Posts Tagged ‘Private Schools’
As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.
A recent report in Education News states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75%. Though homeschooled children represent only 4% of all school-age children nationwide, the number of children whose parents choose to educate them at home rather than a traditional academic setting is growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12 every year.
As homeschooling has become increasingly popular, common myths that have long been associated with the practice of homeschooling have been debunked.
Any concerns about the quality of education children receive by their parents can be put to rest by the consistently high placement of homeschooled students on standardized assessment exams. [...]
Similarly, the common myth that homeschoolers “miss out” on so-called “socialization opportunities,” often thought to be a vital aspect of traditional academic settings, has proven to be without merit. According to the National Home Education Research Institute survey, homeschoolers tend to be more socially engaged than their peers and demonstrate “healthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood.”
NO ONE is exempt from the new federal power-grab over education, which is designed to force all states and schools to teach a government-approved (Marxist?) curriculum.
The CCSS removes education standards from the purview of state and local control to being controlled by unaccountable education policy experts sitting in a board room far removed from the parents, students, and teachers who are most critical to a child’s educational success.
Will the CCSS Affect Homeschools?
The CCSS specifically do not apply to private or homeschools, unless they receive government dollars (online charter school programs have no such protection). However, HSLDA has serious concerns with the rush to adopt the CCSS. HSLDA has fought national education standards for the past two decades. Why? National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, and subsequent pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.
The College Board—the entity that created the PSAT and SAT—has already indicated that its signature college entrance exam will be aligned with the CCSS. And many homeschoolers worry that colleges and universities may look askance at homeschool graduates who apply for admission if their highschool transcripts are not aligned with the CCSS.
The more that I read and study, the more convinced I am of the extreme detriment that the Common Core (CC) poses, not just to our children and our educational system – but to our country.
There are a few questions and comments that I have received this past week, some ranging from fear, and some from outright astonishment that I would even propose that CC presents a risk. I want to, as succintly as possible, answer some of these…
The Common Core is being introduced into the PUBLIC school, so if I’m homeschooling, I don’t need to worry, right?
WRONG. The CC is being adopted by 45 of the 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and it’s goal is NOT educational excellence. One look at the standards and examples that we detailed in our previous post will undeniably confirm that. The goal of Common Core is CONTROL. The government is seeking to Nationalize educational standards, which goes COMPLETELY against that 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which outlines education as being within the scope of the State government, not the Federal government. If the States decide not to adopt CC, they will not be granted federal dollars, so although it’s not a mandate, it’s a mob version of law via monetary coercion.
Furthermore, homeschoolers will eventually need to meet the same educational standard and use CC approved/aligned curricula because the SATs, State tests and GEDs will all be modified to fit the new CC standards.
But homeschoolers traditionally test higher in academics, so I’m not worried. My child will do fine on the tests.
Although it’s true that homeschoolers traditionally, on average, test significantly higher than their publicly educated peers, this is not a safeguard given what is coming down the pipeline in terms of change. Standardized testing is slated to be reformatted and rewritten, so we’re talking about a totally different measure of scope and sequence. For example, math problem, as formed by the CC, are based on mental and verbal math; the emphasis is now on the process, not the answer. Eventually, CC-educated students will be asked to verbally explain their method for solving the problem, regardless of whether or not the answer was correct. If your homeschooled Senior can successfully complete complex mathematical algorithms but he is unable to explain how he got his answer, he will not pass.
Additionally, the literature requirements are changing significantly. Non-fiction manuals are now required to compose 70% of your child’s “literature” by the time they graduate. Here is a sample of the suggested reading within the CC:
- Petroski, Henry. “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag.”
- California Invasive Plant Council. Invasive Plant Inventory
- Kurlansky, Mark. Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy. Recommended Levels of Insulation
- FedViews by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
- Calishain, Tara, and Rael Dornfest. Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching, 2nd Edition
- Fischetti, Mark. “Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.”
