How Dare You!

January 19th, 2010 Posted by Thought Tools 6 comments

This past week my daughter brought her homeschooled six year old son in for his state-required annual evaluation. Now, Emily (name changed upon request) may have her own family and business and present herself to the outside world as the competent adult she is, but she is still one of my babies. This is to say that the possibility exists that I might not be totally objective when a bureaucrat assaults her.

But to my mind, when an arrogant, rude, officious, taxpayer funded “expert” evaluator has the gall to suggest that Emily is anything less than a supremely competent and talented mother and teacher, that official is saying more about herself than about my daughter.

I don’t expect this pen-pusher to be familiar with Emily’s high school record, or know that she attended college on a complete academic scholarship. She has no way of appreciating that while in college majoring in biology, the administration implored Emily to enroll simultaneously in the School of Education and get a teacher’s license. Obviously, she isn’t aware that after attending a few education classes Emily felt that the standards for the courses were so appallingly low and the ideology level so high that it would be a waste of her time to enroll.

It is also unrealistic to expect this administrator to know that while a full time student in college, Emily simultaneously taught geography in a private junior high school and was called in by a puzzled principal who told her that in all the years that he regularly asked students what classes they especially enjoy, he had never before had anyone, let alone a majority, answer “geography”. Nor was this taxpayer-funded woman present six years later when some of the girls from that class ended up on a bus with Emily’s younger sister and proceeded to sing the songs Emily had taught them naming all the countries of Africa and Asia.

The official had no way of knowing any of those things. But she did see a six year old reading, writing and doing math at an advanced level for his age. She ignored those things and instead berated my daughter for not having dated worksheets and reams of tests.

She observed a child excited and enthusiastic about history. That was unimportant. She scolded my daughter for having a method of instruction that didn’t correlate with the authorized forms she was meticulously filling in. 

She faced a youngster who reads and writes a second language in addition to English. First graders aren’t supposed to do that, so it was immaterial.

Similarly, my grandson’s fascination with and knowledge about airplanes and his understanding of the processes by which plants and vegetables grow was irrelevant; all that mattered was the lack of “official” science curricula.

All of which helps explain why large swathes of public education are a mess. There is no doubt in my mind that the children in the state in which Emily lives would benefit more from having Emily coach and evaluate their teachers rather than being evaluated herself. Quite frankly, I think any unbiased outside observer would agree.

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6 comments

C Susan Thompson says:

Applause
Applause loudly
For Home Schooling Moms
And Grandmothers who are passionate cheerleaders and supporters!
from one Mom who has seen both wonderful and dismal public education
and dismal and outstanding homeschooling.
Your Grandson is truly blessed.
Thanks for sharing
Now what is to be done about the ****-retentive “public officials?”

C Susan Thompson says:

Applause
Applause loudly
For Home Schooling Moms
And Grandmothers who are passionate cheerleaders and supporters!
from one Mom who has seen both wonderful and dismal public education
and dismal and outstanding homeschooling.
Your Grandson is truly blessed.
Thanks for sharing
Now what is to be done about the ****-retentive “public officials?”

Camille Campbell says:

I am not a mom, yet, so much less am I a homeschooling parent. However, I can rally with the best of the moms out there when their lovingly and meticulously raised children are assaulted by these various ignorant individuals!! Here, here Susan!! As far as I’m concerned, it takes an unbiased Mom to present the facts you stated here about your daughter. May God continue to bless you and your family and thank you for your Musings.

Camille Campbell says:

I am not a mom, yet, so much less am I a homeschooling parent. However, I can rally with the best of the moms out there when their lovingly and meticulously raised children are assaulted by these various ignorant individuals!! Here, here Susan!! As far as I’m concerned, it takes an unbiased Mom to present the facts you stated here about your daughter. May God continue to bless you and your family and thank you for your Musings.

Susan Lapin says:

C. Susan and Camille,
Thank you for your comments.
I homeschooled for 16 yrs. so it is a topic that arouses my passions. I also get passionate when someone is rude and unfair to one of my children. So, this hit two of my buttons.
Susan Lapin

Susan Lapin says:

C. Susan and Camille,
Thank you for your comments.
I homeschooled for 16 yrs. so it is a topic that arouses my passions. I also get passionate when someone is rude and unfair to one of my children. So, this hit two of my buttons.
Susan Lapin

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