Friday, February 09, 2007

Look to the beam in thy own eye

Bruce Shortt takes Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Hank Bounds to task. That worthy said
"… [Y]ou must realize we all have this moral and ethical responsibility to deal with those situations where clearly it's nothing more than a child abuse situation when parents pull their children out of school, say they're being homeschooled just because parents ... don't want to be involved in the education of their children. ..."
What he's ostensibly worried about are parents who think that dealing with the public school is just too much hassle, withdraw them from school, and let them (I guess) sit on the couch all day. Because that is such a huge problem (rolls eyes).

Shortt goes on to write
Moreover, if Bounds really wants to characterize a failure to educate as "child abuse," then what is to be said of him and his bureaucrats who are responsible for a school system in which a catastrophic failure to educate is the norm? According to the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, often known as "The Nation's Report Card," Bounds' bureaucrats have failed Mississippi's children and taxpayers as follows:

1. Reading: 82 percent of Mississippi's fourth-graders cannot read at grade level, with 52 percent not being able to read at even a basic level. By eighth grade, 82 percent of Mississippi's children still cannot read at grade level, with 40 percent being unable to read at even a basic level.

2. Mathematics: 81 percent of fourth-graders are below grade level in math, with 31 percent lacking even a basic grasp of mathematics. By eighth grade, math illiteracy is burgeoning in Mississippi: 86 percent of students are below grade level in math, with 48 percent lacking even a basic understanding of mathematics.

3. Science: 88 percent of fourth-graders are below grade level, with 55 percent lacking even a basic knowledge of science. By eighth grade, 86 percent of Mississippi's children are below grade level, with an amazing 60 percent lacking a basic grasp of the subject.
You've got to work hard in willful ignorance of how kids learn for half your kids to be unable to read 'at a basic level'. It would be less work to do it the right way to begin with.

Disclaimer: My youngest children are not home schooled, they learn at home. The difference is that they are enrolled in a public school, but their classroom is in the house, and my wife and I (and credit to my wife, she carries 99.99% of the load) educate them here. There is a teacher overseeing the process, conference calls and regular testing.

Think of it as working for a mid-sized company from your house.
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