By Jonathan Zimmerman
Under Pennsylvania law, I have to get my family's cars inspected every year. I can't say I enjoy it – especially when my mechanic finds my aging minivan needs an expensive repair – but I accept it. We all share the same roads, so we need to make sure our cars don't endanger other drivers.
What an misfortune that Pennsylvanians not only have oppressive homeschooling laws, but to top it off, they also have to have their cars inspected annually.
Mr. Zimmerman, no less than a Professor of Education and History, ended with this:
Don't think the homeschoolers are all crunchy hippies or conservative, white evangelicals, either. Their ranks include Muslims, Jews, and Catholics, as well as blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. They also include well-to-do families who hire high-priced tutors, with annual fees rivaling the cost of tony private schools.
It appears our little homeschooled melting pot sounds suspicious.
But in New Jersey and 10 other states, we really don't know what they're up to. And we should.
It's not that homeschooled kids need protection from their ne'er-do-well parents, which is all you ever read about in the papers. But, as with auto inspections, we need to make sure they have a few educational elements in common with the rest of us. How else will they learn to share the road?
In Illinois, people like him really don't know what homeschoolers are up to, he says. We do have to teach our children according to the Illinois private school exemption that requires an education commensurate with public school children. But Mr. Zimmerman's statement makes it sound like we might be up to no good. What a suspicious guy. He doesn't realize most homeschoolers are in full view and on the road constantly and we share nicely.
We don't like our freedoms being attacked because the government didn't do their job in protecting a little girl from a tragic and terrible death. God bless you and rest your soul, Christiana.
Essex County family court officials and a court-appointed psychologist should have reported allegations of "possible physical abuse" disclosed to them two years ago by an Irvington girl allegedly killed by her mother in May, state Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake said today. In the latest revelations in the death of 8-year-old Christiana Glenn of Irvington, Blake also conceded a screener who mishandled a May 13 call to the Division of Youth and Family Services hotline was "not properly prepared" by the state.
So sorry, Professor, we don't need any more of that. I ask why this fellow and others' assumptions are that parents using alternative educational choices are stupid bumpkins who would put their loved ones in harm's way on the road and with their education. I think the assumption 'the government' is such a good egg we should look to them for wisdom and guidance is sorely misguided. The extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, and embezzlement, and last but not least – abuse flay away at that logic. Some public school administrators and staff are just that way. We homeschoolers don't want to take a chance of being under that tyrannical thumb when there is a possibility the schools would not pass my taxpaying and parental inspection.
If you want to see some interesting perspectives on governmental oversight, please check out ThatMom's blog post on the sins of partiality and triviality and the curriculum that promotes them and where the 75 comments led. It was a mind-opener for me and I appreciate Karen's advocacy so much. I'm excited. I get to see her in her stomping grounds tonight at our IL Homeschool PAC get together.
One more great network – sharing the road, so to speak – that many homeschoolers enjoy is the Carnival of Homeschooling. This week's Carnival of Homeschooling: Hand Crafted Edition is up at Home Spun Juggling. Great artwork, great posts. Check it out!