Wednesday, April 26, 2006


A Case for Public Education

Sutton Chimes in on the Homeschooling Debate (20thsenatorial Exclusive)

20thsenatorial received the following press release from Sutton. It is printed in its entirety:

A Case for Public Schooling

It was Noah Webster who said that universal public education was essential to the preservation of liberty in a self-governing electorate. Although our current system of public education may have its flaws, it is the duty of our state to provide education to our young people.
I take offense at Mrs. Madeira’s statements concerning public education. While attending graduate school at Western Maryland College, I helped put myself through school by substitute teaching. This was very rewarding, although attending classes in the evening made for a long day. I do not consider substitute teaching as the “lowliest job on earth.” That is a total degradation and a poor choice of words because there are no lowly jobs on earth. Any person who goes to work in any job deserves the respect of his fellow citizens. I value hard work and I don’t look down on people’s occupations. My work ethic has been instilled in me from the generations of my family that came before me. If my grandfathers were alive today, they could tell you what types of jobs they had to do to survive. They worked hard so that their descendants could have better opportunities. My grandfathers would consider substitute teaching an honorable position. They considered their jobs honorable as well because they took pride in their work. They also placed a high value on education, probably because one wasn’t given to them.
My current employment as a psychotherapist has given me the opportunity to work in over 25 different school buildings in the Wyoming Valley. Our schools are filled with many exceptional teachers and thousands of really “good” kids.
The socialization aspect is more than just learning how to converse with others. It is about learning to share, learning to cooperate, and learning teamwork. It is about being able to look around at your classmates and being able to appreciate their accomplishments, their creativity, and their differences. In public school, you learn how to compete, whether it is for the best grades, the neatest science project, or being elected class president. Competing against others is a skill that a child needs to develop for the future because it soon becomes a fact of life.
Most importantly, schools have highly trained, specialized teachers who know their material. I know very few adults who are masters of calculus, physics, Spanish, wood shop, world literature, and civics combined. And the idea that a third grader is capable of self-exploration and teaching him or herself is almost absurd.
I have no other way to close, but to thank my own teachers. I am a product of public schools, Northwest and Canton Areas. I had many terrific teachers in both districts. I respect those parents who choose to home school their children, but I also believe they should respect the public school system. Not doing so is an insult not only to our teachers, but also to the majority of our young people that are in public schools.

Wilkes Prof Tom Baldino: "Sutton to split 'parents of good kids' vote with Baker."
So true Carl!

I can think of several other lowlier jobs on planet Earth.

1. mucking out horse stalls
2. drawing circles and selling Amway
3. Deep-fat fryer duties at McDonalds
4. working at the landfill in mid-July
5. playing Dr. Laura
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