Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Buggy Whips & Other Tools Of Progress

    I recently had a discussion with my daughter about the difference between principles and methods. Too often society gets so closely connected to a method that they end up fighting the principle that the method is meant to promote.
If you can't defeat the competition in the
market, get a law enacted against them!
    In another era, there were only horses and buggies on our city streets. Autos were a threat to safety because they often spooked the horses. Autos could sometimes reach speeds of 35 mph, back then. Horses could match their speed but for only shot spurts and only with the use of a whip.
    As autos began to flourish, the buggy whip manufacturers saw their sales dwindle. Many forces tried to thwart the move toward autos. The stubborn hold-outs could easily make the argument that without sufficient buggy whip sales, the manufacturers would go out of business. This would cause greater slow downs because "buggy whips are the mechanism of progress"! Without whips, traffic would pile up and it would take an extra hour to ride into Tulsa from Broken Arrow. And we all want progress, don't we? SAVE THE BUGGY WHIP! STOP THE AUTOMOBILE TRADE! they wanted us to see the whip as the method of increased mobility, and the automobile as the threat to progress.
Pennsylvania has several charter schools for blind students
    Well, today we have several Oklahoma School districts offering to start charter schools for educating the blind. Currently blind student musts relocate to Muskogee in order to attend our only school for the blind. Well, The Okla School For The Blind is successfully stopping all other charter schools from offering blind students an education. The O.S.B. wants a statewide exclusive franchise. Too bad, Lawton. Too bad, Norman. Too bad Edmond! The well-entrenched in Eastern Oklahoma don't what you to offer community programs for your area.
Some Homeschool groups don't want
other homeschoolers to have choices.
    This is almost as ridiculous as the Homeschool Sports Organizations who are fighting to stop the Tim Tebow Law. The Tebow Law is an effort to certify a homeschooler to play sports on his community's public school team. The homeschool sports organizations like NOAH, CHEF, STORM, and others will likely loose some athletes if kids can play on the Bartlesville High School team instead of driving to Tulsa for the nearest homeschool team's daily practices.

 But its a sad day when I, as a homeschool coach, have to demand that the homeschoolers in Idabelle and Enid have to be denied athletic opportunities, just so my metropolitan Homeschool organization can have a bigger roster.


  1. I believe the reason nearly all homeschoolers that oppose such laws is because it can open the door to regulation. That's the real reason, and real danger of such legislation (well-intended though it may be).

  2. Jamison, you're right about some families avoiding entanglements with state regulators, But many rural homeschool familes are begging the state to change their policy to something similar to Florida, Colorado, and about a dozen other states who invite their community's homeschoolers to join the teams. All the parents have to do is declare "good progress" in academic grades, so that the athletes are cleared to play.
    But the homeschool athletic programs like Tulsa NOAH & OKC Storm wouldn't have any such fears of entanglement. They are generally opposing any accommodation so that their own business model continues to flourish.
    I've spent years as a homeschool coach and NOAH board member. I know first hand that some Tulsa area homeschool coaches are willing to let kids in Weatherford and Enid go without any athletic options, just so that homeschoolers within an hour of Tulsa will be forced to drive into the big city in order to live out thier athletic dreams.
    When I helped start a homeschool tennis team, we had a girl who drive into Tulsa from Stillwater. She won the Tulsa Metro Title, but she had other homeschool friends who couldn't make that ridiculous commute. But they could have played varsity tennis if the Stillwater High School had let them join the community school team..