Monday, August 15, 2005

Tougher Standards for the 5%...

In Michigan, homeschoolers have one of the most relaxed homeschooling laws in the country. No registration obligation, no reporting requirements. I could pick this article apart, but the whole thing made me so angry I could barely get through it all. Read it for yourself here. I think for the most part, this article represented the failure of public school and the benefits of homeschooling quite well. It was the comments throughout that were so upsetting to me. Like this one:

"I believe that 95 percent of homeschoolers are probably better off at home than
in a school," said David Plank, co-director of the Education Policy Center at
Michigan State University.
"But the state's concern should be about the
other 5 percent. We have no information about what kind of education they are
receiving from their parents. Not finding out is a failing on the part of the
state of Michigan."

Five percent of Michigan homeschoolers aren't getting the kind of education they should. What percentage of public schooled children aren't getting a decent education? It's all relative, really. Convince me the 5% you're referring to are worse off than the 20-or-so% of children that fail miserably in public school, and then we'll talk.

I read the comments on this article and found myself even more irritated with the constant bickering between the homeschoolers and, well the anti-homeschoolers. Same old dry arguments as always: socialization (of course), lack of "varied opinions of teachers," etc. If you've ever read a homeschool debate then you're familiar with the banter. I don't understand why those homeschoolers get so upset with people. I personally couldn't care less what those people think of my ability to teach my children, or how much they think I'm damaging them by homeschooling. It's my right, and these are my children.

It is appalling to me that local government doesn't feel it necessary to check up on my child's nutrition, whether they get enough sleep, or what kind of television programs I allow them to watch. The government trusts me to monitor those things in the best interest of my child, and trusts that I will make the right choices because... well what kind of a parent would I be if I didn't make choices that were best for them? But I cannot be trusted to educate my children without them constantly checking up on me to make sure I'm doing it right. Why wouldn't any normal parent, buying the "best" clothes and seeing to the best nutritional guidelines, ensure the best possible education for their children, the most important things in their lives?

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