Michael Woodring at Constant Conservative notes the bill has drawn a line of news coverage that struck me as a hint of anti-home-school bias:
Because home-schooled students don’t take the rigorous high school classes, they would have to score 26 on their ACT to qualify. ["Bill Would Expand Scholarship Program," AP via KELO, 2010.02.16].
As Woodring points out, home school families already jump through more hoops and make more sacrifices to get their kids to college. They buy more books and educational materials, work harder to arrange extracurricular activities when their school districts won't let their kids play, and often give up outside income to stay home with the kids more, all while dutifully paying their property taxes to support the public school system.
Of course, you do know what happens when people have to work harder for what they get, don’t you? They usually value it more [Michael Woodring, "Homeschool in South Dakota Is Not Sufficiently Rigorous?" Constant Conservative, 2010.02.16].
The suggestion that homeschoolers don't take rigorous courses demonstrates an erroneous conflation of sitting in a classroom with real learning.
I've heard from other teachers and seen firsthand the entitlement mentality that is growing in our public high schools. We have seniors graduating who can't identify a subject and predicate in a sentence. We have university freshmen who need remedial English and math. We have too many students who think university is just grades 13–16, four more years to sit through and so they can get another diploma.
And too many students and parents think that just showing up and sitting through the process entitles them to a passing grade. Too many parents are willing to pressure high school teachers to give their kids the grade they need to qualify for the Opportunity scholarship. In too many cases, the grade is no longer a true measure of a student's acquired knowledge and skills; it's the permission slip teachers are forced to hand out so parents can lower their tuition bills.
All that entitlement mentality... and I thought my neighbors were Republicans.
As I've pointed out in previous coverage of HB 1160, homeschoolers already beat the national average on the ACT by 1.4 points. You public school kids are dragging the average down. Hit those books... and remember, you'll be competing against my daughter and the very rigorous Lake Herman Academy curriculum.