Author Topic: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families  (Read 1488 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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(RNS) Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters attending public schools — even though she’s a substitute teacher in a public school in Minnesota.

Brown initially home-schooled her daughters until a friend told her about the Minnesota Virtual Academy, an online public school that is fully accredited. She liked the curriculum, and as a single mom relying on substitute teaching income, she preferred how the school provided the supplies instead of having to buy supplies herself as a home-school parent.
....
Since Florida became the first state to try them in 1996, virtual public schools have enjoyed dramatic growth, with at least some of it coming from religious families. Like home-schooling parents, parents of virtual public school students like having their children home so they can integrate religion and values into the school day.
....
Virtual schools are different than home schooling in several ways. They are part of the public school system, employ state-certified teachers, administer state assessment tests, and follow standardized curricula. There are also report cards and transcripts.

In a typical week, students spend about 20 to 25 hours on textbook reading and class work, and another five to 10 hours per week attending online classes with a teacher and fellow students.
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 12:03:57 PM »
(RNS) Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters attending public schools — even though she’s a substitute teacher in a public school in Minnesota.

Oh America, so silly...
"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!"
-T.S. Eliot

Offline Nephi

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 02:23:59 PM »
Oh America, so silly...
How's it silly?

Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 02:29:00 PM »
What's silly is handing your kids over to strangers for 8-10 hours a day and essentially letting them raise them. It might not be the intention for them to raise them - but if you're doing it some else is forming your child's world for them to a large degree.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 02:30:37 PM »
(RNS) Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters attending public schools — even though she’s a substitute teacher in a public school in Minnesota.

Oh America, so silly...

Have you been through the American public school system?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 02:49:17 PM »
Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters reading the Bible...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 02:49:31 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 02:53:09 PM »
Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters reading the Bible...

...because it contradicted the Quran?
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 02:57:14 PM »
Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters reading the Bible...

...because it contradicted the Quran?
Because real talk is a scandal to neo-cathari.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 02:57:34 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 03:05:29 PM »
Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters reading the Bible...

...because it contradicted the Quran?
Because real talk is a scandal to neo-cathari.
'

Is your argument against that particular woman or homeschoolers? And if the latter, have you been through the American public education system?

I have. My schools were fairly good, but there was a breakdown in order which would cause European and Japanese public educators to shake their heads in disbelief.
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 03:09:05 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.

"We are the hollow men
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Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!"
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Offline vamrat

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 03:12:56 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I have never been in Dutch public schools, but I can talk about Omaha Public Schools...the stories I could tell!

I am split on the issue.  There are definite problems with public schools in the US.  But overall, I found it to be a necessary life experience.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 03:13:53 PM »
Worried about exposure to foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior, Susan Brown didn’t want her two daughters reading the Bible...

...because it contradicted the Quran?
I don't think Susan Brown is a Muslim.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 03:15:36 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I can only base it on anecdotal evidence, but there are things which go on typically in American public schools regarding student (and teacher) behavior that would not be tolerated in other Western countries.
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 03:18:44 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I can only base it on anecdotal evidence, but there are things which go on typically in American public schools regarding student (and teacher) behavior that would not be tolerated in other Western countries.

I'm curious. What are you aiming at?
"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!"
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 03:25:27 PM »
Is your argument against that particular woman or homeschoolers? And if the latter, have you been through the American public education system?

I have. My schools were fairly good, but there was a breakdown in order which would cause European and Japanese public educators to shake their heads in disbelief.
I have.

My argument is against those who would destroy people by attempting, in vain and in vanity, to protect them from reality through escapist activities. Her reasoning for putting her kids in homeschool did not have to do with educational, economic or social standards, but rather with the vague, puritanical boogiemen of "foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior..." Peer pressure being the only quasi-redeemable motive in that group.

The breakdown in order in schools came from educational standards and the goal of an educated society being reduced to passing NCLB-type qurban (for Isa) tests. Not bullies and skanks, so to speak.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 03:28:50 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2013, 03:35:37 PM »
Is your argument against that particular woman or homeschoolers? And if the latter, have you been through the American public education system?

