January 29, 2008

"He's totally eclipsed. Nothing he says is going to be important for anything that happens in the next 12 months. The speech is a nonevent."

Did you watch the State of the Union Address?

We did, talking over it a lot of the time. How can we feel that a man who is President doesn't matter anymore? Somehow we do. At least when he's making a speech. He may yet do something that could make us change our well-settled opinions. But let's hope that nothing much happens in the next year. When things capable of transforming the reputation of a President happen, they're usually bad. So let's hope the battered old man drifts further into oblivion over the next year, and when the State of the Union comes around again we have the occasion to get all excited about the seemingly boundless potential of another human individual.

87 comments:

Simon Kenton said...

"They reckon ill who leave me out.
When me they fly, I am the wings."

His foreign policy powers are not circumscribed by unpopularity. For good or ill his resolution is unabated. Bush will address Iran.

Pogo said...

He's totally eclipsed?
I guess that explains the Democratic votes in the past six months, especially those brave brave votes defundign the war and bringing the troops home by Christmas.

Oops.

Maybe "eclipse" has an alternate definition among Democrats, an ironic one meaning precisely the opposite.

Or maybe it's some new jargon meaning pretty much nothing at all And I'm all like 'He's totally eclipsed, dude', so he went totally flame on me. Woah.

Wankers.

MadisonMan said...

I did not watch, I was working.

Many of the news stories noted that Bush is considerably grayer than he was when he took office. I've never understood why that's a worthwhile observation. I'm grayer too. People do age in 8 years.

I'm happy that Bush is against earmarks now. Again. Maybe he'll actually follow through on his veto threat, but I doubt it.

Obligatory youtube link for the phrase totally eclipsed.

George said...

"Battered old man"??

I thought he looked robust and gave a forceful speech, especially regarding Iraq.

(Granted, the speech was all boiler-plate and certainly glossed over problems, but that's standard...)

He's clearly converted to 'greenism,' something he should have seen coming years ago.

A little rude of Pelosi, I thought, to keep looking down reading his speech while he was inches in front of her, delivering it.

And Cheney looked like he was ready to eat someone.

Simon said...

There are two competing traditions with regard to how the State of the Union can be delivered, and at risk of being called a gloomy gus, every time I watch one of them, I can't help but wonder if the practice followed by Presidents Jefferson through Wilson was the better model.

Middle Class Guy said...

The same could be said for every other president's last speech. Nothing they say is important for their last year in offce. Those last speeches are non-events.

michaele said...

What struck me was how comfortable he seemed in his skin giving this speech in this setting. Early on he seemed like a kid wearing clothes too large for him. I thought he did well and he seemed to enjoy it.

Roger said...

I didnt watch the whole thing but did see the President leave at the end--he looked very upbeat to me, signing autographs and schmoozing. After eight years, he still has not become an orator and remains, IMO, one of the worst public speakers I have ever heard. And he has, apparently, galvanized the republican minority behind him and has effectively stymed the Democratic majority in congress. I only wish he hadn't caved on earmarks--but I somehow suspect, that was the price of galvanizing the republican minority.

Paul Zrimsek said...

How can we feel that a man who is President doesn't matter anymore?

Newt Gingrich felt that way, once. It didn't work out all that well for him.

rkb said...

Newt Gingrich felt that way, once. It didn't work out all that well for him.

heh

Simon said...

Roger, do you mean "caved" on earmarks last night, or "caved" on earmarks during the time the GOP was running Congress? If the former, are you arguing that earmarks are a good thing that should not be dealt with as he (belatedly) promised?

hdhouse said...

Headline extra, read all about it:

"Bush has brush with English language. President suffers severe disorientation. English language narrowly survives"

extra extra extra!

MadisonMan said...

I'm not Roger (really!) but I'm thinking the quid pro quo that Republicans in the Congress have with the President includes earmarks for Republican Congresscritters in exchange for toning down disagreement with a lame duck President.

The President says he'll veto an earmarked laden bill (aren't they all?). But push comes to shove, and he signs.

Republicans can never again claim the mantle of fiscal prudence.

Roger said...

Simon: I think he "caved" in this respect: he could have issued the executive order to cover current earmarks. The EO is aimed at future earmarks. My preference as a taxpayer would be to slam the door on earmarks immediately, but in this case I will take the half loaf rather than the whole loaf. I am also totally disappointed in the congressional GOP who clearly don't get it.

