RC offers a point-by-point critique:
You certainly outdid yourself in this latest piece. If there was any question on how you felt about public school education, your article cleared that up very quickly. Even for a Mensa, this was over the top in so many ways that I was appalled.
First, insulting and condemning public school teachers also condemns public school graduates by association. Since our kids went to public K-12, public universities, and now doing post grad also at public university, you certainly have not won any points with us. And by the way, is scoring about 90 percentile on MCAT OK with you for a public school educated kid. How about passing the Quals in Mathematics/Biology for entry into PhD program? Here is some feedback for you from a family that has been through the public education system:
1. At about 85% of the schools (based on a research study done by one of our kids), K-12 kids can learn as little or as much as they wish. It is up to them–the resources are there. It is true that at 15% of the schools, serious help is needed.
2. True–not all teachers are equal. In our case, only once did we have to intervene and request a change of teachers.
3. Private schoolers and home schoolers adopt an arrogant attitude that rubs us the wrong way. Our neighbors would just insist on the superiority of private/Catholic schools, however, their kids could not approach our kids’ undergraduate 3.75 GPAs at U of M (one in Chemical Engineering and the other in Mathematics–not in School of Education)–not to mention the Doctoral work thereafter.
4. Most parents care not to seriously and daily “manage” their kids’ education–which is all it takes. No need to home school or spend the extra bucks for private.
5. You or I could home school – what about the majority? Not really. Just think about AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP History, AP Biology, AP English, AP Chemistry, etc. Yes, the teachers you decimate with a few keystrokes taught our kids these subjects and our kids learned well because they were focused and wanted to learn.
6. Why would you expect that TODAY the best and brightest become K-12 teachers? To be kicked around in columns such as yours? Give me a break! Parents and some media continue to harp and insult teachers daily. Who would want that abuse if there were another path?
Only decimated? And here I thought I’d cast serious aspersions of sub-normality on at least sixty percent! Anyhow, the pinata-smacking involved here is just too easy, so I thought I’d throw it up as a little red meat for the wolves to devour.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play spot the logical fallacies! But to be fair, while scoring 90 percent on the MCAT is universally impressive, it is particularly so for anyone who has been forced to slog through the public schools.