Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm Not Pro-testing, I just want to teach

I am not a big fan of standardized testing and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It seems neither is Richard Blumenthal, State Attorney General of Connecticut. He is suing the US Dept. of Ed.

The State of Connecticut sued the U.S. Department of Education on Tues., Apr. 5 for failing to properly fund the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The act, which equires annual testing of every student, would cost the state millions of dollars, according to State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The suit claims that the government acted illegally by not supplying adequate funding for the state to implement the act.
I'd like to join the suit if I could but not because of lack of funding. When the federal government is given that much authority to regulate curriculum state and local control are gone. Why bother having school boards deciding matters if the federal government can just over ride it through testing?

If your wondering what this all has to do with homeschoolers...Plenty.
As the federal goverment mandates certain standards colleges and employers will begin to use the federal guidelines as the de facto standard as well. The designations or endorsements (Certificate of Initial Mastery or CIM) given will be part of the criterion used to judge a potential student or employees. Without the proper designation or endorsement a university would be less likely to consider a student. Or an employer would give more credibility to one who has the CIM. But don't take my word for it consider what the
Oregon Department of Education is saying on their website.

When you apply to attend a college or university, to get a job, to join the military, or to do volunteer work, the CIM can help you prove why you should be admitted, hired, or allowed to join. It shows you did more than just attend school, take classes, and graduate with a GPA. It shows you worked hard to achieve high standards - standards that people respect in the world beyond high school.
And here

Employers and community organizations are beginning to reward students who meet high standards. Here are a few examples from the "Show It Counts" program,

System.A-dec, of Newberg, is America's largest dental equipment manufacturer. The company gives hiring preferences in job and work-study assignments to students who earn a CIM.

A question on the Albina Rotary Club and Intel Oregon scholarship applications asks whether a student has earned a Certificate of Initial Mastery

Portland General Electric gives a $50 bookstore gift certificate to employees' children who earn a CIM.

Homeschoolers would be forced to take these tests and meet these standards or forfeit consideration for enrollment or employment. Some might argue, "Then just take the test." That is an option of course. One many take. But by doing so I am yielding what I teach to the government. In order to to do well on the test, I must teach what they are testing. In short, testing drives curriculum. That's not why I homeschool.

The governement has their goals for education and they are vastly different than mine. (See the Myth of an Equal Education) This is just a back door way of regulating what I teach. Well I didn't let my children out the front door to go to school and I'm not about to allow the government in the back door either.


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