Follow the Money- Alaska’s new bill pushing home visits

This Alaskan bill synopsis was sent along to the Home Education Magazine Networking list:

"An Act establishing in the Department of Education and Early Development a  voluntary parent education home visiting program for pre-elementary aged children; and establishing a rating system for early childhood education."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:
* Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section
to read:
SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Alaska Parents as Teachers Act. 

Wisconsin’s Larry and Susan Kaseman have followed these complicated issues well, and in depth. I really appreciate Home Education Magazine/Hegeners putting that voice out there every other month.  I wish Alaskans well fighting this legislation.  The bill has the classic verbiage regarding parents as partners from the start.   The boiling frog metaphor continues.  I’ve talked to so many new parents who have ‘experts’ come into their homes to make sure they’re proper parents after the babes are born.  It’s a ‘free service’.  If you don’t take advantage of the service, then there’s something not quite right about you.  You’re not being cooperative “partners”, and you must have something to hide.  (I saw a bit of those insinuations in comments here on this blog. Good thing Nancy Gray doesn’t have any governmental power over me and my family.)

The very idea of home visits would be inconceivable and frightening to me when my first was born 24 years ago.  My mom kept her kids out of the new fangled kindergarten. Now, a standard question for what else – “pre-school children’s” parents: what preschool does your kids  attend. 

 

Illinois has some ‘cutting edge’ history with some of this.  Shamefully, in my opinion, and disturbing to many concerning the throttle up agenda of the current US leaders.  To someone like me who has observed IL politics for some time, the federal agenda seems modeled after the Chicago-IL government management style and set up. (The last governor heading for the slammer, with the next to last governor already there.) Insights about these current administrations’ actions (not talk, but action) show little or no adherence to family protections and parental concerns.  No more than was shown by the previous administrations; Republican or Democrat.

 

Trusted Obama advisor, Valerie Jarrett’s mother, was one of the founders of Chicago’s Erickson Institute. The Erickson Institute was initially funded by Irving Harris.  Irving Harris opened up Infant Mental Health Centers around the US.  Sort of like Bill Gates (ironically, as a college dropout), setting governmental policy by throwing out money for universal preschool/”early learning” and other structured educational industries.

 

This quote below relates to Dept of Ed/ former Chicago Public School CEO Duncan’s appreciation of the Bowman family last winter. The federal Dept of Education and the Health and Human Services Dept. sharing an “extraordinary collaboration” should be alarming.  (Immunizations intermixed with homeschooling accountability are often juiced up as ‘concerning’ issues from the busybee bureaucrats.)  This conference was about the “The Science of Professional Development in Early Childhood Education”.  Growing the edu-industry:

 “Duncan, who was joined by U.S. Secretary of Health Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, spoke about the extraordinary collaboration taking place between their two agencies in improving early learning. Telling the audience of early-childhood education researchers and advocates that we need to “get out of the catch-up business” and dramatically improve social, emotional and educational outcomes for young children, he reiterated the call for reform he made last month at the conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  One way to leverage this “perfect storm for reform,” he said, is through the Early Learning Challenge Fund that passed in the House mid-September and is now working its way through the Senate.  The historic legislation would authorize a billion dollars a year for states to improve their comprehensive systems of early learning.  Duncan also called for national standards for what our earliest learners need to know and be able to do.

For her part, Bowman began by thanking the organizers for arranging this so she could have lunch with her busy daughter, Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.  Bowman shared about her own journey in the field since the 1950’s and her transformation in understanding the need for infants, toddlers and preschoolers to receive not only early care, but also high-quality early learning experiences in order to be successful in school and in life. “ 

Duncan speaks a lot about “social, emotional and educational outcomes”.  Often in that order, which is creepy to me, especially for little ones.  But, Illinois has Social/Emotional Standards of Learning now, which came about via the 2003 IL Children’s Mental Health Act. The dream plan was to have home visits for all new parents, mental health screening for all pregnant and new moms, and mental health screening for all children.  When a few homeschoolers and other family advocates became aware of this administrative plan resulting from the passed Act, they were slowed down a bit. 

 

One other thing about the ‘compassion’ issue.  I highly recommend the Chicago based book: There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America.  (Btw, Jarrett is a Chicago slum lord.)  

The Erickson Institute lauds this ‘achievement’:

“DCFS contracted with Erikson to administer developmental screenings for all children ages birth through five entering the foster care system and assess their biological parents and foster caregivers, to determine required services.” 

All IL foster care children (children in the Dept of Children and Family Services) are screened for mental health.  Here’s a link to the survey/screen that was explicitly noted in IL legislation (to get federal grant money) and via the Bush New Freedom Commission report.

 

Those children in the ‘system’ have no protections from the government.  Many are drugged with questionable results of this TeenScreen ‘tool’.  I don’t know that I could pass their survey, and I hate to think about ‘the needy’ who are subjected to this.

 

I’m glad Kasemans consider all of that an issue of great concern for homeschoolers too.  I’ve referred back to this article often:

Increased Mental Health Screening? Are You Crazy!?!

Conclusion

The federal government’s encouragement of increased mental health screening raises serious concerns for all citizens and extra concerns for homeschoolers. It is important that we be aware of the issues involved and inform others.

“Early learning” and “social/emotional learning” are all lined up by the powers that be – “the perfect storm” as Duncan called it, along with the powers that were setting the path.  Obama happens to be the current President, and the executive and legislative policies have an unfriendly family agenda.  At least, through the research showing up in front of this homeschooler’s eyes.  Maybe that’s part of the reason that “socialization” issue keeps coming up for homeschoolers.  It’s just as ridiculous as this claim is that was linked by a savvy homeschooler on the networking list:

“Reduce the high school dropout rate by focusing on proven methods to improve student achievement and enhance graduation and higher education opportunities”

They surely aren’t asking homeschoolers what our proven methods are. 


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