Author Topic: Deporting Christians  (Read 987 times)

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Offline Chronos

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Deporting Christians
« on: March 11, 2013, 07:30:18 PM »
Random share on Facebook, sourced from FOX News ...

Christian family facing deportation for homeschooling

Apparently the inability to homeschool is equal to persecution. However, Germans can send their children to private and/or religious schools, if they wish, as stated by Deutsche-Welle in 2010. Of course, this is being painted as Obama saying that homeschooling is bad, when in reality they are saying that denial of homeschooling in another country is insufficient grounds for persecution.


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Offline The Gawd

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 07:33:31 PM »
Well, this was a let down. I was hoping Obama was deporting them to.........Afghanistan.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 08:14:23 PM »
Quote
In Germany, mandatory school attendance dates back to 1717, when it was introduced in Prussia, and the policy has traditionally been viewed as a social good. "This law protects children," says Josef Kraus, president of the German Teachers' Association. The European Court of Human Rights agrees with him. In 2006, the court threw out a homeschooling family's case when it deemed Germany's compulsory-schooling law as compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, an international treaty drafted in 1950[1]. Given this backdrop, it's little wonder the Romeikes came up against a wall of opposition when they tried to talk to their school principal about the merits of homeschooling.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1968099,00.html#ixzz2NHYMKRfq
 1. It is unlikely that, in 2006, the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 would have been used - Germany, by then it had clearer Humans Rights Legislation
Apologies to anyone here who is homeschooling their kids or is themselves homeschooled, but my UK experience of homeschool parents is that they are all a little weird. The very thought that their child must be protected for 18 years from the outside world, has to make you suspicious.

And whether it were Obama or Bush, my experience is that neither the Human Rights Act or the Geneva Convention on Refugees[2] mention a right to education, let alone a right to educate them at home. The reason why the parents wish to educate their children at home is therefore an irrelevancy.

Of course, Fox did not bother to mention any of this at all - but then why ruin a good story with the truth of the matter?
 2. only the latter applies in the USA and then only an earlier version - you have your constitutional rights
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 08:15:54 PM by Graybeard »
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Offline Nick

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 08:30:45 PM »
We had/have several families   that homeschooled in my school district.  One family had a boy and girl that took them out of school in the 3rd grade.  Years later it was discovered that the kids were basically used as farm labor and got no education at all but nothing could be done about it.

I also agree with the kind of weird part mentioned above.  The ones who do it right are smart, it appears, but their social skills leave a lot to be desired.  The net has probably helped a lot in providing a curriculum and ability to explore at ones own pace.  I don't know how you would have done it right before the net.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 10:39:02 AM »
Whoa.  Let's do a little recap of the facts here,

This family fled Germany, because the German government would not allow them to home school their kids.  They sought political asylum here in the US. 

I work with a lot of asylum seekers in the US.  Torture victims.  Massacre survivors.  Members of political or social or ethnic or religious groups that are persecuted or marginalized from mainstream society.  Gay or transgendered folks from countries in which homosexuality is punishable by death. 

Political asylum is tough to get.  I know folks who were unable to accurately document their persecution.  Folks who were too traumatized or confused by the complex application process to meet the required deadlines.  Folks who were sent back to their countries of origin, to face what is almost certain death. 

So these folks were granted asylum, due to persecution in their native country.  And the nature of the persecution was they had to send their kids to school. 

And then the US justice department reviewed the case, and decided that not being able to home school your kids does not constitute the kind of oppression necessary to be granted political asylum.  Homeschooling is not a fundamental human right.

They should just wait it out, and see if Obama passes compressive immigration reform.  If he does, then they can stay in Tennessee and homeschool their kids and teach them about how cavemen rode dinosaurs and how the sun rotates around the earth and whatever silliness they want to teach their kids. 

But they will have to get to the back of the line, just like the 11 million other undocumented folks living in this country. 


Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 12:52:49 PM »
While this is slightly off-topic, I think that parents have the responsibility to be involved in the education of their children.  That is to say, to know what they're being taught and to help them understand it as something they can use, rather than facts to be memorized.  Ideally, parents should also teach their children things at home as well as what they learn in school.  Honestly, if they do it right, it'll be far more effective than simply leaving them to struggle through school on their own.  Even intelligent children can have trouble with that.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 03:16:48 PM »
I can't figure out how they got political asylum either. It is almost impossible to get, even for people from somewhere like Sudan.  But displaced Africans from a war-torn, famine-ridden hellhole don't need our help, not as long as there are middle-class families fleeing certain death by free public education in a modern Western European country with the strongest economy on the continent. :P

I'll bet there are a lot of sick people in the US who wish they could be deported to Germany, where they have national health care. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 06:00:06 PM »
deport them to the Sudan?

