Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Do You Think About What They Say

I have wanted to write my opinions of these statements that "they say" but I've not done it yet.

I decided tonight to share what "they say" and am curious if any of my readers would like to share opinions via the comments section.

They say:

American public schools teach to the middle.

American public schools focus on finding faults and problems (learning disabilities or kids who are 'behind' academically).

American public schools want to bring up the lowest performing students to be 'average'.

American public schools neglect the above average students and the gifted and talented students.

American public schools don't identify strengths and don't teach to any student's strengths.

That homeschool parents only see the best in their children (the opposite of what public schools do).

That homeschool parents play to the strengths and areas of easy learning for each unique child and can't even see the weaknesses or learning disabilities (if they exist).

That homeschoolg parents, rather than look at the child's performance in numerous subjects they focus just on the one or few areas of strength.

That homeschool parents sometimes don't do right by their children by not seeing deficits, not trying to fix them, or downplaying the importance of them (instead focusing only on strengths).

All I'll Say Now Is---

I think that homeschool parents come in a wide variety of personalities, knowledge bases and have different philosophies as well as some biases. Therefore no one should really make blanket statements saying "all homeschooling parents...".

I do think most homeschooling parents are able to see their child's strengths and want to teach to the strengths and sometimes may overfocus on those strengths. It is two different things to teach to a child's strengths or interests than to ignore deficits and ONLY focus on strengths. It indeed is possible to work on the deficits, deal with the 'average' stuff and also teach niche topics or teach more deeply to a child's strengths.

However regarding large systems like the organized and planned structure with defined purposes, government polices and laws that affect American public schooling it is easier to make generalized statements about the aims and general practices of typical American schools. Not included in those general statements are reflections of the practices and policies of charter schools or public magnet schools whose operating procedures, admission guidelines and general curriculum differ from the 'regular' public schools.

Note: If you are a person in denial that the American public school system needs fixing you can educate yourself through reading books written by TEACHERS and SCHOOL AMINISTRATORS who have identified many faults in the current (and former) school systems who beg for education reform on a major scale. I find it interesting that the loudest critics of American public schools are the insiders, the teachers themselves. (Sometimes you may also find this information free on the Internet especially on teacher blogs.)

5 comments:

Kelli said...

I agree with a good portion of that, but not all... the system is far from perfect, but so are we as homeschoolers. I am a mom of both a homeschooler and a public schooler. Both kids seem to be learning just fine, both kids seem to be socializing just fine, both kids see the "bad things" and know right from wrong.

With that said, it wasn't always this way. My oldest boy was not doing just fine with any of it. He is far from average and the PS was not equipped to handle it. I am! He does better at home! But, that is a long story for aother day :-) My GQ (giggle) middle child would fizzle out if he had to stay at home. He feeds off other people and even though I cringe every time I say this he is "average." Do I mean that in a bad way? NOT AT ALL! He is actually very smart (you know, the kid that messes up the curve for everyone else) but he is the perfect student for a public school setting. Again, I am getting a bit windy... maybe I should blog this and send you the link LOL!

DMS said...

Hello Christine,

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audrey said...

I think that every where it says "American public schools" you can also type in "Canadian public schools" and still be fairly accurate.

Crimson Wife said...

It always boggles my mind when I read statistics that something like 3/4 of govt.-run school parents are satisfied with their child's school. I look around and see a lot of mediocre schools and a sizable number that are downright dreadful. Who's truly ignoring deficits?

atara said...

I've always been perplexed by schools, any schools, which say they teach the "individual child" and allow the child to go at their "own pace." That's so inaccurate! There are standards to be met and in a group situation you just can't let a student wander at their own learning pace. However, I teach private piano now, and I can say, unequivocally, that they CAN and DO go at their own pace. All the students participate in DIFFERENT things because are events are not my "leap" test. That's what I have to stay about that. :0-)