Endorsement of public schooling from Rick Perry’s camp — unintentional

February 9, 2010

Poster at the recent Rick Perry for Governor Rally featuring Sarah Palin:

Rick Perry Rally with Sarah Palin, HoustonPress.com

Image from HoustonPress.com

Image from HoustonPress.com.


Storefront schools

June 16, 2008

Why not?

In comments to the immediately previous post, Zhoen says segregation by gender is no panacea for education. But, she wonders at OneWord: Why not storefront schools?

For many years, I have thought the never-will-be-done answer was to have storefront schools. One room schoolhouses, two teachers and a local adult volunteer, no more than a dozen students, all online classes – a national, self paced, curricula. Touring experts and scholars for special lectures and demonstrations. Kid has a problem with a particular teacher, move ‘em to the next neighborhood over. Walking distances from their homes, field trips common (easier to arrange with small groups), flexible schedules (let the teens sleep in). A circle of homeschools in rural areas instead of warehouses to haul whole populations into.

Why not? The idea strikes me as similar to Japanese juku, private schools for kids in public schools, where kids get remedial attention or advanced instruction, depending on what they need. I copy the Library of Congress’ description of juku after the fold.

What do you think? Is there an example of storefront schools we can cite either way, for or against the idea?

Comment away.

Read the rest of this entry »


Creationism puts faith at risk?

April 4, 2008

Interesting view:  A homeschooler argues that homeschooling parents can do a disservice to the faith of their children by misteaching creationism instead of evolution.  At The Upside Down World.

Those who are teaching their children using creationist curriculum are in particular danger of setting their children up for this fall. To see why, I’d like to offer a challenge. Take your child’s creationist materials and look at whatever footnotes and references are provided. Now take an evening and look up the names of the authors cited. Odds are excellent that virtually all of the authors are creationist scientists. Now, take the names of any mainstream scientists who are quoted or whose work is referenced and attempt to track down their work. Specifically, see if you can find the particular quotes used in your child’s materials. Google books can be a great way of doing this. Now, read through whatever you can find with an eye towards evaluating the accuracy of the quotes provided (ie are words changed, relevant sections replaced by “. . .”). Also try and honestly evaluate if the author of your child’s materials has accurately conveyed the substance of what the author is saying.

If you drink, you may want to keep some strong drink nearby to sustain yourself during this process, because I promise you, you will not be happy with what you find. Unfortunately, the only way creationist materials are able to create the appearance of validity is by only referring to the work of “creation scientists” (who don’t do research, BTW. Their work is limited to analyzing the work of others to look for potential holes which might be able to be seen as supporting a creationist perspective. This is not science.). When creationist materials do refer to the work of mainstream scientists, conducting actual research, they almost uniformly misquote and misrepresent them. If you do not believe me, then take a weekend or two and do the research yourself. The internet is a wonderful tool.

In a later report, it comes out that the biggest problem a Christian mother has raising science-literate kids is opposition from creationists who claim that knowledge is somehow evil.  They just can’t keep their agendas hidden — and there is some ripe stuff in the comments.


Homeschooler says ‘teach kids about Darwin’

March 11, 2008

Thoughtful post from a homeschooler, Geek Dad.  Check out the responses.  The heated exchanges reveal a lot.


Don’t let lesson plans strangle kids’ serendipitous learning and creativity

July 25, 2007

Here’s a woman — a homeschooler no less — who understands that lesson plans aimed at a state test can seriously damage a kid’s education. My only caveat is that in formal classrooms, such serendipitous learnings are encouraged from well-thought-out lesson plans and a very well prepared teacher who can deviate to meet the hot, rising curiosity of the kids in the moment.

At least I hope that’s what she understands.  This post on teaching history, from the ancient and often inaccurate This Country of Ours, by H. E. Marshall, gives me the cause to reserve endorsement of this school.


Carnival still in town? We didn’t miss it?

May 13, 2007

History Carnival 52 was up on May 1 at Clioweb. What sort of a fog have I been in? Check out especially this post at Food History, demonstrating several uses of critical thinking tools as they might analyze the bizarre idea that most meat in Middle Ages Europe was rancid, thereby leading to a rise in the use of spices. Spices don’t make up for stomach cramps, for example. There must be some sort of critical thinking exercise in there for a world history class.

Carnival of the Liberals 38 came online earlier this week, at This Is So Queer. With fires raging in the hills around Burbank — documented with eerily beautiful photography — a fire of war in Iraq, and a fire around the Second Amendment, posts collected at the carnival offer fuel for intellectual fires on big issues.

Moton HS historical markerAnd, the venerable Carnival of Education, issue 118, was up earlier at NYC Educator, with good posts on laptops in school, parenting, administering, enduring, and everything else related to education. (Click on the photo for a larger image — it’s the historical marker at the former Robert R. Moton High School, in Prince Edward County, Virginia — where one of the most poignant of the cases against school segregation began, Davis vs. Prince Edwards County Schools — part of the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education case decided in 1954. Photo from Virginia Commonwealth University.)

Carnival of Homeschooling 71 lolls, at On The Company Porch.

And, of course, if you wish to nominate a post for the next Fiesta de Tejas!, scheduled for June 2, just use this button:


Blog Carnival submission form - fiesta de tejas!

Have a good Mother’s Day — call all the mothers you know. Why be picky?


Carnival of Education #104

January 31, 2007

Gate to Boston Latin school

Median Sib hosts the 104th Carnival of Education. If you’re not reading these regularly, you’re missing a lot in education. Even more useful is checking out the blogs the selected posts come from. This week’s posts include pieces on science education in Florida, the misfiring of the intended incentive pay to Houston Independent School District teachers, standards under NCLB, and more.

And, as EduWonks suggests, one might learn more by perusing the 57th Carnival of Homeschooling at PalmTree Pundit — a couple of good geography teaching posts there.

It’s like this internet thingy is some information highway or something.

Image: Gateway to Boston Latin School, probably the oldest operating public school in America. Ben Franklin’s schooling was obtained at this school (probably in an earlier building!)


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