Offline Quesi

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 09:05:15 AM »
Yeah.  The whole asylum system doesn't work.

Let's take a theoretical example.  An Afghani family from the tribal regions comes to the US seeking political asylum because they have 3 young daughters, and they would like those daughters to go to school.  Although there is a school not far from their home, there have been various high profile assassinations and assassination attempts in the tribal regions against girls attending school.

So they have an asylum hearing.  During the hearing, the immigration judge determines that the girls CAN go to school in their community.   There is nothing but anecdotal evidence that this particular family has received death threats from the Taliban, and no children in this school have been assassinated since that incident 5 years ago. 

Case denied.

There is no reason to provide political asylum to the family, because the girls can go to school in Afghanistan.

Now, if one of the girls survives an attempt on her life while going to school, she will probably be granted asylum, if the family has sufficient documentation.  Do they have pictures?  Police reports?  Medical reports?  News articles about the attack?  Evidence that their child was in fact among those children who were targeted?   And maybe the whole family, including her parents and sisters might get conditional residency in US. 

But her cousins, who live next door, probably wouldn't be eligible. 

Really.  Political asylum is hard to get. 

Now my heart breaks for these poor evangelicals whose children are at risk of being subjected to the theory of evolution in these government controlled German schools. 

But I'm wondering if there are families from places that are even more dangerous than the classrooms of the German public schools, who might have stories that are a little more heartbreaking. 

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 10:29:34 AM »
My Sudanese friend, from a high-profile family, was beaten by soldiers while pregnant, her father was kidnapped and her other relatives were hiding in the forest, sleeping in trees. Her brother managed to get asylum in Australia. She was denied asylum in the US. 

To keep from being deported to Sudan for imprisonment and probably certain death, she had to go into hiding. Since she can't legally leave the US, she has not seen her children, still in Africa, in over ten years. :'(

I'll bet she would trade cases with that German family in a heartbeat.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 03:37:14 AM »
I love how Fox has presented this one, it's a typical Fox-ism. Essentially all Germany's law is saying is you've got to have somebody qualified to teach your kids and your kids require an education. Home schooling isn't necessarily going to prepare children for the world of employment and in many ways is potentially damaging, I know typically there are people who homeschool to indoctrinate their children to deny them the outside world. For some, they might consider it abuse by denying them a proper education. Obviously this was the case for the German government. With regards to asylum, it sounds like their terms for having their asylum were not considered fair as their human rights weren't violated, because no human rights law grants people a right to homes school children...it is just a US law that this particular family favoured, which doesn't really warrant asylum, instead what they SHOULD have done is sought a visa to work and live in the US instead if they were that bent on home schooling their kids and they wouldn't have had their asylum rejected.

To me, I see it like me being threatened jail time for being in possession of a unlicensed firearm and seeking asylum in the US because US law would let me possess it. It's not a human right to possess a firearm, there's stricter gun laws in the UK and US law generally favours a right to own firearms. It would be ludicrous if the US said 'yes' to my asylum. I would be better off getting a visa.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 11:09:14 AM »
Apologies to anyone here who is homeschooling their kids or is themselves homeschooled, but my UK experience of homeschool parents is that they are all a little weird. The very thought that their child must be protected for 18 years from the outside world, has to make you suspicious.

I know some parents who homeschool their kids, and on the whole you are correct -- they are a little weird. Sometimes a lot weird.

In the US, most parents who homeschool their kids are fearful of social and/or secular indoctrination of their children by the liberal, free-thinking society that they believe exists. I view these people as nutty as the majority of them attend or are associated with fundamentalist Christian sects. There is a smaller subset of people who are more hippie-like in their outlook on life and want to travel with their kids, teach them how to live off the land, ensure that they don't end up in any particular social doctrine -- let them explore and learn. Even these people are a little bit nutty, but generally their kids turn out okay, if lacking a particular direction. Then, there is a very small subset of parents who homeschool their kids because their kids have either been subject to bullying and have ended up with psychological problems or they already had psychological problems and would become distractions to other students. Some of these parents homeschool because the local school system cannot provide the proper support throughout the day, but often have a member of the school system visit them at home to assist. These people aren't nutty, but sometimes their kids are.


What I find more nutty is that these parents think they can actually provide a proper education to their kids, rather than the reasons they have chosen for homeschooling. I do not know how parents work and homeschool at the same time -- obviously, they don't. Homeschooling is almost unheard of in single-parent families as it requires another parent to go out and earn money.


