Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » LEGISLATION ALERT: ALASKA

    Filed at 7:13 am under by dcobranchi

    Dumb editorial of the day: It’s fisking time!

    If you want to get an Alaskan angry, tell him you want to infringe upon his privacy. If you want to get an Alaskan really angry, tell him how to raise his children.

    Damn straight! And, Alabamans, Arizonans, Arkansans, Californians, etc., etc.

    Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Kenai, has made a lot of Alaskans very angry.

    Chenault has sponsored House Bill 437, which, among other things, will require all Alaskan school-age children to carry a tracking number that would enable the state to ensure every child is receiving an education.

    Some home school parents see the bill as an intrusion upon their privacy.

    You think? Why don’t we just microchip ’em? Yeah, we can put those little RFIDs in their necks and every time they sit down to “do school” we can scan it into the Big Brother database.

    Under a hailstorm of angry phone calls and complaints, Carl Gatto, who chairs the House Special Committee on Education, said his office had to prepare a canned response. Gatto also said Chenault indicated that he may withdraw the bill in the future.

    Way to go, homeschoolers. Keep the pressure up until the bill is dead or he loses his seat. Better yet, both.

    The controversy begs a few questions. Just how far should a citizen be able to opt out of society, and how selective should that withdrawal be? To what degree is a community collectively responsible for the education of its children? Does our society consider education to be a matter of choice, or do we think of it as a protected right of every child?

    Is Alaska still part of Russia? I thought Seward bought it way back when. My bad. Well, in the 49 United States, a citizen can opt out just as much as he chooses. Perhaps things are different in the USSA.

    The first two questions hinge upon the third. If we believe that every child should receive an education, we must agree that the community has a responsibility to ensure that result.

    No we musn’t. The g-schools cannot ensure that result for all of their inmates, er, students. Remove the log from your own eye first.

    HB 437 does not define how home schoolers should be taught, nor does it limit a parent’s ability to choose home schooling over public education. It simply acknowledges that without some sort of tracking, some students may not receive an adequate education, and that would be a failure of the community, not just of the family.

    Another log there.

    Many home schoolers receive a high-quality education, and some outperform public school students. It is fair to say, however, that a number of home schoolers also perform below public education averages, and some home schoolers.

    Yes. In fact, 50 per cent of homeschoolers perform below the average of all homeschoolers. Oh, the horror!

    It is not enough to say that public schools have failures, and that those failures should be addressed before home schooling comes under scrutiny. The state has a responsibility to protect all students. We all pay a price at some point for children who are inadequately educated, and we should demand a minimum standard is met by all students.

    Sure. When the state proves that it is capable of ensuring a minimum standard for all its inmates, er, students, come back and see us.

    The parents of home schoolers who are performing well should not be alarmed by HB 437.

    Hell yes they should! This is intrusive and unnecessary.

    The parents whose home schoolers are failing should be alarmed by that failure.

    I’m sure they are already aware of any “failure” and are working to correct it. Unlike the g-schools run by that “terrorist organization.”

    We support any effort to protect every child’s right to quality education.

    So- homeschool them already!

    UPDATE: Izzy thought the editorial was a little Red, too.

    10 Responses to “LEGISLATION ALERT: ALASKA”

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    February 24th, 2004
    at 7:55 am

    Jeez, the Alaska law only got good in ’97. What the hell is going on? Where is the frickin’ wizard behind the curtain who’s yanking all of our chains all of a sudden? I have a lion I’d like him to meet.

    Comment by
    February 24th, 2004
    at 9:49 am

    This senator needs to lose his job, and soon. If he withdraws the bill, it does not change the fact that he sees the State as the raiser of children, not families or parents. We need any and all government officials that believe that out of office. Thats gonna take some work, might as well start somewhere.

    Comment by
    February 24th, 2004
    at 9:49 am

    This senator needs to lose his job, and soon. If he withdraws the bill, it does not change the fact that he sees the State as the raiser of children, not families or parents. We need any and all government officials that believe that out of office. Thats gonna take some work, might as well start somewhere.

    Comment by
    Judy Aron
    February 24th, 2004
    at 9:52 am

    I was sent this by a ps/homeschooling teacher

    I thought you might be interested in another side of NCLB from my viewpoint at our district’s Technology Coordinator. (another function I have to fill in my “off hour”. ) I’ll warn you – this is scary stuff.

    I have to prepare for more mandates to be implemented. In two more years all teachers will have to post their lesson plans on the
    internet. So far, not a problem for us – we’re way ahead of that game. Also, there will be info posted for each child. Of course, it
    will be password protected. Parents can access some of it, such as grades and attendence records. Still, not much of a problem, except
    sometimes defining “parent” and protecting those pesky passwords.

    But wait! there’s more. There is also a lot of information about each kid that will be available only to administrators (yeah,
    right). This includes the above PLUS many other things, such as dates of entry, addresses, what days he/she ate in the cafeteria,what library books he/she checked out, achievement test results, possibly attendence at other school events, etc. etc. etc. The idea of “no child left behind” appears to be that they can track a child
    from anywhere to anywhere, even if he moves from state to state. How will this be done? By scan cards that the child will use to access
    any of the school services.

