Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beware the Cheshire Cat

From a Baltimore Sun news blog:

“Every parent in America should have the right to send their children to the school of their choice – including the right of responsible parents to choose home-schooling,’’ Giuliani said, drawing strong applause from an audience that includes many home-schooled teenagers from around the nation.

Read the entire article here


It's like nails on a chalkboard, isn't it?

Sure, it sounds good the first time you read it. Maybe even the second time. Then you see it. "Responsible parents." You pause.

"Yeah. I'd agree with that. Who would want irresponsible parents to homeschool?" you think. Then it hits you... who gets to decide who's responsible? Giuliani? Congress? The state? The local school board?

How would they define responsible? Have children who pass standardized tests? At least one parent holds a teaching certificate? Doesn't use curriculum put out by a religious publisher? Uses a whole language reading method vs. a phonics-based approach?

What would it take to determine if a parent is responsible? Would they assume that every parent who took the time to fill-out the government-mandated paperwork is responsible? Would they do a background check? Would they send a case worker to your home?

The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured,
she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth,
so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

`Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all
know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a
little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she
went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from
here?'

Alice speaks to Cheshire Cat

`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the
Cat.

`I don't much care where--' said Alice.

`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

`--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.

`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk
long enough.'

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another
question. `What sort of people live about here?'

`In that direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round,
`lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw,
`lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'

`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.

`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm
mad. You're mad.'

`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.

`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'

[snip]

'I wish you wouldn't keep
appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.'

`All right,' said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite
slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the
grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

`Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice; `but
a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in
my life!'
So, beware the Cheshire Cat. That smile brings with it madness and claws.

4 comments:

Betsy@Thehomeschoolway said...

Great post!

Angela said...

Wow, what a great post! The 2008 election is starting to be depressing at best. The candidates worth anything are not in the spotlight and most likely won't get there. ugh

crystal said...

WOW! What a great comparison!
Almost as scary as his take on gun control.

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