Ill-educated and Proud of it!

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Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Allison Benedikt is an editor at Slate.  Judging from the piece of tripe below I would say that whatever other factors are involved in the choice of editors by the powers that be at Slate, intelligence is obviously not an important one.

Ms. Benedikt thinks that parents have a moral duty to send kids to public schools, even if they are crummy.

 

 

You want the best for your child, but your child doesn’t need it. If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school. She will have support at home (that’s you!) and all the advantages that go along with being a person whose family can pay for and cares about superior education—the exact kind of family that can help your crappy public school become less crappy. She may not learn as much or be as challenged, but take a deep breath and live with that. Oh, but she’s gifted? Well, then, she’ll really be fine.

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.

By the way: My parents didn’t send me to this shoddy school because they believed in public ed. They sent me there because that’s where we lived, and they weren’t too worried about it. (Can you imagine?) Take two things from this on your quest to become a better person: 1) Your child will probably do just fine without “the best,” so don’t freak out too much, but 2) do freak out a little more than my parents did—enough to get involved.

Go here to read the rest.  I must say that Allison Benedikt certainly practices what she preaches.  She went to a crummy public high school, took up space at college and now she writes for Slate for no discernible reason.  (It might help a wee bit if you have family pull, as evidenced by being married by an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court and having your marriage noted in the New York Times.)  So, parents, don’t worry.  Send your kids to crummy schools, and do not be concerned if they waste college.  Chances are that if they turn out ill-educated and ill-informed they will think and write just like Ms.  Benedikt!

21 Responses to Ill-educated and Proud of it!

  • Judging by that article, Ms. Benedikt is a walking advertisement for Private/Homeshooling.

  • Um, goodness. I’m not sure what can be said about this article.

    Funny thing, though, Salon, which I think has a similar readership, just published an article calling schools “prison.” It’s an interesting article.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/26/school_is_a_prison_and_damaging_our_kids/

  • Proving once again, that the patient is often the last one to know of the disease.

    So by extension, since we should all have some skin in the game, does that mean liberals need to actually produce children where they otherwise contracept or abort them?

  • - I’m willing to bet that her birth name is Alison Benedict, and she never learned to spell.

    – There wasn’t even soccer! Try to imagine a greater shock to a Slate reader.

    – Among her bad reasons for sending a kid to private school: religion.

    – Another one: because parents want their children to grow up and write at Slate. I don’t think parents that read this article will want their kids to grow up to work at Slate, and they definitely won’t think their kids will need to be smart to achieve that goal.

  • http://www.theawl.com/2011/06/life-after-zionist-summer-camp

    The broad seems like one of the characters invented by Jonathan Franzen, more a simulacrum of a person than the real thing.

  • Thusly, the Borg/Hive expands.

  • This way the Dems can get them to believe that Jefferson Davis was a Republican and Lincoln a Democrat. (Instapoundit)

  • While it is difficult to imagine there is much but random static between her ears, that article in The Awl would indicate her husband has been an influence on her thinking. Her husband is the chap that wrote this article.

    http://gawker.com/5969771/robert-bork-was-a-terrible-human-being-and-no-one-should-grieve-his-passing

    Wunnerful wunnerful,

  • Sheesh, she is a dope and her hubbie is deranged. From the piece dancing on Bork’s grave:

    “anti-Semitic madman Richard Nixon down the rabbit hole of criminality.”

    That would be the Nixon who initiated Operation Nickel Grass to re-supply the Israeli military during the 1973 Yom Kippur War:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Nickel_Grass

    What makes this doubly amusing is that Cook is a hard line Israel hater:

    http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2011/07/john-cook-where-anti-american-and-anti.html

  • Hold on to your hats, folks… I think she actually has a few (very few) good points to make in this essay.

    I think she is right to point out that parental involvement and enrichment can make up for some, perhaps many, of the deficiencies in a less than perfect public school. By “less than perfect” I mean a public school that doesn’t have state-of-the-art sports facilities or computer labs, that doesn’t have winning sports teams with scholarship prospects, or that doesn’t have quite the smorgasbord of course offerings that a wealthier school district might offer. I’m NOT talking about a school that is riddled with out of control violence, gangs or drug problems; the only solution to that problem is to get the heck out if possible (which for poor families isn’t always possible).

    That was true in my case. I attended K-8 in a small town school district that had far fewer resources than neighboring districts — and which I could walk just half a block to – but it doesn’t seem to have hurt me any, largely because most of what I learned I got from my parents anyway. IMO every parent is a homeschooler just as every parent is a working parent; the difference is simply in how much of the education/work takes place outside the home or is delegated to others (teachers).

