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Nate Spencer
10-08-2010, 01:59 AM
I am fairly new here. My wife suggested this forum. I have only posted once or twice. I will try to more often. I thought I would share this new thing I am getting about trying to regulate homeschoolers in my state (Indiana).

My father-in-law was complaining about this in relation to one his son's girlfriend whose daughter is homeschooled. Then I ran across this article (http://www.pal-item.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=201010010314). In Indiana we are not regulated, we have to keep attendance in case for verification of a certain student being enrolled on private school or the number of students per grade. This has been the legal standard in Indiana since 1979.

After my father-in-law and the Pastor's comment I finally had enough and wrote a response about this issue. I am so sick of the idiot arguments about my wife and I teaching our kids. Feel free to check it out http://www.orchardhillclassical.com/?p=629 (http://www.orchardhillclassical.com/?p=629)

Wilma
10-08-2010, 10:29 AM
It is written in our state constitution that parents have control over the education of their children, which has been interpreted to mean we have a constitutional right to homeschool. Do we have some idiots homeschooling? Yes. Are there more idiots teaching in and running the public schools? IMNSHO, absolutely. I am very much opposed to the governement having any oversight with homeschoolers. I just see the slippery slope of incrementalism taking over our rights. So I want no curriculum, advice, sports, etc. from the public schools.

Is my Libertarianism showing? LOL!

MamaB2C
10-08-2010, 12:04 PM
Is my Libertarianism showing? LOL!

I am not a Libertarian at all, however there are a few issues where I have libertarian leanings, and education is one of them.

I think offering a public education is a great idea. I think having a literate society, and one where children are not used as cheap labor, is beneficial to us all. I have a problem, however, with that public offering becoming a mandate. I have a problem with the state being able to use their police powers to force families to use the education they are paying for.

I can't find any significant, measurable problems that would make anyone believe that regulating homeschooling is a compelling state interest....just the opposite in fact, I see those wanting regulation as promoting a "solution" in search of a problem that doesn't seem to even exist.

When/if homeschoolers become overrepresented amongst those receiving state assistance for living expenses, overrepresented in prisons, overrepresented in mental health facilities, or any other measure that points to an inferior education via homeschooling being a cause of widespread societal problems, then I might think that maybe the state has an interest in regulating it. That's not even close to the reality though.

archibael
10-08-2010, 01:40 PM
Not going to comment on the libertarianism (big or little 'L'), as my personal beliefs on the matter tend to start one of those flamewars I pretend to long for. :)

If one accepts that the state has a compelling interest to ensure an educated citizenry, then it can make sense for the state to at least set standards on the knowledge required-- but NOT, NOT, NOT have anything to say about how that education is gained.

Otherwise, of course, the state should, of necessity, stay the eff out.


(We must recognize, though, that this group we have here is a pretty self-selecting one. The progressive stance on this would be that while there are some parents who can be trusted with their children's education-- us, mostly, as parents who actually CARE-- there are too many in the "unwashed masses" who could not be trusted with such due to ignorance, incompetence, or other unflattering polysyllabic words beginning with the letter "i". While I don't necessarily object to the veracity of this statement (people are, in general, idiots), I'm not sure that, in general, governments are much smarter.

I suspect that in an environment where people are 100% responsible for their children's education and the state is completely removed from the equation we would see some unintended consequences-- some good, some bad. Some lazy parents would tend to have undereducated or even completely uneducated kids, rich parents (lazy or not) would have the best private schools educating their progeny, and poor but industrious parents would have either scholarships to the good private school or home school their kids to the highest levels possible-- likely very well, if what I've known about homeschooling parents is any indication. I think science and math would be most adversely impacted because of the culture of fear which surrounds those subjects in modern times.)

