You know, I'm a lifelong Democrat, so when I saw this headline on huffingtonpost.com: "Aaron Osmond, Utah State Senator, Calls For End To Mandatory Education," I thought it was yet more Republican turn-back-the-clock-to-better-days insanity. But when I read his reasoning, I thought he made a good point, though I remain unsure whether ending mandatory education is the solution. He said...

Some parents completely disengage themselves from their obligation to oversee and ensure the successful education of their children. Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system. As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness.

Unfortunately, in this system, teachers rarely receive meaningful support or engagement from parents and occasionally face retaliation when they attempt to hold a child accountable for bad behavior or poor academic performance. (source)

He's right that our public schools have been put into a double-bind whereby on the one hand they have become the primary caregivers for our schoolchildren, while at the same time having the rights involved in meaningful in loco parentis largely taken away from them by parents who want to drop their kids off at school and taken care of while they go to work, but they want their child parented just exactly like they would be if home schooled. Many parents are ill-inclined to accept the fact that a well-run school has to be done largely on a one-size-fits-all basis.

Perhaps parents like that need to consider home schooling or a private school more in line with their particular values and more able to follow specific instructions per child, rather than expecting the public education system to do their parenting for them just exactly the way the way they want it.

What do you think?

Tags: education, home, mandatory, public, schooling

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