Recently on Dana's blog (anarchy link at left), we've been discussing how the teaching establishment is very threatened by the continuing overall success of homeschoolers. Oh, sure, they can trot out the occasional homeschooling "failure," like the case where a parent already in trouble with the district for her children's truancy pulled them from the rolls and then murdered 'em. I'm sure lots of homeschool learning took place beforehand and no way anything bad could have happened to these children if only they had been enrolled in an accredited public school ... but anyway, generally speaking, real homeschoolers (you know, the ones who actually homeschool their children) on average are showing the "professionals" that they can do just as well and better.
That has some people a little nervous. We wouldn't want "educational anarchy," would we?
The California NEA is throwing that spurious insult out at homeschoolers. Some on the homeschool circuit are claiming that because "anarchy" by definition simply means the absence of government, that it's a good thing to be called.
Well, what if I were to tell you someone's opinion were kind of QUEER? Maybe NIGGARDLY. Perhaps it MOLESTS our inner ideas a little strangely when we think about it. OK, did you just recoil at all those words in caps? (I kinda did, writing them.) "Queer" doesn't mean anything but "strange," really, and yet it isn't something you would call your best friend. Nor yet "niggardly." You sure would be careful when you claim something has "molested" you, I should hope. But when you're "molested," it doesn't always mean you're molested if you know what I mean.
Do you see how connotation and meaning are two very different things? Actually, I don't think the differing opinions on Dana's blog are "queer" or anything like that; I was just illustrating how something can mean two different things at once. Have you noticed sometimes that we insult each other with things that are perfectly true? The NEA and its ilk are wonderful at this tactic, pointing out that homeschool parents are "uncredentialed." It's true, but the implication is, of course, that me an' Bubba an' Cletus done never figgered out how to read and what-like, and we cain't do near so well as them-thar what has been to them eddication classes in college.
It's odd that the education establishment sets itself up as the authority on the education of OUR children. Then when we want our children out of the public education system because we don't believe in it, we're anarchists.
Yeah. Maybe I do want to be in anarchy. I wonder whatever happened to my old Sex Pistols album?