- U.S. General Services Administration. Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management
- Gawande, Atul. “The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.”
As enlightening as they may be, we’ll be tossing out “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “The Scarlet Letter” , Shakespeare and many other classics in lieu of “The Evolution Of The Grocery Bag”. Therefore, as homeschoolers, if we haven’t been reading the above list with our Seniors, they have no hope of passing the SATs or GEDs, because we’re talking about two completely different lists of topics and material.
But as a homeschooler, I get to choose my own curriculum, so it’s my decision what my children will read and study.
True, for now. However, I was disheartened to see that many large homeschool publishers have already, or are planning to, rewrite their curriculum in order to meet CC standards. For a very thorough and growing list, check out the curriculum updates on The Educational Freedom Coalition.
Justice Department: Home Schooling not a ‘Right’
View at CBN News
Illegal aliens – including drug dealers and other criminals – are welcome to come across the border in droves, according to this administration.
But a Christian family fleeing persecution in the form of fines, jail time and the confiscation of their children? Not worthy of asylum, according to our Justice Department. And why? Because parents don’t have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their own children, our own government argues.
THIS is why the Parental Rights Amendment is so desperately needed!
The U.S. Justice Department says home-schooling is not a fundamental right.
That was the argument the Obama administration made in federal court against an evangelical Christian family from Germany seeking asylum in the United States.
Germany broadly forbids home-schooling. So the Romeike family was forced to flee the country or risk losing their five children to the German government, which was trying to force them to put their children in public schools.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is working on the Romeike family’s behalf.
Michael Farris, founder and chairman of HSLDA, wrote about Germany’s home-school ban in his blog saying, “It is thought control. It is belief control. It is totalitarianism dressed up in politically correct lingo.”
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after authorities fined them thousands in euros and forcibly took their children because they homeschool. In 2010, a U.S. immigration judge granted the Romeikes political asylum — the first time this status was granted based on compulsory schooling laws. The judge found the family has legitimate fear of persecution in Germany, where a small group of Christian homeschooling families have already been jailed, fined and stripped of their children.
[...] At a German public school, the children were bullied for their Christian beliefs. The Romeikes found school textbooks filled with inappropriate content. Still, Uwe says, “We knew that homeschooling would not be an easy journey.” The Romeikes came to the U.S. when “all other doors seemed to close.”
In Tennessee, Uwe teaches piano while the children play basketball and take science classes at a local co-op. Uwe says the uncertainty they face now hardly compares to the fear of “waking up with the police at your front door, there to take your children … not knowing if you will ever get them back.”
This is one of many reasons why we homeschool, but homeschooling is not for everyone. Parents have a God-given right and responsibility to choose the best education for their children. They should NOT be forced into a government monopoly that deliberately undermines the values they are trying to instill in the next generation.
When discussing the school choice issue with other Christians, I often here responses like “How are we supposed to be salt and light in the schools if we pull our kids out?” and “We can counter-act the bad stuff they learn in school by teaching them about God at home and in church.”
These are valid concerns, but the truth is that our children are not being salt and light; rather, they are being corrupted by the very system they are trying to influence. A recent study by the Barna Group found that approximately 70% of kids who grew up in a Christian church were no longer faithful to the church by their 20s. According to Barna, this is a fairly recent phenomenon. During the first half of the 20th century, young adults pretty much stayed faithful to the Christian faith. But this trend changed during the 1960s, when we saw the Bible and prayer taken out of government-run schools while at the same time witnessing the birth of the Sexual Revolution.
For decades, the anti-Christian crowd has been using government-run schools to undermine and attack Christianity. And that strategy continues today. Just last week, the Southern Education Foundation issued a paper claiming that Georgia’s school choice program (where individuals and corporations can receive tax credits for contributing to charitable funds that award scholarships to enable underprivileged kids to attend private schools) is supporting Christian schools with “anti-gay” policies. SEF claims that any private, Christian school that expects it teachers and students to adhere to Biblical standards of conduct—including those that prohibit pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexual behavior—is “anti-gay” and that those schools should not be allowed to participate in the scholarship program.
