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Found 5 results

  1. This is something that has been on my mind recently. A few weeks ago, I was at a chain store with my 3 littles in tow. A lady approached me outside in the parking lot and asked me to sign a petition. It was a petition to end teacher due process (teacher tenure) in schools in the state. I read over the fine print and asked her some questions. My littles were sitting in the van reading and playing with some toys while I spoke with her. She said it was to help get rid of bad teachers and so on. I didn't see anything wrong with the way it was worded and I thought it unlikely to pass in my current home state. So I signed it. Case closed? No. I was searching for information on this bill after reading an article on a local blog about a similar bill passing in a neighboring state. I wanted to know what was really going on with it. And so I stumbled across this piece on a DailyKos blog (DK is a liberal site, fyi.) Frankly, I was surprised to find out what this bill was and how it would effect public education in the state of Kansas. I wondered if the bill in my home state would have similar effects. Would people even care? To top it all off, I felt lied to by the lady who pressured me to sign that petition. In the state of Kansas, the same bill that removed teacher due process also removed teacher certification. And that is truly a sobering thought. When/if my children are ever in a public school, I like knowing that their teachers are certified to be there. I like knowing that they have some experience with education, that they've taken some courses, that they aren't some average joe or josie who is just there to collect a check. Sure, there are some certified teachers like that, but if anyone can walk in with a BS and "some experience", that doesn't say much for the school or the profession as a whole. And what will happen in urban and rural schools who have trouble attracting decent teachers anyway? Will they even have ANY certified educators to teach them or will the classrooms be filled with contract temps and Teach for America hires who fade in and out over the years? ******** While I was looking for information on the situation in Kansas, I found another article about some school privatization shenanigans going down in Chicago. Apparently, one Rand Paul is promoting a plan that would use public dollars to send public school kids to parochial schools run by the archdiocese of Chicago. It would most likely be yet another glorified voucher program. It would get poor kids into good schools, or so they claim. Here are some quotes from this article: The emphasis is mine. These are the parts that really struck me. ******** Both of these articles got me to thinking that perhaps homeschooling is ultimate privatization of education. The only way that public education will ever change for the better is if people who are educated, passionate and resourceful get involved and stay plugged in. Things won't get better if the people who are really and truly invested drop out of the system or choose not to be part of it. That's the dangerous part about homeschooling and sending your kids to private schools. You quit caring about the public schools that serve the majority. It's selfish to only care about your own kids and maybe the kids in your inner circle. Sure, you should focus your attention on them....but you shouldn't forget those kids who are outside of it and/or in the system either. /thoughts and political ponderings over. ;)
  2. http://www.foxbusine...ead-grade-level Texas is on the correct path, but, hopefully, the testing will be changed, in the near future. DD is a Distance Learning student, in TTUISD, which, legally, is a Texas Public School. So, DD is subject to the testing required in Texas Public Schools. The story about N.Y.C. graduates is, IMHO, a tragedy. Hopefully, New York State will require testing, like Texas does, and improve their Public Schools.
  3. A friend just told me about her dd's math assignment. She is in a public school that uses a "new math" type of text. She had to find numbers in use around the house and tell about the numbers she found. This was supposed to show that numbers are IMPORTANT. It sounds like it was a rather time-consuming assignment, although my friend said it was fun! She was just upset, because the teacher later decided that the numbers had to be food-related. The dd got all the answers wrong, and had to do the assignment again! My head was just spinning after hearing about all the little steps they had to go through, and I just kept thinking- how is that supposed to teach math?
  4. One thing that really gets me riled up is when schools interfere in their students' family lives. Here is the email I received from the school today: "Have a wonderful weekend! It is going to be a rainy one so try to encourage your children to read a good book, do a puzzle or play a board game together! If all else fails, they can clean their bedroom!!" Like I need suggestions on what to do with my kids on a rainy weekend! Who do these people think they are? I betcha if I point out the nanny state interference, I will be the only parent who does so. RC
  5. When we set off on our homeschooling journey, we did not have absolutes. We always said we'd look at it year by year and do what seemed to be the best choice for all of us. We had a blip when dd #1 started asking about going back to school in 6th grade. It created a fair amount of dialog, but not much movement or change of opinion. We were firm when we said we felt it better to wait. Middle school seemed the most wrong time to make a "go back to school" choice. Now dd #1's approaching 9th grade (next fall), and the discussions are on again. She's not pressuring. There's not a lot of friction. It's just a topic that's being floated gently about. And, we're trying to talk honestly about the options. Until today, I had leaned more toward sticking with hs-ing, maybe taking advantage of an out-of-town tutorial that meets once a week next year, then the local Community College (CC) the year after that (kids must be 16 to attend the CC). But, today, I had a significant discussion with a dear, veteran, hs-ing friend. Her children (4) are 6 - 16 yrs. old, and they have always been hs-ed. They have lived in several states and never, ever planned to stop hs-ing. But, the oldest is really struggling. There is a great deal of friction between this child and the child's mother. This child is bright, mature, capable. But, as seems to happen often with teens, the relationship between child and mother is spiraling down and down. Child is making some frightening choices and, apparently, feeling some overwhelming things. Enter my friend's remarks. We talked today about how it is to homeschool through high school in a community such as ours which is small and with limited resources for kids this age. We talked about how her child doesn't fit in because the "in school" community doesn't really offer an open door, and the CC community is so much older. We talked about the disadvantages of having a child in CC who needs boundaries, but who has as role models kids who have so much freedom because they are SO MUCH OLDER. We talked about loneliness. We talked about how the responsibilities that might otherwise be shared by guidance counselors, or teachers, or peer groups fall completely to the mother (or in some cases, to both parents). In the absence of those other resources, the mother/parent is expected to be all those things, is needed to be all those things. And, suddenly, public school makes so much sense! Here, in this place, where there is no opportunity for interface between ps-ers and hs-ers. Where most team sports are not really an option because the school system prohibits it. Where science labs aren't an option, nor theater productions, nor dances, nor... At a time when social interaction is so vital, the hs-ed kids in the area can feel terribly alone. This particular child has done it all. The tutorial. Full course loads at the CC. Self guided learning. A tutoring job (for CC students several years older!), a year-round lifeguarding job at the "Y", summer camp counselor, missions trips, rowing team, karate. They are active members of their church (which happens to be some distance from this town). And, still, the child is desperately alone, relatively unhappy, and overwhelmed with the task of figuring out what the future holds. Yesterday, it was only a topic for me. But, this conversation today with my friend has really rocked my world - to the point that I'm ready to tell my dd that she'll definitely be going back to school next fall. I never thought I'd feel that way, and it's pretty scary. So, do you think that sometimes public school really can be the lesser of the evils? So many of "us" make flip remarks about how our kids will go to public school over our dead bodies. But, what if this child was your child? What if your child faced a similar path? Doran
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