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Public School Issues

Concerns About Public Schools Back to Top
Against School
John Taylor Gatto
This essay was written for the Harper's Magazine forum, "School on a Hill." John Taylor Gatto discusses how public education cripples our kids and why.
Government Schooling Comes to America: The Origins of Government Schooling in the United States
Matthew Brouillette
The first step in understanding the state of education today is to review how government came to be the dominant force behind schooling in the United States. From the outset of the first settlements in the New World, Americans founded and successfully maintained a decentralized network of schools through the 1850s. Then, beginning in New England, a wave of change swept across the country, which soon saw states quickly abandoning the original American model of decentralized, private education in favor of government-funded and operated schools.
Saving the Children
Ned Vare
It is sometimes said, by public school supporters, that if some children are taken out of the system to go to other schools, the public schools will deteriorate. And so, the thinking goes, parents have a "duty to society" to keep their kids in the public schools, even though they have already deteriorated almost beyond recognition. How absurd that the government schools think of the children as serving the schools' or society's needs instead of the other way around. It's not the school system that needs saving, or even reforming. It's the children who need to escape from the failing government schools and be allowed to home school or attend successful private schools, without the penalty of paying twice -- once with taxes and again for tuition.
Teacher of the Year Acceptance Speech
John Taylor Gatto
This is the text of a speech by John Taylor Gatto accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990. From the speech: "Family is the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents...we're going to continue to have the horror show we have right now. The curriculum of family is at the heart of any good life. We've gotten away from that curriculum--time to return to it...Time for a return to Democracy, Individuality, and Family."
Ten Reasons Not to Homeschool
A satirical look at the differences between public and home education.
The Myth of Teacher Qualifications
Chris Klicka
Most education officials publicly claim that teachers need special “qualifications” in order to be effective. As a result, public education organizations often promote legislation or an interpretation of the law which would require home school parents to have one of three qualifications: 1) a teacher certificate, 2) a college degree, or 3) pass a “teacher’s exam.” Although this seems reasonable on the surface, such requirements not only violate the right of parents to teach their children as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, but virtually all academic research documents that there is no positive correlation between teacher qualifications (especially teacher certification requirements) and student performance.
The Perfect Crime: How Psychology and High-Tech Marketing Have "Deformed" Education
Beverly K. Eakman
Beverly K. Eakman explains how, as a teacher, she saw that public schools are places where bad ideas are legitimized. She discusses the evolution of educational policy thought and the psychologizing of the educating process. This is a fascinating look at the state of the educational system today.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Chris Cardiff
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes. For the last several years, homeschooling has been the fastest growing educational alternative in the country. The sheer number of homeschoolers represent a distinct threat to the hegemony of the government school monopoly. Qualitatively, the academic success of homeschoolers, measured by standardized test scores and recruitment by colleges, debunk the myth that parents need to hire credentialed experts to force children to learn.


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Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
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Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education
Raymond S. Moore; Dennis R. Moore; Dorothy N. Moore
 
The Underground History of American Education
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