Friday, June 13, 2008

We wanted them to be traumatized

"You feel betrayed by your teachers and administrators, these people you trust," said 15-year-old Carolyn Magos. "But then I felt selfish for feeling that way, because, I mean, if it saves one life, it's worth it."

Officials at the 3,100-student school officials defended the program.

"They were traumatized, but we wanted them to be traumatized," said guidance counselor Lori Tauber, who helped organize the shocking exercise and got dozens of students to participate. "That's how they get the message."

The plan was to tell the truth to the students at an assembly later in the day. But word that it was all a hoax began to spread before the gathering. Tauber said some counselors and administrators revealed the truth to calm some students who had become upset.

Should we pay students?

In New York, about 5,500 students can earn money for getting good test scores. The program is open to fourth-graders, who can earn up to $250 a year, and seventh-graders, who can end the year with $500 in the bank.

"We'll soon give out over $1 million to fourth- and seventh-graders this year," said Roland Fryer, a Harvard University economist leading the experiment. He said he is happy with the results so far.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who does high tution hurt?

The last dimension worth study is who, if anyone, anyone takes a hit from increasing Pell grants. The answer, it seems clear, is students with family earnings too great to qualify for the grants, so their university years must be paid for solely with earned cash or student loans.

As usual those of us who are responsible stewards are hurt by government programs.

McCain Supports Homeschooling & Vouchers

From, McCain states that Public education should be defined as one in which our public support for a child's education follows that child into the school the parent chooses. The school is charged with the responsibility of educating the child, and must have the resources and management authority to deliver on that responsibility. They must also report to the parents and the public on their progress. The deplorable status of preparation for our children, particularly in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world, does not allow us the luxury of eliminating options in our educational repertoire. John McCain will fight for the ability of all students to have access to all schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes.

With regards to standards, McCain believes that we can longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. John McCain believes our schools can and should compete to be the most innovative, flexible and student-centered - not safe havens for the uninspired and unaccountable. He believes we should let them compete for the most effective, character-building teachers, hire them, and reward them. If a school will not change, the students should be able to change schools. John McCain believes parents should be empowered with school choice to send their children to the school that can best educate them just as many members of Congress do with their own children. He finds it beyond hypocritical that many of those who would refuse to allow public school parents to choose their child's school would never agree to force their own children into a school that did not work or was unsafe. They can make another choice. John McCain believes that is a fundamental and essential right we should honor for all parents.

John McCain will place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children. He believes all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing schools. Plainly stated McCain supports vouchers.

On the other hand Barack Obama wants universal preschool. The plan will be promoted by Early Learning Challenge Grants to help all states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school. Early Head Start would quadruple under an Obama administration, and he promises affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families.

HT: History Is Elementary

Monday, June 09, 2008

Beware Texas

Head over to Guys Lit Wire and read How Texas affects everyone else's textbooks.

It has always amazed me that those who are anti-homeschooling out of the mistaken belief that all homeschoolers teach creationism never acknowledge that many of our public schools fail in teaching evolution.

Starting this summer, the state education board will determine the curriculum for the next decade and decide whether the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution should be taught. The benign-sounding phrase, some argue, is a reasonable effort at balance. But critics say it is a new strategy taking shape across the nation to undermine the teaching of evolution, a way for students to hear religious objections under the heading of scientific discourse.

If Texas dumps evolution it'll be hard to find a decent science textbook.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

At least he is honest about why he and others hate homeschoolers

SONNY SCOTT:Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?

Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the home schooled for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler.

Their very existence represents a rejection of our values, and an indictment of our lifestyles. Those families are willing to render unto Caesar the things that Caesar’s be, but they draw the line at their children. Those of us who have put our trust in the secular state (and effectively surrendered our children to it) recognize this act of defiance as a rejection of our values, and we reject them in return.

Just as the jealous Chaldeans schemed to bring the wrath of the king upon the Hebrew eunuchs, we are happy to sic the state’s bureaucrats on these “trouble makers.” Their implicit rejection of America’s most venerated idol, Materialism, (a.k.a. “Individualism”) spurs us to heat the furnace and feed the lions.


Clinton Recognizes Homeschooled Teen

Sparky, who is home-schooled, got involved with the campaign in January after seeing Bill Clinton campaign for his wife in Cleveland. She and her mom, Debbie Irvine, arrived two hours before the doors opened and it earned them third-row seats in front of the podium. "It felt like he was talking to me, like I was the only person in the room," Sparky said.

Afterward, she took a flier and volunteered. She answered phones and typed. And then one day the person who mapped door-to-door routes for canvassers was busy.

Sparky stepped up and soon the teen was working 12-hour days plotting courses for hundreds of volunteers to knock on thousands of doors in northern Ohio.