16 July 2011

Public Education, Public Scandal.

I hadn't planned on writing anything more for today, but I made the mistake of checking out Google news and came across an article that not only pissed me off to no end, but also further cemented my decision to homeschool my child(ren).

For those that can't be bothered with clicking links or reading sources, I'll explain the news article simply: teachers and students have been caught in many schools cheating on tests so that they can pass muster against the so-called "No Child Left Behind" laws. Not only that, but there are incidences of school administrations "encouraging" teachers to put poorly performing students near better performing ones (so that they might cheat) and even reports of threatening-- up to and including terminating employment-- if their class grades didn't improve.

It's a sad state of affairs American schools are in, isn't it? How can we as parents safely believe that our children will attain the best possible education in public schooling with things of this magnitude going on?

I see two possible solutions to school- and state-wide cheating.

The first?

Get rid of "No Child Left Behind". It's an asinine law that's clearly not working, especially if teachers are being forced to let their students cheat and kids are learning the invaluable lesson of "anything to make the grade". It's not setting a good precedent for a single one of them. How are these children going to manage to work, never mind go through college, when their best example is one of blatantly lying and cheating?

My second and personal solution is simple: teach them yourself. I remember going through school throughout the 80s and 90s, and throughout I felt as though I was learning very little. It seemed to me that the bulk of our "schooling" was a simple repetition of the same things learned in the year past, especially were it concerned things such as history or science. Not only that, but budgets were cut often in the realm of education on a yearly basis, the reason for this being the taxpayers didn't want to spend money on children's education when they didn't have kids themselves. 

Given my personal experience and the obviously failing public school systems, why would I even consider sending my own children out to be educated like this?

Most parents undoubtedly want the same things as I do. I'd like to see my children grow up smart, healthy, and educated, learning such skills as teamwork, practical problem-solving, and self-sufficiency. It doesn't seem to me that any of these things are accomplished through public schooling, and the fact of the matter is that in these tough economic times few can afford to send their kids to a private school costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars a year.

I think it's a safe bet that people need to start taking a look at this law and see to it being repealed. It's doing nothing to help our children, regardless of race, class, or social status. All it can ever do is hurt them.

And to those of you that want to continue to cut the budgets of your local education system: see what it's gotten us? You reap what you sow.

The children of today are the lawyers, doctors, and politicians of tomorrow.

- Private school tuition costs from Council for American Private Education.

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