Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » CATHY DUFFY COLUMN Ms.

    Filed at 6:29 am under by dcobranchi

    CATHY DUFFY COLUMN Ms. Duffy has a lengthy column on how accountability testing threatens homeschoolers. I don’t buy the premise, though.

    Could “Standards” Be Forced on Homeschoolers?

    Early in 2001, the Maine legislature introduced legislation (LD 405) requiring homeschoolers to take the state’s Maine Educational Assessment exam. Although this legislative effort failed, it demonstrates that it is not a farfetched concern for homeschoolers in general. [HSLDA News Release. (2001, February 16). Home School Legal Defense Association, Purcellville, VA. ] Also, as colleges and universities explore linkage of college entry to student scores on standards-based tests and exit exams, it is likely that they will come to expect private and home school students to pass the same tests just as they now take the same SAT I, SAT II, and ACT exams as public school students for college entry exams.

    Private and home schools that choose to teach a significantly different curriculum will be faced with choices of sacrificing their own agenda so their students can achieve high test scores, accepting the risk of low student scores, or fighting for alternative evaluation.

    First, NCLB explicitly exempts homeschoolers from having to take the tests. Therefore, we have complete freedom in choosing our curricula. The college issue is, I think, also a red herring. Colleges are now actively recruiting homeschoolers. They recognize that the kids are well-rounded and well-prepared academically. Why would they intentionally cut their potential applicant pool? Besides, colleges do not recruit from only one state. How could any college mandate passing a particluar accountability test?

    There was section of the article, though, that I loved. Check out this definition of a liberal education from the Great Books Academy:

    Liberal education is ordered toward making the student a free and happy individual. This freedom and happiness arises within the student as he is freed from ignorance and becomes better equipped to recognize the truth and beauty of the world around him. And it is truth which in turn leads him to freedom and happiness.

    On this Easter morning, it is worth recalling Jesus’ words on this topic:

    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    John 8:32

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