Michigan Edu-crats Know Better Than Parents

Face of the Nanny State

Thursday, my inbox took a long time to refresh.  Somebody sent me a video along with some background information.  The story comes from Michigan, where Debbie Squires is the Associate Director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association.  Apart from the ten-dollar title, Squires is another blooming edu-crat who believes that the educational establishment knows what is best for your children.  In fact, by listening closely to what she has to say, you discover that she also thinks that she and other professional educators know what is best for you.  This smarmy, arrogant testimony before the Michigan House Committee on Education evinces a deeply rooted contempt for parents, tax-payers, and also for children.

Here’s the video:


This is simply astonishing. What we have here is an admission that they believe they know better than you, know your children better than you, and should have absolute control over education, without respect to dissent, political or social minorities, or any other input.  She has said here that if you don’t like the curricula or policies of schools, your only recourse is to go to the polls and vote.  That is your public education establishment telling you that they don’t need to be responsive to parents directly, but only indirectly through the electoral process.  I have a suggestion for the people of Michigan, and for anybody else who encounters this attitude among such people: Vote for elected officials who will fire the edu-crats.

In my own life, raising my own daughter, I have run into such people.  The only proper response is really to remove your children from harm’s way, which means to get them out of the clutches of people who see you as an obstacle.  Education doesn’t belong to these professional nit-wits, and I am tired of the smarter-than-thou position they most frequently adopt as they preach from the bully pulpit parents and taxpayers have provided about their superiority in knowing how best to educate our children.  If they’re so damned good at it, why are our kids doing so poorly when measured against the rest of the industrialized world?  The attitude Ms. Nanny State expresses is far too common among those who say they are professional educators.

My wife and I were our daughter’s first teachers.  She learned how to count, and how to read, and how to spell, and do mathematics from us.  She arrived on her first day in public school more prepared and more focused on learning than her peers, because her mother and I knew the secret to education without having the benefit of even a higher education at that point in time in our lives.  We didn’t need an edu-crat to tell us.  We didn’t need a social worker to guide us.  We simply did as we had thought would be prudent in preparing our daughter to step forward.  This idea that “professional educators know best” has become a racket, and unfortunately, I think it has gained ground as too many parent have surrendered their sovereignty and their authority over the question of the content of the education their children will be delivered.  All too often, it is based on lowest common denominators of class progress, meaning that the best and brightest are held back by the least prepared or least able.

After three generations of telling parents they don’t know best, and shouldn’t be involved, the education establishment has managed to push enough parents away from the process of educating their children that they can now claim: “Well, parents aren’t involved anyway.”  It’s true.  Most parents deliver their children to the gaping maw of the public school system with the uncritical, unthinking indifference that is required for people like Ms. Squires to subsist in the system.  She’s not accustomed to having her authority challenged, but I will assert that if parents were so-inclined, they can educate their own children to a higher proficiency and to better result than any combination of teachers in the public school ever will.  After all, if I’m a decent parent, I don’t need the state or its edu-crats dictating the education of my child.  I know the needs of my child, and if I don’t, it calls into question the legitimacy of my claim to my competence as a parent.  Maybe that’s the point in all of this.

Note: Thanks to ‘Jake’ for the video, and also to ‘Tom’ who just indicated to me this story may have gotten first coverage on the Blaze, here.

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12 Responses to Michigan Edu-crats Know Better Than Parents

  1. Gail says:

    Parents should have a good talk with their child's teacher on "Parent, Teacher Day" and have their question written down on paper so as not to forget. Plus write a follow up to the Principle if something bothers you and expect a written answer.

  2. Tracy says:

    I watched this video yesterday and I am not surprised at the arrogance. Nothing seems to surprise me anymore. These people are coming out of the woodwork and are not afraid of showing their true colors anymore.
    Now, in my humble opinion, I can't help but put some of the blame on the parents. When parents are unwilling to fight then what else can be expected. People treat you how you teach them to treat you and a lot of parents either don't care or just don't have it in them to fight. Now I did not say all parents so please no angry responses.
    Parents need to step up for their children and fight these power hungry (can't say what I really want to say) and not back down until they have won. I don't even have children but I would go to bat for any parent who asked me to. Please parents, don't tell my you don't have the time. Make the time!!! Your childrens futture depends on it.

    Thank you Mark.

  3. PalinSupporter2012 says:

    This is exactly why my wife and I have been discussing home schooling our children next year. Its a numbers game for the school. There more students they lose to home school and private schools has an impact on their budget due to the number of children determine their school budget. I believe our small town school system lost over 100 kids from the public school to home schooling last year.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      How old are your kids, if you don't mind me asking? The sooner you start, the better, for them, and for you.

      • PalinSupporter2012 says:

        Both are under ten years old.

        I agree. Just today we have seen this story that you have posted as well as the issue in Virgina regarding the sack lunch inspections to verify the nutrition of the sack lunch.

  4. Michigan educators have a tendency to take the view that children are the property of the state, and parents are caretakers. The educators I have known (with ONE exception) have the attitude that parents need to enforce the will of the school, but otherwise, should not meddle in their children’s education, or school life. This is just one example (I’ve got many I could relate): I was called to the principal’s office because my son was in conflict with a teacher. I was informed that I should be supporting the teacher (me confused saying: I do support her authority, what is this about?) I wasn’t supportive enough because I had taught my son about computers. The class was state requirement. He already knew the subject inside out because I am a computer hobbyist. When asked for help, he was showing his friends the same short cuts I taught him. This, in the teacher’s opinion undermined her authority. And I was wrong for having taught him at home. It wasn’t “fair” for me to teach him things that the other students didn’t know, and couldn’t I see it caused a problem. I asked, if this has been a problem all term, why was I just now, a week before finals, hearing about it? I was told it wasn’t really my business, I needed to let go of my children and understand it was the *real* educator’s place to finish the job of broadening his horizons and teaching him to branch out into the community. We went back to home schooling that fall.

