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From a Homeschool Victim Who Obviously Survived

An amazing article about homeschooling by Olivia Brodock.

Six years have passed since I graduated from what I have been trained to call formal education. I was taught that education was about more than the books and grades, so we called our curriculum, our scheduled learning, “formal education”. It is all documented in those records we kept, just in case anyone accused us of not doing real school.

It took me most of the last six years to really understand what was done to me during those years of home schooling. Firstly, and most importantly, I was never allowed to stop learning. How cruel is that? I was never allowed to shut the book, drop the pencil, pack it up and go home because I’d served my time for the day. We, my siblings and I,  were “encouraged” to be always learning, to find the “why” for everything. Even now as an adult, my mind seeks out reason for everything.

You owe it to yourself to read the rest.

Is Next Step in War on Religious Liberty Inspection of Religious Schools? That’s Happening in the UK

Coming soon to a community near you:

You see, teaching about other cultures and other religions is apparently no longer enough–you must fully accept them.  And as we’re seeing with the issue of same-sex marriage in this country, acceptance no longer means live and let live, the “tolerance” police want you to embrace and endorse.

Is religious freedom our most important right?  Without question, promoting and defending it is one of our most important battles.

Read the rest here.

Why Common Core Will Fail: ‘Children Are Not Standardized’

Forbes contributor Alice Walton has written a terrific roundup of the anti-Common Core expert consensus. Numerous education researchers and academics have reservations about greater classroom standardization—particularly in the early grades, where excessive testing and homework is most deleterious for kids.

There are of course many experts who dispute the above notions and believe that Common Core is an improvement over what is being offered in many American schools. They may even be right; it’s perfectly possible that Common Core is bad and what it’s replacing is worse. This is the public school system we are talking about, after all.

But why waste tons of time, money, and effort enacting an across-the-board reform that makes kids miserable, relies on deeply unsettled science, has no demonstrable benefit, and deals a death blow to federalism (at least as far as national education policy is concerned)?

More choice, not less, is what will save public education. As Elkin observed, kids don’t come standard.

I really hope Common Core fails, but the people pushing it will be back with a “new program” by a new name soon after. They have been trying for the past century to control public education this way, and they have been winning incrementally! They aren’t going away.

Of Course the Government Should Force Churches to Perform Gay Weddings

More brilliantness from Matt Walsh:

In the liberal view of things, not paying a tax is the same as being given money by the government, because the government automatically owns everyone’s money and any that you keep is a gift from them. Make sense?

This actually sums up the liberal/progressive stance on most everything fairly excellently. The government owns everything. Anything you have is because they allow you to have it. But don’t think that you get to make any real decisions about how you want to use your land/possession/money/liberties. Because, if you use them in a way they don’t like, they will take them away. 

No unauthorized garden for you. Cut it down or they’ll do it for you (also here, here, and here). And who could possibly carry this much cash on them for a legitimate purpose? Must be for drugs, they’ll just have to confiscate it. Good luck getting it back in court. You think you should be able to decide on your own who your private business makes contract with? You must be joking. Do what they say or go to jail. Freedom of speech/religion? Only in these (ever shrinking) appointed areas, and only as long as they decide to tolerate it.

Take ten minutes out of your day and go give the rest of the article a read.

NC Spends $150K per High School Diploma. Are We Getting Our Money’s Worth?

A new study from the Civitas Institute shows how fundamentally flawed our concepts of what is important in education are. I don’t understand why spending more money is always viewed as the answer. We are close to an election, so there are a ton of political ads on the air, many of which focus on the fact that we aren’t spending enough on education. Eleven thousand dollars per year per student isn’t enough? How much would be enough? How much do we have to spend per student to finally have a conversation about methods instead of lack of funding?

“The best that can be said for Common Core is that it encourages home-schooling.”

A quick piece from Reason.com. I wholeheartedly agree with the final sentiment.

Another day of school, another Common Core horror story. Parents in Royal Palm Beach, Florida complained to administrators that their children are languishing under Core-aligned instruction and standardized testing. One parent reported that her third-grade son comes home from school every day thinking he is stupid because he can’t pass his tests. “Mommy, please home-school me,” he begged, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Lest anyone assume the kid is the problem, keep in mind that some teachers don’t even have access to textbooks that are aligned to the required tests, according to statements made by a teacher at the parents meeting last week. (Note: This is a common occurrence.)

The test themselves are wholly computerized, which presents a problem for the kindergartners required to take them:

Hours to prep for computerized testing of kindergartners. “I watched a student suffer for over an hour. They had no idea how to work the computer mouse.”  Five teachers, working one-on-one with students got only 10 of 120 students done in one school day. “That night I went home and cried.”  – Chris White, teacher at a Title 1 elementary school

Children don’t know the language – what’s ‘drag and drop’ to a child who’s not worked on a computer? . The books were designed to go with one test, we’re using another. – Karla Yurick, 5th grade math teacher

I can understand the desire to impose some amount of standardized testing on schoolchildren for the purposes of measuring teacher effectiveness. But there comes a point where the insanity of computerized exams for five-year-olds trumps any legitimate interest taxpayers may have in holding teachers accountable for their students’ progress.

The best that can be said for Common Core is that it encourages home-schooling.