With the girls and Matt at Chess Club, I've sat myself down to do some voter research for upcoming state and local elections.
Unfortunately, my research got stopped cold when I made to just quickly double-check that I knew who I was voting for in the state school superintendent race: the Republican dude who's run the public schools into the ground for the past four years, stymied its kiddos with huge testing burdens, and tried to punish teachers who are less successful at force-feeding context-less standardized testing information into their students' brains for years on end without a break, or the Democratic chick who has the support of the teachers' union, and wants to basically spend her term undoing all of the current superintendent's requirements concerning high stakes testing and teacher evaluations?
Simple, right? Just let me check on one tiny detail, first...
Crap. Looks like she hates homeschooling.
It's common knowledge here that Indiana's public schools are struggling (Is that common knowledge for every state? I have no idea). Our governor has taken funding from them and added a bunch of standardized tests, and from what I can gather he and the superintendent have acted like assholes to the public school teachers, because all the ones whom I know personally hate them.
With all this turmoil, and all these miserable voters who teach in or have kids in the public schools, you'd think that both candidates would want to focus entirely on these glaring concerns, these many issues. Homeschooling families are a small population, and they're not complaining that their kids are illiterate, or that they don't have access to foreign language study and music programs, or that they're being over-stressed by yearly standardized tests.
But here's what the challenging candidate, Glenda Ritz, nevertheless has to say about homeschooling: it needs regulation.
Seriously? I mean, she knows that it IS regulated, right? She knows that homeschooling families are required to school for a certain number of days each year, and are required to maintain curriculum standards at least comparable to the public schools, and that these requirements can be checked on? So that if families actually were pulling their children out of school just to serve as caregivers for their grandparents (Seriously?), the homeschooling regulations already in place could be used to stop them?
So either she's ignorant about homeschooling but still willing to trash it for applause (and thanks for THAT, teachers in attendance at that discussion--I try to vote in support of y'all!), or she knows the regulations but is willing to lie about them in order to give evidence that they need to be changed.
Should I vote for the dude who's trashing the public schools but has basically left homeschooling alone for four years, or should I vote for the chick whom the public school teachers support but who may trash homeschooling, and trust that the teachers, if called upon, would not applaud further regulations but would instead support my rights the way that I supported theirs?
No, really. I'm asking you.