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The real problem here is that many parents have very strong opinions regarding teaching sex in school.

obligatory south park reference (nsfw): http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s05e07-proper-...

Yep, parental furor is the core issue. Schools can't really teach anything that touches on social 'value' issues, including religion, sex, gender, ethics, morality -- even the strengths & weaknesses of capitalism vs socialism are basically off-limits in K-12. It's a sad state of affairs but unlikely to change given the diversity of opinions and the structure of public education in this country (US).

That's a pretty common problem all throughout education. http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-p...

I really want to sympathize with the teachers, but I do feel for the parents.


His mother chimed in and told me that it had been a horrible summer for them because of family issues they'd been through in July. I said I was so sorry, but I couldn't help but point out that the assignments were given in May. She quickly added that she was allowing her child some "fun time" during the summer before getting back to work in July and that it wasn't his fault the work wasn't complete. Can you feel my pain?


I don't feel her pain. Summer break isn't a period for extended homework - it's a chance to develop curiosity and self-development. The skills that "No Child Left Behind" leave undeveloped (self-guided learning) can only happen during the summer period.

I was reading fairly advanced books for my age, but I don't recall ever having a strictly enforced "summer reading list". Unless this was an enriched program with the pre-requisite clearly spelled out beforehand, I don't understand the attitude shown by the teacher.

More empathy is needed all around.

  > Summer break isn't a period for extended homework - it's
    a chance to develop curiosity and self-development.
Yes, but for most socio-economically challenged students, it doesn't work that way. Research out of Johns Hopkins shows "summer learning loss" is greater for certain populations, and over time leads the the "achievement gap" we see in high schools. (To the extent that comparable students after Kindergarten have a one-year learning gap by middle school.)

Schools are disparaged because of a problem that occurs as a consequence of their schedule and students' home lives. IT's natural they'd want to do something about it.

I agree, summer homework may not be the best solution, but it's what they have now; it's the current limit of what we as society allow them.

(No, I might not make my kids do homework over the summer either, as I offer them other learning experiences. But then again, I might.)

I would flat out tell the teacher "Sorry, summer is family time and not your summer reading list time."

Dealing with the parent problem is just as important as what to say once you have their go ahead.

It is the same with the "theories" (WTF???) of evolution and IMHO the duty of the government to offer open, proper, modern and beneficial education (based on recent scientific facts) to its citizens should clearly overrule this wish for individual and religious preferences.

"Intelligent" design, creationism and any other religious believes should have nothing to do with governmental education just as much as governmental education should offer the best possible sex ed. If you do not want any of this, opt out of the governmental school system and follow whatever cult and/or religious doctrine you prefer... but this has to be clearly separated from the open education offered by your government to everybody.

Unless, of course, your government is a theocracy.

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