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NC ALERT: DUMBEST EDUCRATS EVER!

Filed at 6:59 pm under by dcobranchi

Alt title: HELL NO! WE WON’T GO!

This one really is beyond words, so I’ll let the educrats do the talking. FWIW, our law mandates that we maintain attendance, vaccination, and testing records and that we make them available once per year.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Dear Home School Administrator:

Instead of our coming to your home this year for a school record review visit, you have been randomly selected to ask if you would voluntarily come to meet with a representative of this office (name given below) on the date and at the location stated below. The meeting will last no longer than 25 minutes.

Please call this office within the next TEN days to arrange a specific appointment time. If you cannot attend or you are no longer home schooling your children please call or write this office within ten days of the above date and so state.

If you can arrange to come, please plan to bring the following to the meeting:

1. Students (those aged 7 through 17) currently enrolled in your school;

2. Student attendance records for the current school year

3. Student disease immunization records

4. Results from the most recently administered nationally standardized achievement test

5. Optional — Textbook list; this year’s daily log/lesson plan book; examples of student work, etc. which you might want to voluntarily show to our staff representative.

6. Any questions or suggestions you may have.

We greatly appreciate the North Carolina home schooling community’s cooperation in meeting with us and look forward to hearing from you within the next ten days.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Rod Helder

Director

DATE: Thursday, November 2, 2006 from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

DNPE Representative: Kristy Daughtry

LOCATION/DIRECTIONS: WEST DISTRICT POLICE STATION BEHIND THE WALMART IN GARNER STATION. THE ADDRESS IS 1809 GARNER STATION. IF YOU NEED MORE DIRECTIONS PLEASE CALL 919.722.8810

Yeah, let’s drag our kids to the police station and scare the crap out of them! What was the phrase for that again, Chris?

To its credit, NCHE is strongly urging folks not to attend.

UPDATE: We’re second year homeschoolers as far as DNPE knows. I really hope we get one of those cards when they come to the Sandhills. Just imagine all the fun we can have.

40 Responses to “NC ALERT: DUMBEST EDUCRATS EVER!”


Comment by
Jeanne
October 10th, 2006
at 3:01 pm

For those who think restrictive practices don’t creep — when I lived in NC I received a card asking me to send homeschool documenation in the mail that I was not required by law to submit, in lieu of a home visit. (I did faithfully keep all the documentation required by law).

Now they are asking people to bring documentation in person?

“Papers, Let’s have your Papers.”


Comment by
COD
October 10th, 2006
at 3:40 pm

Are they setting up meetings for the state, or is NCHE acting on behalf of the state and doing their work for them? In the case of latter, it sounds just like PA. Give a homeschool advocacy group a little official power, and they immediately sell out their constituency. Although in PA – I think PA Homeschoolers was probably created for the purpose of selling out homeschoolers.


Comment by
Andrea
October 10th, 2006
at 3:45 pm

Bring your papers AND your kids??

I. Don’t Think. So.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 10th, 2006
at 3:51 pm

In this instance, NCHE seems to be one of the good guys. Who knows? Maybe they’ll soon stop telling people to over-comply. Nahhhhh!


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 10th, 2006
at 3:55 pm

Let’s have some fun with this– See if we can come up for suggestions on where they should schedule the next meeting. The goal: It’s gotta be even worse than the police station.


Comment by
madhatter
October 10th, 2006
at 4:09 pm

Waste treatment facilities? County Jail? Or even more dangerous, but perhaps more security guards: local public school?


Comment by
Bonnie
October 10th, 2006
at 4:11 pm

Worse than the police station, huh?

Lessee…ummmmm, the public health department on “catch up on immunization day” (or whatever it’s called in your area) and refuse immunizations for your kids???

(Just FTR, we immunize against some things…not all…but this was the only place I could think of worse than the police station :-)

I don’t usually use this phrase but I do not “eff’ing” believe this. This has stepped way over even what *my* overly cautious “mama bear” mind thought DNPE could come up with.


Comment by
COD
October 10th, 2006
at 4:22 pm

They should hold the interviews during detention at the local “alternative” high school.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 10th, 2006
at 4:57 pm

Family court? Juvi hall?


Comment by
Toni
October 10th, 2006
at 5:44 pm

Absolutely NO offense to police officers here, but DNPE is simply loosing it in scheduling meetings at a police station. What are they thinking??

