The Protest to End all Protests: Semester Without Students

Day-Without-Women

I am calling for your consideration: A protest against government public schools.

I think we get it now. We understand how to get things done. closedIt’s important to change things and just talking about it doesn’t get it done.We’ve been SCHOOLED by the best. Now it’s time to really stand up for school reform.

We know a new way! We’ve been schooled by the best. The best have taught us that the only way to affect change in an institution that isn’t doing what we want done, is to simply not show up.

Now is the time to take a bold stand. Stand up for school reform by not showing up to school.

Skip School for school reform.

Unlike the day without women, we don’t even have to be all over the place with demands and conditions.

We really just one thing: Until funding can be distributed in such a way that it follows the student to the public/private/alternative school of their choice, students (with parental permission) should follow the example of women, teachers, and disgruntled tribes who are making their grievances known by not showing up. no lunch

We shall call this protest:
“A Semester Without Students.”

Think about it.

Hashtag it. Plan it. Schedule it and let the media know we aren’t going to try to work things out from the inside anymore. Demand change and skip school until things change. It’s the new way around that slow democracy thing.

Show the women and teachers how well we’ve learned.

#SemesterWithoutStudents
#SWS

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Remember this?

I’m not as old as the kids in this picture are now, but I sure remember “Heads Down” time. 


What did you do while you were supposed to be taking a nap (and giving your teacher a break?)

Admit it Liberals, You Hate (School) Choice

I think it’s really sad that some people only want to fund public education for some kids in only certain public schools, but not other public schools or any other workable educational options.

Why the discrimination people?

My Facebook friend, Nate Spencer says it’s about “money and power. Those other schools don’t tend to be NEA shops. Kids first indeed.”

I keep thinking that “money and power” are becoming old saws of late, Nate. Do you suppose there are other reasons? The “power” part I get… but I think it’s about the overall power that is derived from keeping a monopoly alive so that it feeds the millions of people that feed off of it. Only this monopoly doesn’t make a few greedy capitalist industrialists powerful, but rather several unions, contractors, suppliers, bureaucracies, workers, etc. etc. etc.

The Government Education Complex (read more about it on this blog: The Government Education Complex Defined) is the monopoly that uses taxpayer dollars (money taken by force) to keep itself alive via a political construct called districts. School districts are like mini fiefdoms, that require funding, not directly from the community they serve, but from the state and the federal governments, so that they can perpetuate themselves.

Over a century ago it was decided that taking our money by force through taxation in order to pay for the schooling of other people’s children is a good thing. It has been ingrained in our psyche that only public schooling is something worthwhile, and worthy of paying for with our tax dollars. But unfortunately for the Education Complex, along came a few different models of learning that happen to work better than the old factory school (districts) model and parents are now making choices, rather than abdicating their choice to the one and only government school closest to them. (Or in some cases, a non-local school that the government buses their children to because they determined some diversity quotas must be met.)

NOW… it’s suddenly not the right thing to pay for educating ALL children. NOW we should only pay for the kids who attend DISTRICT public schools. Not just ANY public school. Charters, and other options, you see, threaten the monopoly (and let’s face it.. the unions too; but that’s becoming an old saw as well.)

I guess all I want at this point in the debate is a little intellectual and moral honesty. If you are a Liberal and you believe Public Charter schools are all bad and shouldn’t exist because they are “pulling, stripping, stealing” money away from the district public schools, then pretty-please agree to the following… at least in principle:

1) Public School funding is really about funding “certain” children and not all children. IF you want to choose to go to a public school — ANY SCHOOL — that isn’t unionized or operates in a manner other than in a politically controlled district using master contracts that citizens can’t approve personally, you should have to pay for it yourself, just like all the other “rich” people who pay for private schooling. Your tax dollars can’t go to private schools or non-district schools. It hurts our old district schooling system too much and it hurts the children left in the poorly performing schools when you take your money and children out of the system. These systems must be fixed, no matter what the cost; even if it cheats some children out of a decent education.

