Hey Teacher! Don't Leave Those Kids at Home.

California's 166,000 homeschoolers woke up last Friday to discover they were leading a life of crime:

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in a Feb. 28 opinion signed by the two other members of the district court.

California's home school policy was blurry and essentially unwritten until now, since the law simply states that all school age kids must attend a full time private or public school, or have a tutor with an formal teaching degree. Homeschoolers filed a little paperwork with the state education department, sometimes dealt with the local school district, and were mostly left to their own devices.

No one's going to wind up in the hoosegow for at home Bible study until after an appeal to the state supreme court is complete, but homeschoolers are, understandably, freaking out.

Naturally, teachers unions love it:

Teachers union officials will also be closely monitoring the appeal. A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said he agrees with the ruling.

"What's best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher," he said.

The second in this week's "we don't need no education" series of blog posts.

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  • ||

    Oh NOES!!! Your children may not be learning what we want them to!

  • tarran||

    "What's best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher," he said.



    I have trouble accepting this - I have known too many credentialed teachers who knew too little and cared even less, and known too many parents who were exactly the opposite.

  • Sam Grove||

    Grrrr.
    This affects my family.

  • ||

    "What's best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher," he said.



    ROFL.

  • ||

    Pressed post too soon.

    But I second tarran. There are tons of burnt-out "certified" teachers that wouldn't do as good a job as parents.

  • ||

    Does 2+2 wind up equaling 5 when taught by someone without the official credentials?

  • Episiarch||

    So what's best for a child is to be forcibly separated from their parents for much of the day 5 days a week even if neither they or their parent want this, in order to receive a "proper" education?

    How is this different than when Native American and Australian Aborigine children were forcibly sent to government schools for a "white" education?

  • stuartl||

    Do home-schoolers allow their kids to use the Rate My Teachers site?

    "What do you mean I'm too strict! No ice cream for you today."

  • SIV||

    "How is this different than when Native American and Australian Aborigine children were forcibly sent to government schools for a "white" education?"

    IIRC the Native-Americans were sent to private schools run by progressives. It wasn't a government program here in the US.

  • ||

    Great point, Epi, but do you think the government has ever gotten to the point of grief over forcing those groups to go to their schools to become "civilized"? If they had, that might prove that they've learned their lesson. But my guess is that they still feel justified over that move.

  • sds||

    Lenin was right: "the trade unions are a school of communism".

  • ||

    I'm childless. I've already heard all the "Well, if you were a parent" arguments. Save them. There is no doubt in my semi-lucid mind that the average, caring, HS educated, parent would do a superior job educating their own children elementary school than a sinecured bureaucrat with teacher credentials.

    Yes, I'm certain there will be some that do a miserable job. That applies to both parents and credentialed educators. I was ahead in reading and math in elementary school because my sister taught me neat stuff in our spare time. She was only 4 years older than me.

  • ||

    Don't I have the freedom to allow my kids to be stupid if I really want it? Isn't that what this country was built on? Or have we come to the point that the purpose of this country is that every American (able-bodied/intelligent or not) will contribute to society/government whether we like it or not. And in order to contribute, you must be adequately conditioned, er, educated. *creepy grin*.

  • Les||

    Great. Now I have to explain to my son that we're criminals.

  • ||

    "How is this different than when Native American and Australian Aborigine children were forcibly sent to government schools for a "white" education?"

    IIRC the Native-Americans were sent to private schools run by progressives. It wasn't a government program here in the US.


    The Native Americans were rounded up by federal troops and driven to the reservations or to lands which the whites found unacceptable and forced to farm the land.

    The private hunters who killed so many buffalo weren't employed by the federal government either, they were employed by the rairoads. The US government was cool with it happening though.

    IIRC Blackwater is doing stuff to Iraqis like killing them and they are a private corporation with permission from the US government to kill Iraqis.

  • Not in Cali||

    Episiarch- The difference is that the Australian government just apologized for those actions. Don't hold your breath for the teachers unions to do the same.

  • ||

    rairoads=railroads

  • Brandybuck||

    So what we do is set up a private school with a credentialed teacher on staff. Enroll in the school then continue teaching your children at home.

  • Episiarch||

    Every home schooled person I have ever met had a fucking great education, and knew far more than your average public school kid.

    Their social skills varied, however.

  • ||

    Danny,

    I assume you're joking. In case you're not, no, you don't have the freedom to make your kids be stupid. A child is not akin to property, and this is an area where your legitimate interest in having your kids be stupid is subsumed by your kid's greater interest in having an education, something society has decided is sufficiently important to enforce. (And, in my view, correctly).

    None of the above in any way precludes wide latitude for homeschooling curriculum.

  • Brandybuck||

    The private hunters who killed so many buffalo weren't employed by the federal government either, they were employed by the rairoads. The US government was cool with it happening though.

    The land most railroads were built on were granted to them by the government. In many cases, a railroad got a mile wide swath of land.

  • ||

    I was reading at an adult level in 3rd grade, meaning I spent all my time in the adult section of the public library. All without the help of the education system. I was reading road signs and cereal boxes at 4 years old.

    *adult reading level (not pron, you bunch of pervs) :)*

  • ||

    you don't have the freedom to make your kids be stupid.

    Nope! Now in California you'll be compelled to make your kids be stupid!

  • ||

    If AJ Duffy really believed that, he would be saying that every child should be taught by a credentialed professional in some other country where kids actually learn math and science.

  • ||

    zig zag - haha - I wasn't reading pron either. Once I found my dad's Playboys, I was done reading pron.

  • highnumber||

    Is there any way that the union does not look bad here?

  • Russ 2000||

    I was ahead in reading and math in elementary school because my sister taught me neat stuff in our spare time. She was only 4 years older than me.

    Same here. My sister taught me how to read her books when I was 4, I was doing 4th grade math by 5. I'm no savant, I just had a good teacher - a 10 year old.

  • ||

    The private hunters who killed so many buffalo weren't employed by the federal government either, they were employed by the rairoads. The US government was cool with it happening though.

    The land most railroads were built on were granted to them by the government. In many cases, a railroad got a mile wide swath of land.


    Good point, but the plan remained the same, get rid of those pesky heathens and their lifestyle by any means necessary, if their primary source of food happened to get wiped out, oh well, sucks to be them.

  • ||

    What constitutes "education?" When you start saying that parents don't have a right to raise "stupid" children, the question remains who makes that call? If character and trade skills are more important to a parent, say, then is it okay to tell them they're wrong and that the state knows best? Besides, let me suggest that the best way to get a stupid child is to send him to public school (I say this as a product of the public school system).

    Personally, I think every parent should raise their kids on the fundamentals, the classics, and hardcore science and mathematics, but I'm not looking to impose that on anyone else.

    This system is so insanely corrupt.

  • Christopher Monnier||

    Hmmm....

    The impact of homeschooling in these academic competitions goes beyond students who win. Although homeschoolers make up approximately 2 percent of the U.S. school-age population, they made up 12 percent of the 251 spelling bee finalists and 5 percent of the 55 geography bee finalists. Three of the past seven spelling bee winners have been homeschooled. Last year's homeschooled winner of the geography bee was 10 years old, the youngest in that event's history.



    The claim that homeschooled kids don't receive a good education because their parents aren't "credentialed" is ridiculous.

  • Les||

    Their social skills varied, however.

    Episiarch, I think that's true for any group of children, anywhere.

    In case you're not, no, you don't have the freedom to make your kids be stupid.

    Pendulum, I believe that freedom is claimed by the state.

  • ||

    "Is there any way that the union does not look bad here?"

    Maybe if the teachers's unions copped to what they really represent;

    tenure over excellence

    raises with no merit

    concern for their sweet salaries over kids' educations

    /not gonna happen, so no love for them

  • shecky||

    My experience with homeschooled kids is opposite many others. Loon parents scared their kids might learn about evolution, etc.

    Still, I don't see why the state should have a whole lot of say in the matter.

  • GILMORE||

    this is some serious bullshit.

    I've never been a major proponent of homeschooling (since i think there is a valuable weaning & socialization process involved in schools ... also allowing kids to aspire to achievements that their parents dont have any say in...be influenced by people their parents might disagree with...etc... also, to teach them to constantly use ellipses incorrectly...)...

