We have been homeschooling our youngest. This started a number of years ago, due to some negative interaction with one of the elementary school administrators. This wasn’t the only reason, just the proverbial “straw breaking the camels back”.
We have what many might consider a better than average educational set up here in our little hamlet. There are many dedicated teachers at all levels. And as with all groups, I am sure there are some who are less than satisfactory in the performance of their duties as educators. There are a number of potentially challenging courses, classes, and assorted after-school activities available to the individual student, should they meet the requirements, or have the desire to devote their time and energies for same. The grade/middle/high schools are all reasonably new or newer. Parents seem to take a fairly active interest in what is happening with and to their kids. There are no real issues involving “gangs”. It is safe to walk to and from school, if you should choose to do so, and if not, there are more than enough buses to get you from home to school and back again.
That would pretty much sum up “the good points”.
We are in the middle of a power struggle regarding who will be on the school board. There are at least three seats up for grabs, in the next election. Already, there has been some heavy-duty “Chicago style” politicking going on. Charges being levied against three individuals as to their being ineligible to become members of the school board. There is even a “face book” group dedicated to what is going on with not only the current school board, but the current Superintendent’s actions over the last couple of years.
The district has, at all levels, instituted a mathematics curriculum which is at best sub standard, and at worst fails to properly prepare students in dealing with even the simplest of functions. (How to figure out the correct change to give back to a customer … with out the aid of the cash register … or being able to figure out, roughly, what percent of the cost of any given item is going to be, in order to know how much more to add-on to the retail price, to know your total amount of money needed to buy same, for a couple of examples.) Their willingness (and in this they are not alone, it is sadly almost universal) to embrace, “zero tolerance”, “multiculturalism”, “diversity”, “self-esteem”/”self-awareness” courses, most political correctness doctrine, and I am sure there are a number of other things which have escaped me, but you get the gist of it, is not doing their charges, the children, any favors. It does nothing toward preparing them for “the real world”. To be fair to the kids, most feel all of the above is little more than concentrated BS. Though how much is at least conditioning them toward acceptance of all or some part of it, remains to be seen.
In short, the current “education” provided by the state, instead of a fundamentally sound, well-rounded, education, is doing little more than producing (with exceptions, thanks to the efforts of parents, the teachers out there who really care about their students, and those students themselves who are smart enough to realize what pablum is being spoon fed to them) drones for the colleges to further indoctrinate.
Anyhow, we have been homeschooling. In the last week or so, we have followed, with interest, the latest attempt by the Peoples Republic of Illinois, to gain some measure of control over the folks in this state who are homeschooling their children. State Sen Maloney had introduced a bill, SB0136 which would require all home schooled students to “register” with the state. On the face of it, it sounds like no big deal. But upon further reflection, you have a classic case of the camel sticking it’s nose under the tent. How much longer (and here in my little police state, it would not be all that very much longer) before home schooled children are required to follow a specific curriculum, with the demand to use designated textbooks being right behind that? And soon one would find the home schooled individual to be at the same level as his peers in the public school system, which is to say they would have been successfully “dumbed down”.
Latest word on the street is Maloney has “tabled” his bill. He claims he will be addressing this via other “venues”. OTHER VENUES? What on God’s green earth does that mean? One suspects he will continue to be thorn in the side of home schooled students and parents in this state. However, if this legislation (or something similar) is only to be deferred until the public is no longer interested, say until next years Senate and Congress meet, he may be in for a very big surprise. We all do not have short attention spans, regardless of what those in the power/education/media élite may think.
According to the news wire at “FM NewsTalk 97.1 (out of St. Louis) State Senator Maloney is not giving up his crusade against home schooled students (and parents). Though he ostensibly professes his concern about “those [home schoolers] who have fallen through the cracks”, if you listen here you will notice the first words out of his mouth almost always consist of “regulation”. “control”, or “needed legislation to fix …”. Senator Maloney, there is nothing broken here which is in need of “fixing”, “repairing”, “monitoring”, “controlling”, or “legislating/regulating”. Kindly, mind your own business, and rest assured most, if not all, of the home schooling folks will be happy to do the same. You are fast becoming a poster child for everything which is wrong-headed about, not only local and State politics, but the federal nightmare as well.