I have. My schools were fairly good, but there was a breakdown in order which would cause European and Japanese public educators to shake their heads in disbelief.
I have.

My argument is against those who would destroy people by attempting, in vain and in vanity, to protect them from reality through escapist activities. Her reasoning for putting her kids in homeschool did not have to do with educational, economic or social standards, but rather with the vague, puritanical boogiemen of "foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior..." Peer pressure being the only quasi-redeemable motive in that group.

The breakdown in order in schools came from educational standards and the goal of an educated society being reduced to passing NCLB-type qurban (for Isa) tests. Not bullies and skanks, so to speak.

I think it precedes No Child Left Behind. I'd like to hear an educational historian's take on it, but it seems to me that today vs. 50 years ago we have 1. more educational options (in wealthier and better-run districts) and 2. more social breakdown in terms of children's behavior and parents' lack of involvement.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2013, 03:43:02 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I can only base it on anecdotal evidence, but there are things which go on typically in American public schools regarding student (and teacher) behavior that would not be tolerated in other Western countries.

I'm curious. What are you aiming at?

The French and German exchange students I knew in high school, while they appreciated the freedom in American high school, were quite shocked by the lack of self-discipline and the lack of respect many students had toward teachers.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline vamrat

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2013, 03:54:22 PM »
Is your argument against that particular woman or homeschoolers? And if the latter, have you been through the American public education system?

I have. My schools were fairly good, but there was a breakdown in order which would cause European and Japanese public educators to shake their heads in disbelief.
I have.

My argument is against those who would destroy people by attempting, in vain and in vanity, to protect them from reality through escapist activities. Her reasoning for putting her kids in homeschool did not have to do with educational, economic or social standards, but rather with the vague, puritanical boogiemen of "foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behavior..." Peer pressure being the only quasi-redeemable motive in that group.

The breakdown in order in schools came from educational standards and the goal of an educated society being reduced to passing NCLB-type qurban (for Isa) tests. Not bullies and skanks, so to speak.

The thing with foul language, immodest dress, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behaviors, is that these are not boogiemen.  These are real problems.  I saw all of these things in high school, albeit I was the one doing the first one and the second one was one of my favorite parts...but all the same.  Some people don't want to have to deal with these things and would rather have their kids exposed to them in a more fitting environment.  I.e. - on the internet.

As for the educational standard, kids don't learn much in school anyways.  I can name nine teachers who were highly influential on me - two in elem school, three in high school, and four in college.  (Not counting the foreign language teachers in middle school who influenced my dreams for a decade to come...but I digress.)  Otherwise, all the edjukashunal sistim is doing is training obedient robots.  (My anthropology professor pointed this out very well.)  Children are going to have to learn from their parents at home, from their friends, from their own research, and from real world experience.  Anyone who thinks they can send their little genetic clones to school for 8 hours a day and expect them to become useful human beings is going to be disappointed.  
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline JamesR

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2013, 04:28:50 PM »
I'm just going to be perfectly honest. American public schools are--for the most part--garbage, unless you attend one of the really high-quality ones in certain rich districts. At least for me, it is at the point where so many students do not even complete their work that if I just complete all of my homework and studying--even if I do a lousy job--my teachers still pass me and give me good grades just for being the only one to do it. I've learned more from watching Discovery channel and hearing my drunken grandparents rant on about life than I have from school.
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Offline vamrat

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 04:38:50 PM »
I'm just going to be perfectly honest. American public schools are--for the most part--garbage, unless you attend one of the really high-quality ones in certain rich districts. At least for me, it is at the point where so many students do not even complete their work that if I just complete all of my homework and studying--even if I do a lousy job--my teachers still pass me and give me good grades just for being the only one to do it. I've learned more from watching Discovery channel and hearing my drunken grandparents rant on about life than I have from school.

