Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Abortion during school hours?!?

A Seattle mother, identified only as "Jill", is furious after her 15 year old daughter's high school helped facilitate her abortion during school hours.
When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.

"She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center," she said. "Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion."

Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.
Ironically, giving a minor a tattoo in Washington State is a misdemeanor but giving a minor an abortion during school hours is okay? According to the news report,
T.J. Cosgrove of the King County Health Department, which administers the school-based programs for the health department, says it's always best if parents are involved in their children's health care, but don't always have a say.

"At any age in the state of Washington, an individual can consent to a termination of pregnancy," he said.

But Jill says she not only didn't have a say in her daughter's abortion, but also didn't know about it.

"Makes me feel like my rights were completely stripped away."
Clearly, someone forgot to read this mother her rights when she enrolled her daughter. So as an act of public service I will once again read parents their rights (because no one else will.)

The Miranda Rights for Public School Parents

Parent or legal guardian; As you enroll your child in our government system of state indoctrination we are required to inform you of your rights...

You have the right to remain silent. Do you understand?

Everything you say and do will be ignored anyway. So don't waste your breath. Do you understand?

You have the right to an attorney. But don't waste your money either. Most judges are on our side. They know how they got elected or appointed. Do you understand?

You have no right to due process or privacy. Just bake cookies (no nuts please!) and attend the PTO meetings and we'll get along just fine. Do you understand?

You have no right to object to any material we present to your child. Everything we teach is pursuant to legitimate educational as well as health and welfare interests of the state. Do you understand?

We will use the full power of the court to establish that the interests of the state are more important than your interest as a parent. All at taxpayer expense. (That means you.) Do you understand?

We realize that it may seem awkward to give up control of your child's education. But think about how many more hours in the day you will now be free to pursue your own interests. More importantly, the state is now free teach your child exactly what he needs to do to be a good worker in the global economy. Congratulations! You have just been liberated from your primary obligation as a parent.

Go in peace.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Michael Pearl Responds

Update #2: The Pearl interview has been canceled but they are still planning on covering the story.

The Pearl's website now says the interview will be held on Friday morning between 7 and 8 AM.

Tomorrow, Michael Pearl is scheduled to be on the CBS Early Show between 7 and 8 AM. He'll be discussing the murder of Lydia Schatz and his child training methods. I've met and listened to Michael Pearl and if he's still anything like he was ten years ago I'm not optimistic about a postive outcome. Rather than examining his teaching he prefers to "laughing at his critics." Pray that God will be glorified and that Pearl's message will not be confused with what Christians, especially homeschool Christian, believe.

I'm not laughing and the lack of clarity in Pearl's definitely not a laughing matter.

A month ago, Michael Pearl issued a written statement regarding the death of Lydia Schatz. In his introductory paragraph he wrote,
We do not teach "corporal punishment" nor "hitting" children. We teach parents how to train their children, which sometimes requires the limited and controlled application of a spanking instrument to hold the child's attention on admonition.
That's a fine statement and for those not familiar with the Pearls would probably be enough in their mind clear things up. But those of us who are more familiar with the Pearls know that nothing is every that clear with him or his teachings.

He can say he doesn't teach "hitting" but he certainly doesn't completely condemn it either,
If you or your children have been hit (other than the children being spanked) so as to leave discernible marks two hours later, and you genuinely fear that he will repeat his battering, you can take legal steps without divorcing your husband.
Hitting is always wrong no matter how long the mark lasts and if a man does it once he'll do it again. Yet, Pearl qualifies the statement and sends an ambiguous and confusing message.

Pearl can say that he doesn't teach "corporal punishment" because he prefers the term "corporal chastisement" and no one's the wiser. To the parent of a young child he advises about when it's too young to spank,
"under three (give or take six months or so) cannot profit from corporal punishment, but we have made the point elsewhere that small children do profit from the application of the training rod."
And how does he define "limited?" Ten, fifteen, or "Never threaten, and never show mercy. One squeak of a scream gets a switching." In another article he says, "There is no number that can be given." So much for "limited."

Pearl may think his teachings are clear, but on a busy day when the newborn is crying and the three year old is struggling in the bathroom (some of us never quite mastered trickle treat), and the first grader is stumbling through his phonics lessons and wandered outside it's easy to mix it all up. At that moment, mom isn't thinking about the difference between corporal punishment, biblical chastisement, and a profitable application of the rod. It is all becomes a blur of words in the face of her frenetic reality. But one message is clear and that is "never show mercy" and if your at all inconsistent you're an unfit to parent. At this point, guilt and despair can easily set in a parents mind and in the worst cases, death is the result.

