Government Schools Destroy Lives

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Via (highlights mine):

Is it time to think about home schooling your child?

By Jack A. Chambless | Guest columnist
June 10, 2012
For the past 21 years I have taught economics to more than 14,000 college students here in Central Florida.
During that time I have made a concerted effort to glean information from my Valencia students as to their educational background preceding their arrival in college.
Drawing from a sample size this large multiplied by two decades multiplied by hundreds of thousands of test answers has put me in a good position to offer the following advice to any reader of this paper with children in Florida’s K-12 public schools.
Get them out now before you ruin their life.
While this may seem to be a bit harsh, let’s look at the facts.
First, my best students every year are in order — Chinese, Eastern European, Indian and home-schooled Americans, and it is not even close when comparing this group to American public-school kids.
Since it is highly unlikely that any of you plan to move to Beijing, Warsaw or Bangalore, you might want to look at the facts concerning public vs. home-schooled American students.
(In Florida, more than 60,000 students in about 42,000 families study in home education programs, which meet the requirement for regular school attendance and were protected under state law in 1985.)
All of us have seen or heard about the annual disaster that is called FCAT results. Thanks to government officials in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, kids in government-run schools are failing miserably in a wide range of subjects while teachers face bureaucratic nightmares that strip them of their status as professionals and relegate them to servants of standardized testing.
It is also a fact of public education that incidents of bullying, teacher-student sexual misconduct, abusive behavior by teachers and incessant protection of poor teachers by education unions have put students in public schools in the unenviable position of dealing with issues that no learning environment should impose on them.
Moreover, the public education system in Florida and other states is one of the worst forms of monopoly power.
Everywhere in our lives as citizens we have free consumer choice as to where we shop for food, clothes, cellphones and more. However, if you are economically disadvantaged you rarely have this choice in education.
Poorer families in Florida are instead given the school district that their children are forced to attend. Rather than give poor parents choices so that competitive pressure is imposed on public education, we have lower-income families — mostly minorities — who are condemned to 13 years of inferior education just because they live in the wrong zip code.
Everywhere in America where vouchers or other forms of school choice exists, we see competition forcing the unionized public schools to adapt, or lose students.
This used to be the case in Florida, but those options are now lower than in past years and the victims show up in my classes woefully unprepared for challenging college course work.
It is routine that students from Florida’s worst high schools make failing grades in college. These kids have been lied to by a system that tells them that a diploma from an “F” school will not impact them in college.
Meanwhile, the more than 2 million home-schooled kids around America (my two sons included) routinely appear in America’s colleges with an education that prepares them for virtually anything.
The home-education movement has unleashed the forces of capitalism in such a way that anyone can find dozens of types of curricula for any grade level to help educate their kids in areas where one might not be an expert.
Home-school conventions like the one coming at the end of this month in Orlando offer thousands of options and professional speakers who can help guide willing parents through their child’s formative years.
The home-schooled kids who show up in my classes usually arrive at the age of 16 or 17, score in the high 90’s on their exams and then go off to places like Harvard, Penn and other world-class universities.
Jack A. Chambless is an economics professor at Valencia College.
For the life of me, I still cannot understand why any parent that truly loves their child would pack it off to the clutches of the government five days a week for ten months each year.
I consider it child abuse.

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0 responses to “Government Schools Destroy Lives

  1. This is for the POS who gave Dave’s post a one-star rating:

    • Eowyn,
      LOL – I’m guessing it was from a “teacher’s” goonion member in Chicago that is making $74,000/year and threatening to strike if they don’t get a 30% raise.
      If you ask me, if they do go on strike, it will be the best thing that could happen to their students – oops, I meant captives. 🙂

  2. I heard that in NY they spend $14-15k per student per year yet those graduating is around 60%. Money well spent to the union goons.

  3. I have been HS’ing for 4 years now, beginning with my eldest child in kinder. I have always taken the year-by-year approach, but as time goes by, I really have developed the mindset that my children will never step foot in a government school, ever. Thank you for supporting home schoolers.

  4. I agree,Dave,but some parents consider children to be an
    inconvenience and secondary to their careers or underpaid jobs.
    They use the schools as a daycare…schools and extra-curricular
    activities a way to fill the long empty unsupervised hours alone at
    home. For some the schools are a refuge from an abusive situation.
    Every parent who is literate is capable of teaching a child to read
    just as they teach them how to speak and eat and behave….but
    reading is the keystone of ALL education.

  5. Homeschool Mama

    I grew up in Florida schools and went to a private college on an honor’s scholarship. In my college honor’s program I quickly noticed that the homeschooled kids were far beyond the rest of us in terms of their studying skills, writing/research ability and reasoning and class participation. I decided then that I would homeschool my own children. Twenty years later I am a homeschooling mom of two with no regrets :o)

  6. My oldest (8th grade) has never been to school. He’s been HS from the beginning. My youngest (3rd grade) went to our church preschool and was HS until this past year. We placed him in public school and is doing wonderfully. I love the school and have been close friends with the principal for almost 10 years. All the public school teachers I know here all send their children to public school. We have a very large group of homeschooling families but I wouldn’t put my kiddos in private school here. Far inferior to public schools in our county. I wouldn’t lump all public schools in the same trash can. Our school is a great place to be. Now middle school will probably be different and I plan on HS him from then on. Lots of HS families go back in at high school to the public schools here. There are so many more opportunities for them and the kids really love it. But to each his own. I’m glad I have the option.


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