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Again, Educational Freedom In Jeopardy In Missouri

December 8, 2010

As the Missouri General Assembly gears up for another session, once again a parent’s rights to direct the education of their children is in jeopardy. The past several years have seen a movement in the legislature to instill cradle to grave control of your children via the educational system. In 2009 SB 291 (go to page 62 and read the changes marked in boldface) forced a rise in compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17, and very restrictive mandates that revised the law outlining graduation requirements. These changes were a devastating blow to the homeschool community who suffered the side effects from this unnecessary educational regulation. In 2010 Sara Lampe introduced legislation that would lower the compulsory school age from age 7 to age 6, and require full day kindergarten in public schools. It also appears that she worked to grease the skids to help the infiltration of Race to the Top and Common Core Standards in Missouri. Luckily, for parents and children, her attempts didn’t gain much steam last year, but that hasn’t stopped efforts from continuing in the 96th General Assembly. In the wake of efforts to sneak under the radar Race To The Top and Common Core Standards into the foundation of the public educational system in Missouri and across the country, Missouri Senator, Robyn Wright-Jones continues the ever vigilant push of the socialist agenda to eliminate parental freedoms/choice in directing education of our children. She has pre-filed a bill SB 21 that would again lower compulsory school age and require mandatory full day kindergarten for students in public schools.

In the recent elections, Missouri, like many states elected a larger majority of Republicans to the House and Senate. Ordinarily, one would think that with such a large GOP majority there would be little worry about the advancement of such liberal idealism through the legislature regarding educational or any other issues, for that matter. Well, maybe not. In fact, it was a Republican, Charlie Shields, who introduced HB 291 and another Republican, Maynard Wallace, who co-sponsored it. And let us not forget that it was a Republican, Scott Rupp, who fought very hard to chase the Race To The Top Dollars last year and admonished Missouri’s Education Commissioner for not pursuing federal funding with more zeal.  

By now most folks understand, and we know that the Senator certainly understands, that accepting Race To The Top funding eliminates local control of education in a variety of ways and forces the adoption of standards set by the federal government. Common Core Standards, which have now been adopted in Missouri, is another form of this mandate, but it is unfunded by the government. Both wrest decision making rights away from local school boards and  parents about educational issues.

What really drives this ongoing push to control the education of your children from cradle to grave? The answer is easy. It’s the NEA. In their resolutions, they address the importance of getting hold of the young minds of your children to infuse a heaping dose of diversity education.

LIFELONG LEARNING

B-1. Early Childhood EducationThe National Education Association supports early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight. The Association also supports a high-quality program of transition from home and/or preschool to the public kindergarten or first grade. This transition should include communication and cooperation among parents/guardians, the preschool staff, and the public school staff. … The Association also believes that early childhood education programs should include a full continuum of services for parents/guardians and children, including child-care, child development, developmentally appropriate and diversity-based curricula, special education, and appropriate bias-free screening devices. …

… The Association believes that federal legislation should be enacted to assist in organizing the implementation of fully funded early childhood education programs offered through the public schools. These programs must be available to all children on an equal basis and should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.

The Association supports regulations requiring children starting kindergarten to have reached age five at the beginning of a kindergarten program.

You can read the full resolution here. As far as the NEA’s stance on parental choice, well, I believe that resolution B-81 on homeschooling sums it up quite succinctly.

B-81. Home Schooling

The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)

So, perhaps if we haven’t learned by now that sometimes Republicans aren’t conservative, maybe this would be a good time to do so. We have history, in the Missouri legislature, that tells us so. If Republicans don’t act like Republicans are supposed to act, they might as well be Democrats. And since the Democratic party has moved so far left they are no longer simply liberal, but largely socialist, you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable leaving the decisions concerning your children’s education in their hands. Both parties appear to be pandering to the NEA lobby and selling the educational system up the river along with your children and their education.

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One Comment
  1. 4commonground permalink
    December 8, 2010 9:51 pm

    Why any of Missouri’s republican legislators would support national standards and take the federal money is beyond me. Rupp wasn’t the only one. I understand why the NEA is a force to be reckoned with among the dems – especially since the NEA is funding their campaigns. But what is in it for the republicans? Are they taking NEA money too? Or are they just afraid they will be the NEA’s next target?

    I still don’t understand where the outrage is among America’s conservatives. They literally took their disapproval to the streets over the take over of our healthcare, our banks, student loans, mortgage industry, our automotive industry… etc..

    But when they just took over America’s schools this summer not a word of protest was uttered. Do American’s believe that this may be the one area in which federal control will be successful?

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