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i have been reading messages for several months and i find that often disparaging remarks are made about public schools. i have taught for 20+ years and while i see faults in the system i can tell you that dollar for dollar we do a great job. and yes we do have kids with emotional disorders, after all we have to accept everyone. we also have cultural diversity (which many homeschoolers apparently dont like). i believe its important for my nieces and nephews to interact with many different types of people and many different situations. after all once they get out in the real world they will have to work elbow to elbow with everyone.

blame the schools for kids bad manners and attitude!! no way. that belongs right on the doorstep of parents.
 

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Mother,Artist, Author
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I can tell you that when my DD9 started school at the age of 3 she went to a private school for handicapped children. Two years later we moved, and she went into another school district, that although she went through a special school, the classes were set up in a public elementary school.
I thought it was the greatest thing, since they had once a week a playgroup of the preschoolers with the handicapped kids, and they didn't notice the wheelchairs, braces and walkers one bit. They acted like role models for the special needs kids, and at the same time the special needs kids taught the "neuro-typical" children acceptance.
 

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What I was going to write about public schools would become a diatribe.

Suffice to say, I put my money where my mouth was and paid for a private school education for my children. (single mom) I feel it was money well spent. They both have Masters degrees and inquiring minds that I believe was in part instilled by their schooling.

When growing up they were able to talk to adults in words other than monosyllables. Never got into trouble and I'm very proud of them to this day. :)

I need to add that my children had a few wonderful teachers while in public school, but the guidelines and rules they had to teach under did not support them.
 

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My sister works in the public school system with the "Emotional disorder" kids. We have some long discussions about how the school systems deal with them and I can honestly say I think the schools are half the problem. The other half of the problem rest squarely on the heads of the parents, so don't get me wrong. Some kids do honestly have issues, mostly stemming from abuse and neglect, but the majority of the students my sister deals with are just spoiled brats that need discipline. Does the school provide any? Not at all. They let them skate by, cursing out teachers and disturbing the other children in class. Making sure that even if the others wanted to learn they wouldn't be able to.

One of my best friends teaches middle school and reports that her students are out of control and she is stopped by school policy from doing much about it. The worst she can do is ask them to leave the class, at which point they just wander the hallways disturbing other classes.

Both of my Parents are net techs for different county school systems around here. They are so disgusted with the way kids are allowed to behave in schools now that they have offered to pay for my son to go to private school just so he will not attend public school.

My brother works in the school system fixing laptops (Our local system is test running a program to give laptops to all students between grade 1-12) that the students break. He comes home daily with stories of the horrid things the kids put on their laptops and of the abuse they give the computers. My personal favorite story is of the kid that attached skate bored wheels to the bottom of his laptop and then tried to ride it down a hill. The students do not have to pay for the damages nor are they normally punished at all. There is no accountability for their behavior.

I myself worked in the administrative offices of a local school system and have seen what the morons in charge say behind closed doors. So yeah, I do blame the public school systems. At least the ones in my area.

If you are working with a county, or city that is doing better than ours than I honestly congratulate you. You are one of the lucky ones. :)

~Emily
 

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leecofarm said:
i have been reading messages for several months and i find that often disparaging remarks are made about public schools. i have taught for 20+ years and while i see faults in the system i can tell you that dollar for dollar we do a great job. and yes we do have kids with emotional disorders, after all we have to accept everyone. we also have cultural diversity (which many homeschoolers apparently dont like). i believe its important for my nieces and nephews to interact with many different types of people and many different situations. after all once they get out in the real world they will have to work elbow to elbow with everyone.

blame the schools for kids bad manners and attitude!! no way. that belongs right on the doorstep of parents.
As the son and brother of public school teachers, and the product of public schools, I agree with you. Any child can be educated in the public schools if their parents are involved in the process. The best teachers in the world aren't going to be able to teach kids that don't want to be there if they don't have the support of the parents.
 

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We were very supportive of our public school, very involved with the classroom too. We were lied to and run down by the system which did mess up both my children. When we had problems and tried to work with the school we were told to get out and shut up and that we would be escorted from the property if we tried to sit in on a class. Even our dd's private psychologist told us to take her out of the school because all they were doing was jerking her around. This happened with every parent that tried to get involved with the school beyond a fund-raising level.

Like everything, you can't make generalizations on a few cases. Some public schools are very good, some aren't worth spit. Ours was worse that you can imagine.
 

