Saturday, August 29, 2015

Home schooling lobby "Make the anti-vaxxers seem rational."

“I’ve never seen a lobby more powerful and scary,” said Ellen Heinitz, the legislative director for Michigan state Rep. Stephanie Chang, who ran up against HSLDA backlash when she tried to pass home-schooling regulations a few months ago. “They make the anti-vaxxers seem rational.”

The above quote was taken from a Slate article that reports on the struggle that one New Jersey State Senator faced when trying to pass legislation to require parents to notify the state that they were homeschooling their children, submit proof of annual physicals, and to complete the same yearly tests that other New Jersey students had to take.

The response to this bill was quick and incredibly aggressive:

Soon afterward, a small group of home-schooling parents began following Weinberg around the capitol. The barrage of phone calls from home-schooling advocates so jammed her office phone lines that staffers had to use their private cellphones to conduct business. “You would have thought I’d recommended the end of the world as we know it,” said Weinberg. “Our office was besieged.”

Ultimately the state senator, Loretta Weinberg, dropped the bill and has little success with modified versions of it, removing the testing requirements, since.

Slate also reports similar obstacles which halted legislation in other states. Including Michigan which is where we get that quote at the top.

Now for those who simply do not trust the government, and do not want them educating their children, this might seem like no big deal, but there are some very troubling statistics:
  • Forty-eight states have no background check process for parents who choose to home-school. Two have some restrictions. Arkansas prevents home schooling when a registered sex offender lives in the home, while Pennsylvania bans parents previously convicted of a wide array of crimes from home schooling. 
  • Fewer than half of states require any kind of evaluation. In some of these, including Washington, New Hampshire, and Georgia, home-schooled students are tested, but these tests are not submitted to the school district, and there are no ramifications for failure. Others, like Oregon, require parents to submit the test scores only if the local districts request them. A third category of states, including Maine, requires that test scores be submitted but set no minimum score. 
  • Seventeen states have no required subjects for home-schooled students. Of the 33 states that do, 22 have no means of checking whether a parent is actually teaching those subjects. 
  • In 40 states, home-schooling parents are not required to have a high school diploma, even if they intend to home-school through 12th grade. 
  • Twenty-five states do not require home-schoolers to be vaccinated. Another 12 mandate vaccinations but do not require records. Only five states require home-schoolers to submit proof of vaccinations at any time.
Now I recognize that whenever I introduce the topic of home schooling on this blog that emotions run high, and that several of my regulars have home schooled their children and are advocates of home schooling in general.

However as many of you know I have very strong reservations concerning home schooling, ESPECIALLY religious homeschooling, based on my own experiences and interactions with home schooled children over the years.

So I will simply suggest that you read the article over at Slate and perhaps come back here afterwards to share your thoughts, whether they be pro or con.


  1. As a former thigh school teacher, I had many students who had previously been home schooled. Their reasons for enrolling in public school were myriad. Often these students came to my classes with impressive abilities, to which I wasn't hesitant to offer kudos. Equally as many came unprepared, lacking knowledge and basics, and exhibited a lack of socialization skills.
    In other words, no difference between home school and public school. The success of schooling of any kind is dependent upon parents who are willing to take an active role in the education of their children.

    1. We cannot know there is "no difference between home school and public school" without testing and statistical analysis. Yet, as detailed above, there is virtually no testing of home schooled students and no testing to compare them to public school students.

      Speaking for myself, home schooling should be an exemption to public schooling which is only licensed to those qualified (through an application at least comparable to admission to a competitive college and with college transcripts) and home schooled students tested annually.

      (And no, I don't believe in home schooling unless location means there is no alternative. I view it as a factor in the epidemic of ignorance in the U.S.)

    2. Anonymous6:07 AM

      And there is the rub, A set of parents who take the time and energy armed with books, libraries, and other enhancements CAN educate their own children. A set of parents armed with a bible cannot. And there is no way in most states to find out who is who.

    3. Anonymous6:21 AM

      Home schooling vs Hom Skoling.

