Thursday, April 28, 2005

What's going on in Illinois?

Lot's of ODD stuff going on make sure you read to the end. (This post has be updated Friday to reflect new information. )

Th original story came from Daryl at Home Education . Here is Friday's story in the Southern Illinoisan. Apparently the Attorney General plans to make an example out of a mother who he thinks she avoiding truancy violations by claiming to homeschool.

On Thursday, he announced at a press conference that he has charged Marion resident Kim Harris with permitting truancy, a Class C misdemeanor punishable up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Harris is said to have willingly and knowingly allowed her 15-year-old son to be truant.Garnati stressed that he supports home-schooling in general, just not for parents who abuse the privilege.

Some parents have allowed their children to be truant from public schools, and when threatened with legal action, have pulled their children from that school to avoid prosecution, Garnati said."It's what I call an end around," Garnati said. "

These are parents who have no intention of home-schooling their child. Unfortunately, there is no law on the books that criminalizes improper home schooling. What concerns me are those children who are chronically truant from school."

Here is the Illinois page from the HSLDA website. The law look somewhat vague with only general subject guidelines. There doesn't seem to be a curriculum requirement or a testing requirement. And here is what the truant officer stated in regards to Ms. Harris.
In the Harris case, Sullivan said she made three trips to the residence to see if there was an established curriculum. In each case, however, she found that there wasn't one."She didn't produce any evidence of home-schooling," Sullivan said. "It's important that we send the message to those parents who are not home-schooling their kids properly that they can be prosecuted."Marion High
School Principal Gerald Murphy said the dispute is not whether or not children are enrolled in public schools or home-schooled, but rather if the parents who choose to home school are trying to get around the system and not provide a quality education for their child.

If a "quality education" is the standard then most children in the public schools could be considered truant by my definition of "quality". But unfortunately their standard is much lower than mine. I will keep watch on this one.

Speaking of Illinois here is the response from Scott Thomas after reading e-mails. If you don't kow what he's responding to find out here. He basically comes down to the silly notion that homeschooling is not right for most because it is ODD.

Home schooling strikes me as abnormal--odd--in the same way being a vegetarian is odd, or being a member of the Le Leche League and breast feeding a 5 year-old is odd, or being an atheist is odd…or, I suppose, being a talk show host or opinion columnist is odd. The mere fact that these things are abnormal…statistically practiced by a minority of people…indicates that these things are not “right” for most people. If they were, we’d all be eating soy burgers during lunch break while home schooling.

So, I appreciate your passion. I admire many of you. I think, in some cases, home schooling is absolutely the right decision for you and your family. But, I have not been persuaded to believe that it should be our normal model for education. My feeble attempt to help my daughter with her Trigonometry last night serves to prove my point.

Mr. Thomas's logic is flawed. He considers something abnormal simply because it is practiced by a minority and therefore not "right" for most people. I don't have a problem being in the minority. Remember Noah, when he went into the boat he was also in the minority but soon emerged as the majority.

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