If a private school teaching Biblical morality is “anti-gay,” then wouldn’t parents and churches that teach these same ideas also be “anti-gay.” And this is the message that is being taught 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to our kids attending government-run schools. They are taught that Biblical values and beliefs are bigoted, ignorant, and unacceptable. So we if think that 2 hours a week (if that) at church can counter-act 40 hours a week of teaching that Christianity is wrong, we are fooling ourselves.
If you take seriously the Biblical command that you, as a parent, are to train up a child in the way he or she should go, then you realize that the command means more than just taking them to church once or twice a week. It means making sure that every aspect of their education affirms, not mocks, Biblical principles and values.
It is maddening how a century of “progressive education reform” has conditioned American parents to unquestioningly surrender their children to a system that has proven to fail no matter how much money it gets or reforms are tried.
It’s maddening that we have tacitly accepted the notion that government bureaucrats should decide where, when, how, and even what our children learn.
It’s maddening that no matter how much their child’s needs are not being met, poor parents are virtually powerless to do anything about it, while their children remain trapped in failing and – often dangerous – government schools.
Every parent deserves a choice. Every child deserves a chance. It’s LONG past time to take back the power that rightfully belongs to parents to determine what is best for their children when it comes to education.
The third annual National School Choice Week is officially underway. Once again, school choice advocates—including parents, teachers, schoolchildren and administrators, and many others—will come together to promote educational choice, with more than 3,600 events taking place nationwide.
School choice is something to celebrate, because it gives families the power to choose the best schools for their children—helping children to improve educational outcomes and increasing overall parental satisfaction.
School Choice Students Graduate at Higher Rates
For example, students who participate in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP)—a private school voucher program for low-income K-12 students—graduate at significantly higher rates than their peers, according to the results of a “gold standard” (randomized, control group) study. More than 90 percent of DCOSP students graduate high school, compared to just 70 percent of their peers.
Similarly, research reveals that students who participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP)—the nation’s longest running school choice program—for all four of their high school years had a 94 percent graduation rate, compared to a 75 percent graduation rate for their peers who attended four years of public high school.
School Choice Means Academic Gains
Research also shows that students who participate in school choice programs do better in school. In a review of all the “gold standard” evaluations of school choice programs in the United States, researchers found that nine of the 10 studies revealed positive, albeit generally modest, academic improvement for school choice students.
Parents Are More Satisfied with their Child’s Academic Experience
Parents of school choice students also report high levels of satisfaction with their children’s schools. In Florida, 93 percent of parents whose children participate in the McKay Scholarship Program—a voucher program for special-needs students—report being satisfied with their child’s school, compared to just 33 percent of parents whose special-needs children were enrolled in public schools. DCOSP parents are also more likely to report satisfaction with their children’s schools and are more likely to describe their schools as safe. And Milwaukee school choice parents also report high satisfaction rates with the schools their children attend.
Education comes in many forms—from private school choice to online learning, to charter schools and public schools and home schooling. Parents should be empowered to give their children the education that best meets their child’s unique learning needs. School choice makes this possible by giving families from every background the ability to set the course for the brightest educational future for their children.
This week, find out how you can get involved in National School Choice Week.
Learn more about Freedom of Education
Learn more about the Separation of School and State
I’ve often said that it’s an incredibly dangerous conflict of interest for any government to be involved in shaping the hearts and minds of future voters and citizens.
Government-run schools have a built-in incentive for teaching the next generation to think the way the ruling class wants them to, to vote for bigger government intrusion into their lives, and to be unquestioningly loyal to the Nanny State, which they are indoctrinated to view as their benefactor.
This is one of MANY reasons why I – a public school graduate myself – choose to homeschool.
