But when it reaches the point where you can't get kids to learn anything, and the troubles at home cause them to fail in droves, you have to address the problem if you want to do your job at all.
No, you don't have to become a nanny state to address family problems. Parents have to address their children, and society has to address the family unit on a much larger level. The state cannot function as surrogate normalized family. It can't for very long without giving rise to despotism. You might recall some failures on your side of the pond.
...the vision of frontal teaching has been thoroughly analyzed, found to be lacking for most elements of education...
At what point was the ineffectiveness of the talking-head model not obviously deficient? It was *already* obvious that if you spend time in as small groups as possible, educational achievement directly increases. I think humanity has known this pretty much...forever. Apprenticeship, guilds, etc.. What's always worked better will in the future still work better. That said, statistics *can* tell us which kinds of institutional teaching methods are the *least inefficient* compared to the gold standard of 1-on-1 methods, or simply put to score a rhetorical point: homeschool methods.
The bad is the assumption that you can do a better job than someone who actually learnt all about it.
It's clear at this point you don't understand homeschooling. It is varied. In our situation, we pay a regionally accredited Catholic school for their materials and access to instructors - actual teachers. Our kids are registered in that school, which has 16000 students. They are available by phone, chat, video, email, etc. at all kinds of hours. We, as parents, make ZERO pretense to be experts at anything the kids learn. That's stupid, and your assumption is based this misunderstanding. A child needs 2 things to learn: access to quality media on a given topic and 2) access to people who are experts on given topics. Between our paid services and the internet, none of these are lacking. In fact, we have the opposite problem. We have so many choices of where to get expert answers, the overwhelming thing is narrowing down what sources use. It can be harder than it sounds. Go to a homeschool convention in the US if you care. It's a bazaar of resources bigger than you can possibly get your mind around, even the small regional ones.
The law is for the lawless
I lifted that quote from 1 Tim 1:8-9, which says in full: "We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law, with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers...". Here, St. Paul is talking about Jewish law, specifically the 10 Commandments, upon which the understanding of Western law resides. Paul's greater point is that good people who do right don't need restraints on them. In that sense, law protects good people from bad people. The freedom of bad people gets restrained, not the freedom of people of goodwill.
In Germany, it is a matter of criminal law to homeschool one's children. Something is askew with that philosophically and morally. Hopefully, reason will prevail and German law will change for the better, as it has in the past. Across the globe, homeschooling gaining, not losing ground, and to be on the right side of freedom is to be on the side for parental rights to educate their children. In the US, the Supreme Court "has repeatedly stressed that while parents have a constitutional right to send their children to private schools and a constitutional right to select private schools that offer specialized instruction, they have no constitutional right to provide their children with private school education unfettered by reasonable government regulation"", and the "reasonable government regulation" is provided by State law, which is widely varied. That said, it is now legal in all 50 US states, and the issues today are whether or not homeschoolers are entitled to state or city resources or funds, etc..
To put it plainly, if you have relatively few dollars and an internet connection, and just maybe an eReader or two, you can get a grade and highschool education that far exceeds most public school offerings costing in some cases 5% of the public school cost. It's just not that hard regardless of what any teacher's union or state government might think. We do it everyday. It's not for everyone but we are glad with our options and choices.
I happen to live in the country (Germany) where the first state-mandated compulsory school attendance happened. That was 1592.
You also live in same country that arrests homeschoolers. That is political, not scientific.
One of the reasons is that teachers need protection from people like you
First, my friends are teachers. Teachers don't need protection from me. What are you talking about? Of course there are good and bad teachers. Now listen to you come unglued:
the fucking parents did their parts and put some basic life skills into their brats. Instead, not only education but raising a kid has been outsourced to the schools. And then the same parents who cause all those behaviour problems and phone calls and meetings you mentioned yourself above are giving the people who compensate for their failures a hard time.
Sounds like parents need protection from you. Regardless, the disruptive environment due to the family unit breakdown (kids with no life skills as you put it) is way beyond the ability of the school system to address. It *took* what it could not manage, and now can't easily give back: the role of surrogate parent. So now it just ends sadly for many uneducated dropouts and "graduates" that can't do grade school math. Call a failure a failure. But you know, those kids that want to succeed for whatever reason, will find a way, regardless if they are public schooled, charter schooled, private schooled, home schooled, or unschooled.
