All the hoopla on education.

I am hearing a lot of chatter these days about homeschooling. It seems to be the current trend/direction that people are going in an attempt to either a: avoid the non-secular rules of public school (religious parents wanting more religion in school that the public school will not offer) or b: parents who are dissatisfied with the public/private options within their reach. I have mixed opinions about homeschooling, but while I think it could be a viable option for certain families, I think my biggest most pressing thought is: who can afford to homeschool? Who can afford to be at home until his or her child is ready to leave the nest? I mean, I am currently a “mostly at home” mom, but will I be home when my kid is older? Uh no. In this shitty economy, and in our tax-driven expensive Garden State, who can just stay home forever unless you are coming from old money? Even with cutting out the unnecessary stuff and living modestly, most people return to work. I think it is important for people to be able to create viable opportunities for their children, but the majority of Americans cannot afford to stay home and school their kid/s. SO in that case, what is our options if we don’t like our public school system, and furthermore, why is everyone so dissatisfied? There is a lot of vicious backlash and trash talking about teachers, which I feel is not fair, but we need to ask ourselves, why are people so afraid of/so dissatisfied with public education? A recent incident in NJ in which a teacher harassed a young boy with autism tells me clearly why parents are looking for a way out of the system, but it’s not just that.
There are so many numerous factors which make one question sending one’s kid to a public or even private school:
testing. No Child Left Behind. Overcrowding. Lack of responsibility/accountability in the higher-ups. Bureaucratic BS keeps bad teachers employed and hides bad choices/actions taken by the paper pushers/superintendents/principals. I used to believe in tenure as I felt it protected people who would wrongly get crap from pushy/helicopter parents, but I am wondering now if it works at all, and if it doesn’t, what can we do instead to get the bad teachers out, and keep the good teachers in our schools, paid fairly.
I personally am not satisfied with what I hear about my town’s schools. I don’t know what I will decide when it comes down to the wire in a few years, but I really wish there were better options for poor/working class/middle class (is there a middle class anymore???) families who don’t have the dollars to shell out for private school, or the desire or ability to school their own kids, yet don’t want to send their kids to their local public school system. I wish we put more effort/priority in public education in our country. What would it be like if we would actually return to teaching and less testing, and get the people who just want their summers off out of the schools? Get the burnt-out teachers out, and get the vibrant (old or young) teachers in. I went to school in the days when testing wasn’t the focus, yet there were still many teachers who did not belong teaching!
Maybe let kindergarteners enjoy being kids and not being pushed to be little automated students. Maybe even have art and music like when I was a kid.
Maybe revamp the whole entire system. And maybe then teachers, our good ones, would be happy, and the rest could just leave the field.

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