Is there a better way to learn?
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2013, 04:40:38 PM »
...that if I just complete all of my homework

You do your homework?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2013, 04:43:05 PM »
So what do the bumper stickers for these parents look like? "My kids are virtually educated!"  :P

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2013, 05:05:13 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I can only base it on anecdotal evidence, but there are things which go on typically in American public schools regarding student (and teacher) behavior that would not be tolerated in other Western countries.

I'm curious. What are you aiming at?

The French and German exchange students I knew in high school, while they appreciated the freedom in American high school, were quite shocked by the lack of self-discipline and the lack of respect many students had toward teachers.

Perhaps their teachers in France and Germany nearly all deserved respect...I've had very few public school educators (and I have never attended a private or private-and-religious school) who I felt deserved the respect of their students.  Of course there are notable exceptions.  I can think of teachers I had that I respect (and respected) very much, and teachers I knew - but did not have - who certainly deserved the respect of their students.  However, they were far from the majority.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2013, 06:35:24 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I can only base it on anecdotal evidence, but there are things which go on typically in American public schools regarding student (and teacher) behavior that would not be tolerated in other Western countries.

I'm curious. What are you aiming at?

The French and German exchange students I knew in high school, while they appreciated the freedom in American high school, were quite shocked by the lack of self-discipline and the lack of respect many students had toward teachers.

Perhaps their teachers in France and Germany nearly all deserved respect...I've had very few public school educators (and I have never attended a private or private-and-religious school) who I felt deserved the respect of their students.  Of course there are notable exceptions.  I can think of teachers I had that I respect (and respected) very much, and teachers I knew - but did not have - who certainly deserved the respect of their students.  However, they were far from the majority.

I can agree with that assessment. I've had good and wretched teachers. But nevertheless respect should be given even if undeserved.
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Offline Nephi

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2013, 09:10:30 PM »
Schools in disadvantaged regions get to extreme levels - weapons in school, drugs and drinking, sex and rape, etc. An ex-girlfriend of mine went to an inner-city school where two girls held a third girl down while a guy raped her in the school bathroom.

In more well-off places the schools are much better, but they have other cultural and social issues to deal with.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 09:11:24 PM by Nephi »

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2013, 03:14:54 AM »
This is just silly.  I haven't met a home-schooled child who wasn't overly introverted, and lacking in important social skills.  These kids will face things like immodesty, foul language, drugs, and all the rest when they're older.  I don't see why parents would keep it from them.  They will be unpleasantly surprised when they get out into the real world.

I can only see this being an understandable option (to me, anyway,) if the children are in physical danger.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 03:18:00 AM by trevor72694 »

Offline JamesR

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2013, 03:19:48 AM »
This is just silly.  I haven't met a home-schooled child who wasn't overly introverted, and lacking in important social skills.  These kids will face things like immodesty, foul language, drugs, and all the rest when they're older.  I don't see why parents would keep it from them.  They will be unpleasantly surprised when they get out into the real world.

I can only see this being an understandable option (to me, anyway,) if the children are in physical danger.

While many of those things are true, what I have discovered about homeschooled kids though is that they are usually more intelligent and have more critical thinking skills at a younger age than their peers. My school had about four homeschooled kids who finally went to public school and each of them had the highest grades along with being the most vocal and interested about the subject being taught in the classes.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2013, 03:22:12 AM »
This is just silly.  I haven't met a home-schooled child who wasn't overly introverted, and lacking in important social skills.  These kids will face things like immodesty, foul language, drugs, and all the rest when they're older.  I don't see why parents would keep it from them.  They will be unpleasantly surprised when they get out into the real world.

I can only see this being an understandable option (to me, anyway,) if the children are in physical danger.

While many of those things are true, what I have discovered about homeschooled kids though is that they are usually more intelligent and have more critical thinking skills at a younger age than their peers. My school had about four homeschooled kids who finally went to public school and each of them had the highest grades along with being the most vocal and interested about the subject being taught in the classes.
I, too, have seen the things you mentioned, though not in all home-schooled kids I've spoken with.  I suppose this is the last place for generalizations.  There are definitely pros and cons.  I would rather my child be prepared for the roughness of the world outside home than have an IQ score higher than their peers...but that's just me.