Back to my point. The schools *took* parental responsibilities. They take them everyday. They go above parents heads and hide behind specially crafted laws. What part of that have you missed? If you go around parental authority by means of the law, you lose the moral ground to complain to the parents about what they are or aren't doing. I can't speak for Germany, but here in the US the schools, like Horace Mann first envisioned, took on the role of surrogate parent, and they keep that role by force of laws backed by..."science". So, if you take the job of surrogate parent you get the babysitting job with it. That is why kids can't be left alone in a classroom. Require adult supervision is, of course, babysitting, whether it involves changing diapers or handing out detention slips. And, you can't have it both ways
And one final word on homeschooling: The rich used to home-school their children for pretty much all of history, from at least ancient greek onwards. But they never did it themselves. The kids got their education at home, yes. But their parents hired professional teachers.
And the point of the article is that with access to books, which only the rich had, is now cheap and ubiquitous, which is why homeschooling can exist today, and why it's growing by leaps and bounds in some countries...where it's legal. A free country produces free thinkers. A country of excessive laws produces lawless people.
Sure you can have all the pupils practice on their own while the teacher watches - but then you would be right about complaining that all they're doing is babysitting. So what is it? Homework or babysitting?
No. If the students were doing actual work (the "homework") in school, the "teacher" would be a tutor, directing and guiding instead of being a front-of-the-room talking head that reads the instructions to the kids - from the book they have right in front of them - and bores many of them into "acting up." If the kids where learning in school, there'd be no homework. My kids don't do homework because what they do is *actually* learn in an efficient, compact manner *every* single day with *no* fluff. That is what homeschool is about. It's more effective, fairly or not, at a fraction of the cost, is bully and drug free, and is wonderful for the parent-child relationship, which is a problem for many in Western cultures.
Two thoughts: "The law is for the lawless" and "bad company corrupts good morals".
"...the term "babysitting" is metaphorical"
When my vice-principal friend says babysitting, he means it. He literally spends his time dealing with behavior problems, and makes dozens and dozens of parent calls and meetings a week. He babysits, un-metaphorically.
"What we did for thousands of years doesn't count."
Not true. The amount of knowledge and what knowledge specifically is completely relative. They had full days of learning back then, and learning is learning. It's just different stuff. We've not evolved into smarter, more complex humans in the last 2000 years. People were pretty damn smart in Europe and Asia back then.
Regarding homework, you said:
"One, it teaches kids to work on their own"
Stop and think for a second. That is precisely what they should be learning in school, during the school day.
"...there is no group to wait for or catch up to".
This is an unresolvable problem that currently creates pitiful outcomes and reflects the broken state of education in the US. The smartest kids are held back (somewhat, either literally or bureaucratically) and the slowest kids simply get left behind. But since it's the "best we can do", we settle for it, because "best we can do" protects the interest of the institutions (teachers unions, the public school system, etc.) and not the students. Putting students first would up-end this model completely. It can be done, but it's not done. It's a case of institutional self-preservation delimited by a "this is what can do for you and nothing more" philosophy, that comes with a staggering monetary cost regardless of outcome. There are far cheaper models, but they are radically outside the institutional norm.
"Which is why they were invented long, long before mothers would go out to work"
I'm talking about state-mandated compulsory school attendance, like in New England in the mid-19th century. Horace Mann believed "that universal public education was the best way to turn the nation's unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens."
And this: "Mann also suggested that by having schools it would help those students who didn't have appropriate discipline in the home. Building a person's character was just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. By instilling values such as obedience to authority, promptness in attendance, and organizing the time according to bell ringing helped students prepare for future employment. Mann faced some resistance from parents who didn't want to give up the moral education to teachers and bureaucrats"
So yes, the NEA position is propaganda. You can't even get rid of bad teachers without a lawyer and $$$ to go with the effort. "But if we just spend more money..." is not the answer. If it was truly a pure science, after 160 years of field work, surely we'd know more and have better results by now. But the evidence of homeschoolers, who spend less than $500 per child per year and have far better results, is problematic for the public education sector. Yet the NEA maintains parents are not qualified and SAT scores are significantly better? The average public school spend per student is over 10k, nearly $900 of that going to transportation alone.
Men take only their needs into consideration -- never their abilities. -- Napoleon Bonaparte