      We know which it is that the Duggars do to their children.

    4. Anonymous7:17 AM

      Homeschooling success is largely dependent on the parents education and reasoning for homeschooling.

      My sister college educated, and fairly successful decided to homeschool their children after unsuccessfully trying to get the classwork assignments for their daughters during extended stays at 2nd homes in Florida and Vermont.

      The alternative would have been to register for a month or 2 at each location each year...

      She home schooled the kids throughout K-8 then sent them to either public or private schools for high school. All of her daughters were in "Advanced Placement" courses through high school and went on to college.

      The quality of their educational experience will be in stark contrast to those of the RWNJ or Conspiracy Theorist children who were kept out of school to shield them from beliefs contrary to those of their parents...

      I do admit that I troll a number of forums that are overrun with the "Teh Stoopid Cunservitive Nutz" where their lack of education is highly evident by their inability to write even at an elementary level, and a complete lack of knowledge of history or science...

      These parents often talk of homeschooling their kids with the only reason being to indoctrinate them into their beliefs, and perpetuate their ignorance. They are demonstrably unable to teach even the most simple requirements of educating a child...

      This is Child Abuse plain and simple which should be addressed as such..

    5. Anonymous9:20 AM

      Liz, can you NOT read? You have a teacher in the school system posting right above yours, who had both types of students, and presumably gave them similar tests. Yes, it is anecdotal, but certainly much better than, I sorta know a kid down the block who was homeschooled.

      As a parent AND (higher ed)educator who homeschooled the kidlets for academic reasons,, todya's "teaching to the test" is a travesty of education, particularly AP classes, even though my homeschooled through 6th grade kids have taken and doen wuite well on them, they do not prepare one for college classes where the subject is studied in depth. They both had to learn how to write/think on tests that were designed to be answered as black/white, while teh real answer is often much more nuanced and should include detail.

      Particularly gifted kids may do much better in homeschool - becuase current public funding and rigid school systems are in such lockstep they don't even 'see" gt. Homeschooling to junior high allowed for the asynnchronnous learning that owuld beneft lots more kids.

    6. Anonymous10:18 AM

      Thanks, 9:20. Could you proofread/Preview next time before hitting the Publish button?

  2. Anonymous4:47 AM

    This scary.

    Let's review the bidding:

    -- As we all know, anti-abortion activists do the same thing: publish home addresses and phone numbers of people who work at women's clinics; follow them; harass them
    -- And now the home-schoolers are doing the same thing.

    This is what happened to me. I live in a heavily-Republican rural Virginia county. My Ford 4WD SuperDuty F250 is adorned with lots of decals:
    -- Vietnam Vet
    -- US Army Ranger
    -- Remington
    -- Glock
    -- Proud to be a Democrat
    -- Spiritual people inspire me; religious people scare me
    -- I'm with Hillary
    -- Bernie 2016
    -- Obama 2008
    -- Obama 2012

    Three months ago a guy followed me from the local trash dump to the hardware store then to the gas station. As I was filling up my truck, he approached and started raving about liberals, Democrats, Obama, "Now I know who your are," "We ought to start shooting you goddam liberals!!"

    I finished pumping gas, turned, asked him if he intended to shoot me? "Well, someone should." Then I noticed he had a pistol on his hip, mostly concealed by his shirt tail.

    I'm an EMT with local rescue squad. I whipped out my squad radio, called sheriff's office, reported man with a gun threatening people and within five minutes three deputies had him cuffed, on the ground. Judge hit him with a fine and revoked his carry permit.

    Turns out he's president of the local Tea Party and now several of them follow me around from time to time.

    These people are crazy with power and they are dangerous.

    I now carry a pistol under the front seat of all three of my vehicles. One of the deputies has given me the big canisters of Mace they carry.

    I survived two tours in Vietnam for this shit???

    I will NOT be threatened by these assholes and it's past time for more of us Democrats to push back.