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leecofarm said:
i have been reading messages for several months and i find that often disparaging remarks are made about public schools. i have taught for 20+ years and while i see faults in the system i can tell you that dollar for dollar we do a great job. and yes we do have kids with emotional disorders, after all we have to accept everyone. we also have cultural diversity (which many homeschoolers apparently dont like). i believe its important for my nieces and nephews to interact with many different types of people and many different situations. after all once they get out in the real world they will have to work elbow to elbow with everyone.

blame the schools for kids bad manners and attitude!! no way. that belongs right on the doorstep of parents.
Parent have to be involved and do their part. Such a cop out when I hear 'the public schools are bad so I send muffy and buffy to a private school'. Get off your butt and be involved. But alas in too many places public schools were allowed to decay when certain people did not get their way. And sadly the labor pool shows it in these areas. Bridges aren't the only public infrastructure suffering from neglect, school buildings are too. The money we spend for the oil war should be spent here at home.
 

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leecofarm said:
we also have cultural diversity (which many homeschoolers apparently dont like).
What?!?!?!?!
And where in the world did you pull this from?????
I am a home schooler and we find that we are free to study MUCH more cultural diversity than a public schooler.
Good grief.
By the way, my dear mother and MIL are both 25 plus year veteran school teachers who highly encouraged me to homeschool.
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Must have gotten the cultural diversity aversion from all the threads about encroaching illegals and public schools teaching the Koran.
 

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leecofarm, thank you for dedicating your life's work to educating our country's children.

While I only have my memories of public school, not experience as a mother (my youngest is only an infant), I'm considering homeschooling. Not because I don't think that most teachers don't do a good job, but because I would rather have more control over my child's education. And I don't mean that in a religious way, as I don't consider my family any more religious than most of the population. It's just that I (and my husband, to a degree) was a smart kid who got bored in pubic school because the teacher could only teach as fast as the "slowest" kids could learn. I don't want my kid to go through that if she doesn't have to. And that's not to say that I didn't get a good education in the public school system, or that I would do it differently if I could; it's just that I have to do what I think is the best for our family with the resources we have.
 

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I agree that public schools can be good. I went to public schools and graduated from college. My parents were VERY involved in my education, making sure I did homework, meeting with teachers and overall making my schooling of utmost importance to them.

I worked for over 6 years as a substitute teacher for the school district I attended. The biggest wakeup call I got was how uninvolved so many parents are. I was in one 3rd grade class where I told one student who refused to do his work in class that he would have to take it for homework and that I would talk to his teacher about it on her return. No more than 10 minutes after the final bell rung, a very irate mother with her son in tow stormed into the room and told me in no uncertain terms that her son attended school to be educated, and that his education was to happen during that time and not on her time. She said he will NOT do ANY homework because it was my responsibility to see that he learned in class! When I told the teacher the following day, she said that attitude wasn't at all uncommon.
 

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I hope the op's keyboard is being difficult. If not, the lack of capitalization and punctuation in that post makes it a rather weak endorsement for public school teachers.
 

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Well, all I can say is I was in public school. The teachers did not matter on bit once I hit JH. They had far to many students. Were powerless to protect and guide. They were virtually blind to the horrors that went on around them. From sex IN the school, to kids being picked on and beat up daily. To children committing suicide to escape such horrors.
Then you have the children who dont fit the learning mold are label as not trying. They are ignored and cast aside.
This is what led us (suggested by a counselor) to home school our own. "Teach your own". And once we did our child actualy began to "get it". And far better than he ever did in school.
And our DD who was always a great little girl and exceedingly bright was making bad grades. WHY? Because she was falling for peer pressure and cheating on tests. I told the teacher and was told "they are just kids". I told her to make my daughter retake the test. She Aced it. The would not take any form of punishment for the girls that were cheating, not even my daughter. What does this show them/ That they can ignore the rules in the very handbook they hand out every year? The one that says cheating will be punishable be suspension. The girls did it again. I caught it.
Our daughter was told to make an apology to the class and the teacher and that she would NOT have recess for two days, and take the test again.
I had to take it to the principle to get this enforced. The teacher refused. It meant she would have to take away from her personal time tot have her retake the test and be with her durring recess. :shrug:
Sure some teachers are good.
 

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MariaAZ said:
I agree that public schools can be good. I went to public schools and graduated from college. My parents were VERY involved in my education, making sure I did homework, meeting with teachers and overall making my schooling of utmost importance to them.

I worked for over 6 years as a substitute teacher for the school district I attended. The biggest wakeup call I got was how uninvolved so many parents are. I was in one 3rd grade class where I told one student who refused to do his work in class that he would have to take it for homework and that I would talk to his teacher about it on her return. No more than 10 minutes after the final bell rung, a very irate mother with her son in tow stormed into the room and told me in no uncertain terms that her son attended school to be educated, and that his education was to happen during that time and not on her time. She said he will NOT do ANY homework because it was my responsibility to see that he learned in class! When I told the teacher the following day, she said that attitude wasn't at all uncommon.