MamaB2C
10-08-2010, 01:53 PM
If one accepts that the state has a compelling interest to ensure an educated citizenry,

I think the state has a compelling interest to ensure that a basic education is available to it's citizenry. I don't believe the state has a compelling interest in ensuring that each person is educated a certain way. Hope that makes sense.


then it can make sense for the state to at least set standards on the knowledge required-- but NOT, NOT, NOT have anything to say about how that education is gained.

But then there's the issue with how and by whom the standards of required knowledge are decided.

My idea of required knowledge might be vastly different than yours, or my neighbors.


I suspect that in an environment where people are 100% responsible for their children's education and the state is completely removed from the equation we would see some unintended consequences. Some lazy parents would tend to have undereducated or even completely uneducated kids, rich parents (lazy or not) would have the best private schools educating their progeny, and poor but industrious parents would have either scholarships to the good private school or home school their kids to the highest levels possible-- likely very well, if what I've known about homeschooling parents is any indication. I think science and math would be most adversely impacted because of the culture of fear which surrounds those subjects in modern times.)

Before I respond I need to clarify, in this hypothetical is there no public school offering? I think there is a need for public schools, and a state's interest in offering an education, I just don't think attendance at them should be mandated.

Wilma
10-08-2010, 02:17 PM
I am not a Libertarian at all, however there are a few issues where I have libertarian leanings, and education is one of them.

I think offering a public education is a great idea. I think having a literate society, and one where children are not used as cheap labor, is beneficial to us all. I have a problem, however, with that public offering becoming a mandate. I have a problem with the state being able to use their police powers to force families to use the education they are paying for.

I can't find any significant, measurable problems that would make anyone believe that regulating homeschooling is a compelling state interest....just the opposite in fact, I see those wanting regulation as promoting a "solution" in search of a problem that doesn't seem to even exist.

When/if homeschoolers become overrepresented amongst those receiving state assistance for living expenses, overrepresented in prisons, overrepresented in mental health facilities, or any other measure that points to an inferior education via homeschooling being a cause of widespread societal problems, then I might think that maybe the state has an interest in regulating it. That's not even close to the reality though.

Very well said!

Wilma
10-08-2010, 02:19 PM
Not going to comment on the libertarianism (big or little 'L'), as my personal beliefs on the matter tend to start one of those flamewars I pretend to long for. :)


Not trying to start one. I come here for peace. I can recommend some forums where you could easily start a flamewar!;)

archibael
10-08-2010, 02:22 PM
Oh, I totally get your stance on this, whether I happen to agree with it or not. I wasn't addressing your stuff directly, just off on my own rant re: the topic in general. The interaction between statism and libertarianism with regards to the public education question fascinates me. :)

My concerns are several-- for the state to provide public schools, they of necessity must set some standard for said schools. As you've pointed out, standards are a very subjective issue. So who decides what a "basic education" is? Because this is what we have today, and I think a lot of people would agree that what we have today is arbitrarily low-- or at the very least out of whack with reality.

Now, if you view public schools as a mere safety net for those unable to achieve their education in any other manner, much as welfare benefits are today, most of these objections go away-- standards apply to the public schools only and privately educated (whether by a private or home school) individuals are not subject to these standards. While this can have the unfortunate effect of educational stratification (public schools turn out people who can read well enough to file a ballot in an election, but not to do basic algebra; all the white collar jobs go to grads of Prima Donna Prep), the more insidious result can be the erosion of private school standards due to lack of competition. This is analogous to the same reason labor unions highly favor minimum wage increases, though they seldom are directly affected by them-- if you drop the lowest end of the standard (wages for unskilled labor), it becomes more difficult to justify the need for the higher end of the standard (union level entry wages).

It's an interesting morass. While the educational establishment in Arizona frankly sucks ass, I am very thankful that the charter school and home school situation there is so impressive.

Keep in mind I'm in agreement with you on much of this, I'm just throwing stuff out there to think about.

archibael
10-08-2010, 02:25 PM
Not trying to start one. I come here for peace. I can recommend some forums where you could easily start a flamewar!;)

LOL. I have plenty already. A more colossal waste of time I cannot imagine.