Here we go again, NC as laughingstock, and rightfully so.

I heard someone suggest the meetings be held at Social Services (check those kidlets for any sign of lack of socialization while they are being inspected?)…


Comment by
Sarah
October 10th, 2006
at 6:47 pm

You know, I think NC has joined the list of states I just don’t plan to ever live in (and right now, that’s a really short list — CA is on there based on personal experience, and that’s it.)

But I’m confused. They actually come to your home to perform annual inspections? How completely totalitarian can you get?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 10th, 2006
at 7:00 pm

Not quite. In theory they can come every year, but the DNPE is so understaffed (Poor babies) that they never get around to more than 1% of the “schools” in a year.

Their first extra-legal solution was for us to mail in the records. Riiiight! Now we’re at Phase II.

The really sad part is that a large number of home educators will cooperate. Hell, some of them even volunteer to work in the office of the regulators.

Sheeple, all.


Comment by
Mary
October 10th, 2006
at 7:58 pm

Has anyone asked the local police if they are aware of this planned use of their time and resources?

And what do taxpayers think of it?

How can the rest of us help?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 10th, 2006
at 8:19 pm

Blog posts, editorials, commentaries, etc. all pointing at NC (and especially at DNPE) and laughing!


Comment by
Teri B. Clark
October 10th, 2006
at 8:29 pm

Please call this office within the next TEN days to arrange a specific appointment time. If you cannot attend or you are no longer home schooling your children please call or write this office within ten days of the above date and so state.

Like, I have to call if I don’t want to volunteer??? Um….no!!!!!!!!!


Comment by
Melissa H
October 10th, 2006
at 9:18 pm

I think everyone should call to deny the appointment. If they think they are understaffed and overworked, wait until we overload their phones !!!!!!!!

How about a protest outside the police station????


Comment by
Mary
October 10th, 2006
at 9:40 pm

>>>Please call this office within the next TEN days to arrange a specific appointment time.


Comment by
Teri B. Clark
October 10th, 2006
at 9:42 pm

Oh yes!! A protest!!! That would be great!!!!!!

LOL

I think we should come up with a few slogans – besides, of course, “Hell No, We Won’t Go!!”

LOL


Comment by
Bonnie
October 10th, 2006
at 9:58 pm

Here we go again, NC as laughingstock, and rightfully so.

Ye-ep. Did you read Mike Taylor’s bit in the NCHE article that Daryl posted the other day? cobran...p=7025

Our present homeschool law…is a model for other states.

I thought…where is this guy??? Homeschoolers in other states are puzzled daily as to why so many NC homeschoolers are saying we have “one of the nation’s best” laws, when in reality we are much more regulated than a huge part of the country! I go to message boards that have other folks telling NC homeschoolers not to do more than the law requires and the folks from NC scoff and go off on some crap about what a great time their family had at the Raleigh office helping DNPE file the paperwork. Oh, what a great lesson in public works for their kids. Puh-lease!


Comment by
Toni
October 10th, 2006
at 10:37 pm

“the folks from NC scoff and go off on some crap about what a great time their family had at the Raleigh office helping DNPE file the paperwork….!”

I would imagine that NC eyes are popping open at an incredible rate right now… and DNPE might have fewer volunteers in the future.


Comment by
Andrea R. in Missouri
October 10th, 2006
at 11:38 pm

I’d go to them before I’d have them in my house counting my cats. We are over the legal limit for cats. Do you guys realy have to have them in your home? How awful!


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 11th, 2006
at 4:55 am

Do you guys realy have to have them in your home?

Yeah, we have pretty crappy home ed laws here. That being said, they only get to inspect those few pieces of paper, not us, our kids, or our homes. If they ever do make an appointment to inspect our records, they can review them on the front porch. And I’ll even brew up a batch of sweet tea.

They won’t make it past the door.


Comment by
Bonnie
October 11th, 2006
at 5:22 am

No, we do NOT have to have them in our homes and they are authorized by law to inspect ONLY test records. Not immunization or attendance records.

