June 18, 2012

"The world will not look kindly on people who put their kids into public school."

Writes Penelope Trunk (in a post titled "Blueprint for a Woman’s Life," which she wrote last August but keeps in her sidebar under the heading "Big Ideas"):
We all know that learning is best when it’s customized to the child and we all know that public schools are not able to do that effectively. And the truly game-changing private schools cost $40,000 a year.

It’s clear is that homeschooled kids will rule the world when Generation Z enters the workplace. So figure out a way to alleviate mommy guilt by homeschooling your kids to get them on that path. You don’t have to do the teaching yourself. You can pay someone. But you need to get your kids out of a system that everyone knows does not work. (Note: I just realized this. This month. And last week, I decided: I’m taking my kids out of school.)
It was interesting reading that right after reading this HuffPo piece by George Lakoff (and a co-author) called "The Wisconsin Blues." The main point is that progressives need better messaging. The conservatives always manage to put things in terms that resonate with people better, don't you know? Anyway, in his effort to improve left-wing propaganda, Lakoff has this about public schools (which I feel like calling government schools):
[D]emocracy begins with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly both for oneself and others. The mechanism by which this is achieved is The Public, through which the government provides resources that make private life and private enterprise possible: roads, bridges and sewers, public education, a justice system, clean water and air, pure food, systems for information, energy and transportation, and protection both for and from the corporate world. No one makes it on his or her own. Private life and private enterprise are not possible without The Public. Freedom does not exist without The Public....

Public schools are essential to opportunity... They are also essential to democracy, since democracy requires an educated citizenry at large, as well as trained professionals in every community. Without education of the public, there can be no freedom.

At issue is the future of progressive morality, democracy, freedom, and every aspect of the Public -- and hence the viability of private life and private enterprise in America on a mass scale. The conservative goal is to impose rule by conservative morality on the entire country, and beyond. Eliminating unions and public education are just steps along the way. Only progressive moral force can stop them.
Discuss!

304 comments:

1 – 200 of 304   Newer›   Newest»
Jay said...

The conservatives always manage to put things in terms that resonate with people better, don't you know?


The truth has a way of resonating, don't you know?

Jay said...

hrough which the government provides resources that make private life and private enterprise possible: roads, bridges and sewers, public education, a justice system, clean water and air, pure food,

Hysterical.

"the government" does not grow, process, clean, ship, or purify food.

These people are so deluded and frankly, stupid, that his whole screed is a refutation of the public education system as it exists in America today.

ndspinelli said...

The decline of public education is perfectly coordinated w/ the rise of teacher's unions. If I had to do it over I would home school my kids. But, there are no do overs in life. I think the demographics of this blog is median age of 45-50, but that's just a guess. If you have preschool kids I would urge you to consider home schooling. We have a friend w/ a doctorate in education and she makes a good living training and supporting home school parents in Seattle.

Jay said...

that make private life and private enterprise possible:

Somehow America had farms, markets, schools, roads, bridges, and commerce prior to the enactment of the Clean Water Act, any farm bill, the creation of the FDA, USDA, Departments of Commerce, Education, and Justice.

jimbino said...

Yeah, I think the original idea of government schools was to wean the kids of Catholics off their catholicism, making them proper Amerikan citizens.

That hasn't worked. Now the Catholics will wreak their revenge in Louisiana, being the only folks left standing who can regiment the kids.

Sheila said...

I pulled my kids out of school when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten (my youngest never really went). When my oldest hit 16 she started online university. My youngest will start when she hits 16. They read Shakespeare at 10, they learned Latin, and they excelled at Math. They can write a decent essay and they can do algebra. And they mastered at least two musical instruments each. All for four hours a day. We've had tons of vacations; we often homeschool while we're camping. And they've started part-time jobs early, too.

Yes, we're fortunate because my husband has a good paying job. But it has paid such amazing dividends in our lives. I think it's the best thing I've ever done.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Parochial schools are considerably cheaper than the private school prices that are referenced.

Michael K said...

The rule of law concerning contracts and private property are what make prosperity possible. The Whigs, who were destroyed by the dilemma of slavery, saw that canals and roads were desirable for prosperity, as well. The progressives have taken that to the point that nobody is free to make their own way anymore. They wonder what happened to motivation and think they can cure it with more dependency.

My first wife was a big advocate of public schools when we were married. After our divorce (34 years ago) she went back to teaching for a short while about 1990 when California had a big thing about class size. She was so appalled at what had become of the public schools since 1965, when she quit teaching, that she said she would home school the kids now.

Robert said...

Lakoff's comments are creepy. In my mind there is a very sharp distinction between education and indoctrination - as currently practiced in public schools.

I believe people are waking up to the weaknesses in the current public education system.

I was happy seeing my grandson attend a parochial school this year. Evidence that I was able to raise a critical thinking daughter. Bless her.

The mostestt/bestest father's day present she could give.

Palladian said...

'Progressives' sure have a lot of quaint, old-fashioned ideas.

Whenever you hear some so-called progressive dampening their panties over the Greatness of the Government, just think about the US Postal Service and imagine them running your life.

Blue@9 said...

The mechanism by which this is achieved is The Public, through which the government provides resources that make private life and private enterprise possible: roads, bridges and sewers, public education, a justice system, clean water and air, pure food, systems for information, energy and transportation, and protection both for and from the corporate world.

Much of this is correct, but where conservatives and liberals diverge is when discussing how much government we need. Apart from some near anarchists, most conservatives will agree that we need government for defense (note how he failed to mention that!), police and firemen, courts, roads, etc., but we don't see it as an unbounded good.

Liberals seem to think "Government does good things, so we need MORE MORE MORE!" They also refuse to believe that a large public sector can crowd out or diminish the private sector.

I work in a large law firm. Everyone in the firm knows that there are "revenue generators" (the lawyers) and then there are support staff (secretaries, receptionists, etc.). Clearly the revenue generators can't function without support staff, but no one would think it a good idea to fire attorneys in order to hire more support staff. Accordingly, government exists to facilitate activities in the private sector, but somehow liberals think the whole point of it is to increase the support staff and reduce revenue generation.

Brad said...

Wow ... that whole bit about "The Public" could've been printed in Pravda.

Jay said...

Lakoff's comments are creepy.

Yep.
All he left out was your kids sitting in school with the mandatory Obama T-shirt...

rhhardin said...

Conservative morality is the morality of knowing about perverse consequences.

My explanation is that society is a complex system.

All the problems that can be solved by direct action have already been solved.

Problems that are made worse by direct action are the ones we face today.

Those respond to direct action perversely.

This is why conservative are mostly always right and progressives are mostly always wrong.

Problems evolve with only the perverse ones surviving.

ricpic said...

Does Georgie boy assume that the United States came into being to stamp a PUBLIC boot on every face? What horrible reductionists these progressives are.

Paddy O said...

So the conservative goal is to impose conservative morality and the progressive goal is to impose progressive morality. Got it. Thanks!

My problem with public schools isn't as much ideological as use of time, and Sheila's comment is exactly the case in point. Four hours a day. Public schools require 6+ hours a day class time, then up to 4+ hours for homework. That's simply absurd, not because learning is absurd but because the great majority of that time isn't spent learning. It's spend in transitioning, or in administrative tasks, or so many other things. There's just so much absurd waste (and most teachers agree).

I believe in public schools as they serve a necessary role. But, if you have the means and the way, and have curious kids whose learning is stifled, I really think homeschooling is the way to go. And I went elementary through high school in public schools and had a reasonably good time of it. It just was almost entirely inconsequential to my actual learning.

Holmes said...

My guess is the early public schools looked a lot more like homeschooling than the Progressive Meat Factories that we now send our kids to.

But I wouldn't know; I attended public schools.

Holmes said...

But it's not an all or nothing affair. I imagine a public schooling system where the best teachers are webcast to groups of local kids in small groups led by parents. Bypass the whole system entirely.

And by the way, how many of these assholes pushing public education attended a private ivy league school?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

They are also essential to democracy, since democracy requires an educated citizenry at large, as well as trained professionals in every community.

What?! Freedom is oblivious to facts! It is bigger than reality itself!

Other than that, thanks for the providing the perspective of those who would pressure working women to spend hours on formal tutoring on top of everything else they have to do in a day. That's just the kind of keeping up with the Joneses that we need to waste our time on next. Two jobs to stay afloat ain't nothing compared to what the conservatives want to pile on you next!

The gleam around your bubble needs polishing.

Peter Hoh said...

And which generation is it that will learn to say no to hyperbole?

ndspinelli said...

Sheila, Thanks for your comment. You did right by your kids and you loved what you were doing, educating them in the real world. When I taught in public schools, teachers were very intimidated by my real world experience. So many were just one dimensional. The teachers w/ real world experience were for the most part the trade guys, carpentry, metal, auto teachers. We got along great.

Quayle said...

The conservatives always manage to put things in terms that resonate with people better, don't you know?

It is so hard to sell a product that only requires the buyer to buy more product to get the old product to work correctly, with no end in sight.

And yet nothing seems better.

Or put another way, how much hair tonic can you sell a perpetually bald man before he starts to sour on your "messaging."

wyo sis said...

About 35 years ago I read what the author thought was the ultimate in government overreach. A sign proclaiming "Clean Air. Brought to you by your government."

As for public vs private school vs home school. I agree public schools dominated by teachers unions are a huge waste of time and money. I've taught in union states and non-union states, and non-union states have far better schools and light years better teachers. I often go to home school websites to find great lesson plans, amazing activities and the newest books and book related activities. Home school is a huge movement and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. For rural areas public schools seem to be mostly OK for now, but parents have to be involved.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holmes said...

Public education=government monopoly education above.

If everyone went to private schools, there would still be public education.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So the conservative goal is to impose conservative morality and the progressive goal is to impose progressive morality. Got it. Thanks!

No to the latter. The former I can't speak to.

But the left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.

I know, it's such a burden. If only we could just agree on the "right" arbitrary tradition to all follow first, and demand absolute loyalty to it, then we wouldn't have to think these things through. Life would be sooo much easier.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow ... that whole bit about "The Public" could've been printed in Pravda."

