Ask The Principal

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Am I a hypocrite?

The question from an anonymous commenter asks: "Why is it okay to take money from public education to support your family but public education is not good enough for your children? Seems hypocritical to me," There are a few other items in that comment I will address here as well.

Back to the first question, am I a hypocrite? Well, only if I wasn't paying taxes. I contribute to the public education system under duress, like everyone else who has paid taxes. Ask yourself this: "Is the doctor working at the HMO that takes millions in Medicare a hypocrite if he takes his family elsewhere for medical services that are much better?"

The premise is that the state offers a "Free and Appropriate Public Education" (FAPE). The state mandates that teachers be certified in the content area of instruction delivered. Because the state has made laws dictating how the public education system works, as long as I abide by those laws I am free and clear to raise my family as I deem appropriate guaranteed by the freedoms we enjoy in this country. It is not a moral issue of public monies coming my way. I am providing a service to the state and am being remunerated appropriately by my service under conditions of my contract and state laws. No other conditions are stipulated or inferred.

Does a public defender become hypocritical if say, his juvenile delinquent son needs an attorney to defend him in court but chooses to defend him himself on his own time and nickel?

In essence the connection between public monies that pay me for my contracted services and a supposed obligation to support the system with my own children is fallacious. People sometimes get a little snotty about it (not referring to the anonymous commenter of course!) because public vs. home education is a hot topic.

As far as really good companies go, well, you will find a Chevy truck at the Chrysler dealer my brother works at, but he still makes them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. But since he drives a Chevy and not a Ram truck, does his productivity go down? No, you should see his house!

But the fact that I am a homeschool dad does not automatically make me dis-engaged/unengaged, or weak, or a weak link. Some actually hope or expect that condition to exist, as if I have no control over my own work ethic. If I do everything as unto the Lord, as scripture mandates, it doesn't matter how I feel. As long as this is the furrow I am plowing for the Lord, I won't look to the right or the left, until I get to the end of that furrow. At that point if the Lord gives me another field to plow, so be it.

The same way a doctor making his living providing a contracted service at an HMO does not automatically become the weak link there.

Believe me, there are so many weak links that are avowed defenders of public education that it isn't even funny. It is, in fact, scary. Just go to an NEA national convention.

I know how to be a good teacher, and/or principal. I can even feel good about what I do because I know how to run an educational production system that turns out a good product. If I leave the system, it will be for other reasons.

As far as educational reform goes, consider this: if you have a chronically disengaged teacher that is tenured, it takes on the average of 3 years of hard documentation, observation, coaching, observable non-growth, more coaching, letters of reprimand, mentoring/peer coaching, meetings, more meetings, union interactions, attorney's, board meetings, etc., and the cost to the district of about $250,000-300,000 to let loose of one disengaged teacher.

If the administrator has to go through that process, the rest of the school is affected seriously. So many just help the disengaged teacher limp along until retirement....and that could be 5-10 years away with a student contact figure from 200 to 1500 students over that time.

Well, hopefully that will get you thinking. Happy to address anything you think I might have missed.


On another note:

I appreciated the comments on the textbook series. I hope my last post on that wasn't too anti-climatic. Some have more experience than others and that can be intimidating to those just starting out. My point was to be encouraging to those just starting as well as enlightening to everyone that public education sometimes is just as improvising as home schooling can be, only in directions not guaranteed or even approved by the state. The point is that the text is a tool. We work with the best tools we know as we are faithful to the time He has given us to raise up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, as God provides. It's simple really, just not that easy :-)

11 Comments:

  • What a wonderful response, Bill!

    I didn't think you could actually ever get rid of the "slacker" teachers. It's sad that so many hoops have to be jumped through before you can eliminate the "teachers" who may be doing more harm than good.

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Friday, June 16, 2006 6:25:00 AM  

  • Bill, check out my last comment on part 2.

    By Anonymous David Boskovic, at Friday, June 16, 2006 7:04:00 AM  

  • The question posed by anonymous is indicative of the mindset that is being promoted in public education.

