Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Should homeschooling be regulated?

Wary of relying on ten-year-old statistics, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) released new findings regarding homeschoolers' academic achievement on August 10, 2009. The report states, "Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students."

Public school students scored at, of course, the fiftieth percentile in all subjects. Homeschoolers' scores ranged from the 84th percentile in math to the 89th percentile in reading . . . significantly above average. The study found that, "The extent of government regulation on homeschoolers did not affect the results.

Low state regulation—87th percentile
Medium state regulation—88th percentile
High state regulation—87th percentile"

HSLDA has asked, “If government regulation does not improve the results of homeschooling, why is it necessary?”

The author of this satire compares government regulation of home education to government regulation of a parent's menu choice. It's food for thought. How do you regulate something like a "healthy diet" or "appropriate education" when there are so many variables?

Those in favor of homeschool regulation sometimes suggest that oversight of children by a third party (the school system) is necessary to detect signs of child abuse. Yet, ChildHelp statistics show that three out of four children who die as a result of child abuse are under the age of four, which is younger than any state's mandatory education age requirement.

Each state has its own regulations concerning homeschooling. Some require nothing more than stating the intent to homeschool. Others require standardized tests or portfolio evaluations. A few insist that the homeschooling parent is a certified teacher.

How closely should a state monitor its homeschooling population? A little? A lot? Or not at all?

1 comment:

  1. As I said on facebbok, I like Florida Laws, they help keep me accountable but they are very easy. :-) So I feel we should be regulated a little.


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