MamaB2C
10-08-2010, 02:55 PM
Oh, I totally get your stance on this, whether I happen to agree with it or not. I wasn't addressing your stuff directly, just off on my own rant re: the topic in general. The interaction between statism and libertarianism with regards to the public education question fascinates me. :)
Oh please keep ranting. This is a great discussion.



My concerns are several-- for the state to provide public schools, they of necessity must set some standard for said schools. As you've pointed out, standards are a very subjective issue. So who decides what a "basic education" is? Because this is what we have today, and I think a lot of people would agree that what we have today is arbitrarily low-- or at the very least out of whack with reality.

My stance is the state can set their standards for the public schools (hopefully based on solid reasons) and let parents set standards for their children. For the majority of people, quite frankly, the public offering will be the choice. They will think the standards are just fine or in line with their own.

Those who disagree with the standards can then homeschool or private school.

What I don't want is for those people whose standards I disagree with to have the authority to mandate that I must meet those standards anyway, under force of law.



Now, if you view public schools as a mere safety net for those unable to achieve their education in any other manner, much as welfare benefits are today, most of these objections go away-- standards apply to the public schools only and privately educated (whether by a private or home school) individuals are not subject to these standards.

Not a safety net really, just the most mainstream, the most common choice, the average so to speak.


While this can have the unfortunate effect of educational stratification (public schools turn out people who can read well enough to file a ballot in an election, but not to do basic algebra; all the white collar jobs go to grads of Prima Donna Prep), the more insidious result can be the erosion of private school standards due to lack of competition.

This is exactly how many states run things though, my own included. We do not have charter schools, and homeschools and private schools are not regulated. So do I want our pathetic excuse for a public school system, that can't manage to get half of their students a diploma, to regulate my son's education? Hell no.


Keep in mind I'm in agreement with you on much of this, I'm just throwing stuff out there to think about.

Dialectics are my preferred method of learning and discussing, so keep throwing!

StartingOver
10-08-2010, 03:27 PM
It is written in our state constitution that parents have control over the education of their children, which has been interpreted to mean we have a constitutional right to homeschool. Do we have some idiots homeschooling? Yes. Are there more idiots teaching in and running the public schools? IMNSHO, absolutely. I am very much opposed to the governement having any oversight with homeschoolers. I just see the slippery slope of incrementalism taking over our rights. So I want no curriculum, advice, sports, etc. from the public schools.

Is my Libertarianism showing? LOL!

Jumping up and down, I agree !!! I agree !!

archibael
10-09-2010, 01:49 AM
The teachers' unions tend to think so, but I can't imagine anyone considers them an unbiased source.

My feeling on this is mixed, sorta. I agree completely that the state has no business regulating anything to do with homeschooling-- though I recognize that there are significant portions of the population who would use this to teach their kids nonsense, further dumbing down the electorate.

Where the "mixed" comes in is that I'm not sure public schooling should even be the "average"-- even when I was a kid, I coasted because the curriculum wasn't challenging to me. The curricula have been dumbed down by two years since then (there's a study from about 2007 which found that textbooks from each grade level had decreased the level of their content by two years on the average in the last 15 years-- i.e. the 7th grade textbooks in 2007 are equivalent to the 5th grade textbooks of 1992). More money is not the answer-- education expenses have increased manifold since the 70s but have outcomes increased in similar fashion? So what is the answer?

I've thought a lot about this recently, and I think it's cultural-- the American public has grown complacent about their kids' education. At best they bitch about it; at worst, they just don't care. It's the rare parents that say, "Enough!" and choose to do the job themselves-- and even then, it seems to me that at least 50-75% of those are not because the parents are disappointed with the rigor of the curriculum but instead with the fact that there isn't enough Jesus in the classroom.

