General Selection Committee
The General Selection Committee oversees the Protege Award Program, Merit Awards, Talent Awards, and Economic Need Awards. It supervises selection processes and selection decisions regarding individual applicants. 

No expenditure, contract, or obligation, or cumulation of the same authorized within the same six-month period, totaling more than $5,000, may be incurred on behalf of Quaqua without the signed consent of a majority of the Board of Trustees. No individual member of Quaqua, regardless of their position, has actual or apparent authority to act on behalf of Quaqua in a contrary manner. Individual members of the Committee cannot incur expenditures, contracts, or obligations on behalf of Quaqua.

The Committee may delegate or divide some of its initial processes and selections, including eligibility clearance with an Eligibility Committee, with and among subcommittees. The subcommittees are composed of an odd number of three or more people drawn from the General Selection Committee or selected by the same.  The Committee shall, by affirmative majority vote, certify, approve, or overturn decisions made by subcommittees.  Except where otherwise noted, the General Selection Committee may take action by the simple majority vote of all members on the Committee.

Selection & Terms

The Board of Trustees selects members of the General Selection Committee.  Although such action should be unusual and infrequent, the Board retains ultimate authority to override any decision of the Committee or any other individual or committee helping to govern Quaqua or Quaqua programs.  The Board may, in its discretion, delegate selection of the Elijah Award or other honorary recognitions to the Committee instead of constituting some other selection process.
Terms for General Selection Committee members are set in advance. Terms are no less than one, and no more than four, years in length.  The Board may by majority vote denote committee seats with varying lengths of tenure (e.g. four years for half the members, two years for a fourth of the members, and one year for the remaining fourth).  Upon expiration of a member's term, it is presumed that the service of the relevant individual is honorably and appreciatively concluded, unless the Board by majority vote renews membership of that individual and specifies an accompanying length of tenure which is shorter, longer, or similar in length to the previous expired term. 
No member of the General Selection Committee is, for the relevant round of selections, permitted to serve if they have a relative who has applied for Quaqua assistance or if they have other material conflicts of interest.  The Board may allow limited service with recusal, if practical in light of conflict-of-interest rules commonly accepted by the United States judicial community (e.g. a Committee member could assist in selection of Need Award assistance or Learning Circle microgrant selection if they have a relative who is applying only for a Merit Award).

Rules for Scoring and Evaluating Applications

Five or more [1] Committee members shall evaluate each particular award application and assign a 0.0 to 10.0 scaled score for each category of evaluation. [2] The highest and lowest scores for each category are dropped, with the average of the remaining scores multiplied according to the weight of each category and then added together. [3]

Composition of the Committee

The General Selection Committee includes people possessed of solid reputations and diverse backgrounds. Members are drawn from different segments of the home-education community and the industrious portion of the general public.

Diverse Committee composition helps ensure the following:

  • the public will be reminded of the diversity within the home education community
  • people with diverse backgrounds and experience will feel welcome to participate in Quaqua operations and programs
  • home educators will be reminded of some of the demographic communities that have made important historic contributions to the enhancement and protection of alternative and home education in the United States and the world
  • the Committee can operate in a way that serves to select applicants based solely upon their merit, while simultaneously avoiding any appearance of bias or favoritism in the selection of those applicants from year to year
  • the Committee can avoid undue familiarity, favoritism or myopia in its group decision-making

The General Selection Committee is not intended to reflect the exact demographic composition of the home-education community or any other population.  Committee members are not representatives or emissaries acting on behalf of specific demographic communities, although they are free to voice insights derived from unique backgrounds, associations, or experiences.

Under no circumstances are Committee members to attempt to predominantly represent the perceived interests of their own demographic group or to impose any particular percentages or quotas upon the selection of applicants chosen to receive Quaqua assistance.  Committee members must agree to focus solely upon individual achievement and merit in selecting recipients, except where the Board of Trustees identifies economic need, geographic boundaries, or other considerations as permissible factors.

