It isn’t just that we’re “well meaning amateurs.” The National Education Association (well, at least the California Chapter) has real concerns about what homeschooling will do to the entire educational system. As reported by the Pacific Justice Institute, the organization representing Sunland Christian School:
For instance, the California Teachers Association claims in its brief that allowing parents to homeschool their children without requiring a teaching credential will result in “educational anarchy.” Meanwhile, in another brief filed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and the California Department of Education, it is argued that the law allows parents to homeschool on their own – but not with the help of a structured, independent-study program such as the one represented by Pacific Justice Institute (which was utilized by the L. family in this case). Pacific Justice Institute
Now what, pray tell, is educational anarchy? Excerpted from Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary:
from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler
1 a: absence of government b: a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c: a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government
2 a: absence or denial of any authority or established order b: absence of order
Interesting. Maybe they have a point. I do believe that the absence of government in private homes is generally a good thing. And when specifically applied to education, I do deny that the state has any authority with regards to how I instruct my children at home. But will this lead to a general absence of order? A denial of any authority? A complete upsetting of the established order?
I think the CTA will have a tough time arguing that point since homeschooling has existed in this nation since its beginning, and recognized in our state laws for twenty years or more, predominantly without the requirement of a teacher’s certificate. And I am yet to see one single state’s education system dissolve into anarchy. In fact, we are having to fight rather diligently to slow the trend of increasing government intervention. Maybe the NEA should join us in that fight since they have similar interests in preserving teachers’ freedoms in the classroom.