Outpatient Orphanages: Schools keep kids, jobs in house

Yeah… I know I use hyperbole like some people use too much ketchup on mac-n-cheese. (What… you don’t? Try it sometime.) So it should be nothing new, when I point to stories like this: Delaware Community Schools will run its own latchkey program to minimize job cuts | The Star Press and say, “See? See? We are on our way towards finding a great new purpose for America’s anemic district schools. Some day, they are going to eventually start keeping kids overnight, then for the week. And then when it’s determined that ‘certain’ kids’ family life just doesn’t meet government standards, compassion will rule the day.

And in the name of compassion, we will think nothing of taking those “at risk” children off the hands of those bad parents!

Okay… you’re right. This isn’t going to happen in the near-near future. But what other future for our public district schools can you think of? They are terrible at actually educating kids, and they are constantly complaining that parents aren’t getting their kids “ready to learn” before they get to school….

Don’t you think there’s just going to come a time when (in order to save jobs, because we should always have government schools!) they’ll suddenly find out they are better suited for “taking care of children” than many parents?

If your only criticism is that it makes you uncomfortable when I call Government Run Public Schools “Welfare Schools” or “Outpatient Orphanages” then I think you’re just in denial. Think for a moment and take a stab at what YOU think the future holds for public district schools.

Get back to me.

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Choose Your Prison: Elementary School Drug Testing?

This just in, from our friends over at the Nanny State Liberation Front blog: Elementary School Ponders Drug Testing Youngsters.

From the linked article:

The Board of Education will vote Wednesday on a plan to randomly test sixth, seventh and eighth graders to see if they are under the influence of drugs. School administrators said they were confident the proposal would pass.

Elementary School Principal Sandra Szabocsik said school officials want to use the testing “as a deterrent.”

“We’re hoping that the students if they’re at say a party or someone’s house or just hanging out somewhere, that they’ll say ‘I don’t want to get involved in drinking or using any drug because tomorrow could be a drug testing day,’” she told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.

I really don’t have anything prolific to add. It’s just another stupid thing that State Schools are doing to control people, rather than educate them. If you had a choice to send your child to these prisons they call Government Schools, would you? And if you do go to a school like this, and think drug testing your little babies is a good thing, then maybe you deserve the government supplied education your children get.

You’ll be blessed later on in life, when their training in moral relativism kicks in somewhere around your retirement.

Skip School or Starve!

You read that right: Skip School or Starve! Sound a little drastic?

Maybe. But you’ll probably think that’s tame compared to the editorial I found at Las Vegas Review-Journal.com.

The real title of the piece by Vin Suprynowicz is called: Time to separate school and state. Yeah… we’ve heard it over and over again. Old news. Well read this in its entirety below, and let me know what you think.

In my opinion, he’s setting us up for accepting the idea of what I’ve been calling the Welfare Schools of the future. Essentially, the state will either have to crack down and force everyone into state institutions called schools, or they will have to allow people to simply leave and find their own means of gaining knowledge. This will leave, in the buildings we now call schools, thousands and thousands of children with parents who either can’t afford or can’t be bothered to provide educational opportunities for their children, outside of the instruction/indoctrination provided by the State.

But I’m taking up precious reading time. Please read this and think on it. I believe you will be able to see the future of Government Schooling from here:

Time to Separate School and State

rj-vin20suprynowiczBy Vin Suprynowicz
Posted: Los Vegas Review-Journal, December 26, 2010

We keep getting letters explaining government schools can’t turn out as good a product as private schools — even private schools spending less per student — since the private schools choose their students, while mandatory government youth internment camps have to “take every which one.”

In a speech he gave after being named New York City’s Teacher of the Year (yes, “public school”) in 1989, John Taylor Gatto famously said:

“Our form of compulsory schooling is an invention of the state of Massachusetts, from around 1850. It was resisted — sometimes with guns — by an estimated 80 percent of the Massachusetts population, with the last outpost, in Barnstable on Cape Cod, not surrendering its children until the 1880s, when the area was seized by the militia and the children marched to school under guard. …

“Senator Ted Kennedy’s office released a paper not too long ago claiming that prior to compulsory education the state literacy rate was 98 percent, and after it the figure never again climbed above 91 percent, where it stands in 1990. …

“Last month the education press reported the amazing news that children schooled at home seem to be five, or even 10 years ahead of their formally trained peers in their ability to think.

