Friday, March 07, 2008

The latest assault on individual liberty and parental rights has occurred in the People's Republic of Californistan. There a three-judge panel has ruled that parents must have a teaching credential to home-school their children, or face potential criminal prosecution. Although they don't say so specifically, this ruling effectively bans home schooling in an obligatory bow to the cornerstone of the Left...the teacher's unions. And they say politics stops at the courthouse doors.

We live in a time when people call for the President's resignation over wiretapping terrorists. Yet, here we have 3 judges mandating that our children can only be educated by government-approved teachers. If that doesn't disturb you, then you either have a problem with naivety or are due to renew your Stalin fan club membership. There are many parents who don't want their children in public or private schools and they have the right to make that decision without facing prison time. Once again, activists judges have chosen to invade and infringe upon the rights and privacy of the people. There is no need for this ruling and I doubt it will stand up on appeal (at least that's my hope). These judges have created law and thus overstepped their bounds, and the people of Californistan should not tolerate it. The precedent is clear, and very dangerous.

The location doesn't surprise me. California is one Bolshevik away from establishing the "people's party". But still, I am a bit shocked at the audacity of the judges, and the lack of outcry. If Bush does something like this in the war on terror he is compared to Hitler and butchered in the press. Yet these unelected judges blatantly assault our individual rights without so much as a whimper from the people and the mainstream media. How foolish we've become. A wise man once said that every time Congress meets, we all lose a little liberty. I think the same can now be said of our courts.


Allisoni Balloni said...

As a future teacher, I have long been quite opposed to the idea of homeschooling, for several reasons. But specifically in response to your post--why should receiving and education be mandatory if it is not mandatory to be taught things that are legitimate and correct, in provenly effective manners? 75% of the homeschooled population are evangelical Christians, and there are text books designed to teach those kids that science has no merit, that the bible is the only answer in life. Relgious or not, if you care about children even in the least, that should upset you. Education in this country is obligatory for a reason, so that our children result in intelligent, valuable parts of society. If parents are going to homeschool their children, I see no reason why they shouldn't need to be just as qualified to teach as any other person in this country who holds a position in education.

Kristina said...

A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good
citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting
the public welfare.

Apparently the judges view the purpose of education a wee bit differently than you, Allisoni.

Anonymous said...

Allisoni has a point in that many home schooled children turn out to be religious fanatics. But many don't, and furthermore, a lot of public school kids turn into potheads and droputs.

My point is this: every system is going to have its problems. From a personal standpoint, I see a lot less problems with home-schooled kids and kids from private schools than I do with kids in public schools. This is primarily because home-schoolers are taught by parents who care for their child's education, and by the child's own independent learning. And private schools would go out of business if they didn't do a good job.

Public schools on the other hand care more about enforcing so-called moral values on kids (secular values, don't smoke pot for example, but it's exactly the same thing as what you, Allisoni, are protesting to), and teaching them to obey the state. They do not teach anything worthwhile, unless one has a good teacher.

I am convinced that the only way I, or any of my friends, turned out well was in spite of public school, not because of it, given the large number of people who don't make it, and drop out, or plan to do nothing with their lives.

Frankly, when we live in a country where everything is privatized, and it works relatively well, I don't see why something so important as education would be run by the state.

Allisoni Balloni said...

I don't think that what I said conflicts at all with what the judges said. A valuable part of American society is someone who is a good citizen, has patriotism for where they live and work, and has no problem looking out for the welfare of fellow Americans. Is this a problem? I would sure hope not. Also, while I assume that I will one day work in a public school and because all of my hands-on training so far has taken place in public schools, I have never never been told that part of my job is to indoctrinate children with my own values or with the values of the state or of the government. John makes it sound as if teachers come from a factory that the government runs. I would not be going into this field if my first priority was not the future and the wellbeing of children. Certainly in some situations, homeschooling is the best option--but it should be the best option for the child, not for the parent. If the parent needs to be certified appropriately in order to follow through with what works best for their child, the parent should do what is necessary to obtain that. Not only am I a future teacher, but a future parent as well, and if I were ever to homeschool my child I would want to know that what was being done was tried and true and that I was truly educating my child in the best environment possible. I were less certified and doing things more poorly than a certified teacher, than that is NOT the best environment for my child.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the teachers are the problem. I've had really good teachers in a really bad school. Mostly its the admins. And many teachers themselves will attest to that fact. The administrations of public schools, particularly the ones on the board, are aiming to get as much tax money from the state as it takes. If that means acting in a way which is detrimental to education, they'll do it without a second thought. They see themselves as running the school, even though it's the teachers who know bes; often they won't pay attention to the needs of those teachers.

