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Tuesday March 5th 2024

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Veteran Homeschooler’s Response to “The Problem with Public Schools”

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I think it’s myopic to say that there is one single cause of Big Education failure. The entire factory model doesn’t work anymore.

Veteran homeschooler Mary McCarthy took the time to send a thoughtful response to Linda Dobson’s post called “The Problem with Public Schools: Some Blame Teachers; Others, Poverty.” She wanted to agree that while the education crisis is often blamed on teachers and poverty (and, of course, parents), the system is suffering from a variety of ailments. Here’s Mary.

By Mary McCarthy

Have to agree.  I think it’s myopic to say that there is one single cause of Big Education failure.  The entire factory model doesn’t work anymore.

Teachers are not solely to blame, although there are some rotten apples in their barrel. Teachers have psychological, drug, alcohol, financial and marital problems same as any other group.  Just as there are great teachers, there are some who shouldn’t be there.

Poverty is not to blame.  Big education likes to say that the kids come to school unprepared to learn.  Perhaps if we didn’t categorize children as failures before they even get into Kindergarten, that would help, too.  Putting prejudice into the teacher doesn’t make it easier for the child.

Perhaps if we looked at education as learning, instead of lining little ones up making them think the most useless snippets of rote information are somehow important and independent learning is inconvenient for the staff, that might help.

Perhaps if Big Education wasn’t constantly testing and categorizing children based on made up criteria, kids would be learning instead of competing for a good category.

Self-esteem does not replace knowledge.  And knowledge has a lot more value than what someone wears.  No one cares if you were popular in school; they just want to know you can do the job.

Big Education  needs to stop convincing children and their parents they need drugs to follow rules and be accepted.

Parents need to recognize that education is a business: that teachers are employees and principals are middle management.  Big Education is preparation for factory work where everyone does the same thing at the same time and works from bell to bell.

And I’ll bet it would help immensely if we stopped trying to blame Big Education’s failure on everybody and their grandmother and started taking responsibility.

That’s why home schooled kids do so well – they can think, not recite; create, not follow; accept responsibility, not blame others and – yes – they have a loving support system that is there year after year supporting them, not a superficial relationship with individuals who can barely remember their name.

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