Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Anatomy of Volunteerism

I enjoyed this fictional story linking two evils: volunteerism (including its root, altruism) and public education. I'm not even a parent and yet the scenario horrifies me. Why do so few parents speak up?


Blogger Jim said...

"Why do so few parents speak up?"

First, parents assume schools are as good or better than the ones they had attended as a kid.

Second, kids do not provide a sufficient account to their parents of what happens at school.

Third, teachers and administrators threaten kids.

Fourth, divorce and custody issues can cause conflicting parents to choose irreconcilable positions in a dispute between the student and the school.

Fifth, teachers and administrators lie to parents.

Sixth, when challenged, teachers and administrators threaten parents.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently read this story and I liked it too. (Well, liked and was upset by!)

As for why parents don't speak up, well, I suspect it's because in most cases, they've accepted a lot of the same altruistic premises that motivate the people passing the bills and developing the service programs (though maybe not to the same extent). A lot of people just don't see it in the clear terms of freedom versus servitude. They think it's "building character" and thus in some sense a proper part of education. However, I think that if they really, truly understood what sort of "character" they're buidling, they would object. At least, I would like to think so.

I think that inability or refusal to see the nature of the beast is the deeper problem; not the fact that the schools are trying to hide something... I mean, everyone knows schools push volunteering right now, pre H.R. 1388. And even if one family tries to fight it, they're up against a monster b/c the school has the backing of the district, town, state, and now federal government for these programs.

Obviously, a rational private school or home schooling would be best, but not everyone has that option.

One thing exacerbating the problem for public schools is that the teaching colleges are so rotten and they really do indoctrinate the teachers to see things in that warped way where they glorify the lowest and most helpless. You're right; it's a deadly combo.

8:38 PM  

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