Wednesday, January 24, 2018

today in the wood shop

Ozarks-at-Large reporter Jacqueline Froelich will visit the Clear Spring School wood shop this morning to record interviews with my students for two articles on our local public radio station, that will also be broadcast across the state. The first involves the making of canes for the elderly, and the second will be about our boat building project. Neither is for broadcast soon, as the canes and boats must be completed to finalize the reports. Jacquie plans to record our boat launch for example.

This week I listened to a report Jacquie filed on Ozarks-at-Large about a Charter School Fair last week in Bentonville, AR. Charter schools are all the rage due in part to the idea that parents should be in greater control of the education of their kids. On the surface, that's not a bad idea. Local schools with community participation is a worthy goal. On the other hand, the charter school movement's slogan of "school choice" hides the serious threat that charter schools present to public education, once considered the cornerstone of our democracy.To understand the relationship between public education and democracy go here:  I am not claiming that public schools as they are now, have as much to do with democracy as was once intended.

The irony is that the charter schools movement claims as its rationale, that public schools are unprogressive and unresponsive to the needs of parents. On the other hand, public schools are made unprogressive and unresponsive to the needs of their kids by excessive state and federal regulations that take actual educational control  of content and curriculum away from local school boards. The simple dilemma is this. If control was given back to local school boards, they would be enabled to respond to local needs and interests (including the engagement of community) and the whole charter schools movement would be made unnecessary. Public schools would be able to become hands-on and reality based (as we all know we learn best) if the state boards of education and the federal government got out of the way.

But fat chance that will happen anytime soon. There's a vast array profit-making educational ventures forming charter schools intended to compete for the money raised from taxes to support public education. They want that money, and are well organized to get it, at the expense of public education. The private sector wants that money and is bound and determined to get it, even if they have to pretend to care about kids to get it.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

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