It's cool you'll be working in this field, but all I'm saying is that when you actually get into it, and start the work, things might not be as idealistic as you think. I'm not saying it'll be a terrible experience, I'm sure you'll be fine. But I'm reasonably certain you'll see at least some of what I'm talking about, because every teacher I've ever talked to does.

As for where you personally might want your child to go, all I'm saying is that other people should have that choice too, and they choose homeschooling. That's not the business of the state.

Anonymous said...

written in haste:


Thanks for the link to the article. The situation appears much more benign than that you describe, but I will actually have to read teh appellate opinion b/f rendering final judgment.

robert m.

Whereas many privatized instituttions fuction well, recall the subprime loan debacle in which the private sector, from the loan originators on up, utterly dropped the ball.


The Loop Garoo Kid

Allisoni Balloni said...

I am not denying that there are problems, of course there are problems with the public school system, and plenty of them. But if no one sticks up for the system and fights to make it better, nothing will change. I truly believe that there is potential for it to improve, and by becoming a teacher and by making the right decisions at a teacher, the system gets a little better. Education is often ignored, it's seen as a problem but nothing worthwhile is done to fix it. I refuse to be one who sits back and calls it a failure, because if it has no advocates it WILL fail for reasons that could have been prevented.

Anonymous said...


That's a bit of an oversimplification. The lending situation could have been long avoided if those who gave bad loans were allowed to fail. But instead, the government bailed the bad lenders out, several times, allowing them to continue undermining the economy. Most problems are caused by government intervention when you get right down to it. The economy is no exception.


I admire your value system, but again, it's not the teachers. I think the teachers are genuinely trying to do what you're saying because, like you, they want to help kids, which is great. But the problem is that they are constantly overruled by the administration, or even by state mandates. If it gets changed for the better, someone has to do something about that. The problem is, who? Because obviously the government can't, since the higher-ups are the ones causing the problems. I think until it does get better (and even though I don't agree with public school, I'd like to see it get better) people should at least have the option of homeschooling/private schools.

Kristina said...

What would you have a parent do? From your comments, it seems that you are against homeschooling. However, it also seems that you don't know a lot about it.

I happen to be a homeschool mother. I am not certified. However, I am capable of teaching my 4yo to read, add and subtract (oh, wait-they're not supposed to do that 'til Kindergarten/1st grade), my 7 yo to read, add and subtract, my 10yo to multiply fractions, write a report, and read The Iliad.

It seems to me (I'm NOT trying to attack you here!) that you, like my bil, think I have a defeatest attitude (His exact words). I pulled my children out of school because the school refused to provide any type of advancement for my children. They said their program was challenging. My BIL feels that I should keep my children in school and advocate for them to change the school. Unfortunately, my children need better schools NOW, not in 10 years when they are better. So, while I'm perfectly willing to work with the public schools to make them a better place, a place where ALL children can receive the education they need, I have to do what is best for my children in the mean time.

That is just my reading of your comments. If I've got it wrong, please clarify.

Anonymous said...

robert m.

I will address the education issues at another time. It is imporatnt that yoiu understand the subprime fiasco b/c clearly you do not. Your analysis that the primary problem was a government bailout is simply erroneous.

Several yaers ago, there was a lot of money floating around and interest rates were low. Loan brokers, who were mostly independent from lenders originated sub prime loans--loans made to people who either could not pay them or who could not pay them once the interest rates adjusted.

These loans were then made by mortgage lenders, who sold them to other fiancial institutions. Large numbers of these loans were bundled in the form of mortgage backed securities at which point rating companies, that certainly should haved known better, rated them highly allowing their sale world wide.

So when the interest rates adjusted or the borrowers otherwise defaulted it unleashed a global tsunami.

There are many people to blame but if the government is one of them, its fault was failure in oversight not in bailing out defaulting borrowers.

Also, if you can somehow renegotiate a loan so as to allow an owner to keep his home, that is a much better result than foreclosure. Foreclosures costs lenders on average of $50K each and also tend to have adverse effects on neighborhoods.


The Loopp Garoo Kid

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your concern, LGK, but we're discussing education right now. Furthermore, my mother is a Realtor, so she deals with this stuff all the time. I know more about this issue than you think I do.

Allisoni Balloni said...

