Thursday, August 03, 2006

Some people just don't get it.

Why is it so hard for some people to understand that requiring homeschoolers to be accountable to the state is backwards?

When speaking about the need to increase regulation of homeschoolers in her state, Judy Hale, president of the American Federation of Teachers--West Virginia believes that,

[T]eachers unions would like to see other changes in the home-schooling requirements to make sure children are getting the education they need. While the state already requires end-of-year testing or portfolio evaluation, Hale said she'd like to see a little more structure to those regulations. "

Part of my problem is that, yes, children are tested but they are able to be tested by anyone who is a certified teacher," she said. "That could be an aunt or a cousin. I'd be more comfortable if one time a year the home-school children had to go to (a public school) testing center or had one of our monitors come out to them. That way at least they are taking the test in an environment that is similar to what public school students are in."

Ms. Hale clearly doesn't get it.

And neither does Mamacita. In her worldview,

No man is an island...

Our children are everybody's business...

My homeschooling friends wouldn't mind a bit if their children were asked to take a test to see if they were keeping up with all the other children their age; their kids would probably blow the public school kids out of the water.But to forbid their children to take a test? What, are they afraid their home-based instruction isn't enough to pass a test? Are they afraid of intervention if their home-schooled children don't have the home-base of knowledge that the other children their age have?...

Several of our homeschool groups here take great joy in having their children tested. It's a source of immense pride for them.

Homeschoolers don't reject increased government regulation and testing out of fear of accountabiliy as she asserts. In America, it's the role of the public to hold its government (including the schools) accountable. Not the other way around. Why is that so hard to understand?

Towards the end of her post, she referred to the notion that homeschoolers believe that "the only standards that matter are mine." However, it isn't homeschoolers that believe this, it's actually the state. Unless I missed the letter from the Department of Education in the mail, nobody asked me what questions I thought should be on the state-standardized test. It's their standard and theirs alone that matter, not mine or yours. Just ask the people of Kansas.

If some of these people had their way, the Preamble to the Constitution would probably read something like this,
"We the state, in order to form a more perfect worker, establish standards to insure domestic conformity, provide for common tests, promote general dependency, and secure the tyranny of stupidity for most of its citizens, do ordain and establish public schools for the people of the United States of America. "
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