1. There is no way on earth that all the kids in public schools now could be placed in private schools/homes. There are no where near enough places for them. If you don't provide for all of them...what are you setting the American future up for? Disaster.
2. Private schools have waiting lists. If a kid misbehaves or the parents can't pay...that child is cut and another child takes their place. What happens when you cut kids for discipline or lack of funds in a world without public schools?
3. You may not want to hear it, but the best teachers are in public schools. Yes, there are some bad apples, like in any profession. Public schools, in general, pay better than private schools. Public school teachers have their collegues all around them, and work together to find better ways to teach your children. Where would the career professional teachers go if you did away with private schools. Many would go into other professions. Disaster.
4. Public schools are the great equalizer. It may not always be pretty or taseful or sweet...but when a child goes through public school they learn a great deal about life and dealing with every other kind of kid. If we privatize schools...we create distinct "classes" which we have worked so hard to overcome. Disaster.
5. Who will teach the huge majority of kids when their public schools close? Parents, uncles, aunts, sisters, grandmothers. Are they trained? Do they know the latest concepts, programs and developments in education? Will they work together to raise the level of instruction? In general it will be...Disaster.
For me it's about equity. All kids should have access to education and some of them don't have parents who could teach them adequately.
There are other reasons, but that's the main one.
I would disagree that "some of them don't have parents who could teach them adequately" - instead I would say that very few indeed have parents that could teach adequately. While I perhaps have the knowledge of various sciences and math to teach at an elementary level a 5th grader probably knows more than I about English, History, Art, Music, etc. It is nearly impossible to know enough about all subjects to teach them by the 5th or 6th grade. That is why teachers specialize.
Parent-taught children also miss the social learning that naturally occurs in schools.
Okay here's why you're wrong.
1. Of course if kids were all home schooled they wouldn't need to be "placed" anywhere. They would all be taught what they want to learn at the pace that is best for them. Think of all the money in taxes that would be saved in paying salaries and building and maintaining buildings, money that could be used for newer books, computers or even educational field trips.
2. If more parents exercised the option to go to private school or home school all those public school teachers would have to work somewhere. Many of them would likely start their own private schooling business and the most successful offering services for the least money would flourish, a win-win for parents kids and teachers, especially good teachers.
3. Like any business there are professional organizations that collaborate and this would no doubt continue, except the taxpayers would be funding it, the teachers would, or at least those that are successful and looking to expand on their success would. Membership in such organizations would be a selling point to parents shopping a private school or tutor service.
I have no doubt parents could do as good a job teaching their kids as the best educated teachers. How much training does it take to teach reading and basic math.How many programs are there in public schools that are there for political purposes that might be nice to know but not necessary for critical thinking and reasoning. The best education comes from reading, and exploring one's own interests will result in more interested students with an expertise in the things they love. Quite frankly the results of the past 40 years of public education speak for themselves. While spending has grown ten times since the federal government got involved, no progress has been made in advancing knowledge or producing more graduates. The record speaks for itself, disaster!
Teaching literacy takes a huge amount of training. It's something that seems so simple but is actually pretty complicated.
Yeah? How many have been taught to count or to read before they start kindergarten? What it takes is commitment and patience which is in greater supply when it's one on one.
It is not - unless you deliberately make it complicated
It's actually amazing that kids develop such fluency so fast - when you start examining what processes are all happening at once, it's incredible. Some need more help, some less. Some have particular issues.
Not all children arrive at school with basic literacy skills (alphabet, knowledge of how a book is read etc). Some children were never read to from infancy through to school age and it makes it harder for them.
A good teacher can do a lot for kids in giving them the right start and levelling the playing field in terms of the basics. It won't stay level because people have different abilities, but for the little ones it means they can find the skills they need to cope with what comes next.
I will apologize first, but seriously, the one thing I cannot stand in anyone is absolute ignorance.
Where did you receive your education? The North Pole?
