In my reading of various news sources the past week I came across two perspectives on education worthy of sharing.
The first is from John Mac Ghlionn, a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the New York Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, and The Spectator US, among others. Below is a portion.
From Fairbanks to Fort Lauderdale, an increasing number of parents are opting to homeschool their children. Their decision is rather simple: the public school system is, for lack of a better word, chaotic.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the unnecessary closing of schools across the country, leaving many parents with little option but to homeschool their children.
“Two years later,” according to a report published by The Associated Press, “even after schools reopened and vaccines became widely available,” an increasing number of parents are opting “to continue directing their children’s educations themselves.” Parents have offered a number of reasons for their decision, including “health concerns, disagreement with school policies, and a desire to keep what has worked for their children.”
A Very Public Mess
The public education system churns out large numbers of woefully undereducated students, noted the researchers, yet it is “very rarely held accountable.” Schools have the power “to flat out ignore parents and anyone else they do not receive funding from.”
If a school happens to be populated with bad teachers, what happens? asked the researchers. “Absolutely nothing,” they answered.
With no accountability for the actions of their teachers or educational outcomes, parents find themselves frozen out—or worse still, told to shut up and stay out of the way. For obvious reasons, parents don’t like being told to stay out of their own children’s lives by condescending educators.
The aforementioned Heritage Foundation researchers also discussed the not-so-insignificant matter of wasted funds. “Despite higher-than-average per-pupil expenditures, public educated students in the U.S. are seriously lagging behind public-educated students in other countries,” they wrote.
Public schools receive anywhere from $9,900 per pupil to $12,000, yet few people stop and ask, where’s all this money going? “Does anybody know-or, perhaps more importantly—does anybody care?” asked the researchers.
The needless expense is one thing, but the lack of educational progress is arguably worse. Public school students continue to underperform in math, reading, and science. This has been the case for far too long. Insanity, we’re told, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Why keep pumping ridiculous amounts of money into a faulty system that continues to fail American citizens?
As public schools continue to fail American children, expect homeschooling to become an attractive alternative. In its current state, the public school system is a mess. An increasing number of parents are waking up to this very fact.
— John Mac Ghlionn, May 9, 2022, The Epoch Times
American public schools a colossal mess? No argument there.
Let’s move to a second column by Mark Bauerlein at the website First Things entitled, “The Sorry Situation of Catholic Schools.” Here’s an excerpt:
How many Catholic schools are really just public schools with a Mass requirement attached, plus an elective or two of theology? Many schools feature lots of Catholic talk on the website, but when it comes to the actual books assigned and knowledge tested, Catholicism pretty much disappears. English, history, civics, arts, math, and science courses look no different from the classes at the suburban county schools down the road. This is a sorry situation, and Catholic bishops, lay administrators, and educators are ultimately responsible for it.
The copycat approach was clear when Catholic dioceses adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) a decade ago.
The Common Core episode is just one instance of Catholic school conformity. At this point it is standard practice, most importantly in matters of personnel. What we now have in Catholic schools are too many administrators and teachers who have been seasoned in secular institutions and conceive of their practice in conventional liberal terms. They have adopted “diversity” and “relevance” and other progressive ideals as the proper way of formation.
You can read the entire column here.