Throw your tomatoes this way... I teach 6th grade math, and no, we are not required to visit kids' homes. I would hate for it to be mandated because I see how parents feel about it. On the other hand, I would love for it to be mandated, because I myself am too shy to call up and say "Do you mind if I visit you and your kid before school starts?"
I don't think the reasons for the visits are to find out information for CPS. It feels "Big Brotherish" to people because they look at it as "government is coming in". I am NOT the government. I am a person with a heart, and dreams, and love of puzzles, fascination of mathematics, and shockingly enough, I truly care for your kids. I want them to learn, I want them to love being in my classes, I want them to remember me.
I would only go to your house to get to know the family and see the kid being silly and giddy showing me around, and getting to know me, as I am getting to know him/her.
At the same time, it is painful to realize that many parents feel this defensive about their kids' teachers. I would never go to your house to judge your lifestyle, or your parenting, or your child, or your pooping cat. I am a human being with a messy house myself, and would never show up without scheduling it ahead of time, but wouldn't it be great if I was seen not as an enemy but as a person who, believe it or not, grows to love your kids and cares for their pains and joys, and wants to see them laughing, and discovering the world, and is proud to be a part of their life, and is honored to realize that your child cares for my opinion on my favorite books and movies, and color of socks.
Try to open your mind about this visit. If you feel defensive - nothing good will come of it, and OF COURSE you can refuse it (I can't imagine anyone coming through your door if you don't want them around). It is your house and you have the right for your privacy to be respected.
I only wish parents wanted me around... Warmed my heart when a student's mom offered me salmon her son caught this summer. Little things like that make my day.