Sunday, October 4, 2009

We Need Allies, not Adversaries

The current "home education" law, RSA 193-A, is adversarial.
Home educators are required to present evidence of their innocence of educational neglect to the state. They are considered guilty until they prove themselves innocent. The law demands that parents obtain annual approval for their programs through student evaluations.

Given the risk, termination of their home education program, it's not surprising that some might consider gaming or circumventing regulations. Parents might augment a child's portfolio, seek out friendly evaluators, or even conceal a lack of academic progress if need be. By making the law adversarial, the state undermines the quality of the evidence that they are seeking.

It's understandable that not all parents are candid with the state. Should home educators genuinely need help, the state has become the last place home educators will turn. Doing so risks probation or termination of their program.

Parents First would like to end the adversarial system and create a law whereby parents and the state can work cooperatively together as allies. Recognizing the importance of the parent's duty to instruct his child will eliminate this adversarial situation. Parents will be able to obtain the help they need without fear of retribution or termination of their program.

This new law will help the children get the education they need as their parents and the state will finally be allies, not adversaries.