Children of Dune:

Children of Dune:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Who should pay for it. Should people be bothered.

We have to appreciate the effort of Rob Reich of Stanford, because he has collected the major misunderstandings of home schooling in one well written article.

There is a claim that not enough is known about the home schooled.  About a similar remark about some other groups, such as chess players, or school teachers, one might ask when is enough known?

Setting: A hotel in the Florida Keys during hurricane season.
Persona: Humphrey Bogart, burnt out war hero and hotel keeper.
              Ernest, well dressed professor, stranded by an impending hurricane.

Humphrey what you want is more?

Ernest       That's right.  ...Pause... That's what I want. More.

And it is reasonable for Ernest to want more.  Focused on topic in his line of work, it is admirable.  The only questions are: Who should pay for it, and should people be bothered.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rob Reich's logical ommission.

So... Because regulation is expensive, there should be some perceived problem with home schooling in order to justify regulating the home schooling. 

Rob Reich does not point to any perceived problems.  He does postulate novel arguments as purposes of education, these are the citizenship argument, that education should produce good citizens and the liberty argument, that "ethically servile" citizens should not be produced. 

We won't go into the performance of the public school system in this post. That there is no evidence whatsoever that home schooling produces inadequate or "ethically servile" citizens, at least none produced.  Rob would have to fill in this hole in the logical chain and then justify the cost to members of the public.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Home school is mainstream???

Home schooling is not close to mainstream.  It is at best a persistent group of subcultures.  You will search in vain for numbers of home schoolers at anywhere close to fifty percent.  The very idea is silly.  One supposes that Rob Reich mis-wrote in his paper.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Public Education is Quite Recent.

So... There were those who were puzzled by what is true on the surface of the matter: that for the most part, parents directing education of their children has been the practice for thousands of years.  One hardly knows how to respond.  The tendency of states to regulate education dates back to about 1850, starting in Massachusetts and spreading about to other states.

Tell me where the error is.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rob Reich at Stanford has misconceptions.

Robert Reich at Stanford,( not the former labor secretary), put out a paper on the regulation of home schooling.  It was an interesting paper of it's type, covering by far the majority of the common errors.  Look at it.

It relies on points held by him as common notions which are not common notions in fact.  He should be commended for setting them out plainly.

We home school in the Ithaca,  New York area and so are interested in the topic.  And it is a concern that documents like this will be translated into policy where they can inconvenience or damage people with limited resources.

Assumptions of common ground where no common ground exists:
  1. That home education is “recent”.
  2. That homeschooling has gone mainstream in the United States.
  3. That there is a perceived problem with home education.
  4. That little is known about home education.
  5. That the cost of regulation is inconsiderable.
  6. That value pluralism is a good, or should be taught to children.
  7. That history is kind to people whose governments regulate education substantially.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mary Kay Henry tells you how you think.

Mary Kay Henry felt obligated to explain why labor backs 'Occupy Wall Street'  in her role as president of the Service Employees International Union.  She did this in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal dated October 8-9 2011. 

One feels confident that she didn't ask the nurses, janitors, orderlies, busboys and others for their opinion before she went on record.

Exacting dues doesn't give the right to tell people how to think,  or give insight into their thoughts.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Unprincipled Foolishness, Kathleen Parker blows an easy one.

What is now a very long time ago,  my occupation, working on elevators, was a good job.  Paid well.  I spent money from time to time on a credit card, but only what I could pay before the grace period was up.  Well, I found myself unemployed abruptly, and a credit card bill the size of which was at the noise level became unpayable.

Lesson learned.

It doesn't seem to a lesson Kathleen Parker has learned yet, which is an impression got from reading her column entitled Principled Foolishness.  She insults a group of Republican Congressmen exercising a clear public mandate, voting as they promised their supporters they would.  She calls them a "Tea Party Gang" as part of a confused exercise in praeteritio sliding into metanoia.  As a member of the local Ithaca Tea Party, I say that I personally will support the fiscally conservative candidate, Democrat or otherwise, other things being equal.  Tea parties are essentially local.

I was bothered by the rudeness of it. 

She attacks them for being men of principle, apparently preferring the alternative.  There was no sign that she had available counterarguments to the principle in such: We shouldn't live on borrowed money.  It doesn't help to point to varieties of foolish people who do so.  These foolish people get stuck like pigs during these downturns, yet there is a difference between taking on risk that others might not take on and forcing others to take on risk that they don't want.

Kathleen Parker says  "The conservative view, with which I happen to agree, is that confidence is crucial to growth and stability. In effect, the Tea Party gang has undermined its own central philosophical tenet. "

Quite False.

The sentence should start with the indefinite article.  Also, one looks in vain for Burke, Roland Kirk, Daniel Boon, Jesus Christ, My self, any tea party member I have ever talked to, to name confidence as a central tenant.  Where does she get this stuff? Does Kathleen Parker own a parrot?  Fiscal conservatism, one of the legs of the Tea Party stool, is quite a harder trick than confidence, which can be got with a few lines of coke.

To close, The point is that a lack of principles causes one to make continual judgements.  Since judgements can be right or wrong, one may fall into error, which will not happen when correct principles are applied.