Id have to say this would be my attitude as well. Maybe not stated in the way she did but in like.
Good grief! The children are in school 8 hours a day! WHY make them do school for hours once they are home. Why should their life be nothing but the boring books?
It is this kind of teaching that kills a love and natural desire to learn in children. They want to play, explore, be active. Not sit and "be good and quiet" 7 hours a day 5 days a week.
 

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They both have Masters degrees and inquiring minds that I believe was in part instilled by their schooling.

When growing up they were able to talk to adults in words other than monosyllables. Never got into trouble and I'm very proud of them to this day.
Wow, I had no idea that going to public school meant that you couldn't get a Master's degree. I wonder if I should let the folks running my postgraduate program know and make sure I'm allowed to be here. :rolleyes: I'm sorry, but saying that your kids both have Master's degrees and are intellectually curious because they didn't go to public school is completely fallacious reasoning- not to mention that it gives you no credit at all. Did you have nothing to do with instilling values in your children that place an emphasis on education, intelligence and learning? I somehow doubt that, since it's unlikely that the best private school in the world would have helped them much, were that the case.

As for being able to speak in more than monosyllabic words, again, I didn't realize that you couldn't do that if you went to a public school. Makes my 790 verbal on the SATs a true miracle! And the fact that I never drank, smoke, did drugs, had sex or "got into trouble"... obviously, that's a fluke, too.

There are plenty of valid reasons for homeschooling or sending a kid to private school, but respectfully, "They won't get into trouble" and "They'll get Master's degrees" really don't fall into that category. If you like, I can post all kinds of stories about private school kids getting into trouble and raising Cain. For instance, that kid back in the '90s who got caned in Singapore for egging cars and vandalizing stuff? Private schooler. But hey, I'll bet he was a vandal who was going on to do a Master's, right?

I can understand the decision to send someone to private school or to homeschool, but this whole, "All public school kids are brain dead delinquents with barely two synapses to rub together" routine is really not on. I'm a graduate of the public school system. I'm just about finished with my Master's degree (highest grades in my course, incidentally), I graduated with Honors, made Dean's List, got several nominations to the Service Academies... and I know for a fact I'm not alone, either. But it doesn't bolster the "public schools are evil" argument to take that into consideration, I guess. Easier to imply that all of us were ----s having sex in the school building and then going off to smoke joints in class. :rolleyes: I have to say, arguments that weak aren't really demonstrating a lot of critical thinking.
 

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Faustus,
I agree and I homeschool. I do not think it works for every child nor do I think all children who homeschool come out for the better. Nor are public schoolers short changed. For me and my children, it works out better. I do not pretend to know what works for others. :)
And I am stunned that some people think all homeschoolers do not like cultural diversity. Wow. I think my children (compared to the school system they attended in our old community) are getting a better knowledge of cultural diversity outside of public school. Our county school seems to just focus on the hispanic culture which I have nothing against, I would just like to see just as much focus on let's say.....European culture as well. Just as an example. At home we are free to study it all and use to host exchange students (when we had less children, now Im not sure about taking in another teenager! LOL) that really gave our children a better global view of our world. :)
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Some kids do honestly have issues, mostly stemming from abuse and neglect, but the majority of the students my sister deals with are just spoiled brats that need discipline. Does the school provide any? Not at all. They let them skate by, cursing out teachers and disturbing the other children in class.
IMO, the problem escalated in Michigan when the formula for school funding changed. Districts now are paid by the state on a per capita basis, so student retention has become the primary goal. The mission of schools has changed from educating students and informing parents to entertaining students and placating parents ... all in the name of the almighty dollar.
 

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The parents are always the child's first teachers. And I do believe that they must support and encourage their children's education. However, as a former teacher, I realized early on that I was not my child's best teacher. I was a better encourager. Just me.

I've seen this in my step-grandkids. Their mother is a great mom, but they need other teachers.

I do believe that quality of education in the public public schools varies from state to state and from community to community. So it's hard to make a blanket statement about them.

I would NEVER try to educate young children in the public schools of the area I live in now. I don't know, I think I'd move first.

I was fortunate, my kids went to Montesorri School for 3 years first, and then to a wonderful country school (public) with top-notch teachers.

I do think it helps to be supportive of the public schoools--and be down there often. I was a room mother, helped with reading classes, etc. And I never missed a conference. Teachers are people too, and they have a tough row to hoe. They do need support.
 

