Friday, March 7, 2008

Somewhere, George Orwell is Smiling

Via Matt Drudge we learn that an appeals court in California has ruled that parents can only homeschool their children if they hold a valid teaching credential. Forget, for now, about the incredible infringement upon individual liberty this is. Or the hubris of those who assert that only WE know, and only WE have the right to dictate, what your child should be taught. Forget the objective evidence that homeschooled kids get an actual education at least as good as, if not usually better than, that doled out by the public school system. Forget what this means for kids who are being homeschooled because the public school in their neighborhood is a drug and gang infested sewer where no actual education takes place.

No, I want you to focus instead on one particular line from the court's opinion. You'd better sit down first. And put down that drink - I don't want you ruining your computer by spewing coffee all over it. Here we go:

A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare[.]
Wow. Now this isn't the whole opinion. And it doesn't say that the above reasons are THE primary purpose of the education system. But how can any judge who is socially aware pen those words? Any person who is socially aware, any parent who is paying attention, knows that liberal political correctness is destroying (has already destroyed?) public education in America, and one of the most important tools in the liberal PC arsenal is to pervert the meaning of the phrase "good citizenship" and to strip our children of their patriotism and loyalty to our nation. To have a court assert that kids must be taught by credentialed teachers, against the will of their parents, in order to further the "good citizenship" and "patriotism" of those children is an absolute joke. It would make me laugh if it weren't so damn sad.

I'm sure President Hillary or President Obama will fix this. Won't they?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, you know, I'm not sure the federal government, regardless of who we elect, really ought to be messing with local education or trying to craft nationwide truancy laws.

OC Domer said...

Anonymous - I'm very sure the Federal Government shouldn't be messing with local education. But thy are up to their necks in it, and I'm sure Hillary and Obama are fine with that.

Anonymous said...

As a public school teacher, I take offense to your comments about public schools!
Hank Gilday '76

Mark In Irvine said...

I'm sure the idea is to train kids so that they can take care of themselves and not be a drag on the common weal, because society will otherwise be stuck taking care of the illiterates and idiots and incompetents, society has an interest in preparing kids to survive. I think we need to read the court decision to understand what it is talking about. I wonder, though, if some rabid home-schooler shot him or herself in the foot by filing some suit s/he might better have avoided; or if somebody abusing the home-school system is responsible. Details at 11/

Mark In Irvine said...

This apparently started with a complaint by one of the kids that the father was abusing him. Also, the law discussed in the case has apparently "been on the books" since 1955. So it was stupid parents apparently calling attention to themselves by abusing the kids, and then fighting with the Department of Children and Family Services. Read the decision: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B192878.PDF

OC Domer said...

Anonymous - Don't take offense! Many (maybe even most) public schools are very good. My two kids are getting a great education in the public schools. But we live in a pretty nice area with a pretty conservative school board. And we take a great interest in what teachers our kids have and what they are being taught. In short - we are blessed. Not everyone else is so blessed. If we lived in an area with lousy schools, and if we couldn't afford to pull them out and send them to expensive private schools, then I would have considered home schooling. I don't have a "teaching credential", just an engineering degree and a law degree. My wife has a Bachelor's degree in Nursing. Somehow I think we could educate our own kids to an acceptable level of literacy. In fact, my wife taught both kids to read well before they started kindergarten! Without a credential!

Back to public school teachers - many (if not most) are dedicated professionals who do a very good job. But there are some who are a waste of oxygen, and who are protected by the system and the unions so that they can't be shown the door, and it's the kids that suffer for it.

OC Domer said...

Mark in Irvine - Thanks for the research. So, in this case, we have one family who has created a problem, and rather than address the real problem (an abusive parent) the court rips the heart out of a program that is serving thousands of kids perfectly well.

And you're right about the "idea" behind the law. But the idea can be promoted by periodic testing to ensure the kids are in fact learning something. The joke is that the "idea" of preventing idiots and illiterates is a total failure in many schools. Some schools are so bad that all they turn out are illiterates. Many turn out kids who are illiterate in more than one language!

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm reading the opinion -- it doesn't read like judicial activism. It's a pretty straightforward application of the California Legislature's law.

A.Rezner said...

This is pretty messed up. There is no need for teaching credentials in order to teach a child. My aunt and uncle homeschool their four children. They are some of the smartest, polite, and most well-spoken children I have ever had the pleasure to know. They don't have teaching credentials, just college degrees and a lifetime full of experiences. And they seem to be doing just fine.

