I just picked up a most interesting book: Poisoned Apple, The Bell-Curve Crisis and How Our Schools Create Mediocirity and Failure by Betty Wallace and William Graves. I am only 50-some pages in but am finding the premises of these first chapters make sense to me.
Let me just say that I am not one of those homeschoolers who is completely anti-public school. I have three kids--one a junior in college who spent 10.5 of 12 years in public school and another a sophomore who is doing "just fine" at the local high school. Because of my three individuals, I do have the unique perspective of having one who was on the verge of boredom for much of her schooling (until AP classes), one who is smarter than his classes but is perfectly fine with mediocrity but who will turn on the burners when needed, and one who perpetually chased the ship out to sea, never quite catching the current.
This book discusses how our public system teaches to the middle of a bell-curve that in reality does not exist. In a given classroom, if students were plotted according to their abilities, there would be a skewed curve with some at the top end of proficiency, some at the bottom, and a widely varying range of those in between. The authors contend, and here is where my blog title comes in, that in a perfect world schools would not group students according to grade level but according to learning readiness. My daughter will vouch for me when I say this is what I have always said! I am anxious to read on and discover what solutions the authors present. I will let you know.
I have been remiss in mentioning a few blog carnivals that were kind enough to mention my blog. Please check these out if you get a chance. There is a wealth of great writing among these listings:
The Homeschool Showcase