You might enjoy the way Meade spoofed it in this comment at Isthmus:

"he Government is the Center of a Free and Dependent Public. Government and unions are like coequal parents who protect their children (workers) from corporate exploitation and rule the family (of workers) not through discipline and punishment but through teaching empathy and caring, healing and sharing. Only socialized public education can lead to an educated public which is essential to building a socialist utopia in which every worker is a member of the collective (the Family) which provides and distributes all income and benefits and protects everyone from every vicissitude of life."

Michael K said...

"Two jobs to stay afloat ain't nothing compared to what the conservatives want to pile on you next!"

No, we want to give you the opportunity for better schools. That's what the voucher debate is about. THose who can afford the time can home school

My brother-in-law is a retired Marine fighter pilot and current airline pilot. His wife home schooled one of their three boys each year. The youngest is now in Catholic high school. They are terrific boys. Worth the effort if you can do it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So Meade gets off on discipline and punishment and is turned off by empathy, caring and healing?

What's next? Black leather body-suits with zippers around the mouths?

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry I left the "t" of "The" in Meade's quote.

My mistake, not his.

David said...

The statist argument is that people should send their children to public schools because "The Public" is so crucial to democratic life.

The individualist argument is that parents should find the best possible education for their children, regardless of who is providing it.

The problem is that many governments in the United States are failing to provide schools that give first rate educations. Second rate, third rate and no rate are far too common.

Since many citizens lack the financial means to seek out the best schools under the current arrangement, government has two choices to make quality education available to all.

First, improve the schools. Because the culture of mediocrity is so deeply and institutionally embedded, this requires in many cases a radical change in how schools are governed, and challenges entrenched interests, political and economic, which politicians have cultivated to achieve and retain power.

Second, give the less affluent the means to leave mediocre and failing schools and choose excellence. This requires funding, presently focused on things like vouchers, which challenge the same entrenched interests.

Though schools are local, the problem is national in scope. The tone is set at the top, by the President. In one of the first, and certainly most telling, actions of his Presidency, Mr. Obama emphasized his position with two concrete steps. He sent his children to an outstanding private school. He also used his influence to kill vouchers that could have helped less affluent students to make choices to leave mediocre (and worse) Washington public schools.

I do not fault Obama for the first decision. I deeply fault him for the latter, which was a cynical and crass cowtow to teachers unions and other entrenched regressive interests.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I think it is big city public school systems that are failing. If you get out of the big systems, public schools in America are quite good. Some better than others to be sure.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No, we want to give you the opportunity for better schools. That's what the voucher debate is about. THose who can afford the time can home school.

Your tautology breaks down between the first sentence and the third. No opportunity is being "given" or created. Voucher schools are notorious for self-selecting for better students anyway. People who could "afford" better things have always been able to avail themselves of better things. But the voucher debate was always couched in deceptive language about offering better opportunities to those who couldn't afford them. We now know this to be a lie.

My brother-in-law is a retired Marine fighter pilot and current airline pilot. His wife home schooled one of their three boys each year. The youngest is now in Catholic high school. They are terrific boys. Worth the effort if you can do it.

It's nice to know that conservatives like you and the woman from Ontario at least have the decency to admit that this is the same sort of luxury that no one ever really denied to the rich anyway.

edutcher said...

As big a problem as the teacher unions, however, is the Lefty bent given public education by such "distinguished" lights as William Ayers to create good little unthinking drones who will always vote for the next sociopathic Messiah the Demos nominate.

The answer is to decertify the union locals in school districts and demand merit hiring and advancement.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

But the left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.


Yes!

Like when Obama urged a room full of pastors to tell their congregations that people should support his health care bill because it is the moral thing to do.

And, like when Obama justifies his desire to raise taxes by quoting the bible.

You are beyond parody.

Synova said...

I think that if I had it to do again I'd send my kids to a private church school instead of homeschooling. I'd probably still homeschool over sending the kids to public school. Or perhaps homeschool for middle school years only. I know someone who did that.

But the notion of public school as a public responsibility is nasty, at the heart of it, and quite different from the notion that education should be available to each child.

There are any number of ways to provide education for those children from families that can't afford the K-8 hosted by the local church. (And if atheists aren't comfortable with that, nothing stops them from providing an equivalent alternative.)

But public school advocates generally don't care for the alternatives because they weaken the public schools. Either you're supposed to sacrifice your child to the greater good by enrolling them and then working within the system so that children who are not yours get a better education, or the worry (often stated outright) is that it's important for children to be "properly educated" from an ideological stand point and public schools balance parental influence.

Talking about the need for an educated population may not be a euphemism for each child having a proper ideological education, but it often most certainly is.

In any case, I don't know how this guy is going to come up with a more appealing message when what he wrote seems to be "you're a cog, a cog in the wheel, baby, cog in the wheel."

wyo sis said...

It's very easy to tell which children have been taught at home when they come to Kindergarten. It's also very easy to tell which children have educationally supportive homes. In that way home school is already having an impact and it's huge. No amount of remediation can make up for essential things that are not taught, modeled, valued, absorbed, learned, given, shared, in any other way than in a family who's first and central priority is raising happy productive children. Government can't, won't and doesn't even pretend to do that, yet they think they can replace it.

Synova said...

Also...

The idea that people who decide to home school are wealthy is a crock.

You make life style choices for your family that usually includes arranging to live simply on one income.

The second car payment isn't a problem when you've decided not to have a second car. The mortgage isn't a problem if you haven't assumed you'll have two professional incomes to pay it.

Jay said...

Just remember, government creates the public and if we all sit in school and are reminded of how good government is, the public will be good!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Like when Obama urged a room full of pastors to tell their congregations that people should support his health care bill because it is the moral thing to do.

It is. What's wrong with that? Other than the fact that your mind is too small to imagine the possibility of moral teaching coming from other places than just a black book with gold edges on the pages?

And, like when Obama justifies his desire to raise taxes by quoting the bible.

The bible mentions many secular terms and ideas. Do atheists deny the existence of light? Of floods? Of leprosy?

You are beyond parody.

You seem to know a lot about the subject.

Jay said...

And of course George Lakoff did not at all address the issue voters were voting on in the Wisconsin recall.

wyo sis said...

O Ritmo
How in hell did you come up with that analysis of Meade's comment?

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...


It is. What's wrong with that? Other than the fact that your mind is too small to imagine the possibility of moral teaching coming from other places than just a black book with gold edges on the pages?



Idiot:

Obama was quoting the little black book with gold edges.

Further, I highlighted your previous post to show "what was wrong with it"

To be clear, the left does not demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse .

To be clear, you are a liar.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The idea that people who decide to home school are wealthy is a crock.

They sure as shit ain't working two minimum-wage jobs.

You make life style choices for your family that usually includes arranging to live simply on one income.

Oh, that's right! Higher income is simply a matter of "choice"! Thanks for clarifying that.

The second car payment isn't a problem when you've decided not to have a second car. The mortgage isn't a problem if you haven't assumed you'll have two professional incomes to pay it.

I appreciate you laying bare your naked, ignorant prejudice of all poverty resulting from simply deciding to live beyond one's means. Lovely. Any evidence for that?

Of course not. But the prejudicial script is demeaning enough to embrace unquestioningly, no? Makes you feel better about your own circumstances and choices, and that's all that matters. Right, Synova?

Jay said...

But it is fun to watch ritty the retard pretend that her previous post means nothing and now try and shift the subject.

Unknown said...

Good ol' Lakoff. Always stuck in his own blinkered framing. The thing I love about him, though, is that he's honest. No shying away from the impression that leftist thought is all about the Nanny State for him. Nosiree. Conservatism is all about rules and punishment. Liberalism is all about sharing and empathy.

Got daddy issues much?

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...


They sure as shit ain't working two minimum-wage jobs.


Yes!!!

Because we all know, if you aren't working two minimum wage jobs, you are "wealthy"!!

Just like Oprah and Bill Gates and stuff!!

Idiot.

Jay said...

The bible mentions many secular terms and ideas.

How would you know?

But I do love watching you Separation of Church and state! dipshits justify using the bible in order to argue for higher tax rates.

It warms my heart.

Really. It does.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Public, private, parochial, charter, homeschool, I don't care. I just want to teach physics at the university level to students who can read, add fractions, and calculate the square root of 1 without a calculator.

Currently, I do not have such students. The vast majority of them are coming out of public schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Since 1970 education spending, per pupil, in real dollars has tripled and we have seen sweet FA for that money.

Incidentally, Ritmo is just being a troll. He knows perfectly well that families that homeschool are not rich, and that Penelope Trunk is not a conservative. So don't feed him.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Jay,

You are too stupid for words.

When did I say that Obama was incapable of translating moral ideas quoted in the bible into secular terms?

Idiot.

Next time I'll just link his comments to YouTube videos of parrots. That usually shuts him up.

Lyssa said...

I (of rural public schools, which were light on the BS that you hear about, but huge on the time-wasting nonsense when we should have been learning) have always been sort of torn on this. On one hand, I definitely recognize the benefits of homeschooling. But, on the other hand, I've seen a lot of people who do it badly, particularly here in the South, in very religious homes. It's hard to wash the taste out of my mouth of the awkward and sheltered kids I sometimes saw in community theater (which was assumed to be a "safe" activity for the homeschooled kids in my town, I guess because it was "cultural").

In one part of my state, they have homeschooling groups that aren't really home at all - more of a very flexible private school. The high schoolers even have dances. That seems like a good way to do things. (Though I'm still turned off from the, say, hostility to evolution that appears to be taught there.) And those groups aren't everywhere. So, I don't know.

I'm sure that I could never talk my husband into staying home to homeschool all of childhood, anyway, so it's probably a non-issue. We've always thought about Catholic school, although we're only nominally Catholic, so that could probably get awkward, too. But the public schools where we live now (a somewhat affluent 'burb) are pretty good, and, hey, public school was good enough for me.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

How would you know?

Because, unlike you, I'm capable of reading.

Now go get a cracker, you silly, stupid dipshit.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...



When did I say that Obama was incapable of translating moral ideas quoted in the bible into secular terms?


HA HA HA HA HA HA

Hey idiot: I didn't say you did.

See, after being demonstrated to be simply making shit up, this is the part where you now pretend that people are saying you said things you did not.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

When did I say that Obama was incapable of translating moral ideas quoted in the bible into secular terms?


I love this. I really do.

What is even funnier is I italicize the text I am responding to, and yet you try and pull this intellectual coward bullshit.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Anyone have any more videos to make Jay feel at home?

