Independence Day

Yesterday was one of my kids’ first day at college.  Not gonna say who, or where – nutters are everywhere out there, and some of them are safely tucked into offices at institutes of higher education.  Why tie weights around my kids’ ankles?

And yes, I do feel too young for this, although I know it’s not true.

But all I can say is “Whew.  Finally”.

I’ve not spared much in relating my disgust with the Saint Paul Public School system.  As I noted a few years back, one of the best days of my life was when my kids got pulled out of the SPPS and put into charter schools. I’m not the only one; one out of eight Saint Paul parents has yanked their kids out of the SPPS and high-tailed it to parochial, charter, suburban (via the state’s open enrollment statute) or home schools.

But now, today, knowing my kids are beyond the claws of that wretched, dysfunctional, addled, mediocrity-worshipping, politically-correct, racist-via-low-expectations school system, I feel a lot better about life in general.

This isn’t to bag on the people I do know who are conscientious, diligent employees of the SPPS, who genuinely do care about students and are good teachers and dedicated staffers.

But I have to ask them – why do you share a district with people like this?  With a district that chooses every day between thick-necked adherence to idiotic policy and the welfare of children, and is constantly found wanting?

Anyway – it’s a happy day.

One more to go!

7 thoughts on “Independence Day

  1. Doing what is best for your kid’s education, rather than what is best for all kids’ education, marks you as being an anti-social person.
    I think that it is time to admit that K-12 education, run by teachers and bureaucrats, has failed. It is time to return to a system controlled by the parents of the students and the community that pays for the schools.
    The history of public, K-12 education isn’t long. The model can be changed.

  2. My 17-year-old daughter, Tiger Lilly, started college yesterday as well. We went the private school and home education route from the beginning and she actually started college some time ago, working with College Plus to do self-study and take CLEP tests. She’s already earned 36 hours of transferrable credits and she’s still young enough to use the state PSEO program for college so she signed up for some classes at a community college. We’re happy to have avoided the public school cesspool and pleased to find effective ways of stay out from under the college tuition bubble that’s scamming so many students and families.

  3. Terry, if the K-12 system was actually run by teachers (not to be confused with union members) we might be a lot better off. The public charter school system is pretty much run by teachers (and parents) and – despite what the unions would have you believe, they do quite well.

    When politicians and businessmen try to run public education, you get a lot of accountability – but not much quality. Charters have a real struggle maintaining their independent approaches against the odds of the law – but they manage because they are not “inside” the system.

    Despite all of the rhetoric about educational diversity (charters, magnet schools, STEM schools, etc.) our public school system is like a big funnel. The diversity at the input side is channeled into a narrow squirt at the output side. It’s a cookie cutter system. Charters do manage to cut a bit of the narrow side off. It would be far better if the transition of students into the real world were not constrained by standardized tests. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that graduates could actually DO something – other than pass a test?

  4. Leslie Hittner-
    Have you ever read Orwell’s Such, Such, Were the Joys? The essay is here:
    In the essay Orwell describes the miserable time he had in an Edwardian English boarding school. He was “taught to the test”. The goal of the school was to produce students who would pass the entrance exam to Eton. They were taught Latin, Greek, and English history using rote memorization, and various unpleasant punishments were doled out to boys who would not learn, for example, a list of English Kings, in order, with the years of their reign and one notable fact about their reign.
    It worked. Orwell hated it, but he got into Eton. Orwell said unproudly that he would remember everything he was taught at St. Cyprians until the day he died.
    I am not endorsing a St. Cyprian’s educational style, but I wonder — children have to be taught something. They are capable of learning almost anything. Who should decide what they are taught, if not the parents and the people who pay for education? The State? The teachers?

    It worked.

  5. Depends on what I’m declaring independence from, now, dinnit?
    Well you’ll definitely be declaring independence from a large chunk of cash.

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