S P E C I A L F E A T U R E
Goodling and Ashcroft Receive Home School Freedom Award
Home schoolers were told this was not the year to ask Congress to ban national testing, but with the help of an outspoken senator and a determined congressman, they did it anyway.
Despite the dubious odds, home school families from across the country rallied to the cause. Now bills that would ban national testing have passed both houses of Congress. The two key legislators, Representative Bill Goodling (R-PA) and Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO), were recognized with the Home School Freedom Award, presented by the Home School Legal Defense Association, at a seminar for home school lobbyists on April 30. The defeat of national testing was one of our top priorities in this session of Congress, said Michael Farris, president of HSLDA. Representative Goodling and Senator Ashcroft each made a heroic effort to pass the necessary legislation.
Goodling, a former school superintendent, is chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. President Clinton is determined to federalize elementary and secondary school education, and I am determined that hes not going to do that, Goodling told the home schooling families who gathered on Capitol Hill for the presentation.
National testing would be disastrous for the country, Ashcroft said. I truly believe that the one-size-fits none, dumbed-down approach that would follow national testing is against the interests of America. The Senate could not have done this without the efforts of Bill Goodling in the House.
Ashcroft accepted the award, but declined to take credit for the passage of his amendment. This is a team sport. This award belongs to home schoolers. Their voice is swelling in our culture, Ashcroft said. It was not my intensity on this issue that made us successful, it was yours. Instead of Washington imposing its values on you, you imposed your values on Washington.
The awards presentation was part of Basic Training for Home School Lobbyists sponsored by HSLDA for its Congressional Action Program (CAP).
If you are interested in helping to protect home schooling freedoms in Congress, whether in Washington, DC, or right in your home district, contact the Congressional Action Program at (540) 338-7600, or check out the special CAP section on our web site at www.hslda.org.