Roger said...

Madison man: we clearly agree on the price exacted from the president by the GOP congresscritters.

rhhardin said...

Republicans can never again claim the mantle of fiscal prudence.

Or the marris of good character.

Simon said...

Roger: Gotcha. I do agree that he's something of an 11th hour convert, but better late than never.

Jim Hu said...

If past lapses meant that a party can never again claim the mantle of X, then neither party could advocate much of anything. While that might be a good thing, it certainly is not what is going to happen.

Or perhaps you meant "can never credibly claim the mantle of..."

That both sides will claim all kinds of stuff that they haven't delivered again is as certain as death and taxes. And some of the people will even believe them.

Doyle said...

When things capable of transforming the reputation of a President happen, they're usually bad.

I don't think that's the case with this president.

Doyle said...

My $0.02:

The speech was incredibly inoffensive. It was designed to maximize the amount of applause by putting things in terms Democrats in the audience could (or rather had to) stand up for. The mad tyrant only made a cameo during the Iran and FISA segments.

It was also really poorly written. "Trust X and Empower them to do Y" ad nauseum. I was personally relieved that the people who made him sound like a visionary (like Gerson) have abandoned ship.

Simon said...

MM - One thinks of Joe Cannon, who as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee famously told a reporter: "you might think that my job is to make appropriations. It is not. It is to prevent their being made." That wisdom brought the GOP to power in 1994, and their failure to heed it led to their ejection, and to much of the present mess. As I've said before, comments passim, no meaningful change is going to come to Washington until voters start judging members of Congress by how little the member adds to the taxpayers' burden rather than how much of that tax burden is brought back to a particular district. Or at least, that holds unless some other structural check is placed on the inclination to do so - I've suggested one several times, but alas, 'tis not the spirit of the times.

paul a'barge said...

"battered old man"?

I was going to ask why you read this WashingtonPost garbage in the first place, but perhaps the attraction to hysteria and uncontrolled emotionalism is just not resistible.

Good luck with those issues.

The man is President of the only nation on planet Earth that matters in any global sense, he can veto everything Democrats throw at him and he can bomb Iran. And that's just for starters.

Get a grip.

B said...

It was designed to maximize the amount of applause by putting things in terms Democrats in the audience could (or rather had to) stand up for.

Which was accomplished by using smaller words for the Democrats.

B said...

Pogo and George have it about right.

Except I don't fault Nancy Pelosi for looking round like she does: she's an old woman. Lovely, but c'mon, she's old and should have been in bed about half way through.

Sad about Pelosi. She will be in the history books only because of her gender; she really has no accomplishment to speak of for the first woman Speaker of the House.

Doyle said...

Which was accomplished by using smaller words for the Democrats.

Oh I assumed that was for the benefit of all the homeschooled rubes who voted for him.

Simon said...

paul a'barge said...
"...[H]e can bomb Iran."

Absent Congressional authorization, it's very, very unlikely that he can do so legally, unless it's to respond to an actual attack on the United States or to prevent an attack so imminent that Congressional approval can't reasonably be sought.

Simon said...

B said...
"Sad about Pelosi. She will be in the history books only because of her gender; she really has no accomplishment to speak of for the first woman Speaker of the House."

Blowing a golden opportunity to force through an amnesty bill is quite an accomplishment, but I doubt those who regard it as a success are likely to give Pelosi much credit for it.

Anthony said...

GOP'er that I am, I am sick of Bush and did not watch the address.

Instead, I rented the 1962 movie "Advise and Consent" in which Henry Fonda is nominated for Secretary of State and it turns out he was a member of a communist cell many years before.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I assumed that was for the benefit of all the homeschooled rubes who voted for him.

Heh. What a tiresome and ignorant meme. Turns out that homeschooled kids actually do better on standardized tests and in college than the average public school kid.

It's amazing how intelligent and well-adjusted young people turn out when their education isn't held hostage by self-serving union hacks.

Then again, if you went to public school I'm not surprised you didn't know any better.

Roger said...

Pastor Jeff beat me to it. Home schooling appears to be a major success for those children who take advantage of it.

Synova said...

Homeschooled persons do, however, fail horribly at group-think.

mbabin said...

"battered old man"?

Ignoring for the moment the "battered" part, he's not much older than you, correct?

reader_iam said...