Michael K said...

"calculate the square root of 1 without a calculator."

Gabriel, the square root of 1 is 1. I don't think you need a calculator for that. Just a room temp IQ.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What is even funnier is I italicize the text I am responding to, and yet you try and pull this intellectual coward bullshit.

Actually, you're just too stupid to say anything that anyone can make sense out of.

Jay said...

So let's repeat.

Silly, dipshit leftist asserts:

the left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.

The evidence to utterly refute that idiot assertion is Obama quoting the bible and specifically not translating any morality to anyting, nor is he putting it up to any scrutiny or discourse.

Unable to respond to that, our silly dipshit now plays the I didn't say that game.

I'm shocked by this. I really am.

gutless said...

"The conservative goal is to impose rule by conservative morality on the entire country, and beyond." Sign me up!

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Michael K: I am aware that the square root of 1 is 1. Most of my students--who are juniors and seniors in college--are not. If they do not have a calculator, they leave it as 1 under a radical sign.

They cannot cancel fractions,so they leave answers as 6/6. I am quoting actual exam answers.

They need calculators to multiply or divide by ten.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Actually, you're just too stupid to say anything that anyone can make sense out of.


Alternatively, you have very limited reading comprehension ability.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

He knows perfectly well that families that homeschool are not rich, and that Penelope Trunk is not a conservative. So don't feed him.

I know no such thing. I do know that she's toeing the line fed by Koch industries and that homeschooling is not an option for all those left in the poverty that your recession wrought.

But I do love the insinuation that you can read minds. I really do. Which fancy psychic school do they teach that in? Did Dionne Warwick attend?

Your arguments are not making a dent on this topic. Go back to debating the meaning of temperature with that guy who told you to go do whatever with a chicken. He was a real star pupil.

Michael K said...

"But the voucher debate was always couched in deceptive language about offering better opportunities to those who couldn't afford them. We now know this to be a lie. "

Thanks for a laugh. You don't know what you are spouting. Go back to that seminar and tell them to update your talking points.

Ask the thousands of black parents in DC who applied for the scholarships that Obama wants to end.

Jay said...

By the way, Average income of the homeschooling family is $52,000.

Now for her next trick ritty the retard will attempt to pretend she doesn't think that all homeschoolers are "wealthy."

Or some such idiotic drivel.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Alternatively, you have... blah blah blah...

Alternatively, your alternate reality is too stupid a place from which to frame a debate and has no facts in it.

But I'm sure Gabriel Hannah finds your skills worthy of engaging.

Michael K said...

" I do know that she's toeing the line fed by Koch industries and that homeschooling is not an option for all those left in the poverty that your recession wrought.
"

Another laugh. I watched the video of the kids occupying Columbia U a couple of years ago. The college admin offered them bottled water so they wouldn't die of their stupidity. The leader was telling the others to refuse it because it was "corporate water." Was that you ?

Gabriel Hanna said...

My bank recently swallowed a large number of smaller banks and this was, they explained to me, the reason they needed to charge me $15 a month for my checking account. I objected to this and was invited to speak with a banker. He noted my occupation and said that he was an alumnus of the university where I teach. His next words were,

"So, 'physicist'--that's f-i..?"

Needless to say I walked out with no fee on my checking account, the battle of wits had been won long before it started.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

By the way, Average income of the homeschooling family is $52,000.

Now for her next trick ritty the retard will attempt to pretend she doesn't think that all homeschoolers are "wealthy."

Or some such idiotic drivel.


You are so dumb. Canteloupe Trunk is arguing for making homeschool commonplace and worthy of admiration as a general standard, hence applicable to those who make a lot less.

Dummy.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...


Alternatively, your alternate reality is too stupid a place from which to frame a debate and has no facts in it.


Awwww, wittle witty butt hurt?

Remember:
the left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.

Except when Obama quotes scripture, that is!!!

Idiot.

Jay said...



You are so dumb


I wasn't the one asserting that homeschoolers are wealthy.

Idiot.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I wasn't the one asserting that homeschoolers are wealthy.

Who was? I asserted that those who happen to be wealthier happen to have that as an easier option. Those who are poor, do not. $52,000 is not below or even very close to the poverty line, and even someone with your level of decrepit dumbfuckeditude must, on some lower level, realize this.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Awwww, wittle witty butt hurt?

No. But I'm glad to know that you're someone who imagines yourself to be a rapist of sorts. It helps me get a better understanding of just how depraved you are.

Synova said...

Speaking of conservative morality or character values, in particular christian faith...

Often people will argue that these things are necessary for a functional Democracy. This moral code provides for people to behave in constructive ways without a coercive government ensuring that everyone do their part.

Curiously, George Lakoff seems to agree that there does need to be a moral code that everyone needs to follow in order for Democracy to function. That moral code is responsibility The Public.

So on one hand you've got people saying that Democracy needs people to pretty much behave in accordance to their responsibilities to God.

On the other hand you've got someone who says this is not a good thing at all, but then insists that Democracy needs people to behave in accordance to their responsibilities to The Public.

Personally, I'd rather have people encouraged to adhere to their moral responsibilities to God, instead of replacing God with a moral authority and obligation to the amorphous conceptual entity The Public.

And if it can't be a moral responsibility to God that restrains us, I'd rather the libertarian version of responsibility that can be summed up as "take care of your own shit" to replacing God with The Public.

Jay said...

$52,000 is not below or even very close to the poverty line

Uh, who said it was?

Jon Burack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel Hanna said...

@Ritmo: When you fling feces at people, they don't listen to you, and you hurt the cause you claim you support. You ensure that your audience will not listen to you, or anyone who says anything like what you said.

Now you are mocking me for my efforts here to defend climate scientists, and that was a cause you claimed to support. Where does that get you?

If you want to change people's minds, you need to engage them without hate. If all you want to do is fling feces at them, then you are a troll.

If you hate the people who comment here, if they're so irredeemable that they can't be persuaded by anything, why do you just insult them? Because you're a plains ape, and you're flinging feces at another tribe.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Uh, who said it was?

It's a necessary assumption of the point you forgot that you made.

Alzheimer's, much?

Jon Burack said...

It is absurd to suggest as this does that conservatives somehow fail to understand the social underpinnings of the free market. Obviously a public infrastructure and a legal framework are prior requirements for any viable free market system. And no conservative today is arguing we do not need roads, sewers, public health provisions, schools, etc. Ludicrous to think the pro-Walker side was opposed to public education. It was opposed to union power over education, that's all. And the national arguments about government now are not about these infrastructural basics either. This writer ought to spend some time thinking about how his side loses the argument mainly because it fails to take seriously any of the opposition's serious challenges to it. Instead it offers up strawmen nonsense like this. Unfortunately, due to the corruptions of talk radio's paranoid style, there are almost as many fools on the right who will buy into this and wind up mouthing slogans about getting rid of government, slogans that only lull fools on the left into thinking that is what conservativism is all about.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...



It's a necessary assumption of the point you forgot that you made.


Er, no it wasn't.

But of course nobody expects you to be able to read and comprehend.

So you have that going for you.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

When you fling feces at people, they don't listen to you, and you hurt the cause you claim you support.

I'm open to reasoning to those who respect or are willing to listen to reason. Those who are not, I try to speak with in a way that they seem more comfortable with.

You ensure that your audience will not listen to you, or anyone who says anything like what you said.

Again, we have to go back to what I said and consider the audience and their preferred mode of understanding. Not all understanding proceeds from reason for many, and perhaps sadly, even most people.

Now you are mocking me for my efforts here to defend climate scientists, and that was a cause you claimed to support. Where does that get you?

No, I'm not sure whether the extended dialogue you sought with ONE particularly hostile and intellectually evasive lemming was worth mocking or not, so I proceeded lightly. But I think your efforts with most of the others here are fine.

If you want to change people's minds, you need to engage them without hate.

You don't know what's in my mind, and you don't know what I feel, either. At least, not without direct evidence.

If all you want to do is fling feces at them, then you are a troll.

Well, that's not allll I want to do!

I'm open to reason. Try it with me sometime. Like we're doing right now.

If you hate the people who comment here, if they're so irredeemable that they can't be persuaded by anything, why do you just insult them?

I don't hate all of them, but I do wonder about the most belligerently closed-minded and ignorant among them.

Because you're a plains ape, and you're flinging feces at another tribe.

I fling feces regardless of the tribe, depending on what level of humor the audience can appreciate, how open-minded they are, and how intellectually unsanitary the ideas are that I'm being faced with.

Hope that helps, Gabe. I don't hate you and found this exercise edifying and fun.

And I don't hate conservatives. I just don't care much for those who believe that those, who make less than the state defines as needy, deserve contempt. Unfortunately, many here do. Should I apologize for that disposition?

Michael said...

Do whatever it takes to educate your children outside Government schools. Many good private schools still adhere to a strict and classical program which above all will teach critical thinking. And writing. All of my children learned to be good writers in prep school and were way ahead of their peers in College in their ability to produce coherent essays.

Above all you do not want them subjected to the system the Berkley linguist wants us all to enjoy

Excellent bit there, Meade.

Tim said...

It simply isn't possible to have paid any attention to politics since the mid-60's AND for this to be at all surprising.

It just isn't.

Jay said...

Remember, ritty the retard responded to:

The idea that people who decide to home school are wealthy is a crock.

With:

O Ritmo Segundo said..


They sure as shit ain't working two minimum-wage jobs.


And of course pointing out that the avg homeschooling family makes $52,000 makes ritty begin to melt down from the hard logic of it all.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So you have that going for you.

And you have your metaphorical rape threats going for you.

Take pride in fancying yourself a rapist, Parrot-boy.

It's about the extent of what you'll amount to in life, right?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Ritmo:. I just don't care much for those who believe that those, who make less than the state defines as needy, deserve contempt.

A recent study showed that conservatives could much accurately identify statements that a liberal would agree with, then liberals could identify statements that conservatives would agree with. One example was, "Hurting animals for fun is wrong", and most liberals thought most conservatives would agree with that.

Now I don't put much stock in studies of that sort, but the statement of yours that I italicized is a perfect example of that.

Conservatives do not believe that homeschooling, or vouchers, are going to benefit the rich or hurt the poor. They believe that that those things would benefit poor people, or at least people who can't afford private school. And homeschooling until recently was a largely conservative movement. "Unschooling" is the progressive manifestation.