So how do you get the parents to care again? (I say "again" assuming they ever did.) I work with a lot of folks from India and the Far East, and it's clear to me that their parents cared a great deal about what they were learning at all times. While I have criticism for many of their methods as well, at least they showed their kids some sort of sign they valued education above and beyond "I'll buy you a new Xbox game if you get an A".

As with many things in life (medical insurance), I think having the real, actual costs hidden from people keeps them from paying attention to it. If you pay for it personally, you tend to think about it more than if you pay into a big pool and someone manages the pool and writes checks for you from time to time. Which is why, standard libertarianism "shrink all state powers" thinking aside, I have to question the conventional wisdom that the state should even be in the public school business. They've been screwing it up for decades. Does anyone really think they're going to suddenly get it right?

Nate Spencer
10-09-2010, 10:16 AM
Well I do believe the NEA and AFT have always been for regulating HS out of existence. My father-in-law as well as a pastor in Richmond, IN have both in last few weeks mentioned regulation, didn't know if something I have missed as new complaint about HSing.

As far as parents teaching their kids nonsense, I assume its about science. Even the most fundamentalist HS'd kids I have seen are light-years ahead of their public school counterparts. if they believe the world is 6,000 years old and they are not going into biology who cares?

archibael
10-09-2010, 10:46 AM
Science is one, history is another. While I don't care that they are confused about biology (and who knows-- in their effort to "prove evolution wrong", it's possible they could generate some useful science; science has a broad umbrella, and even crackpots and the clinically insane have made contributions), if they see history through a sufficiently warped lens they will likely steer modern politics in some crazy directions.

Regardless, I am far from advocating regulation of homeschooling curriculum. I just try to point out the probable unintended consequences of my own political preferences, in the interests of intellectual honesty.

Wilma
10-09-2010, 12:32 PM
Let me clarify that one post to libertarian, not Libertarian. I was expressing leanings on this issue, not party affiliation. Not it it is anyone's business, but I don't want it to cause problems with assumptions in future posts.:)

wild_destiny
10-09-2010, 01:22 PM
Wow! This is quite an informative post! Regarding public education, I think a smart society will provide this for its citizens. However, my preference is to always see this mandate balanced out with parental choice and freedom of will for the family unit (or the single person). (Even a great notion taken too far can become an awful extremist juggernaut.) While I am not necessarily absolutely positively opposed to the thought of a government giving help (sports, classes, etc.) to homeschoolers, I do agree with Ann that it could be only too easy to lose rights in small increments--so small that perhaps those involved would not notice, until it was too late. The only solution to that (that I can see) would be having constant vigilance, which is not such an easy thing to maintain. Again, I am only comfortable with that scenario (of government interference in homeschooling) if it is OPTIONAL and stays that way. On a more grumpy note, it does bug the crap out of me that there are so many states that do have the regulations that they have regarding homeschoolers. As if the public schools are turning out geniuses left and right. I mean really now! Personally, I am such a humbug I think it is all about money for the school districts (or not wanting their own schools to look bad when compared to the homeschooling population). There does seem to be a disturbing trend arising wherein government groups, be it schools or other services, are punishing individuals who champion their personal freedoms, particularly where education and child advocacy is concerned. Very disturbing indeed.

Wilma
10-09-2010, 07:01 PM
I just had to stick it out for 2 years when I was a public school teacher in CA and I had a job for life. I taught with people making $100K a year who were not close to retirement, administrators made more, and a much sweeter insurance plan than dh has, and his is excellent. Even an idiot can fake it for 2 years. This was in 1996.

I have a friend here who graduated from a high school where I lived in CA who did not know when she graduated that there were 7 continents. She learned that when she began homeschooling. But the teachers there make huge salaries. When we left the dropout rate in the Antelope Valley was 60%. But the teachers make great money.

That being said, things could have changed in the time we left, but the CTA is a very, very powerful union.