    In my time serving on a school board, I found that people EXPECT education to be free and therefore believe that anyone who does not use or support such a system are in some way evil. Since the expectation is being indoctrinated, anything against this expectation (staff sending their kids to private school and/or home schooling) becomes a new artificially created line of conflict.

    The line of conflict was not created by those who choose what is best for their children, but by a system that has anesthetized the public into believing the beginning of truth is a free publicly supported education. It is amazing to me how people have been so blinded into expecting their neighbor to pay for their child's education, but if these same people are challenged to ask someone directly to pay for their child's education, they would never do it. They will let the "system" collect taxes, but there is no way they will walk up to someone and ask for $10,000 to fund the new gym or to pay for another teacher, or to buy books, etc.

    This mindset is the beginning of socialism and each generation that passes through the system gains greater and greater EXPECTATION that someone else is somehow responsible for their education, their medical conditions, their retirement, and on and on.

    I completely agree that Christians should pull their kids out, but anyone who is opposed to socialism should also consider these other effects of the system.

    By Anonymous Brian, at Friday, June 16, 2006 10:42:00 AM  

  • Thanks for your comments Brian. I was looking for your blogsite because I wanted to reference your reasons for running on the board, which I though were very insightful and "cutting through the artificial issues". If you have it could you post it on a link or email it to me, I'd like to reference it.

    Bill

    By Blogger The Principal, at Friday, June 16, 2006 12:44:00 PM  

  • Hey David, looks like I'm a Calvinist surrounded by a Postmodern and an Arminian. AHHHHH! Just kidding! All I can say is that is the way God ordained it :-)

    By Blogger The Principal, at Friday, June 16, 2006 12:46:00 PM  

  • Hs'mom of two, thanks for your encouragements. Want to know something funny? It took me a while to figure out what dh, ds, and dd were. So to dw and I are sorting for a big yard sale tomorrow while dsil is watching my two ds's and two dd's.

    PS. Is it legal to refer to my sister in law as dsil? Or are the conventions strictly limited to immediate family? She really is a great sister in law. :-)

    By Blogger The Principal, at Friday, June 16, 2006 12:51:00 PM  

  • Is it legal to refer to my sister in law as dsil? Or are the conventions strictly limited to immediate family? She really is a great sister in law. :-)

    Most folks just use sil, bil, mil and fil to refer to their in-laws. But hey Bill - it's your blog. You can do whatever your heart desires ;o)

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Friday, June 16, 2006 2:33:00 PM  

  • Good grief! I had no idea of the extent! I'll stick with the conventions. Thanks :-)

    Bill

    By Blogger The Principal, at Friday, June 16, 2006 3:46:00 PM  

  • Haha, Bill, actually, just so you know, I have as many disagreements with Arminians as I have with you. I don't have a problem at all with you being calvinist. Since you're concluding hop over and read my last comment. ;)

    By Anonymous David Boskovic, at Friday, June 16, 2006 4:50:00 PM  

  • Interesting blog - I look forward to catching up and reading more!
    When our children were in public school I was always amazed that no one seemed to think it odd that so many of the teachers had their own children enrolled in private school! It didn't take long before I began to realize why they didn't trust their own children to the system in which they worked...I wouldn't trust my dog to our local schools! And I'm really not that fond of the dog...

    By Anonymous Deanna, at Sunday, June 18, 2006 6:51:00 PM  

  • Completely out of context and off topic, I have to say that this is one of the best statements of the
    Christian work ethic I've ever seen: "Some actually hope or expect that condition to exist, as if I have no control over my own work ethic. If I do everything as unto the Lord, as scripture mandates, it doesn't matter how I feel. As long as this is the furrow I am plowing for the Lord, I won't look to the right or the left, until I get to the end of that furrow. At that point if the Lord gives me another field to plow, so be it." Love it. Good writing. Good living.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, July 24, 2006 8:39:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home