Try educating yourself about the Public Education System in America: http://www.servintfree.net/~aidmn-ejour … tates.html
1. How can millions of children be home-schooled when their parents have to work full-time at possibly more than 1 job in order to earn enough money to live an almost comfortable life? Speaking of money saved by not paying taxes to pay the cost of public education...how on earth do you suggest I would have been able to educate 3 children on $3.69 per month? Speaking of money saved by not paying taxes to pay the cost of public education...how do you suggest my son with Aspergers was supposed to have received the therapies he needed in order to function at his current level of functioning? Speaking of money saved by not paying taxes to pay the cost of public education...why do you suggest 'money that could be used for newer books, computers or even educational field trips.' - Who would have been using this non-existent money?
2. See DragonRider32, point 3.
3. Why would the taxpayers continue to fund the teacher organizations for teachers who aren't teaching their children?
You really show your lack of knowledge-life experience-foresight-insight-education-etc., by thinking all parents can teach their children as well as public funded schools can.
You are absolutely right. The past 40 years of Public Education do speak for themselves. Did you know 40 years ago there were no microwaves? No cd players, no big screen TV's, no cell phones, no MP3 players, no Ipods, no internet, no personal computers, and I can't think of what else.
Please think of what would be missing from YOUR life had Public Education not been available to the creators who have enriched YOUR life.
LOL! Oh so now you want to claim that public education was responsible for all of life's modern conveniences? How about Ben Franklin, he was self taught yet he invented the lightning rod, the pot belly stove, bifocals, and the Odometer. And what about Thomas Edison, who was pretty much taught by his mother and by himself yet he held over 1000 patents including the light bulb and the phonograph. There are countless others as well so please don't try to tell me the parents or even individuals alone can't teach themselves. It all comes down to desire what an individual wants to know, or to do and to what extent that passion burns inside fueling the fire for knowledge.
Yes I'm not saying that all teachers don't care but who has more of a vested interest in seeing that a child is successfully educated, a teacher or the parent? It's not the teacher that the child is going to live with if he/she can't get a job, it's the parent. Who loves and cares more about the child, the teacher or the parent? Why should the State decide what the children should learn and then make the teachers teach that? Why is the state the one the defines what a good education is?
As it stands it's a terrible system designed to create a overpriced and inefficient system that only serves to support unions and government at the expense of taxpayers and the children's education.
Different kids have different capacity/aptitude for learning to read.
My oldest was reading before his 3rd birthday. My youngest didn't start until about 4 1/2. Some kids don't learn to read until 6.
Teaching fluent reading is more than just "sounding it out."
It makes me laugh every time I hear someone make the absurd claim that every parent is capable of educating their own child as well as a professional teacher could. The ability to do a thing does not imply the ability to teach someone else how to do a thing.
I'd say it's a pretty good indication of that ability. That's how we got to where we are today.
"That's how we got to where we are today" Right! That's why so many high school "graduates" are functionally illiterate and can't understand the instructions on a medicine bottle. That's why our graduates cannot add two simple fractional numbers or know what's inside a frog. That's why they think the civil war was about freeing slaves or that the earth is a few thousand years old. Schools can't do it all - they need parental help and they don't get it.
Fact is, most parents can't teach. They have neither the knowledge of the subject nor the teaching skills. They don't have the time and they don't care anyway (if they did we wouldn't have nearly so many two earner couples or single parents).
As much as I hate the public school system it is far preferable to most parental teaching. Some parents CAN teach, at least in the lowest grades, but they are rare.
Okay so first you're trashing the population because they're illiterate, yet most of them were educated by professional teachers in public schools!
Then you're saying (or using the excuse) that teachers can't do it alone and they need the parents help, but that parents can't teach! If that's the case, why would you need their help, and if they could teach, why do they need teachers?
I'm quite sure all parents could teach. There may be many that don't have the energy to do so but they certainly have the ability. What is really happening here is parents have been convinced that government knows what is best for their children to learn and that only professional union teachers can teach them what the government says they must learn in order to be successful. Hogwash!
I'm not American, but it doesn't make sense to me that a child in a really disadvantaged home should have no access to free education outside of the home. What if that particular parent is not able to impart any knowledge because they themselves can't write or read? What if the parent has a gambling addiction or a drug habit? What if there are 3 other children, all younger and the parent is unable to devote the time? What if noone in the home speaks English?
