Thursday, September 11, 2008

This video clip from Fox News that I found on youtube is a poor example of interviewer ettiquette. She obviously has strong views, but I prefer to see an interviewer employ a line of questioning to cleverly bring about the fallacy of the opposing viewpoint. So who is this guys she's interviewing (attacking)? He's the president of a company called Schoolmatch. From their website:

SchoolMatch is an educational research and database service firm specializing in rating schools (K-12) by using auditable data. School systems and high schools are ranked in a national percentile format, making it possible for comparisons by the parent, homebuyer, corporate leader, policy maker, educator or Realtor.
SchoolMatch consultants also provide personalized services in the areas of school choice, counseling services for exceptional children, expert legal services, comparable school evaluation, and child custody school assessment.

In the video clip you can almost see the desperation through his dismissive attitude. Maybe he's desperate to get a word in edgewise, or maybe he is trying to keep his business from becoming irrelevant. This is the problem with teachers' unions too. Their very existence is dependent on people believing that we are all or too stupid to teach our own kids, or in Schoolmatch's case, too stupid to make choices for ourselves. And, as you can see, they will say anything to prove their point. This caught my attention mainly because of this line I recently read in John Holt's Teach Your Own.

"This is my objection to books about "Teach Your Baby This" and "Teach Your Baby That." They are very likely to destroy children's belief that they can find things out for themselves, and to make them think instead that they can only find things out from others."

But wait there's more...

The gentleman goes on to say (at about the 4:40 mark in the video clip)
"if they're so smart they should be able to work hard to to afford private school tuition or put their kids in a charter school." I have heard this line, use this line myself even, in reference to people who use government handouts as their safety net. I profoundly respect every man's right to change his own uncomfortable situation.
But never, never have I heard this argument used in this way. It obviously points to his disdain for homeschooling as a viable and effective means for educating children. Truly in this day, twenty or thirty years since the first parents stood up to the law and won back the right which was ripped from us, homeschooling can stand its ground. How many people are living under their rocks, not hearing, not accepting that which is fast becoming a hard fact? Families are successfuly teaching at home, and some families even allow children to lead their own education. And it works.

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