Pearl's not repsonsible for this murder, but he is responsible for the lack of clarity in his writing. For that, Christians should hold him accountable and thankfully many are doing just that.

Tulip Girl has been covering the Pearls for many years and has links and more info for those that may be interested in reading more.

I'm not going to speculate on what Pearl's going to say tomorrow on CBS, but if his words tomorrow are anything like his writing I don't think it will end the matter and could actually make things worse.

Barbara Curtis is urging people to call CBS. " Let them know - in a non adversarial way - not only that the Pearls do not represent your views on raising children, but that we would be grateful to see some mainstream Christian parenting educators/family and childhood advocates added to the mix."

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The New OBE: Obama Based Education

When President Clinton occupied the White House he attempted, with the help of his wife Hillary and friend Marc Tucker, to reform America's educational system. The reform was patterned after Europe and, at various times, called School to Work, Goals 2000, or Outcome Based Education. It became more commonly known as OBE and through much effort defeated, but not permanently destroyed.

Nearly twenty years later, President Obama, with Marc Tucker once again playing a supporting role, has resurrected OBE and repackaged it for 2010. The White House website reveals their guiding principle:
"Our nation’s economic competitiveness and the path to the American Dream depend on providing every child with an education that will enable them to succeed in a global economy that is predicated on knowledge and innovation. President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career..."

"President Obama will reform America’s public schools to deliver a 21st Century education that will prepare all children for success in the new global workplace."
Let me be clear Mr. President, children are not a commodity to be educated in order to enhance our economic competitiveness in the new global workplace . That's the socialist's dream not the
American Dream.

Like the old OBE, the new OBE: Obama Based Education will be a "cradle to career" system of accountability with national standards benchmarked internationally using "state-of-the art" individual tracking mechanisms, all while emphasizing local control and creativity.

As a teaser to the new OBE, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters on Friday.
"We want to hold educators accountable but let them be creative."
Obama's "blueprint' is nothing more than handing each state an identical paint-by-number kit and instructing them to, "Be creative!"

Already, the nation's Governors are in a "Race to the Top" competition for Obama dollars by implementing key components of the new OBE. The Wall Street Journal reports,

The states are already moving to put in place some of the biggest components of the Obama plan. Most important is the push, led by the nation's governors, to agree to a uniform set of national academic standards, so that students would learn the same math and English basics in the same grade in all states. Only Texas and Alaska have opted out of the drive to agree to common standards by early summer.

That effort comes as states are also moving to adopt data-collection systems that would allow school districts to track a student's performance from kindergarten through high school.

Implementing national uniformity while tracking individual conformity and stifling creativity, that's the new OBE: Obama Based Education blueprint in a nutshell.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Obama Takeover of Education

In his weekly radio address, President Obama said,
"[O]n Monday, my administration will send to Congress our blueprint for an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act to overhaul No Child Left Behind. What this plan recognizes is that while the federal government can play a leading role in encouraging the reforms and high standards we need, the impetus for that change will come from states, and from local schools and school districts. "
What does this mean? According to Susan Ohanian, a longtime opponent of national standards and the proposed reforms,
In order to qualify for the pots of money President Obama is eager to hand out, states must accept 100 percent of the Common Core standards document. They cannot pick and choose. Exercising any judgment based on what teachers and parents know about kids and about literature is forbidden. To get the Obama bribe, state politicos must promise that schoolchildren will be forced to swallow ALL the Kool-Aid. If states want federal money, they have to reform education the Obama way.
This is a case of which came first the chicken or the egg?

The Obama Administration will claim all of the education reforms are state-led and the federal government is merely supporting their initiatives, but are states enacting the desired reforms because money is promised for states that Race for the Top and win first prize?

Already, there are rumors that Title I (special needs funding) will be tied to education reforms and the National School Boards Association released a statement last month indicating that the proposed reforms,
"amounts to an unnecessary overreach by the federal government to coerce states to adopt a particular approach or be shut out of future funding for key programs."
And what about homeschoolers? Our issue isn't funding but freedom. Common Core Standards will impact us, they will become the defacto national standard and lead to even more federal regulations (tied to funding, of course).