    1. Anonymous5:49 AM

      Up fist X 1000

    2. Anonymous5:56 AM

      Your own obsession with guns makes you equally as scary to me as the Tea Party guy.

    3. Anonymous6:06 AM

      Thanks for your service, Old Redneck 4:47. I admire the way you put the whackjobs in their place. Please STAY SAFE!

      Stories like yours are part of the reason I will never put any type of political statement on my car.

    4. Anonymous6:06 AM

      #1 Thank. You. For. Your. Service.

      #2 "These people are crazy with power and they are dangerous."

      Absolutely. We should pay attention to what they are saying (and threatening), and respond accordingly.

    5. Anonymous6:43 AM

      Old Redneck, Good on you!

      All too often we ignore the legal transgressions of the "Teabagged Ones" as they accost us, and just get away from them as fast as possible resuming our daily business...

      We really do need to pay attention to the illegal actions or threats that they make towards us as they accost us while we carry on with our daily business.

      If they are following you I'd recommend having the sheriff's office deal with their "Stalking" behavior as well... At least tying them up for an hour or 2 of questions about why they are "Stalking" you and having a record made that may be further investigated if anything did happen to you...

      They have been proven as Right Wing Terrorist Threat which as of yet has not been effectively dealt with by our country's law enforcement and security despite the much higher likelihood of us being attacked by them than ISIS/ISIL...

      They are dangerous people who have been whipped into a frenzy by the RWNJ Media, RWNJ Groups, and RWNJ Emails, circulated by their friends and co-conspirators...

      We need to call attention to their threats and suspicious behavior whenever we see it...

    6. Anon 5:56. Obsessed with guns? He is obviously a well trained person who needs those guns to protect himself. Isn't that what all the 2nd amendment open carry enthusiasts claim? Why should anyone from either side be threatened with getting shot for their beliefs? So much for freedom huh?

    7. Anonymous8:40 AM

      Anon 6:43 posting again...

      Old Redneck, sorry I neglected to Thank You for Your Service to our Country...

      I often forget to thank other vets, which is something I should do more often... (USAF Vet, Volunteer Firefighter 26 Years (Retired) Here)...

      I'm pretty sure that if I were to call the local police about a "Threatening Teabagger," that my credibility would be well regarded to the local Law Enforcement like yours was...

      I had a "Crazy Teabagger" accost me one day, and I didn't have to make the call as he decided to call on me. I waited patiently, and quietly for the police to show up as the "Crazy Teabagger" exercised his "Right to Self Arrest." The police showed up listened to his rant, then asked me what happened, then arrested him for "Breach of the Peace." They probably could have used more serious charges such as assault, and threatening, but that would have probably required my appearance in court as a victim/witness so they kept it simple... I'll insist on the harder route next time...

      Shari, you are 100% correct, there is a number of us liberals that do own, and use firearms. We do believe in 2nd Amendment Rights, and support the Gun Control efforts for laws, which may place additional requirements on us to have and bear arms. These laws are essential to the safety of the public, keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals, and nut jobs wishing to inflict harm on others... This is a right which should be "Demonstrated" for intent and safety towards others, and ourselves, similar to the Automobile Laws throughout this country with a Demonstration of Proficiency, Licensing, Registration, Insurance, Penalties for Misuse, and Procedures for Transfer of Ownership...

      My support of the Gun Control efforts is essential for my being able to continue to have a Right to Bear Arms.

      The needs of having to carry a gun to church for personal protection, have a gun to protect yourself from the big bad gubermint, open carry an assault rifle to Walmart, or have military grade weapons, should probably raise red flags to that individual's need for firearms...

      Personally I downplay my ownership and carrying of firearms, as I would prefer not to have any attention paid to it...

      I do not want anyone to feel threatened that I may have one in my home, or be carrying one. It is a tool similar to a hammer, and used with safety and proficiency should be regarded as such, but with restrictions as it is a much more potentially dangerous tool than a hammer.

      My "Tools" are of a much more "Utilitarian Nature."

