Monday, February 27, 2006

A Level Playing Field?

The News Leader's editorial board's piece, "A level playing field,"
includes no facts to support its position regarding homeschool legislation. The bill in question does not affect accountability; all homeschooling parents must continue to show annual evidence of adequate progress for each child.

The editorial expresses a complaint about Virginia “groaning under the onerous demands” of NCLB and government bureaucracy, while asserting that homeschoolers should be held to the same standards. In the name of “fair” the authors would justify one abuse with another and believe that the sum of two wrongs equals a right. I have to wonder about the reason for this punitive mindset, and whether the writers would extend this punishing "level" to private schools, as well.

In arguing that homeschoolers should be held to the same standard as public education, the editorial board forgets that homeschooling is not public education; it is private education. Homeschool parents are generally parents, not teachers. We are not seeking to qualify as “teachers,” as we are responsible only for our own children, not thirty children who belong to others. One of the “legion” of reasons to homeschool is the ability to provide a custom education for our children, rather than forcing them to follow a standardized program. We implement this customization through the curriculum and down to the pedagogy. One cannot level the field when public schools and home education are not only played out on different pieces of ground, but engaged in two different sports.

(Submitted as a letter to the editor.)

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