George Bush is 6 weeks older than Bill Clinton, 8 months older than Romney and 15 months older than Hillary Clinton. He's 4-1/2 years older than Althouse, who is about 2-1/2 years older than Edwards, just over 4-1/2 years older than Huckabee, and a little over 10-1/2 years older than Obama.

Now, if you wanna talk old, there's always Paul, born August 1935, and John McCain, a full year younger.

The perspective is fascinating.

PatCA said...

I thought it was a good final speech by someone who inspires either hatred or weariness in so many. He is not irrelevant, though; he is the center around which the others spin--ask the Dems why they haven't passed a single of their anti-war resolutions.

I don't think he has a romantic's view of his office, so in that sense I don't think he feels battered. He applied what he considers his core principles to problems that change in form but never in content. He has said that he feels joyous for the privilege of having served. Okay then. That's W.

reader_iam said...

I guess I'm at the stage (and have been for a while) where I really don't consider anyone close to old unless they're at least as old as my parents (who were in their early 20s when they had me). For me, that means only Paul and McCain qualify. And if it weren't for certain circumstances, I wouldn't even consider my parents old, in comparison to the ages of people with whom I interact almost every day.

reader_iam said...

I think it was an amazingly moderate sort of speech, for the most part. I really did think he was reaching back to some themes he used when he was running for president, and pre-9/11.

I also thought he sounded a lot of notes that could easily fit into a John McCain riff (not so much a Romney or Huckabee one).

Sort of lackluster. Not so much lame duck as caged bird.

Again, with some exceptions.

Joshua said...

Turns out that homeschooled kids actually do better on standardized tests and in college than the average public school kid.

Actually, the subset of homeschooled kids who choose to take the standardized tests do better on average, than public school kids, all of whom are required to take them. I wonder if teaching intellectual dishonesty is part of the typical homeschool curriculum.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I don't know about where you're at, but around here homeschooled children are required to take these standardized tests. The public school system is trying to have that changed because of their poor performance in comparison with both home schooled and private school children.

Both of whom are educated better and at a much lower cost.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't know about where you're at, but around here homeschooled children are required to take these standardized tests.

I don't know where you're at, but my public school had college level courses in calculus, chemistry, biology, english, and physics. We also had 12 National Merit Scholars in my graduating class. How many homeschooled children go to college with any college level hard science or math background (or even believe in evolution)?

Roger said...

Here's a listing of state requiring homeschooled children to take which tests and when:
http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/030802.htm.

I suspect that what homeschooled children learn is a function of what their parents think they should learn--I am sure there are some fundamentalist types who probably don't teach evolution; but I also suspect there are some atheistic types of parents that do teach evolution--and neither of those subjects preclude the teaching of calculus or other first year college types of courses that would normally be found in an advanced placement program at many public schools.

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

The homeschool movement postdates my children's school age. I wouldnt have had the time to devote to their homeschooling due to the nature of my job. I would have certainly welcomed the chance to homeschool them. Seems to me parental involvement is one important factor in a child's education, and homeschooling certainly appears to maximize parental involvement.

Synova said...

You're such a bigot, Freder.

How many homeschooled children are secular? Do you have any idea?

Secular homeschoolers tend to be more independent and less organized than Christian homeschoolers, but it would be unwise to assume they don't exist in the same numbers. The "big names" in the beginning of the movement are secular ones. Those pioneers pushing for radical education reform were tofu and nuts liberals, Freder.

They were school teachers and hippies who despaired at the assembly line model that was destroying the concept of education itself. The life of the mind. Creativity. The simple ability to *think*.

Those people still exist and have the same philosophical concerns. Christian homeschoolers overlap that sub-set of homeschoolers.

The ones who *don't* overlap that sub-set are the Christian school-at-homers who most certainly do produce TRADITIONALLY educated students who perform at traditional classroom activities very *very* well.

George said...

Anthony--

Ah, "Advise and Consent"...great movie...great cast...great ending, too...

If only "The Best Man" were on DVD....When Kennedy saw it, he thought the character of the philadering politician was about him, when actually it was based on FDR....

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Synova; how can you call Freder a bigot?

Don't you know he is a Lefty, and therefore incapable of bigotry?

Ignorance, on the other hand, he is capable of in spades

Synova said...

Freder, in your school of 12 merit scholars... how many students failed to graduate?

A huge school will have high level classes. My school had Trigonometry with 9 students when I took it and Physics offered every other year with 7 students when I took it.