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2013, 03:30:18 AM »
I sort of got the best of both worlds....I was both homeschooled AND attended public and private schools throughout my life  ;D
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 03:30:36 AM by JamesR »
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Ansgar

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2013, 03:34:38 AM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



I can only base it on anecdotal evidence, but there are things which go on typically in American public schools regarding student (and teacher) behavior that would not be tolerated in other Western countries.

I'm curious. What are you aiming at?

The French and German exchange students I knew in high school, while they appreciated the freedom in American high school, were quite shocked by the lack of self-discipline and the lack of respect many students had toward teachers.
I think it depends very much on where you are in Europe.
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Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2013, 03:05:38 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



The differences between public schools in the same region in America can be stark so it can be. You can have schools that are failing to educate students to a satisfactory level, and where disruption, bullying and such happens in almost every class every day and another that looks like a mini college not far away.

Offline vamrat

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2013, 03:39:56 PM »
Have you been through the American public school system?

I've been in public schools for 14 years now. It can't be that much different in the US.



The differences between public schools in the same region in America can be stark so it can be. You can have schools that are failing to educate students to a satisfactory level, and where disruption, bullying and such happens in almost every class every day and another that looks like a mini college not far away.

Yeah, you can pretty much say anything you want about American schools and there will be one or two somewhere that fit the description.  Are American schools the best in the world?  Probably some.  Are some little better than Khmer rape camps?  Prolly.  Rich, poor, dumb, smart.  All are represented.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline Nephi

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2013, 03:42:24 PM »
The differences between public schools in the same region in America can be stark so it can be. You can have schools that are failing to educate students to a satisfactory level, and where disruption, bullying and such happens in almost every class every day and another that looks like a mini college not far away.
Living right along the border with Kentucky, I know several Kentucky public schools with a large number of illiterate or borderline-illiterate juniors and seniors. I also know of KY schools that are like average Ohio schools. There really is a lot of variety.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 03:42:33 PM by Nephi »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2013, 04:00:41 PM »
This is just silly.  I haven't met a home-schooled child who wasn't overly introverted, and lacking in important social skills.  These kids will face things like immodesty, foul language, drugs, and all the rest when they're older.  I don't see why parents would keep it from them.  They will be unpleasantly surprised when they get out into the real world.

I can only see this being an understandable option (to me, anyway,) if the children are in physical danger.

The majority of home-schooled children I've met have turned out to be well-adjusted, polite, articulate, and highly intelligent. Going to public school is no garuntee of acquiring social graces, not by a long shot.
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Offline biro

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2013, 07:15:02 PM »
This is just silly.  I haven't met a home-schooled child who wasn't overly introverted, and lacking in important social skills.  These kids will face things like immodesty, foul language, drugs, and all the rest when they're older.  I don't see why parents would keep it from them.  They will be unpleasantly surprised when they get out into the real world.

I can only see this being an understandable option (to me, anyway,) if the children are in physical danger.

The majority of home-schooled children I've met have turned out to be well-adjusted, polite, articulate, and highly intelligent. Going to public school is no garuntee of acquiring social graces, not by a long shot.

He said skills, not graces. They are different.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: ‘Virtual’ public schools draw interest of religious families
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2013, 07:19:24 PM »
This is just silly.  I haven't met a home-schooled child who wasn't overly introverted, and lacking in important social skills.  These kids will face things like immodesty, foul language, drugs, and all the rest when they're older.  I don't see why parents would keep it from them.  They will be unpleasantly surprised when they get out into the real world.

I can only see this being an understandable option (to me, anyway,) if the children are in physical danger.

The majority of home-schooled children I've met have turned out to be well-adjusted, polite, articulate, and highly intelligent. Going to public school is no garuntee of acquiring social graces, not by a long shot.

He said skills, not graces. They are different.

The I shall include skills as well. There you go.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.