvious flaw: the classic (and sane) limit of any person's liberties is the liberties of someone else. A parent's "free exercise" doesn't extend to determining the lives of other people just because those other people happen to be their children.

Young children are not capable of rational decisions regarding their own education.  While the government has a responsibility to ensure that access to an education is available, it is not it's responsibility to supplant the parent as the guiding force in the child's development, just because you don't happen to like what that parent may be teaching. In other words, while ignorance may well in part be hereditary, it is manifestly not incurable.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,09:03   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 08 2008,08:46)
Oh dear God, I don't even know how to say this diplomatically, but having read some of Law's justification all I can say is that it is a huge pile of rubbish.  While picking a few quotes out to encapsulate a position is inherently problematic, I think the following summarizes his argument.
   
Quote
However, it is clear, is it not, that the statistics revealing how the mere 7 percent who are privately educated come to dominate the high status professions strongly suggest that private education has a powerful effect when it comes to enhancing the life chances of those lucky few?

and
   
Quote
And by significantly boosting your own kids' life chances, you do inevitably restrict the life chances of other kids.

So, his argument is essentially that private schools must be banned because they are too good at what they do. Ignoring for a moment that we are talking about the opposite situation of private/home schools being poor at providing an education,  I have to state my revulsion at this.  The idea that we need to work towards equal opportunity by ensuring that everyone has the same crappy education is the worst sort of social engineering.

Well, first, I'm not relying on Law's argument - I just meant to note that he'd dealt with this question, recently and from another direction.

But I really do think you're reading him uncharitably, if you're characterising his argument like that. Read on in his stuff, and you'll find a lot more about how the private schools achieve their superior results (when they do) by disproportionate use of resources (per student), circuitous support through devices such as charitable status (for themselves, and for the donations to them), and often a decent helping of taxpayer money heaped on top under various pretenses. So the point is rather that everyone really could have a superior education available to them, if things were handled more fairly. (Note in particular his October 7 posting, on this point.)

  
silverspoon



Posts: 123
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,09:10   

Doesn’t California allow state approved home school correspondence courses? I know my state does (or did) some years ago.  Due to an injury we used such a course for our son for a few months. The requirements from what I remember at that time for home schooling were a) A state approved correspondence course. b) The parent could develop the curriculum if they had some advanced degree or other. I don‘t remember what the degree had to be in, I just remember it didn’t have to be in teaching, nor required the parent to be a certificated teacher. There may have been a provision for opting out of either a or b on religious grounds. I was glad to have the option of a correspondence course since the cost of a tutor (always an option in shot term situations) was more than we could bare at the time.

I think requiring certified teaching requirements for home school parents to be way over the top. In my case, such a requirement would have imposed a financial strain on our family since we would have had to hire a tutor.  

Full disclosure: California is one of the few states I have never been in. I want to be 3000 miles away when  Catastrophic Plate Tectonics ala John Baumgardner resumes. I suspect that’s why the ICR is moving its base of operations to Texas. Also, I avoid Kansas like the plague since my mother-in-law lives there.

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Grand Poobah of the nuclear mafia

  
philbert



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,09:17   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 08 2008,08:46)
[quote=philbert,Mar. 08 2008,07:40]    
Quote

So far as the "free exercise" line of arguments go in favour of homeschooling (and private schools), I think they've got a fairly obvious flaw: the classic (and sane) limit of any person's liberties is the liberties of someone else. A parent's "free exercise" doesn't extend to determining the lives of other people just because those other people happen to be their children.

Young children are not capable of rational decisions regarding their own education.  While the government has a responsibility to ensure that access to an education is available, it is not it's responsibility to supplant the parent as the guiding force in the child's development, just because you don't happen to like what that parent may be teaching. In other words, while ignorance may well in part be hereditary, it is manifestly not incurable.

Note again JohnW's analogy about surgery, above. I don't think anyone would find this reply pursuasive if it were healthcare we were talking about, rather than education.

There just seems to be an awful lot of inertia involved, here; people apparently expect parents to be given this vast amount of leeway in terms of foisting their religion upon the citizens who happen to be their offspring. So much so that you're looked at strangely when you try to point out just how manifestly bizarre it really is.

No, of course, "young children are not capable of rational decisions regarding their own education". Absolutely agreed. So why are their parents suddenly the default choice for that sort of thing? How did that happen? Why doesn't it seem to be the case for umpteen other facets of their lives?

And lets not forget just what we're talking about, here. "Religious education" is an oxymoron. The idea of teaching someone that the Earth is 6,000-odd years old just does violence to the word "teaching". ("Education about religion" is of course not oxymoronic, but that's not what's at issue here.) There is just no evidence for it, other than the sorts that only apply to people who are already members of the religious group (i.e., revelation, scripture).

But we've just said that children aren't capable of these sorts of decisions, right? So children certainly can't be considered members of religious traditions... So surely religious private schools, and religious homeschooling, are completely inappropriate.

  
PennyBright



Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,12:01   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 08 2008,00:43)
Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.

Richard,    this is a common concern,  and usually an unfounded one, in my experience.    Most of the other homeschooled kids we know are articulate, polite, friendly kids who get along well with each other and adults.   They also tend to be more confident in talking with adults,  because they aren't socialized to the (contextually reasonable) public school demands of "line up, stay quiet, do what you're told".

However - there is a significant subset of homeschoolers among the fanatically religious  that do (imho),  seriously deprive their children of normal social opportunities under the guise of "protection".   These families tend to be extremely controlling of pretty much everything - the kids are dressed differently, etc etc.   I suspect that these kids would end up messed up even if their families didn't homeschool.

Furthermore,   I can recall being a child raised in a religiously extreme home,  and attending public schools.   I was seriously messed up (hint - singing hymns to other schoolchildren does not get them to stop making fun of you), despite attending public schools.  

So, from my perspective,  it's not homeschooling that fails in socialization - it's the family culture of religious extremism that does it.

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Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
PennyBright



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,13:17   

Oy.   Just to demonstrate that homeschooling isn't wholly off-topic for an EvC list,    I just got a email on an homeschooling list promoting Expelled.

I replied with a brief warning about the dishonesty of the editing and the film-makers.

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Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
carlsonjok



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,13:52   

Quote (philbert @ Mar. 08 2008,09:03)
But I really do think you're reading him uncharitably, if you're characterising his argument like that. Read on in his stuff, and you'll find a lot more about how the private schools achieve their superior results (when they do) by disproportionate use of resources (per student), circuitous support through devices such as charitable status (for themselves, and for the donations to them), and often a decent helping of taxpayer money heaped on top under various pretenses. So the point is rather that everyone really could have a superior education available to them, if things were handled more fairly. (Note in particular his October 7 posting, on this point.)

While it may be uncharitable, it isn't inaccurate. His premise is that the additional (and presumably disproportionate) amount spent to educate 7% of the students would be better used by adding it to the common pot with the intention of improving the common educational system. That is certainly true. Trivially true. Dress it up in whatever lofty language you chose, you are still trying to deny the fortunate few a superior education in the name of marginally improving the general system.   Just as dumping a bucket of water into a pool doesn't raise the pool by the same amount the bucket goes down by.  

Preventing parents with the desire and/or means to send their children to private school the opportunity to do so in pursuit of some undefinable general good is social engineering and is an affront to individual rights.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
carlsonjok



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,14:03   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Mar. 07 2008,12:29)
OT sorta...I have never really understood what appears to the the left's (color me a lefty, fyi) opposition to vouchers.  Yeah it takes money away from public school, it also takes a body out of the public school system thus in theory the money "lost" would balance with one less body in class.

I have been struggling how to effectively answer this question. It finally struck me that the answer is generally found in the marketing concept of variable cost pricing, which states that a company can actually increase profits by selling a product at less than it's fulling absorbed cost of producing that product*. Bear with me, it will make sense.

In the case of public schooling, the incremental cost to educate one child is not the same as the average cost of educating that child. Indeed, I would argue the incremental cost is significantly less than the average cost, since most school costs, like physical plant, utilities, and (less obviously) salaries, are not truly variable with respect to incremental enrollment.  To the extent that the tax credit is greater than the truly incremental cost, but less than or equal to the average cost, vouchers for private education actually hurts the public school system.

*Yay!!! I finally got some use out of my MBA!!!!

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,14:21   

Quote (PennyBright @ Mar. 08 2008,12:01)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 08 2008,00:43)
Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.

Richard,    this is a common concern,  and usually an unfounded one, in my experience.    Most of the other homeschooled kids we know are articulate, polite, friendly kids who get along well with each other and adults.   They also tend to be more confident in talking with adults,  because they aren't socialized to the (contextually reasonable) public school demands of "line up, stay quiet, do what you're told".

However - there is a significant subset of homeschoolers among the fanatically religious  that do (imho),  seriously deprive their children of normal social opportunities under the guise of "protection".   These families tend to be extremely controlling of pretty much everything - the kids are dressed differently, etc etc.   I suspect that these kids would end up messed up even if their families didn't homeschool.

Furthermore,   I can recall being a child raised in a religiously extreme home,  and attending public schools.   I was seriously messed up (hint - singing hymns to other schoolchildren does not get them to stop making fun of you), despite attending public schools.  

So, from my perspective,  it's not homeschooling that fails in socialization - it's the family culture of religious extremism that does it.

I'm friends with a Native American family in the eastern US who homeschool their children. Their rationale is *not* religious -- they're not Christian at all -- but one of the main reasons they homeschool is because they don't believe in the age segregation in public schools. That is, they believe it's unnatural for 12 YO's to only be around other 12YO's, 8 YO's to only be around other 8 YO's, etc. They're convinced that younger children are *supposed* to be around older children all day.

Their kids are very nice and respectful, very socially adept, tho sometimes their spelling and writing are a little, uh, not where they should be....

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,14:25   

Quote (dheddle @ Mar. 08 2008,06:36)
Richard,

 
Quote
Isn't there some social retardation that occurs with homeschooling? I may be wrong.


Richard, I am not sure whether you are joking or not, but I'll answer as if you were serious and I'll answer anecdotally.

In my experience home-schooled kids socialize just fine. They are, I'm sure you know, not recluses. They get a lot of exposure to other kids either by extracurricular activities (you probably know, by virtue of the fact that their parents are still paying taxes, in most states they can be in the school orchestra, Latin club, etc.) They also tend to be part of home-schooled groups that organize group activities and, for the younger kids, playtimes. And finally they tend to be members of churches and church youth groups.

