Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Probably WAY More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About The NEA

The NEA has posted its New Year's Resolutions for 2007-08. Once again, the NEA has reiterated its opposition to "home schooling. . . based on parental choice." On page 36 under Section B, entitled "ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS" you will find point B-75:

B-75. Home Schooling
The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used. The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)


Let's break this down just for fun.

The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.

Really? Why does it believe this? I invite someone from the NEA to insert proof right (here). Please define "comprehensive education experience" and demonstrate how government schools provide this. Then, demonstrate how parents "cannot" provide this. You might have me convinced then, but only if you include enforced silence in the cafeteria/buses and metal detectors in the definition of "comprehensive education experience."

When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress.

Yes, make sure that all students study what the state deems best. The state and its best friend, the NEA, are really great at determining those curricular requirements such as pretending the Civil War did not take place (recently this was proposed for the high school history curriculum here in Georgia--don't know for sure if this actually passed).

Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians.

Why, of course, because A.) Money for education should be forcibly taken from taxpayers and B.) that money should be handed over to officially certified, credentialed, stamped and processed educators, not the poor saps who birthed out these students children in the first place. All jesting aside, I believe that and all education expenses should be handled by the parents in all circumstances. Won't happen any time soon, I know.

Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

See above. Of course they believe this--they want more dues-paying members.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

I quite agree with this one. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. This is a big downside to having government-controlled education. If all schools were in private hands, then I bet there would be a lot more of the pick-and-choose options available to all parents.

The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting.

Okay, that makes sense, too. If a child is going back into the government education supply chain, then they will need to abide by all of their rules and regulations.

Well, that was the same old song and dance about homeschooling. Let's see if there is anything else interesting in the 2007-08 resolutions, shall we? (all emphasis added by me unless otherwise indicated, snarks in italics)

Page 13: The National Education Association supports early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight. . . The Association also believes that early childhood education programs should include a full continuum of services for parents/guardians and children, including child-care, child development, developmentally appropriate and diversity-based curricula, special education, and appropriate bias-free screening devices.

Page 14: The Association recognizes the importance of parental involvement in a child’s development. Well, that's something anyway....

Page 14: . . . should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.

Page 14: The National Education Association believes that the needs of all students, including color vision deficient students, must be met. Charlie, this one is for you.

Page 15: The National Education Association supports adult education programs that provide lifelong educational and career opportunities. The Association recognizes the importance of high school completion, English language acquisition, parenting education, career training, and other adult education programs that provide students with an opportunity to become productive, effective, and responsible parents, citizens, and community members. I wonder what their parenting manual looks like?

Page 16: The Association also believes that these factors [race, religion, sexual orientation, personal choices involving ostriches, etc.] should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration. That's nice and all, but what in the world does this have to do with education?

Pages 16 - 18: Every possible race is recognized as requiring special assistance except for Irish-German-Polish-English-Swedish-Welsh children, so I guess that's why we aren't sending our kids to government school.

Page 19: The National Education Association believes that the needs of all students, including left-handed students, should be met. Yes, there is a section for Left Handed Students. Like those kids should be accommodated. Sheesh.

Page 21: The National Education Association believes that there must be educational programs and services for gifted, talented, and creative students. . . .but because these kids are smart enough to passed the dumber-than-dumbed down NCLB tests already, we'll just treat them like behavior problems when they become bored with school.

Page 23: The National Education Association believes that public schools should be involved as an equal partner with government, labor, business, agriculture, and community-based groups in youth and adult employment and training programs. The Association also believes that these programs should supplement, and not supplant, the vocational, career, and technical education programs provided in public schools. They just want to make sure these non-teaching-professionals can communicate a new concept properly, that's all! Honest! It has nothing to do with courting new union members!

Page 24: The National Education Association believes that learning through voluntary community service should be encouraged as an integral part of a student’s education. Participation by students in community service and service learning programs may be required for high school graduation or made available for elective credit. Which is it: encouraged, required, or an elective? I bet I know.

Page 25: The National Education Association believes that a goal of public education is to provide all individuals, preschool through adult, opportunities to become effective,responsible, productive citizens. They will not be happy until parents are signing their kids up for government education programs at the hospital after the baby is born. I expect to hear them expanding services to meet the needs of the nursing home set very soon.

