Sure, Blame the Parents–again

14 03 2007

These are schooled children then? (so much for all that socialization)

The sad but stuffy headline read “Acting civil:
Decorum can be a useful skill”
but honestly, “Acting arrogant: Control is the only useful skill we have left and we see it slipping away” would have fit the news and its purveyors better.

Society (including professional journalists apparently) needs some serious attitude adjustment when it comes to CIVILLY serving the needs of diverse kids and parents — this editorial is a throwback to something I would have read in my smalltown southern childhood from the pompous and paternalistic city “fathers” and church deacons who heard and saw nothing of reality as their own children became the rebellious hippies and intellectuals they never understood, and couldn’t love well enough to change.

I love libraries; some of us Thinking Parents were just discussing public libraries as much better hope for the future of public education than schools–but I guess if the same old sons of . . .um, Ye Olde Deluder Satan still set the tone and make the rules, well, it doesn’t much matter what institution claims control and blames parents.

It wasn’t just the library folk and the newspaper folk, of course. Citizen comments in reponse echo the theme: Read the rest of this entry »

Homework Trends? It Depends

14 03 2007

Just getting around to this in my own homework — wish schoolfolk and education-meddling politicians made time to keep up with theirs!

. . .LeTendre, professor of education policy studies, and Motoko Akiba, University of Missouri, Columbia, analyzed data from the Third International Math and Science Survey (TIMSS) for 1995 and 2003, selecting 18 nations to examine overall trends. They presented their findings today (Feb. 27) at the annual Comparative and International Education Society in Baltimore, Md.

“An overlooked factor is the quality of the education in a nation’s public schools,” the researchers say. “Some developing nations with fewer resources may see an increase in student achievement with more homework because the homework helps student to catch up in their skills. Students in schools of well-funded nations may not need to spend as much time on homework.”

For U.S. schools, the study shows a negative relationship between higher homework amounts and student achievement in elementary schools, and only a very small benefit in middle schools.

Read the rest of this entry »

Homeschoolers Outhinking College Gatekeepers

14 03 2007

. . .which begs the question: are state university administrators “prepared for the rigors of” simple logic much less leadership and innovation these days?

(See hotlinks for extra-credit condemnation)

I scoff at this “objection from Univ of Utah’s asst. admissions director
— if the requirement always has been for homeschoolers to pass the GED
and that guarantees they are at least 18, then how can she possibly
have had any experience with younger homeschooled kids in college being “not
ready” for her rigors? And how, then, can she be so sure her institution
would officially oppose legislation to award high school diplomas for top-scoring homeschoolers, much less that it would dare make the argument based on chrono-illogical age?

And what’s this lofty blather about the success being THEIRS because of their standards, rather than being created by and belonging to the students? College administrators from Harvard’s Derek Bok to food-fighting Floridians to such tightly wrapped turf-guarders as this, have SO disappointed me! Hey, maybe we should hire and fire them by the GED? (bet she never took it . . .) Read the rest of this entry »