read any of my former articles (and I certainly encourage you to do
you'll have noticed that I am very pro-home school and adamantly
about the current shortcomings of public and private school education.
One of my chief concerns lately has been that, as home schooling grows
as a movement, there is increasing politics from anti-home school
to try to interfere with or legislatively control home schoolers.
in my home state of Michigan concerns pending legislation to force home
school students to take standardized tests along with public school
We have been in contact with our state representative and have phoned
state reps in an effort to make our feelings known. We voiced similar
last year when there was legislation pending to the education committee
to make home schoolers subject to truancy laws and basically invalidate
Here is my
mandatory testing: it doesn't work in public schools, so it won't work
for home schoolers. There has been much news from Time, Newsweek and
regarding standardized tests very recently. The gist of the concern is
that teachers tend to teach towards the standardized tests and can
curriculum that isn't covered by the state tests. Another finding I
read about is that success on standardized tests doesn't necessarily
a student's academic performance in school. Some kids can suffer in
classes but do well on tests. And there are concerns that standardized
tests may handicap some students based on race, gender, ethnicity and
Yes, I know
test scores are used by many colleges for entrance requirements in lieu
of academic records or as part of overall acceptance requirements. For
that reason, I do intend to have my kids take some standardized
However, my reasons are a bit different than those of the legislators.
I am not trying to show that my kids are doing poorly because they are
home schooled. Indeed, I have every reason to be confident that they
do well. They are smart kids. But others may have kids who are
a bit more, and not ready for standardized tests. They may never be,
they may be bright kids.
from the Congressman who sponsored our state legislation, he is doing
in response to an expressed concern "from a constituent." "A"
One person can effect legislative change? I don't expect that if I
my representative about a concern that he would propose a bill because
I, and only I, had a concern about something. I would reasonably expect
that you'd need a number of expressed concerns to necessitate proposing
legislation. And why would home school parents insist on this bill?
I fear that home schooling is once again under fire.
I suspect that
behind those who insist on mandatory testing for home schoolers are not
pure. Further, I don't believe that standardized testing is an accurate
reflection of a child's education - some of my kids are below grade
on some subjects, but above level in other areas. I don't want to have
to gear our curriculum towards the tests as traditional school teachers
I see it, is about choice in education. Its about teaching your kids as
you, and not the government, sees fit. And that is a big part of what
schooling is all about.