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Quote Of The Day - Higher Education Edition

"[W]hy would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children? You would think that they might leave this -- the shaping of their children's minds, careers, and futures -- to trained professionals."
From a column by NEA member Dave Arnold. Arnold is an elementary school custodian.


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Comments (23)

The arrogance. Chil... (Below threshold)

The arrogance. Children are not cars or houses!

[W]hy would some parents... (Below threshold)

[W]hy would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children?

As I harken back to days of yore and recall my education, I don't remember that many brilliant educators tutoring me. Yes, there were some fine ones, and average ones, and awful ones... a real mish-mash come to think of it. But what was the common ingredient to learning? Textbooks and homework assignments. Save for a little attendance taking and a smattering of socializing, very little was accomplished in class. Generally, what was accomplished was the passing of papers and jotting of assignments for which we were responsible. Do the work quietly in class and finish what was not completed at home. Pretty standard fare.

So home schoolers are incapable of distributing textbooks and assigning reading or problems? My schooling was not domicile-enhanced, but I hardly think that educational methodology would have trumped anything a home schooler could have done. Now, team sports and intense recess would have been a good trick, but who needs a PhD to guide one through dodgeball and soccer?

So, what are you saying? T... (Below threshold)

So, what are you saying? That his modest credentials might diminish the weight of his opinions?

Jay Tea, are you reading this? Is this an "elitist" blog? Aaargh!

They would be wise to he... (Below threshold)

They would be wise to help their children and themselves by leaving the responsibility of teaching math, science, art, writing, history, geography and other subjects to those who are knowledgeable, trained and motivated to do the best job possible.

Mr. Arnold, what "motivates" a teacher to "do the best job possible"? There's no financial gain. There's no trophy gain. In fact, there is no reward at all. Furthermore, there are no consequences at all, thus, how can we even guage the "motivation" to do the best job possible?

Mr. Arnold appears to be incredibly naive, or, just another NEA member looking out for his own personal finacial stake. Clearly, the custodial arts are at threat if children do not attend an outside facility for their schooling. Perhaps the homechool movement is an evil plot by those squabbling immigrant cleaning services to obtain more work opportunities in homes.

The 'shaping of their child... (Below threshold)

The 'shaping of their children's minds' is exactly why some parents home school! I remember a few blog posts over the last two years about teachers with political agendas that would convince me to home school.

By the way, AnonymousDrivel, haven't they banned dodgeball as too dangerous? So you can't even count on shcools for that anymore.

Why would someone assume th... (Below threshold)

Why would someone assume they know enough about cooking to make a pot roast or a chicken for their family at home?

You would think they would rather buy their kids a BigMac, Fries and a Coke, or chicken McNuggets, which have been prepared by trained professionals.

I'd love to see some number... (Below threshold)

I'd love to see some numbers comparing test scores or adult incomes for home, public, and private schooled students. I have strong suspicions about which would come out on the bottom.

well sinse ive gradyuated, ... (Below threshold)

well sinse ive gradyuated, ive nevur regreted my choyse to bee homeskooled thruw hiskool.

its surved me well so far, and becides, its commun nowledge that publik skools ar the hiway to the h werd.


Since homeschooled kids sco... (Below threshold)

Since homeschooled kids score from the 62nd to the 91st percentile on standardized tests* (the average placement of government schooled kids would be at the 50th percentile) the quote itself is an example of both ignorance and arrogance.

*see http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/rudner1999/FullText.asp

It is passing strange that ... (Below threshold)

It is passing strange that Mr. Arnold, when addressing those who home school for religious reasons, condemns them saying that no one ever wins a battle by retreating from it. Remind me of the NEA's official position on the war on terror? Isn't appeasement their answer for winning this battle?

Having talked to a few pare... (Below threshold)
scrub oak:

Having talked to a few parents that have done so, the main reason for home schooling is that the "trained professionals" failed miserably so the "wannabe's" spend the extra time, sacrificing a second income to make sure their children are prepared to become productive adults. What teacher do you know of would willingly reduce their income so that the children can be better served? What I have seen from our yearly school budget voting is that the teachers would rather see programs cut that benefit the students than have to pay a $20 copay to see a doctor.

RE: Retread's post (July 27... (Below threshold)

RE: Retread's post (July 27, 2005 02:05 PM)

...haven't they banned dodgeball as too dangerous? So you can't even count on shcools for that anymore.

Heh, what's the world coming to?

I remember in our district when "dodgeball" was removed, the game was replaced by "bombardment". Hmm. Maybe a PhD in PhysEd is useful for negotiating those legal pylons.

Since he's a custodian, he'... (Below threshold)

Since he's a custodian, he's probably the only man in the school.

