Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » AMBASSADOR THIS!

    Filed at 9:58 am under by dcobranchi

    It is really sad that the only true statewide in my home state routinely makes even HSLDA look good. Here’s their latest advice concerning the extra-legal “requests” from DNPE:

    The Division of Non Public Education is planning to meet with more than a hundred second-year homeschool families living in Wake, Johnston, Cherokee, Macon, and Buncombe Counties in November. These meetings are by invitation to randomly selected families.

    These meetings can be an opportunity to present homeschooling as an excellent educational alternative to a state official. If you choose to attend, NCHE suggests going as an ambassador for home education. While DNPE has authority to inspect certain legally required records at your school (link to h.s. law: see section 115C-549), attendance at these particular meetings is completely voluntary.

    And for historic perspective, here’s what their advice was less than two months ago. Interestingly, this advice has been completely scrubbed from their website. Even Google has no record of it.

    “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.”

    NCHE Response:

    (RALEIGH, October 10, 2006) The state Division of Non-Public Education has sent letters to randomly selected second year homeschoolers in the Raleigh/Johnston County area asking them to “voluntarily come and meet with a representative of this office” at a local police station. The letter asked families to “please bring … students (those aged 7 through 17) currently enrolled in your school …” along with records and materials beyond those required by the state homeschool law.

    The November 2 meeting date also accelerated the program start by two weeks and began in the Triangle rather than the mountains, as previously announced by DNPE and communicated in NCHE’s last E-brief message.

    The October 9 letter stresses the voluntary nature of the meetings but asks for a number of items which are not required by any part of the homeschooling statute. The opening sentence implies that attendance at the meeting is the alternative to an inevitable home visit from the state. Item 5, requesting “[a] textbook list; this year’s daily log/lesson plan book; examples of student work, etc.”, while labeled both optional and voluntary, asks for items are not subject to state review. Item 1, requesting to meet students, does not even have that disclaimer.

    NCHE President Ernie Hodges attempted to contact DNPE Director Rod Helder this morning and express our opposition to the location of this meeting and wording of this message, but he is out of the office for the week. While homeschoolers have enjoyed a peaceful regulatory environment under Mr. Helder’s administration, these meetings exceed the legal requirements on several points, and NCHE strongly recommends against participating.

    As the DNPE letter acknowledges, these meetings are not required by law and you cannot be penalized for choosing not to attend. In addition, there are only three records required by statute — attendance, immunization, and testing — and DNPE has no legal standing to ask to meet your children, review your curriculum, or examine student work or teacher plans. Although the additional records were called optional and voluntary, the bringing of children to a police station was not. If you do choose to participate, NCHE recommends you do not bring records other than those mentioned in the law and nothing further, especially not your students. Remember the requirement to bring your children clearly exceeds the law since seeing them cannot be required even on a home visit.

    While we urge full compliance with all requirements of the law, NCHE does not endorse this action by DNPE. With all due respect to state authorities, including DNPE Director Rod Helder, we recommend that homeschoolers decline this invitation to provide extra-legal information to the state.

    If you have received one of these letters and would like to discuss its contents, please contact NCHE at nche@nche.com or (919) 790-1100.

    5 Responses to “AMBASSADOR THIS!

    Comment by
    December 1st, 2006
    at 10:38 am

    It’s very puzzling that an organization that is supposed to advocate for homeschoolers has encouraged homeschoolers to make it easy for government officials to overstep.

    Makes me wonder if they have forgotten their conservative roots (not saying all homeschoolers have such roots — but having homeschooled in NC and once been a member of NCHE, I know that this org does) or have a political or personal agenda that is more important than keeping homeschooling free from government interference.

    Very strange. And indeed, worst of all is that their earlier position is now “gone” as if it never existed.

    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 1st, 2006
    at 12:24 pm

    So here’s what I’m picturing:

    Daryl prints up some fliers about his new statewide group. It includes all the correct info about what is required and what is not.

    And, like he did in a former life as a Gideon, he distributes these fliers to parents going into these meetings.

    Maybe you’ll “save” someone, Daryl! 🙂


    Comment by
    December 1st, 2006
    at 12:36 pm

    Yep, I searched those same posts on the local loop last night and copied and pasted them into another post so no one would forget :). I have had some interesting correspondance going on today because of it.

    Comment by
    Melissa H
    December 1st, 2006
    at 5:43 pm

    This is a serious suggestion:

    We get as many people as possible to join NCHE and we combine our voting power to overthrow the people in office. We need to have reasonable people representing us as a statewide organization.

    If Dayrl or another reasonable person would step forward with a campaign promise to reform this diseased organization, I would send in my membership tomorrow.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    December 1st, 2006
    at 7:00 pm

    Not that I’m proposing this, but if I were to plan a (slow motion) coup d’état I think I would attempt to gain control of the twelve regions. Per their bylaws the Regional Directors, if united, would represent a working majority of the Board of Directors. It would take a minimum of two three years to pull off.

    UPDATE: It takes a 2/3 vote to pass any proposal by the Board. In some ways that could be advantageous for someone attempting to change the direction of the organization. Eight Regional Directors working together could completely gum up the works.