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Working mothers and the rot in education September 27, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Education, Parenting.

Seems that the governor of Georgia cancelled a couple of days of school in anitcipation of a fuel shortage that never materialized. Not that I blame him. Districts all over the country are going to be up against it at the end of the year having paid an average of $2.80/gallon of diesel when even the most pessimistic planners were budgeting for $2.00/gallon. One way to avoid this is to cancel school so that the busses don’t run.

But the quote from cnn that kills me is the following:

“It’s certainly caused a lot of problems for working parents today, and it causes problems for these kids who need to be learning and not just hanging out, watching the Cartoon Network at home,” said mother Randy Faigin David of suburban Atlanta.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the invidious, odious, putrid soul that is general education (public or otherwise): It is a pain in the ass for working parents to have their children at home.

When you cut it down to its basic nut, we are not talking about missed instruction; only hardcore NEA members believe that serious instruction occurs in the public schools anymore. We are talking about removing state-sponsored daycare so that Mummy and Daddy can go out and pursue that almighty dollar.

The primary service that public education (specifically) and general education (generally) provides is not education, but daycare.

Getting the kids out of the house.

And this is why our knowledge scores compared to other industrialized countries continue to fall. We’re not really trying to teach the kids, we’re simply trying to watch them. Keep ’em out of trouble. Have them do something, ANYTHING other than drone out in front of the Cartoon Network.

Excuse me, Ms. Faigin-David-Cutthroat: Do you control your kids’ access to the Tube when they ARE home from school? My bottom dollar guesses not.

I know whereof I speak. The school I used to administer had parents pushing for all-day Kindergarten. My studies of research indicated that this was a questionable move at best, and observations of the students suggested that we would be asking more of them than they were ready to give in doing so.

But when I asked the parents (in my innocence) why they wanted this, the most common response I got was not more quality instruction (yes, it did come up), but rather the interest in freeing up more time for Mom (usually) to do whatever it was she felt she needed to do on weekdays. That was the almost universally acknowledged benefit that was sought.

So I stonewalled the idea, and it never happened. But I knew the desire was out there, and apparently for the wrong reason.

It was evident in the push for all-day Kindergarten.

It was evident in those who pushed for all-day pre-school.

It was grossly evident in those families who dropped their child at daycare at 6AM, went to preschool from 8-12, and then returned to daycare from 12-6PM. 12 hours of institutionalized care. And then the harassed parents would arrive (late, more often than not), quickloy usher this kid into the car, often with a backhanded slam about how her kid seemed unhappy and angry all the time.

Gee, I wonder why?

I expect that mom got her kid into all-day Kinder just as fast as she could.

Somewhere in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states that:

Parents are the first educators of their children.

It then goes on to state that homeschooling is the ideal, if achievable, means of doing.

In this self-absorbed culture? I think not.

Yet another instance of the greatness of the Church in standing up to such an entrenched, popular and flat-out wrong position.

Some of my loonie-Leftie connections challenge me, saying that I am an ossified, unwilling-to-change conservative.

When in fact the opposite is true. I am a revolutionary, advocating for the overturning of the entrenched, liberal mindset that all is well in American Education.



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