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Ramming Values Down American Parents’ Throats

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The war against abstinence education wages on across the country. The comprehensive sex ed crowd was apoplectic with the results of a Mathematica study that showed kids who had abstinence education programs were just as likely to engage in sexual activity with the same rates of "dangerous" behavior. The flip side of the study showed that abstinence education also "did no harm" in that the "risky" behaviors were just as frequent between both groups, but that got ignored. Predictably, the studies that show abstinence ed works also got ignored.

The study itself has recycled some of the same claims that come up every time someone objects to abstinence education. Representative Waxman did a study in 2004 that purported to show all the damage abstinence education does, but between outright stupid objections and showing that some programs do work, his attempt failed.

The push for comprehensive education is nothing more than an attempt to ram values down parents' throats. The United States is a values pluralistic society that works precisely because other people's values are respected and tolerated. Except in the narrow case of values that are criminal or quasi-criminal, the government shouldn't start dictating to citizens what values they must have, religious or otherwise. In short, if government education programs are going to deal with sex (and it's not clear that this is a necessary area for government to be involved in) they need to do so in a values neutral manner.

A reasonable position would be to allow comprehensive sex ed, abstinence ed, or no sex ed at all to be choices available at the sole discretion of the parents. Parents, as a rule, know their children the best and are best able to make the most informed decisions about them. However, far too often the government turns the school system into a parole office for which parents must issue an accounting of their decisions after committing the crime of conception.

Even the ACLU, an organization that allegedly exists solely to protect the bill of rights, demands that only comprehensive sex ed be taught because that's supposedly the only legal way to do it. Apparently the Constitution requires nothing less than full and complete courses in sexual technique and pleasuring for six year olds.

The reason for forcing the government to present only comprehensive sex ed from the highest levels is clear when it is realized that parents want abstinence ed for their children by a 2:1 margin. The ACLU always stands ready to thwart the democratic process by forcing their values down the throats (and into the pants) of Americans by going to unelected judges to force the issue.

The message is clear, not only can parents not be trusted to make this decision for children, but lawmakers cannot either. All that is left is for the ACLU to shop for the right judge to give them what they want via the courts as it can never be won democratically.

Instead of looking at the reasons why children engage in sexual activity when and how they do, comprehensive sex ed advocates try to bypass parents to present cookie-cutter values without parental involvement. There are some interesting studies, for instance, that show that intelligent kids don't have sex.

The school system in this country has enough problems producing students that can compete in a global economy.  The schools certainly don't need to have time taken out of their classes every year with students are already being left behind by the rest of the world academically. Schools should spend their time focusing on academics, not on being one-step social service agencies.

A constant refrain in politics is anger at the "Christian Right" for forcing their values on American society. How about some reciprocity? Let's leave the parenting to the parents.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • zingzing

    so… if kids are going to have sex either way… don’t you think it smart that they know what a condom is, how to use it, etc? that they know that, should they decide to have sex, a condom can protect them from some things called stds?

    knowing the dangers of sex is just as compelling as having your health teacher say “don’t have sex!” you say as much yourself. sex is a dangerous game and your children have the right to know that.

    look at all the misinformation and levels of ignorance about the dangers of sex that you see in places like africa. aids is out of control. yes, abstinence will protect you from aids (sexually-transmitted aids anyway)… but if the kids are going to do it anyway, as you say…

    a friend of mine is in china right now studying the levels of sex education there. there isn’t any to speak of. it’s a fairly traditional society, but is growing and changing rapidly. the rumor is that sunbathing can cure aids. what shit. you know what? stds and aids are on the rise there.

    education is the key to stopping the spread of stds. by the time your kids get to the age that they should be getting some sex ed, which is just before most kids get to be sexually active, your role as parent has been reduced from instilling values to telling them what not to do. and of course, they’re just going to do what you tell them not to. stop fucking up your kids.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    The study referenced shows that there is NO CHANGE in the rate of “risky” sexual behavior (no condoms, many partners, etc), between comprehensive sex ed and abstinence ed. Try again.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Parents should ALWAYS trump the government as to what is taught their kids and what values are instilled in them.

    This issue is yet another example of the increasing trend toward having a “nanny” government.

    The next thing you know, the government will be forcing us to wear seatbelts in our cars…

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    It’s not a black and white issue… there are plenty of acceptable sets of values when it comes to sex. Comprehensive sex ed advocates want to present only one. Abstinence only advocates want to present only one. I’d prefer that choice be left to the parents who actually know the child.

    Parents decision SHOULD trump government usually. I’d prefer not to treat parents as if they are under an irrefutable presumption of guilt simply because they conceived a child.

  • zingzing

    hrm. teaching kids about safe sex doesn’t tell them to go and have sex. teaching kids not to go and have sex does just that. now kids shouldn’t be having sex. that’s true. but kids are going to have sex. and when kids have sex, they should know what they are getting into.

    simple as that.

    and no, clavos, parents can’t always be trusted to tell the kids about sex. especially the religious ones. come on, it’s true. it’s not about government control, it’s about doing what’s right.

  • Arch Conservative

    “it’s not about government control, it’s about doing what’s right.”

    If government is to be the sole judge of what’s right then it is about government control.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Did this study offer the parents the option of sex education which stressed abstinence but included basic information on contraception and STDs?

    The problem here is that neither of these two approaches is sufficient by itself, and just asking parents isn’t enough either. We ought to be asking the kids – it’s their problem.

    Parents are going to tend to think their kids are perfect and virginal and will just not have sex if told so by an authority figure. Why would anyone poll a group that delusional and take it seriously?

    And keep in mind that I’m saying this as a former PTA VP, member of the curriculum committee at a middle school and the father of a teenager. Parents as a whole are a pack of clueless dumbasses when it comes to their kids.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    and no, clavos, parents can’t always be trusted to tell the kids about sex. especially the religious ones. come on, it’s true. it’s not about government control, it’s about doing what’s right.

    True. But people can’t always be trusted to do what is “right” in a lot of areas, not just parenting; often because we don’t always agree as to what is “right.”

    In a dictatorship or tyrannical society, this doesn’t matter; somebody determines what’s “right” and everybody else must toe the line.

    We give lip service, at least, to being a free country. We aren’t really, and this is one example of where we are not free.

    People should be free to be make mistakes, too.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    parents can’t always be trusted to tell the kids about sex

    When I think about parents and sex ed I’m thinking about 40% of their home lifes resemble Carrie and her mom talking about ‘dirty pillows’.