Yes, FOX picks up on the religious issue and heavily implies that this family is being deported for its religious beliefs. What can you expect from the fundamentalist, low-information, low-capacity FOX audience?


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Offline screwtape

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 11:13:34 AM »
We have a member here who is homeschooling his kids.  He lives in Texas and would rather they actually learned things.  He's pretty weird too, just not for that reason.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 11:21:56 AM »
We have a member here who is homeschooling his kids.  He lives in Texas and would rather they actually learned things.  He's pretty weird too, just not for that reason.

I have heard some parents complain about Texas schools, but I sometimes wonder if the issues are overblown.

I live in Maryland and we have excellent school systems here that have a lot of high-achieving students (there are some exceptions primarily with Baltimore City schools). I think an education will be as valuable as the inputs into the system are. If the students come from families that are well-educated, the students tend to be better and learn more. With less-educated parents, the students tend to be worse and learn less. It's likely wrong for me to paint Texas as full of people who are less-educated, but maybe there are pockets of problems like that with low-performing schools to match. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the problems would be in Texas schools.[1]


 1. Except the obvious problem that Texans like to vote for people who want their kids to learn that the earth is only 6,000 years old. If the LHC had been constructed in Texas, it would have provided considerable irony to scientific education.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 11:40:43 AM »
I wonder if this pair were granted asylum by the judge based on what he remembers of Germany 60 years or so ago.... There certainly is no reason to grant asylum to Germans today. Of course, the family could merely have travelled to live in the UK - as EU citizens they have that right - and could home-school in the UK if they really must. The school system, though, checks them out to make sure things are actually being done.

So, I wonder, why fly further to the USA when the UK was so much easier to get to - a mere hour or so flying... There is something odd about this family.
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Offline Willie

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2013, 12:47:26 PM »
I have heard some parents complain about Texas schools, but I sometimes wonder if the issues are overblown.

It varies by locale, but in general, it is overblown. There's little reason a child with supportive parents, or one who has some degree of self-motivation, can't excel in Texas public schools. Especially in the mid-to-large cities, where more programs and course offerings are available, and where there are usually opportunities to take dual-credit courses through community colleges for subjects beyond what the high schools can offer.

Quote
I live in Maryland and we have excellent school systems here that have a lot of high-achieving students (there are some exceptions primarily with Baltimore City schools). I think an education will be as valuable as the inputs into the system are. If the students come from families that are well-educated, the students tend to be better and learn more. With less-educated parents, the students tend to be worse and learn less. It's likely wrong for me to paint Texas as full of people who are less-educated, but maybe there are pockets of problems like that with low-performing schools to match. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the problems would be in Texas schools.

Yes, I'm pretty sure that demographics have a lot to do with Texas schools poor ratings. Texas has more than its fair share of students who come from poor and/or uneducated families, and those who come into the system knowing little or no english, and those who've had little or no introduction to reading prior to entering school.

Quote
Except the obvious problem that Texans like to vote for people who want their kids to learn that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

That is a problem. But it's worth noting that those efforts have been unsuccessful. Texas public schools still teach evolution, not creationism. Which is not to say that there hasn't been some damage from this. The teaching of evolution is almost certainly less emphasized and less thorough than it should be.

Quote
If the LHC had been constructed in Texas, it would have provided considerable irony to scientific education.

You mean the SSC? It's a real shame that it was cancelled, especially after already spending $2 billion on it. It would have been nearly 3X as powerful as the LHC.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2013, 03:52:48 PM »
We have a member here who is homeschooling his kids.  He lives in Texas and would rather they actually learned things.  He's pretty weird too, just not for that reason.

Personally, I don't think homeschooling is necessarily a bad thing, because the person teaching the kids could be giving them really valuable and applicable lessons, but I think there is definitely a risk and it's often used as an opportunity to indoctrinate and is more like raising a kid as part of a cult rather than raising them to be a positive member of society...well, outside of their closed view of a society, which doesn't necessarily take into account the kids' freedoms or even their wishes. To my mind indoctrination itself is child abuse.

So I understand why Germany perhaps makes it a requirement for kids to go to school, heck I'm pretty sure it's the same here in the UK.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2013, 04:02:02 PM »
Parents homeschool for a lot of different reasons. 

Here in the US, we certainly have a lot of evangelicals who are afraid that their kids might find out that the more you know about science, the sillier the bible looks.  Of course, a huge percentage of US students go through the school system, learn a bit about science, but end up believing in their god. 

