Wednesday, January 25, 2006

On School Choice and Outsourcing Parenthood

The thing that troubles me most about American public education is that the government takes our tax dollars and then tells us the schools our children must attend. Beyond the issue of school choice, it increasingly strikes me as rather creepy that the government (via the local school) has the "right" to place children with complete strangers for over 30 hours a week, without the parents having any say-so whatsoever in the choice of teacher; often it's difficult to even meet the teacher before the first day of school. Parents are not treated as valued partners whose input regarding issues such as schools and teachers is solicited and respected.

John Stossel has been doing a great job lately writing about the public school system, and in today's entry he considers the issue of choice. The saddest part of his column is the pleasure that a school inspector takes in finding students who are "cheating" by attending the "wrong" school.

There are rare exceptions where "choice" is allowed, often via charter schools, but even those choices are limited, as Betsy Newmark writes at Betsy's Page (scroll down to 6:46 a.m. on January 25th). The teacher's unions and others seem afraid of competition even within the framework of the public school system.

Karen at Spunky Homeschool has written a thought-provoking essay which ties in well with this topic: "Outsourcing Parenthood."

Teachers, in particular, are with schoolchildren so many hours a week they can have an enormous impact, for good or ill, in children's lives. In many cases, things turn out just fine. But is it right for parents to give such power over their children to strangers? Something to ponder.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older