    But I believe some families place way too much emphasis on getting into the “right” (i.e. wealthy suburban) school districts; in the belief that this will guarantee their child’s future success — in the meantime placing themselves deeply in debt to buy homes they can’t afford and enduring long hours and lengthy commutes that keep them away from their kids at exactly the time they most need to be present (after school). One does NOT have to be “ill educated” merely because one happened to attend a less than perfect public school, when there are lots of other resources one can learn from — libraries, museums, bookstores, historic sites, colleges and universities in the area, etc.

    And yes, she might be correct in saying that public schools MIGHT change if enough middle and upper class families stuck around and demanded change instead of fleeing to the suburbs.

    That said… where she goes totally off the rails is in her condescending, dismissive and judgmental attitude toward parents who choose alternatives to failing public schools and calls them “bad parents”. News flash: one’s primary duty as a parent is to one’s children and spouse, NOT to your neighbors, your school district, your community or your state. I’m not saying your neighbors, community, etc. should be totally ignored, but they cannot come before your own children.

    By her logic, a family living in a deteriorating urban neighborhood is duty bound to stay and “make things better” rather than move out due to such petty and selfish concerns as keeping their kids from getting shot, beaten up, raped, etc. God forbid that you should place the welfare of your family above making an Important Social and Political Statement! Is she going to be moving to, say, Detroit or Newark or East St. Louis to make things better for them any time soon? I didn’t think so.

  • “I think she is right to point out that parental involvement and enrichment can make up for some, perhaps many, of the deficiencies in a less than perfect public school.”

    Especially if the parents do not send their kids to a crummy public school, which is completely opposite to her argument.

    “but it doesn’t seem to have hurt me any, largely because most of what I learned I got from my parents anyway.”

    Parents are always the prime teachers of their kids for good and ill. The problem today is that good parents often find that the public schools are attempting to undermine a fair amount of what they are teaching their kids.

    “But I believe some families place way too much emphasis on getting into the “right” (i.e. wealthy suburban) school districts;”

    Agreed, but homeschooling is often a great alternative, even homeschooling done as a supplement.

    “One does NOT have to be “ill educated” merely because one happened to attend a less than perfect public school, when there are lots of other resources one can learn from — libraries, museums, bookstores, historic sites, colleges and universities in the area, etc.”

    Depends upon the kids. Some kids are self-starters while others are heavily influenced by the quality of the instruction they receive.

    “MIGHT change if enough middle and upper class families stuck around and demanded change instead of fleeing to the suburbs.”

    Around the margins, but the major problems of most public schools, tenure, burned out teachers, incompetent teachers, and a scattershot approach to education, would remain.

  • I home taught my son through the Seton Home Schooling Program for 7 years….I did not teach my son about two mommies and two daddies or all the other rubbish that is taught in public schools…I believe the whole public school system should be abolished…home schooling is the way to go..

  • To borrow from Belloc, Benedikt’s thought is a celebration of ignorance on such a scale that it’s beginning to be difficult to deal with.

  • Now, I agree with this woman.

    The Obamas, Clintons, et al are worse.than.Hitler.

  • Your local school stinks but [your union and its party aren’t willing to give up your corrupt privileges and political power]? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better.

  • Elaine makes a valid point. But what’s particularly galling about the article is that the author clearly expresses her lack of concern about education. None of us read all the best books or learned all that we could have in college. But Benedikt doesn’t see the possibility of making up for it now. That notion that education is a lifelong thing just seems to be missing. It parallels the way that she doesn’t see the parental role or the role of the church in education (or at least gives no hint that she does). In a weird way, it doesn’t matter how good the school is that she sends her kids to, because they’re not being exposed to a thirst for learning. And the fact that she’s in the media class and lacks that thirst, it’s just amazing.

  • Don’t cry for Allison. She may not be smart. She may not be cultured. She may not have even had the chance to play soccer at her high school. But none of that matters. She’s a member of the Party, and as long as she serves them, she will receive her patronage.

  • An idea whose time has come: separation of School from State.

  • Micha, hear, hear!

    This has to be one of the greatest slogans to ever go untried.

  • If the author really wanted to make the point that attending a non-perfect or even mediocre to terrible public school does not HAVE to make your child stupid or ruin his/her life, she would have said something like this: “Yes, I know about poetry, I can appreciate great art, and I know when the Civil War and all the important events of history happened. I know all the things a culturally literate person is supposed to know, even though I didn’t learn them at school. How do I know these things? Because I (and my parents) cared enough to learn them on our own.” But that’s not what she said. Instead she undermines her own argument by boasting of her ignorance and saying that one of the important things she learned at school was how to get drunk with trailer park kids. Yeah, right.

    Then again, she does have one piece of advice that is valid: “Your child will probably do fine without ‘the best’, so don’t freak out too much.” If more parents understood and believed that, it might go a long way toward conquering the anti-life mentality that drives couples to contracept and even abort for fear of bringing a child into the world that might not get into Harvard, or might have to (shudder) eat groceries purchased at Costco or clothes bought from Wal-Mart.

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