    8. Anonymous9:30 AM

      Exactly 8:40. I fully support those folks who have logical reasons for wanting to carry a handgun - concealed carry. Nurse, waitress or other night shift worker who has to be out at 2 am. in dark, lonely places and may be thougth to be carrying large sums of cash (food service staff tips.) Polititcain or judge. Jewelers. etc. Victims of domestic violence or stalkers. Go to the local sherriff's office, take the test, explain why, and possibly have to get a pscyhe eval. Carry gun.

      If the reason is "it's a scary, scary world out there"that personis a paranoid psychotic who needs to get mental health treatment, stat, and we should probably remove all sharp objects, small children and pets from their home until that treatment is obtained. "OF course we won't let you carry a gun. You're nuts!" shoudl be the response.

    9. Anita Winecooler6:57 PM

      I would also like to express my gratitude for your service to our country. Personally, I don't carry a gun, but that's just me. My BIL is a detective and he gave me some great advice I'd like to share with you. Instead of mace or Pepper Spray, he told me to carry "Wasp and Hornet Spray" instead, The chemicals can't be washed out, and you can aim more precisely at the eyes. The effect is much better, and the only way to get it taken care of, because it's oil based and can't be washed nor waited out to "wear off" is a visit to an emergency room. Any "damage" is equal to that of mace and pepper spray, but it lasts longer.
      While working for Obama's first campaign, in a heavily red voting area, one lady got shown a gun, harassed/threatened and followed. and the wasp spray literally saved her life by biding her time, He disappeared from her rear view mirror,, she drove to the police station and made an incident report with his license number..... the police called three emergency rooms and arrested the man after she picked him out of a photo line up.

  3. Anonymous5:00 AM

    Ot - they posted the video of SP interviewing DT on Gawker. With much mocking.

  4. SallyinMI5:06 AM

    I wanted the homeschool years ago, but my husband insisted we try the public schools, which at that time, under a Democratic Governor, were well-regarded. My kids did fine, but I was there constantly, chose their teachers through high school worked in the schools as a parapro and a substitute teacher, and knew how the system worked. I also supplemented what they were learning. When my third grader had to do a one page report on something, he learned how to footnote right then and there. When my 7th grader had a big paper, she learned to do notecards and a bibliography from ME, as the school required neither! Both kids were National Merit Scholars in high school, got either full scholarships or nearly, to a fine liberal arts school and a BIg10 school. Our daughter went on to get her law degree, paying only a registration fee each term, and for her books. Our son is a chemical engineer, much in demand at his company because he is bright, dedicated, and knows his stuff.
    My point to home schoolers is this: public schools are not evil. You can be as involved as you want to be, and your children will relieve a far better education than at your hands. If you are a science major, they will get better liberal arts at school, as well as access to labs that you cannot provide. Of you are English or SS, can you teach them the German or French the colleges would like them to have? What about the arts? Your little homeschool band cannot begin to be the same experience as our high school bands, with three terrific concert bands, two marching bands of over 200 kids each, and jazz bands in the winter. Award-Winning orchestras and choirs. State competition drama programs. Debate. Robotics programs that just produced a national winner who got a full ride to Ohio State recently and is on a first name basis with John Glenn.
    The home schooled kids I have been acquainted with are cautious, shy, and nowhere near the same emotional nor academic level as their peers. Several of them dropped out of college because they had no idea how to schedule their time, not interact on a campus. You re doing them no favors to shelter them for 18 years.

    1. Anonymous5:47 AM

      And yet I can tell you stories of home-schooled kids who were hugely successful in college. One was a girl of average intelligence who loved to learn. She was given a Regent's Scholarship to UCRiverside. She applied for and received a full-ride scholarship for her doctorate at Stanford in biochemistry. Her brother went into the Marines. He was diverted and fast-tracked to Annapolis where he received his degree and is now a pilot. Neither one had any issues with socialization. They did sports, scouts, church, and joined other home-schooled children for field trips and other group activities. Home schooling done right can be fabulous. It often just isn't done right especially if it is religion based.