    ...

    but fuck that shit. I cant hear the phrase In Loco Parentis without thinking teachers are Crazy People pretending to be your Parents. And I took Latin for 4 years! At a public school! That probably explains why my Latin is so shitty.

    Man, I cant type a fucking sentence today. Had insomnia for like 3 days now.

    To see how fucked up MY 'public' school experience was, check this out =

    http://www.scarsdaleschools.k12.ny.us/hs/Aschool/

    I've alluded to it before as the "progressive hippy terrorist training camp" that I escaped.

    Or rather graduated. My grade point average was "far out, man"

    The Blue Man Group were A-School kids.

  • ||

    I think the quality of home school vs. public schools varies both from the parent compared to the school district in which they live.

    If you live in Detroit, pretty much any parent would most likely be better than the public schools there.

    On the other end, I don't see a fundie parent giving a better education than a Governor's/magnet School.

  • ||

    Slightly off topic, but one of the ads I'm seeing on the right side of the window is for the University of Phoenix's (On-line campus) Master of Arts in Education program. Gotta keep moving to the right on the salary grid! Are the ads that show up somehow related to the topic--education, in this case--being discussed? Or is it a coincidence? I doubt a lot of credentialed teachers are reading this.

  • Ranter||

    Wasn't there a post last week showing people who are educated (or at least come from) other countries have lower crime rates? And yet we still need to send children to coddling warehouses of political correctness?

    My daughter and a friend are the same age and are in 1st grade. I send my daughter to a parochial school and she is reasding chapter books (like Amelia Bedelia) while her friend in public school can not yet read. wft?

  • ||

    Anybody else here into Richard Mitchell, The Underground Grammarian? He died a few years back, but his great essays on education are still at http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/

  • jj||

    This is a generalization but holds remarkably true: American kids learn too diverse an array of facts, and have very little interest in any of it.

    If I was to teach my kids they would be learning a lot more about business management, entrepreneurship, and a hell of a lot less about other subjects that bore them.

  • ||

    I propose that you shouldn't be able to teach your children anything in excess of what is taught to them at school or that contradicts what is taught to them at school. That way all children will have an equal opportunity to one day contribute to the betterment of our greater society.

  • shecky||

    If I was to teach my kids they would be learning a lot more about business management, entrepreneurship, and a hell of a lot less about other subjects that bore them.

    What if business management and entrepreneurship bores them? Learn it anyway!

  • ||

    I'm more curious -- was the decision wrong? Sure, we can all argue over whether home schooling should be protected by the California Constitution -- but is it?

    If the decision is correct, then California either will or will not amend their Constitution to change it. *shrug*.

    As for "All the Home Schoolers I know got a better education" and "I learned more from my sister" -- well, I'm sure with that sort of education you're quite capable of grasping that state laws and such aren't done for individuals, but masses.

    I've met many home schooled children who have gotten amazing educations. Most of them happened to be taught by a parent who was a former educator. I have, on the other hand, ALSO met home schooled children whose ability to spell amazes me but whose capacity for reading comprehension lagged about 3 years behind their peers, and whose ability to write was abysmal. Their math skills weren't great either -- they knew their multiplication tables by heart, but couldn't solve math problems. All memory, no application.

    Should homeschooling be more strictly monitored because of the latter? Or less strictly monitored because of the former?

    I tend to feel some sympathy for what appears to be the general thrust of the California law -- if you want to homeschool your kids, you need to demonstrate some basic profiency so you're not shafting your kids. That's not what their law says, but I suspect if it had been actually applied it would have been long ago modified to something reasonable -- demonstrate an ability to homeschool your kids, and you can.

    After all, we make you demonstrate an ability to drive before you can get behind the wheel, and primary education is considerably more serious than driving.

  • stuartl||

    ...they made up 12 percent of the 251 spelling bee finalists and 5 percent of the 55 geography bee finalists.

    Better statistics would be for something like SAT, AP, or ACT tests as opposed to tests that focus on memorizing data provided by the contest.

    My guess is that home-schoolers would do well there too, since the group is self-selected. OTOH, they might not do so well on the AP bio test.

  • jj||

    On the other end, I don't see a fundie parent giving a better education than a Governor's/magnet School.

    My fundie (catholic) friends homeschool their kids in virginia. In addition to learning about saints and the blessed virgin mary, they are reading Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis at pre-school and kindergarten age, have incredible vocabularies, play musical instruments, are decent at art, have a diverse range of historical knowledge.

    I'd bet a hell of a lot that these five girls will be outperforming just about everyone in your magnet school in ten years time.

  • ranter||

    I assume you're joking. In case you're not, no, you don't have the freedom to make your kids be stupid. A child is not akin to property, and this is an area where your legitimate interest in having your kids be stupid is subsumed by your kid's greater interest in having an education, something society has decided is sufficiently important to enforce. (And, in my view, correctly).

    It's been repeatedly shown how bad state run public school educations are for most children compared to private or homeschooling. So it's OK for the state to make your kids stupid but not for a citizen to do the same?

  • jj||

    state laws and such aren't done for individuals, but masses.

    I've never seen a mass that isn't made up completely of individuals. Have you?

  • SIV||


    IIRC Blackwater is doing stuff to Iraqis like killing them and they are a private corporation with permission from the US government to kill Iraqis.


    Off Topic, does anyone know how Blackwater employees(or other private security) can obtain post-86 full auto weapons? Aren't they restricted to public military and law enforcement?

  • Les||

    On the other end, I don't see a fundie parent giving a better education than a Governor's/magnet School.

    Though I despise fundamentalism as a spiritual/philosophical belief, those kids often receive excellent instruction in reading, writing, and math. (Of course, they're utterly fucked when it comes to science and sociology.)

    The primary practical benefit to homeschooling is the teacher/student ratio.

  • ||

    I recommend John Taylor Gatto:

    http://johntaylorgatto.com/

    and
    lots of original documents where the government is talking about how to dumb down the American public.

    http://americandeception.com

  • Franklin Harris||

    In 3rd grade, American students rank in the middle of the pack among industrialized nations in reading, math, and science. By the 12th grade, they score at the bottom.

    There you have it: Nine years of government schooling turns American children into idiots.

    You want to fix education? Fire all of the teachers and burn down the schools.

  • ||

    Personally speaking, I am a home schooled kid. I am 18 now and almost done with school. I feel that I've received an excellent education, and that my social skills are fine. On the subject of social skills, you're going to get people with good social skills and bad no matter what you do, and I don't think I've seen any numbers saying that home schoolers are worse off in the field of social skills. Two home schooled guys I know ran their own computer business and did quite well. They took their SATs and started community college at 16. Now they both have good jobs already at the age of 19. Another home schooled guy I know started community college at 16 and is transferring to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs before the fall. These are not stupid kids.

    I am a pretty diehard Libertarian, and I love science. My home schooling has nothing to do with my parents wanting to keep me away from the big bad evils of evolution. I certainly know of families that have home schooled their kids to "protect" them from science and pop culture, but as much as I disagree with them, they should have that right.

    As someone else mentioned, running a system where you register with a private school that checks up on your work while still allowing you to be taught at home works. That's what my family does. I send in completed essays, etc. I have 225 hours of community service I must do, and so on. I am worried for my sister, though. While I am almost out of the house, she is still 15. This crackdown on home schooling over the past few years has been very disturbing. Hopefully I am not the last of a dying breed.

    I'm disgusted with what has happened here. I literally do feel nauseous over it. :x

    Good luck to all the home schooling families in California, and around the country.

  • jj||

    Should homeschooling be more strictly monitored because of the latter? Or less strictly monitored because of the former?

    Unless there is evidence of abuse there should be NO monitoring of homeschoolers. I grew up in a family of ten in Africa. I wore hand-me-downs and didn't have access to half of the amenities that most Americans take for granted. I worked my way through college and became an engineer at one of the most prestigious companies in the US. I'm more concerned about government intrusion, which almost always proves to be more damaging, than I am about a shoddy education which can always be corrected by the individual when they leave home.

    I'm almost certain that every child in the US today has access to more educational materials than just about all of the founding fathers did.

  • ||

    Franklin Harris-

    International comparisons are deceptive since our high school system is entirely different from Europe. They are more likely to kick their morons out in middle school while here, almost everyone goes to high school.

