We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
That's a quote from Insty. Does Insty have any kids? I don't think so, but I don't know for sure. If he does not, then he does not appreciate the essential baby-sitting and child-care function of public education.
Home schooling is a fine alternative to government schools (designed for the poor), private schools (designed for the upper middle classes, and for parents desiring a religious education) and home teaching and tutoring (for the wealthy).
The invention of social studies is quite a story. Government psycho-social engineering of the masses. Brave New World. Did it work? Private schools rarely had such a thing, but they have History and Geography.
##2 and 3--It is certainly true here, and has been for many years. See here:
"The only figures we've seen reported were released in 1995 in "Where Connoisseurs Send Their Children to School," by Denis P. Doyle. That report, based on 1990 U.S. Census data, showed about 45 percent of public school teachers in Honolulu sent their children to private schools, compared to 31 percent of the general Honolulu population."
[I tried referencing the link, an archived article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin (now defunct), but it got my comment caught up in spam.]
do a google search for Where Do Public School Teachers Send Their Kids to School?" Thomas B. Fordham Foundation for a 2004 analysis of census data and recap of some old data. Lots of public school teachers write tuition checks.
Five sons. Several public schools, several private Christian schools, some brief home schooling. Every single choice had some weaknesses.
Sure, get your kid to the best school you can, but remember - they don't make much difference. What your kid is like and what you are like are enormously more important. The exceptions would be if your child is in active danger or seriously rejected somewhere, or has an exceptional ability in an area that will be missed entirely, such as a school that doesn't have a band, or a science lab. Absent such exceptions, good schools are not that much better than bad schools, and for an individual child might be worse. Some highschools chase kids to get them to do their work and have lots of reminders and support. Others say "You're on you own. Your choice." Each works better with different students at different times. Roll the dice.
It's just one of those things that Americans keep saying, without a lot of data to back them up, that if we can just fix the damn schools we'll be able to invent magic ponies and get elected Queen of the May. It just ain't so. Schools make some difference. Not much.
If you want to know what causes the differences in school test scores, you had better be prepared for some uncomfortable truths.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Back in the late 90's-early 2000's, my son was in school so I heard some of the child care arguments. They went something like this. A child misbehaved badly enough to be banned from afternoon activities (and in this liberal suburb that misbehavior had to be something pretty big). The working parents showed up shouting that if the children were not in after school activities (sports, math club, they'd even take detention)who would look after them? So the school folded and let the children remain, unpunished, in school activities. Because SOMEONE other than the parent, needed to watch the children.....misbehave.
"Essential babysitting and childcare function..?". Forget for a moment the vile ideas transmitted, the hollow education, the corruption of children inherent in the cohort grouping, the disease breeding; where are their mothers?