But few students failed altogether and very few dropped out. There were not skate nazis to beat the sh*t out of skate posers. There were no metal detectors or cops in the parking lot after school.

What homeschooled students do, if they want to take Calculus or a college level class, (which are *absolutely* voluntary in public school and many many students in public school choose NOT to take), is they go to community college.

Community colleges everywhere I've heard about will take homeschooled high school students if they pass placement tests (not hard to do) before they "graduate" which lets homeschooled students get a jump on college credit as well.

College level classes at a college.

What a concept.

Synova said...

Sorry, redneck, my bad. ;-)

Roger said...

We appear to be hopelessly off topic, but this is more fun anyway--Washington State had a program called running start which permitted high school kids to enroll in community college courses while they were still in high school. It was not unusual for highly motivated kids to graduate from high school with their AA degree as well.

Freder Frederson said...

and neither of those subjects preclude the teaching of calculus or other first year college types of courses that would normally be found in an advanced placement program at many public schools.

It must be amazing that there are all these parents out there qualified to teach calculus, college chemistry and biology (and have access to lab space and chemicals too!) and english too! Just freaking amazing! And they are stay at home moms and/or dads who can teach these subjects and maybe a foreign language or two.

I am freaking impressed!

Both you and Synova are full of "should's" and "seem's" but short on facts and hard numbers. Synova goes on to tell about the frustrated teachers and hippies who homeschool because the schools aren't "creative" enough. I thought that was exactly the problem, that we need to get back to basics.

Homeschooling may be fine for elementary subjects, but there are precious few parents equipped to teach a adequate college prep curriculum that prepares a student for the hard sciences.

It's not my fault that universities let liberal arts majors skate by with pathetic courses in both science and math.

If I were king no one would get a bachelors degree in this country without a full year of calculus (that's an 8 or 10 hour course most places) and a real hard science course (i.e., chemistry, physics, or biology) with a lab.

walter neff said...

Advise and Consent was the first in a series of novels about Washington that are long out of print. But the author had a Senator or Governor called Ted Jason in the later books in the series. I seem remember he was based on Teddy Kennedy. The southern senator Seab Cooley was based on Sam Ervin who was hated by the liberal media until his dotage when he was the instrument used to destroy Nixon. Strange how things can turn around. One day Grand Kleage, next day liberal lion. Ain't it funny how time passes by.

Roger said...

Freder: I do agree with you that calculus should be a required course for any BA degree--But the rest of your post is mindless BS--Since you clearly don't know squat about home schooling except your own misguided opinions let me tell you how some people can manage to teach their children some basic elements of college prep courses:
They use other people who have the appropriate expertise to either come in and do the teaching or they send their kids to the teachers home. You would find this commonly done as a cooperative and especially so around college campuses.
You simply have no idea about some home schools work. Neither Synova nor I said all home schoolers are taught in this way--Some are--and thats one of the attractions of home school. Just because you apparently couldnt do it, it doesnt mean it can't be done.

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

What homeschooled students do, if they want to take Calculus or a college level class, (which are *absolutely* voluntary in public school and many many students in public school choose NOT to take), is they go to community college.

Well, then they are hardly being "homeschooled" are they?

Freder Frederson said...

Neither Synova nor I said all home schoolers are taught in this way--Some are--and thats one of the attractions of home school. Just because you apparently couldnt do it, it doesnt mean it can't be done.

Well, give me some numbers. What percentage of homeschooled children go on to study the hard sciences or engineering in college? How does that percentage compare to traditionally educated children?

I'm just dying to know. Again, you're just telling me how things could or may work, not giving me any facts.

Freder Frederson said...

How many homeschooled children are secular? Do you have any idea?

No I don't, do you?

Blake said...

Synova's experience matches mine. A child can attend Community College (in some states) at 14, and so homeschooled kids can do their undergrad work by 16 or 17 and transferring as juniors to university at a time their peers are getting wasted in high school.

According to the self-professed "liberals" here, citizens cannot be trusted with their welfare, their health nor their children's education.

How is any of that liberal?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

well Freder, Well, give me some numbers. What percentage of a high school freshman class go on to study the hard sciences or engineering in college? How does that percentage compare to homeschooled children?

I'm just dying to know. Again, you're just telling me how things could or may work, not giving me any facts.

Joshua said...

I don't think anyone disputes that it's possible to get a good college-prep education in a homeschooling environment, or that homeschoolers, who, by definition have involved and interested parents, can do better academically than many public school students who lack that advantage. But homeschooling is practical for a very small portion of the population.

