There are many reasons public school enrolment is dropping by the hundreds of thousands of students in both the United States and Canada and all those reasons relate to what I am going to call “systemic arrogance.” (H/T JNW)
Systemic arrogance because when parents speak to educators in positions of authority, their concerns are usually minimized or outright rejected. Why? Because the educators believe that “they know best” because of their training — even though it is the parents who know their child best.
The other problem is that liberal politicians and similar minded public education officials tend to use ONLY research results from the most neo-Marxist and progressive research out there. The reality is that eclectic approaches, combining progressive and traditional time-tested approaches, are what are used in most charter and private schools today.
For example, if you check page 21 in this link, the findings of an Ohio study show that parents in fact prefer traditional independent schools — a reality that today’s public educators need to think about very carefully.
Specifically, public schools today:
- Do not offer scheduled time for such basic math concepts as times tables and operations drills;
- Allow and expect very young children to use a calculator before they know how to do operations manually;
- Do not offer compulsory phonics training when teaching a child to read; and
- Do not offer scheduled classes for formal grammar, spelling and cursive writing.
Yes, I know that texting and email do not require capitals and punctuation or the ability to do more than print. But, what will college and university graduates do when they have to read historical sources and once employed, write a business letter or report?
Then, there is the social engineering, politically correct, aspects to public schools that many of today’s parents want to avoid, such as the topic of gender fluidity, which is taught in sex education programs throughout both countries.
I mean, only a couple of weeks ago, President Obama ordered all public schools in the U.S. to allow students to use whatever gender specific bathroom they identified with and to not do so public funding would be cut.
In my opinion, there should be a difference between an adult making a personal choice to identify as the gender opposite to that of his or her biology, compared to a 6 year old child doing the same. Why? Because elementary aged children have not fully developed physically, intellectually or sexually.
In any event, it is not like people in public education and government haven’t heard from parents on these issues. There have been petitions in both Alberta and Ontario regarding the lack of math fundamentals, for example. And, in Manitoba, parents have been removing their children from sex education classes — a practice public teachers’ union officials are actually trying to stop.
The crux of the matter is that if public school officials and others involved in public education want parents to stop taking their children out of public schools, they are going to have to change.
For one thing, they are going to have to really listen to what parents want and act accordingly. For another thing, they are going to have to use more than progressive research findings to justify what they actually do.
Attribution: The featured image is from a video at the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) website here.