Page 27: The Association believes that programs should be established for both students and parents/guardians and supported at all educational levels to promote—
  • a. The development of self-esteem and positive self-concept in individuals of all ages in various family roles (That's everyone in the family.)
  • b. Learning and practicing positive interpersonal communication skills and conflict resolution (Because that's the role of government school, to teach these things to adults.)
  • c. Education in human growth and development
  • d. Positive parenting techniques that include strategies to deal effectively with violent behavior (NEA's Parenting Manual must be due out soon.)
  • e. An understanding of societal issues and problems related to children, spouses, parents/guardians, (Errr?)
  • domestic partners, older generation family members, and other family members. (Like dogs, cats, and pet pythons)

Page 27: The National Education Association believes that the environment must be protected. Well isn't that nice? The Association urges the establishment and maintenance of federal wilderness areas, recreational areas, refuge areas, and designated local green areas. And this has to do with education exactly how?

Wow--10 environmental points follow, including my favorite:

g. An understanding of energy, alternative energy sources, and energy conservation. . . Nuclear Power is sooooo on that list, I'm sure.

Page 27: The National Education Association believes that the developing child’s sexuality is continually and inevitably influenced by daily contacts, including experiences in the school environment. I'll say! From what I hear, middle school these days is a WHOLE lot different from the mid-80s. Oral sex is the new French kissing!

Page 28: The Association urges that formal sex education should include parent/guardian orientation. . . . But not, you know, actually handled by the parent or guardian, because they are not licensed teachers, you see?

Page 28: The National Education Association believes that education about democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizens is essential for the survival of American democracy. The cornerstone of such education should be the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. However, if anyone at the NEA had actually comprehended these "cornerstone" documents, they would understand that we do not even HAVE an "American democracy." Sigh.

Page 28: The Association also believes that democratic ideals should be practiced as part of the total education process. Except you know, where the parents or students are concerned. They are often under-represented in this "democratic ideal" know as the government school system.


Page 28: Whoops! They get a few major points about the Constitution completely and utterly confused, such as:

c. Rule of the majority tempered by respect for minority rights. We are your government. We promise to respect you even as we trample all over you. What? Stop complaining! You can't hear us respecting you when you wail so loudly!

AND

f. Civil liberties as guarantors of individual rights. Silly me! And I thought there were laws to protect my rights. Thank god I've got Civil Liberty on my side! Awesome! Civil Liberty is a Superheroine who can pow the Bad Guys without breaking a sweat or a nail. Oh Civil Liberty, whatever would we do without you?

Page 29: The National Education Association believes that the struggles of working men and women to establish unions and the influence of the labor movement on the growth of the United States should be an integral part of the curriculum in our schools. Least surprising thing in the whole document.

Page 29: The National Education Association believes that the United States and the other nations of the world should promote peace and international understanding. What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding? Oooh-ooh! I know!

Page 29: The National Education Association deplores any act of genocide. . . . Well I should hope so!


As fun as this has been for me--and it was fun in a way--I just can't anymore. You have to know I skipped all the expected drivel about diversity and standards and such. And I'm only through Section B and there are still sections C - J to be snarked about. Maybe I'll save that for another day. If you're still with me, then, Hi, and Thanks! (waving)

Must go and see about some not-feeling-so-well kids. Cheers!

5 comments:

Rambodoc said...

Wow, that is some dissection! Are you a surgeon??
:-)
(Hi. Great blog! Hope to be around here more often.)

Rational Jenn said...

No, not a surgeon! Just way irritated with government schools, as you've no doubt discerned. :o)

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you soon! Love your name, btw.

Anonymous said...

"I'll say! From what I hear, middle school these days is a WHOLE lot different from the mid-80s. Oral sex is the new French kissing! "

This is the only part of this document I was happy about! Can I go to middle school?!

Kelly

Rambodoc said...

Oh, I loved the oral sex comment, too!
:-)
(Rational for Name: I never draw first blood!):-)

Rational Jenn said...

You know, I think today's middle schoolers owe a big debt of gratitude to Bill "Sometimes A Cigar Is NOT Just A Cigar" Clinton, don't you?