Thursday, December 16, 2010

NDHSA 2011 Home School Bill Testing Exemption Added

NDHSA 2011 Home School Bill Testing Exemption AddedNDHSA News Release 12/15/2010

The NDHSA Board (December 13th 2010) and the NDHSA Legislative Team (December 14th 2010) unanimously approved the addition of a testing exemption to the 2011 NDHSA home school bill. This exemption, if passed into the statute, will allow parents who are licensed to teach, hold a baccalaureate degree or did pass the teacher exam to file a declaration of philosophical, moral or religious objection with their statement of intent.

Here is the exact language submitted to Representative Chuck Damschen for carrying to the Legislative Council for inclusion in the home school bill.

Add the following to 15.1-23-09 regarding testing:
“Parents who possess philosophical, moral, or religious objections to the practice of standardized achievement testing are exempted from the requirements of this section. Parents may elect this exemption if the parent (a) Is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board; (b) Holds a baccalaureate degree; or (c) Has met or exceeded the cutoff score of a national teacher examination given in this state or in any other state if this state does not offer such a test.”

Add the following to 15.1-23-02 regarding the statement of intent:

“(3) If applicable in the years that standardized achievement tests would be administered by law, the statement must be accompanied by a declaration of the parent’s intention to take the exemption provided for in section 15.1-23-09.”
Reader Comments welcome.  Posted By: Andrew Bartlett, Webmaster

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The 2011 NDHSA Home School Bill

To summarize what the 2011 NDHSA Home School bill will do, it will (1) first and foremost make permanent the changes made during the 2009 session by removing the sunset clause, (2) remove parental qualifications, (3) remove monitoring, and (4) remove the requirement of establishing a multidisciplinary assessment team for children who score under the thirtieth percentile.

The Motivations and Purposes Behind the 2011 NDHSA Home School Bill
By Ken Knight rev b

As a member of the legislative team and the board of directors of the NDHSA, I am writing this article to give insight to motivations and purposes behind the board of director’s recommendations for the 2011 legislative session. As a member of the legislative team I desired a bill that called for the complete repeal of all North Dakota home school laws and recommended and influenced other legislative team members in that recommendation. The recommendation to repeal all homeschool laws was based upon my personal convictions and beliefs. But when this proposal was presented to the rest of the board, other factors had to be considered. The board represents the constituency of all members of the North Dakota Home School Association and, therefore, does not have the liberty to stand on their own individual principles without considering what the homeschoolers of North Dakota feel. We represent homeschoolers of many different convictions and our considerations and recommendations reflect that diversity.

Among the concerns expressed by homeschool families were losing their right to participate in public school activities (sports, music, chemistry, etc), losing the progress gained in the last legislative session if the sunset clause is not removed, and angering the DPI into imposing more controls on homeschoolers. In addition to listening to the concerns of homeschoolers, the board took into consideration advice from HSLDA lawyers, legislators, and people with extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with legislators and legislative matters.

Another factor considered was to the responsibility to follow a previous commitment of the board to incremental change, not an all-sweeping removal of home school legislation. Lastly, consideration was made to preclude presenting a divided front before the legislators. We don’t want homeschoolers testifying against the bill we present. We have a responsibility to present a united front from homeschoolers.

With these considerations in mind the board recommended that the legislative team pursue certain reforms. First and foremost, the team should endeavor to make permanent the change made during the 2009 session by removing the sunset clause. Second, they should work to remove the remaining wording concerning parental qualifications from section 15.1-23-03. This would remove all monitoring situations and would therefore automatically remove 15.1-23-06 and 07 on monitoring progress, reporting progress and compensation of monitors. This also requires the removal of 15.1-23-03.1 to continue to enable parents to home school without a high school diploma or GED without the monitoring provision. Third, remove the requirement of establishing a multidisciplinary assessment team for children who score under the thirtieth percentile (paragraphs two and three, under 15.1-23-11). This would automatically remove 15.1-23-12 concerning the use of a remediation plan to determine academic progress in a child who has previously scored below the thirtieth percentile.

The NDHSA Board voted unanimously to submit this bill on December 4, 2010. If this bill passes as written, it would move North Dakota from a red status to an orange status on Home School Legal Defense Association’s list.

This is not our first step, it is not our last step, it may not be a huge step, but I hope it is a step with which we all can live. Let us lock arms and hearts and take this step together.

Posted By: Andrew Bartlett, Webmaster

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Establishment and Limits of Civil Government

The Establishment and Limits of Civil Government: An Exposition of Romans 13:1-7
by James M Willson, 1853.

The subject of civil government is, in all its aspects, of no little importance. It occupies a large share of men’s thoughts in all enlightened countries, and awakens, just now, the liveliest concern. This is not strange; for its influence is felt in every department of human action. It has to do with the peace, the order, the material prosperity of the commonwealth; with the rights and liberties of the citizens, and exercises no inconsiderable influence upon the interests of morals and religion. In all these respects, in the last particularly, the institution of civil government is deserving the attention of the Christian and of the Christian minister. Moreover, the inspired writers take occasion, not infrequently, to state, sometimes summarily in the doctrinal form, and sometimes in narrative and in detail, leading principles by which the intelligent and faithful may be directed as to the part which they are to take in setting up, in administering, or in supporting political constitutions. Hence, no apology is necessary in entering upon such an examination as that which is now proposed. The topic itself is of great moment, and the light and authority of God’s Word are before us.

Again: these researches are imperatively called for, inasmuch as the particular passage to which the attention of the reader is asked — Romans 13:1–7 — has been grievously perverted. One class of expositors endeavor to derive from these teachings of Paul the offensive principle of unresisting, unquestioning subjection to civil authority of whatever stamp. Rulers, say they, may be ungodly, tyrannical, immoral, — they may subvert the liberties, and take away the rights of their subjects. Still, but one course is open; even to such rulers and to such authority, there must be yielded at least a “passive obedience;” no “resistance” is ever lawful, though made by the entire body of the oppressed, and that under peril of eternal damnation: for “the powers that be are ordained of God; and he that resisteth the power receiveth unto himself damnation.”

James M. Willson was home schooled through seminary. He studied theology under his father’s direction, was then ordained by the Presbytery in 1834, and installed as Pastor of First Congregational Church of Philadelphia in that same year. He was later seminary professor of Theology at Allegheny Seminary and died in 1866. Here is the link to his analysis on Romans 13:1-7, which was both the Biblical and the historic Christian perspective: Read More >> The Establishment and Limits of Civil Government

Friday, December 3, 2010

Two pre-convention events with Andrew Pudewa

Institute for Excellence in Writing Presentstwo events with Andrew Pudewa Wednesday and Thursday, March 2 & 3, 2011

High School Essay Intensive
What: A One-Day Seminar for High School age students and teachers
When: Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 8:30 – 3:30 pm
Cost: $50.00/participant (parents $25 if attending with student) 
Introductory Student Workshops
What: Workshops for students Grade 2–7, new to the IEW writing program
Cost: $20.00/participant (Teachers & Parents may observe at no cost)
When: Thursday, March 3, 2011
CLICK HERE for more information.

Posted by: Andrew Bartlett, Webmaster.