“Believing” in Accreditation: No Diploma? No Problem! (Part 3)
Why do most people, including those who are home educating, believe that only government approved programming and accreditation will guarantee student success? There are two things that need to be considered to gain insight into this phenomenon, involving both the cause and the effect.
There are two main players comprising the bulk of the education industry. Needless to say, this does not include students, who are only involved insofar as they are absolutely required to fuel the engine of this industry.
The founding player is government, which has both logistical and nefarious motivations. Understand that the need for a good education, combined with parental desire for daycare services directs the government to make the school program last as long as possible.
However, should the government also desire to instill, shall I say… certain values, beliefs and behaviours, it is equally important to maximize the time it has access to the student.
The second group involved in the education industry is comprised of all the people who make a living from delivering the government program, including teachers, administrators, bus drivers, tradesmen, custodians and a whole host of other folks, as well as their representative agencies.
Here, it is also important to understand that all these players benefit from the increased need for services, which in turn is based on student numbers.
Good mathematicians will know that student populations are affected not only by how many students there are, but also by how long they attend the government educational institutions. So, here again, it is important to see that the longer we can keep students in schools, the better it is for the industry.
Now, in order to encourage as many students as possible to attend as long as possible, government and program deliverers have convinced the masses that only a government approved program of collecting credits towards a diploma that requires at least twelve years, can possibly lead to success in life.
This, in a nutshell, is the cause and primary reason the industry has managed to convince the masses of the non-negotiable nature of high school accreditation leading to a high school diploma as a requirement for future success.
The effect is equally important to understand. Since this is the only solution generally offered, it is the only one known and therefore seen as the only possible way to successfully complete any learning program. And since it is the only one believed, most people, and post-secondary institutions for that matter, simply do as expected and defend and/or advance the status quo.
Venturing into the “uncharted waters” of not doing what everyone else does is understandably fearful, in and of itself. However, should one dare to stray from the common belief in government accreditation, he/she is quickly corrected and/or condemned by those who unquestioningly follow the path laid before them.
Fear and peer pressure are powerful allies for convincing the misinformed, and they have caused many a home educating family to simply give up and do like most everyone else, either sending the children back to school for their secondary level or attempting to fulfill the requirements for accreditation at home.
Continuing on this “accreditation/diploma” monologue, there are two more things to consider. This applies specifically to the home education community of Alberta.
The first is that home educated students in Alberta are funded and they can be registered with any accredited-funded school within the province. This creates a competitive environment with many providers vying for a limited number of students.
The second thing that must be understood is that while the home educated are free to follow or not follow any curriculum, the government has higher levels of funding for government accredited programs. This motivates providers to encourage the use of the better paying public programs.
Applying these considerations to the human propensity towards avarice, you should see that part of the reason home educators are hanging on to the myth of requiring accreditation and diplomas is the fact that home education providers are rewarded for perpetuating the misinformation, nurturing the associated fearful misunderstandings and advancing the “security” of government programs.
It should, therefore, be obvious that home education providing schools and agencies offering online, fully aligned, blended or other variations and incarnations of public programming may not have the best interest of the students in mind, knowing that such programs simply pay better without providing any provable benefit to students.
Furthermore, schools and contractors awarding credits for high school courses when not using the approved programs and resources are being dishonest, while those who promise students a diploma without clearly explaining what that entails are likely using students to better their financial position.