"Test everything; hold fast to what is good."
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“Actually, it explains a lot.”
“Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty. Let’s annihilate them. For justice, and for the safety of puppies, and Christmas, right?”
“What about homeschooling? You know, it’s not just for scary religious people anymore.”
“Everyone’s a hero in their own way; everyone’s got villains they must face.”
“I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse.”
“So we have some bad boo on our hands?”
“I aim to misbehave.”
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with silly ideas! Poor execution… well, I dunno, it’s not that bad.
(Unless that was also a quote, in which case I just insulted your execution for no apparent reason.)
I know it’s true, but it still feels like people calling QUILTBAG folks ‘heroic’ for being celibate, even unintentionally, should be fictional. That really… it’s just too far. Much like Cliff Russell, no matter how hard you try, or how many times you’ve met them, it just seems like they’re too caricatured to really exist.
“I aim to misbehave.” Not enough of us are saying that nowadays.
A quick run through of who know who is homeschooling reveals 1 Catholic, 1 Pagan, several people whose religious views I don’t know but certainly aren’t fundies (including one who took her daughter out of schools because 1: she was being bullied and 2: the school were punishing her for things the bullies had done even once they knew for sure she hadn’t done them.)
The shiny link refers to “the world’s shiniest living thing”. After seeing the picture, I don’t doubt that the fruit in question is, but I’m still wondering: what’s the scale for shininess? It’s not just albedo, at least not in common usage. I purpose a until called the “mal”.
The “mal”? “Mal” means “bad”. In the Latin.
I suggest the “kaylee”. Generally shiniest member of the crew.
The scale would be specularity. I’ll leave discussion of units to you.
We had briefly considered homeschooling and we’re not religious. Although you’re right that the majority of homeschoolers aren’t fundamentalists, one reason we rejected the idea is that fundamentalists seemed to dominate both the textbook market and the support groups. We’re happy with our kids’ school, partly because of the high level of parent involvement, which we see as critical to a school’s success.
I’m a Christian and a left-winger and we homeschooled for several years. We live in inner-city Detroit; I teach at a university here, I have seen the results of the public school system, and it is not a system I’m putting my children in. Overcrowded classrooms, lack of resources, teaching to tests, lack of electives and extracurriculars: that is simply not the education that I want my children to have. We now have our oldest in a small, arts-focused Christian school, and it’s a good fit for our family.
Here’s my problem with the idea that we’re somehow failing society if we don’t put our kids in public schools: it simply encourages anybody with the means to do so to move to the area with the best, safest public schools. If we felt an obligation to have our children in public schools, we would not be living in an inner-city, and neither would many of our friends. Schooling alternatives–homeschooling, private schools, charter schools–allow families to make the decision to live in struggling, impoverished areas without having to sacrifice their child’s education or well-being.
And, if everybody who currently lives in Detroit who uses private schools or homeschooling to educate their children felt like they had to send their kids to public schools and so decided to jump ship and move to a suburb with good schools, there goes a lot of money in property taxes, and that would further hurt the Detroit schools. Simply by deciding to be here, to be members of the community, we are helping the school system, even if we don’t personally utilize the public schools ourselves.
I just think Jones hasn’t fully thought out the consequences of his proposal, especially for communities with really struggling school systems.
I grant that you want to help by remaining in the city and paying property taxes, but is the school system also funded on a per-student basis?
You know, it’s interesting how both Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan got their high school education in public schools in New York.
(as both were also secular humanists I suspect that the argument that properly funded public schools can nurture and aid brilliant minds would end up defeating itself to anyone who thinks you need to mix religion and school together)
Best title-and-image combo ever.
Now off to read the links.
The NYC public school system and the Detroit public school system are two different animals, though, especially at the K-8 level.
But then there are those who say that — or essentially something like that — when they talk about disobeying laws against bullying homosexuals and discrimination against QUILTBAG folk, or openly encouraging servicemembers to disobey orders. Not that I’ve got anyone in particular in mind *cough*ManhattanDeclaration*hack*OathKeepers*HARRUMPH* Must be cold season…
Of course, they don’t say it with quite so much style as “I aim to misbehave,” has….
True, and they got theirs in the 1930s and 1940s, when the city was functioning reasonably well. :/
Didn’t Mythbusters do something related to units-of-shininess, in …possibly lumens, by actually polishing the feces of big cats?
