Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Whose Job is it to Educate the Children?

I have read all the flurry of emails over this case in California... and I guess what I don't understand with this country is why do people feel that it is the Governments job to educate our children and not the parents? Apparently educating ones own children is not *technically* a Constitutional Right. Why? Because I think our Founding Fathers thought this was a given. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, it was the parent’s job to see that their child was educated. Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution, governments wanted to keep immigrant children out of the factories and keep developing new cogs for the wheel.

So, here we are with our whole society believing that it is the Governments job - and when kids are aren't educated, it is now the teachers fault, and the school needs more money. In my district, it cost $13,000 per child to educate them. I understand overhead and all that - but I am doing it with way less than that. In addition, why don't people question the growth and net profit of all those places like Sylvan Learning Center? So, not only does the district spend $30,000 for my children - but then parents pay again when the system isn't working for them.

I am not saying that schools are bad - and that we should banish them - because they are important in the goal of educating children - but what irritates me is that if the parents choose an alternative method - such as homeschooling, why is it the governments job to regulate and make sure parents are doing their "job", when everyone is crying at what a sad state the schools are in.

Which brings up the child abuse issue. That argument that says, children being in public school are screened for abuse. Hello!! I know many children that have faced sexual abuse and bullying in the public school - and no one is dragging the school into court. Well perhaps they are, but it is not as well publicized. I am in no means wishing to protect child abusers. But in most cases where this in the family that is called into question about homeschooling, it is that they were already having issues, social services dropped the ball and then when the children are starved and murdered, the headlines all say "Homeschooled Mother kills her children". I don't believe in these cases that the parents were really "homeschooling" and even if they were making their kid do sit down school, if they were abusive and controlling, they would have been this way regardless of whether the child was in school or not.

So, really I am not panicking about this California thing. Chase says we can just move to Canada ;-) But perhaps if it came down to it, I could get a teaching certificate and add it to my degree collection.

But the crux of the matter as I see it is - Who do we really think is responsible for the education of our children? Why do we insist on letting the government control us and let them serve the people rather than the other way around? I understand all the social implications of an educated vs. non-educated population, and I understand the Bell Curve. But in theory educational institutions should be in place, should we wish to utilize them. They should not be forced on us.

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