2) Yes, yes, yes… I agree that charter schools are really public schools. I’ve been using the “charter schools aren’t public schools” and “charters get to pick and choose their students” lie because it furthers my agenda, which again, is the following: MY district school deserves taxpayer money before OTHER public schools and other educational choices receive money. The end justifies the means.

3) I realize that poor and “at-risk” children also might have parents who want to take advantage of charters or even vouchers. I feel for them. I really do. I’m a Liberal after all. We really really feel for these kids. That said, I have to admit that even though these options might in fact help these poor and disadvantaged students, it might actually hurt MY school district, therefore I can not support even poor and disadvantaged children receiving taxpayer support for THEIR choice to leave their assigned school district. It puts too many other kids at risk. And besides, how can we be sure the parents of poor and at-risk kids know what they’re doing? They can’t possibly know what’s best for their child’s education. They aren’t the professionals.

4) I’m still for choice!! I just have to look out for MY CHOICES first. You know what I mean? Therefore, I will work hard with my political friends and lobbyists in the statehouse, paid for with donations from my union dues, do make sure that all workable educational choice and reform ideas are aborted before they become viable law. I will, though, in the spirit of intellectual honesty, stop blaming Bush and NCLB for all of the problems we have today with our public school districts, especially with the prospect that Obama’s Race to the Top plan will be NCLB on crack!!

SEE!! That wasn’t so hard, was it? You really can be a pro choice Liberal and at the same time, deny ‘certain’ children their right to a good education of their parents’ choice. And people will probably still like you.

Admit these things, my liberal friends, public school district apologists and opponents in playful and philosophical discourse and I bet we can start to have more honest conversations about the future of education reform.

A Dad’s Homeschool Socialization Program

Updated! March 25, 2010 – Here’s a great 3 minute audio from Eagle Forum on when it comes to socialization, Homeschoolers Don’t Need It: Homeschoolers Don’t Need Socialization – Eagle Forum

The following is an essay of mine that has been passed around over the years, that deals with the homeschool socialization question. It gets posted around every year or so on our IndianaHomeschoolers e-list. I thought I would pass it on and archive it here, for your enjoyment. If it makes you want to “skip school” and educate your children otherwise, I think that would be great!

WARNING: This is supposed to be funny. If you don’t have a sense of humor, or believe that people who make jabs at public schooling are evil elitists, don’t read this. If you have the tendency to snort coffee out your nose while you’re reading funny things, don’t blame me. You’ve been warned.

A HOMESCHOOLING DAD’S PERSPECTIVE ON ‘SOCIALIZATION’

I am perfectly aware of the socialization needs of my children. As an involved parent and (home) educator, the awesome responsibility falls upon me to make sure my children receive all the diverse and broad educational aspects of the “public school experience” that they miss by not attending their assigned government institution.

So that others may learn from my experience, I submit for your consideration a few of my homeschool curricula plans to keep it real and balanced with the Government School experience called “Socialization.”

Every three months, I send my little school-skippers to Grandma’s house, where they are under strict instructions to beg her to bake dozens of cookies so they can sell them for a fund-raising project.They are supposed to remind Grandma that their education will suffer if they don’t raise money for their “school.” And just like public schools, the money they raise goes directly to … building maintenance, supplies and the administration. Me. The Administration offices need some new furniture and the teachers’ lounge needs a new microwave and espresso machine. (My union got that in the collective bargaining agreement. Caffeinated teachers make better teachers!)

When I sell them at the office, I skip all the details. I just say, “It’s for the children,” and keep the money. But I don’t do all the selling like some parents do for their children. Nope. Kids need to learn about how to use other people’s money to pay for more of the things their taxes already paid for.

[On a side note: If anyone is interested, I’m developing a home education curricula package on free-market entrepreneurialism. Once I teach them that there’s no hope of making a profit, after I impose inspection fees, (fines for minor infractions) taxes and surcharges — then hold up the building permits for their lemonade stand until October — they’ll learn quickly that it’s not worth working for yourself and get back to selling cookies for their school. For the children. At ONLY $30,000 per package, I expect lots of orders from public schools.]