    Briefly, my youngest is Autistic–an Aspbergers child. MI public school's great solution for him was ADHD drugs (which I refused, because they didn't know what effect the meds would have on his condition specifically,) and a permanent "behavioral" class, where he didn't have to produce any meaningful academic work, did some busy work, and never got grades. He was in a class room with 9 other boys who had varying disorders– ADD, ADHD, ODD… Putting all these youngsters together was supposed to "socialize" them into behaving well. (Huh??) And when I would ask about grades, or "reintegration" there would be a meeting, with me sitting across from the teacher, the assistant, the principle, the nurse and a representative from the superintendent's office, all telling me why that was just impossible and my son couldn't be put in a regular class room. When i told them enough was enough and I went in with a letter telling them I was withdrawing my son from their school, there was an "emergency meeting" and they told me why it was impossible for me, as his mother, to teach him. I just didn't know how to teach a child with his special needs, etc… Really? See ya round folks! Turns out it was an experimental program. And these kids were guinea pigs. Course they didn't tell the parents that, they just told us they know what was best for our kids and patted us on the heads and pretty much told us to leave them alone and let them handle the kids.

    Don't even get me started on the way my middle daughter embraced the notion from the school that parents are dumb, and "old fashioned" and just don't want you to succeed, want to keep you "dumb" like they are, want to keep you under their thumbs, their values are holding you back, you need to experiment with life… My daughter has been home schooled since the sixth grade (She was also home schooled through 2nd and 3rd grade, but then I had to go back to full time work, so she was only in public school for 4th, 5th and the first semester of 6th, it happens very early on!!) and homeschooling her these last 5 years has done nothing to change that attitude, once the idea that she was smarter, better, more "modern", and we are old fashioned, miserly, backwards idiots, took hold.

    I am so sick to death of being patronized, marginalized and made into an enemy for my kids. I will home school them, and I will help them home school my grandchildren if they want me to. Public schools are vile places in my opinion.

    MI does have good home school rules. Michigan is one of the few states where home schooled children are invited to take courses at the public school without being enrolled full time. For example, one of my daughters is taking a course to become a certified Nursing Assistant at the public school, while finishing up her last home school course before graduation (along with studio art, and choir). Another is taking Architectural Drawing and Technical Drawing this year. My youngest is getting P.E. and a couple of other courses. They go for an hour or two a day, and take their core courses at home. These are courses I do not have the money to teach here at home, so why not get them for free from the public school? Best of both worlds, and they are not participating in "questionable" activities like sex-ed (porn-ed) They learn about human reproduction from our Christian curriculum, without having homosexuality and promiscuity shoved at them.

    Please, pardon my rant.

    MI really does see the children as their property, like an investment in the State's future. Parents who don't tow the line are an hindrance, and they will make no bones about it. I'm very sad to say this woman's comments are no surprise whatsoever.

    • eyetooth tom says:

      Your rant is exactly right. Take advantage of education on all fronts. You're in control. Fits in with just saying no. Education at home trumps other, government efforts if you will do it. Use government to get ahead. But most parents just go along with baby sit schools. Baby sit is the problem, and the parents are now the ones in need of baby sitting.
      I must give credit to wife…went on to school studying whatever necessary, even advanced calculus to help kids at home, while kids in private Catholic school, and later in public high school.
      Oldest now J.D., CPA…other in Nursing , RN,BS program.
      And when I was young…I wasn't allowed to date Catholics!
      When I was young song was "Turn your lamp down low" now "wear your pants down low, below your butt."

  5. PalinSupporter2012 says:

    Obama’s Education Takeover

  6. The really pathetic part is … in many cases, she's right! Many parents do not take their responsibilities seriously. They don't want to job of actually "training" their children, so they eagerly dump them off in state facilities sometimes as early as 6 weeks old! Many parents let the children run the house, as opposed to teaching their children valuable life-lessons which happen to currently be politically incorrect. HOWEVER … we cannot allow the state to assume responsibility for our children … EVER! Once they are in, they will never leave!

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Barb, you're right in the sense that many parents abandon their children to the state, and schools often become a sort of socialized day-care for older kids. I don't understand why people with that mindset have kids at all, frankly.

      • A. cause it's the thing to do
        B. gov't subsidies
        C. tax deductions
        D. bigger welfare checks & extra food stamps
        E. they've never been taught that there is no mandate on sex

  7. I always gird myself for battle with schools (and if you have a child in the public school system, there will be battles you need to fight) with a mantra my mom (who was a school teacher and mom of 5) told me:
    "You are your child's best advocate."
    Parents tend to forget that–or choose not to practice it. Parents have every right to question the status quo, demand answers and demand solutions–even if it will be a unique solution for their child. I always treat teachers and administrators with respect. But I also make them know that I (and my husband) are the only people on Earth qualified to decide what is best for our child because we are the only ones that know our child–strengths and weaknesses–and care about him enough to make the best decisions.