I went with my 4th grade nephew to his public school for Grandparent's Day. This is his first year there after attending a horribly expensive and distant religious private school (high academic standards, lowball on the dogma). Got the tour by Dear Nephew where he mostly pointed out his appreciation of the building's architectural sensibilities, which were darn nice.
We visited his art class and met the teacher, a nice if somewhat frazzled young woman. The first thing I noticed was a poster by the classroom door that read, more or less, "Enter class quickly and go directly to your assigned seat. Do not talk -- only the Teacher and Special Helpers are allowed to talk except during discussion assignments. You will be given your assignment... I'm thinking, "Cripes, if this is art class I wonder what it would be like if they had ROTC at this school?"
The art teacher was nice enough and of course praised Dear Nephew profusely. We looked at twenty-some nearly identical student art projects and I asked her if all of what the students did was directed, or whether there was any free-form art. She replied, "Oh yes, at this time of year we have to do a Christmas gift project for the parents and each child is told that they can create whatever they want to be fired onto a mug. Of course, most of them are inappropriate for a Christmas gift, so I have to guide them". The room was filled with windows, and all the blinds were closed.
Next we went to his main classroom and met the teacher responsible for science, math, English, social studies, etc. Another very nice if somewhat frazzled young woman. Assigned seating again, but this time along four long tables named for local college football teams. Above the door was a reproduction painting of blue-eyed Christ wearing a cross necklace (?) and in 60-point font "IN GOD WE TRUST". The teacher talked about curriculum and how the students were prepared for testing and how the school had come so far in testing results. She proudly showed the social studies project underway, generously sponsored by Ingles supermarket (complete with take-home coupons), that attempts to show value among various product brands.
I asked her, "What do you think that a parent should ask their child each day when they come home about what they learned in school?" She replied. "Oh we give them a printout of the assignments". I said OK, well as a teacher, what question do you most want a parent to ask you." She replied, after some thought, "Gosh, I never thought about that. I guess it would be if their child was doing OK".
We went out into the hallway to the trophy case where the most prominently displayed item was a student letter to a congressman laying out the successful case for the praying mantis to be the official state insect. Quote: "We must all be reminded every day that prayer is our first priority...".
I suppose that it goes without saying that I was not impressed with what my nephew is being taught. It is several small steps above what I was taught in Carolina public school so long ago when our days started with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by duck & cover drills to protect us from the godless communists.
I misread this the first time as a christian school. I was transplanted to Ky when I was in the fifth grade. The first time the teacher had prayer in the morning I didn't know what was going on. I had never heard of prayer in school.That was so many years ago it was common in the south. Aren't they breaking the law?