Originally published June 20 2014
Fortune 500 company discriminates against homeschoolers, refuses to hire smartest kids in America
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The federal government has long monopolized public education, and the latest effort to tighten that monopoly is a set of standards called "Common Core." The term "standard" in government parlance is, as you know, synonymous with "control" and the other favorite of authoritarians, "conformity."
But as crony capitalism binds government and big business more and more every year, now even "private sector" employers are beginning to resemble in behavior the government masterminds they depend on to squeeze out and punish their competition.
One firm, Indiana-based energy company NiSource appears to be using discriminatory hiring practices to impose the government/corporate mandate of conformity. According to the website TruthRevolt.com, earlier this year a man who had been offered a job with the company unexpectedly had his offer of employment rescinded when corporate officials discovered that he had been homeschooled.
Since then, the company had doubled down on its position, telling the Home School Legal Defense Association that their policy is "firm" and thus intractable: no considering of applicants who were not "educated" in a government school because the company doesn't consider anything less as valid.
Smart? Accredited? Homeschooled? Need not apply The story was first reported in May, according to the website. According to those reports the prospective male employee had the relevant years of job experience as well as college courses in a relevant field, even making the dean's list at an accredited, recognized state college. He also had the requisite technical certifications:
A seemingly ideal candidate, the man was offered a position, but later had the offer withdrawn after the company stated that they did not recognize his homeschool diploma as a legitimate high school diploma. The HSLDA disputes their assertion, and states that they have successfully resolved such questions in the past.
"Although we are usually able to resolve problems related to homeschool diplomas with employers and higher education officials, many human resources or admissions officials misunderstand Ohio law which recognizes homeschooling as a legal and valid form of education," the group said in a statement.
Still, NiSource not only stood by its original position but since then the company has expanded on it by making it company-wide, not simply an individual case-by-case policy.
In a phone interview, HSLDA attorney Mike Donnelly shared some of the details of the dispute and correspondence with NiSource. He said that the organization sent "numerous" letters explaining that homeschooling is both a legal and accepted educational practice in the country (and Ohio, where the education took place). Donnelly explained to the company's attorney, Adele O'Connor, that indeed the state of Ohio specifically considers a homeschool diploma to be "equivalent to an accredited public education." And he said that despite the company's claim and stated position, it has no "legal impediment" to hiring a homeschool graduate.
The company disagreed, however. In a statement to TruthRevolt.com, Donnelly relayed the company's now-stated official policy. In its exact words, the company's policy reads: "Although these policies may be disappointing to impacted individuals, the company's position remains firm."
Poorly designed and tested That means, as a matter of policy, the company does not, and will not, recognize a homeschool education as a valid, legal education "equivalent to an accredited public education," despite the clear legal status recognized by the state.
And now, that "accredited public education," in an increasing number of states, includes the Common Core K-3rd grade curriculum, which has been derided by critics as not developmentally appropriate and insufficiently tested. Some even say they are designed to create government-centric drones.
But as more states push them, that has led to an increase in homeschooling interest among parents who also disagree with their application.
"Donnelly and the HSLDA would remind Americans and especially companies like NiSource that research abounds proving that graduates of homeschool education are at least as well rounded in their education and prepared for the work force as students of public education," TruthRevolt.com reported. "Most homeschool parents and graduates would say they are far better equipped. And in this particular case, the candidate was clearly qualified for the position. It was only the company's bias that prevented him from working."
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