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And what we taught them - with the help of the public school curriculum - was to develop a lifelong passion and an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding of all things. They received the best of both worlds, IMHO - a public and a private education.
Exactly. I was brought up in a household where questions or disagreements about facts were usually resolved with, "Well, let's go check the encyclopedia," or "What does the dictionary say?" My parents didn't buy me every toy that came down the pike, but my brother and I both knew that if we were out at the mall and asked for a book, there was a pretty high likelihood we'd get it. We were encouraged to try new things, read a lot, play music... my parents were supportive without being overly pushy, and they brought me up with the understanding that learning is important, and it's never a bad thing to know a new fact or two.

I distinctly remember being about nine and watching Jeopardy with my mom (we're a Jeopardy-addicted family). I got the answer to the Final Jeopardy question right, and all of the TV contestants got it wrong. My mom told me how proud she was; this was the kind of thing that got you brownie points in our house. Sports and such were good and encouraged, but our first priority was always supposed to be school, learning and generally being well-rounded, well-informed people. This attitude was reinforced by most of my teachers, but I was put on the right path very early on by my parents. Parental input is vital, and it disturbs me when some parents (not talking about anyone here, just speaking in generalities) seem to be under the impression that their responsibility for their child's education and upbringing ends as soon as Junior walks through that door to kindergarten.

There are absolutely areas in which the public schools could perform better, and as has been mentioned, it's really impossible to make generalizations due to the fact that there is no national curriculum, and districts are structured and run differently all over the country. But to say, across the board, that public school students are ignorant delinquents, that teachers are all horrendous and that public schools are useless just shows a stunning lack of critical thinking, IMHO. I assume that the people who say these things do so more out of frustration than seriously thinking that they're the Gospel truth, but it still bothers me, as a pretty successful public school graduate, to read that kind of tripe over and over and over again. Not because I think public schools are all rainbows and Skittles, but because I think the whole issue of education is far more complex than "public schools/private schools/home schoolers are XYZ," and it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of scenario. But for kids who don't have involved parents invested in their education, the public schools are the one chance they have, and attempting to criticize and undermine them at every turn is not, to my mind, a productive undertaking.
 

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I believe that for the most part teachers are not to blame for the failings of the School System. When we first decided to homeschool a conversation I overheard was something like this

Woman 1 "Another outbreak of lice?"
Woman 2 "Its ridiculous, the 3rd time this year."
Woman1 "Can't people master basic hygiene?"
Woman 2 "They should send the schools in to teach these families how to bathe."
Woman 1 "Definitely, what do we pay taxes for?"

EXCUSE ME? The taxes that I pay that are for school are for my CHILDREN'S EDUCATION! This is why I do not send my children to Public School. The teachers are expected to be nutritionists, social workers, counselors, and if time allows educators. To 20 or more children. What is being asked of them is impossible.

My son went to Kdg in PS. She was a fantastic teacher. She suggested that when we moved out of state that we homeschool.

95% of the teachers ARE NOT the problem.

My children would do well in Public School, because I would make sure of it. I just don't want to fight that battle and extra bad influences at this time in their life.

Dollar for dollar, homeschooling is a better bargain than public school any day. I spend a whole lot less money than the public schools do on any individual student. I do have a learning disabled student that get incredible 1 on 1 attention all day, all week. And it is still cheaper for me to homeschool her than for the taxpayers to do it.

And as far as diversity we are surrounded by it. And I never had to force it. Some of my children's friends include born in Guatemala, China, Russia & Mexico (None of them are homeschooled), they also include Catholic, Lutheran, UCC, Unitarian, Buddhist, Evangelical Christian, and Wiccan, autistic and other learning disability. They come from families with 2 parents, single parents, divorced, large families, small families. However they are all "good" kids. My 13 year old has friends from age 10 - 18, and he can converse and play nicely with little children (he coached a prek-k soccer team this spring and worked 90 minutes a week at an art studio class for 3 & 4 year olds), and can converse and is polite to adults. If that isn't diversity I am unclear on the concept.

I agree wholeheartedly it is "important for my nieces and nephews to interact with many different types of people and many different situations. after all once they get out in the real world they will have to work elbow to elbow with everyone" That is why I'm not waiting to see how my children will be able to adapt to the "real world" they are living in it right now! They are not placed in an artificial environment where they are constantly separated by age.

I have no problem with most teachers, it is the institution, the environment that no longer works. Public school cannot go away, not every parent can homeschool or private school. Not every child has a parent who cares. And I'm not saying a caring parent would homeschool, I am saying a parent who makes sure their child has breakfast (financial restraints excepted), sleep, and is involved in their education and their child's life. If we think society is bad now, and uneducated society would be worse.

I think teachers have a difficult job and do well in the constraints that have been place upon them. I choose to not raise my children within that system.

Just as you wish to not be painted with the same wide brush, don't paint all homeschoolers because you think you know one.
 
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