Thursday, August 09, 2007

The "System"

We were ushered into an office at the headquarters of a neighboring county's eSchool. The purpose of the visit was to qualify both girls by testing for online dual credit (high school/college) classes requiring reading and writing skills (we're not doing math yet). I was surprised that another mother and her daughter were also invited in, as I supposed that this was to divulged the test results to us. She's going to tell us the test scores in front of each other? Isn't this a privacy issue? Oh, yeah, this is a school system.

Sure enough, the woman turned to the other pair and told them that the girl had not qualified to take the classes and would have to study a little more and try again. The mother divulged that the girl had "transportation issues" and was going to homeschool after two years at a city public high school.

The official (lady) then began to address us both. Did we know that by homeschooling, if we did not teach the required courses and the required number of days that we could be jailed for truancy? (I begin to squirm. What have I done? I've identified myself to the enemy.) AND, if we allowed them to miss nine days of school, did we know that their license to drive would be taken away? (I'm beginning to get a bit hot under the collar.) By choosing to homeschool high school, we could make our children ineligible for certain college scholarships. (I begin to wonder how long I can hold the red hot firebolts from shooting out of my eyes and impaling the woman. ) The difficult job of planning high school courses falls on YOU MOM and you should consider signing up for our eSchool, and we'll plan it all out for you. (Now I get it. This was a scare tactic so that I'll hand my kids over to the public school system and you get more tax money and have jursidiction on them.)

I keep the words that are ready to vomit out of my mouth by biting my lower lip. The atmosphere is charged with animosity. The pair to my right is quiet. Do we have any questions? Well, yes, did my daughters pass the test? The woman laughs, leans back in her chair and says "Oh, my gosh yes. They blew it out of the water. They can take any dual credit class they want."

I ask a few questions about the dual credit program and the whole electricity in the room begins to change. She becomes friendly and happy, giving me information about their dual credit program. She becomes a real person again, someone helpful and non-threatening. Very interesting, I am thinking.

As we leave the building, I have a hard time containing my joy and pride at what my girls have accomplish, and so happy that they can try these classes. I look around to make sure no one is looking and do a "Clem Ka-diddle-hopper" (Red Skelton, and yes, I'm that old). My girls laugh. They claim that they did well on the test because before the test I let them go to Old Navy and buy clothes, and then took them to lunch. It has absolutely nothing to do with all the homeschooling we've done over the years.

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