Thursday, November 20, 2008

On the same day

On the same day that homeschooling blogs are abuzz about the latest offensive and ignorant comments from Joy Behar of "The View" in which she called homeschoolers 'demented' we also get this report from the Hoover Institute. Here are some snips:

While home schooling may have particular appeal to celebrities, over the last decade families of all kinds have embraced the practice for widely varying reasons: no longer is home schooling exclusive to Christian fundamentalism and the countercultural Left. Along with growing acceptance of home schooling nationally has come increasing diversification of who home schools and of what home schooling actually means.
By the 21st century, state laws were well established and uncontested, though nearly every year state legislators or judges, especially in the most permissive states, seek to increase regulations on home-schooling families in the name of accountability. Such initiatives nearly always fail due to the astonishing grass-roots organization and political mobilization of home schoolers.

Home schooling is blending with other education movements to lead the way toward a 21st-century education matrix that is far more dynamic and adaptive than the schooling patterns of the past.

Again, as our new Tennessee Legislature starts working on their plans for education I want to encourage them to read this Hoover Institue article and craft and fund a public education system that isn't anchored to the old way of delivering education and embraces the new, more efficient and more customizable ways. The goal is not full employment of teachers, brick layers or bus drivers. The goal is to educate children. The how must fit the child.

Hat Tip Hoover Institute essay: Ben Cunningham


N.S. Allen said...

I think the serious question here is why anyone in the world cares what Joy Behar says. Not to disparage the woman anymore than I'd be tempted to disparage most people on TV, but I'm always a little puzzled by the way that the media keeps up with The View.

...That being said, everytime I see Joy Behar, my mind flashes with images of Debbie Novotny. It's some combination of the red hair and the loud, social liberalism, I guess.

Also, I imagine it must be awkward for an institute named after (and with mission statement by) Herbert Hoover to do much work as regards public policy during a massive, economic downturn. As far as connections to former public officials go, you couldn't get worse advertisement, really.

Kay Brooks said...

I'm equally puzzled at how this program remains on the air. Barbara Walters must have given someone a kidney. I fully expect it to be canceled shortly after she leaves.

It's an embarrassment to the 21st Century woman. We've come so much further than this fawning, air headed, Tiger Beat fluff.

William said...

I have a few home schooled ultra-right religious students who are very bright. One of them recently told me that Obama refused to put his hand on the Bible when being sworn into the Senate and that’s why he didn’t vote for him. Another is so socially retarded, he has no friends and is seeking counseling. He’s so conservative that my ‘normal students’ hesitate to clown around in front of him. It’s no wonder these kids are so screwed up, so smart but so incredibly ignorant and sheltered. I had one of these kids start having panic attacks and withdraw. Of course this doesn't happen as a rule but definitely there is a very high incidence of ultra-right homeschooled kids being terribly ill equipped to function in real world social situations. That’s what a homeschooled or religious ‘education’ (indoctrination) will do to the mind of a young person. I’ve seen it first hand now for 20 years as a professor. I’m happy to say they are in the vast minority, even though they are often really good people, generally maladjusted and sheltered, and woefully ignorant despite their intelligence. I guess, they just haven’t seen enough of the world and have been shaped as clones of their narrow minded parents - taught not to question their beliefs, preconceptions, etc…. Learning is about questioning everything and embracing 'a marketplace of ideas.' The nature of dogma is to question nothing, keeping the mind closed.

Kay Brooks said...

Did you get it all off your chest, William? Any more unfounded anecdotes and libelous statements you want to make about your students and their parents?

Parents will do well to keep in mind that Professor William has this opinion of homeschooled students and that he considers religious instruction indoctrination and says these students are clones of their narrow minded (and tuition paying) parents. If your money is going to pay for his salary (and I suspect at least your tax money is since he teaches at a public university) you would do well to let the administration know that you expect every instructor to be respectful of each student and their family and to do their job without prejudice.

I doubt you, William, really believe learning is about 'questioning everything'. Shall we all stubbornly rediscover why round wheels are best? Pi? The circle of fifths?

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

I do my job without prejudice nor do I involve my political views. I just listen when they want to talk.

Frankly, I have excellent relationships with all my students, including those that are home schooled. I am just telling you what I've seen. In addition, my home schooled students typically out perform public school students on standardized tests. They are respectful and smart, however, I do feel sorry for them because of the stress and social difficulties they face.