About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
Scripture of the Moment 2 Nephi 2:27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
The views and opinions expressed herein are not attributable to my employer, Blogger, Google, those who link to me, or anyone other than the author (as indicated). Comments of visitors are the responsibility of the invididuals posting. No responsibility is taken for the content of materials linked to from this site. Any questions relating to the administration of this site or its content should be directed to Sarah Marie Parker-Allen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- If I mention something that's been published and is still available on the Internet, I will link to it. Well, if I know it's there, anyway.
-- Once I've posted something, I will not make substantive changes to the body of the post. Any changes will be noted with an "EDIT" tag at the bottom of the post in question, or will be noted in a subsequent post. Typos, stylistic errors, and link updates will occur, without time limit (though if it's been a while, I'll let you know). If I really really regret a post, it's likely I'll post about cats or something for a while in pennance. You've been warned.
-- If I find something through the efforts of another blogger (in fact, of anyone I can link to), I'll credit them with a link (the style of such a link is pretty much up to my mood, so don't expect consistency in that area).
-- My comment policy is listed below.
I like comments, and I'll keep them activated. HOWEVER, if you want to start a flamewar, go somewhere else. If you want to get me to start arguing with you about Ohio State vs. Michigan, whether Mormons are Christian, how stupid being spoiler free is, or pretty much anything else inflamatory (inflamatory is in the eye of me in this case -- if you don't trust my judgement, too bad), go somewhere else. All links to pornography, all instances of vulgar language, and anything else I don't think is appropriate for my sisters, brother, neice, and nephew to see (ages 1-18), or quite frankly appropriate for ME to see, will be edited as I see fit (probably with links to something else, or alternate words, or what have you). All spam comments, including blatant off-topic self-promotion, will be deleted. If you've been banned, feel free to email me; if you're uncivil, please know that I'm interested in finding out exactly how many people I can add to my killfile without bringing my processer speed to zero, and don't mind using your address in my experiments. I reserve the right to delete and/or ban anyone I want. If you need to say it that badly, go get your own blog. They're free, you know.
A Note About Chatting and Emails
I'm not what you would call an extremely social or extraverted person. As a matter of fact, I tend to test 100% introvert on Myer-Briggs and other personality profile tests. Therefore, please be aware that most of the time, if I don't already know you (either in person or through weeks/months/years of email contact) the chances are I won't be very talkative if you IM me. I like having a long time to consider what I say, and that goes double for what I say to total strangers. Please don't think me scary, rude, hateful, or even just someone in a perpetual bad mood, if chat efforts are unsuccessful. Quite frankly, it's probably better for you to go find someone else to chat with, unless you have something significant to say. And if it's that important, you should probably email me. Which reminds me to let you know now that if you do choose to email me, it might be days, weeks, months, years, or never before I email you back. It takes a lot of energy for me to come up with replies to random inquiries from strangers, and most of the time there's something I'd rather be doing instead. Your understanding is appreciated. I'm not saying don't try, I'm just saying -- have minimal expectations, okay? Thanks. Oh, and if you DO know me, don't treat this statement as an excellent excuse not to talk to me. You know who you are.
I was homeschooled for 11th and 12th grade in the Bucyrus City Schools district, which is right by Galion's. We were in the Naugatuck (CT) schools area for two years before that, and the Auborn Hills (MI) area for the year before that. What utter rubbish, is what I have to say about claims that less than 13% of Galion's homeschoolers are educating their children in this manner for "the right reasons." It is even more apparent as to what class of rubbish that this is (namely, self-serving, finger-pointing, "please please don't look at how utterly disastrous public education in Crawford County is" rubbish) when you actually go and see what homeschooling and public education are like in these actual districts. That kind of rubbish which your anti-homeschooling screed of an article series is, alas, defies the possibliity of a civilized name, but I'm working on it, and will keep you posted if necessary.