    Dave

  • STM

    I think we should cave in to the Christian Right, Catholic and Evangelical, and go down the total abstinence route. Make them all sleep with gloves on and then ban kids from having ANY sex at all until they’re 21 or of legal drinking age, whichever comes first. Special parent squads should also be set up to hunt down teenage boys’ porn stashes.

    This worked well for us in the early ’70s. Pot was also banned in that period, and of course, I can’t recall anyone ever smoking it ….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    This worked well for us in the early ’70s. Pot was also banned in that period, and of course, I can’t recall anyone ever smoking it ….

    …or anything else about then, either. Right?

  • STM

    Exactamundo … I can tell you that it’s possible to do almost anything in a Fiat 500 Bambino … provided it’s got a sunroof.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “so… if kids are going to have sex either way”

    Let’s stop right there, zing. When you make that assumption, you have given up the game. The job of a parent is to get his kids to make intelligent choices, not popular ones, and to protect them if they can from the stupidity they are most familiar with – their own. That means that parents have to invest real time in educating their kids in sexual responsibility, and what constitutes sexual responsibility. And responsible sexual behavior is all about judgment.

    NO school can be relied on as a substitute for that kind of education in judgment.

    Do note John’s link that shows that smart kids don’t fuck around. Someone took the time to teach these kids to use their judgment and to think.

    Smart parents like this are generally not intimidated by the bullshit bureaucrats who hustle the crap they were taught as “educators.” This means that they are willing, among other things to fight the bullshit bureaucrats who infest the school systems all over the world like cockroaches and make sure that their own children learn their values. Sometimes, you have to be a son of a bitch to accomplish that, but when you sign up to be mom or dad, that also comes with the territory.

    This means that tough and smart parents are not intimidated by the ACLU and other assholes in American society who seem to need to ram their values down parents’ throat.

  • David Dawson

    This debate is not about preventing kids from having sex. It’s about CRAMMING christian-morality down people’s throat. These fundamentalist christians believe pre-marital sex is a sin, and they want to STOP people from doing it. IF they COULD they’d flat-out ban it, and lock people up for it!! Do you realize how dangerous these people are? They have no problem imposing their personal morality on everyone else in the world. These people lie at the heart of the problem with the USA, the war in Iraq, and the overall worldview of the nation. These people are THE REASON WHY the rest of the world is starting to get SICK of the USA. Do they care? Absolutely NOT! If they’re allowed to keep it up, however, the USA will soon go the way of Rome. Think it can’t happen? That’s what Rome thought.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    David-

    Your hateful diatribe aside, you’ll note that no where I advocate for demanding abstinence only across the baord. I advocate for letting parents decide. You want to raise you kids the way you see fit? Fine (with the obvious child abuse exceptions). Christians want to raise their kids the way they see fit? That’s fine too. I’d just prefer you not ram your values into my kid’s pants.

    Thanks.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    @#13:

    Well said, Ruvy.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Parents should ALWAYS trump the government as to what is taught their kids and what values are instilled in them.

    You are right, however it is in these parents homes that these children watch shows and listen to music that makes them even more curious about sex. Its these parents who don’t monitor what their children are going to the movies to watch.

    Its these same parents who don’t have an open relationship with their kids where they can talk about sex and even dating with them.

    My kids friends who are teetering on sexuality and will be soon, don’t talk to their parents AT ALL or even about who they have a crush on. They however watch all sorts of movies and TV shows, unsupervised. The same parents will tell you, “you cant always watch your kids” and buy those ridiculous hip hop CDs with the worst lyrics.

    The horrible values don’t come from society. They come from the homes… meaning the parents.

    What do we do as a society then?

  • Zedd

    I know of a parent with a 12yr old girl who has a boyfriend who is at their house constantly. They go on trips with this boyfriend and he has super with them. He is like a son-in-law. What is that?

    I know another 11yr old who is taken to the movies and dropped off with her boyfriend for a date where they kiss and act like real boyfriend and girlfriend with the mom’s permission.

    Lets stop acting as if parents are these sacred KNOWING individuals. What each parent does to their children, they do to society. Finding the balance is the key.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    The proper balance, I presume, won’t be an irrefutable presumption of guilt against parents…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    What do we do as a society then?

    That, Zedd is the proverbial $64,000 question. I don’t know.

    You’re right, there are a LOT of irresponsible parents out there. Maybe the children of those parents DO need to be taught values in school, but the parents who ARE teaching their kids must have the right to opt out of those kinds of programs if they want to.

    That’s one of the reasons why I support school vouchers: parents should have control AND choices.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    The next thing you know, the government will be forcing us to wear seat belts in our cars…

    I cant figure out why people still complain about this. We are saving more on insurance because of less fatalities and injuries. We are saving our kids lives. If you can allow a home owner’s association to dictate to you what color to paint your house surely strapping your kids in if you want to drive a car shouldn’t be a problem.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Zedd,

    I will live under a highway bridge, as the courts here in Miami are currently forcing a half dozen sex offenders to do, before I would live in a neighborhood with that kind of a homeowners association.

    I haven’t seen my insurance go down; with a spotless record and no kids on my policy, my insurance still goes up every year; what savings?

    I wore seat belts before they were the law, but the government has no business intruding in people’s lives to that degree.

    As I said upthread, people have a right to make mistakes.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    As a person who started off in a strict school system that required learning, I was first all for vouchers. I saw the fluff in the schools as I was growing up and thought it was just laughable. As I perform my stint in non profit I have come to understand just how irresponsible the most well intended “programs” including charter schools are. Unless you are talking about the top of the line prep schools, a lot of private schools are behind. Actually studies support that. I truly value public schools now. Especially since they have become much more academic than when I was growing up.

    The liberal environment that we envision does not exist, at least in Texas. There are fantasies about a kumbaya atmosphere in schools that just isn’t there. School is strict NOW with cause and affect embedded in every aspect of education.

    It is however the parents, liberal or conservative (I live in conservative heaven), who don’t support the serious expectations for their children. Parents drive their daughters up to the school in pajamas and house shoes because that is the latest trend with girls. Kids jump out of their Mom’s car with sagging pants and the teacher at the door has to tell them to pull their pants up.

    My kids attend the most desirable schools in the district and we still have this foolishness.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    I would agree with you a hundred percent. You say this because YOU are a responsible person. There are some crazy people out there raising kids. I have come to KNOW that they are not necessarily the trailer park/projects stereo types either.

