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BS: £800 fine for low school attendance

GUEST,Mary Brennan 17 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,oggie 17 Mar 10 - 04:13 AM
Mrs.Duck 16 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 16 Mar 10 - 11:42 AM
Greg F. 16 Mar 10 - 10:47 AM
mandotim 16 Mar 10 - 08:49 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Mar 10 - 08:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 10 - 08:34 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Mar 10 - 08:02 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Mar 10 - 07:56 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Mar 10 - 07:43 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Mar 10 - 07:38 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Mary Brennan 16 Mar 10 - 06:45 AM
Greg F. 15 Mar 10 - 11:39 PM
mandotim 15 Mar 10 - 08:44 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM
Emma B 15 Mar 10 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 15 Mar 10 - 06:53 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 Mar 10 - 04:13 PM
Greg F. 15 Mar 10 - 10:39 AM
Emma B 15 Mar 10 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Mary Brennan 15 Mar 10 - 05:51 AM
Jean(eanjay) 14 Mar 10 - 07:22 PM
Kampervan 14 Mar 10 - 06:43 PM
Greg F. 14 Mar 10 - 05:42 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Mar 10 - 03:58 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Mar 10 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 14 Mar 10 - 02:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Mar 10 - 12:55 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Mar 10 - 12:40 PM
Folkiedave 14 Mar 10 - 10:06 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Mar 10 - 06:09 AM
Smedley 14 Mar 10 - 06:04 AM
Smedley 14 Mar 10 - 06:03 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Mar 10 - 06:02 AM
Ruth Archer 14 Mar 10 - 05:49 AM
mandotim 14 Mar 10 - 03:42 AM
Sorcha 13 Mar 10 - 09:03 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Mar 10 - 07:43 PM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 10 - 03:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Mar 10 - 01:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Mar 10 - 01:15 PM
Emma B 13 Mar 10 - 01:09 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Mar 10 - 01:01 PM
Ruth Archer 13 Mar 10 - 12:44 PM
Ruth Archer 13 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM
Emma B 13 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 13 Mar 10 - 12:10 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM

I'm not a teacher but I'm fairly sure that, while some nice, sensitive children would benefit from being taught at home, the majority would just be thrown out of their homes by their parents for the day and wander around the streets in packs. They do that now on the estate where I live in school holidays.

Statistics have proved that about 90% of children would rather go to school. They're not so bothered about getting an education but what they do want to do is socialise with their friends.

MInd you, either Mark Twain or Disraeli or someone else once said that there are 3 sorts of lies - "Lies, damn lies and statistics".


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,oggie
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 04:13 AM

May I reccomend this for an alternative view on education and creativity Sir Ken Robinson

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM

No Ralphie we're all at work sorting out the products of the Kylees :)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:42 AM

For an interesting view of responsible parenting in the UK. Can I reccomend the Jeremy Kyle show on ITV 1, every weekday morning.
Haven't aeen any teachers on there though.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:47 AM

[Gatto]is turning the wholel concept of education, and what it actually does, on its head...

Of course he is - by turning facts and common sense on their heads as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:49 AM

Serious researchers don't generally make 'promo films'. Unless they're just trying to make a fast buck, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:38 AM

The Fourth PURPOSE
The Fourth PURPOSE
The Fourth PURPOSE

Arrrrghhhhhhhh!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:34 AM

Ooooooh, Ralphie! You have been and gone and done it now;-)


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Subject: BS: John Taylor Gatto's - 'The Fourth Way'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:02 AM

Brilliant new documentary in the making...

The Promo film for -The Fourth Purpose


John Taylor Gatto


One video of many:
John - Youtube - State Controlled Consciousness


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:56 AM

Sorry, that links to a dead website.

I'll start a new thread with a link to John's film 'The Fourth Way'


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:43 AM

And of course, if you'd like to help John make his film about the Education System, then you can contribute here..

The Fourth Purpose - John Taylor Gatto's new film (still in the making)


:0)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:38 AM

"..However he doesn't seem to be advocating switching off the set just closing down schools!.."<<<<



OOH! :0)

"In 1997, he was given the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for his contributions to the cause of liberty, and was named to the Board of Advisors of the National TV-Turnoff Week."

Taken from here:


>>'Allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class'

Well this was the opposite of my own experience of schooling where I mixed with children from very different classes from my own impoverished working class in a school of children from 11- 18 years of age. <<


You obvsiously went to a very progressive school then, because both my schools kept us in our age groups all the time. We simply did NOT mix with older or younger children, or any adults save those few who were in the classroom, and they were teachers.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM

I never wanted to get out of bed to go to school. I WANTED to get up as early as possible on Saturdays and Sundays, though, because...there was NO school.

Depends on the children, I guess.




