Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jim's HB 367 Testimony

Jim presented the following Testimony at the HB 367 Hearing.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.

Homeschooling is the execution of a most basic parental right - to direct the upbringing of children as we see fit. HB367 usurps this innate parental authority in return for no tangible benefit whatsoever.

In the years since my wife and I began to educate our children, I have never once met any parent whose homeschooling motivation was to provide a public school style education. Beneficial deviation from the "one size fits none" approach (of public ed) is a central tenet of home education. Relegating control of homeschooling to the superintendents as HB367 prescribes denies parents the freedom they require, and destroys the very soul of homeschooling. Sadly, I suspect this may be part of the true purpose of HB367, for all other explanations fall flat.

Being compelled to place our childrens' future in the hands of government education is particularly egregious in our situation. The town of Croydon sends students in grades 4-12 to the neighboring Newport school system. Newport Middle High School is entering its sixth year of failing to make AYP in mathematics and third year of AYP failure in literacy. Newport Middle High School does not even offer instruction in Calculus and is credibly reputed to suffer from serious drug problems.

My wife holds a Master's degree in Audiology and has given up a lucrative career to provide our children every possible advantage. I was a three year Doctoral student of Nuclear Engineering. Are we to blindly accept that Newport's "credentialed educators", unable to teach a 300-year old mathematics system or basic literacy, are somehow qualified to judge our effectiveness?

Supporters of HB367 usually respond that there are "some people" who "abuse" homeschooling, yet we never seem to get specifics. In a free society, government must never curtail freedom without justification. Proponents of HB367 seek to erode our freedoms, and thus bear two heavy burdens. They must prove that a significant problem exists, and they must prove that their remedy is both just and effective. They can do neither, and they don't seem too interested in trying.

Unable or unwilling to prove their case, the architects of HB367 forfeit their claims on our liberty. For this reason and for the sake of our children, please reject HB367.

Jim Peschke

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