An exercise I have always found useful is this: state your opponent's arguments in terms that he would agree are a fair characterization.

Jay said...

Ritty the retard says:

I'm open to reason

Yes!!!

The author of:

he left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.

Is like so open minded and reasonable!!

Because you know who subjects their ideas to so much scrutiny and reasoned discourse?

Modern leftists!!

Tim said...

"Curiously, George Lakoff seems to agree that there does need to be a moral code that everyone needs to follow in order for Democracy to function. That moral code is responsibility The Public."

Shorter Lakoff/Liberal Democrat: "You can film yourself butt-fu*king goats in your bedroom and abort 8 3/4 month old human babies before birth, JUST as long as you pay your income taxes in full AND submit your entire economic livelihood to the State."

lewsar said...

back in the misty past, when i was going to college, i utilized aan extant federal government program to help pay for school. this program was called the basic educational opportunity grant; today it is called the pell grant.

the beog funding instrument paid out a specific amount of money per term and didn't have very many restrictions. in my case, i received the princely sum of $333 per quarter for a yearly income of $999. i think the amount was scaled to the university i attended and thus the funded amount would go up or down depending on which school i attended.

as long as i went to a qualified institution, the money went with me. theoretically, i could have attended a different institution each term. the money followed me wherever i went.

aren't vouchers nice? i fail to see why pell grants are a good thing for college but a bad thing for elementary school. the teachers unions and current education bureaucracy hate vouchers of course, because the current system funds teachers unions and the education bureaucracy rather than student educations.

and interestingly enough, the princely $333 a quarter in the late 70s and early 80s paid for full load tuition and all required books with some money left over.

i believe that tuition was something like $150 per term and books were another $100 or so on top of that. last years tuition and fees per semester at the university of oregon for 15 credit hours? a svelte $2929.75, and the book cost will make your hair bleed. what a fucking racket...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

And of course pointing out that the avg homeschooling family makes $52,000 makes ritty begin to melt down from the hard logic of it all.

Jay (or whatever your name really is), I'm having trouble thinking that you are really so obstinately stupid to think that

1. An average describes each extreme included in it,

2. That $52,000 is close to poverty level, or even describes the situation of a single-parent or dual income on two to three minimum-wage jobs.

3. That you provide facts in good faith.

Prove otherwise or go watch more parrot videos.

AJ Lynch said...

The biggest challenge facing our big cities is school choice & vouchers. The traditional Dem mayors will not admit school choice could save their cities by stemming the trend of young marrieds bailing from the city when their kid is ready for school.

Jay said...

I just don't care much for those who believe that those, who make less than the state defines as needy, deserve contempt. Unfortunately, many here do.

HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA

Remember, this is the same person who has now said twice: You don't know what's in my mind

Why, it is almost as if ritty is silly and incoherent or something.

PS: Conservatives give more money to charity than liberals do.

Idiot.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Conservatives are not contemptuous of people who can't afford anything but the public schools. They are trying to give them an alternative. Maybe that alternative is a bad one, but assuming evil motives will never convince them of that, or of the people on the sidelines who end up swinging public opinion.

All you've done here, Ritmo, is attack motives and identities. You haven't explained what you think will work better and why. You just assumed bad motives and went in frothing at the mouth.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yeah. I read that. I read the whole thing all the way through and it didn't resonate with me.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said..

1. An average describes each extreme included in it,

2. That $52,000 is close to poverty level, or even describes the situation of a single-parent or dual income on two to three minimum-wage jobs.


Dumbass:

You tried to refute the assertion of The idea that people who decide to home school are wealthy is a crock.

I know following along with all this silly dipshitedness in your brain is tough, but do try and read.

And as a matter of fact, nobody said $52,000 was close to poverty.

Anywhere. At all.

In fact stupid, you injected the phrase poverty into this thread.

Which of course was silly, idiotic hyperbole.

Nathan Alexander said...

O Ritmo Segundo's comments are the strongest argument against public "education" that I've seen in quite some time.

His comments are almost completely lacking in logic, self-awareness, persuasiveness, empathy, humility, or a basic understanding of how the world works.

But he's part of The Public!

AJ Lynch said...

George Lakoff has made quite a career out of his claim that Dems are just lousy at framing their wonderful ideas. He's benn saying this for more than ten years.

Scott M said...

[D]emocracy begins with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly both for oneself and others.

Even if the vast majority of people were to believe that is statement is true, or, more to the point, assume for the moment that it is arbitrarily axiomatic. It's the first phrase in that second clause that really must get under a liberal's skin; of late, seemingly since Bill Cosby went off the reservation, we're not allowed to talk about personal responsibility. It's racist, so shut up.

As the left tries to claim the nuance high ground within the marketplace of ideas, I always find it odd that they tend to refer to democracy in such vague terms.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Now I don't put much stock in studies of that sort, but the statement of yours that I italicized is a perfect example of that.

I wrote much more than that single-sentence "statement" you quoted, but feel free to focus on it.

Conservatives do not believe that homeschooling, or vouchers, are going to benefit the rich or hurt the poor.

That's fine in a very limited way. Because, you see, I'd have figured you'd have more respect for facts than for beliefs.

They believe that that those things would benefit poor people, or at least people who can't afford private school. And homeschooling until recently was a largely conservative movement. "Unschooling" is the progressive manifestation.

So what? Who says I'm only interested in ideas based on how one political ideology frames them? And again, why your defense of "beliefs"? Does that get people off the hook when they debate the physics of climatology with you?

An exercise I have always found useful is this: state your opponent's arguments in terms that he would agree are a fair characterization.

I find it more useful to mock those who persistently prove themselves contemptuous of good faith attempts and reason. I'll still attempt them. But look at "Jay". I've mocked him moreso than anyone else here. Where on the whole thread has a made a solid, good-faith point about anything? Do you think he actually even cares to do so?

Come on, man.

PatCA said...

"caring about one another"

This is his basic underlying error, and the error of progressives. Human beings cannot be forced to care about one another, and they do not do so naturally. When socialists or communists inevitably find this out, they start killing everyone who doesn't "care." Yet they cannot eliminate all self-interest. It's human nature!

Free people exchanges goods and services as they choose, while the government protects them with a clear, fair system of laws.

PatCA said...

And I love Trunk's life plan. I hope all my lonely confused single nieces and nephews read it and take heed!

lewsar said...

@gabriel: All you've done here, Ritmo, is attack motives and identities. You haven't explained what you think will work better and why. You just assumed bad motives and went in frothing at the mouth.

why yes, yes he did. and that's all he ever does, on this topic or any other. that's why he/she/it is a troll.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said..
I find it more useful to mock those who persistently prove themselves contemptuous of good faith attempts and reason.


Right!

Because you like say so many things in good faith!

Examples:
the poverty that your recession wrought

And:
I just don't care much for those who believe that those, who make less than the state defines as needy, deserve contempt.

And of course asserting over & over I said $52,000 in annual income is close to the poverty line.

Good faith!!!@

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Conservatives are not contemptuous of people who can't afford anything but the public schools.

Conservatives love order and hierarchy (psychological experiments have now proved it), and therefore are more willing to believe that anyone who finds themselves in an unfortunate situation somehow "deserves" it.

They are trying to give them an alternative. Maybe that alternative is a bad one, but assuming evil motives will never convince them of that, or of the people on the sidelines who end up swinging public opinion.

Good on those old "independents", right!? Well, they can get their civility. But the rest of us know that morality is corrupted by ignorance.

All you've done here, Ritmo, is attack motives and identities.

Bullshit. I've done more than that. You're just focusing on other things. And remind me, what is "Jay" even trying to say and how is it different?

You haven't explained what you think will work better and why.

I don't need to in order to understand that pushing a piece of an overall agenda, a corrupt one, is not worth entertaining. Especially from a party whose record is one Great Depression and one Great Recession. Just because it is foisted upon the conservative "grassroots" does not make it more intellectually honest.

You just assumed bad motives and went in frothing at the mouth.

Upon Jay? Can you blame me?

The rest of them are free to argue the merits of THEIR proposals and positions. I am not the one trying to change the status quo. They are.

Therefore, as someone sympathetic to CONSERVATISM, wouldn't you say the burden of proof is upon them, no? They're the ones looking for changes over the past 30 years.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Michael K: I am aware that the square root of 1 is 1.

Nice Job! Now -1 is sitting in his room, sulking, having been totally forgotten, again.

TMink said...

"The conservative goal is to impose rule by conservative morality on the entire country, and beyond."

Indeed. But you get the impression that the author has no idea whatsoever conservative government would look like or entail.

The fascist.

Trey

Synova said...

"JUST as long as you pay your income taxes in full AND submit your entire economic livelihood to the State."

He seems to be saying more than that, though. It's not just that everyone needs to pay, it's that they need to be aware of their obligations to the greater good, to be motivated by participation in all of the activities that combine together in a responsible way to support their benefactor The Public.

It's a loyalty issue, not a paycheck issue. It's an "educate your children to be properly grateful and supportive" issue. A person doesn't have to participate in an ideology to pay their taxes, but he seems to be saying that Democracy and Laws aren't enough to get us all working properly together.

We need to understand what we owe.

People often give God credit for what people have done... we praise and thank God for this cure for cancer... that sort of thing.

I can't get past the feeling that George wants us all to praise and thank The Public. Which is so weird, and rather fundamentally wrong. He's insisting on a debt.

In the same place that religious people feel that they *owe* thanks and praise to God, there seems to be this notion that we *owe* because of the roads and infrastructure and other people we exist alongside. Some of the time that's a simple "pay back" thing, that we're supposed to "pay back".

George seems to suggest a more complicated obligation and ideological loyalty.

Chip Ahoy said...

This guy really does need to hone his message, starting out didactically like that, pedantically was irritating enough but it is axiom upon axiom upon axiom and that does wear.

When I first skied, whenever I went up, I had to first find my ski legs. It was weird having to relearn everything all over before getting started, a quick run down an intermediate slope does it, but jeeze, don't you think you can hop right to it?

When a thing starts out by laying out the axioms like this and they're the same old axioms that already wore you out a long time ago my impulse goes "stop right there buddy" so I'm really not receptive to what follows. Which means I haven't anything to discuss.

I'm glad my Dad didn't homeschool me. He overexplains things. If you asked him about the Civil War he'd start at Columbus and not stop until Nixon and I'd be there squeezing my pants going, I gotta go to the bathroom..