“If we’re going to change what’s rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance,” Mr. Gatto continued, “we need to realize that the institution ‘schools’ very well, but it does not ‘educate’; that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent. It’s just impossible for education and schooling to be the same thing. …

“Schools were designed … to be instruments for the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce … formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.

“To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic — because the community life that protects the dependent and weak is dead. …

“When children are given whole lives instead of age-graded ones in cellblocks, they learn to read, write, and do arithmetic with ease. …”

There’s a lot more. You can find it easily online.

I’m just trying to imagine the men with the bayonets explaining to the residents of Barnstable, back in 1880, “See, when Alexis de Tocqueville toured the United Stated in 1831, he reported our American working class were more literate, better read, more up-to-date on the affairs of the day than those of any European nation. But we’re here to force you to give up the voluntary, community-based schools that accomplished that, and instead herd your kids into tax-supported, coercion based, collectivist government schools on the Prussian model because a bunch of Ph.D.s think it’s a better way for government to control the masses.

“Just think of it! By 2010 this town’s high school graduates won’t be able to reliably spell, count change, or structure a proper English sentence, all things your fifth graders can do today! We wish we could promise you better results, but after all, our new tax-funded youth propaganda camps ‘will have to accept every which one.'”

The premise was that government could do the job better, if they could just wrest those kids away from the bad influence of their parents. Yet now they explain they’re failing because “The parents aren’t doing their part”! This is like the Khmer Rouge saying their revolution couldn’t succeed until they killed every Cambodian who knew how to read, and then whining that of course, things aren’t working out: those darned educated elites refuse to do their part!

The current paradigm, endlessly brayed, is that we “have a collective responsibility to pay taxes to fund the schooling of other people’s kids, because they’re our future.”

In fact, we all know the Pilgrims were starving, back in 1622, thanks to similar collectivist notions.

Prosperity only came when Gov. Bradford authorized private gardens, with each family allowed to eat what they grew, and those who didn’t work condemned to starve.

Once they did this, no one starved. They voluntarily worked.

Since the “collective obligation” paradigm has failed so utterly in modern American schooling, as well, let me propose a new one: We have no obligation to educate anyone’s offspring but our own.

In fact, while we are, of course, free to indulge our instinct to charity by offering to voluntarily help fund the schooling of orphans and such, the nation will again thrive only when we realize this is a competition. I have a vested interest in seeing my own children receive an education. Meantime, I hope all you deadbeats out there don’t do a thing to educate your kids, because that will reduce the competition for my kids.

This is not an hereditary elite, but an equal opportunity meritocracy. Learn now or starve later.

The argument will be offered that the pathetic unmarried welfare mom will have no ability to fund her own kids’ educations, even if we allow her to keep the money she’s now spending in sales and property taxes (yes, renters pay property tax, even if it’s not itemized) since the father is a long-absent crackhead.

But this presupposes that minority women must always bear children to absentee crackheads. In fact, put young women in a position to say, “Wait a minute, you mean to tell me once I bear a child there’s going to be no government agency to provide me with food stamps, housing subsidies, and a basically worthless tax-funded ‘free education’ — that this kid will be worthless to help support me in my old age unless I pay for his schooling?” and you might notice something very refreshing happening,

You might notice those young women saying, “Well then, I can’t afford to bear a child by this shiftless gangster. I wonder if that young man who was so nice to me at church is still interested. He’s a little boring, but he might be the kind who’d actually land a job and stick around and help me raise my kids.”

Why couldn’t it work that way again? Because minority women, unlike Anglo women, are incapable of figuring this out for themselves?

What are you, a racist?

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal, and author of “Send in the Waco Killers” and the novel “The Black Arrow.” See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.

Curing the Public School Disease: The Diagnosis

All I see–in news story after news story about Public Schooling–is symptom after symptom being treated as if it’s the disease.

It’s like suddenly realizing your foot has gone all gangrene on you, and the doctor says, “Yup… that’s nasty. We have to cut it off or you’ll die.” So you lose the limb (because you really don’t want to die right now) and go home happy that your problems are solved… except the doctor didn’t tell you about your diabetes.

Turns out the doctor makes his money performing amputations. Being the professional who knows more than you, he will be more than happy to solve your problems three more times before he’ll have to look harder for another symptom to treat.

