Over atÂ Daryl’s section of the blog I read a snippet about another ‘we’re from the government, and we’re here to help you’ article.
- The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona, 12 Oct 2005, District tailors services for home-school families
Mesa Public Schools has been a front-runner in providing services for the home-schooling community. More than 14,000 children are being home-schooled in Maricopa County.
Looks like a lot of homeschooling families are taking advantage of the program, doesn’t it?Â Are all Arizonan homeschoolers now back in school?Â Probably not.
A little looking around brought up more information on the program.
- AFHE Statement on Madatory AIMS Testing of Homeschooled Students Enrolled in the Eagleridge Enrichment Program of the Mesa Public School District
What began as a one-day-a-week â€œFriday schoolâ€ offering classes such as art, P.E., computer lab, and field trips steadily grew to what is now a comprehensive curriculum offered to homeschooled students in a piece-meal fashion. … One of those questions involved testing, specifically, whether they required testing and if testing was necessary to comply with either district policy, state or federal law.
As of April 7, 2005, The Department of Education turned the matter over to the Attorney Generalâ€™s office for a ruling. Ms. Alley said that she is sure that a ruling will not be possible before next week, and so the scheduled testing of students at Eagleridge will proceed from April 11-22nd, 2005. Ms. Alley also said that the Attorney General has ruled that students are required to take the test.Â
The national pattern of a ‘free program for homeschoolers’ having accountability strings attached to it was repeated in Arizona as it has been elsewhere.Â The Arizona Families for Home Education article ends with,
- AFHE, along with every statewide organization in the country, has tried to educate its members about a universal pattern we have observed: when government money is involved, eventually regulation will follow. Despite these efforts, hybrid programs have continued to emerge in differing forms, including virtual schools, and homeschoolers have filled their ranks. We will continue to do our utmost to preserve homeschooling freedom, and to see this contradiction in the law through to its conclusion. For the moment, we can only present the facts so that individual parents make an informed decision.
Being ‘hybrids’ probably wouldn’t matter much, but for the strings attached that new homeschoolers may assume are just part of the ‘normal’ homeschooling experience.