'But Gatto doesn't stop there. He also holds compulsory schooling accountable for the breakdown of the family

I noticed that! - BUT, he states, together with 55 hours of TV viewing a week
However he doesn't seem to be advocating switching off the set just closing down schools!<<<<


Schooling, and the terrible pressures of exams ARE, imo, responsible for many breakdowns in family life. My own friend, who has 2 children, one taking A Levels, one taking GCSEs, is at her wit's end at the moment. Her children are both so terribly stressed out, her daughter (the older one) in particular, has been almost suicidal at times, not wanting to go on with life, with learning, 'if this is all there is'....

Her mother is very intelligent, loves learning, loves life, has always loved schools and indeed, frowned upon me for taking my own children out of the Schooling Stres Cesspit...She now understands, COMPLETELY why I did it. It has taken her marriage to the brink, where at present, it's still teetering on the edge, because the house is one huge cave of anxiety and resentment, instead of a warm, fun, loving, stress free home.

They don't watch 55 hours of TV, by the way.   And I've never read EVERY single word of John Taylor Gatto, but I'm sure he has something to say about switching off TV.

Good to see that a few of you are starting to read his words....

Ponder on this though...

John Taylor Gatto is 'one of your own'....an award winning teacher from New York State who is turning the wholel concept of education, and what it actually does, on its head..

Of course, there are many teachers 'out there' who may be shitscared of reading his thoughts, because their jobs are in the very institution he is blaming for so much harm being done to so many children, and to society in general...

Hardly surprising that some teachers loathe every word he says, for he is seen as a big threat to their careers, I'd imagine.




'Allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class'

Well this was the opposite of my own experience of schooling where I mixed with children from very different classes from my own impoverished working class in a school of children from 11- 18 years of age.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 06:45 AM

Back to the title of the thread...

I don't see anything wrong with kids being kept off schools for educational trips or anything which will enhance their school work.

But many parents keep their kids off school for no valid educational reason. Sometimes they just can't be bothered to get them out of bed and send them to school.

I think there is a need to differentiate.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 11:39 PM

Yes, more people could read and write before schooling was mandatory.

Absolute, utter, and complete bullshit. The facts simply DO NOT bear this out.


If you believe Gatto's bullshit- all offered without ANY sort of proof- you'll believe anything.

One more nutter with an agenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:44 PM

From a purely academic standpoint, Gatto's 'research' is risible. He uses the classic approach of the demagogue with a point to prove; using statistics from different samples and time frames, generalising from specific studies (even when the authors have specifically stated that this should not happen)and inferring simple, linear causal relationships where many uncontrolled factors are in play. I'd expect (and get) better from one of my undergrad students.
I'm lucky, I have access to libraries and databases where I can chase down the sources of Gatto's ideas. I did so after reading his two latest books. He's about as credible as Goleman on Emotional Intelligence, i.e. not credible at all, really.
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM

If one wishes to evaluate the importance of education in American capitalism one might look at the proportion of US presidents, members of the senate, and members of the congress, who had degrees. And at how many were home (or not at all, which is much the same thing on some theses of "of look at the pretty trees and foxes" views about home education) educated and bereft of high school or college diplomas. My null hypothesis is that Gatto talks shit on this measure. And if you don't know what a null hypothesis is, then you should have gone to school.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 07:35 PM

'John Taylor Gatto reveals many fascinating, and frightening, things'
and some frankly incredible IMO!

Maybe some American catter can provide the evidence that literacy amongst ALL groups in America went down in the US after the advent of compulsory schooling - until then I remain a sceptic

The view that public education contributes to rising literacy levels is shared by the majority of historians.

The ability to read did not necessarily imply the ability to write

'For example 'The 1686 church law (kyrkolagen) of the Kingdom of Sweden (which at the time included all of modern Sweden, Finland, and Estonia) enforced literacy on the population and by the end of the 18th century, the ability to read was close to 100 percent.
But as late as the 19th century, many Swedes, especially women, could not write'

According to wiki -
By the mid-18th century, the ability to read and comprehend translated scripture led to Wales having one of the highest literacy rates. This was the result of a Griffith Jones's system of circulating schools, which aimed to enable everyone to read the Bible in Welsh
Similarly, at least half the population of 18th century New England was literate, perhaps as a consequence of the Puritan belief in the importance of Bible reading.
By the time of the American Revolution, literacy (as defined above) in New England is SUGGESTED to have been around 90 percent.

The situation in England was very different; as late as 1841, 33% of all Englishmen and 44% of Englishwomen signed marriage certificates with their mark as they were unable to write; public education only became available in England in 1870, and even then on a limited basis

I think the testimonials of young illiterate children employed in the mines and 'satanic' mills alongside their parents I posted earlier in the thread speak for themselves

'Schools purposefully distort the learning process and intentionally slow down the students' learning so as to justify robbing them of 12 years of their lives'

Well again I can't speak for the US but maybe we have some educators from America in here that could verify this?