    I lived in an downtown “cool” urban environment for years. I loved it. We walked to restaurants and did Shakespeare in the park and Jazz concerts, etc. We had bohemian types, professionals, gay, straight, conservative, etc. On my street there was a gay Podiatrist, retired Jewish woman with 50yr old son, Protestant insurance exec with Jewish stay at home wife who invited us to share in Hanukkah and sing the dradle song, we had 3 attorneys, several young professional couples, Pilot, Indian IT guys… anyway it was nice and we were AAs and added that flavor. My kids were the only kiddos past 2yrs old in the neighborhood so they were doted on by everyone. Halloween was a smogasborg for them because the entire neighborhood was just waiting for them to knock. But after my husband died and my kids got older, the children needed the simplicity of suburban life. And the urban schools got scarier with every passing grade so I RAN to the suburbs!

    I am shocked everyday just how irresponsible and messed up the idealised suburban moms are. OMG part of it is just denseness but man talk about dysfunction. I suppose the drunk sorority loose girl married too. Well they are in the suburbs and trying to be moms. OMG!!! The advise that they yell out to their kids is just weird. Bobby could have his “bad figure” stuck out at someone and they’ll yell “didn’t I tell you not to put those shoe laces on?”…. huh?. We had a mom to give the cheer coach immense hell because her 13yr old was upset because the cheer skirt wasn’t short enough. She actually pulled her kid out of the squad… go figure! We have DADs who drop their daughters off to practice with their hiney cheeks hanging out of their hiked up shorts. These individuals are conservatives who attended Wednesday night bible study…. sigh.

    Its all so weird. I really understand why kids are on so much medication. Their worlds don’t make sense. The parents are crazy and don’t think about what they do and why to do it.

    So I agree with you. There must be a balance.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    No one is arguing that all parents out there are wonderful… but treating all parents as members of a suspect class is a little much.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Once upon a time, schools were run by local and state authorities, reflecting the attitudes and desires of those closest to the needs of their kids and communities. The main goal:education–reading, writing, history, math, science, vocational training, etc. School systems–certainly not perfect, especially considering segregation and poverty–accomplished a lot for many individuals, because they knew them and they cared. Oh, yes:they and parents also believed in and taught taking responsibility. Kids somehow figured out what to do with the opposite sex and though not always, for the most part, learned how to make good decisions.

    Then, federal funding for schools came along–with endless federal mandates about curriculum, methods, reports, tests, and feel-good micromanaged programs to waste kids’ and teachers’ time and the public’s money. Result:chaotic and unsatisfactory results. It’s really a battle for schools to do a good job of anything except baby sitting (a battle that many teachers, kids and parents still fight and win, against the odds), and everything is someone else’s fault.

    To avoid criticism, most everything they teach is values-neutral, which means, in sex ed, they teach mechanics but leave the morality up to the immature learner to decide or try to figure out with the help of our over-sexed society.

    Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for the federal government messing up what worked reasonably well, and imposing it’s ignorant and blundering bureaucratic will on everyone.

  • zingzing

    ruvy–it wasn’t my assumption, it was the findings of the study that john quoted.

    “That means that parents have to invest real time in educating their kids in sexual responsibility, and what constitutes sexual responsibility.”

    well, when you say that, you might as well give up. “parents have to invest real time in educating their kids in sexual responsibility…” come on. even you would bet on lord jesus coming back before a vast majority of parents “invest real time in educating their kids in sexual responsibility.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Good comment, Lee.

    Involvement of the Feds in almost anything usually results in just what you described.

  • zingzing

    a large majority of people are going to have sex before they get married. if you want your kids to be taught “no sex before marriage,” there are places that teach that.

    sigh. maybe choice in the matter is a good thing. i think that you are fucking up your kids, and your kids might go and fuck up mine, but whatever. when your kid calls you on his/her wedding night, all confused about what the fuck is going on down there, you will have done a good job. when they end up with the clap or herpes or aids and they call you having no clue why their crotch is on fire, well… you had your chance.

    so really… if you want to teach your kids abstinence only in school… what do you teach them at home? nothing? or do you teach them all of the things that sex ed teaches them? i really have no clue as to how kids are supposed to know that sex can kill them and babies come from it.

  • zingzing

    oh yeah, john. what if your children are gay?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    You know, zing, not everybody who doesn’t want their kids to learn about sex from the government is going to teach them abstinence; lots of us just want to teach them in our own way, which doesn’t necessarily include what you suggest.

  • Zedd

    Lee

    I agree with the last portion of your post.

    However the relationship of the school and society that once existed would not fly in today’s world. Everything rested on a society with a firm foundation of norms, virtues and expectations.

    In the Sixties, the adult world changed. Society itself ceased to be responsible so the need for more intervention for the benefit of children would have had to take place ANYWAY. Boomers were not equipped to be the wise, focused, self sacrificing parents that their parents were. It was all going to go to pot anyway. They were/are too busy having fun, too self absorbed to make the parenting choices that the previous generation did (liberal or conservative)

  • zingzing

    “You know, zing, not everybody who doesn’t want their kids to learn about sex from the government is going to teach them abstinence; lots of us just want to teach them in our own way, which doesn’t necessarily include what you suggest.”

    jesus. it’s just another piece of education. it’s just like teaching biology. it’s nothing more. maybe you’re too old to have had a sex ed class in school, but i’m not, and i tell you it’s about as titilating as disecting a pig. is it male or female? let’s look at the teets! they take a banana and slip a condom over it. they explain it like a raincoat. it’s just common sense stuff with some disgusting pictures.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    No one is teaching kids about SEX. They are being taught about biology.

    If you have sex this is what happens. Life if you eat this is what happens.

    Just as it is not a problem to learn about nutrition whether married or not, learning about what happens with sex whether married or not is something to be EDUCATED about. Why not?

    Eating feels good. I suppose we should feel embarrassed about it ???? There are appropriate ways to deal with food. Each family has their relationship with food. However we DO teach nutrition.

    We are all sexual beings. Sex feels good. There are appropriate ways to deal with sex based on your home life.

    However it shouldn’t preclude you learning about reproduction and disease.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    No one is teaching kids about SEX. They are being taught about biology.

    Semantics, Zedd. Quit quibbling, we’ll call it biology if you like.

    Just as it is not a problem to learn about nutrition whether married or not, learning about what happens with sex whether married or not is something to be EDUCATED about. Why not?

