Unschoolers introduced by NYTimes

"Home Schoolers Content to Take Children’s Lead" is an article on unschooling. Unfortunately, they seem to "get" us unschoolers (or to "out" us unschoolers to the public and see more regulation take place to control us).

Sadly, it seems that reporters these days don't like to do much of investigative journalism. To quote the article:
There is scant data on the educational results of unschooling, and little knowledge about whether the thousands of unschooled children fare better or worse than regularly schooled students.
Obviously the "journalist" hasn't been in touch with sudval.org -- considering that Sudbury Valley School has been running an unschooling school for almost 40 years, they seems to have plenty of data to throw at the "journalist." Sigh.

Going further, on one hand it claims unschooling's stats are not well known ("there is not even reliable data on how many people are unschooling") but on the other:
Unlike the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years, unschoolers tend not to be religiously motivated.
How's that for accurate, fact based reporting? Most friends who do home educate and are religiously motivated, do shy away from unschooling but it's a matter of degrees if you ask me (see my "How to unschool in 5 easy steps"). As much as I believe in unschooling, we practice a bit of delayed academics where we take time doing basic English and math studies but they get plenty of unschooling time ("self-directed studies" or recess for most people) in any given day.

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


What's being taught in schools: Parental Divorce

What has school done for your child today? Seems like they are creating little monsters (much like Nazi youths or Communist young party or Khmer Rouge children) who are divorcing from their parents and becoming "independent" at pre-teenage years: 'Tweens' are fast becoming the new teens.

The fact is that no man is an island and when a person denies God along with parental authority, one's authority reverts to lesser gods like the state (government or "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun") and one's peers (the king of the hill rules). And when peers work together, much like the Animal Farm, you end up with new form of tyranny, usually more cruel than the previous one, as Nazi's, Communists and Khmer Rouge have all shown.

Which is the beauty of homeschooling: the parent retains the authority and can release the child to the next step of giving authority to God. I believe that authority to oneself is meaningless or a quick path to suicide, since one single man is accountable to no one and can only resort to narcissism and nihilism. [What proof do I have? Only on what has happened in the past, both the Bible and the modern history.]

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


Secret Santa Revealed!

Larry Stewart has outed himself as Secret Santa.

He was fired a week before Christmas, two years in a row. 1979, he saw someone worse off than himself (waiter) and gave US$20 to her and told her to keep change. And when he saw her cry and expressed her gratitude, on the same day, he got US$200 out of the bank and looked for others who looked needy to give, and the rest is history.

Pretty cool story.


Citizen Power via Etools

The power of pen has morphed into power of video/photo cellphone. "Amateur Videos Are Putting Official Abuse in New Light" has a story of how one woman (who was video taped naked by a policeman) changed not only her own country Malaysia but the relationship with another, China.

And on a local scale:
"Pepper-spraying of suspect seen in a new video: Bratton defends department as concerns over force mount" LAPD got in the news twice in 1 week over videos of alleged police abuse.
and across the pond:
"Finnish police investigate security guards based on YouTube clip".

So those who think they are in power are now being watched and taped and easily published to the world wide audience -- and even have potential of straining international relationships!

Video camera (cellphone or otherwise): don't leave home without it...

Copyright, 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


No Child Left Behind test makes one kid crazy

Bloomberg reports (hat tip to digg): "Fourth Grader Suspended After Refusing to Answer Exam Question" and here's the basic story:
Tyler Stoken was a well-behaved fourth grader who enjoyed school, earned A's and B's and performed well on standardized tests.
In May 2005, he'd completed five of the six days of the Washington State Assessment of Student Learning exam, called WASL, part of the state's No Child Left Behind test.
Then Tyler came upon this question: ``While looking out the window one day at school, you notice the principal flying in the air. In several paragraphs, write a story telling what happens.''
In this case, Tyler's initial thoughts would have been embarrassing and mean. So even after repeated requests by school personnel, and ultimately the principal herself, Tyler left the answer space blank. ``He didn't want them to know what he was thinking, that she was a witch on a broomstick,'' says Tyler's mother.
Because Tyler didn't answer the question, McCarthy suspended him for five days. He recalls the principal reprimanding him by saying his test score could bring down the entire school's performance.
Tyler ... hasn't been the same since, his mother says.
``He liked the principal before this,'' she says. ``He cried. He didn't understand why she'd done this to him.''
Now, Tyler blows up at the drop of a hat, his mother says. ``They created a monster. He'll never take that test again, even if I have to take him to another state,'' she says.
Tyler's attitude about school changed. He became shyer. He's afraid of all tests and doesn't do as well in classes anymore, his mother says.
And get this:
While there's no academic effect on elementary school children taking the exams, there can be repercussions for school administrators. When schools repeatedly fail to show adequate yearly progress, as defined by No Child, the principal can be fired.
So it's not all about children, after all, but whether a principal is employed or not. Poor kid: his life [and his family's life] is ruined all because the principal['s employment].

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.