'But Gatto doesn't stop there. He also holds compulsory schooling accountable for the breakdown of the family

I noticed that! - BUT, he states, together with 55 hours of TV viewing a week
However he doesn't seem to be advocating switching off the set just closing down schools!

'Allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class'

Well this was the opposite of my own experience of schooling where I mixed with children from very different classes from my own impoverished working class in a school of children from 11- 18 years of age.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 06:53 PM

Thank you, DeG. I walked right into that one>


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 04:13 PM

An excellent review of John Taylor Gatto's brilliant book 'Dumbing Us Down'

Taken from here:



>>>This book has liberated my soul!, 10 Jan 2004
By Andrew Olivo Parodi (Oregon, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

"It sounds overly dramatic, I know, but I truly feel that John Taylor Gatto has liberated my soul by writing DUMBING US DOWN. But that is exactly what he has done. John Taylor Gatto confirms everything I had always believed about schools: that they are simply cruel prisons where spirits are destroyed and minds are conquered. Easy for me to say, though, seeing as how I myself never did too well in school. John Taylor Gatto, on the other hand, has been named Teacher of the Year several years running by both New York City and State. Here is someone accepted by the teaching establishment, honored by the teaching establishment. He speaks for me and thousands of others who've been tortured in these horrible institutions.
John Taylor Gatto reveals many fascinating, and frightening, things. For example, literacy went down in the US after the advent of compulsory schooling. Yes, more people could read and write before schooling was mandatory. Gatto says this is because reading, writing, and arithmetic only take about 100 hours to transmit, but schools purposefully distort the learning process and intentionally slow down the students' learning so as to justify robbing them of 12 years of their lives while they teach what Gatto refers to as the seven lessons schools really teach:

1. Confusion
2. Class position
3. Indifference
4. Emotional dependency
5. Intellectual dependency
6. Provisional self-esteem
7. One can't hide

It was Adam Robinson's WHAT SMART STUDENTS KNOW that first introduced me to the fact that school distorts the learning process and that if you want to be a good student you basically have to unlearn everything school teaches you about learning. It is Gatto's DUMBING US DOWN that explains *why* school distorts the learning process. The bitter truth, according to Gatto, is that mandatory schooling was invented by industry barons so as to ensure that the poor would not have a revolution, as well as to prepare their children for a transition into the industrial age. Another purpose was to shield the population from the "contamination" of the new Latin immigrants from Europe, as well as from the movement of African Americans through the country in the wake of the civil war. But Gatto doesn't stop there. He also holds compulsory schooling accountable for the breakdown of the family (he says we no longer have communities, but live in "networks"), the materialism of our society (because the only way to get any attention in a network is to buy it), and the drug use and suicide rate among our children and teens (because, Gatto says, it is absurd and anti-life to take children away from their families, trap children in a room eight hours a day, and allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class).

The most startling point Gatto makes in this book, for me at least, is that industry barons purposefully encouraged schools to implant in students the idea that success in school is mandatory for financial success. Gatto argues that it is absurd to instill in children the idea that learning is only important if you are being graded, grades which one would want to be high so as to convert into high incomes. According to the author, rich children commit suicide at a higher rate than the poor or middle class (he suggests this is because the rich are often schooled more than the rest of us). Why try to drive home to children the idea that wealth is the key to happiness when it is common knowledge that it is not?

I myself struggled with suicidal thoughts as a child and a teen. It is directly related to the nightmare and torture of schooling. I thank John Taylor Gatto for exposing this compulsory prison for what it is, and I encourage any reader of DUMBING US DOWN to also search out Gatto's most recent book THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION." - Andrew Parodi <<<



And then, of course, there is John Holt


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 10:39 AM

Right on point, Emma!

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:08 AM

It's a well known saying that If America sneezes the UK catches a cold ...so, although Gatto is writing about the public school system in America one part of his argument against schools caught my attention

"But keep in mind that in the United States almost nobody who reads, writes, or does arithmetic gets much respect.
We are a land of talkers; we pay talkers the most and admire talkers the most"

In fact as he points out American children spend more time watching TV each week than in formal education almost 6.75 hours a day according to one study

"It's a simple matter of arithmetic: between schooling and television, all the time children have is eaten up.
That's what has destroyed the American family"


My first impression to this unsubstantiated statement was simply
why not attack the content of TV programmes then instead of teaching?
My second was why not just switch it off?


I've heard horror stories by teachers who, when asking pupils what they wanted to be when they grew up, instead of the usual replies from my childhood reply 'celebrity'

The cult of celebrity is producing a generation that believes education and hard work are not important in achieving success, claims the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Teachers in primary and secondary schools have commented that the cult of being famous for being famous was perverting both children's aspirations and expectations.

