This blog is still alive, just in semi-hibernation.
When I want to write something longer than a tweet about something other than math or sci-fi, here is where I'll write it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lotsa Whinin' 2 Do, Part 2: a semi-sympathetic whine for the homeschoolers

If upheld, a recent California state court decision would stipulate that anyone teaching in a home schooling situation would have to have a credential. Homeschooling advocates argue that such a restriction would kill the movement, and they have a point. Personally, I’m against making the requirement equal to that of teachers of elementary school and high school. The cost for the families is too high. People who take the classes to get a credential do so in the expectation of getting a job that, while not paying a lot, offers job security and a benefit package hard to find in today’s labor market.

I would like to see standards set for homeschoolers, but I think it would be fairer to make it a year-by-year test to pass rather than making them go back to grad school. (Thus proving my liberal street cred, since I ask for a new bureaucracy to be created.) When it comes to the grades when the principles of evolutionary biology are part of the curriculum, if they can’t pass that part of the test, fail them out of the program. Quite simply, there is no modern biology without the principles of evolution, much as there would be no modern physics without the principles of calculus.

Personally, I have no sympathy for people who are glad to live in the 21st Century when it suits them, but want to revert to the 19th Century when their beliefs are challenged. As Doonesbury has said, if they truly want to live their faith, they should reject any drugs that are effective against drug resistant strains of disease. After all, if evolution is a hoax, these nasty bugs shouldn't exist.

4 comments:

Crackpot Press said...

Since California already has some of the poorest (skill set and pay) is a credential simply more than a scam?

I do think having a credentialed teacher at all levels is important.

However, is there is a great money making opportunity here for a right wing professional home schooler here.

Karla said...

Well, here's the problem with mandatory yearly testing: Teaching to the test!

Standardized testing has taken over the public schools to a very detrimental extent. When I was in college (2004-2006), I saw so many youth who could take tests, but couldn't read for content or write well at all. It was a mess.

When I homeschooled mah boy, we did things in an unusual way (called "unschooling"), and then focused on the California High School Proficiency exam in the final year. He passed that at 15, sure, but then went to the local community college a few weeks later and tested at college level in english and math.

I was watching a documentary last night called "The Business of Being Born," about the extreme interference and medicalization of US births, contrasted with our extremely high child and maternal death rates.

I was thinking that the same concept applies to education. We get these scare tactics, and threats that professionals and lots of money have to be involved - yet look at the outcomes.

Matty Boy said...

About your money making idea, crack, one of the problems is how fragmented the homeschooling set is. If you have people who don't believe in evolution, how much don't they believe? Would you need a special class for the young earthers, as opposed to those who accept the world might actually be 4.5 billion years old?

Personally, I think special class would be a good place for all of them.

jolie said...

it's a height of arrogance for any parent to believe they have the skill set & pedagogy knowledge to teach their children all they would otherwise learn in school. there's a reason why it takes years to train to become a teacher, and not everyone does it very well.