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My rewrite

With no disrespect to the good edits of the previous editors, I felt that the changes were still not adequately describing the situation and that it couldn't be adequately described without a rearrangement. I hope people (still) like it now. Being not very familiar with the situations in other places, I've made some assumptions in the rewrite, so please jump in and correct what I've done. Philip J. Rayment 20:18, 17 June 2007 (EDT)

There's no reference to prove that homeschooling is becoming more popular.--RogerMy 15:53, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

Then add a {{fact}} tag, and wait for a bit. --ηοξιμαχονγθαλκ 15:54, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

Obviously or this place would not exist.--Will N. 15:55, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

Erm... most of the edits are made by non-homeschoolers now, Will. And the citation is needed for the "an increasingly popular alternative"... who says it is becoming more popular? --HojimachongTalk 15:59, 18 July 2007 (EDT)


I apologize for the poor referencing last time. I hope these references prove to be more acceptable. However, I thought it might be wise to check first:

Reference for "citation needed" #1 ("increasingly popular alternative"):

Reference for "citation needed" #3 ("parents choose homeschooling due to..."):

Add the references to the article if you feel they're justified, or just say so and I'll add them myself. Feebasfactor 19:57, 14 September 2007 (EDT)

Ok, I'm going to add the first, but I'll leave the second out until someone else can evaluate it. Feebasfactor 18:47, 17 September 2007 (EDT)
I've found the same FAQ on a different site, so I've used that instead. It may not be much better, but it's a little better. Philip J. Rayment 23:16, 19 September 2007 (EDT)

Public School

The intro paragraph says "A public school is an atheistic school funded by taxes and which censors classroom prayer" Later, the section on Public School says "In America, a public school is a state school. In some Commonwealth countries, a public school is a church-run (i.e. run by a church denomination) school that is open to the general public. In America, the curriculum in public schools is dictated by state governments and increasingly by the federal government under the "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Federal courts generally prohibit any type of prayer led by school officials, and even forbid the display and teaching of the Ten Commandments." I think the sentence in the intro paragraph needs work, as clearly (according to the section on Public School) there are places where public schools are NOT funded by taxes, are NOT atheistic, and/or do NOT censor classroom prayer. Frankly, I think the paragraph on Public School clearly explains things, and we don't need the sentence in the intro. I won't be so bold as to remove it, as it was added by User:Aschlafly, but I think it needs improvement. Let me be clear that I am not taking issue with the *content* of the sentence (that's a different discussion); rather I think that combined with the information in the Public School section it is redundant and confusing. Sorry to be so blunt - I'm sure User:Aschlafly is a busy man and didn't realize this information was covered later in the article. This is otherwise a well-written article.--Hsmom 21:25, 28 October 2007 (EDT)