Are some of them weird? Yes indeed. Surely, however, we'd agree that a lot of kids in public school are weird.

I think it is a myth that they are social misfits.

Reciprocating Bill,

 
Quote
Vis the watered down content of the public presentation of biology, that has a long history nationwide, and surely occurred in response to creationist/fundamentalist pressures, and the desire on the part of school systems to avoid conflict since Scopes (which was a defeat for education, not a victory). The fact that fundamentalism/creationism has managed to impair science education and advance ignorance in both private and public venues is nothing to celebrate.


That’s a fair point. That science education among home-schoolers  being “as bad” as the public school science education is nothing to celebrate. But let’s separate two reasons why public school science education is bad.

1) Public schools, because of low pay, have trouble recruiting (in general—there are of course glorious exceptions) competent math and science teachers—who in most cases can earn twice as much or more in industry. This is a congenital defect. If you fix this problem then you will presumably fix it by improving public schools across the board, and at that time fewer parents will opt for home schooling.

2) The science curriculum is bad in the public schools, in part due to the influence of creationists in the community. This is the point you are making, I think. That if we did have a good biology curriculum in the public schools, then the public schools could leap ahead of the home schools. But I don’t think so—because what the state often does (and should do) is mandate that the homeschoolers pass a standardized test that is based on the state’s approved curriculum. If a hefty evolution content is added to the curriculum, then the homeschoolers would have to study that content and pass the test. One could say “yeah but their parents will be telling them just study this ‘crap’ to pass the test” and that would be true and besides the point. Parents have always been allowed to tell their kids what they think is crap. And it would also conveniently ignore the fact that a great deal of public schooling involves “studying for the (standardized) test.”

I'm completely ignorant with regard to homeschooling, Dave. I had a suspicion there were two types:

(1)Fundy family insulating junior from reality
(2) Dad had 3 PhDs, Mum has a Nobel prize, kid is a prodigy.

This is probably massively inaccurate, but it makes me smile.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,14:37   

Quote

(1) Fundy family insulating junior from reality
(2) Dad had 3 PhDs, Mum has a Nobel prize, kid is a prodigy.

This is probably massively inaccurate, but it makes me smile.


No, there are at least two other categories:

3) the schools here are too rough, we don't want Junior to get beaten up every day
4) the schools here suck academically, let's just do it ourselves.

The only family in the SF Bay Area I know who homeschool fall into category 4.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,14:46   

Quote
OT sorta...I have never really understood what appears to the the left's (color me a lefty, fyi) opposition to vouchers.


Well, part of it is that in many places, e.g., California, schools have been chronically starved for money for decades and in fact routinely get money taken away from them during budget crises so that the governor doesn't have to raise taxes. So when the idea is broached of California's already starved schools being given even LESS money so as to shift the funds to vouchers, I think we can be forgiven for looking at this as basically an indication that the Grover Norquist types are advocating just letting schools sink into oblivion.

It doesn't help that much of this government money will be tranferred straight to Christian private schools who then turn around and sue the University of California for not accepting creationist textbooks for students applying for admission to college.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
PennyBright



Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,15:18   

My family would be categories 3 and 4.   Our local schools are sorta violent and pretty crummy.   We also have have an unusually educator heavy family (5 public school teachers, 2 university professors) who have given us their whole hearted support and plenty of help and guidance.

But our primary reason for deciding to homeschool is that our child is slow.    In the home setting,  we are able to just ignore the developmental delays that would be crippling to her socially and academically in a school setting.  We can work with her at her pace,  individualizing our instruction easily to her needs any given day or week,  and catering to her strengths and interests while we do the work necessary to improve on her weaknesses.

Arden,   I have to agree with your acquaintances that age segregation is pretty unnatural,  and add that we also would include adults as well as older children.   The degree to which our culture has removed children from adult society is unprecedented,  and I think we are starting to see the negative side of it coming out as more and more young people seem severely challenged by or downright incapable of making the transition to responsible adulthood.  And as more and more otherwise responsible adults object to the very presence of children in the communities in which they live.  (Note,  that can of worms may deserve a separate discussion if people wish to discuss it.)

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Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
Erasmus, FCD



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Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,16:17   

we've talked about homeschooling but we've got about three and half years to worry about it.  i don't know where we fall out but it seems that either way you go there are legitimate issues.  i suppose our reasons for thinking about doing it are because I am an isolationist and I don't really care for the cultural whitewash that is the public school system.  The early years of education aren't really education more than normalization and conditioning, and I'd rather not leave that up to someone else thank you very much.

That and we have a compound with 40 wives, 139 children, 13 humvees and an M-1 Abrams tank.  And one hell of an inhouse bluegrass band that all carry uzis.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,18:17   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Mar. 08 2008,16:17)
we've talked about homeschooling but we've got about three and half years to worry about it.  i don't know where we fall out but it seems that either way you go there are legitimate issues.  i suppose our reasons for thinking about doing it are because I am an isolationist and I don't really care for the cultural whitewash that is the public school system.  The early years of education aren't really education more than normalization and conditioning, and I'd rather not leave that up to someone else thank you very much.

That and we have a compound with 40 wives, 139 children, 13 humvees and an M-1 Abrams tank.  And one hell of an inhouse bluegrass band that all carry uzis.

HA HA THIS IS YOU:



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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,18:30   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 08 2008,12:46)
Quote
OT sorta...I have never really understood what appears to the the left's (color me a lefty, fyi) opposition to vouchers.


Well, part of it is that in many places, e.g., California, schools have been chronically starved for money for decades and in fact routinely get money taken away from them during budget crises so that the governor doesn't have to raise taxes. So when the idea is broached of California's already starved schools being given even LESS money so as to shift the funds to vouchers, I think we can be forgiven for looking at this as basically an indication that the Grover Norquist types are advocating just letting schools sink into oblivion.

It doesn't help that much of this government money will be tranferred straight to Christian private schools who then turn around and sue the University of California for not accepting creationist textbooks for students applying for admission to college.

I knew somebody would get it.  Thanks.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Ra-Úl



Posts: 93
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,18:33   

My son was home schooled because his mother felt the school environment was too rough and because his dyslexia was not properly addressed. My grandnephew will most probably be home schooled because his mother feels he will be a bully target due to a growth factor deficiency and other disorders that keep him from eating normally. He's an active, even athletic boy and independent-minded, and my niece feels that she can best help him schooling him at home. Like my son's mother, she has a degree and her husband is in the Navy, so it is an option for her.
Part of the reason for home schooling my son was, strange enough, what Kate and I saw as a poor science curriculum for a boy who loved dinosaurs and model rockets. We used conversation games to teach him: one I remember was a debate between us about Bigfoot, where we used breeding population size, diet, range, ecology, etc., to tech him things he had difficulty reading. He may not like to debate, but he can be deadly, because he learned verbal skills by talking, not reading. His spelling is till marginal, but his writing is now excellent. As far as socialization, he had friends and relatives his age, but it was when at 15 he started to read his writing at slams and coffee house poetry groups that he bloomed. There are community groups that can serve to socialize children, not all school or church connected, such as drama, reading clubs, sports or game clubs, and parents can start their own or look for support groups. Kate, as I mentioned, did take education classes (her degree is Physical Anthro.) and we have friends who are teachers (science and art) and large families with children of all ages. Science and math are a big challenge, but art, social sciences and verbal/writing skills are just as important. We emerged from this with even more respect for teachers than we had before. Local schools in Nevada are not adequately funded and education is a political football.

Ra-Úl

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Beauty is that which makes us desperate. - P Valery

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,21:58   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 08 2008,18:17)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Mar. 08 2008,16:17)
we've talked about homeschooling but we've got about three and half years to worry about it.  i don't know where we fall out but it seems that either way you go there are legitimate issues.  i suppose our reasons for thinking about doing it are because I am an isolationist and I don't really care for the cultural whitewash that is the public school system.  The early years of education aren't really education more than normalization and conditioning, and I'd rather not leave that up to someone else thank you very much.

That and we have a compound with 40 wives, 139 children, 13 humvees and an M-1 Abrams tank.  And one hell of an inhouse bluegrass band that all carry uzis.

HA HA THIS IS YOU:


Hey bitch I got a dewclaw on each ankle

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 08 2008,22:13   

Regarding social retardation... well, going to public school is no guarantee of being socially well rounded either.  I went to public schools, but I have some cousins who were home schooled.  By all accounts they appear to be fairly well adapted, socially.  On the other hand, socially I'm a mess.

I don't know a great deal about how they were taught, but as has been brought up already is seems like they belong to a home schooling group, I think they had a group graduation ceremony when the youngest of them graduated from the equivalent of high school.  So they may have had extra social interaction despite technically being schooled at home.

If you're wondering what group these homeschoolers fit into, let me explain it by saying that when walking through their house one day I found a CD-ROM titled "creation chemistry" lying on a table near their computer.  Oh yeah, they're in it to isolate their kids from the world of science as long as possible while they indoctrinate them in their religious beliefs.  The eldest went straight from graduation to missionary work on the other side of the planet.

Very few of the graduates of that homeschooling group go on to attend a real college.  VERY few.  That's not by itself an accurate gauge of the quality of the science education that they're being given, but I've also heard that they tend to have trouble if they do try to go into higher education because they lack the complete educational background that a public school graduate would have.

Regarding the "home surgery" comparison, that's more appropriate than I'd like.  Not exactly surgery, but medical issues in general.  I was reading a story about how large numbers of parents are starting to claim religious exemptions from the requirement to vaccinate their kids before enrolling them in school.  It was made clear that they really had no religious objections, it was just that they'd been taken in by the anti vaccination hysteria and were playing the religion wild card because it lets them get out of their obligation to see that their children are protected from illness.  And in so doing not only endanger the health of their own children but that of their children's classmates.


Regarding vouchers, as I understand it another of the problems is that it costs more to educate mentally disabled children.  Public school systems can help with that issue in several ways.  First off with their larger student base there's a sort of economy of scale, they can gather together groups of disabled children and teach them together.  Secondly, the additional costs can effectively be averaged throughout the whole student body.  For the parents of a disabled child alone the additional costs might be crippling, but distribute them among the entire community and it becomes manageable.