  • Zeb||

    Some kids are just stupid and won't do well anywhere. Others are smart and will do well and learn a lot in any case. Too many people try to blame/credit schools for this.

  • ||

    Though I despise fundamentalism as a spiritual/philosophical belief, those kids often receive excellent instruction in reading, writing, and math.

    Yeah, the ones I've known have absolutely pwned at the ol' reading, writing and arithmetic. But yes, when it comes to science, they're pretty much clueless.

  • Christopher Monnier||

    > So it's OK for the state to make your kids stupid but not for a citizen to do the same?

    It should never be OK for anyone or anything to make kids stupid. Obviously.

    Bad teachers should be fired, kids should be able to go to whatever school is best for them, and parents who want to homeschool their kids should have to prove some basic proficiency at providing an education.

  • ||

    I wasn't homeschooled, but I learned most of what I did from my parents (and I went to a semi-rural public school that is considered pretty good). Neither had the credentials to be a teacher... my dad had a BA in Interpersonal Communications (has since gotten his MBA, but not while I was in K-12 education), and my mom never went to college (although her SAT score was almost identical to my dad's, and was a valedictorian of her high school class).

    Simply put, educating little ones is less a matter of formal training or how much you know, and more so of how much effort you are willing to put into education. Parents, needless to say, usually have a greater incentive to educate their children than a union stooge who has a guaranteed position ever will. And the early years, where even a slow-witted person would be miles ahead of the child's level and be able to help them with concepts, are the most critical... with solid development of the fundamentals like reading and communication, a child can even largely teach themselves after a while.

    Needless to say, none of that formation happens in a public education setting on a large scale, and thereby children are deprived of the critical thinking and comprehension skills needed to help them navigate modern society on their own. (Hmm, makes sense why government would be wanting a bunch of dullard zombies now, doesn't it?)

  • ||

    If the government can substitute its judgment for mine in education, I suppose diet is next. Sorry son, the state says no chips.

  • ||

    On the subject of social skills--public school would be great for that if your idea of having "social skills" was to be a 19th century factory worker.

  • ||

    The only thing that is meant by a¨"credentialed teacher" is that the teacher has taken a bunch of courses in educational theory.

    It does not mean that the teacher actually KNOWS anything worth teaching.

    I remember my horror one time when I overheard a Education Student at my university and realized she did not even understand Newton´s Laws of Motion in a fundamental sense. (Specifially, it was clear that she did not realize that when a force is exerted on an object, there is an opposing force.)

    I´d be less unhappy about the monopoly held by the teacher´s unions in most jurisdictions if they had to get a BSc or a BA or even a trade school diploma before they went for their teacher´s certificate.

  • ||

    We must get those children into public schools so their pictures can be posted on the intertubes!

  • ||

    look, the law as it stands is fair; **requiring** that everyone's children be educated while physically in government institutions 40 hours a week, 9 months a year, for 13 years, by unionized teachers in a politicized system is just one more flavor of government coersion and erosion of reasonable individual rights.

    I'm not simply railing against government schools. I got a decent education in a public school system, despite the built-in indoctrination; almost any extended type of education today will likely involve a lot of time spent learning how to follow rules, learning about the various societal and legal authorities under whose jurisdiction you sit, being instructed to sit still and do what you're told. It isn't always wrong. But parents should have the right to educate their children themselves; requiring that the kids prove that they learned a basic core of material seems like a fair enough compromise in today's America.

  • robc||

    To live his life in his own way, to call his house his castle, to enjoy the fruits of his own labour, to educate his children as his conscience directs, to save for their prosperity after his death -- these are wishes deeply ingrained in civilised man. --- C. S. Lewis in Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State

    (Bolding is mine)

  • ||

    i agree with madmikefisk

  • Les||

    After all, we make you demonstrate an ability to drive before you can get behind the wheel, and primary education is considerably more serious than driving.

    I couldn't disagree more! Not having read Moby Dick or knowing the periodic table has never killed anybody.

    tend to feel some sympathy for what appears to be the general thrust of the California law -- if you want to homeschool your kids, you need to demonstrate some basic profiency so you're not shafting your kids. That's not what their law says, but I suspect if it had been actually applied it would have been long ago modified to something reasonable -- demonstrate an ability to homeschool your kids, and you can.

    This presumes that the state is capable of measuring what makes a good teacher. As a former teacher, I believe there's no evidence that this is the case. When there is evidence that individual homeschooling families are doing worse than state-run schools, I think there is a compelling need to examine that and give the kids an opportunity for a better education. But until there's any evidence that homeschooled kids as a whole are doing worse than state-schooled kids, why would we turn to the state, which is already failing in education, to determine who's going to be a good homeschooling teacher?

  • shecky||

    FWIW, this is amusing:
    http://tinyurl.com/26buou
    and
    http://tinyurl.com/328xzo

    I liked this:
    Five things to remember:
    1. Know your material.
    2. Be Confident.
    3. Communicate well.
    4. Be thorough.
    5. Pray your exhibit will witness to non-Christian visitors.

  • Dave B.||

    International comparisons are deceptive since our high school system is entirely different from Europe. They are more likely to kick their morons out in middle school while here, almost everyone goes to high school.

    No one's saying that American high schools wouldn't be better if attempts at teaching weren't constantly thwarted by hordes of students with no desire to be in the room.

    I hope you don't think that your observation supports the idea of expanding the group of people forced into public schools.

  • ||

    credentialed teacher babysitter

  • jj||

    Yeah, the ones I've known have absolutely pwned at the ol' reading, writing and arithmetic. But yes, when it comes to science, they're pretty much clueless.

    By "science," and the previous commenter's allusion to sociology, I guess you mean Evolution. No fundie I've ever know has been against the hard sciences, and actually do exceptionally well in them. Regarding sociology, I agree with the Objectivists, most of it is propaganda anyway.

  • Principal Zerotolerance||

    Think of all the kids that I'm currently not stripsearching "for drugs"!

    Mmm... nubile homeschoolers...

  • ||

    My sister taught me how to read her books when I was 4, I was doing 4th grade math by 5. I'm no savant, I just had a good teacher - a 10 year old.

    I always noticed this sort of stuff. It's almost as if 10 year olds have a better grasp on interacting with 5 year olds then 30-40 year olds. Ditto for 14 year olds and 10 year olds.

    Esp in elemntary school, when older kids would come into help or act as teacher's aides, they ALWAYS seemed to be able to teach or show us something interesting and genuinely educational that the teacher didn't/couldn't

    I'm not saying that you can replace all kindergarten teachers with 10 year olds, but getting the older kids to help teach the younger ones can benefit everyone. Done right, you can grade the older ones on knowledge transfer rather then just retention and this may encourage them to pay attention and/or ask better questions.

  • shecky||

    By "science," and the previous commenter's allusion to sociology, I guess you mean Evolution. No fundie I've ever know has been against the hard sciences, and actually do exceptionally well in them.

    Evolution is hard science.

  • ||

    Off Topic, does anyone know how Blackwater employees(or other private security) can obtain post-86 full auto weapons? Aren't they restricted to public military and law enforcement?

    Blackwater folks (and anyone else) overseas can carry whatever the local law allows. Although efforts have been made in this direction, US jurisdiction still does not extend into other nations.

    Alternatively, Blackwater could probably easily qualify as a Class III dealer, retain ownership of all those weapons, and simply allow their people to use them.

  • Les||

    Bad teachers should be fired, kids should be able to go to whatever school is best for them, and parents who want to homeschool their kids should have to prove some basic proficiency at providing an education.

    Why is this (expensive, intrusive) requirement necessary when there's zero evidence to suggest that homeschooled kids are doing worse than state-schooled kids?

    And to whom should this proficiency be proved? Who defines it? Obviously, the state would. And what evidence is there that the state knows what it means to be a "proficient" teacher?

  • Dave B.||

    Don't you know that hard science is defined as the subset of science that everyone agrees with? Think things like when you drop things, they fall and the sun is hot.

  • highnumber||

  • highnumber||

    All better?

  • highnumber||

    Aaaarrrgghhhh!!!!!!!!

    The server! It's the server!!!

  • Les||

    No fundie I've ever know has been against the hard sciences, and actually do exceptionally well in them.

    Biology is a hard science. So are astronomy and geology. Fundamentalists (by which I mean, Biblical literalists) reject these sciences.