I understand people say teachers don't make much, but I made more per day that I taught than the days I worked for a huge law firm in downtown LA as a paralegal. Annual salary wasn't as much, but per day worked was much higher.

Riceball_Mommy
10-09-2010, 09:35 PM
I think the toughest part with regulations, at least for me in this state, is the clarity. I see so much of people saying "only give what is required, nothing more" but to me it seems the actual law is a bit vague, so some people may interpret a daily log as being necessary while others may not. Also despite the statement in the law that the county can't impose extra regulations, if you ask someone to clarify they say "it depends on what county you live in." I'm sorry but if there is a standard law for the state, shouldn't each county be requiring the same info?

SunshineKris
10-10-2010, 06:10 AM
Oddly, education is one area I think should have some sort of federal standard. I see too many kids who are forced to move often (such as our family with the military) who have to put in extra time in some areas to catch up to graduate high school. Or where the standards in one state are much below another and the student has to repeat a grade. The other extreme is when a student comes from a good school and has to suffer through a repeat of something already learned and sometimes mastered, only because the district will not promote the student to the next grade (you know, age, funding, etc). And the history, science, even math, taught in each state are so different. I understand state history varies, but the rest of history does not. You cannot change the past but it seems each state has a different version of past events. Makes for very confused children, and adults. But since politics has entered into our education system it has gotten awful. Oh, and testing companies as well. They seem to run much of our education system too. Why else the need for standardized tests that even they can't grade well? (See Florida's fiasco from the 2009/10 school year.)

Anyway, that is but one reason we homeschool. We are concerned that our next base could be to a state (not naming names) which is certainly considered further behind. Should we move to a state with higher standards, my kids would be held back, to repeat the grade to the better state's level. My daughter wouldn't graduate until she's 20 at that rate, through no fault of her own! We instead chose to use a homeschool curriculum that is accredited and connected to a legitimate, established private school. It makes it easier for us. When we settle upon the husband's Air Force retirement, hopefully by the time the oldest is in high school, then we will look again at our options.

And don't get me started on pay, Ann! I could write a thesis (and just might one day). Let's just say I think a beginning teacher makes a decent starting salary for an entry level position, lots of time off (10 weeks of summer plus another few weeks during the school year, plus other one day holidays...) Based on the daily rate, they do quite well. And I say this even as I really do wish to become a teacher. Really, even for all the flaws in schools. I'd prefer to try a charter school that I have researched first, before a regular public school, or even a private school, but either way I'd love to teach. I really don't think their salaries are that bad, nor do I think throwing money at teachers will make things magically better. However, other incentives might work. But I'll save those or another time.

wild_destiny
10-10-2010, 10:39 AM
You have a lot of good points, Kris, that I had not even thought about. And, for what it's worth, I bet you would make a great teacher! :)

archibael
10-10-2010, 11:58 AM
But since politics has entered into our education system it has gotten awful.

Unfortunately, I think it is inevitable for politics to enter once you're added government.

mamaraby
10-10-2010, 05:42 PM
As with many things in life (medical insurance), I think having the real, actual costs hidden from people keeps them from paying attention to it. If you pay for it personally, you tend to think about it more than if you pay into a big pool and someone manages the pool and writes checks for you from time to time. Which is why, standard libertarianism "shrink all state powers" thinking aside, I have to question the conventional wisdom that the state should even be in the public school business. They've been screwing it up for decades. Does anyone really think they're going to suddenly get it right?

I think this is a convenient argument in both the context of medical insurance and education. Convenient in that it excuses responsibility from one end and puts it squarely on another who may then be comparatively affected by the risk greater than if the two parties had shared it. To use your health insurance analogy - my husband's previous employer moved their employees from a plan where they paid a portion of the premium plus the co-pay, small deductible, etc to a HDHP. We were told that it was so that we could be "in charge" of our health care dollars. Employer payed some portion of the premium and a small part of the deductible and then that was it. Their responsibility was not only over, but it was specific and defined. Our responsibility? Who knows. It could have been a few hundred dollars, but given that it was a High Deductible Health Plan it could have been more than $5k. Not surprisingly, for the remainder of my husband's time with that employer we did not use *any* of the health insurance benefits. Why? Because we couldn't afford it. As long as it fell under the $5k we had to pay for the entire visit up front. A couple of hundred dollars for any doctor's visit (or more depending on lab work, etc) vs the previous co-pay was a huge leap.