But with school vouchers that money (the additional fraction that would normally go to special education programs) goes to private schools that don't have to accept everybody.  They can legally refuse to educate the disabled.  But they can still take that money away from public schools, who have a responsibility to provide for every student.

I'm not happy about the funding mechanism for public schools either.  I would fully support efforts to overhaul the entire system.  But vouchers aren't even a bandaid solution, they're draining money from schools that are already financially strapped.


Oh, and about home schooling...  I honestly don't know that requiring homeschooling parents have the same certification that public school teachers have is the answer.  It's a simple way to do it, but I don't think it's appropriate.

What I think is appropriate would be a more complex system of ensuring that home schooled students receive at least as good and as well rounded an education as public school students.  Leaving out inconvenient facts should not be allowed, but I'm not sure that topics such as ID could be prohibited.

Frankly, I think creationist homeschoolers would probably prefer the teacher certification approach.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,15:49   

Here is an article from a pro-science homeschooler.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
PennyBright



Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,17:15   

The links collection mentioned in that article is great - thank you for sharing it.

I agree with author of the article - the time to introduce evo education is when kids starting thinking about it - usually right around the same age they start wondering about babies and pregnancy.    

We introduced evo using flip books ---  talking about how tiny changes add up,  and making book after book of things 'evolving',  by making one tiny change to each picture.   I think the biggest one we made was 100+pages -- a straight line 'evolved' into a bubbly mass.   Extremely simplistic -- but an effective teaching tool for a non-reader.

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Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,18:24   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 08 2008,19:52)
Quote (philbert @ Mar. 08 2008,09:03)
But I really do think you're reading him uncharitably, if you're characterising his argument like that. Read on in his stuff, and you'll find a lot more about how the private schools achieve their superior results (when they do) by disproportionate use of resources (per student), circuitous support through devices such as charitable status (for themselves, and for the donations to them), and often a decent helping of taxpayer money heaped on top under various pretenses. So the point is rather that everyone really could have a superior education available to them, if things were handled more fairly. (Note in particular his October 7 posting, on this point.)

While it may be uncharitable, it isn't inaccurate. His premise is that the additional (and presumably disproportionate) amount spent to educate 7% of the students would be better used by adding it to the common pot with the intention of improving the common educational system. That is certainly true. Trivially true. Dress it up in whatever lofty language you chose, you are still trying to deny the fortunate few a superior education in the name of marginally improving the general system.   Just as dumping a bucket of water into a pool doesn't raise the pool by the same amount the bucket goes down by.  

Preventing parents with the desire and/or means to send their children to private school the opportunity to do so in pursuit of some undefinable general good is social engineering and is an affront to individual rights.

Sorry Carlson, but it's pub-debate-one-hour-rant time. I find what you are saying to be both accurate and inaccurate, and here's why.

While taking money out of the public schools to fund the comprehensives would not solve the problem,and is something with which I disagree, I find it distasteful that you hold individual rights to such a high degree as to (seemingly) destroy public rights. I fail to see why low taxes are such a good thing when at the expense of public services. Colour me whatever you like, but I want to live in a nation with state guaranteed health, education, transport and power (gas, electricity etc.) of a high standard and higher taxes to be able to support these things. I fail to see what the average US citizen has against these, unless you assume you are all still living under the influence of Joseph McCarthy and are utterly afraid of turning "red" whatever the hell that actually means.

I find the argument that denying the few a higher standard of education in order to improve the education of the masses is somehow bad to be increadibly distasteful and exceptionally supportive of a hereditary state. I find it to be mildly disturbing that personal freedom is considered to be the number one priority, over care for others within the state or outside of it. It seems to be a primary tenant of totally free capitalism, and is one of the reasons I dislike this philosophy wholeheartedly.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,18:44   

Carlson's position relies on a good deal rhetorical slippage. Talk about the 'individual rights' of parents just grossly glosses over the fact that we're actually talking about the education of the children, here. This is the usual nonsense that I was objecting to, earlier, when the "free exercise" clause was put forward as possible support for religious homeschooling / private schools.

There's also a good deal of over-reaction. If the private schools were closed tomorrow, that wouldn't really do much to stop the "fortunate few" from lavishing more resources on their children in ways that would certainly give them an advantage -- buying them books and other supplies, taking them on trips to art museums or to New Caledonia for the summer to better their French, or even just paying for private tutors.

These are extras that no one (well, almost no one, and certainly not me) would argue people aren't entitled to indulge. They do nothing to undermine the fundamental public good of a universal curriculum (which is the only real way to respect the individual rights of the children, here) and the economies of what people like Nomad were talking about in terms of special needs and so on. Private schools do disrupt these goals, and can readily turn the 'freedom' of parents into the indoctrination of children, and are therefore objectionable.

  
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,19:25   

Regarding the Voucher Program discussion, here are the thoughts my dad and I have had on it over the years.  I'm just a dude who does shows for kids in schools, so I've asked him a lot of questions.  My dad has a PhD in education administration and was a principle and superintendent for years.

Sorry about the length.  Dr. Pratt:

Quote
I'm sure you understand the spin underlying the support for the voucher system:  it will benefit students.  The argument seems to go something along the lines that competition is good for business why does the government still allow monopolies) and if schools are competing for kids then the kids ( read consumers here) will benefit.  The thing is business provides items or goods for sale following the manufacturing process or they provide some form of service for which they charge the end user.  I would more likely agree with vouchers being good for kids if schools were in the role of providing a commodity (kids) for sale to the public after being allowed to follow a more business-like model of production.  If schools were permitted to 1) select the raw material with which they work, 2) negotiate costs with the producers of the raw materials (parents), 3) own the raw material and do with it as they see fit once the material was purchased, 4) experiment with the raw material and treat varying materials differently, 5) consider some raw material waste or expendable and be allowed to discard it as they see fit, and 6) market the finished product with the idea of earning a profit; then, right on, let's go with the voucher system and have schools competing for raw material.  After all, the proposed voucher system is a means of supporting private schools  which already have government-granted production advantages over public schools.  I believe the voucher system would soon do away with public education as we now know it.  The public system would only be dealing with the raw waste cast off by the private schools.

Here goes:

1.  I believe the voucher system violates the First Amendment requirement of a separation of church and state.  The latest figures I could find indicate there are about 6,959,000 students enrolled in parochial schools across the United States.  It was interesting to note that the Muslim parochial schools system is the fastest growing parochial school system in the U.S.  Also, the average cost of educating a student in the U.S. is, as of 2006, $7552 per student.  Just for the sake of argument we'll issue a voucher for $5100, about 2/3 of the current U.S. average.  We just came up with a $35.5 billion dollar tab.  Some would argue that the voucher system would not be available to those in parochial schools.  Yeah, right!  If the parochail schools saw that much money available through vouchers, I would bet many, if not all, would go private and willing fall under the guidelines currently in place for private schools, many of which already require things such as attendance at morning devotions and Bible study.  I am equally certain the ACLU would become involved if $35.5 billion were to go to schools that just a year or two before were part of a parochial school system.

There are also about 6.4 million student enrolled in private schools.  Another $32.6 billion.  Some proponents of vouchers say that currently enrolled private school students would not be eligible for vouchers.  Huh??  If I had a child enrolled in a private school and found out I would not be eligible for the $5100 that child would be enrolled in the public school system immediately.  It might take a month or two before I "realized" how much I wanted the child to have the benefits offered by the private school and would have to withdraw him or her and re-enroll in the private school taking with me the money from the voucher.

Would those parents who are currently home schooling want to get in on the dole?  I would predict most of them would like to see the money come their way and that may mean having to set up some form of formal school rather than one in the living room, or maybe not, and who knows what will be taught.  Anyway, the best figure I could find on numbers for home schooled children was approximately 2.4 million.  Another $12.25 billion.

These sectors combined could easily require another $80 billion from taxpayers.  This is just to finance the vouchers for those students who are not currently enrolled in public education.  Taxpayers would still have to pay for those students who are currently enrolled in the public system.  I have my doubts as to wwhether the taxpayer who is so willing a proponent for the voucher system would continue to advocate for them if he/she looked at the real cost of providing vouchers for educating our youth.

2.  With an average cost of $7552 per student and families receiving $5100 in the form of a voucher (granted the $5100 is a figure I picked out of the hat) it leaves the families with $2400 to pay out of pocker.  How many lower income families are going to have a spare $2400 lying around?  What about the families with more than one child in school?  What I foresee is that the voucher system would widen the gap between those with and those without.  Vouchers would be of the greatest benefit to those with the greatest wealth; those who are already more able to take advantage of private schooling.  I doubt if the public is willing to be taxed to the point where it would pay the full cost of educating all students.

3.  Voucher system I have seen proposed allow for school choice.  This could turn into a fiasco as many parents, I would predict most, would want to enroll their children in the schools that offer the msot bang for the buck or have the most prestige.  Thus, some schools may have several thousand students wishing to enroll while another may have onbly a handful.  How would the enrollment issue be resolved?  Would a parent be will to accept a child not getting into William Chrisman and be happy about the alternative of enrolling the child in Lincoln High School?  What about the trnsportation issues?  The costs to schools would go up since school choice would allow students to be drawn from a much larger geographic area.  What about the cost of building new facilities to accomodate those wishing to be in the "better" schools?  What about the cost of keeping a school open that only draws a couple hundred students?  Economy of scale has its limitations.  At some point size does matter in the quality of education and the socialization of youth.  I don't believe elementary students are ready for a campus-type atmosphere tht would be required in schools of 3-4,004.

4.  Court cases have consistently supported the idea that all students are to be given the opportunity to obtain an education.  Would the voucher system support the education of handicapped students?  The most recent figures I could find showed the average special needs students cost $16,921 per student per year.  Would the current public school system become a system to provide and educational opportunity only for the handicapped?  Would the public that was laredy funding private schooling through the voucher system also be willing to fund another duclicative education system at more than twice the cost per student?

5.  Currently, private schools can largely pick and choose whom they enroll.  I believe the civil rights laws that impose obligations on the public school syste would come to bear on the private sector as more and more parents find their child refused admittance to the schol of their choice.  Issues such as race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, handicap, etc would come into play.  Private schools are not subject to the same obligations as the public system and they might want to avoid being burdened with these obligations.  Under the voucher system, with the public paying a big part of the bill, I am sure there would be a demand placed on the private sector to educate all and not just the chosen.

