By: Steve Trubilla
I, like you, out of frustration, have often asked, at what point will people finally say enough is enough, and then take personal action for change?
It appears to me, more and more people have reached that point with government-funded schools.
There was a time when most parents home-schooled their children. This was before compulsory school attendance laws were enacted.
Prior to these laws, families that could afford it would hire private tutors. Then, like now, people made choices on how they would spend their money.
Education was a value-driven commodity. Parents, feeling it was important, paid for it.
Good tutors prospered, as did the children of those parents who valued their education.
Was it fair, now that is a relative idea? Is it a child's fault their parents place no value on their future, or because they cannot afford education they are left behind? Some would say no, it is not fair, and in truth it is not. This said, many things in life are not fair.
It is not your responsibility, or the governments place to raise someone else's children, or to see that they get an education. It is their parents' responsibility.
The political winds are stirring for the 2016 elections, and the usual suspects are pointing fingers, targeting charter schools, and those that home school their children.
The cry is we need more money. Well, my question is just how much more? It is a fair question. Right now, billions are being spent as the United States continues to fall short of the world's top standing for education prominence.
According to a 2014 report commissioned by Pearson, the multinational education company, the United States ranks 14th in the world in cognitive skills and educational attainment. At the same time, we continue to increase spending above other countries who spend less and obtain better results.
Home schooling and parent involvement, as it always has been, are the foundation of education. It is the love of a parent, and not the mandate of government that best serves a child.
Here in Franklin County, North Carolina, as in many other places, home schooling is on the rise. Having talked to many parents and teachers, this comes as no surprise.
People are just plain fed up with failure, bullying, growing racial tension, inappropriate sexual conduct, the medication of children, unreported crime, and the inability of school administrators to address it.
Today, teachers are expected to be all things to all people. They have arguably, one of the most important and difficult occupations in our country, and are given very little respect.
To get a real measure of this, I invite you to read, "Schools Cannot Do it All," by Jamie Vollmer. Please read the book. It will open your eyes to just what those in our schools today must contend with.
In my opinion, teachers are now being scapegoated by politicians for failure of an education system that to a large extent has become a government program to warehouse children.
Teachers have to fight bureaucracy to do their job. Those willing to do this have my unqualified respect. Statistics shows fewer and fewer are choosing to.
A U.S. Department of Education report, dated March 2015 on nationwide teacher shortages documents how this is impacting North Carolina.
To focus this a little more up close and personal in Franklin County, one only has to consider the positions being filled by teacher aides and assistants. Most are very sincere dedicated people, but not credentialed teachers.
There is a reason a teacher must earn a credential, and I feel it translates to value in education.
The 2015 classroom is not the same one you may have attended when you were in school. The consequences of decades of failed social engineering policies are now upon us.
Deteriorating immigration policies are making things worse.
Politicians get on their soapboxes touting how they fight for more school dollars, and attack those looking to reduce spending. At the same time they introduce legislation to increase the burden on teachers.
The government educational complex is a monopoly. There is little incentive for it to change. The only way to get the attention of big business is to attack their bottom line. Schools are big business, giving them more money just feeds the beast.
If you want a better mouse trap, have two or more companies compete for the same dollar.
Home schooling is competition for education dollars. It only exists because parents are not happy with what government schools are providing.
If education dollars followed the student to where they attended school, it would create real competition for those dollars. Parents would be empowered to make decisions on real value instead of being forced to send their children to a failing school.
There will always be parents that do not care about their children's education. Those children will always be at a disadvantage. It is not your fault, or responsibility. Nothing you do will ever change it.
The purpose of a school is not to raise children. It is to educate them. We need to get back to that.