Tuesday, March 04, 2008

In California, your kids are the state's

An appellate court in Los Angeles has ordered a California couple to stop homeschooling two of their children and send them to public school. While I don't yet know much about the particulars of the case, some of the language in the court's decision should alarm anyone:

We agree [with the California legislature]… 'the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education.'

So, if you have ideas about how your child should be educated that don't agree with the current views of the state, shut up. Just send your kid and your tax money, and shut up.

Then there is this:

The appeals ruling said California law requires "persons between the ages of six and 18" to be in school, "the public full-time day school," with exemptions being allowed for those in a "private full-time day school" or those "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught."

The credential requirement sounds great, doesn't it? Sounds like it ensures that the child's teacher will really know the subject, and be able to confer that knowledge to the child.

Until you understand that much of the California credential program isn't about ensuring subject-matter proficiency; it's about ensuring that teachers toe the Department of Education line (well to the left of even California's average) about sexual values. My wife recently waded through this morass to get her single-subject credential, so I've heard about it from someone who has seen it firsthand, and recently. The propositions you must buy into -- and I know she only told me about a fraction of the things she heard -- showed me that I could never be a credentialed teacher here. I simply couldn't keep my mouth shut for the length of time it takes to get through the program. If you have any sort of traditional value system -- like, say, the values of the Roman Catholic Church (are you listening, bishops?) -- you simply have to stay quiet. Your work concerning these topics must parrot the official line. Dissent is simply not tolerated.

Catholics in California will doubtless greet this news, if they even hear it at all, with a yawn. After all, it's homeschooling that's being targeted, not private schooling. It'll never come to any sort of censorship on the teaching of Catholic morality in Catholic schools.

Just you wait, folks.

In a few brief years, California's radical education establishment has gone from allowing public schools to take independent action to teach the homosexual agenda, to requiring it. Now it's homeschooling that they're angling to influence, if not eradicate. How long do you think it'll be before they find a judge who's willing to say that Catholic schools must teach nothing that casts doubt on the views that that establishment wants firmly planted in every California child?