In Australia the argument is about where the govt money should go (public / private) but I've never heard it suggested that public education should go altogether. People are fairly attached to it here.
it doesn't make sense. to abolish public education would be to force a return to the middle ages.
They'd also miss out on all the play with other children and learning how to interact with others, the arts and crafts and sports etc.
Why should anyone have to "learn" to accept diversity? And why do you think only schools can teach acceptance? Face it, public education amounts to the lowest common denominator of knowledge that can be passed efficiently to a large group of people. It serves to hold back the gifted while attempting to advance the lazy and the mediocre perhaps even to the detriment of those eager to learn.
Hhmm, prejudices, stereotypes, bias and discrimination comes from not understanding diversity...I wonder how anyone can accept diversity if they don't first learn about it....
I don't understand where you get your information from. The schools I went to tried their damndest to advance me according to my abilities. My mother held me back. Thanks to the public school system, I received an education that I'm sure I wouldn't have received had it not existed.
I am so glad you are sure of what would have been had you not been educated in public school. I wonder, did they teach you that too?
wanna try reading it again? Or should I spell it out for you?
My mother held me back rather than accept my 1st grade teachers recommendation of skipping 2nd grade. My mother refused to acknowledge my 9th grade Algebra teachers assessment that I didn't belong in his class or the IQ test score that said I was ready for college at the age of 14.
Since my mother refused to accept these things - do you really think she would have provided the proper education for me had I been home-schooled?
Not sure I understood you, but if you meant that education has nothing to do with being successful or happy - then I agree.
almost Milla Mahno - it takes more than an education to be successful or happy.
If you are talking to me - are you saying that public education does not make people happy and successful, yet without public education a person cannot be happy or successful? That public education is a necessary but not sufficient condition - if you know what I mean?
To answer your question, I am saying Education, in any form, is only one part of the whole that may lead to success and/or happiness. Where a person is educated is not as important as the education the person receives.
Rubbish! Kids don't have social interaction anyplace else but in schools? I know as a child I had more social interaction outside of school then inside! And outside of school was where the more important social skills were developed because issues had to be resolved between your peers without authority figures overseeing everything and providing guidance and organization. It was at those times you had to think for self.
No. Public schooling is just expensive child care, a crutch for lazy parents that would rather ship their child off to be raised by a stranger and indoctrinated with government ideas. I'd say it's not only worse as a form of education, but it's also potentially dangerous as a weapon of propaganda.
um, where will a child find social interaction if they don't go to school, or church and their parents keep them locked up in a basement because their is nothing holding them accountable since nobody would know the child was there to report to Social Services?
Who said anything about locking kids up? Why do you think school is the only place kids can interact? How about the playgrounds? The market? Museums? Galleries? How about with their siblings? cousins? friends? You need to get out more and see people, kids, interacting in the public parks or on the streets, in the libraries.
Okay, I see you missed the point.
Public education has brought more to the world than intelligence. Public education has brought awareness of abuse into the homes and minds of those who are abused so they can receive help. Still, some children are found who haven't ever seen the light of day even with compulsory education laws.
Because their parents don't care to teach them there is something better for them out in the world!
You'd have to mandate that parents are obligated to ensure children have adequate recreational time... which seems uncomfortably like telling people to walk the dog.
It's weird to think about school just not being there. The responsibility on parents would be huge. They'd have to arrange play time for younger children and share the supervision. You couldn't have under 10s out doing whatever with noone watching out for them.
Besides that, not all people are going to think about what's best for the child. Children do get stuck in front of the tv because it's easier and they're safe. But they aren't then getting exercise and social experiences.
Seriously, there have been cases of heinous child abuse with kids literally locked in a room. If there's no school to wonder / worry, who's going to know? How do we then catch cases of abuse if the parents aren't obligated to send the child out into the world each day?
The more I think about this the worse an idea the removal of public schools seems (and I wasn't a fan to start with).