    No reason why not. Didn’t say they shouldn’t be educated about it, just said the choice of who (and how) will educate them should belong the parents; which, as I said before, is why I’m in favor of vouchers.

  • zingzing

    clavos–i think you’re making far too big a deal out of the whole thing. john too. did either of you have sex education classes? do you know what’s involved?

    it’s basic information about where we come from and how it all happens. it covers the dangers of sex and how to avoid those dangers. abstinence is ALWAYS shown as the best way to protect yourself.

    what the hell would abstinence-only sex education be? “don’t do it?” come on. that’s just plain dangerous.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    what the hell would abstinence-only sex education be? “don’t do it?” come on. that’s just plain dangerous.

    I never mentioned abstinence only, and what I’m arguing is the right of parents to determine what is taught their children, period. Not just sex education, EVERYTHING.

    The government should be implementing what the PARENTS WANT, Not dictating to them.

    See Lee’s most excellent comment #26 above.

    His explanation of the whole point says it all.

  • zingzing

    if every parent had say over EVERYTHING his/her student was taught, there would be chaos and you know it. if a parent wants that kind of control over their child’s education, they can home school.

    what you are suggesting is ludicrous.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    if every parent had say over EVERYTHING his/her student was taught, there would be chaos and you know it. if a parent wants that kind of control over their child’s education, they can home school.

    And a hell of a lot of them are taking that option, or moving them to private schools. Keep my example in mind. I think it shows how fucked up the public schools really are. I had to take my kids out of public school in order to keep them from being exposed to constant Christian indoctrination. That’s not exactly the image of the public schools most of us expect, but there are so many religious groups using them as a recruiting ground that it’s become a real problem.

    Dave

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Well, gee, if the schools want to implement a “screw parents” attitude and set themselves up as the true parents, then I want my property tax dollars back…

    Where did this idea that citizens can’t be trusted with decisions and we must leave it to unelected bureaucrats come from? Shall we just go ahead and return to Crown rule while we’re at it?

  • zingzing

    see, you’re overreacting.

  • troll

    appropriately Lee’s post began with ‘Once upon a time…’ as do moist fairy tales

    you’re all pining for a past that (for the most part) never really was…schools haven’t gone from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ but rather from ‘bad’ to ‘worse’

  • zingzing

    “moist fairy tales”

    letters to playboy?

    i know, i know.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    #42:
    Sorry to disagree, Troll. I received a first-rate public school education. There was good teaching, firm discipline, support for the school’s efforts from parents, and we kids were held accountable by both for learning and behavior.

    My teachers (mostly) knew their stuff, and they expected you to know what had been taught. There was memorization and drill, but we also learned to appreciate knowledge, value education and, most important, how to think for ourselves.

    It really did exist where I went to school and, I’m convinced, more places in the US than not. I met many others from around the country in college(a private school)who were certainly well-prepared.

    Where did all those engineers, biologists, chemists, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, inventors, astronauts, artists,modern farmers, entrepreneurs, etc., and just ordinary good informed citizens come from, if not from schools that were accomplishing something year after year for those who cared to take advantage of what they were offered?

    So, not “from bad to worse” unless you can pin it down specifically as to time and place. I still believe that federal instead of local control of schools and the expansion of the Dept. of Education by every recent president politicized what didn’t work and pulverized what did.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Your child’s problem was peer pressure or “bad influences” according to your standards, not an issue with public schools.

    If I moved to the suburbs because when I went to pick up my baby on the first day of middle school, the yard looked like it was invaded by juvenile delinquents. I ran.

    You did the same thing for different reasons.

  • troll

    Lee – I too went to public school during the ‘age of homework’ (place: Montgomery Co Md – time: back in the 50s and early 60s when it’s schools were considered among the best)

    promiscuity was rampant as were drug use (cigarettes and alcohol) and basic juvenile delinquency – and the adults cluck clucked about the loose morals and the old days when values were values

    which is what I was comparing – more than the academics

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Zing is right. I think you don’t understand what is being taught.

    Just as we teach math and everything else, biology should be no different. Its knowledge.

    What I have concerns over is the teaching of value judgements, even if its a canvas of all values. I don’t want someone telling my kid for example that homosexuality is an option or that being sexual right now is an option for them. If my child believed she was homosexual on her own then I would deal with it and love her off course, but I don’t want the state to insert value judgements on sexual behavior. Not only do I not want them to do it to my kid, I don’t want them to shape society by instilling views on any form of sexuality.

    For the same reason, I don’t want ANY religion to be taught in the school. I don’t mind a Social Studies class that says 80% if Indians are Hindu. That is fine. But studying the tenets of Hinduism, is problematic for me.

  • Zedd

    Lee

    Wait a minute. The federal government does not control schools. What are you talking about?

    We have local school districts and they respond to state regulations (in Texas). We have standardized tests, which is great. Everyone is held accountable. We are changing what we test over which is great. We currently don’t test over what the kids learned in that semester, we test over what they are supposed to know at that stage in that grade, which is terrible. We are trying to switch over to a more reasonable testing method, however school far is better than when I went. I’m an early Gen Xer. School is actually challanging again for kids. They are studying in the 8th grade what I studied in the 10th grade and I was in high academic classes (I BS’ed my way through school). They are expected to KNOW the information where we weren’t.

  • melvin polatnick

    A complete course in sexual education and sexual morals can be taught by a public school instructor in a matter of hours.The same information could be given at home by parents in one evening.Real sexual education is received by the socialization process that takes place outside the home or school.Youngsters soon realize that having good sexual encounters and making money are the two most important things in life,and all else is secondary.Who but a nerd or geek would disagree with this?People are human and their nature can never be changed by sermons at home or in the schools.Good people are kind people,teaching them to be sensitive to the feelings of others,and try not to hurt them should be the number one priority in education.Bad mouthing legal sexual behavior by parents at home or by instructors in the school is hypocrisy,and the youngsters know it.”let he who is without sin cast the first stone”We all have a right to be human and will be,no matter what information the hypocrites try to disperse.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd,
    If the local school districts/State Boards of Education anywhere in the US don’t follow federal guidelines to the letter, they can and will lose federal funding and may find themselves in legal trouble with the feds over violations of individual’s rights…

    If they don’t provide a laundry list of special services deemed necessary by the federal bureacracy, the same things will happen…

    If they discipline students designated Special Ed. in the same ways they discipline other students, that’s a federally-mandated no-no…

    The feds decide what accomodations must be made for what special learning needs in every school…

    Sports programs must meet federal regulations for gender balance (or the sport is eliminated)…

    Government regulations make it very difficult to get rid of mediocre teachers…

    Some federal monies are granted with the proviso that it must be spent by a certain date, EVEN if the school and district don’t need to spend it at that time…

    If they don’t meet annual federal testing and reporting benchmarks…

    Why go on and on. THAT’S what I’m talking about.

