Sunday, September 23, 2007

School at age 3?

Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
(1874) Benjamin Disraeli

Here in North Carolina, there is an effort afoot by researchers at a UNC Chapel Hill institute to start children in school at age 3. The child development institute is pushing for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system to host a prototype. The institute's interest is in getting people to see the education of 3- to 4-year-olds in public schools as the norm.

Some scholarly articles on the institute's effort point to research showing that early intervention with children leads to higher achievement later in their education. Intervention? What exactly would the school system be intervening in? The word intervention implies that what's being arrested is always a bad situation and they are the saviors. In some cases, yes, they may be giving an impoverished child a chance she otherwise would not have had. But why then should every child, even the ones whose family life affords them infinite benefits that the state could never provide, be subject to school at age 3? Why do these scholars assume that a classroom setting is better than family- and life-centered learning and development in every situation? Does this mean that all children should be subject to classroom learning because some children don't have the advantage of a stable, loving home?

This goes to the heart of my opposition to state-mandated education. The state wants to replace the family as basic unit of society. A stable, loving family, in whatever form it may take, is the basic building block of society. It's not the state's job to raise children for the sole benefit of being cogs in their machine. It's a family's responsibility to raise the next generation to be whatever it wants to be.

Even the language used by the article's author is a frightening testimony to just how "normal" society considers the government's "right" to educate our children. He writes "[The school] would take 750 students, from 3-year-olds to fifth-graders, from the Seawell assignment zone." Note my emphasis. We seem to think it's just fine for the government to take our children for their grand (failed) social experiment that is the public school system. Nobody questions the system, they just let the system push them around, until finally, one day, the government will find an excuse to start educating infants.

A public school power grab

Back in June, the Supreme Court ruled against a teenager who unfurled a banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" because the message could be interpreted as promoting drug use. The case grew out of an incident in which Juneau, Alaska high school senior Joseph Frederick unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" on a public sidewalk during a privately-sponsored rally where townspeople watched the Olympic torch pass by. Students were released from school to attend the rally. The high school's pep band and cheerleaders were there, but an Alaska court found that teacher supervision of other teenagers at the rally was "minimal or nonexistent." (note my emphasis)

The justices' reason for ruling against this young man misses a much bigger point. Since when does a public school have jurisdiction over children's activities when they are on a public sidewalk at a privately-sponsored event? Notice I didn't call them students. Just because they go to school doesn't mean they should be called students. When they're not in school, they're not students. So why did the school administration punish this kid for something he did outside of school? If it was a public disruption, the police would have handled it.

Nowhere else in our society are first amendment rights so severely restricted. And now, it appears that the court's have just widened the school's jurisdiction. So, a child can be punished for actions deemed inappropriate by the school even when they're not in school. Great.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why schools make bad baby sitters

Imagine if your baby sitter failed to call you or seek medical attention when your child began vomiting. That's exactly what happened in Queens, N.Y., when a teenager had a stroke at school. The school took more than an hour to call 911. What's even more horrifying is the article doesn't mention whether the school called her parents.

As it turns out, inattention to medical needs was school policy. A memo to teachers stated "No deans are permitted to call 911 for any reason." The impetus for this stunning policy was a misguided attempt to drive down crime statistics since the school was put on the state's list of dangerous schools. It could face sanctions under the No Child Left Behind Act - for the violence, not the failure to respond appropriately to medical needs.

The girl lost use of her right hand and leg and has had to relearn how to speak and walk since the stroke. She is now receiving home instruction. Let's hope her parents have the good sense to continue home instruction. At least then, the teacher will be free to call 911 in case of emergency.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

this is where it all begins...

Take a look back in time to when the first public schools were created and more importantly, pay close attention to who started them and why. What was their goal? Primary backers were wealthy business men who wanted to create a uniform mass of compliant laborers! You can't make this stuff up...

Here's an excerpt from Wiki:

"Compulsory education at the primary level was affirmed as a human right in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (emphasis mine) Many of the world's countries now have compulsory education through at least the primary stage, often extending to the secondary education."

What craziness is this? 'Compulsory' and 'human right' in the same sentence? What about our human right to educate our children as we see fit? I don't understand how they can enact a law requiring us to enroll our children in school so they can fulfill what they consider to be a basic human right. This is incredibly backwards.

Your reading assignments...

John Taylor Gatto book review/summary (I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they can stomach the truth.)

a short bit about the Prussian school system after which American schools were modeled

article about classroom style education (public, government, or private) and its inherent flaws

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"Principals reporting dangerous conditions or urgently needed repairs in their buildings wait, on average, 379 days -- a year and two weeks -- for the problems to be fixed. Of 146 school buildings, 113 have a repair request pending for a leaking roof, a Washington Post analysis of school records shows."

Contrast with this funny piece from A to Z Home's Cool jokes page...

How does a homeschooler change a lightbulb?

The same Washington Post article also notes that DC public schools spend most of their $12,979 per pupil budget on administration, and the least amount on teachers and instruction.

cool movie, read fast

get the ball rolling here...

Before you go getting your knickers in a bunch, let me just say, my opposition to these next articles lies mainly in the exclusion of parents by the school. Yes, I also believe that the school has no business teaching students matters of sexual orientation. But, certainly whether you believe that is their business or not, I would hope you could see the main issue is the loss of parents' rights.

Principal bans parents from pro-'gay' seminar
District gags 14-year-olds after 'gay' indoctrination


The search is just beginning. Welcome to what I hope will become a thorough listing of news stories (old and new) highlighting the loss of liberty playing out in modern day government schools.
An old story to get us started...
Georgia girl's Tweety Bird chain runs afoul of weapons policy

And a new story to think about...

Knife in car equals felony charge for teen