What do you do if the child is failing (or the parent is failing the child)? Does the Government step in then? If they can't read at age 12, does someone say something or is it allowed to go on?
There's propaganda in the home too. With no counterbalance, kids will get their parents' views alone. That's partly how racism proliferates.
You may have had a very social environment around your home, but not all children will have that. Some would be very lonely if it wasn't for school. The peer-peer stuff happens in the playground all the time. I wasn't thinking so much of mediated social experiences, more the opportunity school gives kids to meet other children.
For some kids, they literally don't have any social interaction (with other kids) outside of school.
What about this: excellent classroom, great school and your child has a fantastic teacher. They come home with projects and babble about new things they're learning, new words they can now read and explaining to you about times tables. School is then providing them with clear learning experiences. You've basically just said all of that is worthless & nothing more than babysitting. Do you really believe that a good teacher is worth so little?
I got a lot out school in the early years. I was an eldest sibling and I needed more than my parents had time for at home. School was great for me and it gave me experiences I wouldn't have had otherwise. Even small things like group reading with those big oversized books and learning how sounds and letters go together... it's different in class of peers.
Social interaction. Like you, I got far more of that out of school than I did in. I walked to the neighbors house, or to the park. I had 4 siblings to play with. We played outside generally until dark, and sometimes after that. We swam in the river when a little older and went fishing.
Consider now days, though. The child goes home to 0 or 1 other sibling in the highrise apartment downtown Chicago. He may not go out because there is no playground (or dirt, either, for that matter). Neighbors are an unknown and not to be spoken to. He certainly can't go to a library or museum; he would be alone travelling miles through downtown Chicago. His only chance at peer interaction is through the efforts of Mom or Dad, and they won't be home for hours, and then are too tired to go anywhere.
For millions of our children that, not the fun WE had as kids, is the life they face. Without school there will be virtually no peer interaction.
I could teach my children to read and write and how to do math....if they were willing to learn it, which one was not....but school somehow managed to motivate her enough to learn....
What's so hard to understand? Learning requires the efforts of BOTH teachers and parents. How many parents understand trigonometry and geometry? Or even basic algebra? How many have a spare microscope to find the nerves in a frog's leg? How many have the tools to demonstrate conservation of momentum, or even know what it means? Do all, or even some, parents have a chemistry lab set up in their house to teach the properties of the element sodium or even simple heat transference?
What parents CAN provide is some help in subjects they DO know. They can provide emotional support when the child needs it. They can illustrate the importance of learning by insisting homework be done. They can teach work organization and priorities. They can encourage by helping the child use what he has learned in everyday life.
Parents are just as important as teachers, but neither can fill the roll of the other in the various learning environments.
----Parents are just as important as teachers, but neither can fill the roll of the other in the various learning environments.----
Give wilderness a standing ovation!!
You hit the nail on the head.
TY Rafini. My own children are on their own, now, but they have brought me grandchildren to help and guide. I am learning that in today's world of two earner couples grandparents can be of aid also, even though they may not interact with children as often as parents do. We, too, can show excitement that little Annie learned a new word, that Bobby can count to 10. We can occasionally help with homework. We can help a student use their new knowledge just walking down the street. It all helps.
Now if I can just teach the littlest one to enunciate the word "truck"
speech therapy tricks - stand them in front of a mirror so they can watch themselves when they speak the letters TR in the beginning of words, middle, and end. Have them watch you too. Make sure there is no competing sounds in the room.
No clue how quickly it can help, my son had other speech issues.
[QUOTE]How many parents understand trigonometry and geometry? Or even basic algebra? How many have a spare microscope to find the nerves in a frog's leg? How many have the tools to demonstrate conservation of momentum, or even know what it means?[/QUOTE]
Yes and somehow these parents were able to successfully support those families and raise those children. How many of those kids will ever use that information in anyplace other than that formal school setting? What is the value of teaching someone something they will never use again, information to be discarded like last weeks grocery list?
Do you honestly not understand the reason behind receiving an education??
The point of Learning algebra, geometry, trigonometry is to learn logic, critical thinking skills, and analytical skills, which it seems apparent to me - You lack all of. So, tell me, what is the point in learning these skills?
