Let's start by chewing on this from SFGate:
A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.I don't care about the abuse case that brought the issue to light; my initial and overall reaction is: it's about fucking time.
The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.
My first experience with a homeschooled kid was when I was working at a movie theater at 16. To all appearances, he was a normal kid. Unfortunately, 5 minutes with him showed him to be completely, socially retarded. When children are very young, they come to a realization that not everyone has the same ideas and thought processes that they do. I don't think he ever got past that.
Watch the movie Jesus Camp. All those kids? Homeschooled. Why? Because public schools teach the Devil's lies of evolution.
So back to the four-alarm dichotomy. I'm listening to Sean Hannity rail against the story and it hit me like a tire iron in the xiphoid process: Conservatives have been screaming about the quality of education for years (because NCLB itself is crippling America, in actuality) and screaming about getting rid of tenure and teacher's unions and making quality assurance a mandatory part of a teacher's life - who is paid dirt and works twice as hard as many full-time employees - to guarantee that our children are receiving the best education possible.
Amen: knock out the unions, pay them a minimum of 50K a year, and implement a fair rating system.
But how do you go from "We need full reform of the education system because teachers are not qualified enough to teach our kids" to "Moms with no educational background, formal post-secondary education, or accreditation are the best teachers evar?" Someone tell me how that fucking logic even remotely works!
Here's the logic: It's okay - in the conservative world of rainbows and unicorns and intelligent design - for conservative parents who don't want their kids to learn actual science - to keep them home and teach evolution instead. This, in and of itself, is a root problem; if you can't pass a general science test because the teachings being tested were written by the Devil, there is a serious problem.
Which is why this whole issue is long overdue. If you want to teach your kids at home, more power to you, but you better be held to the same bullshit NCLB tests that every other kid is held to, and you better damned well have at least a college degree.
If not, regardless of how this story is labeled or ignored by the media, we are dis-servicing the future of America and guaranteeing a continuance of idiocy and ignorance.
But maybe that's the plan. Ignorance breeds complacency breeds compliance. And that's what those in power would like to see every day; they love it and kiss it and dry hump their tailored-pants-clad chubbies all over it.