Monday, February 25, 2008

Fair Questions

Here's an interesting discussion on school choice I happened across...One person who supports the idea of choice in schools. One parent likes an academic approach that another one dislikes~all for different reasons.

I think what the mom is complaining about is this idiotic "6 Trait" writing style fad. I looked at writing curricula to use in our family's homeschool and 99% of what I saw was garbage.

Another, this:

Your daughter may be one of those who have good expressive language and clear and organized thinking to start with.

Unfortunately what I see is most children being encouraged to "express themselves" and having absolutely no clue how to go about writing paragraphs (even sentences) in an organized and coherent way. Frameworks like Step Up to Writing, 6 Traits or Four Square Writing allow them to get a grip on a formula (yes, it is a formula) to produce an acceptable result. As with other skills --writing poems in various formats, playing certain kinds of music -- 3-part inventions, fugues, whatever -- mastery of component skills can lead individuals to a degree of proficiency that ultimately enables them to find their own unique voice and style.

Parents know their children better than any teacher or school system could. Parents can and should have the right to choose on behalf of their children the best academic environment. Whether it's a private school, a public, a charter, a virtual school, home schooling~If a parent does not see the match for a child at a school in their zip code, shouldn't they make the better choice? Shouldn't they still have access to the tax dollars they fed into the system? Shouldn't the system serve the parents instead of the government?

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