Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Did I Miss This One?

Better late than never, I suppose.

Back in April, the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, said this (emphasis is mine, because it's so outrageous):

I think schools should be open six, seven days a week; eleven, twelve months a year.

Of course he does.

SEVEN days a week of butts in chairs would guarantee a need for more babysitters teachers, more buildings, more pencils, more books, more funding, more more more! Of COURSE this is what he wants.

And he wants them from birth, too (emphasis added):

. . . and $10 million for a Promise Neighborhoods initiative that would promote comprehensive programs that provide the support children need to achieve success from birth through college and beyond.

From birth . . . and beyond!

Of course.

I'd like to know what those poor kids ever did to him to warrant such vile consideration.

And not just those poor kids--MY poor kids. Because he'd try to get them, too, if he could. I cannot even begin to fathom what my life and theirs would be like if they were stuck in a school, away from my influence, six or seven days a week for 11 months out of the year. Kind of raises my blood pressure, actually.

This is exactly why it is vitally important to keep the Feds OUT of homeschooling. Yes, I know they'll work their influence on the state legislatures, and states might alter their home study and private school regulations under pressure from the Feds. But this is where the red tape of bureaucracy works for us instead of against. It will take time for such changes to take effect and we will have time to fight this kind of crazy nonsense.


Uttles said...

I think we should fight to get the government out of education all together. I think a good first step would be to privatize all education (sell all of the schools) and have the government pay each school a yearly per-student base fee. This would give choice to parents and be less expensive that the current model. Also, it would be a good way to work to an eventual government-less education system.

Cogito said...

Uttles, under your temporary system, who would decide which schools get to get a fee?

Col. Hogan said...

I've never figured out why more people aren't complaining about the feds involving them selves in education (and I use the term very loosely!). There's no Constitutional justification for it, and it's clear that it isn't helping.

Here in Stalag California, the children's prisons are quite probably the worst in this country, and perhaps even in the entire industrialized world. Letting your children be raised by wolves would arguably leave them more equipped to live on earth.

My advice (on those rare occasions I'm asked), is to home school. Don't let your kids get into the system. Let them get their own SS number (if they want it) when they grow up--even if you can't get the tax deduction.

LB said...

It's telling that his proposal got "bored stares" from his audience of middle and high schoolers. Kids are bored in school! Despite years of political indoctrination, they can still tell when they're being used rather than taught.

Duncan's right on this, though: There isn't enough time in the day to hammer home the merits of community service, environmental activism, and the atrocities of Darfur (for which they are made to somehow feel responsible).

Rational Jenn said...

Uttles and Col. Hogan, I agree that there ought to be a complete separation of education and state. COMPLETE. I'm not sure I understand your plan (Uttles) though.

We do homeschool and as far as I can determine, it is one area of my life where the Feds are not involved. Indirectly, sure, and of course I have my state's laws to follow, but Sec. Duncan and his buds in DC have no power of what we do, how we do it, and when we do it. And I'd really like to keep it that way, so I'm against inviting the Feds into this area of my life, even if it's for an ostensibly beneficial reason, such as a tax credit. Given the choice between my money and my freedom, I'm going with freedom.

Cogito, hi! :o)

LB--I noticed that, too. You'd think they'd have had the awareness to protest the year round, week long school schedule he was proposing. Or maybe they correctly surmised it didn't apply to them since they're almost finished with their government school jaunt.

And you're right--they really do want our kids most of the time, so that they can ensure that they turn out socially aware citizens and a well-trained workforce.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...


I agree with you, Jenn. There should be no public schools. Privatize them. This could be done over say 5 years, and then done! Imagine what people could do with the savings in taxes and in aggravation!

Rosalie said...

I'm so glad you brought this topic up, Jenn! I have been reading information on extending required school time for the last few weeks, and it's really been bugging me. I think it is a horrible and unjustifiable idea--scary, frankly.

The ideas posted here for addressing the issue are very interesting and providing me with some good food for thought.

It's funny how life changes us sometimes. I was so against homeschooling when I was younger. Then I got into the schools and worked, had kids, and read and read and read on what really works and what doesn't and how absurdly unaligned many of the educational standards are to basic child development (not to mention the fact that each child develops a little differently), and suddenly I feel like homeschooling is best option and can't believe I ever thought otherwise. :o)

Crimson Wife said...

I don't think the biggest threat to homeschooling from the Feds is the Dept. of Ed. What I'm really concerned about is the possibility of an activist Supreme Court restricting homeschooling. Something like what happened in CA last year before the state appellate court reconsidered its initial ruling.

Rational Jenn said...

CW--Absolutely agree that Feds are not the biggest threat. There are and will be many others. However, this is an area in which there is much disagreement among homeschoolers. Many would like special treatment or reimbursement from the Feds but do not seem to appreciate how inviting such involvement will endanger our freedom to educate our kids as we see fit. It's one thing to fight a fight brought to us; it's quite another to bring on a fight unwittingly.