6.  Who would regulate the private sector under the voucher system?  The disbursement of public funds is to be overseen by the duly elected officials who represent the taxpaying electorate.  Even though public education does not educate all who come through its doors, many do receive a good education.  Will the private sector be able to provide an equally effective system under the burden imposed by the new parameters forced upon it by the voucher system?  Can the private sector provide an equal educational opportunity in just $5100 per student?  I don't know the answer to that, but I do know the demand for accountability in education is rising steadily and with those types of dollars being drawn from public coffers there will be a concurrent demand for accountability from private sytems to account for the dolalrs they receive.

Just some thoughts on what I believe is an idea that is a "safe" topic for politicians to bring up.  They can get a lot of press whenever they "discuss" educational reform through vouchers.  It is an abstract idea tht readily lends itself to good spin.  The public has given so little thought to what the voucher system really requires that sweeping statements can be thrown about in inexplicable terms  without the politican be challenged most times.  It is a sage topic as well since the public knows little about what vouchers' impact would be on education and if the politicn is asked for specifics the questions are easily brushed aside as "such details will be dealt with as the voucher system moves forward."


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But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
kelton



Posts: 2
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,21:21   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Mar. 07 2008,12:44)
My glee is that some standards are going to be enforced.  

You must be able to have a historical and social perspective.  Historically, public education, and the labor union movement have been the strongest forces for social equality in the USA.  Social inequality is rampant in societies that disallow poor people education along with lack of basic nutrition and health care.  

Wealthy families certainly can provide better health care, and better educational opportunities for their children.  They also buy them out of trouble- "rehab" instead of felony convictions for drug use.  However, public schools can provide a solid basic education along with some nutritional and medical support.  I don't even care if the poor childern are religious right, in fact many will be.  The ruling yesterday in California was the result of a physical abuse case in which the family court judge discovered that the other childern were not being educated.  The wealthy sponsors of the anti-school movement are the same southern racists that control the Republican party today, a result of school desegregation, and Nixon's "southern strategy" in the 1970s.

So one source of glee is that anything that attacks public education attacks social justice.

The larger social picture is that a well educated public is the most critical factor in preservering what is left of the Constitution, and is essential for making more rational choices about scientific research goals and responding to such things as global warming, HIV-AIDS, etc.  I would other wise not care if the religious extremists on the creationist fringe isolated themselves, and doomed their childern to sweeping and shoveling.  (Or journalism).

There is no question that well educated, well motivated and economically well off parents will be excellent home schoolers.  I would rather see them involved with their community.  I would rather see their knowledge and enthusiasm helping more than just their childern.  (More of that social justice thing).

Edited to add: Several people have observed that they are now for vouchers.   Of course- why pay for the education of other peoples childern.  We have no childern and I demand all my taxes back that paid for your brats.  You breeders have used the roads and parks more than I do, I want that money back too.  Fair play?

This ruling is nuts. One issue with one family is suppose to indite the entire homeschooling community as all abusers. They are not. My wife and I home schooled 3 of our sons quite successfully. They are very well adjusted, cultured, bright, young men who are far from what this so called doctor on here paints them as being.
What scares the nanny state is that home schoolers are doing such a good job. It can't stand the thought of a individual being able to single handed giving their child a much better education, in less time, using a fraction the money and raising a child that is not indoctrinated into the socialist system that our education system has become. Their shaking in their boots that these families are raising children that will question the norm, think for themselves and not conform just because they are told to.
My sons also pointed out a few very successful home schooled people.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison, Theodore F. Roosevelt, Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton,Booker T. Washington, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, the list is longer and includes SCOTUS justices, artists, authors etc.
Homeschooling is a fabulous alternative to the mess that are public schools. Given the time, ambition and inclination just about any parent can do it. What it really boils down to is if you can find a way to light the fire of learning in a child, make it a challenge and rewarding they will seek to learn. If you extinguish the fire though mediocrity, sloth and not leading by example it will be very difficult to light that fire again
You want stats here's stats. It sure appears that home schooled children score SIGNIFICANTLY higher than their public school counter parts. My children are scoring right in line with what is stated on the site for kids home schooled for 2 years or more.
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche...0.asp

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,21:48   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 09 2008,18:24)
     
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 08 2008,19:52)
 
While it may be uncharitable, it isn't inaccurate. His premise is that the additional (and presumably disproportionate) amount spent to educate 7% of the students would be better used by adding it to the common pot with the intention of improving the common educational system. That is certainly true. Trivially true. Dress it up in whatever lofty language you chose, you are still trying to deny the fortunate few a superior education in the name of marginally improving the general system.   Just as dumping a bucket of water into a pool doesn't raise the pool by the same amount the bucket goes down by.  

Preventing parents with the desire and/or means to send their children to private school the opportunity to do so in pursuit of some undefinable general good is social engineering and is an affront to individual rights.

Sorry Carlson, but it's pub-debate-one-hour-rant time. I find what you are saying to be both accurate and inaccurate, and here's why.

I will state up front that you are way off base in your analysis of what I said. You have taken such liberties with my scant words that I am seriously pissed off that you didn't have the courtesy to even buy me dinner before subjecting my comments to such unseemly violence.  But, I will chalk it up to the impetuousness of youth, and show you where you have mischaracterized me.
   
Quote

While taking money out of the public schools to fund the comprehensives would not solve the problem,and is something with which I disagree, I find it distasteful that you hold individual rights to such a high degree as to (seemingly) destroy public rights.

First of all, I challenge you, my young friend, to show specifically where I said that money should be taken away from public schools to finance private education. Let me save you the effort. I didn't. Indeed, a more charitable reading of my comments to Mr. Christopher as to why vouchers are, ultimately, bad for public school systems should have led you to the (accurate) conclusion that I happen to agree that vouchers are bad and do not support them.
   
Quote
I fail to see why low taxes are such a good thing when at the expense of public services. Colour me whatever you like, but I want to live in a nation with state guaranteed health, education, transport and power (gas, electricity etc.) of a high standard and higher taxes to be able to support these things. I fail to see what the average US citizen has against these, unless you assume you are all still living under the influence of Joseph McCarthy and are utterly afraid of turning "red" whatever the hell that actually means.

Selection bias. You don't know f**k all about what the average US citizen wants.  You read the words of the loudmouths and assume they speak for the rest of us.  While it is certainly true that we value our individual liberties more than many do, you really don't have the first clue with regards to what the average American believes.  So, let me give you the beliefs of this American.

I don't have children and I pay a buttload of taxes that go to support public education.  I believe we have an obligation as a society to provide a decent public education and even though I don't have any children through which to recoup those taxes I have paid, I pay them willingly.  I don't agree that money should be taken out of the public school system to defray the cost of private education. However, I also believe that parents that have the means and/or desire to send their children for a qualitatively better private education should not be stopped from doing so in the name of some nebulous social engineering scheme.  

With regard to healthcare and such, that isn't the topic here and I won't take off on a tangent other than to say, you don't have the first idea about what I think about such matters and you really ought not pretend that you do.
   
Quote

I find the argument that denying the few a higher standard of education in order to improve the education of the masses is somehow bad to be increadibly distasteful and exceptionally supportive of a hereditary state.

Preventing parents who wish to give their children a better education from doing so (and apparently forcibly extracting from them the money by which they would do so) is a bad thing. It is making those children a pawn in a spiteful game intended to drag down to the mean those who, by effort or inheritance, have more than you think they should.  Buckets and pools, my man, buckets and pools.

Oh, and I might suggest that you probably ought to reconsider lecturing Americans about a hereditary state. We don't have a House of Lords.
   
Quote

I find it to be mildly disturbing that personal freedom is considered to be the number one priority, over care for others within the state or outside of it. It seems to be a primary tenant of totally free capitalism, and is one of the reasons I dislike this philosophy wholeheartedly.

Individual freedom is at the core of the American character.  It is at the heart of the reason we told George III to go fuck himself.  We Americans prefer to make our own decisions regarding what is best for ourselves rather than deferring them to some faceless bureaucrat who is only intent on enforcing regression to the mean.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,22:06   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 10 2008,03:48)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 09 2008,18:24)
     
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 08 2008,19:52)
 
While it may be uncharitable, it isn't inaccurate. His premise is that the additional (and presumably disproportionate) amount spent to educate 7% of the students would be better used by adding it to the common pot with the intention of improving the common educational system. That is certainly true. Trivially true. Dress it up in whatever lofty language you chose, you are still trying to deny the fortunate few a superior education in the name of marginally improving the general system.   Just as dumping a bucket of water into a pool doesn't raise the pool by the same amount the bucket goes down by.  

Preventing parents with the desire and/or means to send their children to private school the opportunity to do so in pursuit of some undefinable general good is social engineering and is an affront to individual rights.

Sorry Carlson, but it's pub-debate-one-hour-rant time. I find what you are saying to be both accurate and inaccurate, and here's why.

I will state up front that you are way off base in your analysis of what I said. You have taken such liberties with my scant words that I am seriously pissed off that you didn't have the courtesy to even buy me dinner before subjecting my comments to such unseemly violence.  But, I will chalk it up to the impetuousness of youth, and show you where you have mischaracterized me.
     
Quote

While taking money out of the public schools to fund the comprehensives would not solve the problem,and is something with which I disagree, I find it distasteful that you hold individual rights to such a high degree as to (seemingly) destroy public rights.

First of all, I challenge you, my young friend, to show specifically where I said that money should be taken away from public schools to finance private education. Let me save you the effort. I didn't. Indeed, a more charitable reading of my comments to Mr. Christopher as to why vouchers are, ultimately, bad for public school systems should have led you to the (accurate) conclusion that I happen to agree that vouchers are bad and do not support them.
     
Quote
I fail to see why low taxes are such a good thing when at the expense of public services. Colour me whatever you like, but I want to live in a nation with state guaranteed health, education, transport and power (gas, electricity etc.) of a high standard and higher taxes to be able to support these things. I fail to see what the average US citizen has against these, unless you assume you are all still living under the influence of Joseph McCarthy and are utterly afraid of turning "red" whatever the hell that actually means.