So, here are a few more symptoms of another sort: We have discipline problems in Muncie schools, we have a student that was allegedly raped by another student during lunch and the administration brushed her off for two and a half hours (and didn’t call the police), and as a result of the outcry, the public school administrators are making up new rules to make sure this doesn’t happen again. (RIGHT!) So once again, we are all up in arms (and legs, if we are to continue this metaphor) about how to treat this pressing problem; a problem that is a symptom of the disease, not the disease.

Pretty much every public education problem we read or hear about is a symptom.

  • Teachers aren’t teaching the kids the basic knowledge needed to function in society. Symptom.
  • Parents aren’t teaching their children to respect authority. Symptom.
  • Kids aren’t interested in learning and they lash out or disrupt or bully the students who are interested in learning. Symptom.
  • Kids dropping out or “escaping” before the school wants them to. Symptom.
  • Public school officials, tired of the high number of poorly performing students negatively affecting their state test averages, only to turn into dropouts and negatively affecting their graduation rates, are finding creative ways to turn those numbers into gold by excommunicating those kids to private schools (homeschooling.)  See what’s going on in Texas, Illinois, and Indiana if you want to get an idea of what’s probably going on around the nation and still under the radar. BIG, WRONG, TREATMENT OF A SYMPTOM.
  • Rapes, assaults, drugs, gangs, sex in classrooms, sex with students, sex with teachers…. Symptoms all.

About anything you can come up with that we call a “problem” with Public Schools today, can be boiled down to a symptom, not a foundational, systemic, cause of all our problems with public education as we know it today.

So why are we so eager to treat the symptoms and not the disease that has so many disparate and unique symptoms? Could it be that we fear treating the disease because we know the side effects are going to be too uncomfortable for us to handle? Could it be that our culturally ingrained philosophies about schooling every single child at all costs have caused us to miss the point of what true education is all about? (Tolstoy would have called real education–enlightenment. We don’t hear that today. Today, it’s called “attendance.”)

Before compulsory mass schooling was proposed and implemented, funded by the taxpayers and delivered by government employees, there were generations upon generations of people who somehow managed to educate themselves. Start your research by reading about the Founding Fathers. Educate yourself and get back to me.

I know it’s hard to believe–for those of you who don’t read and educate themselves–but before public schooling, America’s literacy rate was estimated to be above 90%. Most all families had a Bible and could read it. The Federalist Papers were written in a manner (at the time) so that even the average American could understand what was being proposed. You could say that Adams dumbed it down so everyone could figure out what that Constitution thing was all about.

Can you imagine ANY high school class studying the Federalist Papers, discussing and debating the content intelligently today? Ever wonder to yourself why public schoolers don’t read much, or well? That’s another symptom.

So what is the disease?

Compulsion

The freedom and liberty we enjoy as Americans have been curtailed when it comes to our personal enlightenment; our personal education, if you will. One single law, and the feeding of a leviathan I call the Government/Education Industrial Complex has almost single-handedly usurped the responsibility and duty of every parent to raise AND educate their own children. Let’s face it: we’re only one free or reduced meal away from turning many of our public schools into Outpatient Orphanages. Right now, they’re just welfare schools for those who don’t take responsibility for rearing AND educating their children seriously.

If it’s Taxpayer Funded, Government Run, and Attendance is Compulsory, it must be a SCHOOL!

Schooling is NOT education. The two are different animals. Schooling in America is a system entirely based on compulsion… attendance.

Ever wonder why we don’t have compulsory EDUCATION laws? Why is that? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing? You go to school to get an education. Right? Well, no. If the State codified the compulsory receiving of an education/learning/enlightenment, then when they fail to deliver on that promise, you could (in theory) make a legal claim against the State.

The reality is, the State only compels you to ATTEND a school. You (or rather, your child) is not required to actually LEARN anything. You see… THAT part is really still up to the parent. YOU, the parent, are still responsible for making sure that your children BECOME educated, or enlightened so that they can participate in our civilized society. According to the state, schooling takes exactly twelve years… for everyone. But education? Isn’t that really a lifetime learning thing?

When do you really start learning about life and what you really want to be when you grow up? After high school, right? Isn’t that what we tell each other while retelling all of our public school horror stories? So what was the point of all those wasted years?

Oh! Take a look at that! Could that be a disease? Could that be the thing that spins off all those psycho-social symptoms we can’t keep track of? Compulsory Attendance? Never mind, let’s just chop off another limb. Let’s arrest parents who don’t force their children to attend government schools. That’s a symptom we can handle.

