Monday, October 12, 2009

"Dropouts Happen"???? had a very interesting article today. It was a commentary by John W. Myres, a retired teacher and superintendent from California titled "Dropouts Happen: And other Hard Realities of Schooling".

His first reality: "There will never be enough money". This is so ludicrous as to make me laugh out loud. Seriously. I educated my kids on less than $500 each per year. Schools get something like $5000 per student per year.

Second reality: "Not everyone goes to college". True enough. But shouldn't we educated children as if they were going to go? Where I went to high school it was just expected you would go so we did. It was like moving on to high school after you finished junior high. You went to college. There was an expectation and most of us met it. The few who didn't go on to college tended to have very specific goals as well though...some went to "Hollywood", others to trade schools.

Third reality: "Dropouts happen". I have never seen an actual statistic but has anyone every dropped out of a homeschool? I mean like just refused any more education and went out to get a job or just "hang out kind of dropping out? If there is an actual statistic on this I'd imagine it's extremely small. What kind of parent who has just spent x number of years educating their child is going to just let them STOP getting educated to the point of graduation?

Fourth reality: "Reforms will always be with us". Mr. Myers' focus on this one is more in the vein of "movements" such as "back to basics", "new math", "No Child Left Behind", phonics based reading, etc. To this point I actually agree. The difference being that these "reforms" he speaks of often take years to take live out their usefulness before someone sees that it isn't working or finds something better. In the mean time, kids stop learning. In a homeschool our reforms (to use his word) come fast and furious. If something isn't working we know it right away and change it quick or tweak it until it does.

Last reality: "We don't control out destiny". Mr. Myers is talking about teachers and administrator's not actually controlling the school environment. He talks about outside forces such as government, ethnic groups, labor and courts. I believe a majority of us decide to homeschool or continue to school because we don't want others controlling our destiny or that of our children. Most of us are very much against government and court influence on homeschooling although we certainly embrace ethnic and religious influences individually!

I'm sure there will be many public school people that will disagree with Mr. Myers but I enjoyed using his statements to my own thinking on homeschooling!

1 comment:

OnTheBit said...

I think he should amend this thinking to "dropouts happen when people don't care". I am busting my butt right now trying to keep over a dozen kids in school. Of those dozen 10 have parents who could care less if they graduate high school or not. I know the benefits of staying in school so I try my best to make sure the students realize them also. As for college...I don't think college is for everyone. It is EXPENSIVE! When you homeschool you are involved with your kids...not all parents are!