Except where the Board of Trustees waives, adds, or alters a requirement by a 2/3 vote, each of the following characteristics must be represented [4] by at least one member of the 21-member General Selection Committee: [5]

  • At least one person who is or has been a home-educating parent or guardian or who has been home-educated in the way required for Protege Award eligibility, and at least one person who has never participated in home education
  • At least one male and one female
  • At least one person who is not a citizen of the United States, along with at least one person from one state within each of the Southern, Northeastern, Midwestern, Western, and Pacific regions of the United States [6]
  • At least one Catholic, one Evangelical Christian or Protestant Christian, one Latter-Day Saint ("Mormon"), one Jew, one Muslim, one member of a religion having origins in the East Asian region roughly spanning from India to Japan, [7] one atheist or agnostic or avowed secularist, and one member of some other worldview not included in the previous categories
  • At least one libertarian, one social conservative, one economic conservative, and one political liberal
  • At least one Republican or Tory and one Democrat or Labour Party member, or their analogous philosophical and political counterparts in other countries besides the United States and the British Commonwealth
  • At least one person who can by the preponderance of available information ultimately trace 50% or more of their genetic heritage back to each of the following locales by no later a date than 1492: 1) Latin America or the Caribbean islands, 2) Asia, 3) Africa, 4) North America, Australia, or the Pacific Islands, and 5) Europe
  • At least one artist or writer from a performing or practical or commercial or theoretic or academic field, [8] one scientist or engineer or computer scientist, [9] one medical doctor or medical professional, [10] one accountant or businessperson or entrepreneur, one person from employment in a manual-labor intensive vocation (including, as examples, such enterprises as farming, ranching, fishing, forestry, mining, mechanical repair, construction, or industrial factory-assembly labor), one current or former paid or unpaid teacher or tutor or counselor or religious leader who has fulfilled a formal and ongoing role for any academic or religious institution, one attorney, and one person with current or past service in their nation's military.

[1]   As is the case with the Board and all Quaqua committees, there must be an odd number of Committee members used (e.g. 7, 9, 11, etc.).

[2]   The Committee members may communicate to each other, previous to scoring, the following: (1) aspects of strength and weakness they perceive respecting a particular applicant; (2) whether they believe a particular applicant deserves a higher or lower score than some other applicant(s); (3) whether they intend to give a particular applicant an unfavorable, favorable, or very favorable mark.  In any final narrowing rounds for applicants, after initial scoring rounds, Committee members may negotiate with one another regarding the final selection and elimination of applicants, couched in terms of score adjustment or even voting by priory ranking as approved by the Board, so long as all discussions are held between the Committee members at the same time and in the same room (e.g. conversing like members of the United States Senate on the floor of the Senate, before, during, and after votes).  The Board may add or alter rules in this regard as it deems advisable in light of experience.

[3]   For awards, scholarships or grants explicitly directed to one narrow and specific type of talent (e.g. the performing arts, computer aptitude, mathematic ability, entrepreneurship), the Committee may choose to add, eliminate, or alter the type or weighting of categories.

[4]   In the event of a controversy, the Board shall have power to decide, by simple majority vote, that a particular individual’s characteristics are an appropriate match with the relevant criteria in question.  Decisions of subordinate committees regarding eligibility may be appealed to the Board by any applicant, any committee member in Quaqua, any auditor, or the Chief Executive Officer.

[5]   It is possible for more than one category to be represented by the same Committee member.  For example, a Catholic woman of Korean heritage who resides in Seoul would satisfy four requirements simultaneously.

[6]   The Pacific region shall include California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other regions bordering the Pacific Ocean which are under the sovereign control of the United States.  The Western region shall include Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Idaho.  The Southern region shall include Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.  The Midwestern region shall include Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio.  The Northeastern region shall include Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and all remaining regions or military bases bordering the Atlantic Ocean or located in other areas of the world which are under the sovereign control of the United States.  Other geographic regions shall be deemed to be international.

[7]   This region is likely to be further subdivided as more participants with Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Taoist, Confucian, Sikh, and other traditions associated with the region join the home-education community.

[8]   An artist shall be deemed to be one who embodies an idea in matter for the primary of purpose of appealing to human aesthetic sensibilities.  Thus, an artist may be, for example, a writer, craftsman, painter, sculptor, pianist, dancer, or computer graphics designer.

[9]   A scientist shall be deemed to be one who pursues, learns and observes principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.  An engineer shall be deemed to be one who utilizes principles of science to utilize properties of matter and sources of energy as they are found in nature in a way that is useful to humans.

[10]   A medical professional shall be deemed to be one who engages in the art and science of preventing, alleviating, or curing threats to the wellness of human beings or animals, and shall include such professionals as physicians, nurses, clinicians, pharmacists, and veterinarians.