The swelling legions of homeschoolers poke a subtle rebuke at America’s ever expanding nanny state. Under both parties,Washington has systematically invaded private spheres and co-opted public services historically performed by local bodies. But a spontaneous groundswell of freedom minded folks has continued America’s rich inheritance of rugged individualism.
The God-fearing, flag-waiving, gun-toting homeschool crowd embodies the American spirit of mutual self-reliance. You won’t encounter a more neighborly bunch. Their children thrive without government “help.” Their support networks blossom sans the state’s sanction. Meanwhile, taxpayers waste a fortune securing abysmal academic results. In 2012, SAT scores fell to their lowest level since tracking began. As spending soars, assessment scores plummet.
The modern homeschool movement comes largely by Christians aghast over an academic establishment overrun by progressives. Schools long ago became laboratories for instilling statism and distilling politically correct groupthink. Values clarification anyone? With public education increasingly geared toward multicultural agitation against America’s godly heritage, many parents resolved to safeguard the hearts, souls and minds of their young.
[...] J. Gresham Machen, the foremost defender of fundamentalism in the modernist controversy of the past century, also led the battle against compulsory public education. A fierce libertarian, Machen cautioned, “If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”
We have. See election 2012.
Barack Obama – who spent his past assailing the American system – would not be president without overwhelming support from twenty-somethings imbued with a reverence for the state. No longer the family tree, “government is the only thing we all belong to” claims the ruling party.
Ron Paul senses the urgency, “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections.” Dr. Paul warns, “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Proving his point, homeschool parents were instrumental behind several UN treaties stalling in the Senate.
Like the local self-government formed indigenously by settler communities on America’s frontier, homeschoolers spontaneously built a support apparatus from the ground up. The free market at work, parents can readily access almost any curricula, subject matter or activity.
The Department of Education’s Dr. Patricia Lines countered the notion of homeschoolers withdrawing from America’s social fabric, “Like the Antifederalists these homeschoolers are asserting their historic individual rights so that they may form more meaningful bonds with family and community. In doing so, they are not abdicating from the American agreement. To the contrary, they are affirming it.”
They have it exactly right. If anyone is going to save our nation, it will be the few who have been taught to think for themselves, to buck the system, to question the status quo, and to be reliant on themselves instead of the government.
Think that “it can’t happen here?” So did Canadian Christians.
The government of Quebec is forcing Catholic schools to replace the Christian religion with the state’s “neutral” alternative based on moral relativism. That’s how defenders of religious freedom have responded to last week’s court ruling that a private Catholic high school must teach the state’s “secular” Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) course.
Barbara Kay slammed the judges’ decision in the National Post on Wednesday, arguing that it empowers a government to “compel a faith community to jettison its driving beliefs in order to promote the state’s secular religion of multiculturalism; or indeed, in the future, to compel promotion of any other theory or belief the state may wish to substitute for a faith community’s convictions.”
Kay said that the ruling treats religion merely as a “cultural preference, not a deeply held core belief.”
“For Catholics, on the other hand, everyone who is a Catholic or a member of another religious faith —or even atheistic — is respected as a spiritual pilgrim on a profound journey in pursuit of truth,” she said.
Marie Bourque, vice president of the Association of Catholic Parents of Quebec, told the Catholic Register that the mandated ERC program will make children skeptical of any kind of religion or faith.
“It sort of vaccinates children against all faiths by teaching them you can fabricate your own religion,” she said.
The ERC course purports to take a “neutral” stance on world religions, giving equal spiritual standing to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Raëlism, aboriginal animism, and even a student’s own invented religion.
“If you say that, you are rejecting the divinity of Jesus Christ and the whole of Christianity,” Bourque said.
[...] Fr. Raymond de Souza called it “totalitarian” to “compel a private Jesuit high school to teach that, as between Christianity and say, witchcraft, there can be no considered judgment as to which view is to be proposed.”