  • Arch Conservative

    I know it’s all the rage to bash Catholics and in general Christianity in certain circles these days but I thought I’d mention this:

    Nearly all studies that have been done show that in general catholic schools spend less per student than public schools and their students actually do better on standardized tests.

  • Lumpy

    “. I received a first-rate public school education. There was good teaching, firm discipline, support for the school’s efforts from parents, and we kids were held accountable by both for learning and behavior.”

    Either your experience is extremely limited, you live in one of a very few exceptional school districts in ultra-rich areas or you’re over 50. I’m guessing the later.

  • Zedd

    Lee

    Whatever position that I hold its more important to me to be well informed than to be right. I tend not to hold a belief just to support my other set of beliefs. I hold a belief because it has been proven in as far as what has been studied.

    You are excessively dramatizing the picture regarding the relationship of the neighborhood school and the federal government. Why?

    My concern is how it is that you are benefited by distorting reality. Is it that you are of a certain political ideology and want to protect that stance regardless of reality?…. Which is odd and counter productive to your own person growth and respectability. Do you just want to be right in this discussion and don’t care about reality or your integrity?

    Pretending as if something is so that doesn’t exist is odd and cheats you of expanding as a person. I know Rush does it, but he has to use drugs to feel good about himself.

    I don’t know how to respond to the points of your argument because they are extreme and over dramatized purposely.

    I suppose I should say, good luck with that??? It’s almost as if you WISH you lived in a country where the government was REALLY breathing down our backs and mandating all sorts of doctrines so that you can have something to revolt against. That is not yours or my reality. Lets stop the drama.

  • Zedd

    Lumpy

    Schools are really good now. My children are getting that same type of education right now.

    Also the fact that I am in constant contact with my children’s teachers.

    We have a system where by we can access our children’s daily grades online. I have it set up to where any grade that is 75 and below, I get flagged via e-mail.

    Schools are not the pits of doom that politicians would like for you to believe they are. They are actually far better then they were years ago, if you participate as a parent.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd,
    Perhaps you can explain how stating facts is over-dramatizing a situation.

    Show me that my statements are untrue and I’ll withdraw them with apology.

    I don’t want to be rude or unkind, but to deny what you don’t like to hear about is naive.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    I don’t want to be rude or unkind, but to deny what you don’t like to hear about is naive.

    Or disingenuous…

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    #51
    Arch, the whole story must include some additional facts:

    Catholic(or other private schools) get to choose their students;public schools have to try to teach any and all.

    The parents of private school children as a group overall, are more likely to be highly interested in education, knowledgeable, and supportive. (I KNOW individuals such as Zedd are also interested, knowledgeable & supportive–I said as a group overall).

    Student-teacher ratios are likely to be much lower in a private school setting–more individualized instruction.

    Private schools are able to discipline with the approval of parents;public schools often find parental disapproval when they discipline.

    Public schools are required to spend huge amounts of money on special education programs, which private schools don’t have to offer.

    A good public school or school district is a real bargain for the money, and there are a lot of them out there. Unfortunately, the politicians love to find and focus on the ones doing a poor job, so they can have a campaign issue to toss around.

  • Zedd

    Lee

    There is nothing in what you state which supports the idea that parents are being trumped by the federal government. You overstated your position. Not sure why.

    THAT was disingenuous.

    I’m not sure if you will feel the urge to apologies however this is what you have done. I pointed it out because its pointless for all of us to go on debating an issue which is baseless.

    Not holding mentally challenged children to the same standard as non mentally challenged children HARDLY makes your point. Its actually irrelevant to the discussion. So are your other points.

    Off course funding comes with stipulations. It should and always does in any situation. That is not the discussion that we are having however. Bulleting unrelated points could look like an attempt at producing smoke and mirrors. Using phrases like a “laundry list” seems to suggests excess. Its a technique to use drama to exaggerate the impact of what one is saying even if it is not much.

    Lets stick to the subject and discuss what is relevant as we all care about our children’s education. Discussing none issues does us all a disservice

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    What are you on about again? Why don’t you get busy on your monthly Chavez bash (hateraid).

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd:
    You stated, “The federal govenment does not control schools.”

    Then, “Of course funding comes with stipulations.”

    If “stipulations” do not mean “control” to you, then “federal mandate” does not mean “requirement”, Alice falls right down the rabbit hole again, and you’re right and I’m wrong (!)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “well, when you say that, you might as well give up. ‘parents have to invest real time in educating their kids in sexual responsibility…’ come on. even you would bet on lord jesus coming back before a vast majority of parents ‘invest real time in educating their kids in sexual responsibility.’

    and

    a large majority of people are going to have sex before they get married. if you want your kids to be taught “no sex before marriage,” there are places that teach that.”

    In the Grace after meals we Jews ask G-d to “bless my father, my teacher; and my mother my teacher….”

    In short, the responsibility to teach lies upon the parents!!!!! First, it is upon the parents, and only after that does it go to a school, or even a rabbi.

    I don’t give a shit about what “lord jesus” will do or will not do. That’s your problem. I am a father! I have the responsibilities of a father. This means, in plain Hebrew and in plain English, that I am responsible for what my children learn!

    This means that they need to know basic biology, they need to know how to recognize a slut from a decent girl (we only have sons), they need to understand what is moral and decent behavior towards girls and how not to abuse the girls they meet. If my wife and I do not at least attempt to teach this to our sons, we have abdicated our role as parents.

    If the vast majority of parents are not willing to do this, and are abandoning their responsibilities as parents, all the more reason that my wife and I are compelled to follow through on ours!

    Otherwise, zing, why should they ask G-d to “bless their father, their teacher; and their mother their teacher”?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    In other words, what I’m getting at is that before whining about the schools, parents have to do a self check. Do they have strong values, or are they just sheep following a crowd? Most people are like sheep – hence the term “sheeple”.

    But not all of us are, and it is those of us who actually give a damn – like Zedd, for example, who have to take the lead and bang the table and fight and scream for what we know to be right – even if we have to do it in another language, as I am forced to. And failing that, we have to home school.

