Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Blogging, Local Control, and Other News

The People For The American Way (PFAW) have found my blog. Or at least my post on Dick DeVos. For some reaon they found it noteworthy enough to tell their readers about it. It never ceases to amaze me how ordinary people are making their thoughts known and what will get someone's attention. Even those that I have little in common with like the PFAW.

Speaking of Dick DeVos, he came out in support of teaching intelligent design along side evolution in the public schools. That created a bit of a firestorm last week. In response to the kerfuffle Dick Devos said,
I've always believed that our children should be provided with more knowledge, not less. Lots of intelligent people can disagree about the origins of life. In the end, I believe in our system of local control. Local school boards should have the opportunity to offer evolution and intelligent design in their curriculums.
Leaving the ID -vs - evolution debate aside, I'm glad to see that Mr. DeVos supports local control in education. I hope that he continues to do so, and is willing to put his words into action by coming out strongly against a national standard, a national test, and state job profiling and assessments for our children. And once elected, I hope he'll commit to ending our state's involvement in No Child Left Behind. Federal mandates have no place if one is serious about preserving local control. Is Mr. DeVos willing to sacrifice federal funding for local freedom? A bold public declaration would go along way toward convincing this homeschooling mother of 6 that he is serious about maintaing our freedom to homeschool in Michigan.

His remarks indicate he believes in giving our children more knowledge not less in regards to intelligent design and the origin of life. That's great. But what's true in education, is also true in elections. More knowledge is better than less, Mr. DeVos is short on details in his Michigan Turnaround Plan with respect to education. I hope he gives voters more information about where he stands on these issues so we can make an intelligent decision this November.

Otherwise, it's just politics as usual and in the end Mr. DeVos will be just another average governor who'll chatter on about his concern for education and job creation, without really changing a thing. He'll just carry on with the education reforms started by Governor John Engler with Proposal A and continued under Governor Jennifer Granholm.

There's a meeting tonight with Dick DeVos's wife, Betsy in Grand Rapids. I'll be attending and ready to hear Mr. DeVos's plan for education. It's a bit of a drive. But I hope it will be worth the effort. I'll let you know how it goes.

For more information on testing and how it affects homeschoolers please read:
To Test? Or not to Test?,
We're Facing a National Test,
More on Michgan Testing
Portable Credentialing

In other homeschooling news,
More black families are saying "yes" to homeschooling.
"Some educators and families think that because blacks fought so hard to get equal access, we shouldn't abandon it," said Jennifer James, a North Carolina mother who in 2003 started the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance, a 3,000-member, nonreligious group that provides information for homeschoolers. "But times have changed. It was a great step, but we have to think about our kids."
For those who may want to know more, you can visit Jennifer James blog Joyride Through Insanity,

Homeschooling black families isn't good news for the city of Detroit, they can't afford to lose any more students. They're doing everything they can to get students in school today for the "head count" including giving away free pizza, laptops, and iPods. Even one of the mayors son's who was previous enrolled in private school will be there today. The question is, will he be there tomorrow? His twin brother will remain in private school. My guess is he'll quietly slip back into private school when no one's looking. And I don't blame him one bit.

Here's a few final notes,

The Carnival of Education is up at EdWonks.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at PalmTree Pundits.

And don't forget about the contest at Sprittibee's for camera. She also shares the story of a young boy in need of our support and prayers. And there's a new contest over at Kim's for $700 worth of books from Vision Forum.

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