The Fundamental Right To Homeschool

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The Fundamental Right To Homeschool

By A.P. Dil­lon

The NY Times has an arti­cle out this week titled, “Home School­ing: More Pupils, Less Reg­u­la­tion”. The arti­cle focuses on changes in Penn­syl­va­nia, but this is an arti­cle that should give every­one pause.

The article’s main thrust is that home­schools are not reg­u­lated enough and deserve more over­sight — by a gov­ern­ment entity, of course. A loose trans­la­tion of that might be ‘all your kids are belong to us’.

The arti­cle talks around the fact that the choice to home­school is the fun­da­men­tal right of the par­ent, despite what the DOJ or in this case, a non-​profit, might have to say about it. One of the major points of home­school­ing is to avoid gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence and intru­sion, not add to it.

The NY times cites a non-​profit lead­ing the charge to invade home­schools and bases the arti­cle around the non-profit’s claims on oversight:

Eleven states do not require fam­i­lies to reg­is­ter with any school dis­trict or state agency that they are teach­ing their chil­dren at home, accord­ing to the Coali­tion for Respon­si­ble Home Edu­ca­tion, a non­profit group that is push­ing for more account­abil­ity in home school­ing. Four­teen states do not spec­ify any sub­jects that fam­i­lies must teach, and only nine states require that par­ents have at least a high school diploma or equiv­a­lent in order to teach their chil­dren. In half the states, chil­dren who are taught at home never have to take a stan­dard­ized test or be sub­ject to any sort of for­mal out­side assessment.

Coali­tion for Respon­si­ble Home Education’s (CRHE) web­site is reg­is­tered anony­mously. It seems per­haps that CHRE’s demands for account­abil­ity and trans­parency only extends to other peo­ple. View the non-​profit infor­ma­tion for CRHE here. I was unable to find their 990 or required 990-​N.

The founders, Rachel Cole­man and Heather Doney were home­schooled but have turned their atten­tion to rais­ing aware­ness of the abuses that can hap­pen in a home­school. Gee, because pub­lic schools don’t have that prob­lem at all, right?

The unspo­ken under­ly­ing theme being that home­school­ing is dan­ger­ous; Par­ents can’t be trusted to make edu­ca­tional deci­sions for their kids. Along those same lines is the theme of the use of home­school­ing as a shield for abuse or equat­ing home­school­ing with abuse, with the focus on a small frac­tion of cases being used as the premise for over­sight of the majority.

The NY Times arti­cle doesn’t cite the num­ber of abuse cases but their non-​profit source does on their web­site, “As of Octo­ber 2014, the web­site has 242 cases listed, of which 94 involve fatal­i­ties.” Bear in mind, there are some­where near 2 mil­lion home­schooled kids in the United States. On the offi­cial CHRE site, I didn’t see a time frame of these “242 cases and 94 fatal­i­ties”, how­ever, on the web­site CHRE redi­rects you to called ‘Homeschooling’s Invis­i­ble Chil­dren’, they have a time­line of the fatal­i­ties that goes back to 1987.

The ques­tion has to be asked, are the “242 cases and 94 fatal­i­ties” CHRE is using from this time­line that spans a 28 year period? It can also be argued that in these cases pointed to by CHRE, home­school­ing isn’t the issue, abuse is. Arguably, said abuse would have hap­pened regard­less of school­ing sta­tus. I’m not try­ing to make light of any of these rather hor­ri­fy­ing cases, just point­ing out there appears to be a mud­dy­ing of the real issue here.

Cole­man, accord­ing to CRHE’s web­site, “is cur­rently work­ing on a dis­ser­ta­tion on the role of chil­dren and child­hood in the rise of the Chris­t­ian Right.” Some­one didn’t get the memo about home­school­ing not being just for “scary reli­gious peo­ple” any­more. Pag­ing Buffy and Glenn Reynolds.

Cole­man seems to be in the ‘all your kids belong to us’ camp. By her own admis­sion in the NY Times piece, spy­ing on par­ents some account­abil­ity ought to keep those pesky par­ents in line:

Rachel Cole­man, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the coali­tion, who was home-​schooled from kinder­garten through high school, said that although she had a good expe­ri­ence, she had talked to many oth­ers who did not. “Just hav­ing some account­abil­ity would absolutely make par­ents who might oth­er­wise drop the ball step it up a bit,” she said.

Got that par­ents? We need some­one check­ing your work for you because you might slip up.

The clos­ing para­graph is a good response to Ms. Cole­man or any­one else who thinks they know best for some­one else’s children:

Ms. San­toro said she was frus­trated that despite the change in Pennsylvania’s law, she still had to show a port­fo­lio of Jack’s and Lily’s work to an out­side evaluator.

“It’s almost like the State of Penn­syl­va­nia feels that home-​educating fam­i­lies are hid­ing some­thing or that they just absolutely must micro­man­age us,” she said. “I only know what’s best for the San­toros. I don’t know what’s best for any­one else, and no one knows what’s best for me.”

