An article in the National Review Online titled All about Sharron Angle, subtitled The background of the woman who’s taking on Harry Reid, explains the basics about who she is and why homeschoolers should be interested: “Angle, Nevada’s GOP Senate nominee, plans to topple the Senate majority leader [Sen. Harry Reid] come November.” Reading on, she talks about when her young son “failed kindergarten.” She explains further:
“After he failed kindergarten, I put him back in for that second year and he was completely demoralized,” Angle explains. “What I had was a six-year-old dropout. I knew that I needed to do something different for this kid, to kind of put him back on his wheels and get him started again. I decided to homeschool him.” As a trained teacher, Angle thought she could provide her son with a better environment, one where he wasn’t called a “flunker” or “too slow” by his classmates at the local public school. So Angle, a Southern Baptist, started what she calls an “exempt Christian school” for likeminded families, a homeschool group for parents in Winnemucca, Nev.
When friends of Sharron’s ran afoul of the law her point of view changed:
“A judge said, ‘I know it’s the law that you can homeschool in Nevada, but the law should be that you can’t, unless you live more than 50 miles away from the nearest school,’” Angle says, shaking her head at the memory. “At that point, I realized that the government had interfered with my family. It was kind of like a mother bear and her cubs: Don’t get between me and my cubs, or you’ve got trouble.”
Sharron worked for a new homeschooling law in Nevada, spent ten years raising and homeschooling her sons, served on her county school board and then was elected assemblywoman, spending most of her four terms on the education committee.
Just before leaving the state legislature in 2007, Angle submitted various drafts of homeschool-freedom laws. Out of office, she paid a small fee to be a citizen lobbyist and helped shepherd one to passage. For her, it was a crowning career achievement, making it easier for parents to choose to homeschool while eliminating the requirement for homeschoolers to provide “equivalent instruction” to that in the public schools. It also boosted the privacy rights of homeschooling parents.
Now Sharron Angle’s story from the National Review Online has been picked up by The Atlantic: She’s running for Reid’s Senate seat, and one of her policy positions is that she wants to do away with the Department of Education:
“I’ve seen government from many sides,” Angle says, smiling. “Legislator, school board, citizen in the initiative process. I have a multifaceted background in education. I’ve done public-school teaching, private school, homeschooling, and tutoring for juvenile justice. I’ve taught adults at community college.” So when she says that she wants to dump the entire Department of Education, she comes across as a warm grandma who’s fought the beast, knows it, and detests it, not as some anti-government demagogue. “Look, the Department of Education is a policy machine that sends down one-size-fits-all rules that fit no one,” Angle says. “Education works best when you have all of the stakeholders involved and working toward the same commitment. That happens best at the local level.”