On paper it would seem that being made to "pay for it personally" worked. We used the health insurance benefits less which in turn I suppose meant that the premium charged by the health insurance company to the employer went down as well. In actuality it can mean that those who *need* to see the doctor don't and as a result it costs more in the long run to address their health issue. Wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that the same thing could happen if all of education was left for families to "pay for it personally"? Of course, the side issue here (and quite possibly in education as well) is that it ignores the third party. I have no control over how much a doctor or hospital charges for particular service and depending on where I live I may not have many choices available for a provider. If the doctor is supposed to be the "expert" and they suggest a particular course of treatment, set of tests, etc - how successful will the average person be in discerning which to agree to and which to skip?

The "pay for it personally" idea certainly simplifies the equation, but it flattens the issue into a simple black and white map whereas in reality the issues at hand are quite a bit more complicated with highs, lows, and shades of gray. Then again, I'm not a libertarian (big or little L). I tend to believe that there is something to be gained when a group of people get together for a common goal. I believe that the choice should exist for families to homeschool, but I also think that a vibrant and well funded public school system is an absolute necessity. Homeschooling and private schooling are fantastic options, but I don't believe that they'll work for every family. I'm not willing to remove the public school option from those who can least afford to lose it (the working poor actually exist). Is our present system imperfect? Most definitely. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely.

I guess I'm not surprised by the thread of discussion and what seems to be an consensus on the libertarian aspects. Here in lies the crux of my discomfort with most discussions amongst homeschoolers. Not only am I a secular homeschooler with faith practices, but I'm also a progressive which means I stick out like a sore thumb just about anywhere I turn.

dbmamaz
10-10-2010, 06:03 PM
I guess I'm not surprised by the thread of discussion and what seems to be an consensus on the libertarian aspects. Here in lies the crux of my discomfort with most discussions amongst homeschoolers. Not only am I a secular homeschooler with faith practices, but I'm also a progressive which means I stick out like a sore thumb just about anywhere I turn.

Just fyi, I've barely read this post at all. i quickly realized there was nothing of interest to me. I dont like arguing, and i dont like the arguments of libertarians. I just mark it as read and move on. I tend to be progressive, but really just more practical. I dont always think there is a right and a wrong, but I know people can make anything sound reasonable with the right argument. I think the problem is that people have different goals - what is best for him/herself and people like him/her, vs what is best for all those living in this country; what is best for the country as a home for traditional rugged individuals, or what is best for the country as a melting pot where all sorts must learn to respect and help each other. Or even what help each other means.

archibael
10-10-2010, 10:55 PM
Fair enough. I'm not out to offend anyone, or certainly to make people avoid threads, so I'll not respond in kind to mamaraby's post. It's not worth the keystrokes if that's all it's doing.

Kylie
10-11-2010, 05:35 AM
I think this is a very difficult topic to tackle. I am fairly confident that 99percent of people homeschool because they want more or better for their kids and their family, not to abuse or neglect their education. However there will always be that 1 percent and those are the kids that do need protecting (granted this topic is not just kept for homeschoolers though) but I do feel it is easier to 'fly under the radar' if barely no one knows about you you can pretty much do what you like.

In saying that I personally am very opposed to any government control, that is one of the reasons why I do homeschool, so we can have that control. Whilst I'd love some dollars to help pay for extra curricular activities and the like (which I believe they do in NZ and Canada) money IMO always comes at a cost and I 'm not prepared to pay that price.