Daryl, what you said about this move being Phase II…

This is actually a resurrection of an old thing. DNPE had these community meetings years ago. They would invite homeschoolers to the public library or some such place and go over their records. Some went…some never did. They had already stopped doing those by the time I started homeschooling. The first couple of years that I homeschooled must have been a transition time. They were sending us 2 letters a year. One in the Fall to ask for your enrollment and were you still homeschooling acording to law, yada, yada. Then another in the Spring asking for test scores. Then they went to the latest thing of the Inspection By Mail cards. I have never sent them anything and they have never come to my home.

I have no idea where this latest insanity has come from. It seems to be coming from more than just a whim to go so quickly from them getting ready to send out the “community meeting” invites again starting in the western counties to asking a totally different area than was first planned to meet them at the police station with their children.

I will be very interested to see where this goes.


Comment by
Mary Nix
October 11th, 2006
at 9:50 am

Have you all considered a mass campaign using the state’s public listing of homeschoolers to attempt to contact EVERYONE who got the letter to assure that no one shows up?

I know that when the ABJ was suggesting we participate in “focus groups”, it was one of the few times that all of the different factions of homeschoolers in our state agreed on something. A few did not and still attended, but we pretty much shut the focus group idea down by standing united.

If you decide to try, I’ll be happy to make calls.


Comment by
Bonnie
October 11th, 2006
at 11:27 am

I would not use the state’s public listing for this as I am totally against the listing being published.


Comment by
Helen
October 11th, 2006
at 5:23 pm

The state’s public listing of homeschoolers? What’s that? Is there really such a thing?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 11th, 2006
at 5:32 pm

Yeah, the DNPE publishes our private info on the web. It’s a “service” that Helder does to for us and another reason he should be canned. I have legislation ready to go that would prevent its publication. We’re trying to get him to pull it down without going that route. We’re up to the ultimatum stage now.


Comment by
Mary
October 11th, 2006
at 7:31 pm

I’m not in favor of the list either and I suppose it shouldn’t be used at all. I assumed somewhat tongue in cheek that it might be used to contact those who don’t have internet access and who would unknowingly go along with the “voluntary” proposal.

Mary


Comment by
Bonnie
October 11th, 2006
at 7:34 pm

Right, Mary…I gotcha.


Comment by
Sarah
October 11th, 2006
at 7:34 pm

Good grief. Who appointed this Helder person?


Comment by
Bonnie
October 11th, 2006
at 9:59 pm

Good grief. Who appointed this Helder person?

He’s been there for years. In fact, he co-authored our current homeschool law. In all actuality he is a homeschool supporter. He is not trying to put a stop to homeschooling. He just works for the government and thinks like the government. I believe that if he were just ‘any old citizen’ he’d probably be one of the best advocates for homeschooling this state could have. I believe he knows that homeschooling works. That’s really the attitude I get from him personally and I’ve met him many times. And he has thwarted many a problem homeschoolers may not be aware of. He has fielded calls from angry grandparents, truancy personnel, the media, etc. An angry grandmother has called him and wanted to know how she could put a stop to this “homeschooling foolishness” and he has told her right quick that she didn’t have a leg to stand on according to law. He has taken calls from social workers concerning families and was able to help clear families from neglect charges just by saying, “Yes, that home is indeed a registered homeschool.” But…when you’re indoctrinated to the way the government does things…well…you get sucked in. I really have never felt like Helder was a “big, bad wolf”. This thing with the letter asking to meet with families at the police station has really surprised me.

As I have said here many times I have never had any trouble with the DNPE office. They ask for things I am not required to give them, I let them know in no uncertain terms it ain’t happenin’…they have never given me any grief. My beef has always ever been with NCHE trying to convince homeschoolers to go along with the government’s misuse of authority.

I believe Rod Helder believes he is doing homeschoolers a favor by getting them to comply with things so the legislature stays off his back concerning homeschoolers’ accountability.

Now…I will firmly state that all this over the last couple of days is a crock. But I don’t believe that Rod Helder is personally out ot get homeschoolers.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 12th, 2006
at 5:58 am

He’s been there for years.

Decades, actually.


Comment by
Bonnie
October 12th, 2006
at 8:47 am

Yep…he’s been there for a loooooong time. Which is all the more reason, IMO, to have the stage set for the next person coming into his position to understand right up front that homeschoolers are not “pushovers”, we will stand up to any junk they try to come up with, and we will not budge when it comes to our children.