Those of you who have a child in Publik Ellymentry Skools should go and look at the faculty. What you will probably notice is a sea of female faces, with the only males being the custodial staff.

Now, tell me, do you think this is good for boys?

I'd love to see some num... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I'd love to see some numbers comparing test scores or adult incomes for home, public, and private schooled students. I have strong suspicions about which would come out on the bottom.

This is an unfair comparison. Public schools do not have the option of choosing who attends their school. They must take everyone who walks through the front doors. A private school is under no such restriction. That's one of the fallacies of vouchers. Just because the government says that you can receive money to attend a private school doesn't mean that the private school must accept you, hence the term "private."

As for home-schoolers testing better. I would suggest that your hypothesis would be correct, but not perhaps for the reasons you think. Home-schooling requires a tremendous committment from the parents in terms of time and money. I would suggest that there is a correlation between income and test scores and parental involvement and test scores regardless of whether we are discussing public schools, private schools or home schooling.

Why doesn't Mr. Arnold foll... (Below threshold)
OC Chuck:

Why doesn't Mr. Arnold follow his own advice and leave the column-writing to the columnists? He should go back to mopping the floor.

Of course, custodians can have an opinion and can write columns, but doesn't this then reduce his point to a not-very-good-point? I'm sure if he has a degree, it would be geared toward his occupation as a custodian (and a Wal-Mart employee) and not as a journalist. He appears to have decent writing skills, and could probably read and explain an elementary school textbook to a child.

I don't think he gives himself enough credit.

Hold on there Kevin... Mr. ... (Below threshold)

Hold on there Kevin... Mr. Arnold is head custodian.

Skybird, WTF is up with th... (Below threshold)

Skybird, WTF is up with that link?

When I wuz in college, the ... (Below threshold)

When I wuz in college, the biggest losers on campus who always took the least strenuous courses (in whatever department) were inevitably the education majors. I'll bet Mr. Arnold doesn't know this.

Steve L., go to hslda.org a... (Below threshold)

Steve L., go to hslda.org and look at some of the studies. In one study parents spending less that $199-student in 80th percentile, parents spending between $400 to $599-student in the 80th percentile. If over $600, the student finally made it up to the 83rd percentile!

Parental involvement is the big factor, obviously, in homeschooling, but it's not income or educational background of the parents.

Steve LIIRC, some ... (Below threshold)

Steve L

IIRC, some years back the head of the teachers' union in NYC made a similar claim in regards to vouchers... sniveling out a challenge that the private Catholics schools should take lowest-scoring 5% and see how good THEY could do.

Well, when the superintendent of the NYC Catholic schools accepted the challenge, the teacher's union suddenly took a powder.

And the credibility of the "but we have to take everyone" schtick went right out the window.

Hey, Mr Arnold may just be ... (Below threshold)

Hey, Mr Arnold may just be the smartest member in the NEA. I'll bet the NEA doesn't call him stupid in one breath and brag how smart he would be if you paid him more money in the next. They do that to the teachers (sic) all the time. Damn if i'd belong to a union that called me stupid most of the time while sucking a large membership fee from my paycheck with no hope of ever getting anything out of it. Maybe when the call the teachers stupid they are telling the truth and lying the rest of the time.

FYI Kev and Jay,Yo... (Below threshold)

FYI Kev and Jay,

You may REALLY want to remove the link on skybird's name.

Anyone else, do not click on it, especially from work if you want to keep your job.

I thought that if the real skybird had a blog, it might be kind of umm, interesting.

I received this through one... (Below threshold)

I received this through one of my homeschool email lists this morning. It's the janitor's inelleligent (sic) unedited response to a letter he received in response to his ignorant NEA column. You really need to read the letter to which Mr. Arnold is responding to understand what a moron he really is.

(note--I've never been to natalie's blog before and don't know anything else about it)

Dear Dominick,

I deeply appreciate hearing from you and receiving your fantastic comments and compliments concerning my article on the fallacies of home schooling. As you likely gathered from my article, it is a subject that is truly a thorn in my side.

I'm acquainted with a couple that have adopted two very cute and fairly inelleligent little boys, but they are turning them into social misfits by not allowing them to attend public school. The only friends they have are home schooled as well and social misfits also. They spend the great majority of their lives within the confines of their own home being home schooled so their lives won't be corrupted by the evils of this world. Perhaps their lives won't be corrupted, but it is primarily because these poor children aren't being allowed to have a life.

Again, I deeply appreciate your compliments. I often wonder if I'm getting the message across and just how it is being received. It is a fantastic boost to receive your letter. THANK YOU !!

My Sincerest

Dave Arnold






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