Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thoughts on NEA’s Resolution on Homeschooling (2007-2008 Year)

At the annual meeting of the NEA, policies were voted on. One of the many topics was homeschooling. So for the 2007-2008 year, this is the NEAs opinion on homeschooling

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. (1988, 2006)

PDF-page 45, section B-75 Home Schooling (sic)

Some of My Thoughts

First, I would not expect that a teacher’s group would ever support homeschooling. Why would they want to support something that goes against what they do?

Another thought is that what they recommend as ‘allowable’ for homeschooling would not allow typical homeschool co-op's in which the teacher is a homeschooling parent but who is not the parent of every child in that group. That is ridiculous, because often in homeschooling co-op’s the teacher of a certain subject is a specialist in that area, even though they are not a state-certified teacher. One example is last year when my husband, a Securities Analyst, taught and facilititated homeschooled students on the stock market in America. That is a perfect example of a ‘subject matter expert’ teaching a group of children. Sadly, most children don't have access to 'real people doing real jobs' who are subject matter experts. I doubt many public school teachers are experienced in having worked in the real world in the investment business.

It would also not count toward the child's education any outside classes such as are administered by non-certified teachers who work within the private community in for-profit or non-profit places such as the Audubon Center, YMCAs and so on. So my homeschooled children who are actually being taught by other teachers are still not 'good enough' as the NEA gives credit only to 'state certified' teachers being good enough to teach children anything.

The NEA would also not like then, the fact that professional artists who teach at various profit and non-profit art centers that some homeschoolers do 'in the community'. But really, is that not just silly or stupid?

As well homeschooled students who facilitate their own education when using materials written by ‘subject matter experts’, even some who were former public school teachers, would also not count. The NEA only wants certified teachers teaching classes. They are not open to children teaching themselves.

This long explanation of the NEAs is good to see because it shows me that the NEA is ridiculous in their definition of what makes up a good education. Children can and do learn from 'the real world' and from 'non-state certified teachers' in the real community.

The NEAs continued stance on only recognizing "certified teachers" as being worthwhile to instruct children is also stupid because that would exclude all the children learning in private schools, saying they are not getting an adequate or good enough education compared to what the public schooled kids get. It is simply ridiculous because we know by the accepted forms of evaluation such as by comparing standardized test scores, that private schools outpace and outdo public schools.

External Links

Opinion from Home Education Magazine's site

Hat Tip: J. from a CT homeschooler email discussion group

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Judy Aron said...

Great post! Thanks for mentioning it on your blog as I haven't had the chance to post it myself!

Judy Aron said...

Anyway - you know it is only about the money
If they proclaim that only paid professionals can teach your children then that justifies the millions spent by people getting teaching credentials and this also includes the new batch of certified pre-k teachers they are now churning out.