TMink said...

"The conservative goal is to impose rule by conservative morality on the entire country, and beyond."

Indeed. But you get the impression that the author has no idea whatsoever conservative government would look like or entail.

The fascist.

Trey

O Ritmo Segundo said...

And of course asserting over & over I said $52,000 in annual income is close to the poverty line.

Jay, Gabe believes you may be something other than a troll who is trying to, in an intellectually honest way, prove that homeschooling isn't just for the rich, and that it may even be acceptable for all citizens, including those who are poor.

But if you're not, feel free to actually make a fucking point and clarify it now. Tell how your "52,000" figure, er, figures into it.

Because apparently you've said things intelligent and decent enough tonight to deserve that kind of, you know, polite, respectful treatment.

Or so Gabe would have me believe. And now, "lewsar".

Michael said...

There is no such thing as "progressive morality" unless "let's take other people's money and spend it on things that make us feel good about ourselves regardless of actual consequences" can be considered a moral principle.

Scott M said...

George seems to suggest a more complicated obligation and ideological loyalty.

Wait...are we talking about the author of this article or the long-dead author of a book that is about to be made into a movie...again. The last attempt, back in, funny enough, 1984, met with dubious success. Much like public education.

I'm under no illusions about the benefit of an educated populace, but when I say educated, I mean able to both think critically and know how to compile information in order to make informed decisions. Our system is not set up to accomplish those goals.

Chip Ahoy said...

Did you know that every single dining room table is its own little orrery? That's my dad for you.

At a cafe, the sugar packages container is the sun and the salt and pepper shakers are the earth and the moon never mind proportions and accurate distances, if it were a truer orrery the earth would be a pea placed across the street.

Plus Dad draws pictures to illustrate. I thought everybody's dad did that. When I told my friend's dad to draw us a picture of the gears he was explaining he looked at me like I was nuts.

Synova said...

Heh, and now I've talked myself into the conclusion that George is no more complicated than the simple assertion that human inter-dependency proves indebtedness, a la Elizabeth Warren.

This debt, as Elizabeth might explain, is to the government.

But George is making this truth more palatable by explaining that it's not the government at all, but The Public.

And then tacks it on his hobby horse of public education.

traditionalguy said...

I am convinced Ritmo was home schooled. He has a mind of his own and confidence that he thinks well.

Definitely Home Schooled until college.

John Lynch said...

I think a conservative would agree with this entire argument, insofar that the government's role is providing a safe space for the public to go about their lives.

Public education isn't about educating children efficiently. And yes, efficiency matters, because the amount of money that the government can raise and spend is limited. If children could be educated as well by spending half as much we should do it. Then we could spend the money on something else the public needs.

And yes, we could spend half as much by cutting salary, benefits, and, ultimately, positions. "The Public's" money should be well spent. Government should not abuse our trust.

abby said...

I pulled all three kids out of public schools when I was waiting outside of a classroom and heard one of my childrens teachers say she was so ashamed of white people because of what they did to people of color. When I asked her about it she flubbled around and finally said she was speaking of what the white man had done historically. I told her I wouldn't trust my dog with her and my kids never went back. They went to the local Catholic school. We aren't Catholic, so we had to pay a lot more, but it was worth it.

Eric said...

Ah, the great schooling debate. I don't have kids and probably never will, so my only dog in this fight is the money I send to the education bureaucracy. I wish it were less, but there are a whole lot of other things I'd cut first.

I will say this, though: It's amazing how lefties who bristle at any criticism of government schools do a sudden about-face when their own progeny are involved. It's either private schools or relocation to one of those lily white suburbs where the PTA board members are all CEOs during the day.

When it comes to schools a leftist's beliefs are like the books at your local Korean restaurant: There's a private set and there's a public set.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, actually "self-taught", TG, along with willing to give the respect of listening to everything I would sit through as well, anyway. But thanks.

College was a good experience in learning to question what I was taught, once I got to that point. Unfortunately, we've made them into memorization mills. But (I think) it should definitely serve the purpose of getting people to question things.

If I could even venture an "illiberal", non-PC observation (just to prove my independent creds to guys like you and Gabe), I'd say that the proliferation of women onto college campuses probably didn't help. They are better at memorizing, and I wonder if this didn't hurt the intellectually adversarial, questioning mission of colleges up to that point.

Some are better at questioning and intellectually antagonizing, but for the most part I think that comes more naturally to men.

Robin said...

Public education has been "reformed" by the education elite. And the result is destruction of public education.

"At the start of WWII millions of men showed up at registration offices to take low-level academic tests before being inducted. The years of maximum mobilization were 1942 to1944; the fighting force had been mostly schooled in the 1930s, both those inducted and those turned away. Of the 18 million men were tested, 17,280,000 of them were judged to have the minimum competence in reading required to be a soldier, a 96 percent literacy rate. Although this was a 2 percent fall-off from the 98 percent rate among voluntary military applicants ten years earlier, the dip was so small it didn’t worry anybody.

WWII was over in 1945. Six years later another war began in Korea. Several million men were tested for military service but this time 600,000 were rejected. Literacy in the draft pool had dropped to 81 percent, even though all that was needed to classify a soldier as literate was fourth- grade reading proficiency. In the few short years from the beginning of WWII to Korea, a terrifying problem of adult illiteracy had appeared. The Korean War group received most of its schooling in the 1940s, and it had more years in school with more professionally trained personnel and more scientifically selected textbooks than the WWII men, yet it could not read, write, count, speak, or think as well as the earlier, less-schooled contingent.

A third American war began in the mid-1960s. By its end in 1973 the number of men found noninductible by reason of inability to read safety instructions, interpret road signs, decipher orders, and so on—in other words, the number found illiterate—had reached 27 percent of the total pool. Vietnam-era young men had been schooled in the 1950s and the 1960s—much better schooled than either of the two earlier groups—but the 4 percent illiteracy of 1941 which had transmuted into the 19 percent illiteracy of 1952 had now had grown into the 27 percent illiteracy of 1970. Not only had the fraction of competent readers dropped to 73 percent but a substantial chunk of even those were only barely adequate; they could not keep abreast of developments by reading a newspaper, they could not read for pleasure, they could not sustain a thought or an argument, they could not write well enough to manage their own affairs without assistance." --
John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education

Michael K said...

There is someone here who does not seem to understand that vouchers and home schooling are not the same thing and that the poor, who cannot afford to home school their kids. are still interested in vouchers to get their kids out of hellish public schools. I'm not naming names but you know who you are.

All I want to know is whether you are stupid or lying.

So, I don't waste my time reading your comments.

Quaestor said...

I see nothing in the quoted section or in the linked article that amounts to any kind of argument. It's nothing but a series of declaratives without any conditional structure at all. There's no A is true because B, and therefore C, which implies D. Just the shouted The Public! as if those inappropriate capitals are a substitute for reason. To label The Wisconsin Blues a budget of shopworn clich├ęs and threadbare soapbox claptrap is far too generous. It's a puerile load of horseshit, to be perfectly frank. If this is the best the Regressives can offer the Conservatives ought to rule for the next thousand years.

It's interesting you should couple these two writers in one post ostensibly about the failings of public education. George Lakoff's rhetorical style, what there is of it, veritably shouts "I'm a product of public education!"

Blue@9 said...

But the left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.

That's hilarious. Please tell me which side deems profit as "evil." Or the side that thinks voluntary employment is "exploitation." Or the one that talks tax policy in terms of "fair share."

I'll agree that social cons try to impose their morality on others, it's laughable to suggest that liberals don't do the same.

Tim said...

"I can't get past the feeling that George wants us all to praise and thank The Public. Which is so weird, and rather fundamentally wrong. He's insisting on a debt."

Synova,

You're right, of course - I was responding (admittedly, crudely so) to your point of Christian ethics/Conservative ethics (not the same, of course, but aligned here for argument's sake) by trying to frame the immorality of the Left - "do as you wish, just as long as you follow our rules for all the other parts of your life;" it seems to be a rubric for the New Soviet Man, updated for a somewhat contemporary American electorate.

After all, it was Nancy Pelosi who told us we'd all be free to be artists once we didn't have to worry about health care. Presumably, we'd all be sooo loyal to that brave new State of ours...

AJ said...

Synova why are you having second thoughts about homeschooling your kids? I'm curious - we're homeschooling our three kids and we sometimes think about sending them to a local WELS school.

edutcher said...

Blue@9 said...

But the left does demand that you translate your conservative morality into secular terms and subject it to the scrutiny of reasoned discourse before you propose to impose it on others.

That's hilarious. Please tell me which side deems profit as "evil." Or the side that thinks voluntary employment is "exploitation." Or the one that talks tax policy in terms of "fair share."

I'll agree that social cons try to impose their morality on others, it's laughable to suggest that liberals don't do the same.


No, social Conservatives are willing to take a moral stand on issues. That some people are insecure enough to think that means they are "imposing their morality" on society is their problem.

It's the Lefties that try to impose their morality (lack of one, actually) on society.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

That's hilarious. Please tell me which side deems profit as "evil." Or the side that thinks voluntary employment is "exploitation." Or the one that talks tax policy in terms of "fair share."

It's even more hilarious that you might think the only origin for these attitudes came from the Bible. Seriously, greed was given a neutral judgment before Jesus and his rabbis? It's incredible that you would believe such a thing. If you do, I'd guess you thought so on account of a strongly isolating "Judeo-Christian" chauvinism, which must apparently be even more pervasive than old lefties and radicals had warned.

I'll agree that social cons try to impose their morality on others, it's laughable to suggest that liberals don't do the same.

Yeah, maybe so. But that wasn't the point.

Michael said...

Ritmo. "memorization mills?". This phrase, in poker, would be known as the tell. It reveals something not intended to be revealed. A secret of sorts. Interesting.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No, social Conservatives are willing to take a moral stand on issues.

The construction "moral stand" is Orwellian in its overpowering ambiguity. If you mean that they moralize over issues that have little to no moral value, then you'd be more accurate.

That some people are insecure enough to think that means they are "imposing their morality" on society is their problem.

More ambiguity.

It's the Lefties that try to impose their morality (lack of one, actually) on society.

