2.7 million educators are just plain wrong!

A short excerpt from the many many offensive resolutions passed at the 2005 convention of the National Education Association in Los Angeles this summer as excerpted here:

B-70. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state requirements. 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.

Rather than rant, I'm just going to say this:

My children will never ever receive better, more appropriate care and concern for their educational experiences from the state (whether it be the state of Tennessee or the government of The United States of America) than they will from me, their mother. I submit as proof the progress we have made together in the past 10 months. Five years--five long hard years-- of inclusion in the public school system (presumably run by professional educators) did not give Julian the tools he needed to learn even the basics of knowledge. At the risk of indignance, he did not begin to show strides in development until he began experiencing learning in an environment that was safe, comfortable and flexible and with the direction of someone who cared more about his well-being and his advancement academically than his most recent test score or his ability to sit in a desk and be quiet.

The NEA endorsed a resolution supporting low student-to-teacher ratios. Um, can't beat our 2:1 ratio. Right now, that means two teachers to one student. At worst, in a few years it will officially drop to 2 teachers and 2 students. Still, not such a bad thing. In Julian's last semester of school, his teacher informed me rather defiantly that she did not have the time to plan developmentally appropriate work for him (work that he could actually do) because she had 30 other students to also think about. Trust me when I say...that is no longer a problem.

The NEA endorsed a resolution calling for tolerance and open-mindedness. Yet, they refuse to be tolerant of at least one million home school students and their families. How's that for open-mindedness?

And finally, the NEA endorsed a resolution calling for increased parent involvement in the education of children. Hmmph. I would guess that 24/7 is pretty darn involved!

The NEA website says they have 2.7 million members. Sad that so many highly educated people are so misguided.


Lone Ranger said...

When the NEA can educate children to the 96th percentile in public schools the way mothers do at the kitchen table, they they can comment about home schooling.

BeckyD said...

My oldest goes to public school so I am not in the know about all the ins and outs of homeschooling. But I say kudos to the moms who do it and bite me to the naysayers.

TracieClaiborne said...

They're threatened by us! They know the current conditions of public schooling and all the fears parents face (and children!). According to a book I just read - 10 years ago there were 250,000 known homeschoolers, today there are 2.5 million! We're a force to be reckoned with. I say let 'em try and do better than I can with my child. They'll NEVER succeed.

sara*w said...

Sarah -- I love reading your blog, but I must say that as a teacher, I disagree these posters' point of views. I don't think most good educators are at all threatened by homeschooling families. There will always be a need for fabulous teachers, no matter how many parents homeschool. As a teacher in both private Christian education and in public, let me just say my resources were far greater in the public schools. I happened to work in a very good district (please don't read "very good" as "affluent" as our free/reduced lunch recipients superseeded 60+% of our population.) Saddly, while teaching at the private Christian prep-school, most of the previously home-schooled kids in my class were far behind and seriously lacking social skills. I am NOT saying homeschooling can't be done well... just that because there are no enforceable standards, it often isn't. I have no doubt that those parents who truly put as much into homeschooling as I do as a teacher (we're talking 50+ hours a week including actual teaching, research and prep-work) will succeed... and that their children will as well.

This is by no means a *rant* -- just felt the need to share my point of view.

Take care! :)

Sarah said...

Thank you for your comment, sara*w. I would like to point out two things in response:

1--In response to this:
"Saddly,[sic] while teaching at the private Christian prep-school, most of the previously home-schooled kids in my class were far behind and seriously lacking social skills." I would say that you should consider that there's a reason that those children you encountered were returned to the traditional school system. Obviously, if their skills were lacking or falling behind, their home schooling was not what was best for them. Otherwise, they would have continued to be hme schooled. Will you judge the entire process of home schooling by a few examples? If so, why use only the poor examples? Why not consider the success stories? They really aren't that hard to find when you look.

Would you not agree that there are children in public and private schools with less than stellar social and academic skills? Should we judge the private and public school system solely on the performance of these children?

2--My disgust with the decisions of the NEA rests mostly in their blanket willingness to overlook the rights of the parent to make the best choices for their own children.

Their resolution left no room for supporting those of us who are home schooling and who are doing a wonderful job fulfilling our roles as educators and parents...most likely because they would rarely have a reason to encounter us, unless they looked with an open mind.

They painted with a broad brush all the while calling for openmindedness and tolerance. I call this the very definition of hypocrisy.