Kristina--I did state in my initial comment that I am opposed to the idea of homeschooling. I am opposed to it because I believe there are a large amount of benefits to leaving the home and leaving ones parents for schooling. I also strongly believe that all children deserve better than being religiously indoctrinated by their parents, in their personal life and in their education. I personally feel that it is a form of child abuse to teach your own children things that will put them so far behind their peers who are being taught things that are legitimate and true. I do realize that not all families that homeschool--yours being the perfect example--do this to their children. But a large majority DO, and that is a fact.
Basically, I just see a large contradication between the fact that education to a certain point is mandatory in our country, yet there is no obligation to teach a legitimate curriculum. I don't feel that homeschooling should be illegal, just that there should be a way to make sure that all of our children are being educated to the best of their potential. I respect your decision to take your children's education upon yourself, as the lack of parent involvement in our schools is, I feel, one of the biggest problems we face.

Dan Trabue said...

While I'm a big public school supporter, I'll have to side with those who support a parent's right to choose whether or not to send to public schools and, that being the case, find this judge's ruling to be wrong and likely to be overthrown.

What of the Amish? Shall we force them to send their children to public schools? What of those who believe (for religious reasons or because they think public schools are indoctrinating little marxists or capitalists) don't wish to be part of that system? Shall we decide for those parents, as well, how best to educate their children?

I say, Hell no! Parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, as long as they're sufficiently tending them and not abusing them.

One public school supporter's opinion.

Anonymous said...


The fundamental question is: Does the state have the right and/or obligation to set minimum standards for the home schooling of children? I do not think that from the artcle's description of CA requirements, they are very onerous.


The more I read yoiur comment, the less sense it makes to me.

robert m.

You wrote: "But instead, the government bailed the bad lenders out several times allowing them to continue undermining the economy. Most problems ar caused by government intervention when you get right doen to it. The economy is no exception."

I am happy that your mother is a realtor. She may or may not be able to educate regarding the subprime situation. If she has tried, she has failed b/c clearly you do not understand it at all. What you have expressed is your usual naive Libertarianism.

That the subject is education is ironic b/c clearly when it comes to education, you haven't learned much history. I suggest you study the stock market crash of 1929 and the S & L debacle of the 1980's both of which could have been avoided or ameliorated by government regulation. Aspects of the subprime crisis too could have been ameliorated but I doubt you will study any of these b/c it is just too easy and comfortable for you to chant your Libertarian mantras as silly as they are.

The Loop Garoo Kid

ParrisHouse1818 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Can we stop this LGK? First of all we're ruining a perfectly good education thread with a completely different subject, and second of all, I'm going to college primarily to major in History, so it's a bit presumptuous of you to think I somehow wouldn't be familiar with those events. In fact, it's the second inaccurate assumption you've made about my knowledge of a particular subject.

In any case, unless what you're arguing is about the subject at hand, I think I'm going to ignore you. I don't know how this topic got started, and frankly, I don't really care. If it makes you happy to think I'm naive, that's fine; it doesn't really bother me. But I'm not interested in debating the relative merits/shortcomings of market economics right now, so let's leave that subject where it lies.

Anonymous said...


If you don't agree with the "teaching credential" requirement, shouldn't there be something in place to ensure parents are at least prepared to home school?

How else would we prevent kids from being home schooled simply because their parents are overbearing? We've all seen the show "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?". Most of the people on there are NOT. That isn't to say that public or private schools are perfect, but I'm not sure parents as teachers are either. --Deano

p.s. Allisoni, as a "future teacher" you should know that the "Bible" (in your first post)should be capitalized.

Dan Trabue said...

The fundamental question is: Does the state have the right and/or obligation to set minimum standards for the home schooling of children? I do not think that from the artcle's description of CA requirements, they are very onerous.

I think the state does have a role in verifying that children aren't being mistreated or abused. I'm fine with the state having some requirements in place to ensure that home-schooled children are being educated minimally.

From my understanding of the ruling, the state was requiring homeschool parents to get a teaching certificate. What did they mean by "teaching credential"?

When I looked into this, all the sources I found were of the Wing Nut Daily variety of non-news sources. That is always a big red flag that the story is bogus.

However, I eventually found a pdf of the actual ruling and it sounded like to me that it was requiring a parent to get a teaching diploma. Is that NOT what it's asking for?

I tended to doubt this story because of the lack of a credible source, but when I found the pdf, I thought it might be real. But perhaps I misunderstood the legalese of the pdf.

Does anyone here know? Loop?

John Washburn said...

Dean, I have no problem with standards. I think children should pass basic core requirements in order to advance to the next grade, but this doesn't necessarily require a government-endorsed teacher to do so. The proof is in the performance of the child. If they don't make the grades, they don't pass...period.