You are apparently not too intellectually insecure to admit that you find reason, an amoral tool that can still greatly benefit our understanding of morals, to be a distraction from morality itself. Although that's a very unintelligent thing to believe. But it's what you seem to be saying.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

It boggles my mind that George Lakoff is still peddling the same argument, in the same words, that he first made 16 years ago in Moral Politics. Can you really spin an argumentative thread so fine and hang on it for a couple of decades?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo. "memorization mills?". This phrase, in poker, would be known as the tell. It reveals something not intended to be revealed. A secret of sorts. Interesting.

I can only conclude that your cryptic revelations are more indicative of your casino-capitalist mindset than of prophecy. But I revealed nothing unintended. I don't think encouraging memorization means encouraging indoctrination (if you're implying something political), and I made it clear that I made good use of the time seeking opportunities for independent study, research, philosophy classes, where I was able to not only question the available knowledge, but prove ways to change it.

That's what college should be. If we have to decrease enrollment 50%, so be it. There are apprenticeships and trades (like yours) that would do just fine without actually learning to question things.

Fen said...

Democracy begins with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly both for oneself and others.

Uhm No. Sounds quaint, but has NOTHING to do with Democracy.

edutcher said...

Ritmo, as always, throws a lot of words in the air, but doesn't address the issue, except to say something that sounds intelligent.

And fails.

Fen said...

Weekly PSA re Ritmo Troll

For those who feel a need to waste their time responding to Ritmo, it's worth reposting a Ritmo admission of what he's up to at Althouse, and why he comments here:

Ritmo said: "It's good to know that the stupidest threads are just ripe for the threadjacking. I'll be sure to leave a trail of turds on every one of the brain droppings here that suit my fancy. Getting you shit-eaters to complain about the taste after opening your mouths wide and saying "Ahhhh..." to every bad idea under the sun is very satisfying, I must admit." - 10/16/10 10:28 AM

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Uhm No. Sounds quaint, but has NOTHING to do with Democracy.

Well, not with any form of democracy that intends to make itself obsolete, anyway.

Unknown said...

My daughter attended fantastic public schools from kindergarden until the end of high school. She just graduated and will attend Harvey Mudd College in the fall. Not too shabby. All those people who say the public schools are terrible have not seen the ones she attended. All had mixed levels of income, granted probably tilted towards upper-middle class, but with a good share of working class kids as well. All had a wide variety of races, as a white kid she was definitely in the minority. Public schools can be great, they really can.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo, as always, throws a lot of words in the air, but doesn't address the issue, except to say something that sounds intelligent.

Well, I could instead try to sound unintelligent, and say less, like you do.

Could you teach me to do that?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Fen's compulsively repetitive quoting is its own form of trolling. In its own mantra-spewing way.

Balfegor said...

RE: Lakoff:

Lakoff is a smart man who has become terribly, terribly lazy. At this point, he's just a man with a Whorfian hammer to whom absolutely everything looks like a nail.

Re: public schools:

I am a public school boy myself, and from California, which has some of the worst public schools in the nation (I think that while I was in high school, Alabama or Louisiana might have had worse schools; I forget). I came out all right, but that may be because I managed to skip almost all of the standard curriculum, and get onto a kind of super-honors curriculum. As did all my friends in HS. People who imagine that sending children to public schools will lead to mixing between the classes, etc. etc. seem, to me, to have no idea how many of these public schools are actually run. Pretty much the only classes I had in common with non-honors students were PE and introductory German. My case was a little exceptional (I got to skip all the freshman year courses, but most of my peers were stuck in them for one year before they could break out into the honors tracks), but not that exceptional.

Additionally, I don't think anyone should be concerned about public schools "indoctrinating" anyone. They're failures at teaching the average student anything, and honors students in many schools feel so smugly superior to their teachers (I cannot say I was an exception) that they're unlikely to take moral or political cues from their instructors. Yes, I suppose you might lose the teacher's pets, but I suspect a lot of teacher's pets are pets with a strong undercurrent of cynicism -- their parroting of their teachers' politics may not, in fact, be sincere. Politics in the classroom is a battle that should wait until after our existing public school systems have either been fixed or destroyed rebuilt anew. Right now, it might as well be angels on pinheads.

Fen said...

See? Ritmo shows us where it hurts.

Tari said...

I love the idea of Trunk homeschooling her kids. What is she going to teach them: how to sit quietly and read "until mommy's medication kicks in"? I suspect they know how to do that already.

And as bad as public education is overall in this country, I'll defend my kids' ridiculously good public schools with my last breath. Ms. Trunk's home-schooled leaders will have some public school company someday: my older son, who reads and re-reads Homer in his spare time (when not working on his 2nd degree black belt or playing football), his first "crush", who speaks/reads/writes Mandarin, Japanese and English fluently and sings like an angel, his best friend, who rocked the MS debate nationals in IN last week and fences in tournaments around the country, and so on, and so forth. At the good public schools, the fat lady ain't singing yet.

Paul said...

Zee peeople demand zee publik follow all zee instructions to the letter!

Government skool or zee DIE!Government rule or zee DIE!

At least that's the way 'progressives' think.

Chairman Mao would be proud.

Tim said...

"Can you really spin an argumentative thread so fine and hang on it for a couple of decades?"

Those demanding surrender to the ever-growing state are desperate for arguments for the case; this particular argument resonates with some (see the defense of it above), so in that regard, it is evergreen, albeit stale and thoughtless.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Ritmo. You know about my trade do you? Which branch of my trade do i practice and for what purpose would I be hired?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Why does it matter, Michael? Is your "handle" not hypertext-linked to a page that states "investment banking"? What are you trying to get at and why change the subject?

Tim said...

"Well, not with any form of democracy that intends to make itself obsolete, anyway."

Oh, so now that it looks like Romney will beat Obama in November, you're getting ready to be all concerned with the future-cannibalizing debt we now face?

That's a smart move.

edutcher said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo, as always, throws a lot of words in the air, but doesn't address the issue, except to say something that sounds intelligent.

Well, I could instead try to sound unintelligent
.

No fear, he already does.

Unfortunately, every time he strikes a key.

Could you teach me to do that?

How can one improve on someone self-taught?

PS Does Ritmo get paid for this drivel he writes by the word, the letter, the comment, or merely the absurdity?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

O Ritmo Segundo,

College was a good experience in learning to question what I was taught, once I got to that point. Unfortunately, we've made them into memorization mills. But (I think) it should definitely serve the purpose of getting people to question things.

I disagree with the "memorization mills" business. There are things that you just need to know in any field without looking them up every time you need use of them.

If you play an instrument, you need to know keys, rhythms, meters, harmonic patterns, and much else by rote -- which is to say merely that you can retrieve that information without searching consciously for it.

The same for anything else. If you have to think about the product of 7 and 8, you don't know it. If you need to reach back into memory to remember what pi or e is, you don't know it. If you have to ponder what mean, median, and mode are, you don't know that. If you don't know which 50-year chunk of American history the Civil War was fought in without puzzling it out, you don't know that.

All of this stuff ought to be sitting in just-obvious territory in the brain of every minimally educated person. But there's an honest-to-God generation of kids who aren't getting even as far as 7 x 8, because "Why make them learn that, when they all have calculators?"

If I could even venture an "illiberal", non-PC observation (just to prove my independent creds to guys like you and Gabe), I'd say that the proliferation of women onto college campuses probably didn't help. They are better at memorizing, and I wonder if this didn't hurt the intellectually adversarial, questioning mission of colleges up to that point.

Some are better at questioning and intellectually antagonizing, but for the most part I think that comes more naturally to men.


Well, seeing as you're commenting on the blog of a woman who, judging by your respective past forms, seems to do a hell of a lot more "questioning" than you do, I question whether you're helping your case here. I am not sure about the "intellectually antagonizing" part, because I don't know whether you meant "agonizing" (and just mistyped it, because spelling is one of those things that men aren't so good at, what with the memorization and all), or really meant "antagonizing."

Craig said...

How did Sandusky manage to get a judge with the same name as a famous, if not notorious, 18th century author?

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not sure that I think Penelope Trunk should homeschool, but I think homeschooling is great in general.

Balfegor said...

Re: Unknown:

Harvey Mudd! My alma mater. An excellent school. I hear they're no longer norming the freshman classes to a C grade, unfortunately (haha), but the education is top notch, and the professors are great. I particularly recommend Professor Gu (The class should be pitched to a level where you feel like you are drowning, she told us in differential geometry.)

Synova said...

"I'm not sure that I think Penelope Trunk should homeschool, but I think homeschooling is great in general."

Likely true.

I bet school was hell for her, though. I don't know if she's ever said.

Rusty said...

edutcher said...
Ritmo, as always, throws a lot of words in the air, but doesn't address the issue, except to say something that sounds intelligent.

And fails


I blame our public schools.

Mel said...

I would home school our children if we could afford it. But we can't, so I send them to public school and discuss what they are learning and offer other material to go along side it at home. It gets me a kid who gets in trouble for telling a teacher she's arguing from a false premise, but it works for us. If I could get vouchers for a private school, I would use them and my kids would be better educated for it. My kids are being taught to pass tests at school and being taught to apply information at home (at least I hope that's what I am doing). When I was in school, I was taught to apply information and somehow the tests took care of themselves.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, seeing as you're commenting on the blog of a woman who, judging by your respective past forms, seems to do a hell of a lot more "questioning" than you do, I question whether you're helping your case here.

I made no case against one but against many. In any case, she and I both question a lot, I just prefer questions that are prompted by evidence.

I am not sure about the "intellectually antagonizing" part, because I don't know whether you meant "agonizing" (and just mistyped it, because spelling is one of those things that men aren't so good at, what with the memorization and all), or really meant "antagonizing."

Oh, I see. You are being catty here. Definitely not a female thing, right?

roesch/voltaire said...

I think as they now realize in England respect for diversity and identity has its problems when there is no shared core of assumptions and beliefs that bind folks together. Lakoff is simply pointing out the obvious--public schools and universal education have been one of the reasons we have done well as a nation, one reason the middle class thrived, one reason The rap that public schools and teacher unions get from the right stems from a mistaken assumption that free enterprise should rule every aspect of out lives-- of course it often fails, as in the case of the privatizing incarceration for criminals.
Public schools are as varied as the parents who send their kids to them. I have seen students who come out of the supposedly failing Madison schools gain scholarships to med school in their freshman year. When I taught in high school, some of my AP students gained admittance to Stanford and MIT, and some dropped out of college within a few years.A close friend who has home schooled her child, decided he should attend a public high school--From my background and continued experience as a teacher, now at the college level, I know better than to make some of the wild generalizations found on this blog or in the cited article.

section9 said...