So seriously… how do we treat the disease and put a stop to about 90% of the social symptoms we are experiencing with Public Schools?

1) Repeal all compulsory attendance laws. We don’t have to have a law to force people to feed, clothe and shelter themselves, why is it necessary to force them to attend a government institution at the taxpayer’s expense for something called schooling?

2) Redefine the public’s role in paying for the attendance of other people’s children in State-run Schools. We either agree that it is important to contribute to the funding of every child’s education (not just the children who are property of the state) or we decide that while we support the education/enlightenment of every child, it’s really up to the parent to decide how that works out for their family–and how to pay for it.

I’ll let everyone mull those two big shots of chemo’ and expound on how I believe this treatment will work in a future post.

—-

It’s not that we can’t solve problems because they’re complicated; it’s that we DON’T want to solve problems because the solutions are too hard.

So What DO We Do With Homeschoolers?

“Legislators. Anybody home?” Are  you listening?

prepare to find out why government school employees, sheeple, and now, a pastor, want homeschoolers investigated and regulated.

Step One: Read Pastor Stein’s editorial: What do we do with homeschoolers? on the Richmond Palladium-Item web site (if it’s not archived and squirreled away… in which case, read it here in the SkippingSchool Archive.)

Step Two: Come back here so I can attempt to answer the questions: Why is it that people scream the loudest about investigating and regulating homeschoolers whenever the Government Schools are about to get spanked? And secondly, what should we REALLY do with homeschoolers?

Why do people call for the regulation and investigation of homeschoolers?

It’s quite simple, really. Government school employees and anyone else who believes that the State is responsible for taking care of children–more than parents–are deathly afraid that someday soon, people will wake up and realize Government Schools are failing… they’re REALLY failing, if not damaging generations of future adults. Someday, people will actually look at the results of the government controlled, mass instruction of a majority of America’s youth… and say, “This isn’t working!” And… they’ll walk.

The pro-State Schooling advocates are afraid that THEY are the ones that will be investigated. And like little children, the first thing they do is point to someone else.

For decades, this behavior has been working, but as more and more parents are simply leaving the state schools for other options like homeschooling, it’s becoming clear that it’s only a matter of time before someone with a brain cell will openly wonder why Government Schools can not seem to educate children in an efficient and relatively safe manner–especially with all the billions of dollars we send them.

It’s like they’re saying, “Hey we know WE suck at educating the MAJORITY of YOUR children, but what about those homeschoolers over there? They aren’t doing it like we do, so I bet they’re giving their kids a worse education than WE are.”

The heat can’t get too close—which is why I suspect the Government Education Complex is relieved Dr. Tony Bennett (no relation) recently released a “Parents Pledge” encouraging parents to essentially promise to homeschool their children for the public schools. Read my thoughts on the pledge here: I Pledge My Children, to the State.

Now that the spotlight is getting turned on to failing Indiana schools (Richmond Community Schools) that are suddenly creating bureaucratic magic with dropout rates, we are treated to editorials like this one by Pastor Stein.

Shall we dissect?

Some oversight seems reasonable compared to cost of lifetime dependency

The tag line already brings up (what some people consider) the obvious question: To what data are you referring to that suggests a lack of oversight into the methods of privately educated children, leads to a lifetime of dependency? You are starting out on poor footing Pastor Stein.

The subject of the week is home-schooling. More and more people in Richmond are doing this — or claiming to do this. One result? Our graduation rate is improving, for when a student leaves the district for home-schooling, the departure does not count against the rate. Does this explain the whole increase? Maybe not. But it sure helps.

Sure it helps! … the school. Let’s take the homeschooling “loophole” aside and just look at the table trick going on here: If we have 75 kids who want to drop out of school and have no hope of gaining credits to graduate, what would be better for the school? Keep the under-educated in school two more years, failing ISTEP tests, causing trouble, chronically truant, or suggesting to his parent that if they only would say they’re homeschooling, he could leave school now?

Let’s be real. Something is happening here, and one doubts it is a citywide divine revelation about the glories of home-schooling.

You are absolutely right there. It’s happening state-wide and has been written about in Illinois, Texas and other states for, oh.. about three years now. Again… that’s why THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOMESCHOOLING AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS EXCOMMUNICATING ITS OWN WORST STUDENTS.

Are our local administrators quietly encouraging parents of troubled and troublesome kids to sign the form that promises home-schooling?

