48. Maintaining the Basic Principles of Homeschooling (5/08)

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Whereas during the past 30 years, parents and families have reestablished and confirmed the basic and traditional concept of homeschooling in the United States as a practice whereby parents take primary and direct responsibility for the education of their children with as little state regulation as possible; and

Whereas this practice in Wisconsin has been achieved primarily through the hard and continuous work of homeschooling parents working through Wisconsin Parents Association against great resistance from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, public school boards, teachers unions, school district administrators, and others in the educational establishment; and

Whereas although today there is greater acceptance of homeschooling by the general public, this acceptance is often based on an understanding of homeschooling that assumes homeschools are or should be significantly regulated by the state and that homeschools do or should include the practices of conventional public schools such as compliance with state standards in education, state curriculum, standardized testing, etc.; and

Whereas these practices would undermine a family’s right to educate their children in accordance with their principles and beliefs by imposing the state’s principles and beliefs through state approved standards, state approved curriculum, and testing; and

Whereas many legislators, people in the media, and members of the general public seem not to understand why homeschooling needs to be or should be free of state standards, state curriculum, and testing; and

Whereas the very success of homeschooling has resulted in public schools deciding to offer programs, computers, materials, and the services of certified teachers to families and to allow these families to remain in their homes while receiving public school education services on the condition that these children meet state standards in education, use state approved curriculum, take state standardized tests, and be directed and judged by state certified teachers; and

Whereas some families who participate in these public school programs call themselves homeschoolers or are called homeschoolers by others; and

Whereas the growing efforts on the part of public schools to enroll families into public school programs that allow families to receive this education in their homes are blurring the distinction between public schools and homeschools; and

Whereas if homeschoolers in Wisconsin are not aware of and do not take direct and clear action to maintain the basic principles of homeschooling, (namely, that parents take the primary and direct responsibility for the education of their children with as little state regulation as possible), the critical distinction between homeschools and public schools in homes will be blurred or lost which will cost homeschoolers their homeschooling freedoms;

Be it resolved by members of Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will work to educate homeschoolers (including homeschooling support groups), legislators, the media, and the general public about the important principles of homeschooling and the need to maintain the distinction between homeschooling and public school programs in homes; and

Be it further resolved that WPA will work to ensure that the term homeschooling and its related usages be used only for families who take primary and direct responsibility for the education of their children with as little state regulation as possible and that the term not be used to refer to public schools in homes. 5/08

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