"What Do We Do With Homeschoolers"

Apparently Mr. Stein is concerned that school administrators are attempting to improve their graduation rates by classifying drop-outs as homeschoolers and convincing parents of troubled kids to sign papers saying that they are removing their kids to homeschool. So Tom Stein, senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Richmond, IN, http://www.pal-item.com/article/20101001/NEWS03/10010314/What-do-we-do-w... in to the Palladium-Item to encourage legislators to close what he believes are legal loopholes in homeschool laws, and posits that "some oversight and regulation seems reasonable. This might include submission of a curriculum, occasional visits and participation in the standardized tests." Of course, "this addition to our bureaucracy will cost money, but how does that compare to what we pay for a lifetime of dependency?" He suspects that some homeschoolers "enjoy a curriculum of potato chips and ESPN". As a result, "...uneducated, unskilled, unmotivated people who will barely survive in the work force and might eventually drop out altogether. Then, since we are so generous with our social programs, we will have another group of people who take far more than they give."

This sounds reasonable to most folks, usually because they can't imagine taking on that kind of responsibility for their own children. They often don't feel that they are adequate to the task- as Mr. Stein says, "My kids surpassed my home-schooling skills somewhere around first grade." "Excuse me, Mr. Stein, but if you couldn't homeschool a second grader, why do you believe that you are qualified to give your opinion about home education, and how on earth do you pastor a church if you are so inept?" Which leads me to believe that this is a throw-away comment, because he doesn't really think he's that stupid. He's trying to make some kind of point. Announcing that after the education he received during 12 years in public or private schools PLUS seminary he couldn't teach basic math and reading doesn't do much for his case, IMO.

But let's take a look at public schools in Indiana. According to http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2009/2010460IN8.pdf]the state report card , in 2009, 21% of students performed Below Basic skill levels, 47% were At Basic, 30% were Proficient, and 3% were Advanced. Indiana is considered to be a state that performs significantly above the national average. SO- 21% of students performing Below Basic are considered acceptable losses. This most likely will result in "uneducated, unskilled, unmotivated people who will barely survive in the work force and might eventually drop out altogether. Then, since we are so generous with our social programs, we will have another group of people who take far more than they give."

Public education is supported by tax payers. Home education is not. How's about the public school system take the Brooklyn Bridge out of its own eye before it gets out the tweezers to go poking around homeschoolers, eh?

What really struck me funny about this was Mr. Stein's position that more homeschool legislation will somehow prevent dishonest school administrators from cooking their books. Uh-huh.

Bottom line, the US Supreme Court has guaranteed the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children according to the Constitution. Gov't intervention and oversight in the past few decades has never been shown to improve the federal education system, nor can it guarantee the quality of home education.

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