Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pointing out the obvious ~ By Patrice Lewis

My understanding is that public education in many European countries is far superior to American public education (at least in terms of academics, if not values) for the simple reason that funding is attached to the child, not the school. The child's parents decide where to send their kid – religious, secular or government-run schools – and academic institutions must therefore compete to attract students.
I was very lucky yesterday. I saw a great segment on Fox & Friends that may not have been talking about homeschooling vs. public schools, but it did do a great job explaining how competition can improve education opportunities. So, let's take a few moments to watch this segment which I uploaded to youtube:

The assault on education continues - Schools for profit under attack

Video provided by TheREALjohnny2k

In this column, Patrice Lewis brings up the brilliant idea of funding being attached to the students rather than the educational institutions in order to get schools to compete, which can only improve the quality of education. That was why the above segment caught my eye. The for-profit colleges compete against the public community colleges. The competition brought about new innovations, such as online courses. And so, why is the government now targeting the for-profit colleges?

Well, to answer that question, Don Soifer had it right when he asked, "...or is it just another part of a strategy to get Americans addicted to government?" Of course it is. That is the whole point of public schools (indoctrination centers), isn't it? So, why stop at K-12? Just sayin'...
But introduce a little competition, and it's astounding how much a product or service can improve. Schools are no exception.

This solution – introducing competition by attaching funding to the child – is so simple that it astounds me not one of the teachers interviewed for the article on how to improve public education made the connection. I've met many dedicated, wonderful teachers and do not wish to question their integrity, but let's face it – they're not about to espouse a policy change that may jeopardize their control and might even cost them their jobs.

It should be abundantly clear by now that the government has no interest in improving the academic standards of our children. However it has the strongest possible interest in making sure our children grow up worshiping government and believing in its goodness, charity, mercy and (most of all), its authority. How else can the government increase its anti-constitutional strength and control? This also accounts for the government's hostility toward homeschooling. Beyond the obvious – how a bunch of uncredentialed yokels are cleaning the clocks of public schools – I know of very few homeschooling parents who are in favor of increased governmental strength and control. (Ooooh, free-thinkers – can't have that.)
Pointing out the obvious

By Patrice Lewis

Posted: September 04, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

We have two daughters, ages 12 and 14. We've homeschooled them from birth because we believe it is our God-given responsibility to transfer our core values and educational requirements to our children. Most of the time this decision is applauded by those we meet, but once in awhile we're asked, with a touch of defensiveness, if we think we're "too good" for the public schools.

Well, yes. Of course. I think that's obvious. Public schools do not reinforce the values we hold, nor do they uphold the educational standards we feel are important. Ergo, we homeschool. Case closed.

Now I happen to think it's not the federal government's place to be involved in education at all (Hello? Tenth Amendment?), but that's a whole different issue and not the subject of this column. However this leads to the interesting question of, where have schools gone wrong?

If you look at schools during Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" childhood, you would never find the educational establishment teaching how to apply prophylactics to fruit or why America is an oppressive hellhole. (Possibly because there was no "educational establishment" during Laura's time. Just a thought.)

Recently I read an article in which award-winning teachers gave their advice on how to "fix" public education. The suggestions they make are not necessarily bad or wrong, but they miss the point entirely.

The public-school system in America is failing for two very basic reasons. One, they're public. OK, for the moment we can't help that. But two, they're a monopoly – and that can be helped.


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