  • ||

    By "science," and the previous commenter's allusion to sociology, I guess you mean Evolution.


    Evolution is no small part of science. It is the foundation of modern biology. The age of the earth, the Big Bang, etc, are also part of the hard sciences - and also things that fundies don't necessarily want their kids to know about. And I reiterate: as far as I'm concerned, they have that right. They may be able to BS their way through a test on it, but they don't really understand the material because, having seen the text books home schooled fundies use, biology and the big bang are not dealt with realistically. It's more like this vague, "Oh yes, we must always put God's word before anyone else's and so if anything conflicts with it, it must be wrong" sort of stuff.

  • ||

    Who broke it?

  • highnumber||

    Marshall, you work wonders!

  • ||

    Hooray! I fixed it!

  • ||

    Yeah, it was a pain. I found out that if I took out the first italic tag and just left the closing tag, it fixed my problems. Problems with the post, I mean. Not life in general.

  • highnumber||

    Marshall,
    I tried that. it didn't work. You have special powers.

    All hail our newest king, Marshall!

  • Evil Overlord||

  • robc||

    hopefully ending the italics test test

  • ||

    lol... The evil overlord is about 4 minutes behind the rest of us.

  • ||

    Mwahaha. I was home schooled, after all. (:

  • LarryA||

    How is this different than when Native American and Australian Aborigine children were forcibly sent to government schools for a "white" education?

    The Native American and Australian Aborigine children learned to read and write.

    My reading group ran an annual short story contest for elementary and junior high kids for several years. The home school entries always compared favorably with the best of the hand-picked public/private school stories. The home-scholars rated particularly high in imagination.

    I´d be less unhappy about the monopoly held by the teacher's unions in most jurisdictions if they had to get a BSc or a BA or even a trade school diploma before they went for their teacher's certificate.

    I'd be happier if they had to successfully hold a private-sector job for a couple of years.

    if you want to home school your kids, you need to demonstrate some basic proficiency so you're not shafting your kids.

    I'll buy this as soon as the education establishment can demonstrate that its certified teachers are competent by producing well-educated graduates. In which case most of the home schools won't be needed.

  • ||

    "So what we do is set up a private school with a credentialed teacher on staff. Enroll in the school then continue teaching your children at home."

    Actually, these people *did* that. Sunland Christian, or some such, was the "private school" where they took their tests. Court found that was insufficient - that they weren't actually *attending* a private school.

    "Every home schooled person I have ever met had a fucking great education, and knew far more than your average public school kid."

    Not the ones I've known. The two home-schooling families (6 kids between them) that I knew growing up both had too many kids to afford Christian school, but were unwilling to send the kids to public. So not-very-educated moms were trying to homeschool the kids.

    In one family, the older girl (who had private school through 4th grade), did fine. But her younger brother had a problem reading, and when he was old enough to be in 8th grade he still couldn't pass the 3rd-grade reading test.

    In the other family, a room was set aside as a classroom. The plan was for mom to spend 4 hours each morning teaching school. Never happened. Some days one of the kids would be feeling bad, and she'd let the other kids run so she could look after that one. Most days, she'd start, but the kids would whine and moan and beg and complain, and she'd give up after an hour or two. Best thing I can say about that family is that after a year of this, they gave up and went back home and put the kids back in the school they'd previously attended in Wisconsin (which they could afford because they got a subsidy as church members) . . .

  • Dave B.||

    I'll buy this as soon as the education establishment can demonstrate that its certified teachers are competent by producing well-educated graduates. In which case most of the home schools won't be needed.

    You're missing out on the entire mindset behind the plan here. People don't homeschool their children because they want them to be successful. They homeschool because they're small-minded and ignorant.

  • highnumber||

    I´d be less unhappy about the monopoly held by the teacher's unions in most jurisdictions if they had to get a BSc or a BA or even a trade school diploma before they went for their teacher's certificate.

    I'd be happier if they had to successfully hold a private-sector job for a couple of years.



    And I'd be happier if schmoes like you guys didn't decide what qualifies someone to teach my kid. :)

  • Sam Grove||

    I recommend Thomas Sowell's Inside American Education.

    Kids learn avidly if you don't get in their way.

    Traditional schools do a number of things that guarantee less than optimum results:

    1 Age segregation
    2 Compulsory attendance
    3 Random socialization by peers
    4 Educational bureaucracy
    5 Indoctrination
    6 Regimented instruction

  • Abdul||

    The only thing that is meant by a¨"credentialed teacher" is that the teacher has taken a bunch of courses in educational theory.

    It's not that simple. Public schools waive credentials when it suits their purpose e.g., hiring Teach For America students. Many state and local education agencies will grant you a provisional certificate if you can meet a hard-to-satisfy demand (science or foreign language). Private schools are allowed to operate with minimal or no credentialing (my Catholic school teachers often just had a 4 year degree--and some of the older nuns might not have had that).

    So this court ruling makes it legal for schools--public or private--to waive credentialing requirements, but not for parents.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Anyone who has obtained (or attempted to obtain) a teaching certificate knows what kinda BULLSHIT is involved.

    They make you get paperwork in order to fill out the paperwork. They make u take this class and that class.

    Those who can DO...Those who can't TEACH

  • ||

    @ Jen:
    I understand what you mean, but judging home schoolers based on two families is a little unfair, both when one is saying good things about home schooling and bad. There are pros and cons to everything, but the fundamental issue here, for me, is the right for parents to educate their children how they see fit.

  • darwin\'s ape||

    99.9999999999999999999 percent of jobs don't require familiarity with darwinian evolution. Is it a waste of otherwise valuable education time? I don't know. I sometimes suspect that libertarians (who would defend to the death the crack-head's right to screw up his brain) would gladly imprison fundies in cells that broadcast the wonders of non-guided materialistic darwinianism.

  • ||


    1 Age segregation
    2 Compulsory attendance
    3 Random socialization by peers
    4 Educational bureaucracy
    5 Indoctrination
    6 Regimented instruction



    Once again Sowell nails it.

  • ||

    Exactly, Marshall. It's great for the governments to WANT good things to happen (ie everybody gets a great education), but they believe that if they think long enough that they will get a solution that is decent enough that everybody must follow. I'm not asking to close all public schools, so why must you close down a home school?

  • ||

    darwin's ape:

    I think it's just sour grapes for things being the other way for so long. If that hadn't been the case, I think most people would talk more about simple equality instead of fantasizing about putting "fundies" in the same "prison" that they've been in for a while.

  • ||

    The whole point being, that I do not believe the state or government should have the authority to take away your right to homeschool. Unless they can prove you are flat out ABUSING your children, they need to butt out. I get the whole "social" argument all the time. What many people don't realize is that most homeschoolers do not just sit in their house in a little prison cell, doing schoolwork that teaches creationism or something. For instance, my daughter who has been HS'ed since she was 6 is now 13 and two grades ahead. We have her tested by the same tests public schoolers take every year. I took her out of 1st grade because of the lack of education and the huge class size. There were 40 children in her room, and she was bored. It was a waste of everyone's time to leave her there. She gets lots of extra-curriculars and meets with peers all the time. We are not religious and that is not even figured into her education. But if we were religious, that would be okay, too. That should be our choice, as her parents. Should we not be allowed to instill our values in her?

  • Tacos mmm...||

    "What's best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher," he said.


    What's best for a child is to be raised by a credentialed parent.

    It's a comin'.

  • darwin\'s ape||

    You're probably right, Danny. :(

  • TallDave||

    Time for the Governator to lock-n-load a ballot initiative and referendumize the socialists on this issue.

  • jj||

    Agreed Rachel S and Danny.

  • ||

    While I'm home schooled now, by the way, I should mention that I was in private schools until 4th grade. In 1st grade alone, the minority of the class, of which I was a part, was not on ritalin. Bullies ran unchecked at recess (and it's not like it was exactly hard to watch the kids because the school wasn't huge). I once got smacked in the face with a huge log. Bleeding profusely, my teacher then assigned the kid who did it to sit next to me because I was a "good influence."

    I realize that life has its bullies, but especially at such a young age, a school/parent should be around to keep an eye on their kids and keep them safe from major physical harm. How is that not child abuse but homeschooling is?

  • ||

    jen,

    There will always be bad homeschooling stories, just as there will always be bad public school stories. But so far, there's no evidence to suggest that homeschooled kids as a whole are doing worse than public school kids.

    And as far as reading at "grade level," people often forget that these "grade levels" are developed not to better educate individual children, but to educate great masses of children with a factory-like efficiency (not that that's working so well, of course).

    Just like some kids learn to swim when they're 3 and some learn when they're 10, different kids are best ready to learn different things at different times. Forcing them to be at an almost arbitrarily selected level in any subject for the sake of the machine that is public education (and then telling them that they're failing for not meeting the education quota of that machine) is one of the many reasons public school fails so many kids.

  • ||

    Here's my anecdotal take, with the ultimate single family sample--of my three stepchildren, one is being homeschooled, one is in private school, one is in public school. What I can say authoritatively is that the one in public school is being taught at a slower pace, has a lot more "busy" work, and is being exposed to some simply shocking behavior by his lovely peers.

    Frankly, the cultural and social environment of many public schools is on par with that of the local DMV.

  • ||

    I can see the concern that some families will "home school" their kids but not really give them any education, and that's not good for society. But my guess is that is a very small group: if you're that lazy, you'll just send your kids to public school to get them out of your hair.

    A system of period testing to ensure that they're advancing would suffice (applied to all kids, homeschooled or not). And parents with the energy and focus to homeschool will pretty much always do a much better job one on one than even the best teachers who are working with 30+ kids.

    Unfortunately, the teachers' unions are too powerful to allow this.

  • ||

    Oh quit your whining, Marshall. Kids could never be abused at a public or a private school.

    Ever.

    (Is anybody convinced?)

  • ||


    Frankly, the cultural and social environment of many public schools is on par with that of the local DMV.



    Until 7th grade. After that, the social environment is more reminiscent of hormone-infused a minimum security prison.

  • ||

    Okay Danny. You've changed my mind. You're right. No abuse could ever take place in a public or private school. :D

  • Dave B.||

    A system of period testing to ensure that they're advancing would suffice (applied to all kids, homeschooled or not).

    And here I thought that No Child Left Behind would have cured most people of the notion that standardized testing produces good results by now.

  • hamilton||

    My wife homeschools our kids, and we're not fundies (far from it actually). But the fundies have set up networks and resource kits that can be pretty useful for the techie-nerd types like us that are homeschooling because the schools are so awful. Clearly one can't argue with their organizational skills. And my wife uses the "Beware: Evolutionary Content" tags as indicators for which books to buy.

    One think I do really like about homeschooling the kids is the opportunity to teach critical thinking and skeptical reasoning. Not to mention some finer aspects of debating styles, the better to identify bullshit. Sometimes I think the school systems would do a lot better by going back to teaching the trivium.

    All this being said, I did read the court ruling and the cited passage in their constitution, and oddly enough they may be technically correct (if not morally/reasonably so). As a prior poster said, modification of the state constitution may be in order here.

  • ||

    It looks like you added hormone-infused after writing that sentence, huh Cesar? :)

    (I like pointing out stuff like that. It makes me feel smart, but makes me look like the idiot, slightly anti-social engineering type I am. Oh well.)

  • ||

    Credentialed teacher here. BSEd. Never taught, 'cause I was much older (student teaching at age 40) and couldn't stomach what I saw around me. I had already taught my 2 kids to read before they started school, I was suspicious of the public schools. The teachers I worked with were excellent union representatives.
    I went to business after graduation and was able to retire at 55, 15 years ago. Public schools are not public (try enrolling yourself in an algebra class). Private government institutions, daytime youth training facilitys.

  • Russ 2000||

    Marshall, you work wonders!

    And the homeschooled child shall lead them...

  • Gov. Schwarzenegger||

    It's not a tutor!

  • ||

    darwin's ape,

    Even though I love learning about evolution and I think you can't understand biology without it, I don't think kids should be required by the state to know it in order to have a high school diploma.

  • ||

    Your social skills give you away, home schooler Danny.

    @ hamilton, yes, I agree. Home schooling has given my parents plenty of time to teach critical thinking to my sister and I in a way that they could not have if I'd been in a classroom all day. Spending a third of your day at school and then coming home to your parents being all like, "Think critically!!" probably isn't particularly effective for most kids. In fact, the public/private schools in general cause a lot of kids to just shut off and ignore their parents in a way that home schooled kids don't, simply because of their learning environment.

  • Ventifact||

    Does 2+2 wind up equaling 5 when taught by someone without the official credentials?



    You've got that all mixed up.

  • ||

    Marshall, you're right - I shouldn't (and really don't) judge all homeschoolers by two bad examples. But the fact that those two situations were allowed to exist is a problem. The one family is self-correcting - chances are those kids weren't hurt too bad by losing a year of school. But in the other family, the boy who didn't get help dealing with his reading problem probably never overcame it. And the state of Arizona was apparently okay with that. At what point does it become an issue of HIS rights rather than his parents' rights?

    Les, you've got a point about grade level, but this poor kid had a problem. It wasn't just that he didn't read as well as other kids his age - he was having serious problems reading, and could have benefited from the kind of special help my brother got from the public school, where they analyzed the specific problem (in his case, he was dropping from one line to another and missing whole sections of sentences) and taught him how to overcome it.

    Although, come to think of it, I knew a kid in private school - the same one his sister had attended - who clearly had dyslexia and was simply being passed up the elementary school grades with no help for his problem, so just sending him off to a private school may not have helped him, either. In both cases (home-schooling and private schools) at what point does a child's right to have a basic education trump the parents' right to say "but I don't want my kids exposed to ideas (or children) I don't like"?

  • ||

    Marshall, earlier you said you were a libertarian. I'm wondering to what degree your parents influenced you in that regard and what other sources led you in that direction.

  • ||

    Actually I was public schooled the whole way! I was always a sort of reject, though--at least socially. I got along with various people, but nobody ever claimed me as in their circle. I found out at the end of my freshman year, as I was leaving New Mexico for Arizona, that I was rejected from social circles because they all perceived me as a goodie-two-shoes and that I'd tell on anybody that did anything wrong.

    Here in AZ, I was still out of the loop, but I played tennis and got involved at my church and gained friends that way.

    BTW, I'm glad I wasn't home schooled. My mom would have tried to instill even more crazy religious notions in me, and it would have taken me even longer to come to maturity.

  • Ventifact||

    Or have we come to the point that the purpose of this country is that every American (able-bodied/intelligent or not) will contribute to society/government whether we like it or not.



    Most definitely. It's the natural counterpart to the fact that "society/government" will contribute to every American in oh so many generous ways.

  • Leopold_Leopold||

    My wife and I are both certified teachers. She left teaching to stay home to raise our kids. Where would that leave us?

  • ||

    I don't know where it leaves you, but its pretty sad commentary on public schools when even the teachers don't trust them.

  • ||

    Ventifact:

    Ah, so it's give and take. So, if I don't want to take, will they please stop "giving"?

  • ||

    Does anybody know the answer to Morat's question - is the decision, legally speaking, wrong? Does it contradict anything in California law or its constitution? Doesn't change the inherent badness of it, but it does make a difference.

  • robc||

    A system of period testing to ensure that they're advancing would suffice (applied to all kids, homeschooled or not).

    I like this. If they fail the test while attending a public school we should force their parents to homeschool instead!

  • ||


    At what point does it become an issue of HIS rights rather than his parents' rights?


    I think when demonstrable physical abuse can be shown, that's abuse. It gets hard to determine what is and isn't abuse of a kid when it comes to education. Obviously a kid who's 4 years "behind" where the government says he should be is in a bad way. If that's considered abuse (and one can argue it is), then schools in the inner cities who cannot fix this problem themselves have no place to be lecturing a minority of home schoolers who fail at teaching on the subject of bad teaching.

    @ Les:
    My mother is pretty liberal, and my father is more of a paleoconservative. I actually find myself arguing with both of them a lot about politics. They've taught me more to think critically than what to think. So a how, not a what.

    @ Danny:
    Yeah, I can see how being out of the house would be nice for a lot of kids. I'm fortunate enough to have two pretty understanding, decent parents. It's funny, because of all my friends (gasp, friends!), I have the two sanest parents. Home schooled or not, my friends have some very out-there parents. So I've been very fortunate. *phew*

  • ||

    Incidentally, our homeschooling has nothing to do with religion. However, there's no doubt that many homeschooling parents do so to avoid the specter of modern biology, cosmology, geology, etc. My wife has seen some real humdinger battles on the homeschooling discussion groups on precisely that topic. In our particular situation, we have a bigger problem undoing the anti-science taught by the private school.

