Feb 13, 2008

A Good Question 1-18

So I got a message from one of the homeschooling groups that I am part of that asked whether people thought that if a homeschooling parent was asked for more documentation than required by law if they should give it to the officials or not. It got me thinking and here was my response:

We have district guidelines here and no actual Laws at all but rather case laws that we have to follow which can make it very confusing.
In our town we are asked to report to the principle of the school in which our child would attend and then the principle presents our request to the school committee. I just took my daughter out of school and was shocked at how simple it was. I know that this is not the case for a lot of people in other districts, but I can remember sitting at school committee meetings before for different reasons and hearing the homeschooling requests and just assumed that the school committee members had already seen the proposals by the parents, but that is not the case. I sent my letter of intent to the superintendent and principle by registered mail as I was advised by many people on my state-wide list and I got a call two days later that the principle had approved the curriculum and they would be presenting it in two days at the school committee meeting. Less than a week later I had my letter from the superintendent’s office saying that the request was approved and I was all set. I have a friend from the PTO who is also a school committee member who I was speaking to after I had received my letter. I have known and been friendly with her a few years now. She was shocked that I was now homeschooling! She was one of the ones who voted and she didn't even realize it was my child that she was voting on. (Now I will say that my daughter and I have different last names, but my name was on the letter of intent and curriculum overview for her and I know that she was aware of my daughter‘s name as it is not common at all.)
The school committee members who make the decision whether or not we are "allowed" to homeschool don't even look at the letter of intent or curriculum at all. We also have three elementary schools in our town and each principle makes their own requirements of the parents. HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE!!!!! Is it just me or do others see flaws in this system?
Now mind you I am not complaining as I have been hearing horror stories from other parents and their fights with the school committees, superintendents and principles of schools, however I find it amazing that the one thing (law or case law) that I know is certain is that the burden of proof is always on the school committee if there is a problem. (Like the one who didn’t even know who she was voting on!)
So I say give them the minimum requirements, why do more work or set standards for others that shouldn’t be there. Especially if you don’t even know for certain who is looking at them.
Sorry I got sooooo long winded, apparently I was holding a lot more shock about it than I realized up until I started typing this out.
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