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Dude, are you stoned?

I seriously think teacher’s union representative on the California homeschool case who was interviewed by NPR’s “All Things Considered” was altered — chemically (or herbally). A sample of his statement:

Dude, yeah, it’s cool, you need training, man. You make us take all these tests and do all this stuff just to teach some punk kids, man, but you don’t wanna the state to license you to teach your own kids in your own home. Man, make up your mind.

(Okay, slight exaggeration and some poetic license was taken. But listen; I’m not too far off.)

See what I mean? I love his ending slur, “Make up your mind.”

Okay, “Dude” is it? Snap out of it and listen up.

If the I, the citizen, gives money through taxes to the state so that the state can fulfill a public need (e.g. build my roads, supply my water, educate my kids), then the state must be held accountable to me, the citizen, for the wise use of those funds and the competent completion of said tasks.

It does not follow that if I don’t delegate a task to the state, then the state has the same right to monitor me. If I give the state money to provide food for children at school, I expect the food to be nutritious and without contamination. That doesn’t mean the state has the same right to come rifle through my fridge and “certify” my grocery list.
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The populace is demanding standards and accountability from public schools because 1) they are hired, delegated, entrusted by the citizens to do a job, and 2) they are failing to do the job they have been delegated: i.e. educate the children. In our particular form of government, the people are (ultimately) the boss. If you aren’t doing the job you’re hired for, the boss gets to demand improvements and, if improvement is not forthcoming, to fire your sorry self.

And Dude? You’re not the boss of me.

Just to fisk Mr. Dude’s argument about homeschoolers “being behind” and causing problems by “not using the same textbooks” as government schools. First, HA. Home educated kids routinely and repeatedly test as well or better than kids in institutionalized schools. Second, does that mean that California schools want to ban students who come from states that don’t use the same textbooks? Do all CA public schools use the same books?

Also, people (not just home educators, but journalists, talking heads, etc.) have got to stop freaking out about the California thing. Perhaps you can see Mr. Dude about something to help you chill.*

*Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of mind or mood altering substances, legal or not. Even if some people need it.

4 responses to “Dude, are you stoned?”

  1. Sandy Avatar

    Good stuff. And funny too, which, while always a plus in my book, is defenitely needed in this situation.

  2. April Avatar

    Thanks Sandy. If we don’t laugh, we’ll go mad. Or maybe I laugh because I’ve gone mad. How can I tell?

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    “Second, does that mean that California schools want to ban students who come from states that don’t use the same textbooks? Do all CA public schools use the same books?”

    And, Dude, since CA schools are rated 47th in the country, do you have the right to demand anything?

    And, Dude, since kids are regularly beaten up, shot and verbally abused in CA public schools, is it a good idea to send kids to school “to be protected”?

    Maybe the judges and attorneys should spend some time in our schools, teaching or just hanging out for a couple of days to see what life is really like for our school kids on a daily basis?

  4. April Avatar

    But they have the benefit of credentialed teachers. Credentialed!

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