by Matt Lacy –
President Obama’s call to states to curb dropout rates by forcing students to remain in high school until they graduate has raised concerns among homeschoolers.
In the President’s State of the Union message Tuesday evening, Obama told states he had a solution to raise high school dropout rates to 100 percent.
“So tonight, I am proposing that every state — every state — requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.”
It is unclear how the President’s proposal would affect students who are homeschooled. Homeschoolers typically score at a higher level than their public school counterparts.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) says that the move amounts to a power grab by the President and that parents, not the federal government, should be the ones to decide how their children should be educated and when they are ready to graduate from high school. The organization is also concerned the proposal could add unnecessary bureaucratic requirements for homeschoolers.
Michael Farris, founder and chairman of HSLDA, expressed the shock felt by homeschoolers over the President’s statement. “There appears to be no limit to the president’s desire for power. Car companies, banks, doctors, and now schools and the family. He’s gone way too far this time.”
The HSLDA says that a formulaic and compulsory approach to education as proposed by the President does nothing to promote a love of learning in a student.
While the President’s proposal may sound good on its face, critics have said while it may increase graduation rates, it will not do any good for students who do not wish to be there. Students could simply attend classes and refuse to do assignments knowing they simply have to wait their time out.
Concerns have also been raised about the effect on teachers who would have to teach classes with students who want to be there and learn alongside of those who have no desire to be in the classroom.