Comment Of The Day: “Afternoon Ethics Alarms, 4/19/2020: Facebook, Harvard, Broadway And You Know, Morons…” (Item #2)

The post touching on a Harvard  professor’s criticism of homeschooling  (also discussed here) sparked a lot of debate here as it has elsewhere.

Here is JimHodgson’s Comment of the Day on Item #2 in the post, “Afternoon Ethics Alarms, 4/19/2020: Facebook, Harvard, Broadway And You Know, Morons…”

The resistance to and denigration of homeschooling by academia is a source of constant irritation to me. It is another case of “our minds are made up, don’t confuse us with the facts. It’s like they just can’t stand a parent who declines letting the dysfunctional village raise their children.

The current societal shut-down due to the Chinese flu has made homeschoolers of many parents who are enjoying the experience. (This is based on conversations with my extended family and fellow church members, your mileage may vary.) My niece’s two girls, ages 6 and 9, exiled from their regular school, have easily kept up their school work, completed several art and STEM projects, and learned how to plant a vegetable garden. They are outside every day, weather permitting. My daughter’s homeschooling process continues without a hitch with her boys. The article’s undercurrent of opposition to parents actually raising their own children is ominous.

The hubris of many academics is maddening. A few decades ago, one of my professors told me the following story. I don’t know if it was original to him, but I never heard it anywhere else:

It seems that long ago a society located in an arctic region decided to start a school. In accord with the needs of the society, they taught igloo building and ice fishing. The school’s reputation grew, so that people from far and near sent their children to the school. The school mastered the teaching of these skills and became the undisputed leader in the teaching of these subjects. But slowly and surely, the climate of the region began to change. The snow pack melted and the rivers thawed. They area was now tropical. Still the school taught igloo building and ice fishing. One day a group of parents and students called for a meeting with the school’s administration.

They asked, “Why do you continue to teach igloo building and ice fishing when we need to learn grass hut building and spear fishing?”

The school administrators looked aghast! “What, do you want us to become a, a, vocational school?

Different idea, but same attitude.

6 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Afternoon Ethics Alarms, 4/19/2020: Facebook, Harvard, Broadway And You Know, Morons…” (Item #2)

  1. Great post. Especially considering that pubic schools are doing an absolutely awful job teaching/training their students in the basics of math, science, reading, and history. The students may be wise little social justice warriors but they are graduating high schools with a 9th grade reading comprehension (and that’s being generous).

    I personally don’t have a position one way or another about home schooling. Some kids benefit from it while others don’t. Hubris, arrogance, or outright bigotry are big factors in the animosity toward home schooling. However, the driving factor is funding. Schools get paid by the number of students in attendance – that is why truancy is a big deal. If the students miss attendance, the schools don’t get money. How is it that throwing more money at a dysfunctional system is going fix it? HISD, one of the largest school districts in the nation, routinely ranks at the bottom in terms of state testing, though the magnet programs excel and are considered among the best in the nation.


  2. Yes, it’s the money. Schooling has become a moneymaking machine, and it’s interesting to watch the battles of the Titans over chunks of it.
    Not so funny to see the pitiful outcomes. Literacy? What literacy?
    True story: I recently sat through a Zoom PLC (Professional Learning Community) meeting with some campus school administrators. The spent twenty minutes on an icebreaker/contest with simple questions.
    Question: How many is in a baker’s dozen? Answer: 12.
    When the error was pointed out, it turned out that not only the group leader (one of those instructional specialists who makes considerably more than teachers), nor the librarian, knew that the answer was 13, and openly admitted it.
    No surprise, then that the principal was recently heard to admit that she had never heard of Roy G. Biv.

    • My child’s private school is funded 1/3 of what the public schools are per pupil. Why does the private school have better scores and achievement when they only have 1/3 the money. Chicago schools get 5x the funding per pupil. They should have fantastic educations there!

    • “No surprise, then that the principal was recently heard to admit that she had never heard of Roy G. Biv.”
      A couple of months ago I was watching a New Zealand comedienne on a British game show where she mentioned Roy G Biv and none of the British comedians had ever heard of the expression. I guess a lot of these sayings are very regional.

  3. I have been teaching to products of homeschooling for 20+ years. At the beginning, the homeschoolers were really a mixed bag. Some were excellently prepared, others had been given very little instruction in math, English, science, etc and had mainly been fed some superficial religious dogma, but not much in-between. As time progressed, the homeschoolers improved (there are now homeschool co-ops and much better homeschool materials for purchase) and the public schools declined. I don’t think I have seen a homeschooler in the bottom half of one of my freshman classes in quite some years. I still get some homeshoolers that are poorly socialized, but they become fewer and fewer every year. I see public school children who are poorly socialized as well, just differently (poorly socialized homeschoolers tend to be less social, poorly socialized public school children tend to be bullies/entitled).

    Just some first-hand observations.

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