"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Homeschooling Parents Should be Concerned about "Educated Citizenry 2020". It May Not Just Affect Public Education Students.

Taxpayers and parents of public school students have many concerns and questions about the new educational plan recently released to taxpayers in December 2010. Perhaps it is a "Christmas gift" to the citizens of Missouri from the Legislature. A homeschooling blog raises concerns this legislation may hold for homeschooled students. It may be the Legislature's educational gift is unwelcome not only in the public education realm, but in homeschooling groups as well.

Homeschooling United has written a detailed post on the history of past legislative process and the current thrust of educational reform contained in "Educated Citizenry 2020". This blog states how current legislators have made their intent clear in setting reforms which do not create more educational freedom or choices for education; rather, the legislature is developing a plan which creates more mandates and control not only for public education students, but also homeschooled students:

The legislature, Republican and Democrat, is deeply rooted in the idea that it is government’s job to monitor, regulate, supervise, oversee, the education of the children under their representation. We continue to see, year after year, more and more legislation designed to put more educational bureaucracy into government. With that ever growing bureaucracy, more authority to define and choose standards also shifts from parents to the bureaucrats and legislators. It is this mindset that defies the homeschooler’s freedom to make the best educational choices for their own children. Read these comments from Senator, Jane Cunningham:

"There are many times that government uses the private sector to achieve their goals,” Cunningham said. “I think maybe this is the time, because we are slipping behind so dramatically in global rankings, to ask what is the best way to deliver education to the public. …… We so desperately need education reform and quality schools. The Legislature has to look at what we feel are appropriate measures.”

Homeschooling United then explains what vouchers and tax credits mean to homeschooling taxpayers (and this explanation can be applied to public schooled children as well):

With the introduction of Charter Schools added to the mix of educational reform, there will be, as there has been in the past, discussion of vouchers and tax credits. There has always been a debate about the amount of taxation that homeschoolers pay to support public education, but it is extremely important to understand that no tax relief would ever come without serious strings attached.

This is the same argument we have been making on behalf of public school students in a system of educational mandates set forth by groups of states (rather than each individual state) for students AND educational mandates set by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government has already threatened to withhold Title 1 money from states IF THEY REFUSE TO SIGN ON TO COMMON CORE STANDARDS. Those are some mighty large strings attached to a "voluntary" program for states to sign on to...not only is it important to understand that no tax relief would ever come without serious strings attached, no "reform" designed by the Federal Government comes without serious and expensive strings attached. Taxpayers should be wary of what "voluntary" actions undertaken by the State Board of Education will cost the state in terms of educational freedom and tax dollars.

It is suggested by this group you contact the legislators who are supporting this "educational choice". The blog continues:

This year, Scott Dieckhaus, (R) District 109 – Franklin and St. Charles Counties, is the Chairman of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. He will be spearheading, for the House of Representatives, all legislation related to education. Here is the problem. Representative Dieckhaus has repeatedly voiced opinions which may be adverse to educational freedoms.

The St. Louis Beacon published an article in which Dieckhaus said that he is willing to go as far as changing the Missouri Constitution and putting all options on the table as it relates educational reform. Does Dieckhaus believe that private schools should be pulled under the umbrella of public education oversight if they accept vouchers? Will he also expect the same from homeschoolers who receive tax credits?

Remember that Race To The Top Standards, SB 21, vouchers/tax credits, all have common threads of regulation and control that could reach into the homeschooling community. It is important to remind representatives that homeschoolers do not want to be included in any educational reform they have in mind for the coming year or in the future. We are following all state regulations concerning homeschooling and doing an excellent job of making educational choices for our own children and to not need or want the interference of the government, state or federal.

The article makes note of Representative's Dieckhaus' agreement with Arne Duncan's educational philosophies which are antithetical to the 10th Amendment. If these same Missouri senators support health care freedom for Missourians with limited federal government involvement, why aren't they supporting educational freedom for Missourians with limited federal governmental involvement as well?

"Educational Citizenry 2020" seems to be Race to the Top renamed and forced upon Missouri schools...AND quite possibly, homeschoolers as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter