Monday, April 10, 2006

Education News Round Up

This is definitely my kind of headline.
Exit Exam Revolt Urged. They may not be revolting for the same reasons I would but I'm glad some are willing to think beyond the test.

Bill and Melinda Gates talk education with Oprah
Another more quiet revolution in education is being led by Bill Gates. In a two day special on education ...
Bill and Melinda Gates tell Oprah that they are terrified about the disastrous consequences of American's failing high school education system. Bill Gates says, "I think it's fair to say the future of this country depends solely on renewing our commitment to education."
The Gates' have a commitment to revolutionizing education - the UN way. They have a partnered with UNESCO to design an international curriculum. You can read the agreement at, but Microsoft has fixed it so you can't print it out. It is my earnest prayer that the "Gates of Seattle" shall not prevail against us. Oprah's special will air Tuesday and Wednesday.

Talking Points on Education
I wonder if Bill Gates will mention Sputnik when he talks about education. It's seems that's the latest analogy to describe what our attitutde should be in education. Mitt Romney in the Washington Times is just one of many politicians and educrats to invoke the space wars as a reason to radically reform education. That's the same analogy used in Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat. Seems that is the must read to understand and solve the education crisis. Or atleast talk about it. Funny Mr. Romney mentions Bill Gates too. But to be fair he also mentions homeschooling. He says,

4) Let freedom ring. When parents, teachers and kids are free to choose their school, everyone benefits. Charter schools free of union restraints and, yes, even home schools, teach lessons we can apply to improve standard public schools.

5) Pull in the parents. Teachers tell us that the best predictor of student success is parental involvement. For our lowest-performing schools, I've proposed mandatory parental preparation courses.

So let me get right. Mr. Romney proclaims, "Let freedom ring" and in the same breath proposes mandatory parenting classes! I seriously think there is a thinking gap in this country. Our politicians just don't get it. Mr. Romney if you want to learn a lesson from homeschoolers then get the government out of education all together. It's really quite simple.

This is what I was told when I wanted to go to college.
Pay up, kids: Mom and Dad don't have the cash. I paid my way through the University of Michigan. I missed my senior prom to save money. During college I often worked three jobs and didn't have a car. I only took out one loan my freshman year before I realized the stupidity of what I was doing. Sometimes in life you have to make a sacrifce for something greater. I'm going to be telling my children the same thing.

Speaking of the the prom
I am amazed when I tell people we homeschool our high school daughter how many will say, "But what about the prom?" It really isn't a big deal to us. But I understand to some it is. In fact, homeschoolers in Illinois have decided to organize their own prom. One young man even admitted it was his mother who taught him how to dance! It's not our type of event but I appreciate the intitiative of the children and their parents.

(HT: Education News)

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