ANYWAY: Any leftover cookies are sold door to door. The kids learn basic Progressive economics by selling them to the neighbors, not based on what the market will bear, but rather based on the appraised value of the neighbor’s property. The more expensive the house, the more the cookies cost.

This is a lesson-plan “two-fer” as it teaches the principle of progressive taxation and the politics of class envy all at once. People who don’t buy cookies are asked, “Are you against education or do you just hate children?” If they STILL don’t buy cookies, my little public school-skippers are instructed to sell the cookies to the neighbor’s publicly schooled kids as they get off the bus.

Any left-over cookies are sold back to Grandma. I understand that some schools make the parents contribute to bake sales then guilt the parents into buying the goods back. Sounds like a sweet idea to me!

As I stated earlier, the money goes to me (as head of the school administration) to buy educational enhancing tools like a new flat screen TV. It helps me relax so I can do a better job administrating my school. Anything that goes towards the “teacher’s lounge” likewise, advances the learning process. It’s all good, and all for the children. Mom pays for school supplies out of her budget (just like public schoolers.) Bonus: This leaves the family with less money for food and qualifies our kids for the free lunch program.

 

The Meat and Potatoes of my socialization Curricula

As part of my “Kids need to experience real life” lesson plan, every month or so, when the children are given their scheduled bathroom break (complete with hall passes) I randomly yank one of the kids into the bathroom and offer them drugs. When they “just say no” they get a swirlie and a threat that they better not tell anyone (like Mom) or they’ll be in REAL trouble.

After they recover I hand them a smoke and tell them if they don’t light up, they aren’t cool.

Then when they successfully cave in to the peer pressure and light up (because they don’t want another swirlie) I turn on ’em (putting on my Principal’s “We [heart] School!” badge) and give them a detention for smoking in the bathroom.

Lessons learned? Priceless.

You know… this just goes to show that spending an intense three months on our home based D.A.R.E. program wasn’t worth spit!

We should have spent the time teaching them to READ instead. That way they could have read the “Don’t Do Drugs” signs I posted everywhere.

Oh well… when you have to keep up with teaching just like the public schools do, some of the programs like reading, writing and math are obviously going to suffer.

Proper Socialization is just too important.

I know what you’re thinking:

“Homeschooling Dad, you’re doing a darn good job socializing your kids with a quality public schooling-style socialization program at home.”

Yeah… I know.

But I have to admit, there’s at least one difference between our homeschool socialization program and the average public school’s program….

I REFUSE to give the kids free condoms.

I know it makes me look like a prude, but I had to put my foot down: I make ’em pay for them. (Time for another cookie fund-raiser!)

/s/ BbBennett

Tip-o’the-Hat to April, Jay and Christa for letting me steal their material and for helping me keep my homeschool socialization program true to real life, accredited and up to Government School standards.
[The previous paragraphs were — of course — sarcastic. But for those who have NO sense of humor or sense of the ironic… no, we don’t really do those things. NO parent I KNOW does those things. Only an IDIOT would allow these things to happen to someone’s children. Sadly, I can’t vouch for the peers and officials at YOUR child’s public school. Maybe you should ask him or her about it. Don’t you ever wonder: If a parent were to do to their children, what is routinely allowed in today’s public schools, the parent would be in jail NOW? What happens to the adults who run our public schools? Think about it.]

EducationNews.org: More Under-Fives Suspended

EducationNews.org is reporting that in England, there are more and more children under the age of five, who are getting suspended for violent behavior from their students.

Wow. One comment to the post so far, suggests that cattle prods would be a good start towards bringing  back control to their little preschools of horror.

Good think here in Indiana, kids don’t really have to go to school until age 7. By then, they are expected to know NOT to kick, hit, bite and throw cricket bats at their teachers.