Recently, over at Love, Joy, Feminism, I saw a post about homeschooling and indoctrination. The author, LibbyAnne, argues that without proper oversight, homeschoolers could teach whatever they want, even blatant lies and indoctrination.
However, I'm not sure the same argument couldn't be made against private schools. In Lakewood, boys' yeshiva high schools spend up to fourteen hours a day teaching religious subjects--and almost no time teaching secular ones! I, as a NY homeschooler, must subject myself to stricter oversight than a NJ private school! (of course, if I lived in Lakewood--Thank G-d I don't--I would face almost no regulation either.) Moreover, many of the same problems come up--children being taught that creationism is science, that fossils were created by Hashem to test our faith, and secular pursuits (such as college) are evil. (I once had to explain to a neighbor what "kamikaze" meant--she had never heard the term before.)
Truth be told, as much as the regulations scare me, I rather like them. I don't plan on using homeschooling as an excuse to shelter or indoctrinate my kids, so submitting curricula, annual evaluations, and test scores doesn't bother me in the slightest. I also want my kids to think for themselves--something easy to teach when there's no looming worksheets. Besides, I always loved standardized testing, and usually scored above 90% across the board. We'll see how far the apple falls from the tree on that one.