Wow – homeschooling is really a hot topic in our local news. This week, the paper did a relatively short (and, in my opinion, fairly handled) piece about the need for regulations on home schoolers.
There’s no evidence at all of widespread abuse of the system or educational neglect, although I’m certain there are a few out there somewhere who claim to be home schoolers but are just letting their kids drop out of the system. There are those in the public school system as well, so I think that’s a reasonable conclusion.
The article online sparked many heated comments. Some people insist that home schoolers ought to be monitored, tested, and constantly checked in on. It’s been said that this should be done in order to ensure that not a single child falls through the cracks.
I completely agree that no child should be the victim of educational neglect. Strict and numerous government regulations and teams of teachers, principals, and administrators have not been able to guarantee this complete success rate for public schools. What evidence supports the idea that more government oversight would improve the success rate for home schools? The success rate for home schooling speaks for itself, and the parents’ freedoms to pursue academic excellence with a customized educational plan (without interference from the government) has contributed to that success. Scientific studies comparing states with strict home school regulations and states with loose reglations show absolutely no difference in the performance of students. While I applaud the concern for the children, additional regulations would be pointless at best, and worse, would add unnecessary burdens on both the parents and the public education system already carrying heavy burdens.
The article quotes our local truancy officer simply wondering if some parents aren’t abusing this privilege and lamenting that she doesn’t have the power or authority to check into it. In my opinion, it simply isn’t her job – it’s out of her jurisdiction. The government funds public schooling and has every right to hold those in the system accountable to it, to ensure that the money spent is achieving the goal of providing an education and that the students attending there actually attend. But I fund and run the education in my school. I will hold school and my students accountable. After all, no one has a greater stake in their success in life than our family.
If you want to read the debate, I can’t get the direct link to work, so here’s the link for the newspaper:
Look under “Most emailed stories” or “Most commented stories” because the article pops up under both right now. The headline is “Law puts home-schooling parents on a long leash.”