Should Homeschoolers Have Freedom?

The Valley Frontiersman: Op-Ed/Spectrum and Letters to the Editor

An interesting opinion piece addressing the recent spate of articles, letters and cartoons calling for testing and oversight of homeschoolers in Alaska, who currently enjoy one of the best homeschooling laws in the nation:

Over the last several weeks, we have heard from a variety of people over the issue of freedom – specifically in regard to those who choose to educate their children at home. If you have listened carefully, you have heard two things from those who favor government regulation of the home-schooling community: 1- freedom; and 2- jealousy.

What comes through loud and clear to those who read well is that home-schoolers do not deserve to be free from government control. So let us explore freedom for just a moment.Thus far, we have heard from the School Board president, a current educator, a retired teacher and a cartoonist.

This op-ed piece is by a local pastor, and it’s worth clicking to the newspaper site to read his analysis of the complaints to date about homeschooling families.

Also in this issue, although not available online, is an excellent letter to the editor, titled “Homeschooling Worthy of Defense,” from a homeschooling mom and local support group activist, Rhonda Stark, who writes in part: “In light of current issues, all parents need to ask themselves the question, ‘Who is in charge of the decisions made for our children?’ We are the parents of our children, not the state. This is a God-given, as well as a Constitutionally upheld, responsibility and right.”

Rhonda continues: “The homeschooling freedoms in Alaska represent far more than just allowing some of us to educate from the kitchen table. They give all parents autonomy and choice that should have always been theirs to begin with.”

My hat’s off to my fellow Alaskans for standing up for the rights of homeschooling families – and parents in general – everywhere.

2 Responses to Should Homeschoolers Have Freedom?

  1. Helen on October 26, 2005 at 11:50 pm

    Interestingly, there’s a special weekly supplement which addresses issues in the local public schools, and on the front page of that supplement there are two items of interest:

    1. An article with a photo of the first-ever armed police officer who now patrols the local high school full-time.

    2. An opinion piece by a local high school sophomore, Lexie Krell, who writes: “In my opinion, the No Child Left Behind Act has worthy goals, and the potential to be a tremendous asset to the U.S. education system. However, it has some serious issues that need to be addressed…” And then she capably spells out problems like student attendance on testing days affecting outcomes, and students with learning disabilities and language barriers being held to unreasonable standards. Sounds like Lexie’s thought the situation through more clearly than those who designed this legislation.

  2. [...] Should Homeschoolers Have Freedom? [...]

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