Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ill wind blows for homeschooling

This has been a tough couple of years for homeschooling.

Even as homeschooling is enjoying more widespread public acceptance than ever before, and more evidence that it is not only viable, but a superior method of education, there is also evidence that teachers' unions, state boards of education, and governments want to eliminate it - and if they cannot do that, severely restrict it.

Witness the ruling in California that effectively banned homeschooling unless the parents held a teaching license qualifying them to teach in public schools.

Witness homeschoolers specifically excluded from a contest sponsored by Subway Restaurants that any student of an institutional school could enter and win.

Witness the gross persecution (and prosecution!) of parents in Germany.

Witness the first time in 15 years that a jurisdiction has enacted laws that increased homeschooling regulations.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Now, some of these situations have actually been resolved, like Subway apologizing to home schoolers, and a number of positive developments in the California case.

Presidential candiate Ron Paul actually had homeschooling as an active part of his platform.

But the last congressional elections swept in swarms of Democrats and confirmed Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. An Obama presidency is not out of the realm of possibility.

It is interesting that the rabid supporters of other kinds of deadly "choices" do not support educational choice.

Now, I am not interested in debating the relative merits of the candidates, because at the moment I am a "None of the Above" supporter. Neither do I think someone should vote for a candidate based solely on his position on homeschooling. I realize there are entire groups of home school families who support each candidate for various reasons.

But a candidate's stance on educational choice speaks volumes about what he or she really thinks about parental rights, and whether he trusts parents to raise their own children. Whether he thinks the state should have carte blanche for 12 years to disabuse your child of any archaic notions he may have gotten from his stupid parents about God, right and wrong, American sovereignty, or anything else that might keep her from becoming a good global citizen.

It doesn't look the same as the current prosecution of home schoolers in Germany, but it is the germ of the same idea. Eventually it WILL look the same if we are not vigilant.

Have you really thought through what each candidate's policies as president will mean for your right to home school?

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