    As for the negatives of homeschooling, does public school really exorcise all of the bad stuff learned at home, when the home environment is bad? I'd say that's a flat out nonstarter. It doesn't. By that token, the government should take away all of our kids and raise them. Like in Sparta (but that would be madness).

  • ||

    In both cases (home-schooling and private schools) at what point does a child's right to have a basic education trump the parents' right to say "but I don't want my kids exposed to ideas (or children) I don't like"?

    jen, what if parents are teaching their kids to love Hitler and all he stood for? What can we do? I think these are the accepted dangers of living in a free society.

    I think whether kids go to public school or not, the level and quality of their education will mostly depend on the level of participation of the parents. Public schools are increasingly filled with kids whose parents think that if their teenaged kids can't read, that it's the school's fault. There are also a wide variety of dysfunctional kids who aren't served by any part of the government that's supposed to serve them, whether it's the schools or social services. I think all we can do is treat kids and families like individuals. Where there's a problem, we do what we can without affecting the rights of other parents to raise their kids the way they see fit.

  • ||

    By the way, I should add to my reply to Jen that I knew a home schooled guy who started at a community college when he was twenty and had to learn pre-algebra then. So this was a guy learning the sort of math an 8th or 9th grader would learn as a 20 year old. A few years later, after four years in school, he has a decent degree and is happy managing lights and sound at a nice theatre. So while it probably wasn't great that he was so behind like that, it all worked out in the end, and he got what he wanted because he worked for it. And I think that's cool.

  • Ventifact||

    Although homeschoolers make up approximately 2 percent of the U.S. school-age population, they made up 12 percent of the 251 spelling bee finalists and 5 percent of the 55 geography bee finalists.



    While I recognize these as legitimate and impressive accomplishments, I think we have to concede that spelling and geography are conceptually easy to understand and that winning these bees is essentially an act of obsessive memorization. My parents are smart and educated, but their abilities to teach me material and expose me to ideas were limited to what they themselves knew well. (I was partially homeschooled.)

    Of course, the one central thing they taught me was a high regard for thought and knowledge. This is the most educationally empowering "thing" that can be "taught" to anybody. I think the very act of a parent personally directing a child's education sends a strong message to the child to value the mind highly. Of course, this message can be sent without going so far as becoming your child's teacher. But I do think the prevalent view among American parents is that teaching kids is the teacher's "job" and parents need offer input about educational scope only on moralistic grounds.

  • ||

    Marshall, that's awesome. You're a lucky fella. I was afraid I'd hear tales of candle-lit ceremonies and chanting at the altar of Milton Friedman. ;)

  • ||

    Like in Sparta (but that would be madness)



    oic wut u did thur.

    But I agree with you - given all the warnings Creationists have tried to put into public schools' science text books, I don't see why home schoolers are suddenly a target for being anti-science nutjobs.

  • ||

    @ Les:
    No, but I did just turn 18 and got a collection of Ayn Rand pornos as one of my presents.

  • Ventifact||

    [I]f you want to homeschool your kids, you need to demonstrate some basic profiency so you're not shafting your kids. That's not what their law says, but I suspect if it had been actually applied it would have been long ago modified to something reasonable -- demonstrate an ability to homeschool your kids, and you can.



    In WA, homeschooled kids take a standardized test every year to demonstrate they are not languishing. It's relatively simple, reliable, and hassle-free (in the grand scheme). Why are professional "educators" so averse to such tests for their own students?

  • Abdul||

    of my three stepchildren, one is being homeschooled, one is in private school, one is in public school.

    Prolib,

    Wait 'til the government finds out you're running an unlicensed sociology lab out of your own home!

  • ||

    I'm with you, Les. Marshall is a lucky "kid".

    "They've taught me more to think critically than what to think. So a how, not a what."

    Marshall, I plan on parenting that exact same way, and I think about it often. If my kids come to a different conclusion than me due to diligent study and observation, how in the hell could I stand there and tell them that they are flat-out wrong? The worst I'd do is debate them over it, but I'd probably lose if I've done my job right. :)

  • ||

    Marshall, I never knew Ayn was a swinger. The mind reels.

  • ||

    I'm not a master debater, but I'll admit to at least being a cunning linguist.

  • Ventifact||

    If the government can substitute its judgment for mine in education, I suppose diet is next. Sorry son, the state says no chips.



    There's a precedent for your comparison.

  • ||

    Ventifact: I think that's what is called a "rhetorical question". Granted, most public school students anymore probably don't know what that means, either, which is probably why their teachers are trying to "protect" them from the test :)

  • ||

    @ Danny:
    Yes, my dad is a very high-strung guy who won a numerous amount of college debate tournaments, including a national championship. And so I still remember the first time when I "beat" him in a debate. That wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't been taught to think for myself. I think it's a major self-esteem boost when a kid can step out from the shadow of their parents.

    @ Les:
    Maybe it was just look-a-like stuff. Now I'm mad. >:

  • ||

    From The Detroit Literacy Coalition website.

    Q. What is the functional illiteracy rate in Michigan?
    A. About 18 percent.

    Q. What is the functional illiteracy rate in Detroit?
    A. 47% of metro Detroiters are reportedly functional illiterate.

    Q. What is the unemployment rate in Detroit?
    A. About 10.3%

    Q. What is the high school graduation rate in Detroit?
    A. There is no accurate data reported but it hovers about 65 - 70%.*

    Who really thinks that home schooled children are doing worse than those taught by a sinecured, credentialed teacher.

    *I've seen figures as low as 50%. Apparently accurate record keeping is not in the education professional's toolbox.

  • ||

    In WA, homeschooled kids take a standardized test every year to demonstrate they are not languishing. It's relatively simple, reliable, and hassle-free (in the grand scheme). Why are professional "educators" so averse to such tests for their own students?

    See, I still don't like this. Standardized tests are, I think, utterly arbitrary and based on what the state thinks their massive numbers of kids need to know at any given stage so as to keep the bureaucratic wheels in motion.

    It's still a way for the state to tell you that they have their eye on you and they know what your children need to know at every stage of their development, which is simply nonsense.

    We may actually move to Washington next year, so I'll probably have to find some way to deal with it, despite the nausea.

  • ||

    The funny thing is that I've never debated in my life. I've dabbled in it individually, especially the basics of fallacies and such. I just think that it's a fundamental skill for all people to be able to formulate an argument and to argue for its realization.

  • ||

    That's what I was thinking, J. If it's child abuse to teach your kids at home because they're languishing somehow, how can it be that teachers at inner-city schools are not also at least somehow improperly trained and at most child abusers?

    I heard those numbers recently, too. As someone who used to live in Kalamazoo, and spent some time in southeast Michigan as well, I'm not surprised.

  • Abdul||

    Morat and Notthatdavid;

    The decision is here if you want to read it: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B192878.PDF

    The basis for the decision is not the CA constitution, but the CA education code and two cases from the 1950's.

  • ||

    If yIf you live in Detroit, pretty much any parent would most likely be better than the public schools there.

    Cesar, I'm ashamed to acknowledge that you're right.

  • ||

    J Sub:

    Isn't it funny that the worse the numbers get the more they add "weasel words" like "reportedly" and "hovers around"... As if they don't even believe their data, or they want to instill doubt in the reader of that data.

  • ||

    @ Danny:

    I did actual Lincoln-Douglas debating for a few months, but it was just too stressful for me. I could write debate cases fine, and I could present okay, but it's really more terrifying speaking in public than it should be. ):

    @ Les:

    I used to have to take tests every other year when I lived in Michigan. I was ahead in every area but math, where I was "grade level" (whatever that means). Math has always been my kryptonite, and it's not like being in a public school would have fixed that. But that's not the point. What I mean is that yearly testing is something that, I think, a lot of home schooling parents are trying to avoid and I totally understand why you're hesitant about it. Here in Colorado, it's not required and the state mostly leaves home schooled kids alone. Although I did recently see a reason article about a family in Grand Junction... One sec... Ack, I can't find the article. But there was an issue there relating to home schoolers being busted by the state for some trumped up BS thing.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The judge was correct; there is no constitutional right to homeschool children.

