Friday, August 15, 2008

Ominous Clouds

I'm late writing about the homeschooling victory in California, but I'm glad, in a way; this recently-written Time article takes a look at the situation, and shows some potential future problems:
On Aug. 8, however, the same judges made an equally surprising reversal of this decision. Judge H. Walter Croskey, presiding over the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles, wrote that as long as parents declare their home to be a private school, they may continue to homeschool their children, even if the parents do not have credentials. [...]

Yet, this may not be the last California hears of homeschooling. In reviewing the case, Judge Croskey said that this cloudy territory is in desperate need of guidelines. "California impliedly allows parents to homeschool as a private school but has provided no enforcement mechanism. ... Given the state's compelling interest in educating all of its children ... and the absence of an express statutory and regulatory framework for homeschooling in California, additional clarity in this area of the law would be helpful," he said.

Rachel F. Moran, who teaches a course called "Education and the Law" at the University of California, Berkeley, says this series of rulings does indeed provoke some uneasy questions. Right now, all parents have to do is file paperwork stating they are a private school. No one checks in on the students to make sure they are logging in a certain number of hours or passing certain benchmarks. While homeschooling is a "wonderful alternative," Moran says, there is a need for checks and balances. "We want parents to have the freedom to homeschool, but we don't want children to become captives in a homeschool that doesn't prepare them for work or civic engagement as a functioning adult," she says.

California, of course, is a "gay marriage" state. So when a university professor uses a phrase like "prepare them for...civic engagement" all the mental alarm bells a social conservative has in place should start jangling as if a four-alarm fire has been spotted.

It's bad enough that Moran thinks that logging a certain number of hours ought to be a part of homeschooling. I was talking with a young man who provides some of the music for our choir yesterday; he's entering his junior year in high school, and isn't looking forward to it. The public school he attends may be fine, but he finds the sheer amount of time wasted daily to be a huge detriment to his educational process. There would be no surer way to "kill" homeschooling than to demand that homeschooled students spend six or seven hours per day engaged in seatwork; that unreasonable and inefficient style of education is one of the many things homeschoolers tend to reject for our students in the first place.

But that pales in comparison to the other agendas of "homeschool regulation." The real reason so many believe that homeschoolers should be under some sort of regulatory agency has nothing to do with learning, and everything to do with making sure that all children are equally indoctrinated into the social mores and civic reality of the wreckage of the sexual revolution. They want our kids to be exposed to, and to accept regardless of our beliefs, such things as contraception, abortion, divorce, cohabitation, gay marriage and other "alternative lifestyles," and a whole host of similar depravities.

So while I'm happy for the current status of homeschooling in California, I can't help but see the ominous clouds of government intervention in homeschooling on the horizon. We need to stay alert, because the freedom to educate our children without having the state look over our shoulders to make sure we're indoctrinating our children in their values, instead of teaching them ours, is at stake.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

"They want our kids to be exposed to, and to accept regardless of our beliefs, such things as contraception, abortion, divorce, cohabitation, gay marriage and other "alternative lifestyles," and a whole host of similar depravities."

I agree. It has nothing to do with homeschooling as learning, and everything to do with protecting their agenda. We want to protect the past; they want to project the future with their depraved secular agenda.