    When I became a father, that is one of the things I signed up for.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    But not all of us are, and it is those of us who actually give a damn – like Zedd, for example, who have to take the lead and bang the table and fight and scream for what we know to be right

    Except that, in this instance, Zedd has been arguing against those of us who don’t like the school curriculum, saying she’s happy with the schools.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    I’m never against people. I’m hardly against ideas. I just don’t buy some notions.

    what I am saying is that I am involved in my kids education. I have been since they started. They are actually getting a great education. They know what they are supposed to know. When they come home and they tell me what they learned I ask them questions to deepen that knowledge so that they can apply it to other aspects of their lives. In the car we discuss science and politics, even philosophy (they don’t’ know it though).

    If they have a teacher that doesn’t seem all that bright or engaged, it doesn’t matter. We will be engaged at home. We will take that light information and deepen its meaning and implications.

    When they are in the 3rd grade I start teaching them how to establish a relationship with the teacher whereby if they have a low grade, they can talk to her to find out how to repair that (through extra credit or however…). They learn to take charge of their education and learn that it’s not the teacher, or the test, ITS THEM. However my job to gently nudge them into that awareness.

    No federal government impedes that. Political theatrics aside, lets all acknowledge that.

    Private schools don’t do intelligence tests and person-analysis evaluations for teachers. A dumb or unevolved person can teach your child in a private school and a genius or alert person can instruct them in a public school.

    Either way, its still on you and the government (federal, state or local) is nowhere in the picture.

    Clavos I started school back home. My parents were boarding school educated. I know what really being educated is. Kids get tested out of Cambridge. There are stringent expectations. Like I said when we got here in the 70’s even as a small child, I knew that education was crap. It was crap until I graduated. I never had to study and I was placed in high academic courses (snicker).

    When I’d go home to visit, I’d be embarrassed because kids my age knew so much more from their school education. If it wasn’t for my Dad and his challenges to our intellect I would have really been in trouble :o)

    That crap school system is no longer. Its gone. Its not perfect. The testing sucks, however they are working on that. I do think we benefited from GW lying about being about education. They had to do something huge about Texas if not just for looks sake when he started seriously considering a bid for the White house :o)

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    In other words, what I’m getting at is that before whining about the schools, parents have to do a self check.

    When I became a father, that is one of the things I signed up for.

    Here! Here!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Clavos,

    Thank you for your kind words, and for your clarifications. You are right to a degree, but the point is that Zedd does give a damn, as I suspect you did when your kids were younger.

    As I’m no longer involved with the American school system, there is only so much I can say. You folks in the States will have differing views. I’m only emphasizing the primary role and responsibility of parents and the fact that parents must be the first and most important educators – not your sick culture. And parents have a responsibility to aggressively take charge if they expect THEIR values to be carried on to the next generation instead of those of bureaucrats and ideologues.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Ruvy writes:

    And parents have a responsibility to aggressively take charge if they expect THEIR values to be carried on to the next generation instead of those of bureaucrats and ideologues.

    Exactly.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    I’d rather not have to spend my time fighting against bureaucrats trying to shove their values in my kids pants when **they’re using my money to do it**!!!

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Something I hope we all can find agreement on:

    The purpose of teachers and schools should be to assist parents–whose responsibility it is–to educate their children.

  • Zedd

    @John

    I’d rather not have to spend my time fighting against bureaucrats trying to shove their values in my kids pants when **they’re using my money to do it**!!!

    This sounds really crazy and paranoid.

    What kind of school does your kid go to? I have NEVER encountered such a problem EVER.

    You are obviously completely out of touch with your children’s education if you think that there are beaurocrats that are ramming any values down your children’s pants. Do you even know what your children are learning? It just doesn’t seem like it. It seems as if you are completely out of the loop.

    Get ahold of yourself. None of what you are obsessing about is happening. Beaurocrats have kids too that they love just as much. They have a variety of political views too. Many that are just like yours. There is no “everyone get your freak on” umalati or cabal.

    Breath dude. Your sounding scary.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Once again, Lee:

    The purpose of teachers and schools should be to assist parents–whose responsibility it is–to educate their children.

    Well put.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    That is what teachers do. They support parents in educating their children. Its only when YOU (we) are not aware that that is what they are there to do that your child’s education suffers.

    Most parents just drop the kids off and hope that the teachers can fix their kids or make them smarter.

    Parents should aid teachers in getting their job done so that they can help parents.

    When I shoot off an e-mail to a teacher letting them know what is going on with my child, they are so grateful.

    Its not the teachers or the beaurocrats or the federal government. All of that is a cop out so that we don’t take full responsibility for our parenting. The government doesn’t want to indoctrinate our bratty kids. The government doesn’t really care. All the politicians want are good stats to make them look good or bad stats to declare a war on so that they can look good.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Zedd-

    So call your ideology what it really is… Blame Parents First, or more accurately, the irrefutable presumption of guilt against parents.

  • Zedd

    John,

    Blame parents for what?

    If your children don’t know what your values are than YES its your doing.

    Its not the school’s doing or the beaurocrats or politicians or the federal government. You being a conservative and conservatives always telling people to take responsibility, should understand this more than anything.

    Raising your children to understand your values AND to know that there are people who believe differently, IS your responsibility. No one else’s. Not even other relatives. Just you.

    There is no blame. Just responsibility.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    I never said it wasn’t parent’s responsibility… in fact, I agree with you, it *isn’t* the schools responsibility… I’d prefer them not to work against my values at all… I should have to explain to my children why their teachers say I’m wrong. And I sure as hell shouldn’t be forking over my large property tax payments simple to enable school bureaucrats to have a pulpit instead of a chalkboard.

  • Zedd

    John

    You are clearly not talking to your kids about what goes on in school. None of what you think is going on is happening.

    Your notions are more telling about you as a parent than about the bureaucrats and politicians.

    I have VERY conservative views. I guard against influences from any source which my influence my kids. Actually the people you should be concerned about are their peers. Anyway If the school EVER would attempt to teach what is against our beliefs, I would call the principle.

    However as a minority in America, there are some teachings about our cultures that are just ridiculous. I do have to reteach my kids.

    Do I blame the beaurocrats? NO. I take responsibility to make sure that my kids know what they should know.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    1) My kid is 4 months old, he isn’t in school.

    2) My experiences are, in part, guided by the fact I saw what people are trying to push first hand…

    3) My experiences are, in part, guided by my own experiences a decade and a half ago in school, the experiences of my siblings, friends, and many other people I’ve talked to.

