A few links for you this morning, discovered over coffee as I settle into a day of reading Homi Bhabha’s Location of Culture (okay, fine, I admit it — I was stalling).
Louisiana’s voucher plan described here, linked to through Diane Ravitch’s Response Post, concerns me quite a bit. The amount of money initiatives like this take away from already-struggling public schools, as the Reuters piece notes, is cash public schools can’t afford to give up.
One particular aspect of this initiative concerns me more than others, though. The state commissioner of education for Louisiana said, “To me, it’s a moral outrage that the government would say, ‘We know what’s best for your child,’” White said. “Who are we to tell parents we know better?”
As Ravitch’s response piece points out, this is particularly concerning. YES, the government should know what education is best for the future citizens of this country, though I would argue that right now they probably don’t, as evidenced by their gross misjudgments of what’s best for US education of late.
There’s a reason why I will never home school my children. Even though my husband and I, between us, have degrees in education, English, mathematics, biology, and physics, I do not feel qualified to educate my children as thoroughly and as comprehensively as they need to be educated. Furthermore, as a teacher educator and ed scholar, I find it a little insulting that the state commissioner thinks parents know better than those of us who have been studying education for our entire careers, have been specially trained to work with their children and develop their young minds, or (like him) have dedicated their political careers to educational policy. I sure as hell hope he knows better! It’s literally his job to know better!
I rely on a contractor to remodel my house. I rely on a dentist to tell me when I need a filling and a doctor to tell me when I have strep. These people are professionals, as are teachers — they are experts, and they do know better when it comes to education.