Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Home School Access

Bill Hobbs argues home-schooled kids should have equal access to public school extracurricular activities such as sports, music and art.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is opposed.

One of their reasons for opposition is rather amusing:

''We have some tough academic rules,'' Carter said. ''Tracking that is an issue.''
Oh yeah, the public schools have a great academic track record of late.

However, once the state's camel's nose is inside the tent, it is hard to shoo him away:

Tracking is also an issue for home-school families who don't want public schools or others checking up on their progress and telling them what to do. In fact, support for the measure is mixed among families who teach their children at home.

''The concern in the home-school community is that they'll have to submit to some oversight,'' said Kay Brooks, founder of a home-school information clearinghouse and network in Tennessee. ''That's the big Mack truck hole — what are the eligibility requirements.''

Devin Moon, a home-school student from Murfreesboro, doesn't like the idea of playing by public- school rules.

''When we give the government this much power over home-schoolers, it's going to be used against us,'' said Devin, 16, who participates in home-school speech and debate leagues. ''Strings are going to be attached.''

He suggested that the home-school community spend its time improving the number and quality of the teams and activities it offers for students.

But some say it's not that easy. While these teams exist and they're growing, they aren't everywhere, and they don't come close to offering the same competition, experiences and exposure as the public schools.

I would be very cautious about giving the State the opportunity to knock on my home-school door.