    So kindly please stop telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about… I’ve seen it first hand and heard it second-hand.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    The next step, JB, is she’ll use her vast, in-depth knowledge of pop psychology to tell you why you think the way you do.

    And why you’re wrong for thinking that way — Oh, wait, she’s already done that part.

  • Zedd

    John

    1.Awwwwwe Congratulations!!

    2.The crazy paranoia makes sense now

    3.If your kid is only a few months, you don’t know what the education system is like right now.

    4.From your video you look like you are around my age. Yes school sucked then as I have said. Its changed as you will see.

    5.Awwwwwwe! CONGRATULATIONS!

    I lived in a neighborhood that would be considered upper middle class with the next street being old money and the neighborhood on the other side being poor (not middle class but poor). The local elementary school was FANTASTIC!! What made the difference was parental involvement. We had two good private schools in the neighborhood however even the old money crowd sent their kids to this public school. The Dads in the school were unbelievable. They would come out after work and plant shrubs. They walked the kids to school in the morning. It was so cute. You’d see this exec with this tiny thing walking (skipping, trying to keep up) and talking on the way to school in the morning.

    No beaurocrats or politicians just great Dads!

    The middle school scared me though so I ran. :o)

  • STM

    My daughter (1st year, posh girls’ high school, age 12) has recently taken to swearing … well … like an Australian. Her mother blames me, because obviously it isn’t from her. However, as my daughter keeps telling us, “everyone” swears at school (that’d be, like, three girls) and “everyone” swears on the radio (Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, etc, which of course get download on the iPod).

    My view: it’s inevitable, and all you can do is try to guide them. They will learn what they’ll learn from their peers – studies have shown, in fact, that peer groups have the greatest influence on teens. Governments interfering in the process by giving them “health” and sex-ed lessons only make good fodder for fits of schoolgirl/schoolboy giggling.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    John, as someone with kids at ages 15 and 4, let me assure you that every horror story you remember from your youth has become multiplied by 10, and every horror story you hear from other parents or on the news is not only true, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Zedd’s experience is bizarrely different from that of most parents in America, or else she’s just acting as a shill for the horribly failed education system for reasons of her own.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    John

    Be a loving and engaged Dad, your son will do well if HE is so inclined. I don’t think the millions of good, intelligent, educated, successful, responsible Americans send their children to a place that is 10X worse than ANYTHING everyday. My children are valued highly. We travel and I expose them to as much of the world and beauty as I can. I would not under any circumstance put them in a situation that was not GOOD for them, let alone questionable.

    Private school used to be a sign of prestige. For many of our generation and older, that idea still remains somewhat. Since there is no data which supports that abstinence, or smarts are enhanced by private school, its now an eye rolling engagement for those who compete for the best lawn or the best car on the block. Unless your child goes to the most prestigious of schools, your choice for private school can actually be looked down upon. The average math scores are noteably lower for private schools and the reading scores are only a point or two higher. There are so many odd ball charter schools now that the cache’ for it all has pretty much toileted.

    After 18 your child will deal with society, uncensored and unscripted. Many sheltered children crumble in the real world (anecdotal evidence only on this, but compelling non the less)

    As for acting as a shill for anyone, that is just odd, and maybe an indication of how Dave’s mind works. Paranoia is obviously a powerful and intoxicating thing. Perhaps 10X that more attractive than reason to some. However, I wouldn’t know.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Zedd, I’d love to see some support for your assertions about the comparative worth of private and public school educations. No data I’ve seen supports anything you’ve said. If public schools are using prevalent methods like ‘whole language’ reading and estimative math in the early grades, they cannot possibly compete with more traditional curriculums found in private schools.

    All I’ve got to go on from around here are SAT scores, and universally even the smallest private schools beat out the local public schools by substantial amounts on SAT scores, and of course on college placement as well.

    Private schools aren’t a ‘sign of prestige’, they’re a desperate last chance for parents who have seen the public school system fail again and again.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    The issue of “ramming values” down parents’ throats is not limited to the United States.

    Let’s give a live example from Israel. Think I’m arrogant? My 16 year old got suspended for a day because he and his buddy were caught playing with a broken piece of school equipment and because the two of them fled while following the “monitoring” teacher to the principal’s office. He brought a letter with him referring to a long string of unacceptable behavior that this incident was just the last of, and that because of it, he had been suspended.

    This letter was carelessly written, with the teacher forgetting to replace the other kid’s name. Plus, my son did not have any kind of record of misbehavior showing disrespect.

    I gave my kid two stern lectures:

    1. for not reporting the broken equipment to the office (thus relieving themselves of possible liability for breaking the equipment).

    2. for fleeing.

    It was at this point that the reality of the situation came tumbling out. Apparently, the two boys fled because the teacher who had “caught” them would not listen to anything they had to say, was interrupting them and the two boys were afraid that he would seek to hold them financially liable for the broken piece of equipment. It turned out that he (the teacher) has trouble controlling his own class.

    The values being rammed down my son’s throat (and indirectly mine) was to accept the injustice of the judgment of teachers (or others in authority) in silence – there was nothing we could do about it. In other words, the system screws you over, and you are supposed to just take it.

    I wasn’t raised that way.

    So I wrote this teacher a letter. It was quite a project – my Hebrew is not that good – but I got the point across to him that I had taught my children to respect teachers as they respected me, and if there was evidence of a pattern of misbehavior on my son’s part, I would have a record of having been called to the teachers’ or principals’ office. That just wasn’t the case. I finished by pointing out that my son had fled because he expected injustice, not justice ‘and that this man’s reputation preceded him – a pity.’

    This man didn’t have a whole lot to say to my son. He evidently didn’t expect to get a letter from the parent attacking him.

    But in this country, if you do not hit back, and hit back hard, those in authority will stomp all over you. This was the lesson my son learned from being suspended – from the old man, who takes his education seriously.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    I don’t know where you get your information about what goes on in this country however the reports about private school were out mid last year and I am surprised that as an information junkie that you just missed it as it seems you do with a lot of basic things that go on in our world. Alas…..

    I cant argue with you regarding something so public. Its sort of embarrassing and exasperating. Perhaps a better engagement for you and MR but some of us just cant be bothered. Sorry. Just google and you’ll be better informed.

    I can see how you would end up thinking that people in academia are closed minded. There are some points that are so base that no one needs to debate. The Jesuits are counselors btw. They are just tolerating you imo. Its like the nod of a psychotherapist.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    Teachers are just people. There are all sorts of people out there and your son will encounter them when he is an adult.

