Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For all you single issue voters out there

Single Issue Voters are passionate about a particular issue, hence the name. But you will find more single issue voters who are passionate on one side or the other about immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage, and other social issues than about foreign policy, oil, or the economy - with the possible exception of the war in Iraq.

You almost never find anyone whose single issue is homeschooling.

Actually, I think the Single Issue that encompasses homeschooling and other educational choices would be "parental rights." And that is something I don't think enough people are concerned about.

The same court case that established a right to home school is the case that determined that parents possess a fundamental constitutional right to raise their children as they see fit: the 1925 ruling in Pierce v. the Society of Sisters.

But in today's legal and cultural climate, judges routinely deny parental rights, and there is an additional threat from those who would like to see international law as the standard for what is acceptable parental action on behalf of their children.

Then there's California.

Need I say more? From the state that brought you Muslim role playing in public schools and banned hateful references to "Mom" and "Dad" from textbooks lest any homosexuals be offended comes the latest assault on the sensibilities of Christians, not only in California, but all over the US.

There was considerable Christian media attention focused on the Rachel L. ruling in California this year that directly attacked homeschooling freedoms, and even some secular attention. Many groups with various agendas banded together in support of homeschooling.

But where was everybody last year when the University of Califormia quietly placed our Christian worldview in the crosshairs by declaring that any student educated with curricula that made even the smallest reference to a biblical worldview would not be allowed to attend any UC school?

Under the admissions guidelines to University of California colleges, in-state students must either score in the top two to three percent on standardized tests or complete a core curriculum of approved preparatory classes (called "a-g" classes) to be deemed eligible for entrance into the state university system.

More than 90 percent of UC students achieved eligibility by completing an approved a-g curriculum. Under the disputed policy, however, a-g classes based on books that mention God or the Bible don't count, effectively making a secular education a prerequisite for admission.

Can you say "Germany"? Basically, this policy forces parents to choose between their faith and their dream or their children's dream of attending UC.

Calvary Chapel Christian School and 5 students have filed suit against UC, saying that this discriminatory policy creates an ultimatum for Christian schools to either give up any idea of their students attending UC schools, or to teach from a secular worldview.

World Net Daily reported last month that according to the lawsuit, a variety of textbooks with supplemental perspectives were accepted – just not those with a Christian perspective.

For example, "Western Civilization: The Jewish Experience" and "Issues in African History" were accepted, but "Christianity's Influence on American History" was rejected.

"Feminine Roles in Literature," "Gender, Sexuality, and Identity in Literature" and "Literature of Dissent" were accepted, but "Christianity and Morality in American Literature" was not.

Most strikingly, "Intro to Buddhism," "Introduction to Jewish Thought," "Women's Studies & Feminism" and "Raza Studies" were deemed acceptable electives, but "Special Providence: American Government" was unacceptable, both as a civics and elective course.

"In other words, (UC schools) routinely approve courses which add viewpoints such as non-Christian religion, feminism, an ethnic preference, a political viewpoint, or multiculturalism, or that focus on religions such as Buddhism or Judaism, (and plaintiffs believe they should evenhandedly approve such courses), but disapprove courses which add viewpoints based on conservative Christianity," the court filings said.

Even though this case is about Christian schools teaching a Christian worldview, should the court rule in UC's favor, it will be a terrible strike at the heart of Christian home schooling, and any kind of educational choice that includes a biblical worldview.

So as much as I am loathe to say it, it matters where the candidates stand on homeschooling. The only one who was solidly and vocally in favor of homeschooling was Ron Paul.

McCain supports vouchers, home schooling, charter schools and generally any policy that helps parents choose the private or public school that they want their children to attend. McCain argues that school choice will create market forces that will spur competition among schools, not just for students but for the best teachers. He has also said that he would expand federally funded vouchers called Opportunity Scholarships that would let more parents pick the school of their choice.

Obama also wants to give parents more options when they pick a school for their children, but he would limit those choices to public charter schools. He does not support vouchers for children to attend private and parochial schools. He doesn't mention homeschooling specifically on his website or in any of his literature. I have never heard him mention it in a speech.

We need to be asking this question in terms of "parental rights" instead of homeschooling.

1 comment:

  1. This is of great concern. Would you consider cross-posting this at www.momsintheright.com ?