Also, many homeschool kids, in my experience, lack social skills and become quite frustrated when they realize they aren't quite as precious as mommy and daddy told them they were

Freder Frederson said...

well Freder, Well, give me some numbers. What percentage of a high school freshman class go on to study the hard sciences or engineering in college? How does that percentage compare to homeschooled children?

It was the supporters of homeschooling that first raised completely unsubstantiated statements about how homeschooling is superior to traditional schooling. Now that I have asked for proof (I will note that I am always accused of making unsupported claims but apparently I am the only poster here who must actually back up what I write) all I get is more assertions (and the rather bizaare position that attending community college is homeschooling) and no evidence.

When you provide the numbers I asked for I will dig around the internet for the numbers you want.

I will make a prediction though. The percentage of traditionally educated students who attend college and major in a hard science or engineering will be much higher than the percentage of homeschooled students majoring in hard sciences and engineering.

Remember, we're comparing those attending college, not all students.

Roger said...

Agree entirely with Joshua--home schooling is a pedagogical option that should not be thrown out--and like other pedagogies it works for a certain type of person. And homeschooling, unless augmented with other social activities may deprive a child of that experience.

As to number of home schooled kids who go on and study hard sciences at the baccalaurate level, it simply isnt important to the issue. Its a a liberty thing for me and maximizes a parent's choice of pedagogies. I like to think of home schooling as an Evergreen or Reed college approach for youngsters. So Freder, if you want to find out how many homeschoolers go on in hard sciences, you should be able to google it. I don't give a damn because that is not even close to the basic issue for me.

Roger said...

Freder: please quote me where I said home schooling is superior to traditional education. I never said that; Your entire line of crap is based on your fundamental misreading of what I said.

Freder Frederson said...

roger,

You didn't but the redneck did:

Both [private school and homeschooled children] of whom are educated better and at a much lower cost.

Freder Frederson said...

Roger,

And you certainly did imply that homeschooled children were just as likely as traditional students to study advanced topics in science and math.

But now you apparently don't care whether they are or not. This is strange since you do agree with me about the importance of topics like calculus and the hard sciences.

Roger said...

Thanks, Freder, for the acknowledgment--I will let you and red carry on from here if you have no objections.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't think anyone disputes that it's possible to get a good college-prep education in a homeschooling environment

Actually, that's exactly what I did (at least for certain disciplines).

Synova said...

So lets be fair, hm? If you don't need numbers then neither do I. You have your imagination and I have people I know, which isn't data either.

And I'm still curious how many school failures and drop-outs accompanied those 12 merit scholars.

Some things aren't numbers, though. Some things are History. What is is what is and your not knowing about it doesn't change that the genesis of homeschool had nothing whatsoever to do with creationism and everything to do with creativity.

The answer to creationism is private church affiliated schooling. Approved classroom lock-step style.

Homeschool is fundamentally about the freedom to learn, and secondarily about the content.

Raymond Moore is a hero to Christian homeschoolers but his research is primarily about child development and just how unnatural and outright harmful it is to set a small child in a chair and make them go to school earlier and earlier. John Holt is another and, like Moore, was publishing his ideas about education in the 1960's. He's more an icon of secular homeschooling because he promoted the concept of un-schooling.

I didn't pull nuts and tofu hippies out of my imagination.

The misconception that homeschool means that mom is the teacher is typical, if both tired and old.

Homeschooling makes heavy use of mentors and community resources. It always has. The idea that one person is adequate as a singular source of information is a relic of traditional classroom instruction. People who try to project this assumption onto home education make a mistake.

Doyle said...

Haha. Yer still talking about homeschooling, because that was the first epithet that came into my head in response to b at 9:56.

Suckers. I bet you were homeschooled!

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

And I will stand by that assertion; on the average any individual not educated in apublic school is better edcuated than one who is.

Can you find a high school age home schooler who cannot do simple math? I have no doubt that you can.

But haven't a home schooled children won the National Spelling Bee for the last few years?

Just based on the numbers of children who start as Freshman at any punblic high school as compared to the number who actually graduate almost guarantees that there are a large percentage of public school students who are not educated at all.