Selection bias. You don't know f**k all about what the average US citizen wants.  You read the words of the loudmouths and assume they speak for the rest of us.  While it is certainly true that we value our individual liberties more than many do, you really don't have the first clue with regards to what the average American believes.  So, let me give you the beliefs of this American.

I don't have children and I pay a buttload of taxes that go to support public education.  I believe we have an obligation as a society to provide a decent public education and even though I don't have any children through which to recoup those taxes I have paid, I pay them willingly.  I don't agree that money should be taken out of the public school system to defray the cost of private education. However, I also believe that parents that have the means and/or desire to send their children for a qualitatively better private education should not be stopped from doing so in the name of some nebulous social engineering scheme.  

With regard to healthcare and such, that isn't the topic here and I won't take off on a tangent other than to say, you don't have the first idea about what I think about such matters and you really ought not pretend that you do.
     
Quote

I find the argument that denying the few a higher standard of education in order to improve the education of the masses is somehow bad to be increadibly distasteful and exceptionally supportive of a hereditary state.

Preventing parents who wish to give their children a better education from doing so (and apparently forcibly extracting from them the money by which they would do so) is a bad thing. It is making those children a pawn in a spiteful game intended to drag down to the mean those who, by effort or inheritance, have more than you think they should.  Buckets and pools, my man, buckets and pools.

Oh, and I might suggest that you probably ought to reconsider lecturing Americans about a hereditary state. We don't have a House of Lords.
     
Quote

I find it to be mildly disturbing that personal freedom is considered to be the number one priority, over care for others within the state or outside of it. It seems to be a primary tenant of totally free capitalism, and is one of the reasons I dislike this philosophy wholeheartedly.

Individual freedom is at the core of the American character.  It is at the heart of the reason we told George III to go fuck himself.  We Americans prefer to make our own decisions regarding what is best for ourselves rather than deferring them to some faceless bureaucrat who is only intent on enforcing regression to the mean.

Ok, I sent a PM about the first point. Secondly, I may well be wrong about the opinions of the averageamerican, but I based my ideas off a large group of such I met and talked, sometimes at great length, to oline and in person, if I got to meet them. I fear I must also admit to basing my opinons partially on what we are fed as American news (we get some CNN and ABC, and I think it's NBC, plus I tend to look at US news sources for my course on various matters) and the views we get from your politicians, who we (probably falsely) assume speak for you as a nation. I also get some of my opinions from American political pundits and journalists, and from what they say, extrapolate, probably almost entirely incorrectly from this. Mea culpa.  Again, as to the public schools issue, I'd like to direct you to the PM.

As to the House of Lords, it's totally powerless, and effectively only acts as a filibuster of sorts. Yes, bills passed do enter the Lords for review, but no, they cannot stop them, merely postpone them going into effect and/or suggest changes. Equally, the peerage scheme is, very slowly, I must admit, being altered.

I feel that your anger in this post was understandable given the issue I PMed you about, and I would like again to appologise for this failure in communication.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,22:11   

Quote (philbert @ Mar. 09 2008,18:44)

There's also a good deal of over-reaction. If the private schools were closed tomorrow, that wouldn't really do much to stop the "fortunate few" from lavishing more resources on their children in ways that would certainly give them an advantage -- buying them books and other supplies, taking them on trips to art museums or to New Caledonia for the summer to better their French, or even just paying for private tutors.

These are extras that no one (well, almost no one, and certainly not me) would argue people aren't entitled to indulge.

I'm struggling to even make sense of what your position is.  You want to disallow parents from sending their children to a private school, but are more than willing to allow them to hire private tutors. What the hell are you actually accomplishing other than just making it difficult for people to provide their children with advantage by limiting them to the set of means by which you approve?  Who exactly are you that you feel it is your role to define for everyone else how they should raise their children?

EDIT:Softened the last sentence slightly.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 09 2008,22:19   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 09 2008,22:06)
I feel that your anger in this post was understandable given the issue I PMed you about, and I would like again to appologise for this failure in communication.

No worries. I probably should have stepped back and toned it down some.


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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,04:36   

More about my relatives that homeschool.  Out of a group of 10-15, the group that the youngest graduated among, one has gone on to a real college.  The others were going military, community college, or elsewhere.  The one that went to a real college was finding that he was lacking in subjects that many colleges expected him to have, I believe math was one of them.

I think it's clear that these particular people are NOT doing a better job at a fraction of the cost of the public school system.  They are turning out children that are unprepared or completely unable to proceed to higher education.  In particular they are fundamentally hampering them by twisting their understanding of the world of science.

I'm certain that not all homeschoolers are doing this, I do understand that there are other motivations to school a child at home.  I'm certain that home schooling can be done well and could result in a superior education.  But whereas the public schools are under scrutiny and attempts are being made to force them to perform up to a minimum standard (whether the attempts are succeeding is another issue) home schooling appears to be a sort of anything goes zone.

The fact that we have a public school system shows that we at least feel that basic education is a fundamental civil right.  I think it's undeniable that at least SOME home schooled children are having that right infringed upon.  It is also understood that children are not able to defend their own rights, that is why we have child protection laws.

As such it's only appropriate to take steps to ensure that home schooled children receive adequate education, and to require them to be moved into public schools if they're not getting it.  I see no reason that this has to interfere with the "better and for less money" approach so long as it is truly better.

  
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,05:19   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 09 2008,22:11)
Quote (philbert @ Mar. 09 2008,18:44)

There's also a good deal of over-reaction. If the private schools were closed tomorrow, that wouldn't really do much to stop the "fortunate few" from lavishing more resources on their children in ways that would certainly give them an advantage -- buying them books and other supplies, taking them on trips to art museums or to New Caledonia for the summer to better their French, or even just paying for private tutors.

These are extras that no one (well, almost no one, and certainly not me) would argue people aren't entitled to indulge.

I'm struggling to even make sense of what your position is.  You want to disallow parents from sending their children to a private school, but are more than willing to allow them to hire private tutors. What the hell are you actually accomplishing other than just making it difficult for people to provide their children with advantage by limiting them to the set of means by which you approve?  Who exactly are you that you feel it is your role to define for everyone else how they should raise their children?

EDIT:Softened the last sentence slightly.

Carlson, you're again conflating the issues here. There's a world of difference between questions about the "quality" (vaguely defined, but yes, I know what you mean) of public versus private education (on averages, of course), and questions about the content, which is the actual issue here.

What the hell would I be accomplishing by closing the public schools, but allowing parents to continue hiring private tutors (etc.)? Well, I'd be making sure that all children, regardless of who happened to be their parents, were exposed to a non-indoctrinating curriculum.

("Secular" would be a good word for it, but I'm looking for one that encompasses freedom from political and other indoctrination, too. Richard Dawkins, in criticising sectarian religious education, makes the point that we'd be outraged if Marxist or Capitalist schools were set up. I think the analogy is a good one, and it throws light on why some of us are just baffled that religious schools have been around for so long.)

The fallacy at the heart of your position here is pretty fundamental.

 
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 09 2008,22:11)

Individual freedom is at the core of the American character.  It is at the heart of the reason we told George III to go fuck himself.  We Americans prefer to make our own decisions regarding what is best for ourselves rather than deferring them to some faceless bureaucrat who is only intent on enforcing regression to the mean.


What about the freedom of the children? What happened to that? Suddenly the content of their education is entirely the result of the lottery of which set of parents they were born to? How affirming of their future freedom is that, exactly?

Make all the decisions you like about "what is best for [y]ourselves". Just don't pretend that your children are yourselves. They aren't your property. They're citizens, too. You shouldn't be free to subject them to "educational" curricula that conform to your religious beliefs - and they're too young to make rational decisions about their own, yet. (And from what you've said earlier, it'd seem you should agree on that, so your willingness to abide by sectarian education is all the more bizarre.)

  
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,06:06   

Actually, I'm wrong to say that curriculum is "the" issue here. I should rather just say that it's my main concern. And probably the one most germane to a board about evolution, of course.

Anyway, I think it's plain enough that "parental freedom" talk just falls completely flat if we're discussing any sorts of sectarian education.

(I offered Stephen Law as an example of someone who was arguing purely from the equality angle, curriculum aside. See particularly this post where he directly addresses "freedom" rhetoric.)

  
PennyBright



Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,06:19   

Quote (philbert @ Mar. 10 2008,05:19)
What about the freedom of the children? What happened to that? Suddenly the content of their education is entirely the result of the lottery of which set of parents they were born to? How affirming of their future freedom is that, exactly?

Make all the decisions you like about "what is best for [y]ourselves". Just don't pretend that your children are yourselves. They aren't your property. They're citizens, too.


Hrmph..... whole different can of worms here.   Historically, in the US,  children are treated legally much more like property then like citizens,  and that cultural attitude is still deeply engrained.  Children's rights are almost always subject and secondary to the parent's rights in culturally and legally.  I find it by and large appalling.

 However, I'm not sure I would agree with your contention that it's relevant issue with regards to the debate over home vs public schooling.

Just keep in mind that appeals along the lines of "but what about the children"  don't fly real well in the US -- and are generally associated with the religious rightists you disagree with.    Hell,  we're one of the two UN member countries that hasn't signed the UNCRC.  And we certainly don't abide by it,  regardless of international law.

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Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,06:50   

Quote (PennyBright @ Mar. 10 2008,06:19)
Hrmph..... whole different can of worms here.   Historically, in the US,  children are treated legally much more like property then like citizens,  and that cultural attitude is still deeply engrained.  Children's rights are almost always subject and secondary to the parent's rights in culturally and legally.  I find it by and large appalling.

 However, I'm not sure I would agree with your contention that it's relevant issue with regards to the debate over home vs public schooling.

Just keep in mind that appeals along the lines of "but what about the children"  don't fly real well in the US -- and are generally associated with the religious rightists you disagree with.    Hell,  we're one of the two UN member countries that hasn't signed the UNCRC.  And we certainly don't abide by it,  regardless of international law.

Oh, I totally agree that it's an ingrained attitude, and that the religious have pretty much stolen the image of "thinking of the children". I watch enough Simpsons for that...



I guess I was just hoping that more people would see how obviously bogus that is, and how utterly horrific it is to think that the individual rights of parents might just steamroll right over any consideration of the people they're parents of.