Decades of homeschoolers complying and OVER complying with stupid requests doesn’t make us look like the active parents we truly are. I am confident that we, as a state, are on the upswing :-)


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 12th, 2006
at 9:09 am

HA-NC and NCHE do seem a bit more combative lately. I’m not sure what triggered the shift, but if real it will certainly be welcomed.


Comment by
Toni
October 12th, 2006
at 2:49 pm

Let’s hope that the recent ‘combativeness’ sticks, However, instead of refering to NCHE as ‘combative’, Daryl , I’d suggest they are now merely following the letter of the law, encouraging simple compliance with NC law…. Remember that for years NCHE *encouraged* its members to take part in the extra-legal voluntary mail-in program, so it should not come as much of a surprise that DNPE assumed it would get NCHE support again in this new endeavour. (just my guess here)

As for the police station issue… I do believe that, however *adroit* such a selection of locations was, it was probably not intended to send any sinister message. I believe the building is a police office / public use area for the town of Garner just south of Raleigh…


Comment by
Annette
October 12th, 2006
at 3:55 pm

Daryl,
I’d be interested to know if you make any progress in getting personal addresses off the website. Here homeschoolers who choose to set up a non-approved private school as an alternative to the letter of intent method of hsing, have their addresses listed on the web. That applies to the administrators not every one in a non-approved private school. It’s basically handled by renting a PO Box which all the families involved chip in for the cost. There have been attempts to have these families’ addresses removed, but to no avail yet. Hoping for you all in NC.


Comment by
Paula Bolyard
October 12th, 2006
at 8:22 pm

>>.Let’s have some fun with this– See if we can come up for suggestions on where they should schedule the next meeting. The goal: It’s gotta be even worse than the police station>>>

Germany??

I didn’t realize things were so restrictive in NC! Has HSLDA weighed in on this? Hopefully you can keep track of any deals they are making on behalf of their members. That can sometimes make a mess of things.

We have the same ying and yang here in Ohio. Some say that our regulations are great (compared to say…NC) and we shouldn’t try to change them. Others look at the “free” states and think maybe we should fight for something better.

From where I’m standing in OH, you’ve got a great big monkey on your back and you need to do what it takes to get it off. Nobody has a right to come to your house (even your front porch) to inpect your children without probable cause. Nor do they have the right to require you to appear with your children. Rally the troops and get that law changed!


Comment by
Toni
October 12th, 2006
at 10:37 pm

“I’d be interested to know if you make any progress in getting personal addresses off the website. Here homeschoolers who choose to set up a non-approved private school as an alternative to the letter of intent method of hsing, have their addresses listed on the web.”- Annette

Annette, I’ve been engaging in discussions regarding this very issue with DNPE on behalf of the Homeschool Alliance of NC. As a direct result of our meeting, Mr Helder has agreed to remove both homeschool addresses and zip codes from the website listings. This will be taking effect within 4-6 weeks, according to Mr. Helder. He has also agreed to password protect the list in the coming months (read: longer, more like six months … ). The wheels of progress are turning, albeit slowly.


Comment by
Paula Bolyard
October 13th, 2006
at 1:21 am

and another thing……

I am hereby calling for NC-HS-Enroll-Your-Kids-in-School Day

You should select a day (within the timeframe for the “suggested” meetings) and get as many homseschoolers as you can garner to show up at their local public schools to enroll. It would (almost) be worth putting the kids in school for a few days to see the reactions of school administrators when thousands of new students show up to claim their piece of the pie! They would be begging you to take your kids back home and perhaps they would think twice about harassing you again! Think of the bureaucratic nighmare it would create if thousands of students enrolled and then withdrew again in the same week. It would be a beautiful demonstration of civil disobedience.


Comment by
Toni
October 15th, 2006
at 1:06 pm

“Annette, I’ve been engaging in discussions regarding this very issue with DNPE on behalf of the Homeschool Alliance of NC. As a direct result of our meeting, Mr Helder has agreed to remove both homeschool addresses and zip codes from the website listings. This will be taking effect within 4-6 weeks, according to Mr. Helder. He has also agreed to password protect the list in the coming months (read: longer, more like six months … ). The wheels of progress are turning, albeit slowly.”

—–

Make that , QUICKLY. The 4-6 weeks is was to take to get the lists password protected was reduced to less than one week. Done.
Nothing like some gentle, steady pressure to get quick results.