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[personal profile] double_mischief
Today I received (no fewer than six times) an email continaing the following text:
Denver Post calls online schools homeschooling!!!

The Denver Post published an editorial today which disparages cyberschooling and calls online learning no better than homeschooling!!!

See the editorial here:

Cyber parents know that our schools provide an excellent education taught by certified, experienced, wonderful teachers!! Let's make sure everyone else knows this as well! Write the Denver Post TODAY and correct their misunderstandings about cyberschooling!!

My reply email:
As a parent who homeschooled her first child (now a successful, college-bound eighteen-year-old) and is working through [online school name] to educate her second, your implication that homeschooling is a less valid option simply because of the lack of involvement of an "approved" body such as a school district is incredibly offensive to me. By disparaging homeschooling parents, you prove yourselves no better than the author of the original Denver Post article.

Those families who choose alternative schooling should stick together in the face of harassment by traditionalists, rather than succumbing to their propaganda. Infighting divides us when we should be working together to provide more options and greater diversity, so that each and every child can be educated in the way that will be most successful for them. Because in the end, isn't that what this is supposed to be about: what's best for our children?

Please remove my address from your spam list.

Katya [lastname]

Some of the things I didn't say in the email, though I wanted to:

The inundation of The Denver Post's editorial department with hundreds of letters and faxes containing the same punctuation and grammar errors as your email is not going to be a point in the favor of people who choose online education for their children.

If you're so sycophantically in love with "certified, experienced" teachers, why are your kids not enrolled in a traditional school environment, where they get the attention of these same teachers for six hours a day, five days a week? How, exactly, do you see a half-hour telephone conference with a teacher twice a month as having any real influence on your child's educational experience?

Face reality, people. The only real difference between homeschooling and online education is that with the former you have to pull together the curriculum yourself, while with the latter it's provided for you. Well, and with online education you have to jump through more hoops than with homeschooling.

You have no idea how petty and arrogant you sound. For at least twenty years, secular and religious homeschoolers have been working together—despite their major philosophical differences—to advance an alternative education agenda because it's what's best for our children. Then you step in and are all: Don't associate us with those icky homeschoolers, because we are so much better than they are. You expect to gain anyone's respect that way?

Quit using the word cyber. The common online association of "cyber" and "cybering" with "online sex" is very strong, and any 'net savvy people in your audience are going to do a double-take (and probably be squicked) every time they run across it.

In short, please stop purporting to speak for me, because you're making me look bad and that makes me cranky.
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July 2011

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