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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Skip School Now! It’s Time for DIY Education

I’ve been preaching it for years: It’s time for individuals with the skills and entrepreneurial spirit to just DO IT… and start creating alternative learning businesses, organizations and associations/groups so that anyone can choose to skip compulsory state schooling, and get the education they want for their children.

I was enjoying a new site to me this morning. It’s called Dropout Nation, edited by RiShawn Biddle. In a post from 2011 called The Promise of DIY Schools, RiShawn details how the concept of Do It Yourself (DIY) schools have been a part of our history for quite a long time, especially since the ending of slavery, when public schooling wasn’t immediately available to the children of recently freed slaves.

…Imagine if such DIY ethic was brought into reforming American public education? We’re not necessarily talking about the so-called unschooling movement (which consists of very few kids and their parents), or the more-mainstream homeschooling. This would go beyond that. The idea would be that teachers, parents or others committed to reforming American public education would simply start their own schools, either in their own homes, in storefronts or even in the basements of churches. While the schools would still be subjected to standards and accountability — including testing — to ensure that every child is getting high-quality instruction and curriculum, they would be able to create cultures of genius with little bureaucracy in the way.

I will have some fine points to add to this article, but suffice to say, it’s worth reading.

Another Skipping School post worth reading.

Who Protests Minority Catholic Choice Schools?

What kind of people protest and vandalize Catholic schools full of young African-American children? Nope, not those Tea Party People. You’d think that would be the case, considering our vice president thinks they’re terrorists and our president says they’re all racists. But nope. Not Tea Baggers.

Those obviously racist anti-choice protesters in the video below are some SEIU union thugs, some public employees (teachers) and according to someone at the end of the video clip, just some normal people who aren’t working on a nice summer day. They are the ones protesting at a Catholic Choice School full of smart kids.

The problem? Scott Walker is there reading them a story and commending them for doing such a great job. You know… teaching, learning, getting ready for college? Bad stuff.

CREDIT: Jeff Sainlar at http://www.jsonline.com/

This is what racist, anti-choice people do in Wisconsin: They go out and protest Scott Walker and expose his evil plan to give young African-American children a decent education.

Part of the deal with this day’s protest includes vandalizing the mostly minority Catholic “School Choice” school (the school is non-union, hence the SEIU ‘Purple Shirts’ in the mob.) Did I say SEIU goons did it? Not me.

All I’m saying is that maybe they should have protested at a poorly performing public school where Walker was visiting. Protesting this mostly minority Catholic school that sends 85% of its graduates on to college, doesn’t make these mostly white, mostly non-residents of this lovely recovering neighborhood look very good, does it?

CREDIT: Breann Schossow at http://www.jsonline.com/

Did I mention that most of the students at this Choice School are African American? Did I mention that this school alone might be responsible for DOUBLING the value of the houses in the  neighborhood in which it was built? (Re-watch the video. It’s in there.) Use your imagination and see if you can imagine that these people are from the up-and-coming neighborhood in which this 6 million dollar school compliments. Doesn’t work , does it?

Why The Hate?

CREDIT: Tom Lynn at http://www.jsonline.com/

Isn’t this (loud, hateful, mean spirited, minor vandalism) kind of protest something that only those Tea Partiers  would do?

To be sure, the protest was about the governor, Scott Walker and about school choice (but not for everyone) and about who should be getting the money for educating children — public employees and government contractors, or any entity that actually WORKS FOR THE KIDS?

Let’s revisit a STUNNING example of human decency at [2:47] shall we?

“What do you believe he’s done that’s so great that he … that he deserves the attention of your students?”

“I’m ashamed to have you in my neighborhood.”

I’m wondering if that was a nun he was talking to? To be sure, if this spiteful boy were speaking to the black principal of this school, he’d be a racist, right? Just like people who say insensitive things about the president? Coming from the mouth of one of those Tea Party people… you would say that was hate speech.

Don’t you dare say it’s not true.

More schools enjoy higher graduation rates thanks to homeschoolers

The numbers are coming in, and darn if I wasn’t right about this.

Bottom line is; more parents are willing to leave their poorly performing public school and possibly do NOTHING, rather than stay in that school and not have enough credits to graduate anyway. Read the Muncie StarPress article here (there are quotes by yours truly there) and then the sidebar article here, that shows many of the schools in the area are experiencing an increase in homeschool transfers and graduation rates.

This all started several years ago, when we thought nothing about allowing children to drop out at age 16. Then someone got the bright idea that ALL children should be forced to graduate high school with a diploma (no matter how worthless it might be.) Now all kids are forced to stay in school until age 18. But with every new law, there are unintended consequences.

In this case children who are leaving schools before 18 (whether the parent is planning to homeschool or not) are categorized by the school as “transfer students” to home education. This isn’t something new, as I’ve been blogging about it for a few years, but it’s not something that’s going to go away, either.

This is the trend I have been calling “Excommunication” for years… ever since the dropout age in Indiana was raised from 16 to 18. I believe that unless this practice is dealt with at the school district level (by allowing children to drop out of schools that are failing them and increasing the number of public choices outside of district public schools) we will see more frequent cases of parents simply LEAVING their schools and not pursuing other educational avenues.

The fact that more and more parents are willing to simply leave their government school and do nothing, says more about the public schooling monopoly and its failures than it does about the homeschooling community.

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.