They are trying to bring in a national curriculum here and if/when that gets passed what's to say they won't enforce all homeschoolers to have to follow it?

However, there has also been a part of me that feels public education dollars should just be split equally between al children. So for example if it costs $5000 annually here in Oz to educate a child (the last figure I heard) then regardless of where that child is educated they should get that amount of money put towards their education....the parent/guardian would just nominate to which 'school' the funds are to go. I have no idea if this would even be feasible but on face value it seems a fair way for all children. It would cut out the ridiculous amounts of funding that our private schools receive as opposed to the many of our very poorly underfunded public schools.


Well that was a bit all over the place, sorry lol!

MamaB2C
10-11-2010, 12:58 PM
I've barely read this post at all. i quickly realized there was nothing of interest to me. I dont like arguing, and i dont like the arguments of libertarians.

Cara, don't you think announcing your dismissal of a substantive discussion, based on what appears to be keyword skimming, is a little unfair?

Certainly don't read or respond to topics that don't interest you, but there is no need to make remarks that feel like an attack, and chill others' speech. Archibael now fears being offensive, which is not the case.

archibael
10-11-2010, 02:07 PM
I'm not so much worried about being offensive (I know I am ;) ), but about pointless flamewars and people leaving the discussion because they don't feel welcome (as mamaraby alleged).

dbmamaz
10-11-2010, 03:10 PM
Right, I was trying to empathize with mamaraby, and my main point was, 'use the delete key' or, mark as read, and move on. Not all conversations will be ones you want to participate. I know, i went a bit past that, but I didnt think that Archibael was offended by me. Generally i make a point of not commenting in discussions I dont like, but i felt like, since the topic of 'what if I hate this whole conversation' came up, i'd address it. But obviously not very adroitly as my main point was missed.

wild_destiny
10-11-2010, 04:01 PM
In reading this, it occurred to me that I am completely out of it where politics is concerned--and I am perfectly happy to be ignorantly blissful in this area. My own personal problem with political labels is that each label/camp in general (not necessarily here) assumes its way is the one right way for everyone--which is exactly what I did not like about religious homeschoolers (at least, the ones that I have met). So I am glad to have no label and be in no particular camp. That way I can take what I like from one section and use it, and likewise take from a differing perspective and use that knowledge and wisdom, as well. I can read and respect the replies by pretty much everyone above and come away from each response having learned something. Even if I don't agree with it (which is rarely the case on this site), I do take away the notion that I have learned something valuable or considered something in a way that I had previously neglected to do. And isn't that the end point of education, anyway--learning that does not stop?.

MamaB2C
10-11-2010, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the clarification dbmamaz.

I don't think we've reached any consensus here, nor do I think we've established anyone as being Libertarian or anti-progressive.

FTR, I think we need a vibrant, well funded public school system, but that those that choose to opt out should not then be regulated by that same system, nor have to jump through legal hoops to exercise their freedom to educate their children.

Now, child abuse and neglect laws can certainly include educational issues just they do emotional ones, as that is part of parental responsibility.

InstinctiveMom
10-11-2010, 09:38 PM
My stance is the state can set their standards for the public schools (hopefully based on solid reasons) and let parents set standards for their children. For the majority of people, quite frankly, the public offering will be the choice. They will think the standards are just fine or in line with their own.

Those who disagree with the standards can then homeschool or private school.

What I don't want is for those people whose standards I disagree with to have the authority to mandate that I must meet those standards anyway, under force of law.

Ditto that for me :)



So how do you get the parents to care again? (I say "again" assuming they ever did.) <snip> I have to question the conventional wisdom that the state should even be in the public school business. They've been screwing it up for decades. Does anyone really think they're going to suddenly get it right?

The issue is so multi-faceted... it's not just about getting parents to care, it's also about having a society where those who do can actually do something about it. Teacher's hands are tied. I saw that with my sons' classrooms, and even working as hard as I could in the school system, it did absolutely no good.
I may agree with you that the public school system should be privatized - but then here again, you might have a system where some children don't get educated at all because their parents can't afford it.

