Skip to comments.Escaping 'Government' Schools
Posted on 10/02/2013 5:08:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
People say public schools are "one of the best parts of America". I believed that. Then I started reporting on them.
Now I know that public school -- government school is a better name -- is one of the worst parts of America. It's a stultified government monopoly. It never improves.
Most services improve. They get faster, better, cheaper. But not government monopolies. Government schools are rigid, boring, expensive and more segregated than private schools.
I call them "government" instead of "public" schools because not much is "public" about them. Members of the public don't get to pick their kids' schools, teachers, curriculum or cost.
By contrast, supermarkets are "private" yet open to everyone. You can stroll in 24 hours a day. Just try that with your kid's public school. You might be arrested.
Now a school choice movement has given government schools a sliver of competition. Private schools, charter schools, vouchers, education tax credits and the Web offer competition. Not all the alternatives work, but with competition, bad alternatives die and good ones grow.
This will help all kids.
But so far, the alternatives reach only a small number of kids. Unions and bureaucrats don't want competition, and they use their political clout to stifle it. But gradually, they're losing.
After fighting homeschooling for years, they've stopped trying to ban it, and today homeschoolers fare better on tests and college admission. So, some in the government monopoly claim that if your kids are homeschooled, they will not be properly socialized (in the sense of interacting with peers, that is, not in the sense of belonging to government).
But homeschooled kids participate in all sorts of social events with other homeschooling families -- plus theater, ballet, karate and other classes that most kids get and that some only wish they did.
Homeschoolers do just fine. Somehow, without government control, they prosper.
Defenders of government schools often claim their schools are what create the American "melting pot." Different races, ethnic groups and income levels mix together in government-funded schools.
Bunk. If it was ever true, it isn't now.
University of Arkansas education professor Jay Greene examined school classrooms and found that public schools were more likely to be almost entirely white or entirely minority.
He also looked at who sat with whom in school lunchrooms. At private schools, students of different races were more likely to sit together.
We don't do poor kids any favors by keeping them trapped in the poorly run government system. If you really care about "the public," you should let people go where they get the best service.
When government gets bad results -- high dropout rates, poor test scores -- its defenders say schools need more money. But spending per student has tripled. There are more computers, teachers, social workers, reading specialists, principals, assistant principals, etc. But test scores haven't improved.
Unpredictable things happen when you leave people free to experiment, and competition produces better results than one tired monopoly.
A bizarre column in Slate recently, arguing that school choice might drain resources away from government schools, was titled, "If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person".
The columnist wrote, "If every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve ... It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good."
This is how leftists think. Everyone must jump into the government pot. Even if it is mediocre (or worse), we're all in this together. Otherwise, the rich will get all the goods, and the poor will suffer.
Don't they notice that cellphones, cars and air conditioning keep improving yet "poor" people are able to buy them? No.
They don't understand that market competition helps everyone, especially the poor.
I think those who want to force a single-government solution on everyone are just confused -- but if I were as judgmental as that Slate columnist, I'd be tempted to conclude that they're bad people.
Another destructive remnant of the Carter era. give the education system back to the States!
Bump for later.
It is time for Americans to admit “public education” NEEDS competition.
Common Core, for the common good. It’s everywhere. It’s “C-scope, it’s “fusion”, it’s socialism.
So. Who’s taking kids out of these indoctrination camps?
The whole system is screwed and needs to be more or less scrapped. Especially the whole concept of high school, which has way too much emphasis on games and clubs and isn’t getting kids ready for college or a trade. Kids should have the option of being able to graduate as soon as they can pass a proficiency test instead of having to be stuck that artificial community for four years.
There are only 3 viable solutions for those of us who listened to the words of the Founders regarding big/abusive government.
1) Home school if you have the time & ability (best choice)
2) Private school if you have the money
3) Non-Union Charter school if 1 & 2 are impossible for you.
Anything else is just surrender to the plan laid out by the Communist Manifesto and wholeheartedly embraced by the public school system.
They have had decades (since the mid 1950s) to indoctrinate what appears to be 1/2 the country into the socialist/communist/Marxist mindset. This was the greatest reason for Teacher Unions as schools were not sweat shops and being run by government SHOULD have precluded any need for a union. Hell even FDR knew public unions were bad.
Please, fellow Conservatives do everything possible to implement 1, 2, or 3 for you kids and grand kids. Anything else is child abuse.
I think there should be much more test-based qualification, whether by pencil-and-paper testing or practical demonstration. Measuring input - time in the classroom - rather than results - the person’s knowledge or skill - is foolish and inefficient.
An example of testing utility (and non-): my friend’s son took a HVAC-service course in community college. Then (being good at tests) he took the state qualification exam and passed. However, there are three more courses in the HVAC technician program. Potential employers said they wanted him to take at least one more course before they would hire him as an assistant, because they know a person can pass the test without ever touching a compressor or a furnace!
We lasted two weeks in public school this year. Now we are homeschooling and I don’t plan to ever go back to public school.
The whole system is rotten to the core, and has played a very major role in the decline of the United States over the last 50+ years.
God must surely bless your children, having YOU for parents. What a great and sacrificial work you have undertaken! May God bless you and bring you peace. Thx for letting me know that! I will pray for you. Rita
God has certainly provided a way for homeschooling to happen. When realized we had to homeschool but we had no idea how we would do it. I bowed my head and prayed to God to find a way. He has. We are all grateful.