March 18th, 2010

homeland

Education in an unenlightened state

So, as most people probably know by now, my state's Board of Education evicerated the Social Studies cirriculum last week. Apparently they have another vote coming up in May, but I don't really see the five democrats on the Board managing to wrangle three votes from the ten republicans.

So, as a Texan that doesn't have kids but plans on it in the next year or so, I'm left feeling a little sick. The two public schools near my house are excellent. The one that we're zoned to has a bilingual cirriculum which would guarantee fluency in two languages for my kids. The one that is actually closer is a k-8 Montessouri school. Both have reported fairly high test scores over the last few years, both are in fairly close walking distance to our house, and I generally felt a comfort level in the idea of sending my kids to either.*

But now, I'm not so sure. If we're in public school, my kids are going to learn a right wing view of history, economics and sociology. My kids will have to receive supplemental education in order to actually know what they're supposed to know to be good citizens. I suppose it means more work for me and Graham, but I fear that we'll miss something or the kids will disregard what we tell them about Thomas Jefferson because he's not on their test.

So I guess the options are to either look into private school or look into home-schooling. I don't have a problem with private school per se. I went to private school my entire life (Graham also mostly went to private schools), and I'm comfortable with the idea of private school. But, I had generally assumed that I'd send my kids to public school for k-6, maybe to eight, and then transfer over to my college prep high school when they get old enough. I liked the idea of ensuring that my kids had socio-economically diverse peers in their lives. I liked the idea of not having to pay upwards of $13,000 a year to send my kids to school for the early years.

But if my kids are going to get a downright bad education at public schools, then I don't really see an alternative but, er, to seek out alternatives.

Part of me thinks that this whole vote is some sort of Republican plot to destroy public education. They never liked the idea in the first place. And if there are more people like me who flee from public schools because of the things they will teach my kids, then the divide between the haves and the have nots will become even deeper than it already is.

I hope that the situation will resolve itself by the time my kids are in school. I mean, it's at least six years, probably closer to seven, until kindergarden for the first. But it makes me angry and scared that something so fundamental can be fucked with by people who have no idea what they're doing.

*I lean more towards the Montessouri, only because Graham speaks no Spanish at all, and our kids would learn predominately in Spanish in kindergarden through fourth grades. However, the bilingual school is rated "Exemplary" by the Texas Education Agency, and the Montessouri is rated "Academically Acceptable". I think that this is because the Montessouri changed everything in 2005 and is still in rampup stage.
on my bike

I only had the one gallbladder...

I took my bike in for a mini-check up today. The tires were inflated and they took a look at what needs to be fixed up. I am riding in the tour de Houston again on Sunday, so I couldn't leave my bike to get it's back tire and the handle wraps replaced, but I'll take my bike back for that later on.

But I'm riding the MS150 this year. Dammit.

Last year's gall bladdar incident won't be repeating itself, so I'm getting myself ready for the ride.

The ride starts a month from yesterday, and my butt is already sore thinking about the 180 miles I'll be in a bike saddle.

Sooner or later I'll have a donation page up and I'll be hitting ya'll up for cash.

In the meantime, everyone hope that my body doesn't decide something else is wrong with it at the last second.