I think I like what MamaB2C said - the standard is there, and available - anyone who doesn't like it SHOULD BE ABLE to do something else. Unfortunately, there are many people who aren't able to homeschool because of their family situation or financial situation.



Regarding public education, I think a smart society will provide this for its citizens. However, my preference is to always see this mandate balanced out with parental choice and freedom of will for the family unit (or the single person). (Even a great notion taken too far can become an awful extremist juggernaut.) While I am not necessarily absolutely positively opposed to the thought of a government giving help (sports, classes, etc.) to homeschoolers, I do agree with Ann that it could be only too easy to lose rights in small increments--so small that perhaps those involved would not notice, until it was too late. The only solution to that (that I can see) would be having constant vigilance, which is not such an easy thing to maintain. Again, I am only comfortable with that scenario (of government interference in homeschooling) if it is OPTIONAL and stays that way.

I don't want the government in my homeschool. I don't want regulation, I don't want interference, I don't want them in any part of it. I think that once you give them an 'in', that's it. You've lost that freedom and access to that 'right'.

~h

mamaraby
10-11-2010, 11:44 PM
I'm not so much worried about being offensive (I know I am ;) ), but about pointless flamewars and people leaving the discussion because they don't feel welcome (as mamaraby alleged).

That's not actually what I said at all. Discomfort is not the same thing as not feeling welcome. It had nothing to do with a specific you at all, but a broad strokes type generalization IYKWIM. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say your thoughts on the issue are probably more mainstream amongst homeschoolers than mine. At least based upon what I've read via HEM and even my own local statewide inclusive group (prominent members of which are often published via HEM). Chalk that up to the independent sorts that would consider a homeschooling venture? I can't say for sure.

At one point I think I probably did believe some of the things that you've mentioned wholeheartedly. I'm sure I even said something like it at one time or another without actually knowing that I was doing it or what the official label would be. I don't think that you should avoid responding to my post...any discomfort I've felt is certainly my own issue...not yours. I posted partially because I was (maybe still am) in the minority view point. My first instinct is to take dbmamaz's tack and skip on over things. It's easier on me, and yet after reading Bill Bishop's "The Big Sort" I'm convinced that these sorts of conversations need to exist if only because it exposes the both of us to the "other". If that makes sense...

sis92y
10-12-2010, 02:34 PM
I may still be fairly new at HSing, but from what I have observed thus far of HSed kids in general is they have better manners, are well behaved in public, have an acute understanding of subjects that their PS counterparts do not seem to posses, and are far more knowledgeable in subjects of history, science, geography, math, language and grammar, and many others, more than any PS child I have encountered thus far.

That said, if/when the government systems begin to realize the idea of "No Child Left Behind" was meant to raise the standards of PS children, rather than the current dumbing down to the lowest common denominator, then I might consider a government role in homeschooling as slightly beneficial to the public. As long as government agencies continue promoting the current standards of education rather than raising the bar on them, I find it impossible to be supportive of any government official having any say in my children's education.

I may not be the smartest person available to teach my girls, but to my knowledge, no one cares about their educational needs more than I do. I will certainly accept any assistance offered in this process, but I will not limit their potential to that of a sadly under-challenged government standard. Settling for just good enough is not good enough (Our family and HS motto). We certainly do not have the highest standards but at no point in time do I find it acceptable to settle for the lowest standard, and a public school education is just that - the lowest standard.

So if the government wants my support in regulating home-schoolers, may I first suggest they raise PS educational standards to those of HS kids.

archibael
10-13-2010, 12:41 AM
Okay, folks, I'll try to be less sensitive. I've seen the progressive/libertarian dichotomy ruin many a forum and I figured I'd dance gently to avoid that sort of thing here. [shrug]