I have a 4.0 GPA. I am averaging an A+ in my college courses. I am deeply involved in community service and I am constantly pushing myself to pursue greater academic challenges.
Sounds like a perfect National Honor Society candidate, right?
In fact, I am precluded from joining the National Honor Society by the virtue of my education - I am a homeschooled student. The National Honor Society does not allow homeschoolers to join, and even if an individual were to start their own official NHS chapter for homeschooled students, NHS refuses to recognize them. I'm not alone - according to a 2010 MSNBC report, there are between 1.9 and 2.5 million homeschoolers in the United States.
No student should ever be excluded from an academic opportunity based on something so trivial. My parents, like millions of homeschooling parents around the country, made the decision to homeschool me based on my needs and situation. Should an aspiring NHS scholar be penalized against joining if their parents decide to send them to a private school for gifted children instead of following traditional pathways? Of course not.
Of course, one would also never ask the NHS to compromise their standards of excellence. There are homeschool programs out there that fail to meet acceptable standards of education, and in response to that concern, we ask that the NHS should develop and institute admissions processes that comply with their academic qualifications.
A letter will be sent to NHS headquarters, petitioning them to:
*Remove the ban on homeschooled students
*Institute procedures and guidelines that maintain the integrity of National Honor Society membership while accommodating the needs of a homeschooler.
Every student should have access to the same academic opportunities as any other student. There are enough institutional barriers to student success without the deliberate barring of any group from any opportunity that would aid them towards being successful. If the National Honor Society is really about recognizing academic achievement and encouraging all students to go further, they will lift the ban on homeschoolers immediately.