"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wait a Minute, Mister School Board Man (moved)

Today I met someone who is running as an incumbent for the local school board. My impression was not exactly favorable. The word "blowhard" comes to mind. Anyone who talks so loud his voice echoes, in normal conversation, is probably not going to get my vote. But he asked me something, not knowing my own educational decisions for my family. He asked, rhetorically, what it would take for all the cyber schoolers out there to get their kids back in the school system. He ought to be glad it was a rhetorical question. He wouldn't like my answer. Here is what it would take:

1. A parent controlled and child customizable education, solidly grounded in Scripture and a Biblical worldview.
2. Assurance that my children would never under any circumstances be indoctrinated into the secular humanist mythos, an agnostic worldview, or the socialist agenda.
3. An assurance that my child would not be the victim of peer to peer 'socialization' tactics including but not limited to peer pressure, bullying, name brand envy, ostracization, teasing, and a culture of antisocial and disrespectful behaviors.
4. Foreign languages taught at an early age, and for all children a grounding in at least one inflected classical language, Greek or Latin, according to the parents' choosing.
5. Mathematical education such that no child receives a high school diploma without a working knowledge of first year high school algebra (minimum) nor a diploma with honors without a grounding through Trigonometry.
6. The assurance that all children will read fluently by the end of the first grade, after which they will be exposed repeatedly to classical literature from many different cultures and over many different eras.
7. Instruction in history taught chronologically and systematically from ancient history to the modern era, cycled through at least three times through the course of the child's school years.
8. Instruction in grammar, usage and mechanics such that no child graduates without being a competent writer.
9. Classical method instruction using grammar, dialectic (Socratic) and rhetoric models and including training in logic and debate.
10. Instruction in the arts and music. Don't teach the kids to write without giving them something to write about. Sports are optional but I know some people disagree there.
11. A crime and drug free school and one in which my children's civil liberties would never be violated by illegal searches or seizures.
12. An education which takes no part in an unconstitutional federal department of education, teachers' unions using mafia-like political tactics, and bureaucratic red tape.
13. Safe and healthy facilities where healthy lunches are served (that my children like) and in a building free of asbestos, herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous chemicals.
14. An education that values the experiential and allows plenty of time for children to simply play and be children.
15. An education that allows plenty of time to encourage parent-child and sibling relationships free of age segregated classrooms.

And all of this for under $5000, per student. No, I'm not joking.

This is not a wish list. It's a minimum standard.

And the school board guy would tell me himself that it's impossible, no doubt. Which is why my children will be in those schools over my dead body. Actually, were I dead, they'd go to catholic school first. In fact, the catholic schools are doing a good deal of the things on this list and for half the price per capita of the government schools. Of course for thirteen thousand dollars per student each year (which I have to pay as a tax payer anyway) I get none of the things on this list.

Oh well, at least those kids won't be competing with mine for college placements and jobs.

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