(Abject apologies to Lerner & Lowe, and Madeleine l’Engle; sung to tune of Camelot)
A law was made a distant moon ago here, that kids and parents shall not be forgot. And there’s a legal limit to deciding, in Camazotz.
Pre-testing is required in December, and follow-ups in March on the dot. By order schooling lingers through September, in Camazotz.
Camazotz! Camazotz! I know it sounds a bit bizarre. But in Camazotz, Camazotz, that’s how conditions are.
The kids may not leave school till after sundown, by eight the morning lessons must begin. In short there’s simply not, a more observ-ed spot, for reading, writing, ‘rithemetic than here in Camazotz.
The other day Helen Hegener commented on a 4 Oct 2005 column in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman newspaper titled, “Testing of home-schoolers the right thing to do.” One of her geographic neighbors did the same thing and the rebuttal is online:
- Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Wasilla, Alaska, 11 Oct 2005, State has no business in home schoolsYou only have a right to participate in a child’s education, Ms. Lowery, because that child’s parents have allowed you to do so, not because you have a teaching certificate, not because of some supposed responsibility bestowed upon you by the state, and not because you are part of a “global village.”
I think this is the core of Ms. Steine’s objection. In this case either we see children through the lens of the state, or through the lens of the family. This is not just a homeschooling issue, but an issue for all American families, including the children of the officials elected, appointed, or hired to serve us (not to oversee us, but to serve us, as in ‘public servant’). In the ordinary course of events, who should be the arbiter in deciding what is best for children: parents or government employees?
This is not about families and children in trouble, or about couples who have disputes about custody after a divorce. This is about the majority of garden-variety families who go about their daily business for decades without getting into legal difficulties concerning the children. Also, the viewpoint is not Other People’s Children (about whom we all have raised-eyebrow opinions as to how they could be raised better), but our own children. Employment has nothing to do with it either, as the buggy-whip-producing contemporaries of Henry Ford discovered. And just because some people have sociology as an interest, or teaching, or administration, doesn’t mean that their interest supercedes our autonomy or privacy, the trend towards ‘unauthorized biographies’ notwithstanding.
Who do you want as the Presumed Decider for your children: You, or an Objective Professional Government Employee?
Do you want to live in a free society, or on Camzotz?