Opt In, Opt Out

I wish that wasn't such a common edu-term now.  I don't want to opt in and I don't want to opt out in the vast Education World of Bureaucracy.   Because in this here and now, opting in or opting out usually means some paperwork/documentation in a file somewhere and I don't need that here in my home file cabinet nor in a Springfield agency's office. 

You may [be] asked to sign a "statement of assurance" form. There is no reason why anyone should fill this form out. If you receive it, you can send it back blank with a letter of verification.

You may be asked to fill out the Non-Public School Registration Enrollment and Staff Report. This assumes you are a Non-Public School which is true. The form is voluntary for all Non-Public Schools, so suit yourself, bureaucrats like a piece of paper for their files.

Suiting yourself so each parent can do as she sees fit seem to be the mantra for free birds who might not stay free birds much longer regarding compulsory attendance laws (kindergarten), preschool, mental health screening; all those homeschooling/parental watch issues I have listed on the right sidebar.  

I don't want to Have To Opt Out with documents and notifications and such.  Like with a daytime curfew where your kid might be escorted home in the back of a police car  if proof isn't in your back pocket that you're a homeschooler.  Guilty until proven innocent; in the land of milk and honey.

I always thought it was pretty swell that my parents didn't have to send my siblings and me to kindergarten (and didn't), Opt out wasn't something to be considered.  Opt Out was a phrase not in the mainstream of edu-speak about what your kids should or shouldn't be subjected to in the schools in the '60's or the 70's or probably even the '80's. My mom wasn't asked where she was sending her kids to pre-school .  We played outside in the hayloft making tunnels and traps, read, played, watched animals being born and nursed, remember well seeing our mom cry knowing something terrible had happened when President Kennedy was killed.  My kids will likely remember seeing me cry on 9/11/01 and hearing our family thoughts and responses to that terrible day.  It was/is our own family's more than adequate living and learning experience under the watchful eye of the one(s) who love and know the children best.

So all this rambling was because I ran into this irritating article digging around for this and that.  Dated from last year.  This sounded so familiar.  And for me personally, it's one more ugly notch down for Rockford with their daytime curfew that will keep my family driving around the perimeter staying away from the city  moneymaking scam:

For parents who home-school, we don't see what difference it makes. They can opt out now; with mandatory kindergarten, they would just opt out earlier.

This particular article was highlighted on the Illinois State Board of Education site as linked below:

Illinois should mandate kindergarten for children
Rockford Register Star Editorial, 5/20/05

For people who remember naps and snacks as the mainstays of kindergarten, it's hard to envision a 5-year-old as truant.

Vivian Hickey can. At age 89 that makes her more modern — and foresighted — than many people half her age.

Hickey, the former Democratic state senator from Rockford, wanted to hold parents responsible for their children enrolled in kindergarten or first grade. Hickey heard enough stories about truancy and late arrivals. She decided to influence legislation and found a champion in state Sen. Brad Burzynski.

The goal for this editor and Hickey and Burzynski:  oversight for parents (those who know and love them best-that child's "expert").

Hickey wisely switched strategies. She now supports legislation by Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago. His bill takes the first logical step, which is to lower mandatory school attendance to age 5 from the current age of 7. After all, a child shouldn't be called truant until he or she is required to be in school.

Raoul's bill passed the Senate 30-25. It was heard twice in a House committee this week, but its sponsor, Rep. Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago, didn't believe he had enough votes to pass the bill. The House and Senate sponsors will meet with opponents and try to reach a compromise.

What's to oppose? Under the bill, parents who don't think their children are ready for school at 5 can opt out for another year.

We strongly support mandatory kindergarten. There is something goofy about a state that devotes precious funds to early education, or prekindergarten, for 3- and 4-year-olds ($214 million this year) and doesn't mandate kindergarten a year or two later.
Gone are the days when kindergarten was a "socialization" year; today's kindergartners learn to read and write and do math. Gone are the days when lessons were limited to learning colors by finger painting and learning shapes by playing with wood blocks. That's not rushing childhood. It's just reality.

Home-schooling groups don't like mandatory kindergarten. They say it makes a child subject to the state's jurisdiction longer. Vanessa Mangione of the Home School Legal Defense Association said, "It's an infringement on parents' rights in general."
For parents who home-school, we don't see what difference it makes. They can opt out now; with mandatory kindergarten, they would just opt out earlier.

Statute language in, freedom out. 

From the Freedom Center site; a quote:
"Freedom should be like the air that we breathe. Always there, but totally invisible." – Joseph K., 45, Boulder, CO


Opt In, Opt Out — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Corn and Oil » Senator Raoul again; Lowering Compulsory Attendance again

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