To you, the newspaper reporters, and the academic researchers you talked with: Spend a week going to all the homeschool activity meetings at the Bucyrus library. Visit with the girl scout troops where a third of the girls homeschool. Walk down our old street -- our next-door neighbors homeschooled their boys at the same time my sisters and I were there, and were doing a fabulous job. Meanwhile, Bucyrus high school had exactly ONE AP course (English) during my senior year, and when I was asked to go take the 9th grade proficiency test (they were going to see if I could get a diploma from Bucyrus High), most of the kids in the high school auditorium who took it with me, were taking one or more sections for the third, fourth, or fifth time. They were seniors, like me, only they'd been taking that test every six months since the end of ninth grade. Honestly. Visit the high schools and the middle schools and the elementary schools, and go to a PTA meeting or three. Talk to me then about how misguided and undersupervised the homeschoolers are.
I received a 1380 on the SAT, and 29 on the ACT, and was accepted as a direct enrollment student in Ohio State's Engineering Honors program (I was the only female Computer Engineering student so admitted that term). I doubt very much that I am all that unusual, especially seeing as how my sisters are also performing at above-average levels, and so are the majority of the actual homeschooling students I know. How many actual homeschoolers do you know? How many have the reporters who wrote this entire series actually met, and spoken to? How many of the children have you seen, and had an intelligent conversation with? Moreover, seriously, how much scrutiny have you given to the parents and teachers and students associated with the public schools in Ohio and elsewhere? Have you made a serious effort to determine how well they're really doing, and whether they get their textbooks and standardized exams (which, incidentally, are the only sort of exams that Bob Jones provides -- SAT 9 and the like, the good old-fashioned normed tests you're probably very familiar with) from a source you feel you'd be able to hang out with and have something to say to? Dare I say that you are uncomfortable with the idea that people would want to get their educational materials from an overtly religious institution, and rather than say that, you're relying on an entirely irrelevant but far more scandalous-sounding point: some people have accused them of racism!!!
Speaking of racism, I find it interesting that National Merit Scholars and honors students and spelling bee winners are hardly indicative of any kind of a trend, but one racist child is a clear indication that homeschoolers are dangerously sheltered and without proper perspective. Actual students admitted to specific universities are a nifty anomaly, but unsubstantiated claims by schools -- many of which have extremely prejudicial admissions policies for homeschoolers (Notre Dame wanted five $100 SAT-II subject exams with my application, in addition to my SAT-I score and the application fee, and all the other things they require of everyone -- I chose not to apply) -- that homeschoolers are "underrepresented" (what does that mean, precisely; do they mean that the total proportion of their class that claims to have been homeschooled has gone down, and have they accounted for students whose parents did things like form "private schools" for just their own children?), is a sign that homeschoolers aren't very accompished.
I won't go into statistical validity, and I won't go into basic principles of liberty, and I won't even mention (beyond this one time, and only in passing) the rather sordid history of public schooling in this country. I will take a moment to remind you, the Akron Beacon-Journal, that for most of its first 100 years, this country was run by homeschooled kids. We didn't call it back then -- we said that Lincoln was only able to go to school for a year, and that he had to read out of law books to become a lawyer. We noted that John Adams went to Harvard at 12, and never mind what his parents taught him before that (or what he and Abigail Adams taught their sons and daughters, in their home). We obsess about accountability now in large part because there is such abundant and plentiful failure. Show me the homeschooled children who are neglected and maltreated and given over to minimally academic pursuits, and I will say "give them a standardized test, and allow them to prove that things aren't what they seem -- or counsel them to change their methods." Show me the public schools, and I'll say the same thing. Show me Eton, Polytechnic in California, the Columbus School for Girls, and close to a million highly successful homeschoolers, and I will say "great! more power to them, let's give everyone a tax cut because the government isn't having to do more recovery work thanks to these people who've taken the initiative."
To the superintendents and board of education members, especially those who gave quotes to these articles: Worry about your public school students. That's where the limited stewardship of our government school supervisors actually is: the government schools. If the parents in your area have decided they're not doing a good job, you should look to your own methods and your own standards and your own policies and your own employees, rather than trying to find fault with those parents. Or in other words, don't shoot the messenger.
I said they could quote me and warned them not to mangle my name (it's SARAH PARKER-ALLEN, already -- there's an "h" and a hyphen and both have been sorely neglected by the news media in recent years) or my words. I doubt they'll mangle anything because I doubt they'll quote anything, but at least I got that off my chest. posted by Sarah at 9:43 PM. |