Only The State Can Teach Children Correctly By William Mac

Dandelion Salad


This Week in Time has been all about the race to brainwash American children.William Mac talks about the struggle between courts and parents of home schoolers trying to maintain the right to educate their children at home as well as the new experiments in New York schools where kids are being rewarded cash for good test scores.William Mac asks, “what ever happened to gold stars or smiley face stickers?”

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By William Mac
This Week in Time
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
March 4, 2008

When I moved from Mobile, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia with my parents at the age of nine, I was scared to go to a public school. I had attended private Christian schools my entire life up to that point. I can laugh now at my attitude during that time. I thought that public schools were full of guns and knives and drugs, which they are, but by all accounts it wasn’t much different than private school, I just didn’t have to wear a uniform.

Because I was afraid to attend public school during that time and because private schools in Georgia were more costly, my mother decided to home school me instead. I was home schooled for two years and I enjoyed my experience. I decided to go to public school because I wanted to be around people, but that doesn’t change the fact that home schooling was just as effective, if not more, than institutional education.

I vehemently advocate self-education, which anyone can tell from visiting this website. I hold education for education’s sake in high esteem. That is why I am most often critical of government-funded public school curriculums primarily due to my horrendous personal experiences.

When I heard about the California state appellate court ruling in declaration of stricter mandates concerning home schooling, I became more than enraged. The ruling essentially professes that parents who lack teaching credentials cannot educate their children at home.

There is an estimated 166,000 students that are being home schooled in the large state of California. All of these children’s educations are at risk if this ruling were to pass indefinitely.

Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a letter on February 28, 2008 signed by himself and two other members of the district court that “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children… parents who fail to comply may be subjected to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program.”

This is ludicrous. The next thing you know, people will be telling me that I need to be enrolled in some kind of public or private school curriculum or in possession of some kind of degree before I can go out and buy books to educate myself with.

Even worse, A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, agrees with this absurd ruling.

No government of any kind under natural law holds the right to force children or their potential educators (in this case parents) to adhere to a state or federal curriculum of education. If anyone considers the majority of home schooled children to be indoctrinated by parents into believing whole-heartedly all that the Bible states, then this type of State indoctrination is even worse.

Considering the overwhelming and staggeringly consistent data that home school children perform better than other public or private school-aged children in the same subjects, the very thought that a public governmental entity would be in control of all that a child learns and believes is nothing short of communist tyranny at it’s most blatant.

Public schools have already lost control on the local level leaving parents and good-natured teaches behind to adhere to the spawn of the ESEA act, which is the No Child Left Behind Act, but now they are not even able to, in the state of California, participate more actively in their child’s education and take that education into their own hands without some kind of full enrollment or teaching credential.

Fuck credentials. Credentials mean absolutely nothing. High school degrees mean nothing, IQ tests mean nothing, SAT scores and other standardized testing means nothing and college degrees mean nothing. Given the time, patience and hard work anyone either on their own or with the help of a parent can attain all of this knowledge and more at home without expensive student loans, book costs and overhead. That is a fact.

I for one know that, if and when I have a child of my own, I will not trust Father Federal to educate him/her.

Children are not lab rats and they are not empty vessels waiting to be filled with whatever is considered by a state entity to be acceptable information. They are not products for school administrators to use in order to maintain funding and good graces with the No Child Left Behind Act. Children are smart, children have their own minds, children can figure things out for themselves and they deserve an explanation as to why they are being educated and to what extent their education will benefit them other than the standard “You won’t get a good job without a high school diploma and college degree.”

The New York Times recently reported on an equally disturbing phenomenon taking place in the education spectrum. The publication reports that there are 200 schools involved with an experiment in New York City geared towards educational performance enhancement. More than a dozen of these “experimental” programs are offering financial incentives for everyone involved. The schools, of course, are judged by how well the students perform on standardized tests.

The money comes from private donations and more than 5,000 students in 585 schools have received over 500 thousand dollars.

I am in tears as I write this. Education is the most important thing on this planet. Education solves all problems. Education is the majority’s only mode to individualism, critical thinking and power in all things governmental, business and personal. For the love of all things pure, education is not a number; it is not a way to maintain funding or to keep up with the world’s statistics or to churn out a greater number of economically sound drones.

Education is not a person’s ability to memorize something for a standardized test. Education is a person’s ability to hear, read or see something and then to translate what is heard, read or seen into one’s own opinion. It is the ability to quickly process information and apply it to everyday life and to challenge all theories, supposed facts and opinions.

Yet, Virginia Connelly, principal of a junior high school in the Bronx, states in the New York Times article that, “we’re in competition with the streets… they [students] can go out there and make $50 illegally any day of the week. We have to do something to compete with that.”

There is nothing to compete with! Sure, go ahead and give a kid money, now he/she won’t have to steal $50 from his/her mom’s purse for a gram of blow down on the corner in order to either snort it up his/her nostrils or turn a profit back in the school hallways. What the fuck kind of logic is that?

Education is fun, but I had to find that out for myself and I know that there is no amount of cleaver legislation or smiley face stickers, toy cars or even cash prizes that are going to make kids understand what education is really about unless teachers start teaching and parents start caring and education no longer becomes a robot, but something applicable, warm, inviting, essential and present instead of distant, pertinent for all economic survival and futuristically cold and mundane.

I would lament that god should help these poor children, but I think a much better solution would be for us to help them instead.


Coreluminus: Ballad of John Taylor Gatto (music video)

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  1. Pingback: Do schools today kill creativity? (Ken Robinson, TEDTalks) « Dandelion Salad

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