FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I am vindicated! (Homeschooling is legal in CA) (Page 7)

  This topic comprises 8 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8   
Author Topic: I am vindicated! (Homeschooling is legal in CA)
PSI Teleport
Member
Member # 5545

 - posted      Profile for PSI Teleport   Email PSI Teleport         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I don't know a single homeschool family where the kids were taught the pledge at home."

Now you do. [Smile]

Posts: 6366 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
quote:
A constitution that doesn't allow for the protection of the rights for those unable to protect it themselves should be changed.
Okay, no offense intended here... But if you don't live in the state you don't really have much influence over their constitution, do you?
I never suggested I have much influence over the OK state constitution, just that I would be in favor of it being changed, and I think it ought to be changed. To take an extreme example, I'm also in favor of ending genocide in Darfur, and think genocide in Darfur ought to be ended, but I currently have about as much influence in that matter as I do with OK's constitution - which is to say that I can raise my voice in protest and volunteer with local causes that push for change but, short of radically changing my life, that's about it.
Okay, gotcha. [Smile]
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Thanks, Jhai. I'm still thinking about how I'd feel about mandatory tutoring for my children, should they not pass a state-administered test.
Why do all the home school advocates here persist in using the term "state" when those who are proponents of community oversight have repeatedly emphasized "community" not "state". The Standford Achievement Tests, for example, are published by a private corporation (Harcourt Inc.) and need not be administered by the state.
Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Because if someone's making a law that takes control away from the parents/demands oversight (not makes it optional), it's government. Whether it's the state, the city, the federal government, or a group of community leaders, if they've got the power to make rules and enforce them upon people who don't sign up to have them enforced (a HOA would be an example of signing up to have rules enforced), they're a government, and "state" is the easiest term that comes to the fingertips when writing about government. I don't think anyone would object if you substituted "government" for "state."
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a society, we have already agreed that educating children is something we are legally obligated to do- hence the existence of truancy laws. Parents who home school are asking for exemptions from this law. I personally do not think that a parent's word is good enough to grant such an exemption.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why do all the home school advocates here persist in using the term "state" when those who are proponents of community oversight have repeatedly emphasized "community" not "state". The Standford Achievement Tests, for example, are published by a private corporation (Harcourt Inc.) and need not be administered by the state.
Because if it's mandatory, it's state action. The agent carrying out the state action is not usually the biggest concern.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
As a society, we have already agreed that educating children is something we are legally obligated to do- hence the existence of truancy laws. Parents who home school are asking for exemptions from this law.
No they aren't.
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would hazard to guess that scholarette means (and I agree, so even if she doesn't mean this, I do) that if a homeschooled child is not actually receiving a valuable education, then it amounts to truancy, because the child is effectively "skipping school."

I think that's completely accurate too - if the child isn't being properly educated at home, it is no different from the child being enrolled in public school and not going. The same rules should apply.

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did mean what MightyCow said. Sorry if I said so in an unclear manner. My understanding of Texas law (I am actually considering home schooling my child so I have looked it up) is that I still must teach her reading, writing and math, plus have a written curriculum in order for my child to not be in violation of the law.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
As a society, we have already agreed that educating children is something we are legally obligated to do- hence the existence of truancy laws. Parents who home school are asking for exemptions from this law.
No they aren't.
If they are demanding freedom from any kind of oversight, they are.
Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
scholarette, you also have to teach good citizenship. That's a required subject in Texas. [Smile]

I think Texas and U.S. History are too.

But I'm not sure you have to have a written curriculum.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nope, I was wrong. Good citizenship, reading, writing, spelling, math, and grammar.

And you have to keep a written curriculum but that doesn't specify what it has to consist of. (i.e., it could say, "plan for the day: go to the museum. Discuss blah blah blah. Spelling practice in the car.")

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Why do all the home school advocates here persist in using the term "state" when those who are proponents of community oversight have repeatedly emphasized "community" not "state". The Standford Achievement Tests, for example, are published by a private corporation (Harcourt Inc.) and need not be administered by the state.
Because if it's mandatory, it's state action. The agent carrying out the state action is not usually the biggest concern.
I've never denied that the government would need to be involved in enforcement, but that is different than the government "administering" the test, evaluating the child's progress or "specifying" the curriculum.

You may think I'm splitting hairs but I think its reflects an important philosophical difference in how we see government.