    2. Anonymous6:15 AM

      The difference between success and failure in homeschooling is to remove the religious crap and focus on knowledge.

    3. Anonymous9:28 AM

      There are numerous resources available to properly homeschool a child...

      Want a very good orchestra experience?

      Wanting "Homeskool Dun Rite" or "Quality Home Schooling" is up to the parents ability to provide!

    4. Anonymous9:33 AM

      Sally in MI, sorry, but you can be as involved in your public school as they allow and IF you have the stay at home mom time - which it sounds like you did. It also sounds like this was long, long ago. Many schools today do not allow and actively discourage parental invovlement except fudnraising PTO. ANy contact with kids requires background checks which is $$ from the already underfunded school or the volunteer.

      Reality check on your past priviliege, Sally in MI.

    5. Anonymous9:37 AM

      And, that comment about labs at school? My kids had some wet behind the ears science teacher who didn't bother with a real lab at all - ddn't even bother to check on the equip and supplies cabinet - just told the kids teh school didnt' have those supplies or money for them. I complained. Sept chair went over to show me teh equipment cabinet - decently stocked. I asked if he knew what was going on in that classroom. She did not get rehired - meanwhile, my kids were a year behind in science. Homeschooling? We dissected on kitchen counter and did microbio.

      BTW, the hot new langauges in higher ed are Mandarin and Arabic. Most high schools are now limited to French & Spanish; our local highly regarded high school just dropped German. You were saying?

  5. Anonymous5:17 AM

    Some years ago I met a young man who was clearly living on the streets. As is a teacher's wont I spoke to him and in the course of our conversation he related how he ended up living so rough. Home schooled through elementary and into the early years of high school by super religious parents, he'd never been to public school. His parents got divorced, his mom went to work outside the home, and suddenly off he went to public school. Didn't know how to deal with it. At all. Couldn't cope, dropped out and ran away. After a few years on the street he came to and started getting his life back on track--was in the process of completing a GED. Brave kid. He talked about what an insane brainwash he'd undergone and how few skills he'd learned being home schooled. Completely unprepared for even high school life. Wanted absolutely nothing to do with his parents. I reminded him he could do anything he wanted to with his life now. You know when someone is absolutely serious and I believe this young man did pull himself out of the ditch.Not all homeschooling parents are so blazingly idiotic but given the numbers in this country I had to wonder about all the others just like him. We had a family on our street who home schooled--the most ill-behaved kids you've ever come across. Kids need to be with other kids in school--learn how to deal with different characters--for better or for worse. Not doing them ANY favours by keeping them isolated physically & mentally from their peers because eventually they're going to have to deal with those peers and life outside the home....completely unprepared. Just sayin'

    1. Anonymous1:02 PM

      I watched one homeschooling parent make slaves of children in her marginal business. It was outrageous. She even included a series of foster children in the plan; but the foster children attended regular schools. When they came home they were made to do all the household chores while the daughter worked with the mom. Ultimately, the daughter became pregnant at 17 and then had two more kids out of wedlock. More slaves! The oversight by the authorities was non-existent.

    2. Anonymous1:17 PM

      You have been very sheltered, haven't you Canuck. Homeschooled kids (not religiously homeschooled kids) learn to deal with all ages of people, not just their own age cohort. Every public school kid I meet has problems dealign with both adults and kids younger than them. At no other point in life will they ever be with a strict age cohort. THose public school kids are completely unprepared. Just sayin'.

    3. Anonymous8:58 PM

      Really, 1:17? EVERY public school kid you meet has those problems? Even all the public school kids who mentor younger kids or help out with kids in younger grades or who baby sit? What about the ones who go to after school programs or summer camps that are multi-age? Do all those kids have problems with anyone not in their own age cohort?

      You live a very sheltered life, yourself, if the only public school kids you've met have trouble associating with anyone other than those their own age.

