Nancy Got kicked out of school;and she’s not happy

dinoEach week I look forward to Nancy Sarowski’s column in the Petoskey News-Review because I am always curious how she twist the facts, the truth, and her logic to make arguments like no one I’ve ever met.  You won’t be disappointed this week  (here’s the link) as Nancy takes on education and the role of the family in education.

Nancy apparently doesn’t really understand public education even though she quotes advocates of public education in making her argument.  Apparently she feels that schools bear no responsibility to educate our children and that only parents are responsible for that.  Where does such an absurd idea come from?

Here’s my hypothesis.  Nancy’s daughter went to a school that got tired of all of Nancy’s interference in their routines.  According to Nancy, parents assisted in the classrooms, developed events that taught various values and behaviors, and generally kept the school peaceful.

How long before some school official took note of the things Nancy’s regular readers already know.  What she thinks are “values” are pretty frightening to anyone who cares for fellow human beings. The way she arrogantly discards people of color, the poor, and anyone who doesn’t look, act, and think like her, it’s a wonder she was ever allowed near the children.  So when the new principal woke up to what was happening around the school, she banned Nancy from doing any more damage.

Now Nancy’s sore about it and as she does each week, expands what happened in her little corner of the world to the entire process of education.   Nancy’s premise that only parents should control education is so absurd, I’m not sure I can critique it without beginning to babble in incoherent hyperbole that would otherwise be a fitting response.   But I’ll try.

Let’s say Nancy was right and the public did not have an interest in education.  Only a child’s parent would be responsible for what that child learned.  Exactly how would that work?  (Of course it wouldn’t work, so why am I even trying to figure this out?)  Maybe Nancy wants all women back in the home where they belong so they can open their children’s heads like soup cans and pour in whatever amounts to knowledge before resealing them and sending them out in the world.  This is called private education or homeschooling and it’s available to anyone who is too afraid to expose their children to things like critical thinking, a world view, problem solving, etc.  Homeschooling is growing in this country not because public education isn’t working; it’s growing because public education is working too well.  Parents who wish to indoctrinate their children with religious beliefs that won’t stand up to the scrutiny of science would rather their children spend a little more time in the dark.

Note this is not an attack on religion in any way.  Like most progressives, I strongly support a person’s right to practice her religion and to teach her children values and morals.  Where that support ends, however, is when parents are unwilling to allow their children to test those indoctrinations.  Forcing students to reject evolution and accept that the earth is 6,000 years old and was created in 7 days, etc., damages a student’s chances to succeed in school and in life.  But that doesn’t seem to bother Nancy.

Public education is in all of our interests.  I can roll out quotes from Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Adams, and even people not dead for over 200 years to support how important public education is to a democracy.  But the free exchange of ideas and development of inquiry and critical thinking skills is not in Nancy’s best interest.

Whopper of the Week:  “That’s why conservatives decry the breakdown of the family.”   Conservatives like Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford, John McCain, who all had affairs and broke up multiple families?  Those conservatives?

The fact is that “conservatives” don’t value the family any more than liberals do.  All of us would like to see children raised in safe and stable environments.  This isn’t a conservative value in any way. In fact, conservatives make safe and stable environments harder to come by because they aim to exclude homosexual parents who love each other and their children from living as a family.


2 Comments on “Nancy Got kicked out of school;and she’s not happy”

  1. Richard Scott,D.O. August 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Good comment. In a perfect world parents would support learning, encourage it, and encourage dinner tables where concepts could be discussed and debated. Parents also encourage by example, reading and providing that proven dee to kids and grand kids.
    This does not solve the issues in education today. Michigan has followed what Mehta called the allure of order, where state legislators feel they know even better than moms do in how to increase the performance of students. So much to do, so much to change. Boggles the mind.

  2. Mark Pontoni August 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    As always, Richard, you’re spot on. The damage being done to our system by legislators who couldn’t come close to measuring up as they expect students to do is going to cost our state big time in the not very long run. High and mighty pompous declarations about what students should know should by abandoned by elected officials and returned to the experts. Sarowski’s solution is even worse than the present system, but you’ve seen my views on that.

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