Recognizing the potential risks, HSDLA had this to say in May, 2009 about national common standards,
"If groups of states on their own want to establish common standards for public schools, that is one thing. HSLDA firmly believes that educational decisions should be left up to the states and local school boards, not Washington, DC. However, we believe that any attempts by congress to create nationalized standards, curriculum, or testing would be unconstitutional, and harmful to students and families. Homeschool famlies have demonstrated that parents, not bureaucrats in Washington, best know their children and what htey need to learn."
I searched their website for more updated information and nothing more recent appears to have been published. I hope they speak up soon.

A draft of the Common Core State Standards is now available online. The time for public commentary and opposition is now, not when Congress is deciding how much to pay each state for their compliance.

This is not the time for homeschoolers to sit and watch from the sidelines as the states gobble up federal funds and Obama's blueprint. At the very least, forward this post to others who may not be aware of the "other takeover" going on in Washington, DC.

This isn't a partisan plea against Obama, but a real desire to all homechoolers realize that national standards will be a huge deterent to our ability to homeschool in the United States. He didn't start these reforms, but he is currently the President moving them forward. And make no mistake about it, these reforms, modeled after Europe, will impact us. We must speak up or risk losing our ability to direct the education of our children. And unlike the German homeschoolers, there will be no place for us to go to seek asylum.

For more info...
Heather has a post about national reforms and special needs homeschooling.
Susan Ohanian has a site Stop National Standards with loads of info (Facebook group here.)
Education Week: Debunking the Case for National Standards

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

In The Beginning...

Some secular homeschoolers are feeling frustrated and a bit isolated because the leading homeschool science curriculum promotes a Creationist/Biblical Worldview and "dismiss" Darwin.

Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.

"I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids," said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago...

In Kentucky, Lexington home-schooler Mia Perry remembers feeling disheartened while flipping through a home-school curriculum catalog and finding so many religious-themed textbooks.

"We're not religious home-schoolers, and there's somewhat of a feeling of being outnumbered," said Perry, who has home-schooled three of her four children after removing her oldest child from a public school because of a health condition.

But isn't that the essence of homeschooling? Parents who believe in Darwin teach Darwinism as true and Christianity as lie. Parents who believe in Creation teach that Jesus Christ is the Truth and Darwin and all other theories a lie. And you know what, that's A-OK with me.

To my secular homeschooling friends, if you're upset because there isn't a science textbook available that supports your worldview then create one. Otherwise, just wait around I'm sure one will eventually evolve out of your math book.

Thanks to Anderea and Gena for sending me the link.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Mom's On the Computer IRL

When I wrote Mom's On The Computer a few weeks ago, I never thought I'd actually read an article like this.
A computer-addicted couple let their real life baby starve to death while they raised a virtual daughter online, police said today.

The couple spent 12 hours a night at internet cafes while their three-month-old daughter was left home alone at their apartment in Suwon, South Korea. They were arrested today.

Police said they had become hooked on living online and were raising an avatar daughter through their profiles on a Second Life-style game called PRIUS....An autopsy confirmed she died of malnourishment.

What are we becoming?

And mom’s lost on the computer, lettin' dinner burn
Little boy wanders, he just wants to learn
When you getting off mom?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
we're gonna have a good time then

HT: HotAir

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Thoughts from a PS Convert

What happens when a state certified public school teacher decides to homeschool? An ego-check and a whole lot of learning.

In 2006, I took the leap from public school teacher to home-school mom for my kindergarten daughter. I did what most home-school mothers do and joined a home-school group for support. To be honest, I thought I would be lending most of the support. I had the elementary education degree and many successful years of teaching under my belt. They should be so lucky to have me in the group.

Ego check! They didn’t need my advice on materials. There is a whole world of home-school materials that is every bit as good as public school curriculum...

As I made my way into this world, I was amazed at all the new options and ideas I had never seen or heard of as a public school teacher. These parents had a right to snub me and my ego. They may not have had an elementary education degree or even stepped a foot in a classroom, but these parents had nothing to learn from me, and I had much to learn from them.
She goes on to say that maybe instead of pushing regulation on homeschoolers we should deregulate public education.

How about instead of fighting for more regulations on home-school parents, we fight for fewer regulations on public school teachers? I had some great teachers 30 years ago who did not face the same government regulations. I’m not saying teachers shouldn’t be held to a high standard – just maybe not one, single standard: the test.

Do we really want to put these same crazy regulations on home-school families? These parents are enjoying what they do and not getting one government cent to do it....

Sorry I can’t provide some dirt on the home-school community. Funny, they are just doing a great job – all without regulations.

Amen and Amen!

Thanks to a Facebook reader for passing this along.

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