Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Disclaimer on Writing

There are serious problems in the education community in our country. The problems come from a variety of sources. There must be a variety of solutions if this country is to provide future generations with the best possible opportunities for success. There is no one best option for educating our children. Public, private, and home education each has its strengths and weaknesses, and in a free society each option should be available for parents to choose for their children. One thing is certain; there is no room in publicly funded American education for the political indoctrination of our children by any political party. If the government is going to mandate that children attend school for a certain period of time in their lives, it is critically important that the government maintains the highest ethical standard of instruction, as free as is humanly possible from political bias. Teachers should teach our children and let those children decide for themselves, and neither lead nor lure them to a predetermined conclusion.

The teacher in Ohio who gave his students hand-outs covering President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) program was completely wrong. The material distributed in his classroom included an application for joining OFA, a program that is clearly a tool for pushing the Democratic Party’s political agenda. Just look at their website, paid for by the DNC. This one sided classroom presentation did not include any material covering opportunities for participation in any other political party in America. It is a complete outrage that a public school teacher used his classroom to push his political agenda on his students, no matter his party affiliation.

Our nation’s children are not getting the education that they need. Our schools should be focusing their attention on teaching our children in such a manner that they do not continuously fall behind their international peers in math and science. News article after news article after news article reports that US students are failing miserably. Why don’t we require our students to have mastered a basic understanding of the US Constitution before they leave high school? Maybe if our students were required to learn basic accounting our citizens wouldn’t have borrowed 2.1 trillion dollars in 26.5 billion credit card transactions in 2008. If they knew how dangerous this level of credit is to their personal finances they might not accept a federal government with $12,364,401,838,647.44 worth of debt (as of 15 Feb 2010 at 07:53:02 PM GMT) that has grown by “an average of $3.85 billion per day since September 28, 2007.” Save me the complaints about Democrats versus Republicans. Members of both parties are responsible for this situation because we the people have allowed them to create the problem. Economics and the Constitution are far more important subjects to be taught in school than is using instruction time to recruit students to an organization developed to push a political agenda.

I don’t hold public school teachers completely responsible for the failings of our students. I have long maintained that the majority of problems in public education are the fault of parents and not teachers. Having taught in both private and public schools I know that the vast majority of teachers are talented people who really care about their students. But I absolutely cannot accept allowing the political indoctrination of our children in a school setting or the indignant acceptance of that indoctrination by people because it fits their agenda. Our public schools are not recruiting grounds for political parties. It isn’t acceptable.

It never will be.


Still awake?

I just provided the dull, passionless, watered-down version of last Friday’s blog (deleted), which was a response to a comment left on a previous entry concerning public school education in this country. This is the only time I will ever re-write a post over concerns that I have hurt someone’s feelings. No one realizes how much time I spent thinking about what I would write, how I would write it, and how it would be received before I posted last Friday’s entry. I received an equal number of supportive and critical comments, as well as complaints for removing the post and the opportunity for further debate in the comment forum. It would have been a lively debate, a sure indication that the writing was good and the topic was timely. After carefully considering Friday’s post I know that I did not attack any one person. Regular readers of this blog know that I try very hard not to be a flame-thrower and not to demean or humiliate readers. I do occasionally respond strongly and pointedly at the idea presented by readers in the comment section. There is a clear difference.

I’ve received some highly critical comments in the past due to things that I’ve written. Generally, I allow the commenter to post their thoughts and I ignore them. Sometimes, I respond in the comments section. Occasionally, I reply in a post. I get to do that. It’s my blog. To address this, I’ve written a notice that will be permanently displayed over the comments box on this blog. It reads:

Your comments are encouraged, but I reserve the right to respond to comments with which I disagree. If you are not comfortable with this, send your comments to writearby@gmail.com and I will maintain your confidentiality.


Opus #6 said...

Arby, I guess with all my running around this weekend, I missed your Friday post. So I will assume it was about education.

Either way, when I read the first part of this post, I thought that you worded it exactly right. I would like to reblog the earliest part of this post, if that is all right. As I intended to do, and without regard to whatever happened this weekend. We must keep politics out of the school. Which means Americans taking back control of the school curricula to vet what is being taught. Somebody has to provide oversight.

I will link to your blog.

Arby said...

Opus, go ahead and use it!

Brownie said...

I was reading along, well actually skimming along, because I already read it Friday - and then I see "still awake?" Oh GOOD! it wasn't me :)

Yes it certainly lacks the passion of the previous blog entry; however I like your explanation and method of dealing with future comments.

Shortly I am going to write my own blog entry on school - as soon as I can wrap my head around some things that are going on with Red. It won't have nearly your intellectually punch though ;)

Sir thinks I should let some things slide - and since I'm the wife I get to toe the line when he sends out a directive (submissive of me, huh?) but the school and I will be butting heads soon!

Oklahoma Granny said...

Last Friday I was having internet issues so I didn't get to read your post. I wondered what happened to it. It was there at one point, then I lost connection and when I was able to get back on, the post was gone.

I totally agree with you. Your blog is YOUR blog which means it contains your thoughts. It's as simple as that.

And I do agree with your view on what's happening in the public school system. My son experienced a similar situation a few months ago when he took his young children out of school the day the President addressed the nations school children. My son's thoughts were similar to mine - parents should have been able to view the entire message before granting permission for their children to view the address. His view wasn't well received at his children's school.

Kathleen said...

"But I absolutely cannot accept allowing the political indoctrination of our children in a school setting or the indignant acceptance of that indoctrination by people because it fits their agenda. Our public schools are not recruiting grounds for political parties. It isn’t acceptable."


The Pirate Mom said...

Awww crud...I missed all of this! Since I don't know specifically what you're talking about, I'll just say that I've been reading your blog forever (about 3 years, maybe???) and I've never known you to attack anyone. You did attack my candy wreath once, and we all know how that turned out.


Opus #6 said...

Kellie, LOL about the candy wreath. ;-)

therextras said...


Arby said...

Thanks, Kellie!

Anonymous said...

First, I've been a reader/follower for years and never had any complaints or issues with your wordings or topics. Its your blog and quite frankly, you can write what you want because its your prerogative. SEcond, if I didn't agree with what you write, I can stop reading it, cause well, freedom of speech and all and its my prerogative to not read it. Thirdly, I'm sorry that you felt you had to re-word something on YOUR blog. I missed the first entry and the comment.

You make some very sound and justified statements. Parents, are not aware of what's going on/not going on in schools or quite frankly don't care. They are not making their school measure up to acceptable standards. Do you know that in the county I'm in, the kids don't have textbooks to take home? I hear complaint after complaint about a child not understanding something and the parent can't help because they teach it differently than the teacher did and the kids don't understand it. Teachers went on strike here too, because they had 39 children in a classroom and the kids were sharing desks and chairs. Really, how effective is this type of schooling? I lived in Japan and the kids there go to school 250 days a year compared to our 180.

Hopefully, this won't bring up too many issues for you!

Linda said...

I missed everything. I haven't been writing or reading in over a week. I will say this though. It's your blog. I am free to read or not to read. Write what you want. I like what you write. If I no longer like it, I'll stop reading. I might tell you I didn't like it, but tell you to Un-post something? That's ridiculous.