Yesterday, I reported on the Holshouser Legislators Retreat 2015. This was an invitation only event with various NC educrats, legislators, “non-profits” and businesses discussing your child’s education future without you – again.
One tweet I left out of the previous story was from the President of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Folks in North Carolina know her as the NC State Superintendent, June Atkinson.
Dr. Atkinson tweeted this question out at the Holhouser event:
With choice, should homeschool & private school students have to take the same tests as public school students? If no, why not? #HLR2015
— June Atkinson (@DrJuneAtkinson) January 12, 2015
What tests is she referring to exactly? Students in North Carolina, regardless of their ‘school choice’, are tested at various points. The point of choosing one education route over another to avoid standardized testing is gaining momentum.
Dr. Atkinson is couching a narrative in her question and being a bit intellectually dishonest with tying ‘school choice’ to public school accountability measures. Notice she doesn’t mention charter schools? [Flashback: Atkinson and ‘Schools of Terror’]
This question of Atkinson’s is arguably about casting homeschool and private school in a bad light because they pull students (and revenue) away from public schools. Also, we can’t have kids escaping the public system and having various data sets collected now can we?
School choice is about the student and their family having the opportunity to choose the best educational option for them, usually outside of the public school system. That choice could be homeschool, private school or charter school. The three can be, and often are, very different in a variety of ways. The choice made by the parents and students is also multi-faceted. Arguably, all three ‘school choice’ options mentioned here are different from public school in just as many ways.
If Dr. Atkinson is attempting to make the argument that part of the ‘school choice’ made by parents and students needs to fit into a one-size-fits all public school testing regimen, she’s missed the point of ‘choice’ entirely.
Atkinson is quoted:
The beauty of this proposal is giving great empowerment to school districts and teachers,” Atkinson said. “It gets it back to a place where we have balance.
“We do not have balance (right now).”
But let’s subject homeschoolers to public tests, right?