But there are families who homeschool because they think that the public schools are being forced to teach to the tests, rather than teach to the natural curiosity of their kids.  Here in NYC, there are homeschooling networks that spend a huge amount of time doing hands on projects in museums while their classmates are taking notes.  I certainly see the appeal of that.

Some parents homeschool because their kids have special needs that they think are not adequately addressed in overcrowded classrooms.   Some parents homeschool because they are concerned about safety in the schools.  Some parents do crazy things, like pull their kids out of school for a year or two and travel the world. 

I think about all the homeschooled kids in Jesus Camp, and I go nuts.  But there are circumstances in which I think homeschooling is the right choice for some families. 



Online Azdgari

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2013, 09:07:33 PM »
This isn't related to the asylum story, but there's a Canadian homeschooling community (a couple hundred families) in Ottawa that I'm doing geology lessons for.  Key word: Community.  These kids aren't in the public school system, but they're also not socially isolated.  It's a hippy-ish community, and the kids attend classes taught by the parents who have some kind of expertise or aptitude in that subject.

Not the idea of a home-schooling family that I'd had prior to learning about this group, and it seems a lot healthier than the insular at-home schooling that most of us probably envision when we think of home-schooling.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 09:35:54 PM »
You mean the SSC? It's a real shame that it was cancelled, especially after already spending $2 billion on it. It would have been nearly 3X as powerful as the LHC.

Same diff. Both are billions of years into the future for creationists.


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Offline Chronos

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2013, 09:44:20 PM »
This isn't related to the asylum story, but there's a Canadian homeschooling community (a couple hundred families) in Ottawa that I'm doing geology lessons for.  Key word: Community.  These kids aren't in the public school system, but they're also not socially isolated.  It's a hippy-ish community, and the kids attend classes taught by the parents who have some kind of expertise or aptitude in that subject.

Not the idea of a home-schooling family that I'd had prior to learning about this group, and it seems a lot healthier than the insular at-home schooling that most of us probably envision when we think of home-schooling.

While the community aspect has a lot of benefits when there are multiple parents helping out in areas for which they are better equipped, most homeschoolers do not get this kind of benefit. What happens more often among the Christian fundamentalists who homeschool is that they get one day every other week (or every two weeks) with another parent who goes over things in person. In the interim, these parents create paper-based educational materials for the other parents to use.

A small community of parents getting together, especially when bringing in outside teachers, is equivalent to what we call a public charter school, just without the bricks-and-mortar.

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Offline Chronos

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2013, 10:22:09 PM »
But there are families who homeschool because they think that the public schools are being forced to teach to the tests, rather than teach to the natural curiosity of their kids.  Here in NYC, there are homeschooling networks that spend a huge amount of time doing hands on projects in museums while their classmates are taking notes.  I certainly see the appeal of that.

NYC offers many things that most other locales cannot.

Some parents homeschool because their kids have special needs that they think are not adequately addressed in overcrowded classrooms.   Some parents homeschool because they are concerned about safety in the schools.  Some parents do crazy things, like pull their kids out of school for a year or two and travel the world. 

I must admit that it has been many years since I last visited NYC (and my last visit was for very atypical reasons for visiting NYC), but as far as safety is concerned it seems crazy to me that somebody would be concerned about NYC schools. I'm sure that NYC has problems like other cities, but I was amazed at how friendly NYC residents are. Parents in NYC allow their kids to go to school at surprisingly early ages riding in city buses, taxi cabs and the subway -- things that so many parents in the suburbs would be horrified to do. I think most NYC neighborhoods have a better sense of community and watching out for neighbors and the kids than most suburban areas in the US.

Suburbia seems to be the largest social threat in America.


I think about all the homeschooled kids in Jesus Camp, and I go nuts.  But there are circumstances in which I think homeschooling is the right choice for some families. 

My ex-wife wanted our daughter to attend a private school, and all but one that we visited were religious-based (Christian, of course) and I was vehemently opposed to private schools for various reasons. When I was told at the Catholic school that we were not allowed in the school beyond the wrought iron gate at the daily drop-off point, I told them "hell no". (I would have told them "hell fucking no", but I was showing respect.) The local baptist school required that we regularly attend their church, and of course, at least for me, that was not going to happen for any reason. The Adventist school had a specific 1950s moment when they explained that the extra-curricular activity for the boys was to play basketball and the extracurricular activity for the girls was to be the cheerleaders for the boys as they played basketball -- the ex-wife immediately short-circuited. Except for the year in kindergarten, our daughter has attended public schools and she has gotten a great education, but we helped a lot, like we would at any school. Socially-speaking, she has been exposed to other kids from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries, languages, etc. 54% of the students at her high school are of some minority and there are 37 languages spoken by those students. She has friends from Africa, Thailand, Korea, China, Japan, Poland, Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama ... The private schools would have offered exposure to a predominantly white, middle-to-upper class set of kids that couldn't be more homogenous unless they were polygamous Mormons. The future is in the mix of the former, not the blandness of the latter.

