Mandatory kindergarten on the way? (Freedom: school, live in, vs.)
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Again, I see your point. However, school standards decline not because it's compulsory but mainly because for the last almost 40 years, the budget for educational spending has been slashed to the point of barely there at all. That's one such factor. Another is something that started with we Gen-Xer's and continues with Gen Y and New millenials is this idea that no child should be made to feel like they didn't make it. Everyone is a winner sort of attitude. Well in the real world, there are losers plain and simple. One cannot deal with disappointment as an adult if they're being coddled as a child. So now you can get three forms of a grade in school ranging from plus to minus. this makes no sense. An A is an A. If you get an A you were at 100%. Can't be better than that so A+ is meaningless as is A-. If you didn't do as well, the grade should be a B and so on. a D- exist largely because many teachers want to avoid sending F notices to parents. All of this eventually lowers the standards over time.
Assuming the truth of the above, the solution is not to expand this broken system to the 5-10% of five year olds who are not enrolled in kindergarten, but to fix the system. Pushing a few more toddlers - toddlers who are probably doing just fine at home - into a broken education system isn't going to solve anything. And it may harm the lives of children who aren't ready for it.
But I have to dispute the notion that money is the reason for our compulsory education system's long record of declining performance. The states with the lowest per-capita spending - South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, et al - typically have the highest SAT scores. And the states with the highest per capita spending have mediocre scores at best.
It's not the money: it's the culture of the system itself, it's values (or lack thereof) and priorities. It's also the brokenness of those who enter the system: children from broken and dysfuctional homes, with parents who don't have their lives together and just want a babysitter. All of these drag the system down and money isn't going to fix it. Neither is compulsory kindergarten.
As for the mandatory aspect of kindergarten, does the law offer any exemption for home schoolers?
Yes, it does, and it's pretty easy to comply with. But there are lots of parents who just don't think in terms of "school" when it comes to 5 year olds. Nor should they. Once they do, I think most will choose the easiest path, which is to turn over their toddlers to the "experts" at the government school.
As with so much of this kind of legislation, the biggest problem is not its direct impact, but the worldview that is being advanced and the things that will likely follow.
The community I grew up in was mostly Catholic. The Catholic kids were the worst. The parents never acknowledged their children were a problem. It was always the non-Catholic kids fault, like ME. I got blamed for all sorts of their crap. They were always doing things their parents didn't know about. They were in constant retaliation. Many of these kids left their religion forever, some came back later as the church began to make changes.
As for home schooling, I think it can be done correctly. But many don't have the right teaching skills, nor do they socialize their children. So I believe there are many failures. The children rarely seem to fit in socially and have a tough time with their peers. Keeping them around only those people who think like their parents does not work. In the real world, we don't all think alike. Morals and character, IMO, do not come from your religion. They come from a caring, loving family that they can learn by example from, and a solid education. You just can't lock them into a world that doesn't exist on the outside.
"They" as in how much of a representative sample? Your disgruntled girlfriend and the people in her stories? In the Bay Area? Please.
Furthermore you are coming at this - apparently - as someone with an entirely different set of values. No amount of "socialization" among counter-cultural homeschoolers is going to satisfy you if you don't like their particular counter-culture. There will always be a conflict between your values and theirs, and depending on how you express yours, connecting socially is going to be a challenge.
The socialization issue is statistically bogus. Homeschoolers are more involved in their communities than public schoolers. They volunteer more, they read more, they are more politically aware, they have fewer behavioral problems, etc. But yes, there are homeschoolers who are perhaps unreasonably sheltered. Maybe your girlfriend is one of them. Hard for me to tell because it seems likely that what you consider unreasonable and what I consider unreasonable are miles apart.
Another post I didn't continue reading after the first line. Know your audience before you speak. My girlfriend is not from the bay area but from very conservative areas of SoCal.
Another thing that frequently happens is that when the kids reach adulthood, they often go way to the other extreme. Home schooling only delays the inevitable. Unless a person is going to be kept in that bubble their entire lives, the world those parents tried so hard to keep them away from is the world they'll be in once adults. Only question is, how will they deal with it?
Here's how the graduates of a prominent California-based homeschool academy deal with it:
"Of the seniors who graduated from MODG in 2009-2010, 83% went on to pursue a BA, and an additional 8% to a two-year program. The average SAT scores for the MODG seniors (class of 2009-10) are well above the national average. In fact, they are 60 points higher in Mathematics (576 versus 516), 109 points higher in Critical Reading (610 versus 501), and 108 points higher in Writing (600 versus 492).
MODG students perform well on other standardized tests. Every year there are MODG students who attain National Merit Finalist status. In 2010 there were nine MODG students who achieved this distinction. Additionally, more than 20% of all MODG students who took the ACT in the last two years received a score of 30 or higher.
MODG Average PSAT Score 2009-2010: 171
MODG Average Combined SAT Score 2009-2010: 1786
MODG Average ACT Score Total 2009-2010: 26
Mother of Divine Grace School's students have earned a variety of academic scholarships including the National Merit Scholarship. Many of our students have received partial or full tuition scholarships to the colleges of their choice. In fact, the MODG 2009-2010 graduating class was offered a collected total of over $5,000,000 in scholarship monies.
Mother of Divine Grace School's graduates have been accepted at a variety of colleges across the United States. (At least eighty percent of our graduates attend a four year college or university.) Graduates of MODG have been accepted into 12 of the top 25 schools in the nation according to US News & World Report's 'National University Ranking' for 2011: #5: University of Pennsylvania, #9: Dartmouth College, #12: Northwestern University, #13: Johns Hopkins University, #17: Rice University, #17: Vanderbilt University, #19: University of Notre Dame, #21: Georgetown University, #22: University of California, Berkeley, #23: Carnegie Mellon (School of Computer Science), #23: University of Southern California, #25: University of California, Los Angeles."
Probably that the U.S. lags behind other countries in education (most specifically, Japan). Gone are the days when kindergarteners played in the sandbox and fingerpainted....or at least that's what we all did in California kindergartens decades ago. Since the 1980s, public school kindergarteners are expected to recognize words by sight, write their name, understand sequence, etc. And they really do need to be able to read by second grade.
The OP should thnk about the states that now have pre-K, though it isn't mandatory. Our great granddauther will start reg K in Sep and has been in pre K this year. It is amazing what she has learned. No, she isn't reading, but she knows what sounds every letter makes, etc. Even Pre-K isn't just baby sitting anymore.
My only concern and this is going to happen, sooner or later, is: the slight and not always obvious, liberal views that can be put into young minds. That being said, I don't think this would be any reason to hold a child out of school til they are 6, 8 or whatever the OP is thinking.
One nice thing about mandatory kindergarten is all neighborhood schools would likely have it. I remember as a kid I had to go to a different school further away because not all the schools had to offer it.
I think homeschooling should be outlawed just from the standpoint that it's another tool men use to oppress women by keeping them out of the workplace. I'm pretty sure it's not many of these right wing dudes who stay home and do the teaching. If it is allowed, parents who do it should have to have a four year degree and a teaching certiificate appropriate to the level of the child they're teaching.
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