If you enjoyed this arti­cle, you should really check out other pieces writ­ten by Da Tech Guy’s Mag­nif­i­cent Seven writ­ers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dil­lon (Lady Lib­erty 1885), is a Con­ser­v­a­tive minded wife and mother liv­ing in the Tri­an­gle area of North Car­olina. A.P. Dil­lon founded the blog LadyLib​er​ty1885​.com in 2009. After the 2012 elec­tion, she added an Instapun­dit style blog called The Con­Mom Blog. Mrs. Dil­lon recently par­tic­i­pated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Con­form. Mrs. Dillon’s writ­ing, in addi­tion to Da Tech Guy’s Mag­nif­i­cent 7, can also be found at Stop​Com​mon​CoreNC​.org, Watch­dog­WireNC and Wiz­Bang. Non-​political writ­ing projects include sci­ence fic­tion novel­las that are, as of yet, unpub­lished. Her cur­rent writ­ing project is a children’s book series.

By A.P. Dillon

The NY Times has an article out this week titled, “Home Schooling: More Pupils, Less Regulation“.  The article focuses on changes in Pennsylvania, but this is an article that should give everyone pause.

The article’s main thrust is that homeschools are not regulated enough and deserve more oversight – by a government entity, of course. A loose translation of that might be ‘all your kids are belong to us’.

The article talks around the fact that the choice to homeschool is the fundamental right of the parent, despite what the DOJ or in this case, a non-profit, might have to say about it. One of the major points of homeschooling is to avoid government interference and intrusion, not add to it.

The NY times cites a non-profit leading the charge to invade homeschools and bases the article around the non-profit’s claims on oversight:

Eleven states do not require families to register with any school district or state agency that they are teaching their children at home, according to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, a nonprofit group that is pushing for more accountability in home schooling. Fourteen states do not specify any subjects that families must teach, and only nine states require that parents have at least a high school diploma or equivalent in order to teach their children. In half the states, children who are taught at home never have to take a standardized test or be subject to any sort of formal outside assessment.

 

Coalition for Responsible Home Education’s (CRHE) website is registered anonymously.  It seems perhaps that CHRE’s demands for accountability and transparency only extends to other people.  View the non-profit information for CRHE here. I was unable to find their 990 or required 990-N.

The founders, Rachel Coleman and Heather Doney were homeschooled but have turned their attention to raising awareness of the abuses that can happen in a homeschool. Gee, because public schools don’t have that problem at all, right?

The unspoken underlying theme being that homeschooling is dangerous; Parents can’t be trusted to make educational decisions for their kids. Along those same lines is the theme of the use of homeschooling as a shield for abuse or equating homeschooling with abuse, with the focus on a small fraction of cases being used as the premise for oversight of the majority.

The NY Times article doesn’t cite the number of abuse cases but their non-profit source does on their website, “As of October 2014, the website has 242 cases listed, of which 94 involve fatalities.”  Bear in mind, there are somewhere near 2 million homeschooled kids in the United States.  On the official CHRE site, I didn’t see a time frame of these “242 cases and 94 fatalities”, however, on the website CHRE redirects you to called ‘Homeschooling’s Invisible Children’, they have a timeline of the fatalities that goes back to 1987.

The question has to be asked, are the “242 cases and 94 fatalities” CHRE is using from this timeline that spans a 28 year period? It can also be argued that in these cases pointed to by CHRE, homeschooling isn’t the issue, abuse is. Arguably, said abuse would have happened regardless of schooling status. I’m not trying to make light of any of these rather horrifying cases, just pointing out there appears to be a muddying of the real issue here.

Coleman, according to CRHE’s website, “is currently working on a dissertation on the role of children and childhood in the rise of the Christian Right.” Someone didn’t get the memo about homeschooling not being just for “scary religious people” anymore. Paging Buffy and Glenn Reynolds.

Coleman seems to be in the ‘all your kids belong to us’ camp.  By her own admission in the NY Times piece, spying on parents  some accountability ought to keep those pesky parents in line:

Rachel Coleman, executive director of the coalition, who was home-schooled from kindergarten through high school, said that although she had a good experience, she had talked to many others who did not. “Just having some accountability would absolutely make parents who might otherwise drop the ball step it up a bit,” she said.

Got that parents? We need someone checking your work for you because you might slip up.

The closing paragraph is a good response to Ms. Coleman or anyone else who thinks they know best for someone else’s children:

Ms. Santoro said she was frustrated that despite the change in Pennsylvania’s law, she still had to show a portfolio of Jack’s and Lily’s work to an outside evaluator.

“It’s almost like the State of Pennsylvania feels that home-educating families are hiding something or that they just absolutely must micromanage us,” she said. “I only know what’s best for the Santoros. I don’t know what’s best for anyone else, and no one knows what’s best for me.”

 

 

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.