On one hand many youngsters do not realise just how hard some of their idols have worked to earn their fame.
But, on the other there was also a belief that academic success was not necessary, because they could become rich and famous through   'reality' (what a misnomer!) TV shows, like Big Brother, that have made celebrities out of individuals who represent the epitome of the 'barely educated ignorant and puerile'

……………..And so we wonder why children and parents think school and education is less important than a cheap package fortnight in the sun


Susan Jacoby writing in the Washington post in 2008 commented on the current rise of anti intellectualism in the US

"In 1982, 82 percent of college graduates read novels or poems for pleasure; two decades later, only 67 percent did. And more than 40 percent of Americans under 44 did not read a single book -- fiction or nonfiction -- over the course of a year.

The proportion of 17-year-olds who read nothing (unless required to do so for school) more than doubled between 1984 and 2004.
This time period, of course, encompasses the rise of personal computers, Web surfing and video games."

She argues that "The shrinking public attention span fostered by video is closely tied to the second important anti-intellectual force in American culture: the erosion of general knowledge."

According to a 2006 survey by National Geographic-Roper, nearly half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 do not think it necessary to know the location of other countries in which important news is being made.
More than a third consider it "not at all important" to know a foreign language, and only 14 percent consider it "very important." ...

She claims that the third and final factor behind the new American dumbness is not lack of knowledge per se but arrogance about that lack of knowledge.

"Not knowing a foreign language or the location of an important country is a manifestation of ignorance; denying that such knowledge matters is pure anti-rationalism. The toxic brew of anti-rationalism and ignorance hurts discussions of U.S. public policy on topics from health care to taxation."

The Dumbing of America

Atchoo!! …………pass me the tisues!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 05:51 AM

Pupils have 13 weeks holiday a year. Surely that's enough.

It is more expensive to book a holiday during the school holidays. Most schools allow pupils to take an extra 2 weeks a year. Pupils and parents treat this as a right, not a concession. I think people who abuse this are encouraging their children to think that school isn't important - or encouraging them to truant.

People who work in schools have to take their family holidays during those 13 weeks. I don't just mean teachers, some of whom can afford it. I mean cleaners, dinner ladies and other people who work in schools, many of whom are on a basic minimum wage.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 07:22 PM

If she'd paid the two £50 fixed penalty notices within the 28 days then she could have saved herself a total of £765.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Kampervan
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:43 PM

I really don't understand the problem.

This woman was fined because her children had a poor attendance record; she was neglecting their education.

Had she actively taken them out of the system and properly educated them at home then she would not have been fined.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 05:42 PM

To be honest, the way schools are at the moment....

I wonder if the massive budget cuts to education, the current trend towards anti-intellectualism and the lack of respect and harrassment teachers get 24/7 might have anything to do with "The way schools are at the moment..."


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:58 PM

Chris, you are a card :-)

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 02:28 PM

"I've got no problem with home education. I've worked in that area myself. To be honest, the way schools are at the moment, I'm not surprised that so many parents are taking their children out of school and educating them at home."

At last. Someone dares to stand up and tell the truth about *some* schools. Thank you.




Yes, there are many teachers and children who are suffering for different reasons and it's making both sides deeply unhappy at times.
Neither side has any right to make the other feel miserable or picked on. There has to be a New Way out there...and part of that way has to be teaching Responsibilites hand in hand with Rights. Perhaps some parents need evening classes in that too, in which case, open up the schools and let 'em in too.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 02:18 PM

I've got no problem with home education. I've worked in that area myself. To be honest, the way schools are at the moment, I'm not surprised that so many parents are taking their children out of school and educating them at home.

Maybe I have been teaching for too long. We all know that I only do it so that I have lots of holidays to go to festivals. I'm hoping to retire soon for the benefit of my health as my doctor says that I will be seriously ill if I continue. I won't be able to corrupt young people any more if I get my wish - and they won't get the chance to follow me around in gangs singing offensive songs about me. Yes I do know what it's like to be picked on.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 12:55 PM

I'm not too sure whether the original premise was ever resolved. I presume that the opening argument was that people should not be fined for taking their children out of school.

My opinion is that if they are home educating, they should indeed not be punished for it.

If, however, they are failing to provide an education for their children at all then they they are falling foul of the law of the land - To educate young people between the ages of 5 and 16.

I could be wrong, and would be happy to be shown I am, but I believe the parents who were subjected to this fine were of the latter type and so deserved the fine they got. Now that personalities, tantrums, tinfoil and turnips are out of the way maybe a sensible discusion on the point of the thread can begin. If anyone thinks it worthwhile of course.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 12:40 PM

My eldest child was home-schooled from 15. My son was home-schooled from 7. My daughter remained in 'home education' until she was 19. My son probably will do the same. I do not have a problem with that. I have put it down so many times. If people fail to read my posts, there is nothing I can do about that, but this really is no surprise to most folks.

