Accreditation: Should We Seek It from the State?
This was sent by a reader.
Hello. I just visited your site and read through the info. but did not see an answer to this important question: Is your curriculum accredited so that students will receive a valid high school diploma upon completion of required classes in all US states?
The question of accreditation has come up, especially in Christian circles, for about seventy years.
One of the most important marks of the complete surrender of Christians and libertarians to the state is the desire for academic accreditation.
Ask these questions:
1. Accredited by whom?
2. By whose authority?
3. By what standard?
4. Enforced by what sanctions?
5. Gaining what advantage?
Let us consider the assumptions and implications of accreditation.
First, the state has both the moral authority and the legal right to determine what constitutes a valid education. In other words, the moment that somebody accepts the idea of accreditation, he has accepted the legitimacy of the power of the state to determine the truth. He has also accepted the legitimacy of the state to determine the correct methodology of teaching.
Second, this acceptance of nationwide accreditation assumes that the federal government possesses this authority, too. What else could establish what constitutes a valid curriculum for all fifty states? But has the federal government ever implemented such a program of accreditation? No.
Third, no such national accreditation has ever existed. Even in the case of universities, there are multiple accrediting organizations. There is in fact, no agreement among the experts on what constitutes valid curriculum standards. Educrats squabble endlessly on this issue. They never produce a set of standards, nor do they agree on a system of national enforcement.
Fourth, the quest for accreditation means that the parent is willing to submit to the experts in the most important area of responsibility a parent has with respect to his children. In other words, the parent wants to crawl on his belly before the state or the experts, precisely when he ought to be trying to escape from state control over education. On the one hand, he is willing to spend money to make certain that his child has a form of education that is outside the jurisdiction of the state. On the other hand, he insists on bringing his children back under the jurisdiction of the state and the mutually certified experts.
Fifth, accreditation means that a committee, or a hierarchy of committees, must lay down some kind of criteria of truth. But no such criteria exist for which there is anything like agreement among parents or anybody else. These accreditation organizations never say in print that they are pursuing a pro-state agenda. They conceal this by all kinds of rhetoric about quality education, when in fact the nation's K-12 tax-funded schools are in the process of academic and moral disintegration. The reason why people want to pull their children out of public schools is that they really do understand that the state has destroyed modern education. The parents want out because they do not trust the state. Unfortunately, however, a lot of these parents still trust the state, and they want to make certain that the state has approved the curriculum their children use. Then why should the state approve a libertarian curriculum? Why should the state -- any state -- approve the Ron Paul Curriculum?
Sixth, children will be hampered in their careers without an accredited high school diploma. This is utter nonsense. It is possible to earn an accredited university degree, if that is what you want, from a state university or privately funded university, and never walk into a classroom. Bradley Fish, Jr., who is on the faculty of the Ron Paul Curriculum, earned his bachelor's degree in the same month that he turned 18. He used CLEP exams and other distance learning exams. He never had to pass the SAT. He never was asked about what he studied in high school. All he had to do was take CLEP exams, which he did all through high school. So, why does anyone need accreditation for a high school curriculum? There is no such need.
Parents are in the dark on this issue. They think that all accredited universities pay attention to what the curriculum was that a home school parent assigned. Universities have no time for any of this. They are buried in paperwork. They look at the SAT scores. They may look at high school grades. They do not look at any aspect of the textbooks or anything else. There is no national K-12 accrediting agency, so why should they bother to look for such evidence on a student's application? Parents are completely bamboozled by the illusion that most universities care one way or the other. If a student has passed five 6-credit CLEPs, that gets him in as a sophomore. High school accreditation? Forget about it. The colleges do.
We are watching the Wizard of Oz. The educrats tell us not to pay any attention to the committee behind the curtain.