Though I don't want to go too far down the road of reading a lot into more-or-less casual uses of language, I can't help but notice that no matter how often I stress the contingency of the relationship between particular people and particular children, you can see just how naturally use the creepingly-possessive terminology of "their children" this and "their children" that. It's depressing.

  
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,07:20   

Homeschooling comes in many forms.  When we lived in North Carolina, we homeschooled our kids because the local school options were lousy, we had no money, and our older son, who is sensitive and intellectual, was highly likely to get the shit kicked out of him by his peers.  Then we moved to Brookline, MA, where the public schools are fantastic, and we're very happy sending our kids there.  

Nearby, in Cambridge, there is a fairly active "un-schooling" homeschool movement -- aging hippies with Ph.D.'s educating their kids off the grid.  

My view is that the California decision, while well-intentioned, is pretty problematic.  It's mainly about unions and the professionalization of teaching.

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"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,09:14   

Quote (philbert @ Mar. 10 2008,05:19)
Carlson, you're again conflating the issues here. There's a world of difference between questions about the "quality" (vaguely defined, but yes, I know what you mean) of public versus private education (on averages, of course), and questions about the content, which is the actual issue here.

You were the one that brought into the conversation the notion that private schools should be closed and the money used to support them should be plowed back into the public system in hopes to improve it. If you are backing off of that position now, fine. But, you become guilty of throwing the baby out with the bathwater if your main motivation is curriculum. If we take the statistics in Blipey's post as accurate, there are almost an identical number of students in secular private schools as there are in parochial schools.  Further,  many of those parochial schools (at a minimum, those run by a Catholic diocese) do not teach nonsense in place of science. That you are willing to close all such schools because some may be teaching nonsense is classic overreach: designing an entire system to solve a limited problem.
             
Quote

What the hell would I be accomplishing by closing the public (I think you mean private - c) schools, but allowing parents to continue hiring private tutors (etc.)? Well, I'd be making sure that all children, regardless of who happened to be their parents, were exposed to a non-indoctrinating curriculum.

Defined by whom? Some legion of bureaucrats designing a one size fits all curriculum for children they don't know? What this comes down to is you don't approve of what people maybe teaching their children and are looking for means to wrest that decision from them. My first goal in any political discussion is to figure out who's ox is being gored and who is doing the goring.  After that, the analysis is trivial. There is a fine line between ensuring uniformity and inculcating conformity. I wouldn't trust anyone to tread that line for my (hypothetical) children and, I am willing to bet if dropped in rural Alabama, neither would you.
             
Quote
             
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 09 2008,22:11)

Individual freedom is at the core of the American character. It is at the heart of the reason we told George III to go fuck himself. We Americans prefer to make our own decisions regarding what is best for ourselves rather than deferring them to some faceless bureaucrat who is only intent on enforcing regression to the mean.

What about the freedom of the children? What happened to that? Suddenly the content of their education is entirely the result of the lottery of which set of parents they were born to? How affirming of their future freedom is that, exactly?

In aggregate, poverty and ignorance are intractable problems. At the individual level, they are not. Two of our own esteemed moderaters (Hi, Lou! Hey, Steve!) managed to rise above a fundamentalist educations and/or anti-intellectual upbringings. Others do, as well. Many don't, but still become upstanding, contributing members of society. And that is what it comes down to for me. Education is about developing the set of skills necessary to create productive members of society.

If parents want to teach their children that they didn't come from no munkeys, so what?  So long as they don't force our children to learn that (corruption of public policy is an area I suspect we agree on), in the end it just doesn't matter.  Science, and it's impact on society, has advanced, and will continue to advance, without universal acceptance of evolution. Society will continue to function, and thrive, regardless whether the electrican wiring my house, or the lawyer drafting my contracts, believes the world is 6000 years old or 4.6 billion.  For the vast majority of us, evolution just doesn't intersect with our role in society and your desire to take control of a child's education away from the parents is just your own version of "won't somebody please think of the children."  

I have heard fundamentalists described, with tongue firmly in cheek, as someone who is excessively worried that someone, somewhere might just be having fun. I can't help but see something similar here.  You are so concerned that someone, somewhere may be teaching nonsense that you are willing to force everyone into the same mediocre system to keep that from happening.  And extract the money from them to fund a miniscule improvement in that level of mediocrity. How many do you suppose you have to drag down for each you save?  Is there a point where the mathematics no longer balances?
             
Quote
Make all the decisions you like about "what is best for [y]ourselves". Just don't pretend that your children are yourselves. They aren't your property. They're citizens, too. You shouldn't be free to subject them to "educational" curricula that conform to your religious beliefs - and they're too young to make rational decisions about their own, yet.

What is bizarre is that you wish to substitute a scheme where children are the government's property and it is up to the government to decide what is best for them.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
lkeithlu



Posts: 321
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,09:15   

Just to add one more problem to the mix:

I am the disciplinarian at a small church-affiliated private boarding and day school. (I also teach science) The school is quite liberal; many aging hippies like me on the faculty. Although religion is taught, it is in the context of a survey or world religions. Religious activities are offered to all students, but not required. Chapel is compulsory, but participation is not (I'm an un-believer, and don't feel at all uncomfortable).

My observation regarding private school is as follows: In the times where I can hang out with public school teachers both here and in other areas, one complaint seems to surface often. The school is hamstrung in dealing with severe behavior problems. The complaints bring up the following aspects:

Mainstreaming special needs students (under the guise of equality of instruction, but these teachers feel it is a way of cutting costs)

Parents who do not support the school when their teen misbehaves. They demand "proof", and gradually schools have shifted to using police officers, removing the authority from school teachers and administrators. Finally, only severe criminal behavior results in removal, but the damage is already done.

Large classes that cannot be supervised effectively. In workshops where I introduce hands-on methods for science, the comments from public school teachers is always "there is NO way I could let my kids do this-they would be out of control in minutes." Teachers constantly having to stop teaching to deal with behavior issues cannot be as effective in reaching the goals set for the activity at hand. If they cannot remove the nuisance and get back to teaching quickly, they lose the whole class.

In my school parents sign a contract saying that they agree to hold their student accountable to our rules. We reserve the right to cancel the contract if they don't. Most parents want their kids there, and it shows up in the kids behavior. In 23 years I have only removed a kid from class 6 times, for behavior that would seem mild to a public school teacher (mild horseplay, mild disrespect) In each case I required a meeting with the parents. My classes, like all the classes in the school, are filled with kids that are relaxed, motivated, respectful and considerate (of course, taking into account that they are teenagers, they are NOT perfect.)

In my role as disciplinarian, I must deal with the most serious of violations: drugs, alcohol, hazing, boundary violations. I have not been treated with disrespect or threatened by any student. Parents, well, I just pass them up the chain to the head of school, where they quickly settle down under his firm, steady approach. Students are allowed to express anger, frustration, pain or fear, just not inappropriately.

Now, with all this said, do I have any ideas about public school? No. Parents contribute to the problem by excusing their kids behavior. Schools are understaffed and underfunded. They cannot remove students until the situation is so bad the courts are involved. Authority by administrators and teachers is not respected. Not all schools are like this but enough are. I student taught in two; one was wonderful; well run, quiet, clean, well-behaved kids. The other was pretty bad-no texts, kids who could not read (7th grade), etc. Both were rural southern schools serving similar demographics.

As much as vouchers would help my school, I am against them. There are too many kids who could not, even with vouchers, come up with the remaining amount to pay the $13 K day tuition, much less afford to transport themselves to school (bus route costs extra$) The local schools need this money. Perhaps charter schools, where students compete to enter and the school can remove kids for behavior issues. Small charter schools instead of large county schools may do a better job. I am not sure.

Sorry for the length of the post.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,09:19   

ikeithlu- Don't apologize - that's like throwing chum into the water in the midst of sharks around here!  It was interesting (to me at least!)  to see another side of the story.  Thanks.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,09:39   

Hermagoras, what part of NC?  Those folks down east are just heatherns.

I don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.  Nor do I like the government telling me my kid has to learn at all.  Clearly, they have more guns than I do so they win (unless my pet mice can figure out how to take over the world and I can tag along as a fellow traveler).  

So I am skeptical of the claim that anything (ANYthing?) is necessary for the 'good of society'.  I say society can go fuck itself.  I wish it would.  There is a pragmatic side to the argument for public education however...

I think public schools (I went to a county school that used to be rural but was feeling suburban growing pangs while I was there and now is a different world, just 13.5 years later) are a good place for kids to learn how nasty and brutish other human beings can be.  Also a good place to learn how to be invisible or stand out, at their will.  Good place to learn how to game the system and a good place to learn how to be a good athlete.  Can be all of those things, but your mileage may vary.

Being a redhead nerdy late bloomer that skipped a grade I got to learn some pugilism in public school.  Being a perfect specimen I was exposed to some good coaches that helped out with learning low-post drop step, boxing out, how to jab, and how to step into a swing.  

so, i reckon i am saying my public school experiences weren't that bad.  If I had gone to the city school (we called it the jungle) then I'm sure I would have a different perspective.  But we learned evolution.  Also learned jingoism might makes right American History.  Also learned from some folks Southern History.  

And we always whupped those sissy private school kids.  On the court and in the mall parking lot.  Now some of them (same school even) are my colleagues and I don't see that either of us missed anything.  But we whupped them.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,09:43   

Quote
I say society can go fuck itself.


And it does, producing more. But drink from the bigger cup: Arden's part is tiny* but the story is great.




*One of you shoitehawks needs to get that in your sig.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
dheddle



Posts: 540
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,10:39   

Erasmus, FCD

     
Quote
I went to a county [public] school that used to be rural but was feeling suburban growing pangs while I was there


     
Quote
And we always whupped those sissy private school kids.  On the court and in the mall parking lot.  Now some of them (same school even) are my colleagues and I don't see that either of us missed anything.  But we whupped them.


Now I went to an inner city public school. We not only "whupped" the private schools, we whupped the suburban public schools for good measure.

Well, OK, we would have whupped 'em, if we had cars to get out to the suburbs.

Come to think of it we did--we had a club ice hockey team on which I was a fourth-liner. (I only got on the ice when we made it to the 4th line without incurring a penalty--that is virtually never.) We always lost to the suburban kids--based on the scoreboard, that is. Heh.

