More and more these days, we hear of parents wanting more (Christian) religion and prayer in schools, along with textbooks and teaching curriculum that have been censored of any real science, logical political discourse, and accurate world history.
My opinion has been, ummm, evolving on this issue. I never really supported school vouchers before, but I have been thinking about home-schooling recently (and *not* the religious, creationist, ignorance-breeding kind). I think (non-religious) home-schooling may have benefits in certain situations – particularly where you feel your child could learn more, more quickly, than is scheduled by the standard curriculum. Also, given the remarkable tendency I’ve noticed lately of stupid people to avoid any personal development or knowledge at any cost, while simultaneously doing everything possible to drag down the rest of us to their levels of ignorance, I’m leaning towards this idea as a solution:
Let religious and secular people have their home-schooling options and the choice to abstain from public schools, while allowing public schools and education to focus all remaining resources on improving their programs and curriculum. Specifically,
(1.) Let anyone who doesn’t want their kids in public school use a voucher to pay for home-schooling instead.
(2.) The state and/or federal government will require all home-school providers indicate whether they are religious or secular.
(3.) Parents of religous home-schooled kids will have no other requirements placed on them by the state – in exchange for these parents being barred from involvement in any forum or administrative discussion related to public schools or public education policy. If their children are no longer in public school, then they have no reason to effect voting on textbooks, curriculum or public education strategies.
(4.) All transcripts will indicate the type of schooling any child receives, and all relevant statistics will be publicly available (anonymized if necessary), so parents, educators, religious organizations and others can quantitatively assess all childrens’ performance and success over time.
This arrangement would, in effect, keep our public schools from being corrupted any further by these neo Dark Age ignorant idiots, who are simply incapable of wrapping their heads around the simple notion of separation of Church and State (or the difference between Church services and education). The religious folks would be free to limit their own kids’ futures without impacting the rest of us. After a decade or so, data from this effort would clearly show either “side” who was right, and then maybe those of us who believe the Earth is round, and the Sun is at the center of our solar system, might choose to allow the religious parents to once again send their kids to public school on the condition that they accept the curriculum determined by secular educators and school administrator, not the Church.