HAD I know I was free to home educate my child I would have done so from when she was 6 years old, because she was already going downhill at that time. By the time the SATS kicked in, and she was the first generation of children to endure these, things became worse, excerbating when she reached secondary school where the *major* problems started with bullying, teacher pressure, endless tests and examination stress.

I think Joe has asked for people to lay off me, and for me to stop responding. So I would suggest that is what is done, from now on.

Personally, I feel this thread has far outrun its course.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 10:06 AM

My children are/were home-schooled.

Contrast with:

My daughter was school educated to the age of 15

For American readers - compulsory schooling in Britain exists to 16 years of age.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM

Taken from here:



The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher

by John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991

   

Call me Mr. Gatto, please. Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. My license certifies me as an instructor of English language and literature, but that isn't what I do at all. What I teach is school, and I win awards doing it.

Teaching means many different things, but six lessons are common to schoolteaching from Harlem to Hollywood. You pay for these lessons in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what they are:

The first lesson I teach is: "Stay in the class where you belong." I don't know who decides that my kids belong there but that's not my business. The children are numbered so that if any get away they can be returned to the right class. Over the years the variety of ways children are numbered has increased dramatically, until it is hard to see the human being under the burden of the numbers each carries. Numbering children is a big and very profitable business, though what the business is designed to accomplish is elusive.

In any case, again, that's not my business. My job is to make the kids like it -- being locked in together, I mean -- or at the minimum, endure it. If things go well, the kids can't imagine themselves anywhere else; they envy and fear the better classes and have contempt for the dumber classes. So the class mostly keeps itself in good marching order. That's the real lesson of any rigged competition like school. You come to know your place.

Nevertheless, in spite of the overall blueprint, I make an effort to urge children to higher levels of test success, promising eventual transfer from the lower-level class as a reward. I insinuate that the day will come when an employer will hire them on the basis of test scores, even though my own experience is that employers are (rightly) indifferent to such things. I never lie outright, but I've come to see that truth and [school]teaching are incompatible.

The lesson of numbered classes is that there is no way out of your class except by magic. Until that happens you must stay where you are put.

The second lesson I teach kids is to turn on and off like a light switch. I demand that they become totally involved in my lessons, jumping up and down in their seats with anticipation, competing vigorously with each other for my favor. But when the bell rings I insist that they drop the work at once and proceed quickly to the next work station. Nothing important is ever finished in my class, nor in any other class I know of.

    Lengthy copy-paste deleted. See link for text.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:09 AM

Hate registers do not exist. They are a figment of your imagination.


Take your pick...
Google's list for Hate Registers in the UK


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:04 AM

Ah, sorry, I meant Ruth's post & the one before it.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:03 AM

This will be a good case study when someone researches The History of Mudcat for their PhD thesis: compare and contrast these two most recent posts on the thread with the majority of those BEFORE Joe's intervention....................


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:02 AM

My children are/were home-schooled. Their thoughts are their own. The lives are their own. They have complete freedom to learn. They never abuse that freedom. They are happy to talk to anyone of any age or background. They do not want to be part of the herd. They are far happier with being home educated, as opposed to System educated.

As I have said many times over, my daughter would have been accepted immediately into college, had she chosen to go, because Exeter College is very happy to accept home educated children, finding them intelligent, polite and very willing to learn.

She welcomed with open arms. However, the art teacher who spoke to her said she felt it only fair to let her know that there are many young people in college who do not want to learn, who are merely there to pick up the money they now get paid for staying in further education. So, if she (my daughter) thought it would be different to school, it wasn't, due to many disruptive pupils.   It angered the tutor, left her feeling helpless in the face of students such as my daughter, who want to learn because they have a deep love of learning.

The pressures inside The School System nearly killed one of my children and started my younger child on the road to giving up wanting to learn anything, because of the humiliation he was dished out by his form teacher.

Home Education set them free.


There are controlling home educating parents, there are also very controlling school educating parents. One is not worse than the other, they are equally as bad. Parents of school pupils abuse their children, so do some home educating parents. To make out that one is more inclined to do so than the other, is rubbish.

My children were born FREE. They were put into The System, by me, for way too many years...and the damage those within that System did to both my children was appalling.

They are now back to their natural state...

FREE


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 05:49 AM

And very interesting thoughts they are, Tim!

Your perspective on the American right-wing Christian home-schooling trend reflects what I've read about it. The thing it shares with the situation you describe within the British family is that one of the outcomes is a social disconnect between the home-schooled kids and their peers. In the American case this was part of the reason for home-schooling in the first place; in the British case it seems to have been an unfortunate outcome.