It’s a common characteristic for dictators to want to control what a nation’s children can and cannot learn in schools.
President Obama’s bid to control what your children learn in school is surely one of the most important and disturbing of his many transformative plans. Not only is Obama’s attempt to devise what is in effect a national K–12 school curriculum arguably unconstitutional and illegal, the fact that most Americans have no idea that the new “Common Core” (a.k.a. Obamacore) even exists may be the most troubling thing about it.
Today’s Washington Post features an article on the controversy being kicked up by the new English curriculum that 46 states and the District of Columbia are just now waking up to. Not coincidentally, this new education war is hitting less than a month after Obama’s re-election, just in time to prevent the public from taking the most effective step it could have to block the changes. You have to get nearly to the end of today’s Postarticle even to get a hint of the fact that Obama is the real force behind the new curriculum. Following that link takes you to an article that more frankly lays out Obama’s role in commandeering the substance of what’s taught in the nation’s schools. The print version of this September 21, 2012 article featured a more revealing headline than the web version: “Education overhaul largely bypasses Congress.”
To say the least, the legality of Obama’s curriculum power-grab is dubious, as George Will explains.
[...] All is not lost. Indiana and Utah already have popular rebellions in progress against the Common Core. If you want help fighting Common Core in your area, contact the American Principles Project.
But will he abolish the unconstitutional, bloated, meddlesome Department of Education?
Mitt Romney vowed Wednesday to expand Washington’s school voucher program as part of a broader nationwide push for school choice, and he accused President Obama of failing to fulfill his own education promises from 2008 because he is too beholden to teachers unions.
Opening a new line of attack on the president, Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, said unions are the chief impediment to education reform, and that Mr. Obama has repeatedly sided with them instead of with parents and students attending failing schools.
The attack was part of an education speech Mr. Romney delivered in the nation’s capital to the Latino Coalition, a Hispanic small-business advocacy group, and signaled an astute political calculation: Hispanic voters regularly place education among their top issues, even higher than immigration, and they generally support vouchers and stricter school standards.
“Here we are in the most prosperous nation, but millions of children are getting a Third World education. And America’s minority children suffer the most,” Mr. Romney said. “This is the civil rights issue of our era. And it’s the great challenge of our time.”
Mr. Romney’s chief reform would be to give children who receive federal education money a choice of any public or charter school in their state or, in cases where it’s legal under state law, private schools. He also said he’ll push for more usable evaluations of schools so parents have the information they need to make choices, and said he’ll streamline federal teacher quality programs to reward states that are doing best at training and retaining good teachers.
[I]n calling education “the civil rights issue of our era and our greatest challenge,” Romney has raised a fresh question that will impact on his party’s candidates for the House and Senate and on the platform that will be crafted at the Republican National Convention this summer: Namely, whether he will support abolishing the U.S. Department of Education, an issue that was contained in the national GOP platform from 1980 to 2000 and that many GOP office-seekers this year are calling for strongly.
In his 40-minute speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Romney did call for taking the scores of federal education programs and bloc-granting them to the states. This is a proposal that has long been popular with conservatives. But he stopped short of saying he would call for shutting down the 33-year-old Cabinet-level department, which was lobbied for by the National Education Association and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. Romney was cheered by a standing-room-only luncheon crowd after taking shots at teachers unions, citing them as “an example of a group that has lost its way” and blaming their financial support of the Democratic Party as the reason President Obama believes in ending scholarship programs that permit parents to send children to charter schools.
But talk of a “bold policy” and expansion of scholarship programs is sure to lead to questions from conservatives as to whether he can pursue this and shut down the Department of Education at the same time.
Learn more about Freedom of Education
Learn more about the Separation of School and State
It is a dangerous conflict of interest for any government to control an education industry which shapes the hearts and minds of future voters. School choice is crucial to breaking the state monopoly and restoring parents’ God-given right to direct the education of their children – which is why the Left so vehemently opposes it.
