Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bread and Circuses

"Public schools perform many valuable services. These include getting offspring out of the house when they are at their most difficult; transporting them to distant locations free of charge; providing free, or at least very cheap, lunches and sometimes breakfasts too; introducing them to the opposite sex in a controlled environment; providing some physical activity, thus preventing them from being couch potatoes; providing spectator sports to entertain them on weekends; instilling some basic literacy and the ability to read clocks and timetables; and, at the end of the process, bestowing a diploma entitling the recipient to further subsidized education. The benefits of the system are obvious..."

Perhaps the author is being sardonic here, but that's not the impression I got from reading the rest of the op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.

This type of attitude is sadly too prevalent in this country. One of the city council members of a town in my area went on record opposing a science- & technology- focused charter school because it wouldn't have full athletic facilities. This despite the fact that there are numerous traditional high schools in the district offering students who wanted to play varsity sports the chance to do so. What does this say about the councilwoman's priorities? It's like she believes that the main purpose of a high school is fielding a championship football team!


Anonymous said...

I hear similar sentiments from people who are NOT joking. They are perfectly happy with the idea that someone else is teaching and training and feeding their children for 'free'.

Also, the idea that for a well-rounded education one must be a 'jack of all trades and master of none' is ludicrous. As if a child who focuses on science and technology won't ever listen to classical music or draw a picture or read "Hamlet" or run track.

Penelope Anne said...

I am sorry to say I don't know many school districts that have a clue what a well-rounded education is.
The opinion you posted is all too prevalent though, too many people think that way, and refuse to listen to those would inform them otherwise.

Alasandra said...

Many families in which both parents work are just happy to have a free baby sitter. I don't know how many times I have heard a public school parent complain because school was out and they had to hire someone to babysit.

Lisa said...

She obviously has no experience whatsoever with homeschooling families. Period. Pitiful that these opinions are stated as facts and given such a public forum!