    This is not just rumor; this is what I have been told to prepare us for; as the Tech. guy the scan cards and extra computers fall into my

    I told you; scary stuff. You can imagine what could happen when (not if) this information gets abused. Other information could be posted
    but this is not yet mandated – such as race, religious affiliation,membership in groups, discipline records, parent communications,
    medical occurences etc. I am hoping that after the election the NCLB will be re-written and there is some indication that this will
    happen. If not I will have to look seriously at some alternatives.
    (work at Wal-mart? )

    I only wish that we had begun homeschooling years before we did instead of waiting until our own child was left behind in middle school. But we won’t go there.

    Comment by
    Judy Aron
    February 24th, 2004
    at 10:05 am

    I have actually seen the RFID chips – – the ones they use in people – they showed them to us at the Boston Science museum at a technology talk we attended – they are the size of a grain of rice and are injected into your arm.. they contain a number and that number is matched to a number in a central database which has all the information about you – sort of like the number tatooed on concentration camp survivors arms, eh?
    The RFID technology is being developed by Walmart for “Inventory ” purposes.. they are also being used by the military for inventory.. the ones they currenlty use on people are supposed to be used on Altzheimer patients who cannot remember who they are and may get lost.. and any others who wish to have allergies made known without wearing allergy jewelry.. Current use is also on pets so that if they get lost they can be tracked.. although people we spoke to claim that no GPS cpabilities are being used right now (I don’t believe that one)
    It is here folks, and it is being used.. and they ain’t just putting the RFID’s on the Cd’s you buy in the store..
    PRADA in NYC used RFID’s on their merchandise and people complained because they got wierded out when returning to the store and the clerk would apporach them and say.. “last week you bought a green pair of slacks .. we have a shirt on sale this week that would match it..” – I understand they have stopped using it.. but Walmart is continuing it’s mission to tag everything on the planet..

    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    February 24th, 2004
    at 11:58 am

    A co-worker here bought two boxes of Actifed at the local Wally World. Upon scanning the second box, a special receipt printed out. The clerk declared that they had “bought too much Actifed lately and could only purchase the first box”. They had in fact purchased two boxes the previous week for their mother. Now Actifed, an over-the-counter drug, has to be requested at the pharmacy counter – and is being tracked by Wal-Mart. You know, so they can catch all the meth-lab operators. Good grief.

    Thinking the common thing about the two purchases was the use of the same credit card, my friend called the credit card company (Discover) and was told that the purchasing information is not specifically relayed back to WalMart for Actifed/Sudafed purchases, so they are doing it in-house. Wonder how they monitor the cash paying meth dealers…

    Comment by
    February 24th, 2004
    at 12:15 pm

    Re Judy Aron’s comment…

    Where is your friend’s school district going to find the funds to do this?
    The same idea (online membership information) was recently batted around a advocacy organization I belong to, and I’m arguing against it on the ground that the cost (set up of at least 5 thou Canadian, operating costs of at least 1 thou a month after that, at minimum) is prohibitive, and that none of us want to risk the lawsuits that will ensue should any child’s information privacy be breached. I’ve been assured that it’s highly unlikely this idea will go anywhere.

    My local school district is always screaming that it doesn’t have enough money. I can’t imagine they’d ever want to set up anything like that (especially since they can’t even be bothered to keep track of whether PS kids even attend school every day right now – there’s basically no such thing as truancy laws, locally). But if they did, my children would be out of there so fast their heads would spin. 😉

    Comment by
    Judy Aron
    February 24th, 2004
    at 4:19 pm

    Darby, I don’t rightly know… In my opinion, it seems NCLB will just go away on it’s own because school districts just won’t have the money to do what they are being mandated to do, they are already having trouble keeping up with costs for disabled kids who are mainstreamed.. I think more and more districts will just say no when the bar is lifted too high to afford it.. I think most of them ought to scream to their state and local governments and pass out copies of the tenth amendment..

    Comment by
    February 24th, 2004
    at 4:40 pm

    This is disturbing. The comments more so than the original post.

    I do not want my child being tracked. It’s bad enough to put up with everyone wanting to track their immunizations.

    Comment by
    February 24th, 2004
    at 9:20 pm

    I have concerns about the whole next generation of kids that are growing up from childhood w/ all kinds of survelliance as common place… Their schools are on camera…, many of the roads we drive are on are on camera, Major cities both here & abroad have camera’s to deter crime.

    It used to be only 7-11’s & such when we were kids that had video cameras.

    And all the cameras at that car wash in Florida didn’t help save that young girl from being
    kidnapped. So much for the big safety issue of cameras they can’t really stop bad things from happening just help the police Mop up the crime scene afterward.

    Heck now we have Sattelite systems that can see a freckle on Janet Jackson’s Boobs. We my friends may be the last generation to know just what true privacy “is” strike that “WAS.”

    Just today I had some CHemlawn guy call our private house# & ask for us by name. & even bragged about how he left his business ad hanging from my mail box. I gave him serious crap about how he got our private unlisted#… matched it w/ our names & address… he gave me a story about how I must of filled out some form or something at at a trade show (NOT)….

    He wouldn’t directly answer me & just kept spinning… I said look there’s a problem here… You have a# that we don’t give out to businesses have our personal info & HAVE BEEN TO MY HOUSE THIS MORNING!!!!! “You don’t think that I have something to be concerned about???” I asked him…?

    His reply was that he had every right to call me as we are not on a don’t call list & it’s his job to try & make a buck. In fact he “The telemarketer” had the nerve to hang up on me. If the chemlawn guy can get that much info just to try & sell grass goo I can only Imagine what kind of trouble our kids will have keeping their private life information from the world’s prying eyes.
    Soon only the true criminals that actually steal other’s identities will be the only ones not in the system.