Lakoff has been doing this shit for years. It's all about messaging with him; there's nothing ever wrong
with the content of liberalism-it's just the advertising!


Notice that even in the arguendo Lakoff trots out his straw man about public highways and post offices. No one is against this; but he uses the commons as a wedge to try and get the public to agree that conservative opposition to a vast, bankruptcy-prone entitlements state is just as amoral and wrong as conservative opposition to, say, building a public levee or a highway.

Because liberals bought into Lakoff's framing bullshit, they stopped serious discussion of the issues years ago. This is illustrative of the kind of argument made in bad faith that modern progressives specialize in today.

Now we simply have to beat them into the ground and negotiate from a position of strength, as Reagan did.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Good evidence.

Gene said...

The progressive agenda doesn't work without coercion. Twenty five years ago, I remember, the California Superintendent of Public Instruction wanted to prohibit parents from pulling their kids out of public schools and sending them to private ones. He thought private schools were inherently racist. He couldn't understand that most parents didn't want their kids sitting next to people who spent their days extorting lunch money in lieu of actually learning anything.

Gene said...

Public schools can be great, they really can.

Unless they're in Los Angeles, where 90% of the white kids have fled the system and the rest speak Ebonics or Spanish.

Revenant said...

Just an observation -- but the place on earth with the most *economic* freedom is Hong Kong, which isn't a democracy and never really has been.

#2 is Singapore, which isn't all that democratic either.

Having a private sector just means having a government that secures property rights. That's all you need.

Synova said...

"I love the idea of Trunk homeschooling her kids. What is she going to teach them: how to sit quietly and read "until mommy's medication kicks in"?"

Turn that around and imagine her as a student in the absolutely fabulous public school. *Any* absolutely fabulous public school.

Sitting.

Waiting for the medication to kick in.

It may well be that many of the people most motivated to never, ever, subject their children knowingly to psychologically scarring torture, are the least capable of homeschooling.

It may well be.

Others convince themselves that being abused made them stronger, somehow, and turn it into a virtue in order to justify doing it to their kids.

My husband was medicated. I was psychologically traumatized, including on-purpose by one of my teachers. Our decision to home school had little to do with an objective evaluation of my ability to do so.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Unknown said...

My daughter attended fantastic public schools from kindergarden until the end of high school. She just graduated and will attend Harvey Mudd College in the fall

My daughter just finished her sophomore year at Harvey Mudd, and she loves it there. Plus she seems to be learning a lot. Not just facts, or even concepts, but learning how to get stuff done, how to get it to work, how to overcome the real challenges of the real world.

I hope your daughter gets as much out of it as mine has.

bearing said...

I'd like to suggest that Ritmo go to a liberal/progressive unschoolers' forum and start a thread along these lines:

"Unschooling is really only for the comparatively wealthy. Unless you're especially privileged, it's unrealistic and you can't make it work. Certainly if you're living on one or two minimum wages it's not possible."

And then listen to the responses from her fellow progressives who know something about unschooling.

Revenant said...

public schools and universal education have been one of the reasons we have done well as a nation, one reason the middle class thrived, one reason The rap that public schools and teacher unions get from the right [snip]

I like how you slipped "teacher unions" despite them having absolutely nothing to do with public schools' role in building the American middle class during the late 19th/early 20th century.

Teachers' unions area parasite that showed up after universal public education was well-established, to siphon more of that government money into the pockets of union members. They have never been anything but a hindrance to the actual education of children.

What you are also either unaware of, or deliberately choosing to ignore, is that conservatives (and libertarians, and liberals, and anyone with a brain, really) condem modern public schools because modern public schools have no redeeming qualities at all. They fail to educate children, and do so quite expensively.

Pointing out that the public schools of a century ago played a vital role in our democracy is the rhetorical equivalent of responding to criticism of American foreign policy by saying "you'd all be speaking GERMAN if it wasn't for us!".

Michael K said...

"All those people who say the public schools are terrible have not seen the ones she attended. "

And that is ????

My ex-wife's experience was in West Covina about 12 years ago. It was a middle class mixed race school. Two of the kids in her class were Samoan and named by their parents, Gorbachev and Reagan.

The teachers were bottom feeders and would gather in the break room and make fun of the kids.

Revenant said...

Public schools can be great, they really can.

And porn films can have compelling storylines and great acting.

It is just that they almost never do, since both the people who pay for them and the people who work in them have other priorities.

Chip Ahoy said...

Tari, those sound like excellent schools. Congratulations.

At the art museum nearby I mentioned before King Tut drew large crowds of school kids and over a period of months I intermingled with several classes as they ran through the exhibit. Bus loads of overlapping classes drawn from various districts and I did notice a big difference between them. Dress. Manners. Preparation. Seriousness. Varied widely. Some classes came prepared with question sheets that must be filled in, sources or raw materials, uses of materials, etc., and they were eager and engaging on the subject at hand. Other classes, entire classes, ran rampant. A day off, a run around and through a new playground, uninterested, with who knows what picked up, if anything at all.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, I know what gender I am, bearing, at least. But feel free to enlighten me on this never-before-heard-of (at least, by me) supposed phenomenon of "unschooling".

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O Ritmo Segundo said...

It is just that they almost never do, since both the people who pay for them and the people who work in them have other priorities.

This is bull. Show me one piece of evidence that de-links the quality of a school district's public education system from the median wealth of the residents who fund it.

bearing said...

Ritmo, I am suggesting that you enlighten yourself. You seem to be laboring under the assumption that homeschoolers are conservatives and that we are blinded by privilege. I think you won't have to look too far to find committed progressive homeschoolers who operate on a shoestring, if you are willing to look for them.

One of the things I really like about homeschooling is that it is an arena in which conservative and liberal families often can find many points of commonality that transcend the right-left spectrum of politics and morality. We are ultimately in iit because we are trying to do the right thing by our kids. We know that, and we know it is true of each other. It is not so easy to dismiss.

I apologize if I guessed your gender wrong, by the way. I am afraid I must have missed the cues.

Revenant said...

But feel free to enlighten me on this never-before-heard-of (at least, by me) supposed phenomenon of "unschooling".

Here you go.

elkh1 said...

"the future of progressive morality, ...and every aspect of the Public. The conservative goal is to impose rule by conservative morality on the entire country"

So it's alright to impose "progressive morality" thru brainwashing the young, and not alright for the conservative to "impose" conservative morality.

To paraphrase a former First Lady: sometimes they have to take things from you for the public good.

Only they've got to decide what "the public good" is. Like taking taxes from you to pay pensions and benefits to public school teachers is public good. Like making those teachers pay union dues against their wishes is public good. Like taking your money to pay off a politician's donor is public good.

Petunia said...

What a load of crappity-crap-crap, as Cartman would say. Penelope Trunk is hard to take seriously.

I thought this blog post (linked below) was interesting in light of her tweeting about wanting to schedule a third abortion, but instead she was happy she was having a miscarriage. To wit:

"I'm in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there's a fucked-up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin."

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/06/17/whats-the-connection-between-abortions-and-careers/

Revenant said...

This is bull. Show me one piece of evidence that de-links the quality of a school district's public education system from the median wealth of the residents who fund it.

Residents pay taxes. The *government* funds the schools.

But it is certainly true that there is a positive correlation between the quality of students and the quality of their parents.

Pogo said...

I wonder how many times Lakoff can sell that old whine in new skins?

Their morals are pure but their marketing stinks, he says.

In reality, their product is horrible, and no amount of repeating, retweeting, rebranding, and repackaging will improve it.

The progressive ideas are long past their sell-by date. Move on, George.

madAsHell said...

I wasted a lot of money on private schools for my kids.

The only benefit was....

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Whatever the make-up of the homeschooling crowd, it certainly seems to evident to me and generally obvious that conservatives are pushing for it more, and they do so with the conviction that anything public is not worth taking care of. And I do see "progressives" making more impassioned cases for what should be done on behalf of those who lack privilege.

So regardless of the results and the points of commonality, I do see conservatives pushing harder for it generally, and generally with arguments at hand that I find much more disagreeable than whatever arguments progressives with a similar interest would approach it with.

For one, do you see progressives arguing for it as a standard and a way to denigrate the public education system? Do you see them neglecting to consider how those with even LESS than a "shoestring" should embrace it as a standard - which to conservatives, it ideally is?

When it comes to progressives, I can take their pleas for "choice" more seriously. Conservatives may or may not share that goal in how they go about their homeschooling personally, but I find it incredibly hard to take seriously that that's the primary goal they seek in education when it comes to policy.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Residents pay taxes. The *government* funds the schools.

But it is certainly true that there is a positive correlation between the quality of students and the quality of their parents.


Thank you, Rev., for equating the quantity of one's possessions with the quality of person they are. I knew you could do it.

Of course, if you didn't mean to say that, and just addressed a different point than what immediately came before it, then feel free to clarify and accept any apology you feel would suffice for deeming you to be just another elitist prick.

And bearing, take note of what I just observed and quoted. Revenant is hardly the most egregious offender of mainstream, non-materialistic morality here. But I do find his quick transition to be suspicious.

EDH said...

The main point is that progressives need better messaging. The conservatives always manage to put things in terms that resonate with people better, don't you know?

It also helps not to be bat-shit crazy.

bearing said...

For one, do you see progressives arguing for it as a standard and a way to denigrate the public education system?

You will certainly find progressives who have concluded the system ill-serves children with special needs, children of minority cultural groups, males, and families with a penchant for questioning authority.

Lots of progressives don't believe in sacrificing their own children for the sake of changing the system from within. Because here is the rub: it takes longer to change the system than it does for a child to grow up.

Kathy said...

Homeschooling comes in lots of varieties, just like anything else in life. Many of us who homeschool do not "teach" school in the way we are used to currently in America. We use time-tested methods that are supported by current research and that do not rely on a teacher digesting material and then spoon-feeding it to a student. (I am not referring here to unschooling.) Do some research on Charlotte Mason's educational methods, developed over 100 years ago but still being validated by research and actual educational results today.