No, I think the intro should reflect the typical situation in public schools in America and other secularized, industrialized nations. The statement is correct for those nations. If you have evidence of classroom prayer in public school in any of those nations, I'd like to see it. Note, however, that the phrase is classroom prayer.--Aschlafly 21:33, 28 October 2007 (EDT)
I removed the sentence before having seen the discussion here (and explained why in my edit comment).
Andy, As Hsmom points out, the sentence is incorrect, in that "public schools" refers, in some cases, to church-run schools. Here in Victoria, Australia, it is probably true that teachers don't have classroom prayer, but it is also true that classroom prayer is not "censored", as schools here (as explained in the article) do have a weekly "Religious Education" class in which classroom prayer would almost certainly occur (this class is taken by volunteer Christians, not by the school teachers).
Philip J. Rayment 21:57, 28 October 2007 (EDT)
Thanks Philip J. Rayment - I agree that, as the article explains, the term "public school" means different things in different countries, which is why I thought the sentence in question was inaccurate. Aschlafly, it is important to understand that in many secularized, industrialized nations the term "public school" does not always refer to government-run/government-funded schools - in fact, in many Commonwealth countries it's quite the opposite - the term "public school" often refers to what we in America would call a private school. Note also that in some secularized, industrialized nations there are government-fun/government-funded religious schools - an example being Ontario, Canada's system of Catholic schools, which I would assume include classroom prayer; thus government schools are not always secular or free of classroom prayer. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the often confusing use of these terms. The more global outlook of this article will help students who are researching education in other countries (and using primary sources to do so, as they should) understand that terms like "public school" may have quite different meanings in such sources than they are used to.--Hsmom 10:43, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
  • Well this is an American encyclopedia, remember. While we can strive for universality, some things are just going to have meanings intrinsic to the United States. And one would not be wrong in expecting our international users to take that into account, instead of their pointing out the obvious to us. We know that some countries are using ambiguous terms that mean the opposite of what they rightfully should. --şŷŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 10:58, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
I haven't seen such a blatant example of American pomposity in a long time. There was no merit in that post whatsoever, unless it was meant as a joke. Philip J. Rayment 21:38, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
I appreciate the comments above, but in an encyclopedia an exception should not prevent a clear, up-front explanation of a concept. By the way, I am confident that taxpayer-funded schools do censor classroom prayer in all English-speaking countries, as in the United States and England. I have yet to see evidence to the contrary.--Aschlafly 12:59, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
As I mentioned above, some provinces in Canada fund Catholic schools. See Faith-based schools[1] for a good summary of the government-funded Catholic schools in various provinces in Canada.--Hsmom 19:32, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
I also mentioned that Victorian schools do not censor classroom prayer, in Religious Education classes at least. In addition, I would be confident that the British "faith schools" (see the article) which are not government-run but are government-funded (at least partly if not totally) have classroom prayer. Actually, Andy, what do you mean by "taxpayer-funded"? Totally taxpayer-funded, or partially so? Almost all Christian schools in Australia do get some funding from government (taxpayer) sources, although they are by no means totally taxpayer-funded. Philip J. Rayment 21:38, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
On that note, FWIW, Catholic schools (and other faith-based private schools) in Pennsylvania (USA) can get a certain amount of taxpayer money from the government per student which they can use to buy non-religious textbooks and other materials. In addition, PA public school districts provide taxpayer-funded school buses for children enrolled in local Catholic and Christian schools. --Hsmom 21:56, 29 October 2007 (EDT)
I think it is possible to write primarily for the American audience (since about 50% of our audience is American) while taking into account other countries and do it in a manner that provides clarity. For example, in the homosexuality article I clearly label where things are occuring and while I mention mostly American events I do mention events that have occured overseas. I also have no problem with articles like these: Also, I do cite experts in the United States, Britain, Europe, and India. Lastly, I did create a space for an article entitled "Homosexuality and Islam" and obviously such an article would cover things that are happening in the Middle East and other Muslim countries.Conservative 18:31, 29 October 2007 (EDT)

White kids?

This sentence struck me as a bit out of place: But the "percentage of white children enrolled in America's public schools -- 60 percent in 2001-2002 -- is 7 percentage points less than a decade before, according to the National Center for Education Statistics."[2] Does this mean that fewer of America's white kids are enrolled in public schools, or that fewer of the kids enrolled in public schools are white? And what is the point being made here? If the goal is to provide statistics on the racial makeup in schools, it would be better to provide a broader picture of who, race-wise, is going to public school. If the goal is to show a trend over time, the statistic should be phrased more clearly. Either way, since this is from a web site, a URL would be useful so that readers can see the statistic in context. And why the "But" at the beginning of the sentence? BTW, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just having a "blonde" moment - I don't see what this statistic is getting at.

It's CNN's statistic, noting the rather sharp drop in the ethnic composition of public schools. There appears to be "white flight," not from cities to suburbs, but away from public schools altogether. CNN thought this fact to be important enough to report, and I don't see any objection to including it here.
One conclusion is that while mostly white liberals are dictating what is taught in public schools, they are sending their kids to private schools in larger percentages than anyone else. Meanwhile, the victims of their liberal propaganda are actually minorities.--Aschlafly 22:31, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
Do you think it's white liberals who are leaving public schools, or white conservatives who are unhappy with the increasing emphasis on diversity (and all that goes with that), the recent court cases about teaching evolution, etc.? Certainly there are a number of churches who are encouraging families to choose homeschooling or Christian schooling. Either way, I think the article could use a little bit more - another sentence or two - about/explaining that statistic. I don't feel qualified to write it - perhaps someone else can take a stab at it?--Hsmom 09:38, 4 November 2007 (EST)

I have a similar problem with Ted Kennedy's No Child Left Behind law - it diverts funding from schools that historically underachieve, which are disproportionately minority schools.

By the way, I think Kennedy sent his own kids to private schools. DanH 22:33, 2 November 2007 (EDT)


  1. Faith-based schools, By Jennifer Wilson,, Updated Sept. 17, 2007 [1]
  2. Kevin Drew, "Today's battle in classrooms: Resegregation," (May 15, 2004).
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