Parental Speech Rights -Reply
JMHACLJ at AOL.COM
Wed Aug 13 13:15:59 PDT 1997
In a message dated 97-08-13 11:36:19 EDT, Ed Darrell wrote:
<<Public schools are open to kids whose parents have not the resources to
home school them>>
in response to Robert Holt's question:
<< In what way do public schools ____benefit all of us____ that private or
home schools do not?>> (Emphasis added)
Obviously, Ed's answer presumes that we are all benefitted by having public
schools available for children that cannot or will not attend private or home
schools. I question that presumption. Anecdotes abound in my community of
children who fail in public schools only to be rescued from a lifetime of
ignoble ignorance through a program of home study or through the offices of
some private school. Included within that class of anecdotes are the stories
of many students expelled from public school for misbehavior who are then
turned around in private or home settings.
<< At the same time, they offer education opportunities to children who do
have such resources, but at a cheaper price. >>
Which public school districts in the United States have a per pupil cost that
is less than such nationally respected and well regarded programs as the
Calvert School Home Department curriculum (just one of many examples)?
Calvert's home program runs from about $ 450 - 700 (depending on which
grades and which enrichment add-ons one purchases.
Ed also wrote:
<< Public schools offer the opportunity to universal literacy and cultural
No. ____Learning____ offers the opportunity for universal literacy and
cultural literacy. The publicization of education is to literacy and culture
as fish is to bicycle.
And Ed wrote:
<<Socially, private and home schools as do not offer equal opportunities to
all children regardless of parentage or privilege.>>
If you mean kids in home and private schools do not get to have the
___same___ socialization opportunities, I reply, how right you are and how
good that is! Students in home schools have such varied socialization
opportunities that it is pompous to attempt to speak for any but my own. In
our home school, my children relate in a large, working group setting
(remember, seven children). They play in small and large group settings.
They accomplish assigned work and tasks in small and large group settings.
In addition, they participate in extracurricular activities (karate and
ballet, for just two examples) which expose them to children outside of their
usual circles of friends under controlled circumstances. And, in church
study classes they also have different small and large group relational
I tire of the worn-out unfounded "but they don't get to socialize" argument.
Home schooled children may not get to have such fun socialization as
watching the teacher's face get bashed in with a hammer; they may not get to
test their social graces on such occasions as the offer of a toke on a joint
in the boys room; they may be deprived of the opportunity of volunteering to
give financial support to the big bullies afterschool entertainment fund.
But that socialization we can and should do without.
Ed Darrell also wrote:
<<Private and home schools do not open their doors to all comers. The
brilliant leader of the poor, undereducated household faces greater odds just
to get a basic education in private or home schools. >>
Does your state law permit children to be educated in the home of another
person. Not every state does and probably few do. Public schools have not
always opened their doors to all comers. Else, from whence comes
"Charlotte-Mecklenburg"? And, public schools expel students because of
misconduct. And have you looked at the Education law reporter recently? The
IDEA litigation around the country suggests that public schools can be quite
hostile territory for those with disabilities.
And Ed Darrell wrote:
<<E. D. Hirsch makes the point that to the extent we do not hold a common
understanding of history among us, we talk past each other ("Cultural
Literacy," and others). Differences of opinion make for strong teams, better
government, etc. etc. A genuine difference of opinion requires common
understanding, however. Without that understanding, debate and discussion
The foregoing remark implies that public schools accomplish that inculcation
of cultural literacy. But Hirsch disputes this very point. He indicts
culturally impoverished homes in the first instance. Public schools the only
means of inculcation of cultural literacy, nor are they adept at inculcation
of such literacy in particularly troubled populations, such as inner-city
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