As for that quote from the judge, I don't see how public education has any affect on good citizenship and patriotism. School never taught me those two ideals, I can tell you that much.

Anonymous said...

Why the shot at Clinton? Bush and his gang have done more to erode our civil liberties then any other administration . The Patriot Act, wire tapping, no warrent searches. Bush has wiped his ASS with the constitution in his last eight years in office.

OC Domer said...

Anonymous - I took a shot at Clinton partly because I really don't like her. But also because she is a nanny state "we know better than you what's best for you" disciple of the first order. You recall "It takes a village"? Between her maternalistic approach to government and her alliance with the NEA, these types of judicial decisions will no doubt spread well beyond California.

As for President Bush, while I don't agree with every action he has taken since 9/11, I am pretty happy that he (unlike Mrs. Clinton's husband) takes his duty to protect America and Americans seriously, and I appreciate that he has upheld my right to not be blown up by foreign (or domestic) terrorists. As a lawyer, I also have some familiarity with the Constitution and its history and I am pretty confident that President Bush has been very careful to respect the Constitutional rights of Americans in conducting the war on terror. He doesn't respect the Constitutional rights of foreign terrorists because they don't have such rights.

The Constitution only says what it says, not what a small segment of society wishes it said from day to day.

Anonymous said...

Oc Doomer, I'am glad your happy the way president Bush protects America while he does nothing to protect our personal freedoms, can't figure out that gas is going to be 4 dollars a gallon and will soon veto a bill to outlaw waterboarding. Im not a lawyer so I may not know as much as you do about the constitution but I'm sure Bush has done nothing but weaking our rights. Maybe with my 600 hundred dollar refund (which cost 42 million for a letter we all will be getting in the mail patting Bush on the back for giving us our own money back) I will buy some textbooks to study up on the constitution and we can discuss futher! I also guess it is ok if we waterboard terroist suspects because you and I are not in Iraq as a soilder where you have to worry about being caught and having the same or worse done to you.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what this court held and what the President of the United States(who is a right of Attila the Hun Republican) believes, public education is necessary so that the gang infested masses and rabble you refer to can get an equal opportunity at the American Dream. The elite has always hated Public Education as it forces them into potentially having to play on a level playing field. Of course most of the rich in the Great old U.S.A. can go to the elite private schools that the masses can only dream of going to as they sit in underfunded Public Schools waiting to die from gunfire.

OC Domer said...

Anonymous - You're not paying attention. I am in favor of public schools. I was educated in public schools through high school. Both my kids are in very good public schools. What I resent is the lack of a choice, and the absolute folly of asserting that all public schools serve children better than home schooling. Home schooling actually benefits the poor more than the rich. The rich can afford the private schools, the poor can't. By denying families with less money the option of home schooling, you force them to keep their kids in bad and/or dangerous schools where they not only aren't educated but where they might be victims of violence.

Are you really in favor of forcing families to keep their kids in those schools?

Anonymous said...

Hank I am sorry you are offended about the public school comments but the Government School System has and is failing.
1. The grade scale has slid from 95% = A to 92.5% etc.
2. Dumbing down the ACT and SAT.
3. Unions control the education of our youth to protect their members not inspire.
There some excellant teachers but too few and far between.Teachers and Engineers should be the most respected professions. Without these two professions, we go no where.
All the rest of our professions (mine included sales % marketing)service,produce, sell or consume what teachers, students and engineers discover.
Terry Handley

Anonymous said...

Unions are not the problem, In my district(Denver, CO) we have a pay-for-performance system called Pro Comp. WE(the union) helped put it in place. Unions don't oppose reform, just those that aren't going to work or that have no research behind them.
Hank Gilday

Jack said...

Big Brother is not the problem..????????????????
It's a left wing fear, not a figment of the immagination. >>>>> BUT >>>>>>>>>> really it's their # 1 technique. The lefty's are your Big Bros!

Jack said...

There are denominational schools. I attended Catholic schools until I graduated from college, for which I'm ever gratefull(as stupid as I was) Albert Einstein went to elementary Catholic school in Bavaria from ages 5 to 10, where he was a top student. The Catholic schools are good schools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

oc domer your blog is one of my favorite blogs to read. great posts and I appreciate your kind worcds about Mr Buckley

Ryan said...

Hey OC Domer, Ryan from NDLNA here. I couldn't agree more with your stance on this, and I couldn't believe it when I first heard the news. George Orwell may not be the only one smiling:

Families are fleeing to the UK from Germany to escape a law introduced by Hitler that could lead to their children being taken into care if educated at home.
http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2259509,00.html