Campaign For Recognition of Homeschool Diplomas

by Howard Richman

Sometimes you don't know what you have until someone tries to take it away. That's the way it was in November 1988 when the opponents of home education tried to take the requirements for graduation out of the Pennsylvania home education bill which passed the next month. Were they trying to make things easier for homeschoolers by eliminating requirements? I think not.

These were not friends of home education. A look at the other things they tried to change (while the bill was in the Appropriations Committee) makes that clear. For example, they tried to substitute the local school board for the impartial hearing officer (if a superintendent told you that you couldn't homeschool you could appeal to the school board!). Similarly, they tried to substitute standardized achievement tests for the evaluator chosen by the parents (you could only homeschool if your child scored higher each year in every subject area!).

Many homeschoolers think of requirements in a negative way. But graduation requirements have a positive side to them. They mean that homeschooled students can get high school diplomas that are legal in Pennsylvania.

Beginning when our home education law passed in 1988, I (Howard) have led the fight for recognition of homeschoolers diplomas. This battle has not always been easy. I have not only had to negotiate with the educational establishment, but I have also had to battle anti-diploma and anti-standards segments within the homeschooling community. Here is a brief chronology:

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