I see the government in a democratic society as one arm of the community. Government is how we as the community have chosen to fill certain responsibilities we have to each other, for example the protection of individual rights. We can argue about whether or not government is the best way to fill certain responsibilities and we could argue about whether a specific form of government is a good way to fill those responsibilities and we could argue about what the legitimate responsibilities of the community are -- but those are in fact separate arguments. By specifying community rather than government, I was trying to make that separation.

Simply substituting "state" or "government" where I have used the word community begs the question of what people find objectionable about oversight and ignores the reasons why I believe oversight is necessary and government oversight is justified.

If people object to government oversight because they see "the state" as a faceless authoritarian body prone to abuse and usurpation of individual freedoms, that's different from objecting because they feel the community has no legitimate interests in the education their children.

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Who enforces the decisions of the community? What consequences would occur should the parent not comply with the community? How are those consequences administered?
Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was just answering the question you asked.

But yes, I think the government is extremely prone to abuses and usurpation of individual freedoms.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
scholarette, you also have to teach good citizenship. That's a required subject in Texas. [Smile]

I know, but good citizenship is such a silly and flaky subject.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_raven
Member
Member # 3383

 - posted      Profile for Dan_raven   Email Dan_raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Put Scholarette down in the "List" as questioning the importance of Good Citizenship. Alert the men in black...

What it boils down to is what should we fear more... A) The parent who ruins the lives of their children by "homeschooling" only what they believe is important--maybe "how to catch the best wave" or "how to grow your weed so the narcs can't bust you" or even "how to worship ME!!!"

B) The government that tries to indoctrinate our children by forcing them to pass tests who's biases are beyond our control. Sure today its basic "reading and writing and math" but who is to say that tomorrow it might by Political Correctness Basics, Science Not Superstition which would be a disguised attack on faith, or Good Citizenship which means voting for the people in power. Once you give control over to the state/community then you give up the ability to arrest its abuse.

I personally believe that A is a bigger threat than B to some children out there. On the other hand, it is also a whole lot easier to remedy after the fact.

Posts: 11895 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But if B was coming from a local level- such as the school district, it is a lot easier to remedy then if it is coming from the federal level. For example, with the whole evolution/id debate, we have seen examples where the community votes out large amounts of board members to make sure the curriculum is what the want it to be. Yet despite the numerous complaints about NCLB, it is still in place with only a few tweaks. And of course, a local decision makes it a lot easier to move out of the area if you really disagree. Within reasonable commute of my job are numerous school districts, so if my school district really upset me, I could possibly move.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you have posed a false dilemma, Dan, those are not the only two possibilities.

For example, the government and the biases it imposes are not beyond our control in an open democratic society. Every person has the right to petition the government, to propose new laws and amendments to existing laws and if they can persuade a enough of the community that they have valid points, they can control what the government does.

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Every person has the right to petition the government, to propose new laws and amendments to existing laws and if they can persuade a enough of the community that they have valid points, they can control what the government does.
This is generally true. However, there are times when the government blocks this access to redressing problems with laws and there are times when in the mean time while this process is going on, irrepairable harm is done.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
KQ, Yes there are bad governments. But every complaint you've made could be made about any organization or individual in a position of authority. for example I could say "Parents are prone to abuses and usurpation of the children's natural rights" or "Teachers are prone to abuses and usurpation of children's rights" and I certainly could quickly find many many examples to prove the claim. While not every parent or teacher is abusive or disrespectful of the child's rights (in fact I believe most are not), I suspect that virtually every parent or teacher has been tempted to be at some point or another.

And if you argued that we have set up a system where the community can intervene if parents are found to be abusive I could readily point out that while

quote:
This is generally true. However, there are times when the parent blocks this access to redressing problems and there are times when in the mean time while this process is going on, irrepairable harm is done.
The fact that we as a community haven't found a perfect 100% accurate way to protect the rights of our citizens, does not absolve us of the responsibility to keep trying. Thus far, governments are the best way we have found to protect individual rights. They certainly beat vigilante justice, for example. Since we know governments have a tendency to abuse their power, we have an obligation to devise better systems which minimize that possibility. That's why we must demand oversight of all aspects of government.

