December 17, 2004

Facing the Opposition

Homeschoolers have faced opposition from many sources over the recent history of the movement. Most recently in Minnesota, Larry Andersen of the Austin School Board introduced a motion at the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) Delegate Assembly on December 5-6, 2004. This motion would have applied the standards of the "No Child Left Behind" Act to homeschooling, specifically requiring homeschool teachers to be college educated, requiring all homeschool tests to be proctored by licensed teachers in a public school, and requiring homeschool students to take all standardized tests that public school students must take.

This resolution is very similar to the one introduced every year at the national convention of the National Education Association (NEA). The difference in this case is that school board delegates are elected officials, while the delegates of the NEA are professional public educators. Education bureaucrats are less likely to be responsive to the wishes of the American people, while elected officials are more easily held accountable.

The outworking of this difference can be seen in the ultimate results of these similar resolutions. The NEA regularly passes its resolutions recommending that every lawfully homeschooling family's freedoms should be restricted. The MSBA Board of Directors, however, recommended that Delegate Andersen's harmful resolution not be passed, and it was ultimately withdrawn.

This is just one illustration of the importance of remaining politically involved. Homeschoolers have a terrific opportunity to stand up for freedom—not just homeschool freedom, but on all the important issues facing our nation. Be sure to take advantage of the great potential offered to us! Keep our leaders in your prayers, and seek opportunities to speak up for what you believe in. Your voice is vital in protecting the freedoms that we enjoy.