If It Ain’t Broke …
… don’t fix it! There are a few policy areas in which Missouri is doing such a fantastic job that no changes are needed. If I had to make a list of them, I’d put homeschooling regulations at the top. Homeschooling families have complete freedom to choose curricula, teaching methods, and whether or not to administer standardized tests. They are required to keep a log of instructional hours, but the state doesn’t look at it unless there’s a complaint.
I was briefly homeschooled during high school, and at the time I whined about keeping that annoying log. Only after I researched the homeschooling policies of other states did I realize how lucky I was. In some states, homeschoolers have to justify every textbook purchase to their local school districts, or deal with routine harassment from government officials. Missouri’s homeschooling environment is much more free and open to different educational philosophies.
This article in the Columbia Missourian sums up the current state of affairs. It includes some quotes from people who’d like more regulation — and several from those who’d like things to stay the way they are. This is from Bert Schulte, the deputy commissioner of education:
“I think they would be resistant to government intervention or some kind of quality assurance. It’s one of those liberties that is available in Missouri that those who take advantage of it really want to preserve the autonomy of that liberty.”