Friday, March 14, 2008

Homeschoolers Breathing Easier

Meghan Cox Gurdon highlights some of the recent assaults on home schooling. I liked this one:
Meanwhile, homeschoolers in California are also breathing more easily after new assurances from the state educational authorities. Late last month, families were thrown into a panic after California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that parents could instruct at home only if they had teaching credentials.

Not surprisingly, the California teachers’ union smugly applauded the ruling: “We’re happy,” one official told the San Francisco Chronicle; “We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting.”

It’s odd, really, that “credentials” should engender this magical penumbra when, across the country, homeschoolers routinely trounce their public and private school counterparts in spelling bees, standardized tests and even college entry exams.

That same news story, however, yields an important clue to the resistance to homeschooling. Those who distrust families, seeing them as cauldrons of patriarchal or religious brainwashing, are often inclined to think homeschooling is a dangerous, regressive experiment that must be stopped.

Leslie Heimov, who runs the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, told the Chronicle that the main issue is not the quality of children’s education, but their “being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety.” Unlike, say, their parents.
I am working on a longer piece about homeshcooling movement and other changes in education.

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