Spunky Homeschool points out a new education initiative for England's schools, announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair: graduates should not just know the "3 R's" but have "life skills" which include being able to "cook a meal...enjoy the theatre and use the internet."
She responds to this government nannyism with the pithy comment "...why don't they just keep kids in school full-time and parents can check them out like library books when they want to play with them."
That about says it all.
Reminds me of a story I linked to over a year ago, in which a pro "universal preschool" teacher said, "Since schools are doing so much of the education, nurturing and socialization of kids these days, it's better to get them in earlier..."
These attitudes are really quite a sad reflection on modern society and the increasing desire of those in the employ of the government to step into what traditionally have been parental roles. We all know there are some sad situations out there where parents are uninvolved and do a poor job, but that doesn't justify the government stepping into the role of parenting everyone's children.
When my children were still in our local public schools I found myself constantly having to "push back" against the schools to maintain the proper school/parent roles; for example, the school was conducting onsite scoliosis exams without first obtaining parental consent. I was told that was too cumbersome a process as the children couldn't be depended on to take home permission slips or letters; and since the school was doing a good thing, what parent would object? No one disputes that preventing scoliosis is a noble goal, but I'm sorry, you don't have my child disrobe and examine her without consulting me -- the parent -- first. I could give several similar examples.
I had some successes on a couple of like issues after contacting the school district's attorney, but eventually the "battles" wore me out. It's no fun being a squeaky wheel. And I wondered why none of the other parents raised the same kinds of questions...is it easier for most parents to "go along to get along"?
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons I think in years to come we are going to see our nanny state schools encroaching further and further into "parenting" our children, and based on my past experiences, I suspect not too many parents will quibble.