I just think Tony Jones’s privilege is showing with this one. Parents who are pulling their kids from struggling inner-city public schools are not opting out of the social contract; they are responding to the *failure* of that social contract, as the vast inequalities in our educational system make clear. When a parent decides not to enroll their child in a public school system that has a 40% drop-out rate, they aren’t selfishly privileging their own family’s comfort over the good of society, and I think it’s both unfair and naive for him to frame it that way.
But there’s a significant difference between private/homeschooling and charter schools. Charter schools are federally funded, without federal regulation.
In practice, this means that while private schools and homeschooling don’t harm public schools financially, charter schools very much do.
There’s also the problem that there isn’t enough vocal outrage among those of us who are unhappy with inequality in the school system. We need, badly, to march on state and local school boards, to organize, to get out a voting campaign that Fixes This.
I still think that we need to do something about charter schools, though. I don’t mind people homeschooling if they know what they’re doing. I don’t mind people sending their kids to private schools, if they can afford it. I do very much mind people sending their kids to charter schools.
I have mixed feelings about charter schools. In theory, I think they are terrible. In practice, I think some can provide better options for students in some areas who have no other viable alternatives. But, at what cost?
I will say that the Detroit public school system is enough of a mess that I don’t think that there will be any straightforward solution to fixing it.
“Mal” means “bad”. In the Latin.
malus (,-a, -um) is the word for “bad”, but there are several homonyms, as in the classic mnemonic:
Malo (I would rather be)
Malo (in an apple tree)
Malo (than a naughty boy)
Malo (in adversity.)
And one source points out that mala can mean “cheek” or “cheek bone”, while malus means “mast”.
“Mal” is also “bad” in French.
Kirala was quoting River Tam from Firefly, for those who may have missed that.
I was homeschooled for entirely nonreligious reasons because the school in our extremely rural district was, as Lori said, underfunded, understaffed, and generally a Bad Place (I believe the principal expressly said that one teacher had been hired based on the size of her breasts). At the time, my father was a minister and thus we couldn’t move to another district — we couldn’t really afford to live anywhere but the parsonage, so moving to another district was out.
It bears mentioning, though, that both of my parents had actual, non-wacky teaching credentials, and that was a big part of the equation in our case. As such, I actually was taught about evolution, the Big Bang, and other common fundamentalist bogeymen. Meanwhile, I swear that, in defiance of the law, the public
school I went to for a couple of years in elementary school had the
science teacher tell us religious stories at one point. The author of the linked blog post’s assumption that all public schools follow proper standards and practices is completely unfounded. Also, although this was (obviously) not known or part of the decision process then, I am gay. I live in a fairly conservative area. If I attended a public school, I would have been bullied and no one would have done anything. There is no way around this. Again, even if there are rules and laws forbidding it, that doesn’t mean they can be enforced at all in Ass-End, Nowhere.*
I’m now at university (not Bible College) and seem to be having no problems with socializing or anything else; if anything, I often feel that I have more of a desire to help others and be part of society than many of my peers seem to. (I also actively enjoy learning about other cultures, instead of interrupting lectures to ask if anyone “really believes” in Hinduism as one young lady did, but that’s neither here nor there.) Paraphrasing Pictures For Sad Children here, there wasn’t really a correlation; there were just some kids and some schools and it was complicated.
Of course I don’t think everyone should homeschool their kids, but in some specific cases — e.g., when a retired teacher sees that class sizes are enormous and her kids are being bullied — I don’t think it should be forbidden. That would be the difference between public schools in vaccinations; the comparison would only be valid if some “vaccines” were actually sugar water, and also if some people could…I don’t know, somehow naturally produce vaccine superior to the commercially-available kind? It’s not really a good comparison either way.
I can understand the author’s intention in trying to avoid anecdotal evidence, but at the same time, I feel like he is deliberately ignoring actual situations and stories that would render his beliefs problematic. The reality is that I am a better and happier person for having been homeschooled; that I would be worse off in general had I not been homeschooled; and that while the public school system is suffering unimaginably right now, homeschooling is not even close to its biggest problem.**
*No, I did not attend to a public high school in order to “reform” brats who would happily murder me. I’m sure this makes me a bad person, but no.
**My mother teaches public school even now, and seriously, for parents to actually talk to and spend time with their kids — public school or no — would do unbelievable wonders. Most of her problem children never get to see either of their parents, and it’s seldom because the parents need to work that much.
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