What makes you thinking he lacks those skills? The fact that his opinion differs from yours?
I'm not seeing opinions here. I'm seeing a lack of logic, critical thinking, and analytical skills regarding education.
Thank you! The critical thinking that is lacking isn't from me. I don't see how one can make that argument while offering the argument that the status quo on education should be maintained even as government involvement and spending has risen while results have remained flat for more than 30 years!
You know, I see it pretty often when people who blame some sins on others are those who are the major sinners themselves
the status quo on education? are you serious? eliminating public education would return the status quo of 'education is only an option available to the chosen few who can afford it'
(now that is strictly an opinion driven statement)
I'm not arguing the value of an education, you are trying to make that the argument. Education is a good thing and everyone should get the education they desire. What I am arguing is that a public education is not the best education for most people, that they could do better on their own. For some reason you seem to think having some authority figure speaking for 45 minutes a day, material that the government says is necessary to comprise a "good education" is what's best for individuals and the country as a whole. Well I just don't agree with that premise, and the statistics add weight to my argument. Home schooled kids on average score 30 points higher on the standardized tests.
You are stating your thoughts as to why public education shouldn't exist. I'm stating the obvious reasons why it should.
Are you wanting me to say Public Education isn't perfect? I would have thought everyone already knew that - nothing is perfect.
He-he, so when it is Leeberttea's position, it is just "his thoughts", when it is your position - it is "obvious reasons". How very convenient!
I understand what you're getting at here and I halfway agree - but I'd rather have a system whereby professionals establish the curriculum through debate and research etc rather than leave it up to parents.
Can you imagine what kinds of things some people might think are important? There may be bias and ideology afoot, but curriculum documents are transparent and publicly available. Better that than god knows what happening behind firmly closed doors.
I have a better idea, why not let the kids decide what they want to learn about? No one likes being told what to do, or how to do something. That's not learning, that's not developing "critical thinking". We don't need more standardization, more government involvement, more centralization of education, we need less! We need to cater to the individuals to let them learn what and how they learn best. How are they going to get that through unionized teachers?
Actually, it's moving much more towards that. There's still a curriculum, but the modus operandi now is 'child centred learning'. They still have to meet literacy and numeracy benchmarks etc and learn about social sciences, so some sport eand so on, but it's much more driven by the child's own needs. Needless to say, it's a pretty full-on way of teaching to cater individually to 30 kids but it does mean they get to control what they do and how they learn a lot more.
There's also recognition that not all kids learn the same way. Lessons these days are often planned to ensure that there are choices inherent in the lesson - if you learn best through numbers or movement or music, there are activities designed to use that.
Of course, you need to ensure that everyone has basic skills up to scratch, so someone that doesn't like writing can't never do it. It's nice though to give kids a sense of ownership over their learning.
I'm not about the Victorian school marm thing at ALL. And if I'd been around in the 50s/60s you would have found me happily ready to tune in and drop out. For me, it's about fairness, not indoctrination or control.
In school, they all have access to a minimum level of education. Some kids get more, can't level that out - it's just a fact of life. Some kids would have so much less though if schools weren't there. Some would miss out on a lot of the fun things and others would miss out on the really important stuff as well.
Sure - let the kids decide what they want to learn. After all, all children already have 30 years of experience in the world and know what it is all about and what they will need to know. And, of course, all kids WANT to learn everything they can - They wouldn't rather play than learn!
Don't sell kids short! They are naturally curious and sponges for knowledge especially when they have an interest in something.
It's not quite like that - there's still a curriculum. But what leeberttea said about kids being more motivated to learn if it fits in with their interests, that's true. You can make sure they learn XYZ but still allow them to choose a learning activity task and and decide how they prefer to learn it. You can also be led by their interests and build lessons around that.
It works best when the work IS play! Just like grownup work
"I have a better idea, why not let the kids decide what they want to learn about?" Interesting that you should suggest that, LBT, One of the private schools in my area (one with a very high reputation) allows kids to design their own curricula to a great degree. This works well for some, but not for others. The some stay in that school, and the others mostly leave it.
