Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quote of the Week (French teachers' edition)

After a slow start to the week, I've got a whole bunch of posts coming your way today and tomorrow (many of them quick hitters). As for this week's Quote of the Week, this week's contest was in fact no contest at all. French President Francois Hollande won this thing going away, making him (I think) our first ever two-time Quote of the Week champion...


"French President Fran├žois Hollande has said he will end homework as part of a series of reforms to overhaul the country’s education system. And the reason he wants to ban homework? He doesn’t think it is fair that some kids get help from their parents at home while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t."
                                       - Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

Ban homework!! That's a brilliant idea... what we really need in order to reform education is for our kids to be studying less, not more. That's the ticket!

Ironically, countries that are rapidly going broke—which France most certainly is—should probably be encouraging homework, rather than discouraging it. The more learning that can be outsourced to the home, the fewer government-subsidized teacher hours need to be purchased in order to educate the populace. But, of course, that just isn't fair.

Furthermore, this is just an instance of mind-numbing ignorance on the part of Hollande. To assume that simply eliminating homework means that affluent children will learn nothing from their parents when they are home is idiotic. The parents will still have the opportunity to hire private tutors, pay for music lessons for their children, buy their children books that the poorer children cannot afford, and generally provide a well-rounded life full of education and learning, regardless of what's happening (or being assigned) at their schools.

If you want to ban homework, you really shouldn't stop there. The real key is to ban non-affluent parents, because their kids shouldn't have to bear the costs of their inevitable poor parenting. Therefore, from here on out, all French children will be removed from their birth parents and raised only in affluent households by considerate parents. Great success!

[Washington Post]

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