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With the beginning of May come the thoughts of summer. Most standardized tests are completed (finally!). Pools are beginning to prepare for summer. In my little corner of the tutoring world, we are also planning for summer. I have been finalizing our special summer offerings.

However, over the past couple of weeks some other educational news has upset my pleasant little corner of the world. In at least two instances parents received notes from the school chastising them for putting unacceptable foods into their children’s lunches. Additionally a father (and mother), who took their young twins to Boston for three days, were told this was an inexcusable absence.

In my previous post I posed the question of whether our children were being educated or indoctrinated. We are slowly, but surely allowing the government to become our children’s parents. Governments don’t educate; they indoctrinate, and they are certainly not good parents!

Until the feminine uprising in the 1960’s the majority of children in grade school went home for lunch. Why? Because only dad worked, and mom was home to make sure lunch was ready. Those who rode a school bus had to eat at school and brought their lunch from home. This was prepared by mom and checked by no one – except maybe mom when you got home.

Times change and by the 1970’s nearly all elementary schools had cafeterias. Having cafeterias in schools makes it very easy for the federal government to control what a child eats. Either the school provides a federally approved menu, or the money dries up. And those parents who dare provide their child a lunch from home had better adhere to federal guidelines or plan to get a nasty gram from the teacher.

Yes, I know all the reasons why a child should have a nutritious lunch. But let’s face it, if the child does not eat it, regardless of what it is, then of what nutritional value is it?

Taking this reasoning to the next level we get the justification that if the children don’t eat correctly, then they will not have good health, and they will be a drag on the health care system. See how quickly what you do in the privacy of your home (and school lunchbox) becomes a federal issue?

Although I don’t support taking children out of school on a regular basis, missing a few days for a truly educational trip seems justifiable. The father in question was running in the Boston Marathon. Mom went along and they took their twins. During the trip they visited historical sites and learned about our country’s history first hand. And they got to witness the iconic Boston Marathon. For this the father received a letter from the school stating that this was an unexcused absence.

The school stated that its policy did not allow for determining whether or not a trip had an educational value. This is another instance of the school unwilling or perhaps, afraid to make a decision. They just make one of their all or nothing rules alleviating the principal of any responsibility. So the child of a truly irresponsible parent who misses school because the parent overslept – again – receives the same discipline as the child learning history first hand.

I bet they learned more in those few days in Boston than they would have in school.

Just this week “Washington Post” columnist Esther Cepeda reported that the “New U.S. Report Card is a Disappointment.” The latest NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) indicates that the 2014 eighth graders’ scores in history, civics and geography have essentially not changed since the 2010 test.

The proficiency levels in these academic areas were all less than 25%!!

She implies in her column that the reason the students scored so poorly was the level of instruction.

Maybe the scores were poor because the national education unions prevent poor teachers from being removed. Maybe the scores were poor because teachers are provided a national Common Core friendly curriculum that quashes creativity, bores students and results in lousy scores. Maybe the teachers were so busy during the prior elementary years checking on the quality of school lunches that they didn’t have time to prepare and present quality instruction!

I’m just sayin’ . . . .