Educational experts and homeschoolers
Uncle Orson Reviews Everything offers an interesting article in which he criticizes the "educational establishment" and its undue deference to "experts."
There are people who have snookered us into paying them a lot of money because they claim to be experts on education, but it's all a game. They collect degrees by taking classes from people who don't know how to teach and don't recognize good teaching when they see it. Then they come to the school districts and get ridiculously high salaries for thinking up ways to keep teachers from doing their jobs.
My district seemed to have the opposite problem. Thousands of dollars were spent on in-service training to offer additional training from experts in a variety of fields. The ones I attended were outstanding and I learned more in them about actually teaching than I did in my education courses at KU. Once we returned to the classroom, however, the pressure of the TAAS (Texas' state assessment) and P-DAS (Texas' teacher assessment) rendered it all useless. No one dared break from the test-prep mode we all seemed to be stuck in, even as a first grade teacher.

Either way, he makes an interesting point about the usefulness of these educational experts fighting for longer school days, a longer school year and more years of compulsory schooling:

Do you know what I find, as a college teacher? That the best writers, the best thinkers, the most broadly educated among my students are the ones who were home-schooled.

Think about that. And then think about this: Most of those home-schooled kids get their schooling in a few hours a day. By noon, most of them are done. Then they have time to live together with their families. To read or play on their own. To have a childhood.

The degrees and titles do little to make anyone a better teacher. It has more to do with a passion for teaching, and the freedom to follow that passion. While many public school teachers are "biding their time" until retirement, there are many more who feel restrained by a system designed to promote mediocrity over ingenuity.

Homeschoolers benefit from both the passion to provide their children with an excellent education and the flexibility to pursue whatever course is necessary to meet that goal.

Hat tip: Thursday Night Gumbo

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