Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » FIRE AWAY!

    Filed at 6:56 am under by dcobranchi

    The Dallas Morning News has a long editorial lamenting the fact that TX homeschools are largely unregulated. It seems that some folks are abusing the system. The solution? Regulate everyone.

    To the legitimate home-schoolers out there, the ones who work hard to give their kids the one-on-one attention they can’t get in a classroom: Hold your e-mail fire. This isn’t about you.

    It’s about people abusing the system, both schools and parents. And it’s about a state education bureaucracy that, under law, can’t do a thing about it.

    Under Texas law, home-schooling is essentially unregulated. Once a parent tells a school district a child will be home-schooled, the district’s jurisdiction ends.

    State regulations say that parents should teach basic literacy, math and citizenship – but that’s it.

    And state officials don’t even have the authority to check whether those minimal requirements are being met. As one home-schooling Web site puts it: “If you live in Texas, you are in the BEST state in the union for home-schooling! … The best part is that you are not required to prove that you are doing any of [the state requirements]!”

    …But those same legitimate home-schoolers have resisted the kinds of laws that might help weed out the bad apples. In 2003, state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos proposed a bill requiring new Texas home-school parents to pledge, in writing, their commitment to “adequately teaching the child based on a curriculum designed to meet basic education goals.”

    The Home School Legal Defense Association fought back, flooding his office with calls and e-mails, because the association felt it opened the door to potential further regulation. The bill died.

    Perhaps he’s right. [/sarcasm] But, of course, the “bad apple syndrome” is not restricted to home educators. In fact, I read once that a newspaper editorial writer was a mass-murdering, embezzling pedophile. Now, the DMN editor is probably ok, but you never know for sure. Perhaps he should be required to turn over all of his banking records and his laptop to the FBI so they can check. I’m sure that he wouldn’t have any problem with that.

    4 Responses to “FIRE AWAY!”

    Comment by
    December 12th, 2005
    at 1:46 pm

    The bad apples will continue to be bad apples, whether they fill out paperwork or not. Their interest is not in educating their child. When we left our HSAP, the supervising teacher said we should stay or get another supervisor, so that we would be accountable. It really turned me off to any involvement by the government, because my loyalty and accountability is to my children, as it should be and is for most homeschoolers.

    Comment by
    December 12th, 2005
    at 3:23 pm

    “Perhaps he’s right” – ????

    In proposing “…a bill requiring new Texas home-school parents to pledge, in writing, their commitment to ‘adequately teaching the child based on a curriculum designed to meet basic education goals.'” -???

    Daryl? What part of requiring parents to pledge such a commitment do you consider “right”? Sorry, but I side with Christine’s analysis: Our loyalty and accountability is – and should be – to our families, not the state.

    Comment by
    Amy K.
    December 12th, 2005
    at 10:43 pm

    Helen, re-read with a sarcasm tag.

    Comment by
    Dee Kay
    December 18th, 2005
    at 2:17 pm

    Home School is neither bad or good. Public school is neither bad or good. What you do with schooling/teaching is what is good or bad making Parent-directed Education for children the best choice. Regulations won’t catch “bad apples” in home school any better than in private or public schools. A good home schooling parent will do what a good public school parent will do – educate the children inspite of or even without regulations. WE didn’t fight against regulations, WE fought against being pulled back into a system of regulations that waste time and are of no value to the child. Then there was a flip side not mentioned, the law would have had to be written so that ALL parents were mandated to take that pledge. Imagine, what would the NEA have done with all the public school parents becoming parent-directed educators – by Texas law? With that thought, perhaps the homeschooling community didn’t kill that bill after all?