One of the reasons governments may tend toward usurpation of freedoms is that unless a person lives in total isolation, all their freedoms are necessarily proscribed by the rights and freedoms of other people. That means that all rights exist within some hierarchy and some people are bound to disagree with the generally accepted hierarchy. For example, we generally agree that the right to free exercise of religion does not include the right to use lethal force to convert others to your religion even if you sincerely believe that god has commanded you to do so. While I doubt that this example is at all controversial, I could pull out many others which are. For example, what is the proper balance of the right to free speech and the right not to be harassed by people who disagree with you? What is the proper balance between free press and the right to privacy (think tabloid coverage of famous people)?

Rights are always a matter of compromise. So the question is not whether or not government should intervene to protect a child's rights, but how we can set up a system that has a reasonably high probability of protecting the child's rights while minimizing interference with the parents rights.

As I all ready indicated, I think the option you proposed has an extremely low probability of identifying when the child's rights are being violated and is there for unacceptably negligent. A program like the one I and others here have proposed with minimum competency testing followed by further evaluation and assistance when it is indicated is not only a much better compromise, but also substantially less invasive that the laws being used in most states now. If your primary objection to that are that you don't trust the government not to abuse the process, we need to consider additional checks within the system to make sure that doesn't happen but we can't just abandon our responsibility to protect the children's rights.

This is not just about you and your children. You have a responsibility to all the other children in your community as well, just like I do.

[ August 21, 2008, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
romanylass
Member
Member # 6306

 - posted      Profile for romanylass   Email romanylass         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sachiko:
Huh. I'm in WA state, too, and I thought my kids' test scores needed to be higher than that. I need to review the HS laws here.



Romanylass, I know most here are advocating for "just" math/reading testing. I'm with the other paranoid parents who think this would be a cover for more intrusion.



It sounds so nice, and "it's for the children" is a nice ideal, but in general, once the state enters a home, it doesn't want to leave.

Whether you think I'm paranoid about the possibility of a mandatory state-assigned tutor or not, many homeschooling parents would immediately reject the idea, based on previous bad experiences with CPS.

Again, the only plus I can see from this kind of testing is the opportunity to control the level of potential intrusion by taking a test. But if the test led to more state intrusion, then I don't imagine a lot of HS parents happy with the idea of taking it.

This is the level required by our charter school (we are with CVA, which,I know, a lot of hard core homeschoolers don't call homeschooling)Anything above that level and they won't intervene. Of course, I am someone who put herself ( and the kids) in a posotion of more oversight, voluntarily for gain ( getting my curriculum paid for) so take that for what it's worth.
As a homeschooler, I don't think requiring kids to read and compute at some reasonable % of grade level is unreasonable. We're required to feed our kids two meals a day ( in WA state); would we think it terrible to intervene if a parent regularly only fed their kids once a day?

Posts: 2711 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that voluntarily submitting to that level of oversight and mandating that level of oversight are very different.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It sounds so nice, and "it's for the children" is a nice ideal, but in general, once the state enters a home, it doesn't want to leave.
It sounds so threatening and oppressive to have the state "enter your home and never leave", but I don't see how that absolves me of my responsibility to protect children's rights.

In the end, I don't really care if home school parents don't like it. I don't have any responsibility to make parents who home school happy. I want to see their rights protected but that's it. They don't have a right to deprive their child of a basic education any more than they have the right to deprive their child of basic nutrition or a right to break their child's legs.

We have a responsibility to use due diligence in ascertaining whether a child's educational rights are actually being violated. When problems are identified, we should make a good faith effort to work with the parents rather than against their will. But the bottom line is that the child's right to be taught reading, trumps the parents right to choose for their child. If parents are unwilling to accept help with a child who is struggling with literacy and basic math, tough. They simply don't have the right to choose to neglect their child's education.

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
I think that voluntarily submitting to that level of oversight and mandating that level of oversight are very different.

If you don't think mandating some level of oversight is acceptable, how would you propose that the community fill its obligation to protect the child's rights to a basic education?
Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This may go without asking, but under this plan--testing followed up by intervention if needed--parents of public school students would be subject to the same evaluations and interventions, yes?

Correct me if I'm wrong--and I'm sure I don't need to ask twice [Wink] --but I am picking up on an assumption that you think homeschooling is by its very nature more prone to the neglect of children than public schooling.

Which is why, because there is the possibility of a minority of parents educationally neglecting their kids, I need to be okay with the state/community/enforcers/whoever coming into my home when THEY determine it is needed, and despite how I may feel about it. Yes?

I've asked before--would you support the same kind of programs in place to "protect the right" to a moral education for all children, and support interventionary churching (for lack of a better term) for some families?

