"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More on Poverty...

One of my favorite blogs is hosted by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
A recent post there started a discussion about the merits of home schooling, the "failures" of the public schools, and the poor showing that our students make in the world.

My first response was to post Steven Krashen's words which I reproduced here a few days ago.

Someone wrote back that poverty is not the only issue...Here's how I responded to that.

Of course poverty is not the only issue, however, it’s a condition which effects everything that happens to a child from their prenatal care onward. Take a look at the references I put in my last post…especially the one by Gerald Coles. Read anything by Jonathan Kozol.

Schools mirror society. We’re going to have to change some things if we want schools to cure the ills of our society which the leaders can’t - or won’t - address.

My point, by the way, was not that home schooling is bad, though I think home schooler’s should have the same requirements that are required by public schools. My point was not that our schools are not in need of improvement because even the best schools can improve. My point is that the public school systems in the US are there for the benefit of students. There are some serious issues which some children face…and those are being addressed by most school systems. Some of the methods of solving the problems completely ignore the facts of life for these children.

No school can make up for years of neglect before a child reaches school age. No school can correct the damage done by lead poisoning or poor nutrition as the child grows. No school can teach a child who has been traumatized by violence. Closing public schools and opening militarized charter schools - such as our new Secretary of Education did in Chicago - does not solve the problem caused by years of social indifference. “Better” tests don’t improve teaching and learning. You don’t fatten the cow by weighing her with a better scale.

Schools need to be included as part of the solution to the problems of generational poverty, crime and malnutrition - absolutely…but someone has to carry the ball back to the children’s homes…and someone has to deal with the other 18 hours a day that the children are not in school.

“When Congress passes No Child Left Unfed, No Child Without Health Care and No Child Left Homeless, then we can talk seriously about No Child Left Behind.” — Susan Ohanian

No Child Left Behind is leaving thousands of children behind!
Dismantle NCLB!
Sign the petition by clicking HERE.
More than 34,000 signatures so far...

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