Friday, February 20, 2009

Importance of Education & How You Can Help

No doubt about it. Our current educational system has cultivated a generation of self-important and politically correct young adults that can barely read, write, or add, but gosh darnit, don't they feel good about themselves? Oh wait, according to some in the new administration, (*cough* Eric Holder *cough*), only black students should feel good about themselves; white students are cowards because they don't talk enough about how cool it is to be black. (Can you see me rolling my eyes from where you're sitting?)

Our children are being dumbed down in government run schools. Study after study after study show that American students are falling further and further behind their foreign counterparts. Teachers are limited on how much work they may assign their students, social awareness trumps personal responsibility, school nurses can't hand out aspirin but can direct pregnant teens to an abortion clinic, and students incapable of constructing grammatically correct sentences or adding two three-digit numbers together without a calculator keep on donning those caps and gowns to receive their diplomas.

What's our new prez going to do to improve our educational system? With $100 billion set aside in the latest "stimulus" package for education, you'd think the government could improve education drastically. Unfortunately, as history has shown, throwing money at a problem rarely makes that problem go away. It's sort of like using a pail to dump water out of a leaky rowboat... sure, you can keep the boat from sinking (for awhile) but if you don't plug the leaks, it will keep filling back up and your arms will get very, very tired.

I'm not sure Obama really wants educated, critically thinking adults in his audience anyway. Afterall, it was the idiotic youth vote that got him elected (although not this 26 year old youth, you all know I voted for Sarah Palin ;-)). Imagine if all of those young people had stopped to think about the ramifications of electing a power hungry socialist that attended a black supremist church for 20 years, kicked off his political career in a domestic terrorist's living room, had a wife that was ashamed to be an American until her husband was nominated for the Presidential ticket, and wants to sit down for milk and cookies with Ahmenajad (you know, that Iranian leader with nukes and a desire to obliterate the US from the map). A well educated audience might have questioned his double speak, even to the point of telling two different cities that he was rooting for their team to win the world series! Seriously, is that important enough to lie about?

Besides, Arne Duncan, the former Chicago schools chief, is now heading up the Department of Education. And we all know how great the schools in Chicago are (again with the eye rolling! I just can't seem to help myself).

So what's a parent to do in these dire educational circumstances? Sit back and relax while the government tells you what's best for your child? Not this parent, that's for sure! As our eldest daughter neared schooling age, my husband and I took stock of our options. We could put her in a government run school, and supplement at home. We could put her name in the lottery for a coveted spot at a nearby covertly Christian charter school. I could homeschool her, but that would've involved too many prescription drugs (no, not Ritalin for her, Lorazepam for me). We could look into private school. Months of research, phone calls, school visits, and prayer later, we fell in love with The Cambridge School.

The philosophy-
The Cambridge School employs a classical, Christian approach to learning, which is a time-honored approach to learning used throughout the Western world by the 16th century, and which remained the norm until at least 1850.The method is known as the Trivium, which imparts the basic tools of learning to the student and introduces them to the life of the mind. The Trivium is applied to every academic discipline, meaning every subject has its grammar, logic, and rhetoric.Becoming educated in any subject involves knowing its basic facts and principles (grammar), ordering and analyzing relationships concerning those facts (logic), and communicating conclusions in a clear, persuasive, and winsome manner (rhetoric). This three-phase model works because it focuses on the way children learn best at each stage of life and builds on the foundation of previous stages. Thus, it prepares students to become life-long learners who can think for themselves. And in today's culture, such skills are increasingly valuable precisely because this educational model is the exception rather than the rule.

Now everyone knows the major downside to private education: the cost. It eats a substantial chunk of our monthly income, but it is a sacrifice that we are willing to make. Although the Obamas practice school choice (their elementary age daughters attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends to the tuition tune of
$28,442 per year, per girl), it's a case of, "What's good enough for thee isn't good enough for me." Obama does not support the use of vouchers, which would allow parents of school aged children to take a portion of the money that the state has allocated for their education and spend it at the school of their choice.

I know we are blessed to not need tuition assistance at this point in time. We don't take fancy vacations, we don't go out on fancy dates, I clean the house, cook the meals, chauffeur the kids, and shop frugally. Heck, right now I'm writing this piece on a three year old laptop with a screen that blinks out if I don't keep a clothespin on the upper left hand corner. Life would be much easier financially if we didn't pay for our daughter to attend private school, but we get by just fine.

There are many that cut every corner, but still can't afford to participate in school choice. These are families with hard working parents and eager to learn kids, who just want to be given the opportunity to attend the school of their choice, The Cambridge School. For those students, the school offers some tuition assistance... which of course is paid for by...wait for it...fundraising! You knew I had to be selling something, right? Wrapping paper? Cookie dough? A snugi, perhaps?

How about a chance to win a dream car for only $25? Did I get your attention? (in my best cheesy Billy Mays impression) For the low, low price of $25, you will receive by mail or in person 1 raffle ticket as confirmation of your entry, with its partner being entered into the drawing to take place on April 4, 2009 at the Cambridge Auction and Gala. The grand prize winner will receive his or her choice of one of 4 dream cars or $25,000 cash.

But wait! There's more! Spend $100 on a bundle of tickets, and receive not 4 chances to win, but 5! That's right, Folks, for just $100 dollars, you will receive 5 raffles tickets! With sales being capped at 3,000 entries, your chances to win the grand prize or one of the smaller cash prizes are higher than the chance you're wearing a snugi right now. And be honest, that warm fuzzy feeling that you get from doing something good (like donating to a stellar cause) is all you really need to be a winner! Ok, warm heated seats in a brand new luxury car might trump a warm fuzzy heart on a cold winter morning...

No need to be present to win. Void where prohibited by law.

Download your forms here, enter "Hannah E." as the Cambridge Referral Name, and mail or fax it in to the school.

All proceeds directly fund the Tuition Assistance and Language Arts programs(Mandarin, Latin, and Spanish) which help ensure a diverse and vibrant student community and well-rounded academic programs.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

True reform will only come through school choice. Please join us at www.vouchersystem.org.