Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Marc Cooper another public school apologist

Marc Cooper states

A Queens College study (I do wish he had provide more information on the study as a Google Search found nothing other then Mr. Cooper's letter) showed that home-school families spend about $2,500 a year for books, equipment, computers, and software. However, the home-school mother doesn't work. If she worked, she would earn an average of $38,000 a year plus benefits. Moreover, when home-school mothers have more than three children, they usually enroll their kids in public schools, probably because they lack classroom management training.

Wow, I wonder where the 'study' got it's information from. We have never spent $2,500 a year on homeschooling material. I am not counting the computers because we had them pre-homeschooling and we would have them even if we didn't homeschool.

Nice to know in Mr. Cooper's reality I would be making $38,000 a year plus benefits, if I hadn't chosen to stay home to homeschool my kids.

At last someone who doesn't believe the stereotype that 'homeschoolers' have numerous children. Although I do know homeschoolers who have successfully homeschooled large families. Mr Cooper goes on to say

The reality is that a certified teacher can handle 30 students in a classroom and bring most of them up to grade-level expectations. Home schooling may be a reasonable alternative to public schooling for some families, but Sowell is wrong -- there are no studies that show home schooling is better than public education and no evidence that ordinary parents are better educators than certified teachers. In fact, there is a mounting and convincing body of evidence that shows certified teachers produce higher achievement scores than uncertified teachers even when those uncertified teachers have college degrees.

Really, too bad he didn't mention where this evidence could be found other then in his fertile imagination. On the other hand this study shows the opposite.

Uncertified Teachers Performing Well, Study Finds -The authors of the Hoover study are Jonah E. Rockoff, Thomas Kane of Harvard's Graduate School of Education and Douglas Staiger, a professor of economics at Dartmouth.


  1. I like how, after talking about parents vs. certified teachers, he makes a claim based on a comparison of non-certified and certified teachers. His logic amuses me.

    The other good response I have heard is: So what if they can get "higher achievement scores"? Do those matter at all? Not really. How do these kids compare in life after school? That's a more important question by far.


  2. I have six children, so I should be DOUBLE sending my kids to ps LOL!

    I heard something just the opposite not too long ago about big quiverfull families always homeschooling.

    Can't win. ;]

  3. I saw this article, and I, too, wondered where Marc Cooper got his stats (and why he failed to cite them).

    I got a kick out of his theory that parents send their kids to school after they have more than 3 kids. I can just picture a mom finding out she's pregnant. "Oh, baby #4 is on the way. Time to ship the rest of the crew off to school."

    I guess he's never heard of the Duggars, lOl!

  4. I actually laughed out loud when I read that first quoted paragraph, it was so far out of touch with reality. I don't know, or even know OF, /anyone/ who spends that kind of money. (Although I don't doubt it could be done.) The really funniest statement, though, was "The homeschool mother doesn't work..." What does he think I do all day -- sit on my fanny watching soap operas and eating cheese curls? Of course he doesn't think that -- but it is not only laughable but insulting that he defines meaningful work as that which receives financial remuneration...and assumes that the rest of the world defines it in that way as well.

    I'm pg with #4 right now, and couldn't be farther from packing them all off to ps. Homeschooling is getting *easier* the more children I have -- why quit when I'm really getting good at it? Besides, I have this ridiculously expensive collection of books and computers and educational software that would just go to waste...

    And, no, I couldn't take a class of 30 children and bring most of them up to grade level. I'm glad I don't have to. I only have to bring my own children, whom I know and love, up to their fullest ability.

  5. In all honesty in the classroom with 30 children some children lose out. Since the children have widely differing abilities the teacher must teach to the 'dumbest' in order to bring them up to grade level. The children who are already up to grade level are bored. But a lot of people don't see that as a problem.

    I actually have experience teaching in a public school classroom. The teachers try (the good ones really do) but there is no way to give 30 children the individualized attention they need.

  6. The $38,000/year figure may be the national median salary for a woman with a bachelor's degree. Earlier in his article he quoted a statistic that 57% of home educators hold a bachelor's. But simply knowing what the median salary is for a particular group tells one nothing about an individual.

    I recently read a statistic from Forbes magazine that the median salary for someone who graduated from my alma mater a decade ago (as I did) is $129k. But does that mean that my family is giving up $129k/year for me to be a full-time homemaker? Hardly! I made decent money in my last paid position (which I left in 11/05 when my 2nd was born) but it wasn't six figures.

    The median for alumni of my college is pulled up by the high percentage of those with professional degrees like an M.D., a J.D., or an M.B.A. Most of my college friends have one of those 3.

    I, however, chose family over graduate education & high-powered career. I certainly had the grades and test scores to go but I knew that it didn't make sense to take on $100k-$200k worth of debt when I wanted a more family-friendly job than being a lawyer or investment banker.


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