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A few thoughts about American Education:
1) Government school teachers are dumber than rocks. Their SAT, ACT, and GRE scores are consistently among the lowest in academics. The knowledge content of their courses is thinner than chicken broth.
2) All academically successful children are homeschooled. ALL of them. I doubt there are any exceptions. So, why bother with institutionalizing your child, wasting most of their life, depriving them of play and exercise, and allowing them to grow fat, when it is the parents who are doing the teaching anyway. All the school is doing is sending home a free curriculum ( homework) for the parents to follow.
3) Stossel is right about the government school monopoly. Many posters here have commented on the American creativity. If the funding followed the student we would see daycare centers adding kindergarten and first grade. The local dance studio would become a school. The community theater would open a school. Sports would be privatized and the taxpayer would no longer be paying for Big League farm teams. Schools would open that would ease the strains of the working parent's schedule. Our nation's highly creative summer camps would become become boarding schools. There are likely thousands of ways that schools would be more creative and convenient, and would better serve the needs of real kids and their parents with their varied lives.
Look at the amazing variety of summer camps available to students of every interest, talent, and even disability. ( They even welcome children who are behavior problems.) This is what the free market can offer education.
4) The "socialization" learned in school is merely prison survival skills. The cliques, and gangs and the highly stylized fashions that identify the groups are merely the school child's prison tattoo, and too many kids are adopting tattoos as well. Thankfully humans are resilient and most overcome this highly dysfunctional "socialization" in adulthood. Sadly, some do not, and suffer the consequences of their brutalizing school experiences for the remainder of their lives.
5) Our voucher, parent, and student funded colleges and universities are the envy of the world, but our price-fixed monopoly government schools are the source of continual community acrimony over curriculum and policy issues.
6) Homeschoolers are doing fabulously well academically. I predict that homeschooling will become the gold standard against which all other forms of institutionalized education will be measured.
By the way, my 3 homeschooled children were in college by the ages of 13, 12, and 13. All were finished their college general courses, and Calculus 3, by the age of 15. Two finished university with B.S. degrees in mathematics by the age of 18. The oldest of these two recently finished a masters in mathematics. The oldest is a highly ranked athlete. He has traveled world wide. He spent 2 years in Eastern Europe on a humanitarian project, and is now fluent in Russian, and will graduate from university at the same age as his contemporaries who were institutionalized for their education.
This is not at all unusual for homeschoolers, and remember, please, that my kids ( as do most homeschoolers) never spent more than 2 hours a day in formal studies. The rest of their day was spent in highly creative play. They exercised vigorously and have healthy strong and slim bodies. It was a fascinating process to watch, but gradually their highly intense play gradually transformed itself into highly creative and intense and intensely focused adult work.
Think about it. How can a child learn to concentrate if from the moment he enters daycare as a toddler, his day is continually interrupted by Pavlov's bells. A homeschooling child's life is not run by the sound of a bell. Is is any wonder that institutionalized children have Attention Deficit Disorder?
Homeschooling is the most natural and healthy way to raise a child to an emotionally and academically secure adulthood. Obviously, many children will need to be institutionalized for their education. This is too bad, but necessary. We need orphanages too, but no one would suggest that it is the best way to raise a child.
If a child must be institutionalized for their education, at least we should allow the funding to follow the child, and not support a sclerotic, price-fixed, government monopoly on K-12 schooling.
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Source : http://reason.com/blog/2006/08/30/stupid-in-america-now-with-add