Yes.

Are parents claiming to home-school, so they can dodge the law that now requires kids to be in school until they are 18?

And yes again. Wouldn’t you? If you discovered a way to get your trouble-making kid out of a mandatory sentence that didn’t promise reform or remediation of any kind, would you take advantage? Our own DOE Super, Tony Bennett, even used the word “escape” in a recent Q&A session for the Pal-Item.


Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Dept. of Education Superintendant of Schools

Bennett told Palladium-Item reporter Brian Zimmerman during a recent statehouse interview that, as a former principal, he fretted that some parents and guardians might use home schooling as cover to get their students out of school without consequence.

“It bothered me because I always wondered, was that student really going to get schooled as is in the title of home school,” Bennett says. “Or was that child escaping being schooled?”

I don’t know and I don’t know. But we do have a way of finding and using loopholes in laws, and this one is a mile wide.

Yet behind all that, is this: What do we do with home schools?

You do nothing. And any attempt to regulate, legislate, “crack down on” or close loopholes on private home education will end up backfiring on public state schools. What Pastor Stein fails to understand is the reason more and more parents are leaving public schools is because they are finally at the point where they are fed up. Kids make it all the way to their sophomore year in high school, suddenly realize they don’t have the GPA nor the credits to  graduate with a “real” diploma, then get smacked in the face with the realization that even though they are hopelessly unable to meet the demands of the State school, they will nevertheless have to stay imprisoned, like indentured servants, or face penalties.

I run in circles where home-schooling is often present, and sometimes popular. Home schools are like anything else: Some are good, and some are bad. Some parents are passionate, diligent and competent. Other parents are lukewarm, negligent and unqualified.

If I run into REALLY negligent parents, I would tend to report them, or offer to help them. When a pastor runs into a truly negligent parent, what does HE do?

Oh… are you talking about “educationally” negligent? Be careful. By definition, a public school that forces children with minimal credits and failing GPAs to stay in school until they are old enough to legally drop out, could be considered negligent.

By the way: Schools are legally responsible for attendance, not education. This is why when people start to cry for accountability for EDUCATING children, the schools aren’t held accountable. But attendance? Sure. They’re good at that.

I admire those who do it well. My kids surpassed my home-schooling skills somewhere around first grade.

If you are not confident or knowledgeable enough to teach your own kids first grade concepts, then I’m truly sorry. Perhaps your public school was negligent?

So I ask: is it in the interests of the state, to keep an eye on this? I say yes.

If it’s any of YOUR business, then I might agree with you that the State should be involved. But if on any particular issue you would say, “It’s none of my business,” then why would you believe that it’s the State’s business?

Let’s say the schools do happily say goodbye to frustrating and failing kids through this home-school loophole, and never see them again. Or let’s say exasperated parents do sign the form, then allow their children to enjoy a curriculum of potato chips and ESPN. What is the result? Uneducated, unskilled, unmotivated people who will barely survive in the work force and might eventually drop out altogether. Then, since we are so generous with our social programs, we will have another group of people who take far more than they give.

By all indications, it seems FOR GENERATIONS there are a significant number of high school graduates who have been doing the very thing you are suggesting above. And they supposedly didn’t have the benefit of the potato chip and ESPN curricula. To what do you ascribe the blame for the generations of welfare families who weren’t homeschooled?

Is this what we want? I hope not. Some oversight and regulation seems reasonable. This might include submission of a curriculum, occasional visits and participation in the standardized tests. Yes, this addition to our bureaucracy will cost money, but how does that compare to what we pay for a lifetime of dependency?

Did it occur to you that we are spending an easy $10,000+ a year for each Indiana high school student that doesn’t have a passing GPA and will never have enough credits to graduate (and go to college and a productive life by your standards) and will be required to stay in school for two to three years longer against their will, before they can “escape” legally by dropping out? Isn’t that wasted money for the exact same results?

So what’s the difference… other than a few million dollars a year for a few thousand under-educated kids that will end up on the ‘loser’ end of society whether they skip school early or late? Again… this has nothing to do with homeschooling.

Home-schooling is an excellent path for some. But it is not for everyone — especially those who merely sign a form to evade a law.

Are you willing to say the same thing about public schools? Mandatory State controlled schooling isn’t for everybody? And if so… what options would you suggest for the parents who don’t believe it’s the State’s job to educate their children?

Never mind. I think I’d rather not know.