But, joking aside, I had a superior math/physics education. Why? The city schools, not being able to adapt to trendy educational theories, were still trapped in the science scare of the 60's--that is, they never deemphasized math and science. I had two years of bio, two of physics, and math through Calculus, and we used (for math and physics) exactly the same books (Thomas for calc, Haliday and Resnick for Physics--although several editions earlier) that we used when I got to Carnegie Mellon.  Also, no competent young teacher in their right mind would choose to teach in the city, so we had this remnant of a bygone era--old-school no-nonsense types surviving until retirement but with the ethics to keep up the standards. Once they retired, I suspect things went to hell rather quickly.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,13:05   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 10 2008,09:43)
Quote
I say society can go fuck itself.


And it does, producing more. But drink from the bigger cup: Arden's part is tiny

The bellowing noises you heard from your mother's room last night would indicate otherwise.  :angry:

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,13:14   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Mar. 10 2008,09:39)
Hermagoras, what part of NC?  Those folks down east are just heatherns.

I don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.  

HA HA THESE ARE STILL YOU:






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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,13:55   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 10 2008,13:14)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Mar. 10 2008,09:39)
Hermagoras, what part of NC?  Those folks down east are just heatherns.

I don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.  

HA HA THESE ARE STILL YOU:





damn that is a sweet gun.  it is at least six inches longer than the one underneath my dog box.

incidentally my grandmaw has a better mullet than that nerdy looking librarian type dude on the bottom.  i bet he was class president or something.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,14:06   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 10 2008,15:39)
I don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.

Why?

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,14:25   

i dont know.  why would you?

seriously?  you ever see the kind of douchebags that get into government, at any scale?  they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.  parasites.

ian i am your ed abbey/dave foreman/wes jackson/gary snyder/wendell berry/daniel quinn kind of atheist.  even though those guys ain't all atheists.  and neither am i, at least not in the strong sense.  i just don't give a damn about what someone else thinks god is in the same way that i don't give a damn about what someone else thinks my kids should learn.

and i am an academic which puts me at odds with some of my colleagues.  but they don't know how to dig ginseng or fiddle 'clinch mountain breakdown' either.

ETA I suppose I am a consequentialist of some stripe or the other.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
JohnW



Posts: 2767
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,15:16   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 10 2008,12:06)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Mar. 10 2008,15:39)
I don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.

Why?

Ian's question, expanded version:  is "government telling me what my kid should or should not learn" qualitatively different from "government telling me whether my kid should or should not beat up old ladies"?  If so, why?

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
kelton



Posts: 2
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,17:49   

Do any of you folks slandering the homeschoolers have any studies, research or any evidence at all to back up your claims that homeschoolers neglect their children. Or are you clairvoyant and can see things that no one else can. Or do you espouse that if you tell a lie enough time it can be made true. Or are you a tinge bigoted toward folks who have a belief other than your own.
Home schooled children score higher on standardized tests, their families are more involved in their communities and their social skills are no more or less than their public school counterparts. Below are 2 studies that back my point.
http://www.discovery.org/a/277
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.as

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,18:06   

Quote (kelton @ Mar. 10 2008,17:49)
Do any of you folks slandering the homeschoolers have any studies, research or any evidence at all to back up your claims that homeschoolers neglect their children. Or are you clairvoyant and can see things that no one else can. Or do you espouse that if you tell a lie enough time it can be made true. Or are you a tinge bigoted toward folks who have a belief other than your own.
Home schooled children score higher on standardized tests, their families are more involved in their communities and their social skills are no more or less than their public school counterparts. Below are 2 studies that back my point.
http://www.discovery.org/a/277
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.as

The first link is to a Discovery Institute press release. I'd like to think you could do better than that.

The second link doesn't work at all.

Thanks for playing, and please have a copy of the home game.

PS: Please work on your writing. You could start here.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
lkeithlu



Posts: 321
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,18:09   

Quote (kelton @ Mar. 10 2008,17:49)
Do any of you folks slandering the homeschoolers have any studies, research or any evidence at all to back up your claims that homeschoolers neglect their children. Or are you clairvoyant and can see things that no one else can. Or do you espouse that if you tell a lie enough time it can be made true. Or are you a tinge bigoted toward folks who have a belief other than your own.
Home schooled children score higher on standardized tests, their families are more involved in their communities and their social skills are no more or less than their public school counterparts. Below are 2 studies that back my point.
http://www.discovery.org/a/277
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.as

I don't recall folks slandering homeschoolers in general here.
In fact, there seems to be a lot of support for homeschooling. I have seen outcomes both positive and negative, usually stemming from the original reasons for homeschooling. Not all homeschooled kids are behind their peers, but some are. Not all public schools fail, but some do. Not all private schools are exceptional but some are.

  
JohnW



Posts: 2767
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,18:12   

Quote (kelton @ Mar. 10 2008,15:49)
Do any of you folks slandering the homeschoolers have any studies, research or any evidence at all to back up your claims that homeschoolers neglect their children. Or are you clairvoyant and can see things that no one else can. Or do you espouse that if you tell a lie enough time it can be made true. Or are you a tinge bigoted toward folks who have a belief other than your own.
Home schooled children score higher on standardized tests, their families are more involved in their communities and their social skills are no more or less than their public school counterparts. Below are 2 studies that back my point.
http://www.discovery.org/a/277
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.as

I was so busy spluttering about someone on this board citing a study by Lies-R-Us that Arden beat me to it.  But I'll add: who's claiming that "homeschoolers neglect their children"?

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,18:12   

Quote (kelton @ Mar. 09 2008,21:21)
This ruling is nuts. One issue with one family is suppose to indite the entire homeschooling community as all abusers. They are not. My wife and I home schooled 3 of our sons quite successfully. They are very well adjusted, cultured, bright, young men who are far from what this so called doctor on here paints them as being.

Um, I hope your wife taught them writing?  ???

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
lkeithlu



Posts: 321
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,18:27   

I've seen children homeschooled in TX by a mother with only a high school diploma. The goal was to shield the children from the bad influences in the schools (ie sex, drugs, etc) The children were enrolled in a public school in a small town after several years and were at least two years behind in academic areas and worlds behind in social skills. All the behavior problems that the family thought they were avoiding happened anyway.

I've seen children homeschooled by aging hippies that allowed the kids to explore the world on their own with no guidance and no interference to "squelch their creativity". They were woefully behind in math because it was a subject "they didn't like".

However, I've seen kids homeschooled by a group of educated, caring adults that worked together to help each other cover areas that require some expertise such as math, science, arts, theater and physical education. They brought the kids together for group events and used facilities at local colleges. They were supremely successful and their children well served.

Should there be laws governing this? I don't know. I feel sorry for kids who have a poor education. Sometimes, if the purpose is to shelter them from the world, it can backfire. Someone I knew was homeschooled by a strict fundamentalist church family; he went to a prestigious college, took geology, and was furious that he had been lied to all those years. He rejected the church completely. I'm not sure that was the outcome the parents wanted.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,18:59   

@Erasmus:
 
Quote
I say society can go fuck itself.

People who say this should be honest with themselfs and go hermit-style. No gas, no electricity, not visiting stores, no doctor, nothing.
 
Quote
don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.

Remember: the government is the help of the people (at least it should be in our country's). They help us with stuff we can't do, and we give them money to do that (taxes). If we see certain things in our society suck, we should do something about it, because we can (democracy, remember?). Besides, it's not about the fact that they would say what they need to learn, it's about the arguments they give for that.
Quote
i just don't give a damn about what someone else thinks god is in the same way that i don't give a damn about what someone else thinks my kids should learn.

Problem here: your kids aren't you or clones from you, it's not about what you want it's about what your kid wants. If you're an honest parent you let them discover stuff themselfs, you may not care but they might. Kids aren't property, they're individuals in development.

Anyway, I don't really get home-schooling. I mean, how can you school kids on your own? Imo, kids learn best from eachother with help from parents and experts wich is not at home.

@Pennybright:
Quote
Hell,  we're one of the two UN member countries that hasn't signed the UNCRC.

You gotta be kidding me?? And they should supposidly rule the world?? It's worse then I thought...(I start wondering if the US is a real democracy at all, or even free!)

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,21:26   

Quote (Assassinator @ Mar. 10 2008,18:59)
@Erasmus:
   
Quote
I say society can go fuck itself.

People who say this should be honest with themselfs and go hermit-style. No gas, no electricity, not visiting stores, no doctor, nothing.
   
Quote
don't like government.  Nor do I like government telling me what my kid should or should not learn.

Remember: the government is the help of the people (at least it should be in our country's). They help us with stuff we can't do, and we give them money to do that (taxes). If we see certain things in our society suck, we should do something about it, because we can (democracy, remember?). Besides, it's not about the fact that they would say what they need to learn, it's about the arguments they give for that.
 
Quote
i just don't give a damn about what someone else thinks god is in the same way that i don't give a damn about what someone else thinks my kids should learn.

Problem here: your kids aren't you or clones from you, it's not about what you want it's about what your kid wants. If you're an honest parent you let them discover stuff themselfs, you may not care but they might. Kids aren't property, they're individuals in development.

Anyway, I don't really get home-schooling. I mean, how can you school kids on your own? Imo, kids learn best from eachother with help from parents and experts wich is not at home.

@Pennybright:
 
Quote
Hell,  we're one of the two UN member countries that hasn't signed the UNCRC.

You gotta be kidding me?? And they should supposidly rule the world?? It's worse then I thought...(I start wondering if the US is a real democracy at all, or even free!)

Assass

I've done that.  I've eaten over 100 species of wild mushrooms.  Once made a meal of turqoise darter, yellow perch, rainbow trout, blacknose dace, redeye bass, redbreast sunfish, mottled sculpin and margined madtom.  Might be the only person on Earth to ever eat that all at once (these species only co-occur in about a 40 square mile area).

Anyway tu quoque is boring don't you know?  I suppose you will learn about is and ought.

Democracy ain't all it's cracked up to be son.  Some people prefer to suckle at the teat that yields the milk of the fruit of other men's labor, others prefer to wash their own bowl.  When S.H.F., the latter will roast the bones of the former on spits while drinking their stores of beer.  Celebrate the beast inside you my friend and don't believe the myth of democracy and brotherhood.  For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

ANNYHOO I'm not against home schooling, and I agree with you that kids need free reign.  But you are way off target with respect to me being against home schooling, and you greatly overestimate the importance of social conditioning.  