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Online Azdgari

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2013, 01:52:58 AM »
I wasn't putting it forth as representative, Chronos.  But it is still classified as homeschooling.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2013, 06:48:43 AM »
NYC offers many things that most other locales cannot.

Oh yeah.  And the NYC homeschooling families I know are pretty cool.  Sometimes I kind of envy them. 


I must admit that it has been many years since I last visited NYC (and my last visit was for very atypical reasons for visiting NYC), but as far as safety is concerned it seems crazy to me that somebody would be concerned about NYC schools. I'm sure that NYC has problems like other cities, but I was amazed at how friendly NYC residents are. Parents in NYC allow their kids to go to school at surprisingly early ages riding in city buses, taxi cabs and the subway -- things that so many parents in the suburbs would be horrified to do. I think most NYC neighborhoods have a better sense of community and watching out for neighbors and the kids than most suburban areas in the US.

Suburbia seems to be the largest social threat in America.

Each NYC neighborhood has its own distinct culture.  I LOVE my neighborhood.  I love the diversity, the vibrant streets, the walkability, the active community that works to improve the quality of life here.  But the local schools suck.  I was lucky to get my daughter into a marvelous charter school.  I really don't know what I would have done if she had not won one of the 3 charter school lotteries that I entered.  I'd been doing research on private schools, and I probably would have enrolled her in the UN School, which provides a fabulous education.  But it is very very expensive, and our lifestyle would have been very different if I had to fork out so much money for her primary education.  And as it turns out, her elementary school is just as ethnically diverse as the UN school!

I believe in public school education.  I'm a product of public schools, and the daughter of a dedicated public school teacher.  But I live in the boro's most overcrowded school district, and when you put 35 five year olds in a classroom designed for 25, in a school with no playground, no art or language or music program, limited resources for science and social studies, and the pressure of making sure every kid passes a standardized test, even the best teachers are not going to meet the educational needs of every kid. 


The Adventist school had a specific 1950s moment when they explained that the extra-curricular activity for the boys was to play basketball and the extracurricular activity for the girls was to be the cheerleaders for the boys as they played basketball -- the ex-wife immediately short-circuited.

I short-circuited just reading that. 

Offline Chronos

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Re: Deporting Christians
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2013, 08:09:15 PM »
Each NYC neighborhood has its own distinct culture.  I LOVE my neighborhood.  I love the diversity, the vibrant streets, the walkability, the active community that works to improve the quality of life here.  But the local schools suck.  I was lucky to get my daughter into a marvelous charter school.  I really don't know what I would have done if she had not won one of the 3 charter school lotteries that I entered.  I'd been doing research on private schools, and I probably would have enrolled her in the UN School, which provides a fabulous education.  But it is very very expensive, and our lifestyle would have been very different if I had to fork out so much money for her primary education.  And as it turns out, her elementary school is just as ethnically diverse as the UN school!

I believe in public school education.  I'm a product of public schools, and the daughter of a dedicated public school teacher.  But I live in the boro's most overcrowded school district, and when you put 35 five year olds in a classroom designed for 25, in a school with no playground, no art or language or music program, limited resources for science and social studies, and the pressure of making sure every kid passes a standardized test, even the best teachers are not going to meet the educational needs of every kid. 

So are city folk against a tax increase to pay for more/larger schools to accommodate an appropriate class size? It seems odd to me that NYC schools would be anything less than stellar.


Our elementary schools have about 20 per classroom, and due to the number of kids who were not native English speakers in my daughter's elementary school, most of the classrooms has two teachers with a third as floater for language assistance. Also, there was a teacher dedicated as a reading instructor whose sole duty was teaching the kids to read and monitoring their reading progress from 1st through 5th grade.


The Adventist school had a specific 1950s moment when they explained that the extra-curricular activity for the boys was to play basketball and the extracurricular activity for the girls was to be the cheerleaders for the boys as they played basketball -- the ex-wife immediately short-circuited.

I short-circuited just reading that.

It was the last school visit on the list, and since it immediately had a fat red X next to it right at that moment I knew there would be no argument about our daughter attending public school. However, due to school realignments and some fortuitous circumstances, we had the luxury of interviewing 6 public elementary schools to choose which one our daughter would attend. To everyone's surprise, we chose the school that most everyone else shunned.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.