May 26, 2019

It Takes a Village… Or, The Village, It Takes

My wife just shared this video with me. Take a look at this clip from Glenn Beck on The Blaze that’s an MSNBC promo for an upcoming story.

I’ve always had an aversion to the idea of “It Takes a Village”. I may have agreed more with this kind of a statement a few decades ago when the world was a smaller place and more people knew each other in the village they lived. I’m not sure about you, but there’s not a general agreement I have with the majority of people in my local community about how to live in general, much less what I want my children to learn.  Watch the full, unedited promo from MSNBC below.

Here’s what was said by Melissa Harris-Perry:

We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.

Do I believe an education should go beyond the walls of my home? Should it involve more people than just myself? Absolutely, but where it goes, who it involves and how far it goes should be under my complete discretion and without fear of retaliation or retribution on my choices.

What do you all say? I’m sure given the general audience of this blog it probably upsets many of you as much as it does my wife and I. But, what about your family members who don’t homeschool? What about your friends? What about those you go to church with that are educators themselves? What do they think?

I’d love to hear your comments below.

The Politics of Homeschooling

American FlagHaving a bit of a decision to make this evening on one of the positions on my local political ballot here in Indiana. It’s for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The choices are:

Here’s the challenge this evening. I have a number of friends that are educators and a few them may have their positions eliminated if Bennett is elected because he has stated that one of his budget cutting measures would be to eliminate fine arts instruction from schools. Glenda Ritz on the other hand has stated that she is probably interested in implementing new, additional policies on homeschooling for the state of Indiana.

Honestly, I’m not necessarily opposed to Indiana increasing some of the oversight of homeschoolers in our state. As Ritz stated, I believe homeschooling probably is being abused by families in our state and I believe that that is a disservice to those children affected as well as society as a whole if these children are not educated appropriately. I’ll withhold the entire debate of what it means to be “educated” for another post. However, the more appropriate action in this case is probably not more or additional policies, but to just enforce those that are already in place in the state.

This statement was agreed on by the HSLDA in a recent article:

First, homeschooling is regulated in Indiana. There are several code provisions and Indiana case law that applies to anyone who want to teach their children at home. If, and I mean “if,” this situation Ms. Ritz mentioned is actually happening, these provisions of Indiana law can be applied to ensure that children are being educated.

For instance, local attendance officers can bring a case to enforce the compulsory school attendance provisions of Indiana law. They can also serve notice on any parent whose child is out of school illegally. Parents who are convicted of failure to send a child to school can be imprisoned up to 180 days and fined up to $1,000 dollars.

In Indiana a parent conducting a homeschool program is legally recognized as operating a nonpublic school. Among other things, they must maintain certain records to provide evidence that their child is legally attending their homeschool program and receiving instruction that is equivalent to that given in the public schools. Homeschoolers in Indiana don’t need any further regulation.

As with many of my other political arguments. In general, we don’t need MORE regulation. We need enforcement of EXISTING policies and regulations. It still astonishes me when people think a new law will somehow be the one a criminal (or someone not interested in obeying laws) will agree to not break.

But, does that mean I vote for Bennett? Not necessarily. I absolutely believe that fine arts programs are important in schools. I believe there are plenty of other areas to cut funding in, or perhaps the better solution is to change how resources are made available and established for schools and educators. I don’t want my friends to be out of jobs either. Where’s the balance?

In the end, there’s no guarantee that Ritz won’t cut programs that will impact the careers of my friends. And, no guarantee that Bennett won’t go along with initiating some additional regulations that will impact homeschooling families like myself as well.

I believe it’s important that the freedom to homeschool isn’t abused. I also believe that even though we’re homeschooling our children, it’s important that I’m aware and involved with what’s happening in public schools as well. I understand that homeschooling is not the best option for everyone just as public schools aren’t the best option for everyone. I know I haven’t talked to a single teacher friend yet that’s in support of Bennett. That’s got to say something.

Hmmm.

Let Me Get This Straight

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:

Let me see if I’ve got this right.

You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this, and then you tell me…….

I CAN’T PRAY?

Yep, sounds about right to me.