The social dimension of home-schooling is the one which has probably concerned me most. I went to a private Catholic school as a kid, unlike all the other kids in my neighbourhood. They all went to the same local school, and as a result hung out after school together. They had their own social groups and relationships which had nothing to do with me. As an only child, I found this quite isolating. I can only imagine that this would be even more magnified by home-schooling, as at least during the school day I had a peer group, and friends, and rows, and silly games and in-jokes, and all of the other stuff that makes up childhood. I have always felt that those early experiences of navigating social situations at school, good and bad, are at least as important as what you learn in the classroom.

The other issue you've raised, Tim, is children who identify too closely with their parents, rather than their peers. I can only imagine that "re-entry" into the wider world can be fairly traumatic in some cases.

I remember being on a train once, on my way to a conference, and I was sat at a table across from a mother with her home-schooled son. I chatted with them for a while. They were really chatty, and obviously very close, and he was very bright and articulate. They were on their way to a museum visit where they were meeting other home-schooled kids and their parents. She was, as many home-schoolers seem to be, pretty evangelical about it all. On reflection, there were a few things that struck me.

Firstly, his mum was at pains to tell me how, with a few sacrifices and lifestyle changes, I could home-school, too. She was quick to outline all the things I needed to do, who I should talk to for help, pressed phone numbers upon me, etc. When I left the train, it occurred to me that I never said I wanted to home school. In fact, I said that my daughter was doing well at school and seemed to be getting on fine. I was left with a feeling of someone who was maybe a bit controlling, who thought that her choices were right for everyone.

Secondly, the mum was dressed in a funky, slightly folkie way, with a multicoloured, bright stripey jumper and sandals...and the little boy was wearing a really similar jumper and sandals. Now, I'm all for self-expression and kids not running with the pack, but I couldn't help wondering if he was dressed like this genuinely from his own choice, or because he perhaps identified more closely with his mum than with other kids his age. He would have been about 10 or 11, I guess.

I thought it was great that she was taking him on a visit to a museum to meet up with other home-schooled kids, and she said they did these outings regularly, which was the solution to the supposed isolation of home-schooling. But one thing struck me about this as well: kids need time away from parents. They need to form their bonds and have their dramas and fall out and make up again, without being under the constant watchful gaze and supervision of mum and dad. Because, quite frankly, mum and dad won't always be there, and they need to learn these skills for when they eventually find themselves out in the world, on their own.

So despite the fact that this boy was obviously very smart and confident about chatting to a grown-up he'd never met before, the overwhelming impression I got was one of an environment that might be a bit too excessively controlled, where your mum defines and manages your whole world. To be honest, I can understand the appeal for parents in removing a lot of the risk and the danger and the potential for hurt and betrayal and bullying and nastiness from your kids' lives. But the danger is that you're also removing them from a lot of the really good, important life-lessons that will help them to get by as adults. At some point we have to let them go - it's part of our job.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:42 AM

The situation and history of homeschooling appear to differ widely between the US and UK. There has always been a significant minority of home educated children in the USA, as would be expected in any large nation with a widely distributed populace. In a small country like the UK, with a relatively high population density, home schooling has always been quite rare, and the infrastructure to support this approach is patchy as a result. Australia approached this very succesfully by introducing high-quality radio-based distance learning. Other nations have other solutions.

The numbers of home educated children in the USA have grown rapidly in the last twenty years or so. Some theorists attribute this to failings in the public school system, but the common thread seems to be a disconnection between the perceived 'liberal' values promoted in public schools and those of the far-right Christian fundamentalist movement in the USA. Right wing parents (according to some researchers) are removing their children from what they see as the evil influence of modern liberal values and teaching them according to more traditional, bible-based values at home. There is considerable evidence of a right-wing education pathway, where bright children are homeschooled and inculcated with far-right values. They then go to specialist colleges, such as Patrick Henry College in Virginia, where they study (essentially) right wing politics. Their first job tends to be working as an intern for a right wing politician in some capacity. They tend to be white, middle class kids with above average intelligence.

This career pathway, it must be said, does not apply to all homeschooled children in the USA by any means. What is worrying is the infiltration of the approach by the fundamentalist right; their approach has some very nasty overtones of indoctrination, and smacks of 'building an army for God' (this phrase was actually used by one homeschooler in a recent documentary; I'm trying to remember the title and reference). Gatto's dodgy research has been picked up by the right wing and used as justification for their cynical and self-serving support of homeschooling.