The ones who end up graduating make the school look very good indeed. (I wonder what would happen if you included all the kids who studied there for a short time but switched schools before graduation in those statistics?)
Another excellent point - how would education be regulated if everyone were homeschooled? Can you imagine what some parents would teach their kids?
You can get pregnant by kissing a boy you know
The world really is flat
You don't have to read books, I can read them to you
Audruvea, it won't be a matter that there may be bias and idealogy - there WILL be bias and idealogy. Few parents will teach what they don't know and no parent will teach idealogy they don't believe or fail to teach idealogy they do believe.
Where I live, curriculum for home schooling is designed by the state; unfortunate but utterly necessary.
Again, the answer is obvious. 90% or more of what a child learns will be used but seldom. I learned long ago that the most important thing about college was the certificate, not what I learned.
What is far more important is that the child learns to learn. Learns to think critically. Learns that he/she CAN learn; that they CAN do something if they will just learn a little. Life is about learning from cradle to grave; if a child is limited to learning only a few very basic things they will never develop very far.
Having said that, times are changing. Our workplace is becoming increasingly complex. More and more abilities and knowledge are needed to do anything above simple manual labor and that often requires more and more education.
It would appear that you believe that none of those studies I listed are important and should not be required as they will not be used. Yet, for some children they WILL be used. Children not exposed to art will probably not be artists. Those that have never studied biology or chemistry will not design the newest drugs you may need. A well rounded education is just that; well rounded, not what some poorly educated parent wanting nothing more for their children than what they have and thus think is appropriate. Children are not a new life to be molded in the shape of their parents but another life to be developed to be best they can be.
I missed this, but that's a really good point. You don't know what you might be good at until someone gives you the chance to try it. Can happen outside of school as well, but schools do make an effort to introduce things. Of course you can't cover everything & there's no 'motorbike riding' on the syllabus
Mind you, if a student really had a yen for motorbikes we do have mechanical programs in Australia through a connected outside institution (TAFE) and for little kids you could create an activity inclusive of that special interest area.
Picture books are good for giving younger children access to a range of experiences.
Pictures are indeed good for younger children, although I think most kids would want to try anything they weren't afraid of.
Nothing will take the place of hands on for older kids, though. And some things they don't like still need to be learned. I like the idea of electives and wish the kids could have more of them but I have been appalled at the lack of reading, writing and arithmetic (not math) skills I've had to work with in new, young employees.
I think the most important stage for that stuff is when they're little. If you can get their confidence up from K-3 and encourage them to write a lot and share new words and stories... that's a huge benefit for high school and then the workplace. Maths as well - turn them onto it (rather than off it through sheer boredom). The way I was taught addition and subtraction etc was all repetition and soooo boring.
public schools are a necessity in our country. it's ridiculous to think we could ever move ahead without them. our country is too big and too multi-diverse to allow our education system to fall into private institutions and home schooling only.
one of the best educators I've ever read wrote about what's needed in our schools over a decade ago. if more schools implemented her wisdom, they would function more as a living system. http://www.margaretwheatley.com/article … hools.html
leeberttea, there's a lot more training involved when you're talking about teaching children. it's not just methods, but understanding how the mind works, different modalities and learning styles. not every child is equipped to learn the same way. I disagree with your thinking. and my question to you, have you ever taught in a public school?? I do agree that not all children need to be taught in public schools, but to not have them? crazy.
although our country lags behind other industrialized countries in graduation rates, many of those who do graduate and go into higher education are extremely brilliant, intelligent human beings. the best education doesn't just come from reading, it involves interaction, learning as a team, thinking and reasoning, listening, asking questions, observation, experimenting... evaluating. a well-run classroom can provide this kind of environment and they do exist in many, many schools.
So which is it
No I haven't taught in a public school, but I attended them and the statistics speak for themselves. The feds now spend 100 billion a year on education yet the results have not improved one iota. This plays out over again in local school districts where nationally the average class size has shrunk to 15 and still no improvement.