Not everyone can successfully homeschool, but more can than think they can. Especially if you don't try to replicate public school at home.

Homeschoolers are quite often, at least where I live, lower middle class. I have seen outright poor homeschooling families, and I have friends now who homeschool but have low enough incomes to qualify for various types of aid. But by and large they will be middle class or lower middle class in my experience.

In our own case, we are not wealthy by any means and we live modestly. I use a homeschool curriculum that is free (for the plans) and uses many books available for free (because in the public domain) or easily found used. It's a rigorous curriculum, but does not require me to prepare lessons and activities. Rather, I teach the children to learn and then present them with excellent materials that they then digest themselves without my intervention (other than discussions which we try to keep on the short side).

Check it out: AmblesideOnline.

Synova said...

"Whatever the make-up of the homeschooling crowd, it certainly seems to evident to me and generally obvious that conservatives are pushing for it more, and they do so with the conviction that anything public is not worth taking care of. And I do see "progressives" making more impassioned cases for what should be done on behalf of those who lack privilege."

Homeschooling was originally promoted by left-wing full out tofu and nuts hippies with education degrees.

Unfortunately, it was illegal.

Enter Christians with legitimate 1st Amendment religious conviction that God intended them (with scriptural support, chapter and verse) to have direct responsibility for their children's education throughout the day, and Constitutional challenges forced the legalization of homeschool for everyone.

The tofu and nuts types with education degrees and liberal ideas about raising whole children to learn in organic and naturals way are there and have been all along.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Because here is the rub: it takes longer to change the system than it does for a child to grow up.

No. That's fine if progressives (or conservatives) accept as much. But the rub, politically, is that conservatives feel "the system", and the plight of others, just isn't ever worth doing anything about, period. Slow, gradual, evolutionary change, be damned. They just don't care about other people's kids. That's a hell of a lot different than simply caring more about one's own. And it says a lot about someone's morality.

But I do thank you for your enlightening and more personal, informative exchange on the phenomenon more generally.

Pogo said...

One begins to suspect that even the worst homeschool bests the average government school.

That's the painful reality.

Synova said...

"And I do see "progressives" making more impassioned cases for what should be done on behalf of those who lack privilege."

And of course "passion" solves all practical problems.

I'd be more impressed by cases made with reason rather than passion.

Oh, wait, I am.

rcommal said...

The world will not look kindly on people who put their kids into public school.

Oh, bullshit. And I homeschool my son (we're starting year 5 of that endeavor; prior to that, from pre-k through 2nd grade [4 years] he was in a private school, the best in our area).

Let's not lose our minds here, folks, to easy cant.

I mean, for crying out loud: Is that not the point of homeschooling to begin with? (Lord know, people keep telling that me, including vast numbers who have never homeschooled, for example. Wink. Wink.)

Please feel free to correct me if you disagree. I'm open to the learning.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'd be more impressed by cases made with reason rather than passion.

Because naturally (for you), and in a more robotic way, you assume a dichotomy between the two. A conflict.

The best evidence suggests that the level of engagement with one's emotions is correlated with the level of engagement with one's mind. It doesn't always have to be the case, but to falsely assert a disconnect is as farcical and fallacious as saying that an athlete can't be smart. You know, a "dumb" jock. An emotional wreck. Stereotypes.

Fortunately, you spoke well about reason. The next step is embracing evidence.

Perhaps someday.

bagoh20 said...

"The world will not look kindly on people who put their kids into public school."

Forget the world. How do you explain it to your grown kids that despite the fact that the system you sent them to was graduating only half it's students and most of the rest got nothing near a world class education, you sent them there anyway.

Will you say: "but it was free"? You sure as hell can't claim you didn't know you were short changing them.

I have many friends who are lower income, who spend all their disposable income to send their kids to private school. I know two teachers in the system here in L.A., and they both send their kids to private schools, despite the fact that they need to work many hours each year as volunteers to help pay the school for what they can't afford. They know exactly what they are doing, and these arguments mean nothing to them. They simply want better for their children, because they know exactly what public schools provide here.

rcommal said...

(FTR, I'm one of those people who enjoy reading Penelope Trunk, even when I disagree with her, and I've done both for a long time. I've gotten some insight and learned some things from her, even. So this is not at all, at all, even in the slightest way, a hating on Trunk.

I just have the problems that I do with the statement to which I'm taking exception. So it goes.)

gadfly said...

So there are two kinds of morality, progressive and conservative -- who knew!

Synova said...

"...it certainly seems to evident to me and generally obvious that conservatives are pushing for it more, and they do so with the conviction that anything public is not worth taking care of."

Imputing meaning to someone else's actions according to your own prejudice isn't likely to help you arrive at the right answers.

Even if your prejudice is *passionate*.

Conservatives who push homeschooling and vouchers and other measures do so for *exactly* their stated reasons. People do better at managing their own lives than government can, even minorities, even the poor, because even the traditionally unprivileged are whole human beings who will thrive with freedom.

Progressives seem to see that as an obvious lie because there may continue to be a disparity of outcomes.

It's not faith in people conservatives have, NOoooooo, it's a lack of caring, a lack of passion for social justice and equality.

Except that, even without an equality of outcomes, even with a continued disparity connected to class and income, the poor are whole human beings who will do better given choices and freedom.

Failure to passionately promote systems where government steps in to help those less capable but doesn't seem to gain that equality of outcomes either, but has the important virtue of *trying*... is not a failure to care.

Because it *matters* if the programs work or not, and it *matters* that real people are involved and fundamentally disrespected by the passionate sorts, the bleeding-hearts, who think that what is most important is that someone is passionate.

bearing said...

"They just don't care about other people's kids. That's a hell of a lot different than simply caring more about one's own. And it says a lot about someone's morality."

Ritmo, I respectfully suggest that you are imagining the worst in people you disagree with. This caricature is not really true about any parent.

I am, by all external descriptors, a conservative and a homeschooler. I run in a crowd of mostly-conservative homeschoolers, some of them of the crunchy-conservative sort (it is really common among homeschooling families), with a few true progressives sprinkled in. No one thinks about children the way your writing makes it sound like you imagine them to think.

We are ultimately driven by the conviction that children are people, and that people thrive best in loving families rather than in institutional surroundings. More time in our families means more thriving, and some of us would move heaven and earth to make room for it.

We would love to see more children homeschooled, because we think it would be good for many children. (Yes, that means believing that the children of progressives would be better off taught by their own parents than indoctrinated in a conservative school!) If the barrier to that is poverty, then we will apply our theories to the question of what will diminish poverty. Conservatives have different theories on this from the theories that liberals have, that is obvious. But it isn't because we care differently about children; it is because we have different theories about what policies will alleviate poverty.

It is really wearying to go around believing the worst of your fellow human beings. I encourage you to give it up. The temporary high is not worth the long term side effects.

wyo sis said...

I don't see where the argument that conservative home schoolers don't care about other people's kids comes in. If a person (say I for the purposes of the discussion) home school where are my tax dollars going except to other people's kids? I pay taxes to school other people's kids and I home school my own. This takes my kids out of crowded classrooms and makes them less crowded. I'm virtually giving my education tax money away for other people's kids to have for their education.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

People do better at managing their own lives than government can, even minorities, even the poor, because even the traditionally unprivileged are whole human beings who will thrive with freedom.

This is a generalization, not an absolute truth.

Besides, its an erroneous caricature for conservatives to say that the left wants government to make others' choices. They just want the right to accept that opportunity is inherently unequal.

Progressives seem to see that as an obvious lie because there may continue to be a disparity of outcomes.

Unequal outcomes don't prove unequal opportunity, but they don't have to. Many other lines of evidence prove it exists.

It's not faith in people conservatives have, NOoooooo, it's a lack of caring, a lack of passion for social justice and equality.

Well, yeah. When you hear them shout that Ron Paul should let the uninsured guy die, some true colors are being revealed. Take some responsibility for those attitudes. They were perpetuated and condoned somehow.

Except that, even without an equality of outcomes, even with a continued disparity connected to class and income, the poor are whole human beings who will do better given choices and freedom.

Again. Generally, yes. Always, no.

Failure to passionately promote systems where government steps in to help those less capable but doesn't seem to gain that equality of outcomes either, but has the important virtue of *trying*... is not a failure to care.

Let's just call it a "laziness of compassion".

Because it *matters* if the programs work or not, and it *matters* that real people are involved and fundamentally disrespected by the passionate sorts, the bleeding-hearts, who think that what is most important is that someone is passionate.

Who is arguing that it doesn't?

EMD said...

Whatever the make-up of the homeschooling crowd, it certainly seems to evident to me and generally obvious that conservatives are pushing for it more, and they do so with the conviction that anything public is not worth taking care of.

Marketplace of ideas, and all that. Options. For parents sick of being tied to failing schools that have been failing for DECADES now.

It's also not the conviction that anything public is not worth taking care of, but that attempting to alter and improve that which is public (and entrenched) is increasingly difficult and costly to do. It's more cost-efficient and also a quicker remedy to parents to support homeschooling and/or a voucher program.

Its true that rich kids have better public schools than poor ones. They pay a shit ton more in property taxes to support their districts. If you want to argue that we should de-link school funding from property taxes, I'm all ears -- but you'd have to come up with a better solution.

EMD said...

Well, yeah. When you hear them shout that Ron Paul should let the uninsured guy die, some true colors are being revealed. Take some responsibility for those attitudes. They were perpetuated and condoned somehow.

Scott Walker = Hitler. Take some fucking responsibility for those attitudes.

n.n said...

It is impractical to tailor education to each individual. The realistic alternative is for each school, each class in fact, to act as laboratories from which best practices can be determined. This is the same premise underlying our federated republic, where each state is a sovereign entity.

As for accountability, parents can no longer afford to abdicate their responsibilities to the state in order to raise their children. This has been a disaster. We must reject dreams of instant gratification (i.e. physical, material, ego) in order to avoid individual and societal corruption, and evolutionary dysfunction.

The problem is not money, but progressive corruption.

Synova said...

"They just want the right to accept that opportunity is inherently unequal."

And this is why the left opposes vouchers?

Come up with a way to equalize opportunity at little bit, to give people without the same levels of wealth some of the same choices as wealthy people and it's somehow evil... because people on the right thought of it?

But whatever.

Poor people can't be trusted to chose their own food or purchase a soda, how can they be trusted with the education of their children?

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