Folks, my position in this is that I don't feel it's the government's job to educate our children. That's the responsibility of THE PARENT. For one, our forefathers made no mention of it in the Constitution. They left it up to the local community. Education is one of the biggest responsibilities one generation has for the next, which is exactly why the government should minimize it's involvement. The government is not effective at these things. Eventually, we will all realize that. We don't need more bureaucracy and red tape in our education system. In fact, I don't think we need public education at all. Let parents spend those tax dollars as they see fit to obtain the best education they can get for their kids in the private sector. Call it vouchers or whatever, but the free market DOES work, even for education.

As Robert said, in the free market if a teacher or school doesn't perform it goes out of business. In the public arena, it simply cries for more money from the tax payers. I don't think teachers are the problem as much as the teacher's unions. They negotiate for the teachers, while the bureaucrats seek more money for the system. No one seems to care much for the students.

No Child Left Behind was meant to solve this problem, but Bush was a bit naive in how he underestimated the power of the educrats. The public school system is a money pit with problems that no amount of money can fix. A serious overhaul is needed that goes well beyond what NCLB can do, but kudos to Bush for trying. It did well in Texas, but applying it to the nation was a longshot.

At any rate, when it comes to education the more choice the better. A little competition never hurt. That's why I support charter schools, private schools, home schooling, whatever to compete with the public school system. Perhaps if we gave those parents tax refunds and took that money FROM the public school system we'd see some positive changes.

Anonymous said...


We open today and I am pressed for time so finding and reading the opinion will need to wait.

robert m.

If you are familiar w/ the crash of 1929 and the S&L debacle and believe that lack of regulation wasn't a major contibuting cause to them, then you have not understood the history. Your comment about government intervention w/ respect to the subprime crisis demonstrates a similar lack of understanding.

I don't care if you ignore me. But if you wish to be considered seriously, avoid appearing as if you don't know the facts.


Whereas some of your last comment makes perfect sense, I think you have fallen prey to unrealistic idealism. I completely agree that it is the responsibility of parents to educate their children.
I fear, however, that your best of all possible worlds, which I interpret as one in which parents would use resources otherwise slated for public education for what the parents' perceive as the best alternative, has no empirical basis.

My wife is a public school teacher so I need not be reminded of the shortcomings of public education.
On the other hand, I believe that competition would succeed in some instances and fail miserably in others. The mere presence of failure does not guarantee a successive amelioration.

Sorry to sound elitist, but you are well educated and you have considered your opinions w/ respect to education. If your were the standard parent in our society, I might be more inclined to agree w/ your position.

Here is one point. My experience is that many public school teachers teach b/c of the benefits offered by the job, not the salary. Benefits like good health insurance and retiremnt benefits. Other than multiple layers of useless administrators, this is where much of the money goes.

Taking money out of public education will necessarily result in reducing those benefits. Will the private sector be able to match those benefits? Only w/ elite expensive private schools in which both salary and benefits are better than public schools but these institutions are not the competition you envision.

So, in my opinion, one result will be that fewerer qualified people will enter teaching. I mean can the private charter school offer the same benefits asa major district if it is relying on the same dollars that a parent would pay to the district? I think not.

Meanwhile, NCLB was perhaps a good idea in theory but has definite shortcomings in its execution.

Here is my solution: Pay teachers like lawyers. 1. You will get better teachers; 2. You will have fewer lawyers. This would be more of a utopia than we have now.


The Loop Garoo Kid


Education is a noble profession, and standards are necessary for teachers, books, and students.

In California, the curriculum required "Sight-Reading" textbooks.
"Oh, oh! Oh, see Johnny; Oh, see Johnny run. Oh, see johnny run fast!"

(A decade later, there was a best-seller titled, "Why Johnny Can't Read").

So, I trotted down to the store,
grabbed a 3-ring binder, some paper
and pencils, and taught my kids Phonics! Home-schooled 'em, to fill
in the gaps! No credentials!
I have no data, but Mortgage Bankruptcy and Sub-Prime Loans originate with people buying way over their pay-grade in hopes of making a killing in a year or two.

Lenders (banks) eager to loan at Usurious Rates, accepting minimum
down payments (whereever legal). The rascals are gambling! Buying on Spec!
Robert mentioned the Crash of
1929. Same game. Buying Stock on
Speculation, 10% Margin (Down). Put up 10 M, buy $100,000 on an Inflationary Market. Wheeee! Then, the turnaround, Prices slide. Former millionaires jumping out of windows! Bankers holding worthless
paper. Crocodile Tears! reb