Not that I disagree with home-schooling parents' disdain of standardized tests --I too think that such tests are inadequate measures of student learning. But on the other hand, if public schools must be held "accountable" with test scores, why not home schools?
The state has a legitimate interest in demanding that school-aged children be provided an education sufficient to make them functioning members of a civil society. That's why we have compulsory education laws and truant officers (or at least we did.) Are we supposed to accept a parent's word that the children they keep at home are actually learning something of value as opposed to, say, merely being locked safely away in some back room?
Home-school parents plead that they're providing a private education for their children. Maybe so. But private schools, whose students have no testing mandates, should also be held to the same accountabliity requirements as public schools. If the local parish elementary school wants us, the citizens of the state, to believe that it provides its students an adequate education, it should have to provide evidence of it.
Just like its neighboring public school.
In other news from the Trib, it appears that Vicki Phiilips' mistake of a principal at Jefferson, with help from district mucky-muck Cynthia Harris, has imposed a "gag order" on teachers to prevent them from talking to reporters.
That's real educational leadership. I'm sure that Jefferson teachers will now be even more inspired to jump through Leon Dudley's idiotic hoops.
Here's an idea: Why doesn't the Trib's Jennifer Anderson (author of the excellent home schooling piece) rush over to Jeff right now and talk to some of those chastened teachers?