I've worked in both public and private. there's certainly improvement needed, I'm not disagreeing with that but there's another side to education and that comes from the home environment. many kids go to school hungry (rich, poor, middle income doesn't matter), tired, rushed, starved for attention and affection. these kids are not even prepared for learning. parents are missing the boat with overscheduling their kids lives or having little time for them.
if children were better prepared for the school day, they would be able to concentrate better and learn. a teacher can only do so much, but if the kids aren't prepared, it becomes difficult.
a lot of successful people often credit a teacher for their inspiration and desire to succeed.
Lee, the formatting seems to've gone goofy on your post. There's a big blank where I assume you mean to be quoting someone.
in many instances, it is the teachers who have more of an interest than the parents... teachers go into the profession because they have a passion for helping a child learn. you would be surprised how many parents don't really care.
Adult literacy levels are not necessarily so fantastic either. There are an awful lot of otherwise competent and skilled people who struggle to write a correct sentence.
How does homeschooling work? Do they test the parent's skill level before they get permission to take the homeschool route?
Life is not fair. Attempts to make it fair make things much worse...
Wow, it's--I was going to say 'astonishing,' but I suppose it's not all that astonishing--how angry some folks are getting in this discussion.
Unfounded accusations and broad generalizations are flying back and forth like tennis balls at Wimbledon.
Can we please take a step back, folks?
Some public schools are in the toilet. You'd have to be delusional to deny this. But most public schools are adequate to good, and some are excellent. We ought to be thinking about how to fix the failing schools, not figuring out how to use the failing schools as an excuse to destroy the good and excellent ones.
Some private schools aren't that great either. But those ones close down. Several of the private schools that my friends studied at are now closed.
Some homeschooled kids get a limited and substandard education. Most are fine, and some get a wonderful experience. The ones who get a good experience, however, are the ones whose parents realize that they don't know it all, and get outside help from other homeschooling parents.
And look, if a homeschooling family wants to indoctrinate their kids in Christianity, Buddhism, veganism, or atheism, who cares? As long as the kid is getting a sound education otherwise, what difference does it make what sort of religion/non-religion/ethics/etc they're being taught? The kids will be in for a rude awakening when they reach college or the workforce and discover that some people don't share their prejudices, but everyone experiences that to one degree or another at some point.
I don't have a problem with folks who homeschool or use a private school. Most of them are fine people who do right by their kids. Folks who send their kids to public school are pretty much the same. Most are fine people who do right by their kids. They're not all by any means lazy or thoughtless. And hey, if a parent were lazy and thoughtless, why wouldn't you want their kid in a school (and away from their bad-example parent) for most of the day?
If you don't like the public schools, don't use them. That's cool. But let's please don't try to destroy something that is mostly good because there are a few bad aspects to it.
I really don't understand how this became a big argument. the government wants all kids to be properly educated, so they provide schools. If you ant to acheive the same result privately, you can. But the school system is there to make sure all kids have access to education reglardless of how they are parented. It's a good thing.
Excellent & well written. Thank you. It's all about having the choice.
I didn't realise I was in such a heated space - I was actually enjoying the discussion. I get what leeberttea is saying: who is the Govt to say what kids should learn or how they should learn it? I just believe the public school system offers the best approximation of equal opportunity in education.
I don't understand the homeschooling system in the US at all, but I see potential problems (outlined elsewhere / above). I do think the environment matters and the way the material is taught can reinforce prejudices with no counterbalance. At least in school you usually get a new teacher the next year. I also don't know how abuses would be picked up; I'd worry that kids were falling under the radar.
We don't really do that so much in Australia. Even the kids in the outback are able to connect to school remotely.
I also don't think you're really evading indoctrination if you homeschool to enable success in a standardised test. The Authorities have still decided then what information is valuable and what the 'right' answer is.
I disagree with the 'Authorities' belief...school boards exist for community involvement and school board members are elected officials from the community. In other words, parents have a direct and indirect influence on what kind of education their children receive in the Public Schools.