About the UK. I live in a very sparsely populated rural area, and I know one family very well who have homeschooled their four children. The kids are the same generation as my kids, and are very different in terms of their outlook and social skills. The homeschooled kids achieved remarkable academic grades up to A level standard. The parents did a good, conscientious job of home schooling, following all the recommended guidelines. All four went to University. Three out of the four dropped out before finishing their course, and two of those had major breakdowns. (They're ok now, but still fragile). The third scraped a third-class degree, way below what would be expected of someone with her A levels. The fourth child (now 20) lives at home, and doesn't want to leave.

The major issue for this group of siblings appears to be the lack of cultural reference points with their peer group. Their culture and values are almost exclusively those of their parents, and it has been difficult to integrate into their own generation; according to my kids, they are seen as 'the weirdos who live up the hill'. This is harsh and unfair, but is an honest view, shared by most of their peers. It's difficult enough in areas like ours for kids to make friends and socialise without removing the regular meeting place (school) where this can happen regularly. I know that there are groups where homeschooled kids can go to socialise (with other homeschooled kids), and the internet has made a huge difference, but there is still a danger of social and cultural isolation. In the USA, there is evidence that this isolation is being actively promoted in order to prevent some kids being influenced by what the parents (and idealogues) see as unhealthy influences.

Just my thoughts on a Sunday morning.
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:03 PM

Thanks for that Richard.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 07:43 PM

Are we allowed to mention tinfoil hats?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 03:02 PM

OK, I think it's time to close this thread - but I won't. I'm going on another tack.

Yes, I will admit that Lizzie got out of control in this thread, but you of the anti-Lizzie mob knew from the onset that this was going to be another looneytunes thread. This combat is going to stop. From now on, all messages that make any mention of Lizzie Cornish are prohibited, as are all messages from Lizzie that make mention of any Mudcatters. I will delete all such messages.
Period.
-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-

Please call to mind that the title of this thread is £800 fine for low school attendance. Talk about that. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:37 PM

Oh, sorry, I should have added a comple American flake who's comments have no relevence to a discussion on education in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:15 PM

the puzzling fact that no-one has spoken out about Hate Registers or John Gatto

Well, they have actualy but as that has already been pointed out I will comment now.

Hate registers do not exist. They are a figment of your imagination.

John Gatto is a complete flake that needs to be locked up before he does some serious harm. In my opinion of course but my opinion does seem to concur with the majority of people in education. Surprising seeing as I usualy disagree with the masses...

Happy now? I suspect not because when you say 'why has no-one spoken about' you mean 'why has no-one agreed'.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:09 PM

"I would point out to the Mudcat moderators (and I use that term very loosely indeed) that despite these efforts, my name has been dragged into yet another Lizzie-based scrap.

Look at the evidence in front of you"

Folkiedave posted to this thread on 25 Feb 10 - 07:27 PM

Some 125 or so posts after Folkiedave's post we get this!

"Folkiefuckingdave, come out here and fight like a man, you creep! Stop creeping round the internet, then telling your buddies about it, so that they too put down their coded messages...eh, 'ruth'..…"

posted without comment!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:01 PM

I'm coming very late to this ridiculous thread and can scarcely justify the time I've spent reading it. I want to point out, however, that I recall madlizziecornish signing herself in Somewhere Else as "Elsie" (alongside an unfeasibly lengthy string of other pseudonyms). I outed MLC in the very next post for which she congratulated me (no need, it wasn't hard).

She appears to be attempting to smear me with her nasty little pretendy made-up anecdote but it's just another lie. Nothing new there then. Except that her increasingly crazed posts surely do betray symptoms of psychological projection - that and Enid Blytonist plagiarism. Scary indeed.

She does not know me (thank god) yet tries to make out that we are 'old friends' and have some sort of "connection". We do not. Apparently I have the distinction of challenging her very first post on the BBC forum (just some sycophantic fangirl bilge about that poor, unsuspecting dishevelled duo). And so from then to am embarrassed Phil Beer being compelled to come here (when he should have been in the studio) pleading with her to cease and desist. That was a year ago. Wouldn't someone with a smidgeon of self-awareness have shut the fuck up and slunk away then? Yet no, here she is still ranting on every subject about which she knows not a thing. What sort of moron does that? Care in the community candidates need compulsory muzzling.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:44 PM

I would add that, until the latest crazed rant, I was trying to discuss and contribute to the actual topic of this thread. I would point out to the Mudcat moderators (and I use that term very loosely indeed) that despite these efforts, my name has been dragged into yet another Lizzie-based scrap. Look at the evidence in front of you. Victim? My arse. She loves this stuff. If there isn't a row that's focusing on her, she'll start one. If people are ignoring her, she drags their names into some tirade and goads them into responding.

Seriously - care in the community doesn't even begin to describe it.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM

Good lord.