      My own two daughters, public school kids, have no trouble hanging out with kids younger, as well as associating with adults. In fact, in their schools, they are encouraged to help out with younger kids and they often have special programs where kids of different grades work together. They also associate with adults on a regular basis...their teachers, their principal, librarian, coaches, friends' parents, etc..

      And, wow! Considering that the VAST majority of kids go through traditional schools (public or private) where they are in a strict age cohort, your scenario would have the vast majority of people being unprepared to work with anyone older or younger. Yet, somehow, we all manage to do it, often very successfully.

      I can't stand any of these generalizations. Hopefully, you're just speaking facetiously in response to Canuck.

  6. Anonymous5:34 AM

    A few sources of info for anyone concerned about how things got to where they are with the homeschooling movement...and why it's about a lot more than just teaching your kids at home.

    Which Gryph blogged here:

    Some light at the end of the tunnel vision?

    "....Major evangelical institutions have been talked into becoming part of the Tea Party attack on President Obama in particular and progressive America in general. They are “winning” some battles. But they will lose this war.

    These stories are making headlines. They are also making enemies for the evangelical movement that will not fade away. They will be to the evangelical reputation what Franklin Graham has become to Billy.

    As I predict in my new book WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace the evangelical institutions that are making the anti-women and anti-gay headlines are going to discover that their more moderate religious and secular peers are going to punish them. They will also be losing their young people in droves.

    Re-accreditation? “Forget it, you have a policy of discrimination against gays and women.” Find sports teams to play your students? Want your professors to publish and deliver papers at national conferences? “Forget it, you have a policy of discrimination against gays and women…”

  7. Anonymous5:37 AM

    A word about your snarky comment about anti-vaxxers. Not all anti-vaxxers are loons. Over vaccinating, as the drug companies would have us do, actually can compromise the immune system, especially in babies, puppies, kittens, foals, etc. Intelligent anti-vaxxers are getting titers on their children to determine their immunity before giving them yet another unnecessary vaccine. Low titer = vaccinate. High titer = don't vaccinate. Now, I grant you most anti-vaxxers are merely resisting because they can. They don't research the topic. They worship at the feet of the ignorant Jenny McCarthy.

    1. Anonymous6:01 AM

      "Over vaccinating, as the drug companies would have us do,"

      Can you document which drug companies these are?

    2. Anonymous12:23 PM

      Please provide peer-reviewed empirical research that "over-vaccination" can compromise the immune system. Be sure to define your terms, specifically, "over-vaccination" and "compromise."

      Vaccines do NOT weaken an infant's immune system and vaccines contain FEWER antigens now then they did 40 years ago.

    3. That snarky comment was a quote from Ellen Heinitz, the legislative director for Michigan state Rep. Stephanie Chang.

  8. Oxymoron: intelligent anti-vaxxer.

  9. Anonymous6:07 AM

    Homeschoolers Anonymous is a great site for learning about the massive damage homeschooling can do.

    1. Anonymous7:41 AM

      I was going to suggest HA as well. It's run by young adults who are recovering from being brought up as fundamentalist homeschoolers. From there you can also connect to the Center For Responsible Home Education (CHRE)--young adult homeschool grads who are starting to fight back against the powerful fundy homeschool lobby (HSLDA) for more homeschool regulation.

      We're homeschooling for now because one of our kids was terribly bullied in elementary school. We'll probably try school again when he hits junior high age. So I'm not against it, at all. We're having a good and healing experience.

      What I'd like everyone to know is that it isn't only religious homeschoolers who are hard-core against homeschooling regulation. Some secular liberal types are just as intensely anti-gubmint interference as the fundies. They don't want anyone messing with their precious flowers.

    2. Anonymous11:53 AM

      Anon 7:41 Be cautious about Middle School. Ask lots of questions. Those were the years we home-schooled our granddaughter because of both learning disability and social issues. She did fine in High School.

      Elizabeth 44

    3. Anonymous1:19 PM

      The I suggest the call it RHA - Relgious HOmeschoolers ANonymous.

