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Wow – the contrast between the two candidates just keeps getting clearer doesn’t it?

Check out this excerpt from “Making The Grade” in the September 6th WORLD magazine.  I’ve underlined what strikes me as particularly frightening about Sen. Obama and particularly heartening about Sen. McCain. Suffice it to say, I much prefer to shepherd my own children!

 Obama’s 15-page, single-spaced plan details new federal programs that would pour billions into shepherding every child from birth to college. A centerpiece of the Illinois senator’s education plan is a “Pre-School Agenda that Begins at Birth” that would expand on “patchwork” efforts in the states, fully federalizing involvement in children’s lives from ages zero to 3. Obama would commit $10 billion to early childhood programs including universal voluntary preschool and $200 million to states and districts that want to extend the K-12 school day.

Sen. McCain’s proposals reflect a belief that decisions should be made closer to the student and that parents should be empowered,” said Heritage Foundation senior education policy analyst Dan Lips. Obama’s plan, meanwhile, would be “very expensive,” he added. “We’ve been trying to solve things from Washington for 40 years, but ever-increasing spending hasn’t increased student performance.”

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I sat up and cheered at these encouraging words from Sen. McCain at Rick Warren’ Saddleback Civil Forum earlier this month.  Listen as long as you want to the Democrats this week to hear something similar, and you’ll listen in vain.   CHOICE AND COMPETITION    HOME SCHOOLING, “CHARTER SCHOOL, VOUCHERS, ALL THE CHOICE AND COMPETITION, I WANT — LOOK, I WANT EVERY AMERICAN FAMILY TO HAVE THE SAME CHOICE THAT CINDY AND I MADE AND SENATOR OBAMA AND MRS. OBAMA MADE AS WELL AND THAT WAS WE WANTED TO SEND OUR CHILDREN TO THE SCHOOL OFOUR CHOICE.  AND CHARTER SCHOOLS WORK, MY FRIENDS, HOME SCHOOLING WORKS, VOUCHERS IN OUR NATION’S CAPITAL WORKS. ….” 

Many conservatives are wary of compromise; we see it as an evil, practiced only by those with little backbone.We prefer our candidates to have staunch, unmovable opinions.  Yet, one of the greatest moments in our nation’s  founding was a compromise!  The delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia  in 1787 were at a stalemate over the composition of the representative house(s).  Should it be by allocating representatives according to population (favored by the populous states) or by granting each state one represenative no matter its size (favored by the little guys)? There was much debate and little progress. Finally two delegates proposed the Connecticut Compromise of two representative houses: one with proportional representation and one with equal representation.  It passed.  Our system of House and Senate was off and runing and has been serving our nation well ever since.

John McCain has sometimes been labeled a compromiser.  But that term is no automatic evil.  Great statesman were willing to compromise in 1787; how much more so now?

FYI – in between the deadlock of  the May and June of 1787 and the passage of the Connecticut Compromise in July came this stirring publicly recorded reminder from Benjamin Franklin:  “ if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his (God’s) notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” He then moved:  “that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”  A good reminder to us all this election year!

 

As a veteran homeschooler  (1988 – present)  of six children, I endorse Senator John McCain for President, and hope and pray for his success. I well remember the early days when homeschooling parents were arrested on charges of truancy, the days when we kept the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) number posted by the phone in case of unwarranted government investigation, and the days of filing onerous forms to prove to the bureaucrats that we had the right and the competence to educate our own children. I remember the sighs of relief as the oppressive laws eased, thanks to the efforts of groups like the HSLDA, and to a renaissance of conservative political thought. But mostly I remember, even this morning, the joy of being able to teach our own children in our own home according to our own beliefs – of marveling at the Creator during science class, of beginning the day with praise and prayer, and of studying the lives of world-changing and God-fearing (but not necessarily PC!) men and women of history.  But, as Wendell Phillips said,Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty–power is ever stealing from the many to the few.”  Just this year, on Feb. 28, Judge H. Walter Croskey of the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that children may be taught only by credentialed teachers in  schools – or if at home by parents, only if they have a teaching degree. Furthermore, the judge wrote,                if parents continue teach at home without credentials they will be subject to criminal action.  What a setback! Fortunately, this ruling is very likely to be overturned. But doesn’t it illustrate the need for eternal vigilance? I’m guessing that this judge is not a conservative, but rather a big fan of big government.  He is probably the kind of government official who (along with Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama) thinks it takes a village (read: government) to raise a child.  But it doesn’t take a government to raise a child – it takes a family! And, I am grateful that in Senator McCain we have a candidate publicly committed to the rights of families to homeschool and to smaller, less intrusive government.

home school

“Choice and competition is the key to success in education in America. That means charter schools, that means home schooling, it means vouchers, it means rewarding good teachers and finding bad teachers another line of work. It means rewarding good performing schools, and it really means in some cases putting bad performing schools out of business. I want every American parent to have a choice, a choice as to how they want their child educated, and I guarantee you the competition will dramatically increase the level of education in America. And I applaud our former Governor [Jeb] Bush for the great job he’s done on education in Florida and America.” Senator John McCain