What I am for is individualism and retaining the dignity of the savage.

What I am against are contrived notions of social progress made by silly bastards that don't understand how many energy slaves are used to feed their sorry asses.  Carry on my friend.

by the way can you pass the roast duck with mango salsa?

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,22:16   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 11 2008,03:26)
What I am for is individualism

At what cost? Do you REALLY believe that you as an individual matter more than others? Do your rights actually deserve to supersede the rights of others, and can they in fact do so? If individuality is everything, then surely the rich and/or powerful will rise to the top, and it will be little more than barbarism. Oh, you can say that the rights of those below will protect them but it's clear they don't. In western culture, particularly in societies such as America (and yes, I DO know what I'm talking about on this one) the poor get crushed underneath the wheels of the rich under the guise of "personal freedom" and "individuality" both bullshit buzzwords used by the people who are crushing those down below.

Oh, sure there are plans to try to help, fair trade products are a good example, ad they do help redress the balance, but the fact is as long as the individual is seen as the highest priority the rich will crush the poor and the strong destroy the weak. Call me what you will but I think this is shocking, and at the same time, unsurprising. Even those who do try to help those below from above do little more than put a plaster onto the wound. The problem is not with the system, it's with the people believing that the individual should always come first.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,23:03   

Quote
the fact is as long as the individual is seen as the highest priority the rich will crush the poor and the strong destroy the weak.


I totally agree.  I also assert that this will happen no matter what configuration you choose.  

I prefer the words of Ho Chi Minh written from prison.
Quote

the wheel of the law
turns without pause.

after rain, good weather.
In the wink of an eye.

The universe throws off
its muddy clothes.

For ten thousand miles
the landscape

spreads out like a beautiful brocade.
Light breezes.  Smiling flowers.

High in the trees, amongst
the sparkling leaves

all the birds sing at once.
Men and animals rise up reborn.

What could be more natural?
After sorrow, comes happiness.


the strong eat the weak, and they always have.  i think metaphysical concepts of justice fail at the intersection of is an ought.  in short, we all imagine a utopia.  gods help us if any of us gets our way.  there is more to heaven and earth to a fair wage, horatio.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,23:21   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Mar. 11 2008,05:03)
Quote
the fact is as long as the individual is seen as the highest priority the rich will crush the poor and the strong destroy the weak.


I totally agree.  I also assert that this will happen no matter what configuration you choose.

I disagree. I believe that it is possible to create a state whereby there are still divides between rich and poor, but they are not so vast that the poor fall into a chasm. However, I feel that for this to be achieved one or two small things need to be pummelled into the heads of the general public, namely that you have to pay for services, and that the individual is not the be all and end all.

I feel the major shortfall in the world is the fact that the general public are idiots, everywhere you look, because people as a group always are. I feel it IS a treatable problem, but that either people see it as an insurmountable obstacle or they do not see it at all. The majority of the public like to think they are freethinkers, or that they have their own opinions and believe the truth. The fact is that they are sheep, who will blindly follow whatever their news organ of choice is (often in my neck of the woods, the Sun or worse, the Daily Mail) and because this organ sometimes (or often) disagrees with or contradicts the government edict, they are somehow thinking for themselves. If it is possible to get this practice to stop, then I would say that the human race actually has a chance at attaining real, tangible liberty for all, not the idealised nonsense that the governments feed to the people while they are being oppressed by those above them, but an honest chance at a level playing field. My personal idea of utopia is pretty similar to the communist model, whereby all tools of productivity are pooled and with this collective resource everyone is kept fed, clothed, and sheltered, given medical treatment, and access to life's luxuries. A true version of communism, not the "peoples toothbrush" nonsense that most people think communism is about (in fact, within a communist state the laws of personal possessions are unchanged, it is only the capital goods, such as hammers, or machinery that are owned by everyone). However, I am pretty sure this is impossible to attain, so I would settle for a socialist state instead. As one of my old school friends put it, some people would get more champagne than others in first class, but none would have drowned on the Titanic.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 10 2008,23:53   

Sorry Ian that's a nice fantasy you're envisioning.  Any government powerful enough to force balance will become a corrupting force within itself.

As far as the home-schooling issue, this is nothing more than a power-play by the teachers' union.  We ran into the same problem here when a Charter school was attempted for gifted high school students.  The local school corporation opposed it on every level and even sued twice to try and stop it.  Their stated objection was the quality of education the students would receive even though the charter school's standards were much higher and their placement scores and college acceptance rates destroyed the public and parochial schools.  They finally won a small but ludicrious victory as the courts determined that the charter school had to operate under the authority of the local school system.  It's been steady degradation since then, but hey, they're looking out for the kids.

When it comes down to it this should be a very easy issue.  No where in the Constitution is public school either required or mandated.  End of story.

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 11 2008,05:20   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 10 2008,09:14)
Science, and it's impact on society, has advanced, and will continue to advance, without universal acceptance of evolution. Society will continue to function, and thrive, regardless whether the electrican wiring my house, or the lawyer drafting my contracts, believes the world is 6000 years old or 4.6 billion.

Well let's see.  Bush Junior is elected on broad evangelical support, people who think that if the bible says so it must be the way it is.  As a result abstinence only education is pushed despite it's having been proven to be ineffective.

This has helped turned around a long downward trend in teen pregnancies.

Not only that but the money we've been sending to Africa trying to help them with similar problems of people being fruitful a bit too willingly has been funneled into abstinence only programs as well, turning around some very successful AIDs prevention campaigns and helping that wacky little HIV bug make a comeback through not only not mentioning condoms, but actively working to discredit them.

It may not be ending society, but it's certainly not helping it.  I think the people with diseases that have the potential to be cured with stem cell therapy are certainly aware of what happens when people are raised to care more about a handful of frozen embryos (that are most likely destined to be destroyed anyway) than thousands of living human beings.

My benchmark isn't whether it will completely destroy society.  The fact that a fundie electrician who thinks that stem cell research makes the baby Jesus cry can adequately screw in a light bulb fails to satisfy me.  I was under the impression that the point was to try to improve it, not just figure that it's hunky dory so long as a carpenter isn't trying to use the biblical account of Noah's Ark as a building code.


EDIT:

I should add that I see general public ignorance of science unrelated to religious bias as at least an equal problem.  But then again that too could be helped by improved education.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 11 2008,06:45   

Quote (Nomad @ Mar. 11 2008,05:20)
 
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 10 2008,09:14)
Science, and it's impact on society, has advanced, and will continue to advance, without universal acceptance of evolution. Society will continue to function, and thrive, regardless whether the electrican wiring my house, or the lawyer drafting my contracts, believes the world is 6000 years old or 4.6 billion.

Well let's see.  Bush Junior is elected on broad evangelical support, people who think that if the bible says so it must be the way it is.  As a result abstinence only education is pushed despite it's having been proven to be ineffective.

I'm growing weary of this discussion, but I would like to point out two things. First, you appear to be conflating government with society and, second, not drawing a clear enough distinction between scientific advancement and it's application to public policy. The fact of the matter is both governments and public policy change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse (see previous comment re: goring oxes).

Indeed, there is often backlash against the type of meddling in public policy you are worried about and I offer as  counter-examples the backlash against the Religious Right over Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, efforts by the state of California to implement emissions controls more stringent than those of the federal government, and the fact that somewhere in the range of 14 states have turned down federal abstinence-only funding in order to provide more comprehensive sex education programs.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 11 2008,07:04   

also, when making wild claims you should get your facts straight first, namely check into current trends in teen pregnancy rates (this is unrelated to abstinence programs) and AIDS prevention and incidence.  Know before you use a broad brush to air your individual prejudices.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 11 2008,08:05   

Well shit, I am in the fortunate position to be able to say to my opponents* "You are all wrong".  Fuck Darwin, that makes me intellectually filled.

*That would be any one who is arguing for legislative or technical solutions to what are essentially moral** problems.

**Moral in this sense referring to the relationship between man and landscape.  See Aldo L.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 11 2008,23:00   

Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 11 2008,07:04)
also, when making wild claims you should get your facts straight first, namely check into current trends in teen pregnancy rates (this is unrelated to abstinence programs) and AIDS prevention and incidence.  Know before you use a broad brush to air your individual prejudices.

one in four teen girls have an STD

The story also mentions the fact that between 2005 and 2006 the teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years.  It's certainly more complicated than simply saying that abstinence only education is completely to blame but it's still fairly logical to conclude that it played a part.

The science says that abstinence only programs do not work.  I didn't conclude this because I like sex and dislike Jesus, I concluded it after it kept not working.

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 11 2008,23:23   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 11 2008,06:45)
I'm growing weary of this discussion, but I would like to point out two things. First, you appear to be conflating government with society and, second, not drawing a clear enough distinction between scientific advancement and it's application to public policy. The fact of the matter is both governments and public policy change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse (see previous comment re: goring oxes).

Indeed, there is often backlash against the type of meddling in public policy you are worried about and I offer as  counter-examples the backlash against the Religious Right over Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, efforts by the state of California to implement emissions controls more stringent than those of the federal government, and the fact that somewhere in the range of 14 states have turned down federal abstinence-only funding in order to provide more comprehensive sex education programs.

I will admit to having realized a certain logical conflict in what I was going to try to argue.  I was going to say that while I understand that the government and the society are different concepts that the government is supposed to be guided by society.

But I'm also asking for the government to guide society.  I actually had that typed out before I realized what I was saying.

And I know that there is often a backlash, although not of the specific examples you raise (it's nice to hear about them though).

The problem is that there is then a decent chance that a while later we'll have a backlash against all that "secular culture" back to the extremist religious stuff.
I suppose I should consider that legislating against fundie home schooling could result in fueling that backlash.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 12 2008,01:36   

here you go, here's both of them back to back and you can make your own determination.

14 year teen pregnancy decrease

1 year teen pregnancy increase

As is typical of most topics covered in the media, the 1 year data is almost complete speculation and a quick rush to judgment which is the obvious initial intention of the story.  In short, IMO it would be much more prudent to wait 3-4 more years before we announce that the trend has reversed and it's all W's fault.

  
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