Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Comprehensive Education at the Kitchen Table

Not much time for blogging lately, but I couldn't resist the juxtaposition of these two recent items.

First, the NEA has reaffirmed their official statement regarding homeschooling (first passed in 1988; apparently 19 years of experience has not caused the NEA to alter a word):
B-75. 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.
Meanwhile, from the WSJ, this on kids overburdened by homework:
I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point U.S. schools decided that if you can't teach 'em, test 'em...or pile on more homework.

The result is that my son's life -- and by extension our family life -- is a constant, stress-laden stream of homework and tests and projects. It overshadows everything we do, always hanging over our head. It affects our weekends, our meals, our vacations, our work time, our playtime, our pocketbooks.

And to what end? Maybe I'm missing something, but when did schools determine that the best place for kids to learn math, science and English is at their own kitchen table?
So which is it? Do teachers think parents are able to teach their own, or not?

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