By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND
An organization that monitors the U.S. government's influence on education, and specifically on parents who choose to school their own children, is warning of a pending move in Washington that would result in "de facto national education standards."
The measure could not only require parents who homeschool their children to teach certain government agenda issues but also effectively remove much of the decision-making authority of local school boards and districts, warns the Home School Legal Defense Association.
The organization focuses on issues affecting homeschool students and their parents in the United States and overseas but also keeps an eye on the larger picture of education policy.
The concern is about Democrat-driven plans in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, a massive federal program last reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act.
"HSLDA's federal relations staff have read this 868-page bill, and we believe that while it does not directly impact homeschool freedom, the bill will 1) increase the federal role in education at the expense of state, local and parental control, and 2) will greatly increase the pressure on states to align their curriculum and standards, resulting in de facto national education standards," said the report compiled by Melanie P. Palazzo, the organization's congressional action program director, and William A. Estrada of the organization's federal relations office.