Sunday, September 14, 2014
DOES THE NEA SUPPORT HOMESCHOOLING?
~ Below is an article I’ve written, as a response to inquiries I’ve received regarding the government’s support of home schooling. I hope it is informative and helpful as families make final decisions about their educational options for the fall. This article is not a judgment or criticism of families’ choices for their children’s education. It is intended to pass on information that parent’s may not be aware of, in order to help equip parents to make informed decisions. : )
~ DOES THE NEA SUPPORT HOMESCHOOLING?
As a support group leader, I am often asked about education options and am asked to explain the difference between home schooling and the parent partnership programs. I appreciate parents who are seeking to understand their options and I respect parents’ ultimate decisions, and I do my best to help families make informed choices. On a similar topic, recently I was asked about the government schools attitude towards and support of home schooling, since that is how most of the parent partnership programs are advertised… as a support to homeschoolers. Now, I can’t speak for the public school programs, and I’m certain there are many wonderful, possibly supportive folks working at public school parent partnership programs. But this person wanted some “data” about what the government schools in general think of home schooling. Her children have been enrolled in a PPP for several years, but recently she was disappointed by a string of decisions that affected her family and the way her opinion and concerns were disregarded. This situation caused her to question the attitude behind the program she was “partnered” with.
In the past, I have read some rather disturbing quotes from leaders in the NEA (National Education Association), regarding home schooling and parents in general. But I hadn’t looked at those sources in quite awhile, so I began to hunt for current information. When I look up that sort of information, I don’t always look to a local source. I look to the NEA, which is basically the head of all public schools and public school programs. And when I look at that organization, I am saddened and a bit offended by their opinion of parent led, home based instruction.
Below, I have included a quote from their own NEA Resolutions that specifically addresses what they think of home schooling and I believe is
very revealing as to how “supportive” they are of the home school option. The reason I have decided to include it here, is not to scold or criticize any parents who have opted to participate in a public school program. My friends know that I respect parents’ educational choices for their families, be it public, private or home schooling. But rather, I thought it was important that families be aware of the underlying attitude of the organization they are partnering with. I hope this information helps families be a little guarded, knowing that at the root, the NEA does not respect or approve of a parent’s role in directing our children’s education, and desires to impose much regulation and restriction on what we can teach our children. I think that is an agenda worth being informed of. So since I had to find the information for the mom who asked, I decided to share it here as a resource for all parents, regardless of the educational option we choose for our children. Being informed is always a good thing. : )
NEA’s resolutions on home schooling - Does this sound like an organization that supports and respects homeschoolers or the home school option?
Below is article B-83, which is copied (bold emphasis, mine) directly from page 38 of the NEA Resolutions document found here: http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/nea-resolutions-2013-14.pdf
B-83. Home Schooling
The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.
The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)