Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Warning Shot

A few months ago, the Connecticut governor appointed a new Commissioner of Education, a development that has been watched closely by all homeschoolers since the new appointee hails from Massachusetts, a state that requires curriculum approval before homeschooling can begin or "be allowed" (click here for a comparison of the two states). Recently, Judy Aron of NHELD and the owner of Consent of the Governed heard a radio interview with Commissioner McQuillan and came away with these points, posted on her blog in various articles:
…He sounded very friendly and nice…but…

- He made it clear that the state must have oversight over homeschoolers.
- The state must insure that there is “a quality program in place.”
- They [the state] must be able to monitor what is going on in the home.
- If children are not getting an adequate education, then the state “must insist” that the child be enrolled in public school.

All this while saying “he fully supports the choice to home educate” and how he applauds parents who homeschool and how homeschooing is wonderful…

So if you do not think that the state will make some moves toward regulations - think again…I am also certain he would implement some sort of testing procedures.

One thing is for sure, he wants to see a plan (that they approve of) and he wants to make sure you are following it and if you don’t your kids will be forced into public school.
Yesterday, Commissioner McQuillan gave another interview, this one to NPR. The focus of the discussion was the reform and restructuring of high school in Connecticut, one of the three major goals enumerated recently by the State Board of Education. Being the parent of a homeschooled high school student, I listened closely to the Commissioner and, frankly, I did not like what I heard. Phrases like “exit exams,” “standardized curriculum,” and “centralized control” were either expressly spoken or implied. If I was waiting for a warning shot across the bow of my homeschooled dinghy, I think that was it. In fact, the whizzing of the cannonball is still ringing in my ears. The only thing that remains to be seen is when and where Mr. Commissioner will begin his assault.

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