Sunday, August 26, 2007

The NAESP and Homeschooling

Our DSL is finally restored (yeah!) and I'm catching up on some carnivals. I really enjoyed reading Here We Go Again at Bending the Twigs. She starts by saying:

Dana over at "Principled Discovery" had a link a few weeks ago to a very interesting article on the National Association of Elementary School Principals' criticisms of homeschooling. As if the NAESP doesn't have more pressing concerns about the quality of education students in government-run schools receive. The real "elephant in the room" is the loss of funding that each student who is homeschooled rather than enrolled in the local district school represents. Also, since the typical home educated child scores very highly on standardized tests, the loss of such students hurts the school's statistics. Needless to say, these two concerns did NOT make the NAESP list!

The rest of her article addresses the NAESP's concerns, and boy does she do this well!

She has a follow-up post titled NAESP Calling for Government Interference with Homeschooling. Here's a taste:

The NAESP is clearly calling for strict government regulation of homeschooling in the name of "accountability" and "establishing safeguards":
When alternative options such as home schooling have been authorized by state legislation, resources and authority should be provided to make certain that those who exercise these options are held strictly accountable for the academic achievement and social/emotional growth of children.When home schooling options are exercised, NAESP strongly recommends that state governments establish safeguards to ensure each child:

1. participates in appropriate social experiences;
2. interacts with students from other social/racial/ethnic groups;
3. receives the full range of curricular experiences and materials aligned with state standards;
4. is guaranteed instruction by certified and highly qualified persons;
5. is required to participate in state-mandated assessments; and
6. learns in a healthy and safe environment.

NAESP strongly urges states to require home schools to comply with state and federal laws addressing children with special needs.
NAESP strongly urges local and state associations to address these issues as critical to the education of children.

This is so scary--and I will repeat: "My children do not belong to the state." From the article I link to, titled The Central Fallacy of Public Schooling:

Proponents of public schooling argue against the complete privatization of schooling on the grounds that the poor would not be able to afford tuition and that some parents would not provide schooling for their children, leaving them “uneducated.” However, the rampant levels of ignorance, subliteracy, and hostility to learning that characterize tax-funded schools argue that the present system is itself not serving the best interests of students.

Instead it is clear whose interests are being advanced. Fifty-four years ago the writer in Young America was moved to emphasize in italics that era’s apparently high tax rates. Since then the average tax burden has doubled. Yet, as one of my acquaintances has commented, “Americans today are in a stupor.” In other words,
the tax-supported school system has triumphed. Americans are behaving exactly the way those who govern desire them to behave.

Children who are turned over to the state become molded by the state. Most parents cannot conceive of a totally privatized alternative because they themselves have been indoctrinated by public schooling to believe in its alleged necessity. However, it is fallacious for parents to think that children can escape government schooling without having their traditions and beliefs subverted. “Free” schooling is seductively attractive in the short run, but it has long-term costs. The dismantling of tax-funded schooling will not be accomplished until more and more parents say, “My child does not belong to the state.”


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