Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Religious Wrong and my Self-Righteous Rant

I was reading my son't blog today. He has some thoughts about vouchers and education. Kind of in a nutshell, I believe he was saying that the current governor of Texas supports vouchers in order to enable certain religious groups to send their children to private schools at public expense.

There is no question that the voucher system will take money away from already under-funded public education. The same public education that, by law, must take every child and provide an equal and adequate education for each.

(WARNING: massive generalities here) Private schools, on the other hand, have the power to deny any student entrance to their enchanted cloisters. Many private schools do not/cannot/will not provide special education to children with learning disabilities. (my friend's child attends a local catholic school, but comes to a district school daily for remedial reading not available in his private school) Private schools have the ability to refuse to enroll a student who is a discipline problem. Private schools have the option of not being bound by state requirements for the teachers they hire and can hire people who are not certificated teachers. They also have the option of paying those teachers low wages. Private schools are not bound by state requirements for passing state mandated testing.

People who think a private education is a better education need to check into the particular school to be sure it does indeed provide a quality education.

A lot of interest in vouchers is coming from the 'religious right.' These are the same people who tout Family Values. But whose family? When I see articles and letters to the editor about family values, I come away with a feeling that these are the values of a few fear-ridden right wing Christian conservatives. The same people who send me endless and stupid email poems about not having prayer in school, about (HORRORS) honoring the Muslim religion with a postage stamp, and chain letter emails that berate me if I don't send them on to "at least 11 friends in the next ten minutes" or something dire will happen.


This stuff is embarrassing at best. The religious right is kind of embarrassing. I'd rather not call myself a Christian if it means being lumped in with fear- and hate-mongers.

Prayer in school? Every child can pray in school. The law restricts a teacher from teaching religion in public school. No one "took God out of school." The teaching of religion is a parent responsibility.

Family values? Our family values honesty. We value a loving and supportive home where all people are welcome, and where all people are honored. What kind of values are being taught where incest or battering occur? ("values" which occur regardless of religion or socio-economic level)

1 comment:

Steve said...

From the post, it sounds as though you oppose vouchers, but I feel as though I'm taking a bit of a leap to reach that conclusion from such cryptic writing. ;-)