    Regardless of the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling, that is what the law is.

  • Ventifact||

    I got a decent education in a public school system[...]; almost any extended type of education today will likely involve a lot of time spent learning how to follow rules, learning about the various societal and legal authorities under whose jurisdiction you sit, being instructed to sit still and do what you're told.



    This paragraph offers two of the big reasons homeschools get the shaft. First of all, many folks from the urban/suburban upper middle class attend public schools that are "good" -- that is, they effectively channel students into college. Simultaneously those schools impart to students a strong notion of social structure. Thus the demographic that forms the core of progressive politics grows up to think that public education is an effective and necessary social edifice.

    They come to think of homeschoolers as elitists in essentially the same way people think of libertarians as elitists for wanting to do their own thing. In reality, they are ignorant elitists themselves who don't realize how lucky they were to pass through reasonably functional schools (which to rigorous examination often suck pretty badly anyway). (I'm not, btw, trying to say anything about sv in particular here.)

  • ||

    J sub D-

    Don't worry. At least you don't have a sitting member of the school board who conducted an "exorcism" on a student with a janitor. You know, like my city does.

  • ||

    Ah, here we go:
    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124269.html

  • Michael Ejercito||



    Off Topic, does anyone know how Blackwater employees(or other private security) can obtain post-86 full auto weapons? Aren't they restricted to public military and law enforcement?


    They get them in Somalia. A full AKM is available there for less than $20 US.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    # Tacos mmm... | March 6, 2008, 2:29pm | #

    ## "What's best for a child is to be
    ## taught by a credentialed teacher,"
    ## he said.

    # What's best for a child is to be
    # raised by a credentialed parent.

    # It's a comin'.

    Others may laugh now, but I agree with you, Tacos. Indeed, proposals to require parenting classes and various forms of state permission before one can have or raise children have been floated many times in the past several decades. They tend not to get much traction, but with each step taken by the State in cases such as the one we are discussing in this thread, the chances for good traction improve. Someday, enough people will no longer laugh at the idea, or think it absurd, and it will be a done deal.

  • Ventifact||

    Bullies ran unchecked at recess (and it's not like it was exactly hard to watch the kids because the school wasn't huge). I once got smacked in the face with a huge log. Bleeding profusely, my teacher then assigned the kid who did it to sit next to me because I was a "good influence."



    I went to Catholic elementary, where, if I reflect on it now, I realize the recesses were in actuality much more violent than the actual rules "on the books" should have led to. I now wonder if there wasn't some tendency to let us be a bit rough so we'd grow up to be good football players (the high school fed by our school was football-obsessed).

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    I was public schooled. My experiences in High School (in rural West Virginia) were good. The teachers basically gave me an independent study senior year for advanced physics, chemistry, and calculus classes, which was unusual at the time.

    Elementary school wasn't so good. I could read, write, and perform basic arithmetic well before I entered kindergarten (I know I could read when I was two, but I'm not sure about the timelines on everything). My first grade teacher was good; she gave me fourth grade math and advanced reading to work on, but the rest of my four years in elementary school they gave me the same stuff, to catch the rest of the kids up with me.

    I have a colleague in my department (Mathematics) who home schools his kids. It's pretty unstructured and the kids learn what they want to learn. His wife gets a religious exemption from certain testing as she claims a pagan belief I believe. He's an atheist and I kind of think she's mostly an atheist too, so I'm not quite sure about the pagan thing other than it means the kids get an education in a variety of mythological belief-systems (modern religions included along with the standard ancient Greek and Egyptian stuff).

    He and his wife don't pressure the kids to memorize and the studies are really completely directed by the children (currently, they're into botany). I'm betting that they'll wind up better educated than nearly anyone else by the time they're eighteen, though in fairness that could come as much from having a math professor and a veterinarian as parents as from just being homeschooled. The quality of education homeschooling provides is probably just like any more formal education in that the quality of the teachers (or parents as educators) and the desire of the students to learn makes more difference than the setting.

  • ||

    As far as standards and testing go, why must they be created, compelled, and administered by the state? If homeschooling parents want to know where their children stand, why not let them decide that? Furthermore, insofar as third parties (e.g., colleges) might want to know how well educated a homeschooled pupil might be, why not rely on a private form of certification? Like UL for kids ☺

  • ||

    Pro Libertate:

    A lot of my friends who have gone to school have started out in community colleges, or just by taking SATs. A lot of colleges are actually interested in home schooled kids because of the stereotypes about how well we spell (but I think I've dismissed that one today :p).

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Yet another clue as to where I work can be gleaned from my above post - it's not Liberty University - no atheists there!

  • ||

    I'm just reading down the thread and responding.

    Marshall, you're right - I shouldn't (and really don't) judge all homeschoolers by two bad examples. But the fact that those two situations were allowed to exist is a problem.

    As do my Detroit posts above. You have an example of two families. I have an example of 500,000 functionally illeterate* people. These people were overwhelmingly tauvght by credentialed educatorss. I went to public schools in the burbs. Good ones at that. It can be done right. It can also be FEMA'd.

    Show me numbers that indicate home schooled children are not as well educated as public schooled children. We're all internet wizards here, where is the non-teacher union funded study that backs up their claims to superiority? I'l read it.

    * Functional literatacy = Can read, understand and discuss this thread. It's not Chaucer.

  • Ventifact||

    Ah, so it's give and take. So, if I don't want to take, will they please stop "giving"?

    Danny -- to ensure all our freedoms, you will not have that choice to make.

  • Robert||

    From what I can tell from the news story, it looks like the question before the court was whether the Calif. constitution provided a right to home school per se, not whether home schooling was legal or illegal under the education law.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    J sub D:

    I'd guess that there may not be much in the way of mass studies on homeschooling versus public or private schooling. I'm not going to look for it (someone less lazy can do that). Even if some big studies of this sort exist, they may have problems that need looked into further. They probably won't divide the homeschoolers into the various groups that might be necessary to divine not only the differences between homeschooling and mass schooling but also within homeschooling of different types.

    Any non-lazy folks out there willing to summarize?

  • Ventifact||

    madmikefisk -- hah! I actually specifically remember my dad teaching me what a rhetorical question is.

  • ||

    I'm certainly comforted Ventifact. Thank you, and god bless all that take away our freedoms so that we can be free! I feel so liberated. No... wait... it was gas.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Oh and I'm not sure how I learned what I learned before I started school. I remember my dad teaching me a thing or two (not a pleasant experience), including shoe tying and a little math. I know part of how I learned was from the TV set. I learned a lot from Sesame Street and the Electric Company, obviously, but also from Schoolhouse Rock. I learned a thing or two from the Super Friends as well - mostly to try to make friends with alien species before fighting them.

  • ||

    SWDWTLHJ -

    I haven't found anything after an admittedly cursory search. If I get a wild hair up my ass, maybe I'll do some real research on it.

    If you can't document a problem, you have no business trying to correct it.

  • ||

    I would suggest the Court take a good read of Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) and

  • ||

    oops:

    I would suggest the Court take a good read of Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) and Pierce vs. Society of Sisters (1925) and then get back to me on that whole constitutional right

  • Vent||

    See, I still don't like this. Standardized tests are, I think, utterly arbitrary and based on what the state thinks their massive numbers of kids need to know at any given stage so as to keep the bureaucratic wheels in motion.

    It's still a way for the state to tell you that they have their eye on you and they know what your children need to know at every stage of their development, which is simply nonsense.



    In principle you are right. However, provided the homeschooled and professionally schooled student standards are the same, I will be satisfied, and fairly confident that this will present no significant obstacle to homeschoolers.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    J sub D:

    If you can't document a problem, you have no business trying to correct it.



    True enough. And even if the homeschoolers didn't do so well on average (with the exception of spelling and multiplication tables as someone earlier mentioned), I generally think they should be left alone.

    I guess I'd add one caveat to that - I think that the children should really be more in the driver's seat as far as their education goes than the parents. (At least they should once they're able to make that determination.) I realize that some kids might say no more learning for me, but those that do are probably going to be even less willing to learn if it's forced on them by teachers or parents.

  • ||

    Mwahaha. I was home schooled, after all. (:

    But yer head's on upside down.