  10. Anonymous6:09 AM

    "The Ashley Madison hack will have a serious effect on churches. According to Ed Stetzer, as many as 400 pastors, deacons, elders and church staff members may resign this Sunday after their names surfaced on the list of users revealed in the Ashley Madison hack."

  11. Anonymous6:49 AM

    Here is another link for more research. This is at the HSLDA website and it includes some perspective on the history and motivations of the home schooling movement.

    The Politics of Survival:
    Home Schoolers and the Law

    1. Anonymous7:34 AM

      HSLDA is run by fundamentalist, homophobic, patriarchal "Christians." So, yeah... no thanks.

    2. Anonymous6:29 PM

      6:49 here.

      "fundamentalist, homophobic, patriarchal "Christians."

      Believe me- I am none of these. I believe there is a concerted effort to wreck public education, homeschooling and charter schools are two of the chosen tools.

      I believe in knowing and understanding your enemy. That is why I posted the link to HSLDA. It is critical to know what your enemy believes and what they intend in order to know how best to fight them.

      Need or want to hide your identity from them?
      Use a public library computer, or one of the other more advanced methods.

  12. Anonymous7:25 AM

    Learning isn't an either/or process. Parents have the home field advantage, schools offer things parents don't know about. Take advantage of all for heaven sake.

    1. Anonymous11:55 AM

      Some states/districts allow part-time students. My granddaughter took Mandarin at the High School while being homeschooled for the more traditional classes. It would be great for languages, lab science, music.

    2. Anonymous1:22 PM

      Hahahahahaha. Sorry, but you are wrong, 7:25 a.m.. Schools offer what their narrow "education degreed" admins and superintendnets know about. A parent, certainly a liberally educated, college (or grad school) degreed parent, mature, well-read and well traveled does a much better job than some classroom management specialist, fresh out of a teacher ed program with little to no life experience.

  13. Anonymous7:35 AM

    So in many states parents can simply never educate their kids at all and nobody knows that's happening? I guess Amerika really is exceptional.

    A little O/T, but still related: With the teacher shortage many states are experiencing, what are the odds that all the big Christian Diploma Mills are cranking out Education graduates as fast as they can so as to insinuate as many as possible into the public school system (think of the 200+ Liberty Univ grads hired into the Justice Dept while Dumbya was pres - remember Monica Goodling?). We are clearly headed to a point where religious abuse of young minds needs to be addressed. It's no wonder they're against controls on Carbon emissions - they can see that their kids are going to need those coal jobs.

    1. Anonymous9:50 AM

      No, they will dismantle the public education system ( like Kansas) enough to then just say we will let anyone teach school.

    2. Anonymous12:51 PM

      And, the evangelical agenda in some Christian colleges to crank out medical degrees and certificates so as to overrun hospitals and clinics with anti-abortion practitioners. Note, when you look at these colleges’ catalogs there is a lack of geology degrees but a lot of biology degrees that amazingly avoid discussion of cellular evolution.

  14. Anonymous8:08 AM

    Looks like the Duggars will no longer be able to home school with Josh's sex offenses!

    1. Anonymous11:56 AM

      want to bet?

    2. As long as Josh doesn't live with them or participate in the schooling, they're probably still within the law.

  15. Anonymous9:49 AM

    I am not a fan of home schooling at all. No one person could know what you needed to know to teach it all.
    That said, when my husband was working in a few places around the world I had to do it for a few yrs. I have a BS in nursing, mathematics, and it was still hard. Luckily I have educators in my family who helped me prepare materials and lesson plans. And still my kids ended up "heavy" in the sciences and mathematics over other categories.
    I could never have done it at the HS level.

    1. Anonymous12:47 PM

      Anon 9:49, you are in the minority as a science homeschooling parent. I work in a library and most homeschooling parents who access our resources rarely, if ever, use science materials beyond 5th grade. The disservice to their children is appalling. But the disservice to the general public and the planet is criminal. Most of us pay for ignorance as an end result of poor homeschooling. BTW, many of the materials the library is asked to purchase by homeschooling parents are Bible-based. Your tax dollars go for these materials.