Though he sends his own children to private school, Obama cares more about pleasing his Big Labor campaign donors than he does about giving poor children a chance to escape failing schools and have the same opportunity as his daughters.
In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama spoke about the importance of kids staying in school and even urged states to raise the dropout age to 18. So it’s passing strange that his new $3.8 trillion budget provides no new money for a school voucher program in Washington, D.C., that is producing significantly higher graduation rates than the D.C. public school average.
The Opportunity Scholarship Program offers vouchers to low-income students to attend private schools. A 2010 study published by Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas found that the scholarship recipients had graduation rates of 91%. The graduation rate for D.C. public schools was 56%, and it was 70% for students who entered the lottery for a voucher but didn’t win.
Because the president’s teachers union allies are opposed to school choice for poor people, Mr. Obama ignores or downplays these findings. He repeatedly has tried to shutter the program, even though it is clearly advancing his stated goal of increasing graduation rates and closing the black-white achievement gap.
This is a MUST SEE for every Christian parent!
Colin Gunn, a feisty Scottish filmmaker, and Joaquin Fernandez, an American cinematographer, have produced a powerful and highly provocative film calledIndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America. Having become aware of the horrors that go on in our pagan government schools, these two film makers, who also happen to be Christian homeschooling Dads, decided to make a hard-hitting documentary film that would wake up the Christian parents of America and show them what is happening to their children in the public schools. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to these pagan schools, and after twelve years of indoctrination in the philosophy of secular humanism, 88 percent of those Christian children come out no longer believing in the religion of their parents.
But the problem for the film makers was how best to bring this issue to the public. It was Colin’s brilliant idea to purchase a yellow school bus and tour the country in search of the truth about what was going on in America’s anti-Christian public schools. He packed his wife and seven children in the bus, which became their home during the several months of the saga, and set off on a journey that brought him in contact with some of America’s great Christian leaders and educators.
Indeed, I was among those who Colin interviewed. He had read my book, Is Public Education Necessary? and put a good deal of it in the film. I had written how early in our history anti-Christians saw a government education system as a way of weaning Americans away from their Christian faith. Colin even traveled to New Harmony, Indiana, where fellow Scotsman Robert Owen had set up his atheist communist colony in 1826 in order to convince Americans that religion was evil and that they should adopt a communist way of life. But when his communist experiment failed, he attributed it to the fact that people educated under the old individualistic system could not adapt themselves to communism as a way of life. His son and followers then embarked on a campaign to create government schools in which children, separated from their parents, could be indoctrinated to become atheist communists.
Of course, it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that John Dewey and his colleagues, all socialists, were able to implement their plan to turn American public schools into institutions where students could be indoctrinated in godless socialism.
Gunn embarked on this journey across America so that he could visit with and interview as many of the notable critics of public education as possible. They included yours truly, John Taylor Gatto, Ken Ham of the Creationist Museum in Cincinnati, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Col. John Eidsmoe, Doug Phillips, Howard Phillips, Bruce Shortt, Kevin Swanson, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, and others, including several Christian teachers and a principal who had had to struggle with the godlessness of their schools and finally quit. One teacher told Gunn, “If I talk about my faith as I want to, I’d lose my job.”
Gunn filmed a session at the Southern Baptist Convention where a very lively debate took place on the issue of Christian parents sending their children to the public schools. E. Ray Moore, president of the Exodus Mandate movement to get Christian children out of the public schools argued passionately in favor of an exodus of Christians from those pagan schools. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, argued that there should be at least one Christian missionary in every public school bearing salt and light so that the schools could be taken back from the godless. What he did not know is that the Christians never did own the government schools to begin with. The schools were, from the very beginning, planned to become the chief instrument of the unbelievers in transforming America into an atheist, socialist nation.