    You were a parent. You took the opportunity to teach your child through this experience and you clarified a misunderstanding on his behalf with an adult.

    I don’t see conspiracy or attack in any of what took place. There are all sorts of people in this beautiful world of ours. You as a Jew must be used to being TOTALLY misunderstood by even the most well meaning individuals. It’s just life.

    I just don’t feel that consumed to where I would imagine any government conspiracy against my children (first because there isn’t one).

    Like you. If (and when..its happened) my children are mischastized or mis directed, I take charge as I should. That can happen in public or private school. It can happen at the mall or at the grocery store or at the movies. I train them how to be respectful and understand how to communicate with people so they don’t get into trouble but if they do, like you, I deal with them and talk to the adult to find out what the deal is. Tis my job like you said.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    I cant argue with you regarding something so public. Its sort of embarrassing and exasperating. Perhaps a better engagement for you and MR but some of us just cant be bothered. Sorry. Just google and you’ll be better informed.

    Translation:

    “I don’t have anything with which to back up my claims.”

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Zedd, I don’t know what reports you’re talking about, but I’ve seen the numbers from NAIS, the NCES and a number of other recent studies, and they universally find private schools outperforming public schools in almost every category, even when they heavily weight the numbers for things like family income, ethnicity and regional education deficits, though that kind of weighting does make the performance deficit smaller. Of course, to balance it out, they never weight the figures the other way to take into account things like drop-out rates.

    If you have some other numbers for me to look at, provide a link, because googling only brings up the reports I’ve already seen, and none of them support your assertions. The only high point is that testing is up over the past 2 years for public school students, but certainly nowhere near enough.

    The government’s difinitive report on this is the NAEP report, which looks at students in 4th and 8th grade. It says in its summary:

    In grades 4 and 8 for both reading and mathematics, students in private schools achieved at higher levels than students in public schools.

    It shows the gap between public and private schools smallest in 4th grade and increasing by 8th grade and then even more by 12th grade.

    Your misunderstanding of the disparity in Math ability must originate from the weighted version of the NAEP figures. When they weight for every possible environmental negative they manage to get 4th graders in public school to come out slightly ahead of 4th graders in private school – though they note that the difference is not statistically significant – in math (but not in any other areas), but by 8th grade the advantage has switched to private schools, even with the weighting, and by 12th grade it’s overwhelmingly in favor of private schools even with the weighting.

    I’m sorry, Zedd. I’d like to believe that there was some hope for the public school system, but the evidence all says otherwise. Where do you get your information, the NEA?

    Dave

  • Zedd

    John

    Studies done for affluent children from the same neighborhoods support the idea that the University that the kids get into don’t have any bearing on whether they went to private vs public school. Mini example

    The stats regarding public schools will be skewed by schools in low income, even dangerous neighborhoods. Kids from safe communities do just as well and in some cases better than private school kids.

    If you do send your kid to private school don’t rest on your laurels. Keep up with what they are putting in your child’s head too. Remember they are just people (all sorts) they don’t get major psychological evaluations just because they teach in a private school. In some cases they are less regulated. Just because you pay the $10,000 a year doesn’t mean that they are any good or not crazy.

    Personally I think public gives a kid the social edge.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    That would be the National Association of Independent Schools. Lets spell it out.

    Do you realise that those results are in response to the numbers that were all over the airways? I’ve been to their site :o)

    Dave we wont agree. Its your dime, spend it!

    My daughter started learning algebra in the 3rd grade (she didn’t know it). School is different!!! In Middle school (sixth grade) you start designing their courses and tell the school what YOU want them to study the next year. It’s not the school that I attended.

    When you said you moved your daughter, I don’t remember you mentioning the curriculum.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Although I mentioned the NAIS in the comment, the comparisons I referenced were from the government’s NAEP study, not from NAIS.

    And Zedd, I’d submit that perhaps YOUR school is different. Most certainly aren’t different in any positive way.

    I was a very involved parent. I was on the campus advisory board, I was VP of the PTA and I met regularly with teachers and administrators. Nothing helped. The curriculum was a disaster, and it’s only gotten worse since then.

    I’ll give you a curriculum example. When I took my elder daughter out of public school they were teaching math using methods which involved counting on your fingers and using counting dice in 2nd grade. As a result, it took my daughter 3 years to catch up to grade level achievement in math because the public school she had been in never successfully taught her to do basic addition and subtraction. There were different problems in other subject areas, mostly having to do with the classes being taught to the level of the least intelligent student in the class which left more talented students bored and frustrated.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    The values being rammed down my son’s throat (and indirectly mine) were to accept the injustice of the judgment of teachers (or others in authority) in silence – there was nothing we could do about it. In other words, the system screws you over, and you are supposed to just take it.

    THAT IS A BIG PART OF THE CULTURE HERE IN ISRAEL! You do not see this only in one instance in a achool. It is standard that children get interrupted, it is standard that those with power stomp on those without. It is the standard way that people get treated here by those with power.

    New immigrants to Israel learn this very fast – or they do not survive. When those who attempt to stomp on you see that you are willing and able to stomp right back, they back off – for a while – sometimes.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Gee, Ruvy. You make Israel sound a bit like prison.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    If your daughter is 15 and you pulled her out in the 2nd grade, that was right before the big shift. I was an angry (in shock, perplexed and confounded mainly) parent then too. It all seemed so disorganized and unthought through. At that point, private school seemed like the only option. I even considered home schooling because hubby was still alive then. Things shifted really quickly. Parents were upset because it was just ridiculous. Off course GW wanted to get to the White House too. There were two more years of insanity when they were trying to get things together, even teachers were quiting, then it started kicking in. Things have truly changed. The only time they use dice is to study probability and ratios :o). Their talented and shifted programs have improved tremendously (depending on the school). The urban schools that don’t have parental involvement are still way behind. They do well on standardized tests because they drill the children. They keep the kids after school to tutor them. In the neighborhood that I have done my volunteer and now work in, they out do Highland Park (SMU neighborhood where Chaney lived and GW hangs out probably the oldest money in Dallas area or Texas). However because of home life, their grammar is atrocious. It’s another language. Kinda cute actually but you know that they are not going anywhere without proper guidance.

    Senator Royce West and the rest of the education committee are working on a different testing method which is being tested out right now. We’ll see.

    Things have changed. Thankfully.