Thursday, April 19, 2007

Homeschoolers: Sharing A Letter That I Received

You'll never believe this.. or maybe you would.. and maybe you should.

I received a letter from the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. It was sent to me signed by Julia Peterson, Special Projects Co-Ordinator.

It said this:
Greetings!

I am writing to tell you about a new program that will help your members increase their instructional skills and improve their children's reading abilities.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and based on recommendations by the National Reading Panel, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence has developed the reading professional program certificate, ideal for homeschool educators who want to master the theory and effective practices of reading instruction.

The American Board's comprehensive reading professional certificate program includes:
- A self assessment
- An individualized learning plan developed in collaboration with an experienced teacher
- An ABC's of Reading Instruction CD-ROM with six modules of reading acquisition and instruction
- An ABC's of reading Supplemental Study Booklet which includes activities, suggestions for classroom reading games and additional study materials
- Testing at any Pearson Vue Testing Center

We would like to establish a partnership with your organization to better provide home educators with an all inclusive reading instruction program. We are able to provide you with free materials and information for your website. Please return the enclosed response card if you are interested in receiving a complimentary copy of our ABC's of reading Instruction CD-ROM. To learn more about the American Boards' reading endorsement, please visit www.abcte.org/reading or contact me at 202-263-8301 or jpeterson@abte.org. I look forward to working with you.

on the bottom of the letter is says: PROMOTING TEACHER QUALITY - IMPACTING STUDENT LEARNING
So are you nauseous yet??
First of all, I wondered how they got my name and address, as the envelope was made out to Judy Aron, West Hartford Homeschoolers. Second, I have a fundamental distaste for this organization seeking to "credentialize" homeschool parents. As if we cannot teach our children to read without their help and guidance and "experience".

Give me a break.

Why would I, or any homeschooling parent, want to have a "partnership" with these people? It seems they are preying upon the doubts of homeschool parents who may not think themselves capable of teaching their own children to read.. as if it were rocket science! More interestingly, this initiative is funded by the US Dept. of Education.. does that offer a hint? Looks like they are targeting homeschool parents. Are you a bit concerned yet?

Oh and by the way - their website says this:
The program fee for the reading endorsement is $250. Enroll today in the ABCTE reading certificate program by visiting MyPass. The reading certificate program is recognized as a route to the State reading endorsement for current teachers in Idaho (K-6) and in Florida for elementary teachers (K-6) and special education teachers (K-12).
If you don't think that at some point homeschool parents will be mandated to get this type of certification, then think again. These programs are being put in place. They are being funded by our government, the same government that gave us No Child Left Behind. Homeschool parents - this letter may be an invitation now, but you are peering into the future of what will be required.

There is no better reason to remain mindful of the potential of losing our current freedoms, and rejecting these types of programs outright.