Data: Home Rule

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A recent comparison of over 5,400 home school students and their public school counterparts highlights two interesting findings: 1) On average, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, the nation's roughly 1 million home schoolers scored more than 30 points higher than public school students on standardized tests. 2) There was no correlation between the level of government regulation and the level of achievement for K-12 home schoolers.

For the study, Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America, Brian Ray, head of the Salem, Oregon-based National Home Education Research Institute, classified states as "high regulation," "moderate regulation," or "low regulation." High-regulation states "require parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements," such as curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials; moderate-regulation states require parents to "send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress"; and low-regulation states do not require the parents "to initiate any contact with the state." The average percentile ranks for home schoolers on a basic battery of national achievement tests were 86 percent (high regulation), 85 percent (moderate regulation), and 86 percent (low regulation), compared with the average percentile rank for public school students which was, by definition, 50.

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