Wednesday, December 26, 2007


According to this article about Mike Huckabee:

His major education reform would not be more federal spending on teachers or preschool, but more arts education, stricter teacher testing and a new federal push for home schooling or charter schools. (emphasis added)

What in the world could a "new federal push" for homeschooling mean? Can nobody in government see the irony in this phrase? I know, that's a rhetorical question.

Government schools are run by the governments and funded by the money taken from people by the governments (federal, state, and local). The governments tell teachers what to teach and how to teach and which textbooks to use and make up tests for the poor students to find out how well that plan succeeded. They decide who is old enough to sit in which classroom and how many days a year the child has to sit there and what they will do to the child and the parents if the child misses too much school or the parents decide to take a family vacation in the middle of the school year. The cities and counties have City and County Education Departments and the states have State Education Departments and the big federal government has a Big Federal Education Department. These departments are filled up with people (often well-meaning) who make all these decisions about just how all this government education should take place.

Parents who home school or send their kids to private or even charter schools have removed their cute little cogs from the Education Machine. They have done so on purpose and for myriad good reasons.

To suggest any sort of "push" at the federal level on behalf of homeschooling is ominous to those of us who have opted out of the broken system. Because any kind of "push" will require money and people in a Department to oversee that money and where it goes. They'll want to ensure that the money goes just where they want it and to those who are following the right rules. Oh, and there will need to be rules to follow, so someone will have to make those up. Before we know it, there will be a Homeschool Bureau within the Department of Education and suddenly, more money will be taken from taxpayers and homeschoolers will find that there are now a few federal hoops to jump through. Actually, we'll be "pushed" through those hoops, methinks. The States, Counties and Cities will not be far behind, since education is a local matter, really, isn't it? They'll need a piece of the action. Then there will be simply no alternative to the Big Old System at all.

Yup, there will be pushing alright. And they will "push" with lots of dreamy television ads with plinky music and images of adorable children learning in their home school and they'll try to make us think this was our idea and that this is best for our kids. (Fortunately, most of us are brighter than that, but what about the rest of the voting public?)

And this is a guy who is supposed to be homeschool-friendly. Riiiight.

Article link via Home Education & Other Stuff


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Hi, Jen, and good post.

Huckabee is supposedly "good for homeschooling" but only because HSLDA has said so. And you know what Mark Twain said about saying so.

Actually, the Huckster signed regulations in Arkansas that let the state push its pushy nose further into homeschooling, with stricter notification rules and some controls on curriculum.

So you got it right. Government pushiness for homeschooling means more regulations and more bureaucracy. Which is good for bureaucrats. But it's not so good for us.

By the by, I found you through COH and I am enjoying your blog.

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks for stopping by! I have been reading Spunky lately, too, and it's really enlightening as far as Huckabee's record and also about some of the thought processes that must be going on at HSLDA.

I've recently discovered your blog, too, and I'm really enjoying it! Especially your pictures. My mom and dad lived in Los Alamos for several years and it is so beautiful out West.

I appreciate your comments!