Schools are giving on academics in favor of socializing children, writes a British professor, Frank Furedi, in The Telegraph. Much will sound familiar to Americans.
A couple of months ago, I was told by an educationalist that classroom behaviour would significantly improve if children had regular access to drinking water. Other educationalists say nutritious school meals would do the trick. Some schools are using aromatherapy and chill-out music in the hope of engendering an atmosphere conducive to learning.
I can’t see aromatherapy doing much to raise educational standards, but nor do I envisage it having a negative impact in classrooms.
Alas, the same cannot be said of some of the other more intrusive social-engineering initiatives that are being foisted on children’s education. Rather than being educational institutions, they are fast becoming creche-like places whose main task is the socialisation of children.
Under one proposal, teen-agers wouldn’t have to study history, geography and modern languages. But classes in citizenship and sex education would be compulsory.
Schools are taking on parental and community responsibilities, Furedi writes. It doesn’t leave much time for teaching academics. At the same time, parents are asked to take on teaching duties at home — but not asked to socialize their own children.
Update: In Detroit, some schools give students supplies, clothing, food, eyeglasses, dental care — even a Thanksgiving turkey.
Felicia McCray’s daughter came home last year from Carstens Elementary School on Detroit’s east side with a new burgundy coat.
Kayja, now 9, also showed her mother her new hat, gloves, shoes, uniform, hair accessories and a voucher to Payless ShoeSource to get another pair of shoes.
McCray, a stay-at-home mother of two, doesn’t remember filling out any forms asking for help. But she gladly took the freebies. “It’s not like we’re a charity case,” she said. “But if you’re willing to help me, I’m willing to be helped.”
Parents also can get donated household goods, such as toilet seats and curtains, and help with job-hunting, finances and landlord-tenant relations. Everything but decent schools for their kids.