Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Response To Akron

Some of you know that in Akron, a series of anti-homeschooling articles have been published. The articles are full of interesting facts, as well as strange speculation, logical fallacies, and inacurate statistics. I found this response at My Domestic Church (she apparently found it in a local paper):
Critics want to regulate home schooling with a variety of imposed standards. Yet most of these propositions are flawed with duplicity:

• Allegedly, home schoolers should be held accountable to academic standards while some public schools have sought to relax their standards so failing students can pass proficiency tests.

• Supposedly, private home schoolers should be held to public standards and oversight for the good of their kids. But private homes of other families are not subject to public health or OSHA inspections for the sake of child safety.

• Home schoolers must pay property taxes for the public education system on top of paying their own way. The public system gets these taxes free and clear while trying to control the home schools with which they compete. Public education is controlled by public administrators with public funds. If home schoolers are independently paying for their children's education why should someone else have control over it?

• It is said that what home schoolers teach their children should be monitored by authorities. But what public-school students see at home or on television is up to their parents alone, no matter how harmful it may be.

• Home schoolers should be legally forced to expose their kids to religious diversity. But public schools should never teach the controversy between evolution and creationism.

• Home-school families should be routinely probed for possible child abuse. But other families with preschoolers kept at home would still be left alone by social workers just because they haven't made notification to home-educate.

• Home schoolers should supply information on their kids to prove they are not kidnapped or missing, even though privacy laws forbid states from tracking individual public school students. This assumes home educators are ``guilty until proven innocent.''

• Outnumbered home schoolers are regarded as subversive for uniting and organizing to protect their rights. But it is fair game for the National Education Association to wield its political clout.

• If they have nothing to hide, home schoolers should welcome intrusive looks from the outside. But other law-abiding homeowners have the right to turn away unwarranted searches.

• Home-schooled children should have a say in where and how they are taught. But the law must never allow public school students to pick and choose their own schools, teachers or course requirements.

The standards advocated for home schooling boil down to double standards. If they were consistently applied, all parents and citizens would cry ``foul.''

Since home schooling is consistently singled out, perhaps the real aim is not to rein it in but to stamp it out.

If you are interested in reading the articles themselves, you can find them here. They're the articles by Willard and Oplinger. From racism to child abuse, we homeschoolers are accused of many things. As it is usually, the truth is far different than what is reported.

As homeschooling becomes more accepted by the mainstream (you know, as they see how successful we are with our children) the more diverse it becomes. We homeschoolers should not be held to a standard that no one else is.

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