Nearly 1 in 3 high school students in the Class of 2006 will not graduate this year, the Editorial Projects in Education (EDE) Research Center reported Tuesday.
The picture is worse for urban school districts, especially those serving poor students, the new study shows. Graduation rates in the largest school districts range from 21.7 percent in Detroit and 38.5 percent in Maryland's Baltimore County to 82.5 percent in Virginia's Fairfax County.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0621/p03s02-ussc.html

Roger said...

Freder: I think you inferred too much from what I said. And I think you don't understand my libertarian streak. In general students should study what they want in an academic program. My pedagogical preference would be a great books program with a heavy dose of math and hard science. But in this particular conflict my libertarian side wins out.

The reason why I think calculus (and DE) is so important is that it is basic to understanding our physical world. You cant use algebra to understand bodies in motion, and any physics course not based on calculus is bogus. I used to teach Public Administration and I required students in my program to take calculus as a program prerequisite. There are many quantitative solutions to public admin including particularly linear algebra. Which probably explains why my program ended up getting cut because I wasnt producing enough revenue.

Roger said...

Doyle: home schooling is a much more interesting subject-- thanks for bringing it up! There are many paths to enlightenment, grasshopper.

Revenant said...

When you provide the numbers I asked for I will dig around the internet for the numbers you want.

According to this Arizona State University study, homeschooled students scored substantially above average on the Iowa standardized skills test. This article from a homeschooling organization also contains citations of various studies showing that homeschooled students do better than public school students.

Your point about children homeschooled for religious reasons not learning anything about evolution is one that, at first, seems like it should be valid. But what you're forgetting is that public school students don't learn much of anything either. High school biology textbooks generally provide only the most general overview of the theory so as not to offend the local school boards in religiously conservative communities. On top of that, biology teachers seldom have degrees in biology -- they usually have a degree in "Education", which in theory qualifies them to teach but which doesn't impart any more knowledge of biology than the average college graduate would have.

Freder Frederson said...

According to this Arizona State University study, homeschooled students scored substantially above average on the Iowa standardized skills test.

Which are given for the last time in seventh or eighth grade. You will note above that I conceded the point of homeschooling elementary age children.

That many of our public schools could be better is not something you will ever hear me dispute. But there are public schools in this country that are the equal of the best private schools anywhere. Some of our public universities are still among the premier research universities in the world.

Public education made this country great. To forget that or to belittle public education, or claim it is hopeless and worthless, is an insult and frankly ignores history.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I don't think any one is belittling the concept of a public education; we are only bemoaning the fact that after the vast amount of tax dollars dumped into public schools, it is easier to get a quality education for your child by doing it yourself at home or paying for twice at a private school.

Synova said...

Freder, if your point is that quality in public schools varies and that some are very good... well, yeah.

But the same is true of homeschool so... your point?

BTW, conceding that homeschool works for elementary is something that'd I'd disagree with strongly. Students after that age are far *far* better able to take responsibility and control of their own educations and lives. Elementary ages are more dependent on parents. High School, less.

The goal, generally, is to produce a teen who no longer needs educational spoon-feeding. The resources available to students are limitless... those resources include community colleges where, as is normal in college, students are responsible for their own learning and have a measure of self-determination that is simply not allowed in public high schools.

Synova said...

As for public education being great...

There are many things about it that are not at all great.

Children do not develop at even roughly the same rates. The "right" age to learn to read may be five or it may be up to twelve. Neither the five year olds nor those ready to read at 12 are served well by public schools.

Some children do not learn well when made to sit. Some children do not learn well if other people are moving about.

A classroom is not natural. Sitting in rows and raising your hand and asking to pee does not encourage responsibility or individuality. Changing from one subject to another subject when told and being forced to abandon interests in favor of what someone else thinks you should know actively stifles curiosity or even develops outright aversion to anything resembling "school."

Children hate school because they are *smart*.

Synova said...

1 or 2% of students are homeschooled.

This means one or two students in a class of 100 in a university science course, on average, ought to be homeschooled to get the same numbers as all other schooling options.

There are people I can ask if they know how many of their students came from homeschool into their science courses.

I could ask my sister but she teaches science mostly to Ed majors.

Roger said...

As Synova points out only 1 or 2% of students are homeschooled. That means we are dealing with the third standard deviation group--we may have pole vaulted over a mouse dropping.

Synova said...

Public school prepares us for cubicles and TPS reports.

former law student said...

From what I hear from teachers union ads, home schooling has to be better: small class size, individual attention.

I've taken a few community college courses and have not been impressed -- it seems far more like high school than college.