And that’s what Gunn discovered in his extraordinary journey: the masterful design by the Owenite socialists, Behavioral psychologists, and Harvard Unitarians to replace God’s direction in how to train up the next generation with a humanistic, man-centered program that fragmented the family and undermined the influence of the Church and its Great Commission.
Gunn describes the film as “part documentary, part testimonial — a confessional and a rebuke. This film is above all a challenge and an encouragement to millions of Christians who need to know what history, experience, and the Scriptures have to say about what is perhaps the pivotal issue of our time: the discipleship and training of the next generation.”
If there’s one thing unions can’t stand, it’s competition. Like true Marxists, they demand complete control of a complete monopoly, and will be satisfied with nothing less.
MINNESOTA — Charter schools are popping up all across the nation, with 41 states offering families access to the alternative public schools.
Because the large majority of charter schools are not unionized, they can focus solely on serving students instead of pacifying the financial demands of school employee unions.
The unions know they cannot stop the spread of charter schools, so they have decided to take them over.
Late last year, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers decided to authorize its own charter schools. An email written by MFT President Lynn Nordgren and posted on Eduwonk.com explains the union’s decision.
“ … [C]harter schools are not going away despite 20 years of protesting,” Nordgren writes. “Because of this, it is time to figure out how to… stop the de-professionalization of teaching, the bleeding out of our unions and the miseducation of too many students… It is time to ‘get in the game’ and make it ours.”
We all know that “the miseducation” of students is really the unions’ specialty, and they guard it jealously.
Nordgren writes that the MFT’s decision to open charter schools will “keep our union responsibilities and rights as an option, and make sure teachers are respected and have a voice in the schools in which they work.”
Translation: the unions want charter schools to choke on all their rigid work rules, pay schedules and adult-centered demands which will render the alternative public schools no different than their government-run counterparts.
The union’s new philosophy about charter schools is simple: if you can’t beat ‘em, infiltrate and destroy them from within.
- Teachers unions are the special interest blocking school choice
- The Cartel: Education + Politics = $
- Unions’ new strategy: Intimidation for dummies
- Union Protesters Superglue Catholic School’s Doors Shut, Intimidate Staff & Students During Gov. Walker Visit
- Malkin’s Photo gallery: What Big Labor protesters are teaching kids (language warning)
- Union General Counsel declares “it’s not about children, it’s about power”
- Another thug union puts self-preservation over children
- Teachers Union Recommends its Members Read Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals”
- American teachers should revolt against corrupt teachers unions
- Time to Stand and Deliver Education Reform: A Tribute to Jaime Escalante
Let your voice be heard!
Let’s bring education back home.
Bring education back to the states and local communities, eliminating the massive federal bureaucracy trying to dictate our children’s lives: The Federal Dept. of Education (DOE).
Since it began in 1979 the budget of the DOE has nearly quintupled to an astounding $69.9 billion, while the American education system continues a disappointed record of mediocrity. In recent annual PISA education rankings, American education was called “average” and commenting on the ranking USA Today lamented that “U.S. students trail global leaders.”
With consistently poor results, why should we allow the federal government to tax our money only to have the failing and expensive DOE return it back to the states?
Let’s bring our tax money back home. Let’s bring education back home. Sign the petition to support abolishing the Federal Dept. of Education!
Learn more about Freedom of Education
Learn more about the Separation of School and State
What the education industry needs more than anything is free market competition. The only people schools should have to answer to are the customers they serve (parents and students), and the local school boards their customers elect to represent them. Private schools have been able to not only educate with such a system, but do the job better than their bureaucrat-heavy public counterparts, and for a fraction of the cost.
Michael Espersen writes at PJ Media that “Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem“:
In 2009, when President Barack Obama began his pitch to sell an overhaul of the nation’s health care system to the American public, conservatives of good conscience rallied together in opposition. We don’t need government to provide people with health care because it would raise costs, lower efficiency, and put unnecessary obstacles in between patients and their doctors, conservatives rightly said.