Because leberttea's concern I think is about the official agenda. I get that. In Australia we once had a 'white Australia' policy - basically institutionalised racism written into immigration law. We didn't count Aboriginal people in the census until the 1960s.
Obviously that stuff, when it feeds into a society from top down and bottom up is going to ooze into the middle zone of public education and professional workplaces. I'm sure America has stuff going on now that colours how things are viewed.
Our system is different in terms of development of curriculum docs, but it's a transparent process. There are still accusations of an anglo-saxon bias, but at least it's publicly available and can be critiqued.
Okay so maybe we can never eliminate public education, but we shouldn't make it compulsory. It should be up to the parents what, where and how their child receives an education, that way public school teachers will compete with private school teachers and home school parents. The compulsory aspect only serves to drive up the costs. Also public school should not be funded by property taxes. Let parents pay tuition based on income.
----Let parents pay tuition based on income.----
That is an interesting thought.
I don't think I can agree to eliminating the compulsory aspect of education. There are no jobs for anyone who doesn't have at least a high school diploma.
"Okay so maybe we can never eliminate public education, but we shouldn't make it compulsory." Er, public education isn't compulsory. Education, full stop, is compulsory. But parents already have the right to educate their kids at home if they so choose. Or at a private school. Or at a public school. Whichever. The state doesn't (and shouldn't!) really care where the kid learns, as long as the kid learns.
As for how the public schools are funded, sorry, the public schools are a public service, and we all benefit from it, regardless of whether we send our kids there (or whether we even have kids at all). An educated population is a Good Thing to Have.
do you have children? I wonder if the conversation would be different. public schools are a service to the community.
most people cannot afford private schools and it is very expensive. some of them have struggled through the last couple of years. most private schools, bottom line, are thinking about profit.
I don't know what kind of school you attended, but 45 min a day?
you really do need to learn more about the public educational system. or maybe go volunteer.
there are some good points made on this thread. it's not just teachers and parents that give a child an education, it's also the child himself. the child needs to learn responsibility and do his own work. teachers and parents working together give the child a much better opportunity to want to do well in school and be successful.
In my opinion, public schools are a necessity. I could not imagine home schooling my child - just getting him to do half an hour homework a week is a struggle. He is one of the most stubborn children ever, but listens to teachers much more than me! Though I also know that it can work out for some people, especially when the children are young. As they become older, though, how many parents feel equipped to teach their children the correct skills to pass exams (in the UK it is GCSE's at 16 and then onto A Levels at 17/18. I personally would not feel adequately equipped to do this, though I am certainly not an 'illiterate' person.
Aside from this, my son who is ten does not particularly like schoolwork, yet does not like missing school because he loves to see his friends.
Somewhere on here I saw a post from Leebertea about just letting kids learn about what they want, when they want. I'm pretty sure this has already been tried, at a private school in the Uk in the sixties or seventies. Some way out thinking people decided this was the best way forward. I watched a programme on it a couple of years ago but can't remember the details. However, what actually happened at the school was this - the children could do what they liked so basically most of them didn't do anything! No surprises there really - lots of kids like to choose the easy option.
"I'm pretty sure this has already been tried, at a private school in the Uk in the sixties or seventies."
It's being done at a private school near me right now. By all accounts, it's a pretty good school. But then, the students who don't learn well in this environment tend to switch schools, so the data are a bit skewed.
I can see the advantages of learning in this way, if it is done properly. The programme I watched was very extreme, I don't think they even had any rules at all!
There is a lot I don't like about state schools and of course all children are individuals and what is right for one child is not right for another. My child is very inspired by his guitar teacher and not often by his school teachers. But I think because the classes are quite large (33 children per class at ages 7 -11) It's really hard for teachers to focus enough on each pupil. Things seem too rushed somehow, but it isn't the fault of the teaching staff.
Then it depends on the school your child goes to. Mine goes to quite a good state school and will go on to a reasonably good secondary school - however, not more than a ten minute drive up the road is a high school which was rated fourth bottom out of every single secondary school in England - now, if my children were forced to attend that school than yes, I would prefer to home educate them. And it isn't only about exam results but the general environment.
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