I have absolutely no idea what you are on about Lizzie, nor why on earth you are talking to the BBC about me. I haven't been to that board in ages, and then it was just to post the odd news snippet which is relevant to my work. I am friendly with Mel and her husband (in, you know, real life - that thing that happens away from your computer screen), so if she had anything to say to me she could contact me directly. I'm sure she's aware I hardly ever visit the board, so this most recent rant to her must have seemed even more unhinged than your usual outpourings.

The only time and reason anyone ever shopped you to the mods on the BBC board was because, after you were banned, the mods asked them to. The policy, in order to minimise your disruption of the board, was that others were not to respond to Lizzie Cornish or anyone they suspected to be Lizzie Cornish using a false identity, but instead to let the mods know, and they would take the appropriate action. That was the BBC's own way of managing your behaviour.

I never did anything to get you banned from there, Lizzie, and as far as I'm aware, neither did folkiedave. You did that all by yourself. Through your own behaviour. You're the one who is always going on about people taking personal responsibility. So own it. All of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM

"And now, back to Education.....and to the puzzling fact that no-one has spoken out about Hate Registers or John Gatto, despite him being a teacher himself...for 30 years...

Strange, huh? "

More evidence that you don't read what other people post Lizzie
In response to your demand I did read some of Gattos writings - this was what I posted on this thread as well as quotes from two award winning respected teachers who did not agree with hime


"Gatto's theories and political ideology are firmly based in American 'libertarianism'

This is supported by fellow libertarian ideologues like Neal Boortz, whose radio show is popular with conservative republicans and who routinely criticizes the homeless, public schools (which he calls 'government schools'), liberals, opponents of the Iraq war, teachers and welfare recipients …..
and has stated

"sending a child to a government school is tantamount to child abuse"

After reading Joe's informative post it's obvious that, in America, like the UK, there is room for education reform

The difference appears to be that in America the mantle of school reform has been appropriated by those from the libertarian brigade who oppose the whole idea of public schooling.

"Their aim is to paint themselves as bold challengers to the current system and to claim that defenders of public education lack the vision or courage to endorse meaningful change."

- Alfie Kohn an American author and teacher/lecturer who is actually a proponent of a constructivist account of learning and opposed to standardized tests etc

Kohn is also unimpressed by Gatto

" In a recent Harper's magazine essay entitled "Against School," he (Gatto) asserts that the goal of "mandatory public education in this country" is "a population deliberately dumbed down," with children turned "into servants."

In support of this sweeping charge, Gatto names some important men who managed to become well-educated without setting foot in a classroom.
(However, he fails to name any defenders of public education who have ever claimed that it's impossible for people to learn outside of school or to prosper without a degree.)

He also cites a few "school as factory" comments from long-dead policymakers, and observes that many of our educational practices originated in Prussia.
Here he's right. Our school system is indeed rooted in efforts to control. But the same indictment could be leveled, with equal justification, at other institutions. The history of newspapers, for example, and the intent of many powerful people associated with them, has much to do with manufacturing consent, marginalizing dissent, and distracting readers. But is that an argument for no newspapers or better newspapers?

Ideally, public schools can enrich lives, nourish curiosity, introduce students to new ways of formulating questions and finding answers.

Their existence also has the power to strengthen a democratic society, in part by extending those benefits to vast numbers of people who didn't fare nearly as well before the great experiment of free public education began"

No need to apologize.......


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:10 PM

Thanks, Tim...I'm really quite fine though, just hugely pissed off with the Usual Suspects. Who, as usual, have both avoided apologising for their shitty behaviour. No surprises there then...and of course, one of the usual suspects has done her usual thing in coming out with her 'It's all about YOU!' script, instead of having the guts to say 'Actually, kiddo, you know you have a point, I HAVE been an absolute bitch to you, and about you, for years now..and my latest behavoiour was WAY out of line. I humbly apologise'

Ha, there goes another flying pig!

So, Tim, may I ever so kindly, and ever so politely suggest that you take your psychology psychobabblebubble up with them and ask them why they keep hounding me as they do.

Thank you.



Folkiefooks...

I wrote a message for the BBC board, ABOUT you and Joan Crump.   I stated what I put above. Luckily, for you, Mel had woken up by that time and had managed to work out that 'Lizzicornishe' was moi. That, and of course her 'OH MY GOD! SHE's BACK!! TEACHER! TEACHER! THE BAD GIRL IS BACK!' button had gone off in her Smooth Operations Bunkers..

I wrote it because IF you and Frau Geerhart don't get OUT of my life and OFF my back, then I will cover the BBC board with messages about how low you two have now stooped..in your shitty behaviour, thus annoying the BBC profusely, whilst letting people see that somewhere in your anscetry there is probably a Banker.

Thank you.


And now, back to Education.....and to the puzzling fact that no-one has spoken out about Hate Registers or John Gatto, despite him being a teacher himself...for 30 years...

Strange, huh?


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