    (and no, I didn'tread all the intervening comments to see if anybody beat me to it)

  • ||

    Marshall,

    Let me suggest the use of the lowercase thorn:

    :-þ


    It's less askew and more Icelandic. Incidentally, "thorn" in Icelandic is "þorn". Hmmm.

  • ||

    Someone Who Doesn't Want to Lose His Job,

    I don't know about that. I'm more of the old Roman school, where the parent (well, the father back then) was the absolute ruler. Where I part with that philosophy is that I think that the kids should be able to do what they want, once they are emancipated and weaned from the financial teat.

    As always, such discussions remind me of Baron von Trapp's family--before that meddling nun got involved.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Pro Lib,
    It's been forever since I saw "The Sound of Music". I don't remember ever seeing the movie, but my high school put on a play. I guess the rule illustrated therein is the same as that from "Fiddler on the Roof" (or at least part of it): kids will do what kids will do.

    Part of kids' making their own decisions is the financial ability to do so. The other part is the intellectual ability to do so. My view is that as each of these hurdles is jumped, kids will (and should) start deciding things for themselves. If an attempt is made to prevent them from doing so, it will ultimately be futile. Easing them into freedom (as they can handle it) is probably the best bet, as the lesson of their own freedom and responsibility is really one of the most important things for them to learn.

    I'd guess trying to teach them about freedom and personal responsibility from an authoritarian perspective (whether as a parent or a teacher) would be ultimately self-defeating.

  • Jennifer||

    it looks like the question before the court was whether the Calif. constitution provided a right to home school per se, not whether home schooling was legal or illegal under the education law.

    That's an even scarier implication: "If the constitution doesn't allow it, it is therefore forbidden."

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    If it's not in the Bill of Rights, you can't do it.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    It's nice that the Ninth covers virtually everything then! :o)

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    OK - getting dinner soon with a hot Psychology professor. It probably isn't a date - I don't know whether she's out of my league or not. But wish me luck anyway.

  • ||

    Take her in a manly way. With her prior written permission, of course.

    The Ninth is an inkblot. Or so I've been told.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Pro Lib,
    So you're friends with Bork! Is he really as much like C. Everett Koop as he seems?

    If she's interested, I doubt I'll need any written consent, as she's pretty vocally pro-sex. The problem is that I probably won't be able to tell if she's interested unless she makes the first move.

    I'm too much of a "nice guy" which I know isn't much of a dating strategy, but I can't be something I'm not, so that's the way it is.

  • ||

    From Firefly:

    KAYLEE: Wash, tell me I'm pretty. . . .
    WASH: Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.
    KAYLEE: 'Cause I'm pretty?
    WASH: 'Cause you're pretty.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    That was a great fuckin' show.

  • ||

    When on dates, ask yourself, "What would Jayne do?" Then do the opposite.

  • ||

    (but I think I've dismissed that one today :p).

    Dude, most college grads can't write as well as you do.

  • ||

    To make the issue even more absurd, where I live, out in rural California, the schools struggle to get anybody to teach at all, necessitating an emergency program where we have uncredentialed teachers at our public schools, as long as they're participating in a credentialing program.

    So even the public schools don't actually require credentials in certain situations.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    So no luck. She must be out of my league.

  • ||

    "they are reading Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis at pre-school and kindergarten age,"

    Reading Narnia at that young of an age might make sense. But Austen, WTF? A lot of high schoolers haven't as yet had the life experience (or knowledge of English history and early feminism) to understand what Austen was getting at in some of her books. The main point of learning to read great literature is not to build up your vocabulary so you can do well on SAT vocabulary sections; it's to engage in ideas that you can connect to - as you reflect on your own related experiences (or knowledge of other subjects such as history). I think more thought should be given not just to what we teach children but when we teach them that subject or topic.

    On another topic: my reading skills shot through the roof in the third grade when my school started using SRA cards. I enjoyed challenging myself to pass through the color-coded levels. Any homeschooling parent can pick up a kit of these cards.

  • uoo@ooop.com||

    All the requirements to teach, such as the state credentials, probably lower teaching quality more than raise it. I know many a talented and knowledgable educator who was driven away by the endless red tape. And many who didn't want to pass through it to begin with

  • Dave B.||

    uoo - Yeah, but it makes finding qualified teachers so easy. Just pick any credentialed person at random, easy success. No one needs to worry about the quality of teachers because they have a piece of paper certifying they're good. Since there must be an overlap between certified teachers and qualified teachers (one assumes), it must work.

  • ||

    I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the supply of available U-Haul trucks in California just went WAY down today...

  • ||

    California Homeschoolers, WELCOME TO THE FREE STATE PROJECT!

  • LarryA||

    One think I do really like about homeschooling the kids is the opportunity to teach critical thinking and skeptical reasoning. Not to mention some finer aspects of debating styles, the better to identify bullshit.

    And you wonder why California hates homescholars?

    at what point does a child's right to have a basic education trump the parents' right to say "but I don't want my kids exposed to ideas (or children) I don't like"?

    It might depend on whether the children were rowdy or felons.

  • ||

    a child's right to have a basic education

    See, to this Olde Schoole lib, that assertion means that the state may not interfere in the child's eduction. Thus, claiming that

    a child's right to have a basic education can trump the parents' right to say "but I don't want my kids exposed to ideas (or children) I don't like"?

    Is a non sequitur.


    Negative rights, not positive rights, people. Positive rights are the crack cocaine of statism.

  • Anonymous Californian||

    SMS

    "To make the issue even more absurd, where I live, out in rural California, the schools struggle to get anybody to teach at all, necessitating an emergency program where we have uncredentialed teachers at our public schools, as long as they're participating in a credentialing program."

    -You must live in the San Joaquin Valley: "The Appalachia of the West."

  • ||

    Thank God the Honorable Croskey finally got those kids into the hands of the people who are doing such a bang up job with our public schools. A bureaucrat will always do a better job than a caring parent, it just makes sense.

    I can't wait until we get the bureaucrats more involved in health care, it'll be a paradise. We in the US have created any number of smoothly running bureaucracies all born from the progressive instinct to do have someone else, do something about a problem.

    Home schoolers are trying to do something themselves and big government hates that. Organize people and tear it down.

  • Prickley||

    "rairoads=railroads"

    Thanks for the clarification, I thought you were taking dictation from Scooby Doo .

  • Sarah Rainsberger||

    A large Canadian report was released last fall compiling data from a variety of North American sources.

    It can be found here:
    http://www.fraserinstitute.org/Commerce.Web/publication_details.aspx?pubID=4932

    One of the most interesting findings I found was this:

    "Poorly educated parents who choose to teach their children at home produce better academic results for their children than public schools do. One study we reviewed found that students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school scored a full 55 percentage points higher than public school students from families with comparable education levels."

    Of course, there's a lot at play in this. You're probably talking about pretty spectacular moms, who without high school educations nonetheless decide that they're going to homeschool, probably even in the face of opposition from others who say they can't do it.

    You're also likely talking about schools that are written off as "dumping grounds" by virtue of the population that they serve.

    What this does show, I think, is that (a) no one who really wants to should feel like they can't homeschool their own children because they are somehow inferior to a public school offering and (b) public school isn't the "universal equalizer" for the disadvantaged, and these kids would often be better off in the care of a dedicated, invested adult figure.

  • ||

    Not many here seem to get the irony of CA making these rulings. Ok, I'll make it clear: many CA public schools are abysmal. They have some of the lowest test scores in the nation. Compton anyone? But it's not just Compton, many CA public schools score no better.

    Many community college students have to take remedial courses to learn what the public schools didn't teach them. Lots of places have to offer the teachers hazard pay to teach there.

    Yes, I know. Yes, I attended CA public schools, they were horrendous. BURN THEM DOWN!!

    The upper middle class doesn't care because many of them send their kids either to the few good public schools or to private schools (private schools are big business in CA). The poor may care somewhat, many try to suceed from their existing school districts. They know how badly they are getting it.

  • Brent||

    I find it ironic that the religious right insisted public schools and teachers performance be evaluated via standardized tests yet home schooling should be allowed to be done by anybody and heaven forbid we do standardized testing on home schooled kids to see if they are really being taught anything?!?!

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  • ||

    Every child is different to say one way is better for every child is ludicrous.
    public school scandals
    homeschooling

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