Freder Frederson said...

There are people I can ask if they know how many of their students came from homeschool into their science courses.

I think this statement proves my point. That is the kind of fuzzy thinking that results from being homeschooled.

Just like pretending that attending community college is being homeschooled. It's not. It's going to college.

And if you don't learn to read until age twelve, you have a serious learning disability. But you probably don't want to label these poor dears.

Bob said...

Last year he was a battered man. This year he looked comfortable. He's starting the home stretch. So he sees where his term ends and when some sanity returns to his personal life.

The speech is a nonevent because, really, all state of unions are. Its a Rod Sterling "Outer Limits" kind of theater. But he does have a year in office and a President has an enormous clout, especially in foreign affairs. And he has clearly shown he will "role the dice" and take serious gambles. I just have this sense he will take gambles, good or bad, right up till he turns over power. He will frame a significant part of election agenda. And because he and Cheney have nothing at stake in this election there is going to be a freedom of action we haven't experienced in several decades. Could make for some very interesting times.

Synova said...

Funny, that. I wasn't homeschooled.

Who's a fuzzy thinker? You slam homeschool and spout off the most tired of stereotypes yet *you* aren't on the hook for providing numbers?

Funny, that.

Some children who are not ready to read until 12 learn to read earlier but with incredible stress and most certainly the internalization of the idea that they are dumb. *Because* they are in a classroom with students who read at college levels at age 10. That the student could well go from reading almost not at all to reading college level in a couple of years (*language* is not delayed, after all) is destroyed by the preconceptions that learning happens a certain way on a certain schedule.

Because reading is like that. When it's *on* it's on. When it's not *on* it can be done but painfully and slowly and engendering true hatred for reading and for learning.

The slow-reading student never catches up but not because they can't. They don't catch up because of the environment they are forced to be in.

How many people have you taught to read, Freder?

Do you think that reading has to do with how smart a student is?

Revenant said...

Which are given for the last time in seventh or eighth grade. You will note above that I conceded the point of homeschooling elementary age children.

So I take it you're conceding that homeschooling junior high age children is good, too? Because eighth grade isn't "elementary age" -- those kids are 14 years old. And the second link I provided, which you ignored, provided data indicating that homeschooled kids do better than the average public school kid in high school, too.

But there are public schools in this country that are the equal of the best private schools anywhere. Some of our public universities are still among the premier research universities in the world.

There are poor people who manage to become wealthy without government assistance, and old people who manage to save enough to retire in luxury. Does this mean that we should completely eliminate all welfare, social security and Medicare? After all, the "don't help anybody, ever" plan has *some* success stories...

Here's a more realistic view:

If you consider the goal of high school to be educating students in the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, and science -- i.e., the basic stuff you expect someone with a high school diploma to know -- then public high schools fail in their mission a third of the time.

But you, of course, have been using an even higher standard for homeschoolers -- namely, "do they prepare kids for college". If that's your standard then public high schools fail 68% of the time, because only 32% of public school graduates are adequately prepared for college. What's worse is that only a fraction of that 32% actually manages to achieve a college degree. In other words, Freder, public schools are an overwhelming failure at getting students into, and through, college.

Public education made this country great.

No, it didn't. People made this country great. Some of them were educated in the public schools; others weren't.

I would also point out that thinks like unrestricted private enterprise *also* made this country great, but last I checked you were still a Democrat.

Synova said...

I'm also curious that you're an expert on what is homeschooling and what is not.

Nothing about homeschooling *ever* demanded that information and instruction came only from parents. In fact, it was more common to term parents as facilitators and not teachers at all. A homeschool parent does not do what teachers do. The process isn't, and *shouldn't* be, a home version of what happens in a school classroom.

Revenant said...

[Re: students in community colleges]

Well, then they are hardly being "homeschooled" are they?

If a public high school student takes a college course from a local university, does that mean you can't call him a public school student?

Revenant said...

The larger point here is that whether a kid is taught entirely at home, or taught at home and then sent to tutors (or local community colleges) for specific subjects, the public K-12 educational system isn't involved in the process. In other words, even if any given parent cannot personally teach his or her child everything that child needs to know, it does not follow that enrolling the kid in a public school is a good idea. There are other alternatives, most of them better (and cheaper, for that matter).

Kirk Parker said...

Synova,

Don't omit Ivan Illich! Deschooling Society doesn't exactly read like a fundamentalist Christian manifesto, either.