Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eye on Education: What works?

CBS Evening News anchor, Katie Couric, is focusing on education this week in a three-part series, Eye on Education: What works? I received an email from producer, Eric J. Kuhn, telling me their motivation for the shows,

"With an alarmingly low high school graduation rate in this country (particularly in some of our larger cities) the "CBS Evening News" is taking a look this week at some programs designed to turn those bad stats around...and they're working. "
Intrigued that he would be sending a note to a homeschool mom with a graduation rate of 100% (so far), I replied and asked him if the series included a discussion of homeschooling as part of "what's working" in education? He promptly replied and said,

"There is not, but I think it would be really interesting if you brought that perspective into the story, you know? I can tell you that I then pass on your post to our producers and people inside CBS who want to know what others think and start a conversation on these issues."
I will say that any series that focuses on "what's working" in education that doesn't include a discussion on homeschooling is missing an important component of what is really working. Modern homeschooling has changed the landscape of education to the point where many school districts are attempting to mimic their successs with "public school at home" programs.

Tonights broadcast focused on a school in Dallas where according to the email,

"some students are now wearing GPS type devices to help keep them in school. It's an unusual approach that has so far yielded great results. Students click on their GPS device when they get to school and it tracks their every movement throughout the day, also giving them a 9pm curfew to be home."
A GPS would have come in handy when I had many toddlers running around my house, but if a high schooler has to wear a GPS in order to help keep them in school, I'd hardly call that a "success" story in education. It sounds like an expensive babysitter. But that's all I'll say at this point since I attended my children's symphony concert and wasn't able to watch tonight's broadcast.

Mr. Kuhn said he'd be reading, so if you watched the series and have any thoughts about what was said, feel free to share them in the comments section; and if you didn't watch the show, but would like to offer some feedback on why educating a child at home "works" and should have been at least been included, go ahead and share that too. CBS News is listening.

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