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Archive for March 12th, 2008

Google Kills Babies?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
By raincoaster

This would probably be a good place to utilize the internettian expression WTF?

From the Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag:

A tipster emails us to ask about strange goings-on at the Googleplex.

A co-worker of mine just left the Google campus in Mountain View and reported that there’s a single protester out front with a picket sign that reads “Google kills babies”. Can someone investigate?”

Well. Can someone investigate?

Code Word: Pedagogue

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
By Glinda

Is your neighbor a criminal?

Recently a California judge stunned the estimated 200,000 or so homeschoolers in California by ruling that it is illegal to homeschool in that state.  The only way that a parent can educate their child outside of a school, whether private or public, is to have a valid teaching credential.


So medical marijuana is cool, but don’t you dare think that you can teach your child outside of the school system!   You lawbreaker you!  Criminal prosecution was also implied as a possibility for those who are so brazen as to think they could do a better job than underpaid, overworked teachers in a spotty school system that allows as many as 34 students per class.

Because we all know that children get a fabulous education when the teacher has to deal with 30+ students in one small space all day.  Talk about trying to herd a bunch of cats, especially a set of cats who would rather be anywhere than the classroom.

I know that homeschooling has a rep for being a refuge for those who have their own deeply held religious beliefs and the like.  However, there are many other reasons that parents homeschool and I’m not sure I agree with the ruling.   Parents who cannot afford private school and yet reside in sub-par public school districts should be able to have some other option.  Also, parents of children with certain disabilities might find it easier to school at home. 

On the other hand, I do think it might be a good idea for homeschooling parents to undergo some sort of training, because teaching is not an easy job.  I’m not sure a full-blown credential is necessary, however.   Perhaps some sort of test? Just to make sure the parent themselves know what they are doing?  Devising a curriculum is not for the weak of heart.

There are many school districts that have programs available to parents where they assist with the curriculum, but the actual teaching is done by a parent at home. I think that is a nice compromise that allows some oversight into the education, but gives flexibility to the parent.

And to think, the particular case which brought about the brouhaha wasn’t even really about homeschooling, but about possible child abuse.

I can see it now, moms developing secret codes and handshakes to communicate with one another.  Neighborhood watches set up to get a whiff of a possible police raid, with the ability to transform mini classrooms to innocent dining rooms in an instant, a la the speakeasies of the 1920’s.  Payrolls, hush money, and “enforcers” would ensure the proliferation of homeschooling.

Yup, apprehending those scofflaw moms would be right up there with robbery suspects as a top priority for law enforcement. 

I call that tax money well spent!

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