Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homeschooling without all the effort

Florida has upped the ante on stupidity. They've started on-line courses that will essentially relieve the State of costs, teachers, students, need for school buildings and other apparently unnecessary things.

If you don't like the other children at school or disapprove of the minorities who might contaminate your little precious but are unsure of how you could teach her? Plop her down on the living room floor and a Florida-certified teacher will teach her online.
"A teacher working out of her home at an undisclosed Florida location supervises instruction for Taylor and dozens of other elementary students across the state. She monitors their work, talks with students individually online and holds virtual class meetings to discuss particular topics."
Instead of holding actual class meetings, she supervises education and monitors their work? Instead of 18 kids in a room where a physical teacher can see that Johnny is bored or misunderstanding and do something about it, we now have dozens of kids in their own homes possibly supervised by their parents. This is an improvement?
"What's missing is 18 kids competing for one teacher's attention, boring downtime in the classroom, distracting discipline incidents and playground bullying."
Now your little darling can be homeschooled and you don't have to do anything or know anything except be a presence in the building. The elementary school teacher now has dozens of students instead of 18. Little kids with no self-control and little motivation are treated just like highly motivated ones. There is no teacher, no one to explain or instruct or motivate, only
"boxes of textbooks, work sheets, study materials and other classroom supplies, right down to a compass, magnifying glass and other nifty items for basic science experiments. Older kids even get microscopes."
That'll help the little darlings. Unsure of something? Ask your computer screen and when the online teacher gets around to it, she might explain it. An adult is required in the home to help with instruction - yeah right, that'll work. The whole point of this program is to provide homeschooling for parents too lazy, too stupid or too unmotivated to provide it.
Back in the kitchen, Joni Fussell keeps Taylor on task, although there is flexibility for running errands or doing chores, as long as Taylor spends about five hours a day doing schoolwork. The program requires an adult at home to aid with instruction.
I love the "flexibility for running errands" thing. Like anyone will check if the only adult is gone for 4 hours. Like the adult is truly expected to do anything or is responsible for anything. At least true homeschool parents make a commitment to teaching and guiding their children. Essentially, the state is pawning off it's responsibilities onto parents in guise of giving them choices.

But wait, there's more. You can't do a partial program. No clubs, sports, computer classes, proms, languages. No attending school for part of the day to take a gifted and talented program. The teacher is not negotiable.

The final oxymoronic part of this new wave of homeschooling? People who have been homeschooling already are not welcome in this program. I guess that "once jilted, forever angry" is the stance Florida is taking.

Here's the link.

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