    2. Anonymous1:27 PM

      oh bullshit, 9:49. Through the elementary grades anyone with a high school or college degree can teach the basics. (Do you still not know how to tie your shows and do basic mulitplication?)

      Prepare lesson plans? to homeschool a couple of kids. Unless you are that idiot Michelle Duggar preparign a lesson plan is overkill. A kid or two is not a classroom. Prepare materials? Huh? the kids help with that as part of a lesson. It was hard because you were doing it wrong, or perhaps you have those lumplike, no motivation, no curiosity, no personality kids. Genetics does tell. My sympathies.

    3. Anonymous10:57 AM

      Unless you are "unschooling," it's wise to plan your lessons. Maybe not on a daily basis, but you'd better have some idea where you're going and how you're going to get there.

  16. Anonymous5:08 PM

    I was not homeschooled but I understand why many parents today would opt for homeschooling. It seems to me that it is reasonable for the state to insist on some testing of homeschooled children to see if they are actually learning. But there is always the tendency for state supervision to start out reasonable and then evolve over time into a weapon for the state to use against any group of homeschoolers whose worldview they dislike. Anyone who does even cursory reading on the subject of the politics of homeschooling can tell that what's really bothering liberals is that most of the homeschooling families are on the cultural Right. Their real motive is to get children to be exposed to politically correctness. What is being written on this blog has only convinced me that I'd rather have no oversight at all of homeschoolers than risk seeing homeschooling "regulated" out of existence. The government will end up putting restrictions that make it almost impossible for most people to homeschool ( e.g. only parents with advanced degrees can homeschool, children have to take art and music classes that would have to be done outside the home, homeschooling cannot involve the teaching of religion or children will be obliged to take school classes on religion that teach about all religions, etc... Eventually only the well-to-do would be able to homeschool. It is for this reason that I've always opposed tuition tax credits for private schools.

    I wonder, if homeschooling were primarily a movement of aging hippies teaching their grandchildren at home, would liberals care so much about what the children may be missing out on?

    1. Anonymous8:43 PM

      What a load of crap

    2. Everyone who stays in a Holiday Inn thinks they can do the job of a trained educator.

      I call bullshit too.

  17. Anita Winecooler7:24 PM

    I'm sure there's plenty of valid reasons parents choose to home school, with the exception of any religious reason whatsoever. I think it depends on the quality of the public schools in their area and the amount of effort the parents take in their child's education regardless of home/public/private schools. We decided to send all three of ours to public schools, and it worked out extremely well for all three. We did our best to get involved in our kid's schools, got to know and communicate with their teachers on a regular basis, and if one approach didn't work, we'd find one that did together with the teachers. Our daughters were, for the most part, self motivated and willing to put in the work expected of them and then some. Our son was a different type of learner, it's not that he wasn't motivated, he was a poor tester, and his teachers worked on techniques that helped him over these hurdles. And we'd re enforce these techniques at home.
    What ticked me off was the state slashing funds, leaving the burden for basic supplies to the teachers and parents. It makes me wonder where our priorities are, teachers deserve better, they're more than glorified babysitters, and deserve respect and better pay for the work they do.

  18. Public schooling (and private and charter for that matter) are one of the checks to make sure a child is alive and well. Public school teachers in my state are required by law to report any suspected child abuse. If a child attends school and you see bruises or are constantly displaying broken bones, if you don't report it you could go to jail.

    No such safeguards are in place for home schooled children.

    I am all in favor of any child who does not attend any sort of school, public, private, religious, charter, being interviewed once a year by Child Protective Services. If the home schoolers don't like it, tough shit.

    To attain a GED, which a home schooler would need since they are not attending and graduating from any educational institution they will need to take a test. Schools require passage of an exit exam. Home schoolers either take the GED or equivalent high school exit exam or they get no "credit" for having a high school education.

    Try getting a job with no education.

    If the home schoolers don't like that tough. Bite me.


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