Conservatives understand the limitations of government, and that a proxy takeover of a private industry can only result in a disservice to the consumer. Conservatives know that government has no place in making demands of patients, their doctors, or their insurance providers. But why would government ever have a place in making demands of children? For decades, government has drastically increased its influence in the education of children in the K-12 setting, and for what? SAT scores are hitting all-time lows. The reality is that every single weekday in the United States, tens of millions of children sit in classrooms they don’t want to be in simply because the law demands it of them, and conservatives ought to begin the conversation of what is to be done about it.
The American model of education in modern times stands on the basis of an assortment of premises. Education is something all children deserve, so it should be free and accessible to everyone, the politicians say. It would be wrong to subject children to the risky ups and downs of the marketplace, they continue, so schools need to be protected and run by people who will run them in the interests of children and not for their own profit. Naturally, they go on, children aren’t sure of what they want to do when they grow up, so we should have them study a diverse array of topics and subjects to give them an idea of where they might want to direct their lives. Politicians want us to believe that an institution created on these premises is a model for success. There are few things further from the truth.
Problems are inherent in every single one of the premises listed above. However, before one can understand the problems that exist within the public school system, one must understand the nature of the market itself. In a free market there is a distinct relationship between two private parties, the consumer and the provider. The consumer enters the marketplace expecting to exit with something that he wants. Meanwhile, there are providers that have what he wants, and they engage in a peaceful war with one another for the honor of being deemed the superior provider of service by the consumer who pays whom he wills. The providers know that the consumer will only pay the provider whom he believes best serves his interests, so the providers increase quality, decrease prices, among other strategies to offer the consumer a better deal.
They do this not because they necessarily care about the consumer as a person, but because they want his business and know that if they don’t get it, someone else will. Soon, the consumer in need pays a provider in exchange for the service that he deems best serves his needs. The favored provider gets what he wants, and the consumer is equally satisfied. The only people harmed by the exchange are the providers who did not do a good enough job of helping the consumer. Voluntary cooperation between people looking to satisfy each other’s needs makes society better.
Sounds great, right? Sometimes government tells us things aren’t so great; it tells us it must intervene on behalf of the consumer, using euphemisms like “regulation” and “consumer protection” to make demands of providers. Without the government’s intrusion, providers will naturally seek to serve consumers in order to be patrons of their business, but when politicians tell them what to do the natural arrangement of the marketplace is no more. Providers can no longer use the fullness of their capacities in service of the consumer, they must now divert a part of those capacities in order to meet the arbitrary demands of statesmen. Providers now must serve two masters, the consumers, whom they would be serving anyway in order to receive payment, and the politicians, who pay them in nothing but demands. The end result is necessarily a loss for the consumer, who is now not as well off as he could have been.
Sometimes, government intrudes into the marketplace in an unprecedented way. Throughout history, government has completely taken over areas of service that would otherwise be private and turned them into a certain kind of public institution called a monopoly. A monopoly in this sense is an institution controlled by the government that is the sole provider, protected from competition, in a certain area of service.
The American K-12 public school system is a monopoly, since it is the primary forum by which children obtain an education.
Public schools are paid for by taxes and children attend them for free, not because school managers make them free but because government demands they be free. The price system is the mechanism by which providers keep each other in service to the consumer; providers lower prices in order to draw the attention of consumers to themselves and away from other providers. But when there are no prices, what empowers the consumer to choose what he thinks is best for himself, and thus employ providers that efficiently and easily supply it for him, is eradicated. When people no longer buy things on account of how much good it does them, but instead are simply handed something, they are made poorer, not richer. The public school monopoly is completely insulated from the needs of the consumers, them being the children and their parents. It has no reason to cater to anyone’s wants; it simply does what it does and whether or not people are satisfied is not even part of the equation. Whether they like it or not, they have to live with it. In this way, the monopoly will always, necessarily, be inferior to private enterprise.
Learn more about Freedom of Education
Learn more about the Separation of School and State