We subscribe to a service through the CollegeBoard which allows us to receive information about colleges since our eldest is currently on that route. Today, we received information about a school called The Boston Conservatory, which makes sense since our eldest is a pianist. All looked well, until I checked their FAQ:
What should I do about transcripts if I have been home-schooled?
Home-schooled applicants are required to submit a curriculum, grades received, and a signed letter from their respective school district stating that the applicant has received the equivalent of a high school diploma from the district or in lieu of a letter, the GED.
I get the whole curriculum thing. Even the grades, no matter how useless they are in determining how successful a student might be out in the real world. But a signed letter from a representative of the school district??!! This from a school which states that the “minimum requirement for admission is a 2.7 GPA” and “Lower grades in Math and Sciences are more likely to be forgiven than poor grades in English and History.” A monkey might be admitted, if he but had that almighty signed letter.
Now, it is true that some homeschoolers struggle with school. Some also do well. This is equally true of students who are educated through any other process. But the only thing a signed letter from the local school district indicates is that the parents are willing to cower before the authority of the High Priest of Secondary Education. Sometimes the law beats the parents down and they submit sacrificially for the benefit of the child. Other times, the parents simply yield to the power wielded by the college. But what exactly do they obtain? The assurance that a curriculum is identical to that which is good enough to produce lots of qualified scholars: yes. But also the assurance that a curriculum is identical to that which is good enough to produce lots of kids who hate school and do poorly at it. In this, the public schools are no worse than any other human endeavor, but why privilege them with this kind of authority?
Besides, homeschoolers are doing just fine, despite the biases of those who wield authority in the Priesthood of Secondary Education here in the United States.
The Boston Conservatory is officially off our list. Bias just doesn’t cut it in any sphere of life.