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Everyone here who has been proposing oversight has said, at one point or another, that public school children should be held to the same testing standards. The thing is, though, for the very minimal levels of oversight we've been suggesting, they almost always are. Unless your child is actually not attending his public school classes - in which case truancy laws come into effect - he will almost certainly learn basic literacy & math while attending school. Maybe he won't get much more than that, which is a problem, but he is very likely to get that much.

Now, it is true that some schools are allowing students to graduate without these fundamental skills. I think that's a damn shame, and those schools should be held accountable. Those negligent schools are failing to uphold the rights of students just as much as negligent homeschooling parents are.

The only case I can think of where it could possibly the parents' fault is in the case of learning disabilities where the parent refuses to let the child get the help he needs. In that case I'd suggest the same measures as I discussed earlier.

I believe that the Constitution would disallow any sort of mandatory "churching" or other moral education, given the separation of church & state. Furthermore, it is demonstrably true (via the many atheists in this country) that you do not need "churching" to be a self-sufficient member of the community.

Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In theory, public education students are already following this model. My friend's 7 year old daughter was in summer school (at no charge) because she had performed poorly on her reading tests. So, it isn't something we are inflicting only upon homeschooled kids. Public school kids are inflicted to far more intensive scrutiny.

I would classify reading as a basic survival skill. I do not see how one could argue moral education is a survival skill, in our current society. I could see a society were moral education was necessary for the most basic level of functioning in society, in which case I would argue that it should be provided.

Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sachiko: On the surface, that's just a silly idea. We shouldn't enforce "moral education" based on religion, because 1) we have freedom of religion, and 2) it cannot be shown that a particular religious upbringing is in any way superior for the moral development of a child when compared to any other religious upbringing or an atheistic one.

Further it CAN and HAS been shown that improper education will be detrimental to a child's development, and will put her at a clear disadvantage later in life. So not only is the idea of a mandatory religious upbringing silly on the surface, but it isn't even a good comparison.


Ah, but wait. When we dig deeper, you'll see that such moral intervention does exist - it's called the legal system.

When a child exhibits the results of an insufficient moral upbringing by behaving against the laws of the country, the government does step in and determine what is best for the child, regardless of how the parents feel about it.

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Belle
Member
Member # 2314

 - posted      Profile for Belle   Email Belle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This may go without asking, but under this plan--testing followed up by intervention if needed--parents of public school students would be subject to the same evaluations and interventions, yes?

If you've read the thread at all, then I think you would know that yes, it goes without asking because I and Rabbit and several others have repeatedly said that we don't expect any "extra" testing applied to homeschool students that public school students don't take.

In Alabama, we have standardized testing that begins in grade 3 - which assesses reading comprehension and arithmetic skills. As has been pointed out numerous times, if a child is not reading in grade 3 (around age 8) then that usually indicates a problem. It's not an accident that those tests begin in third grade - the people who design the test programs have read all the studies.

There's also the ARMT - Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test - taken yearly beginning in grade 4.

There is also a writing assessment in grades 7 and 10 - where the child is given a topic and has to write an essay. Then, there is the Graduation Exam, taken for the first time in 10th grade and if passed then, never again. It can be passed in sections - and whatever section the child doesn't pass he can take again in grades 11 and then again in 12. If he does not pass it on the third try, he cannot get a diploma unless he completes remedial classes and takes it again and passes it.

Now, ideally, homeschool students would take them all because I think that would be best for giving a good picture of how the child is doing. But, knowing some people really object to standardized testing, I would be okay with a program like the following:

3rd grade - Stanford Achievement Test or other test that measures reading comprehension and basic arithmetic.

5th Grade - ARMT

7th Grade - Writing Assessment

10th Grade - Graduation Exam

That's not even a test a year, and would require a homeschool parent allocate 4 days over a period of 7 years to bringing their child to a testing site (if they don't want anyone coming in their home). You should also note that in those seven years, the public school students would have taken the Stanford test 7 times, the ARMT 5 times, the writing assessment 2 times, and the Graduation exam multiple times if necessary. So, in fact, I'm asking for far LESS testing of homeschool students.

I would suspect, that most homeschooled kids would pass each of these tests with flying colors. Then, they never need worry about it again.

Now, this is just a thought I've had, and isn't based on any type of research. I'm not an expert in assessment and there may be things here that I don't know enough about that might call for more testing than I've proposed. And while I think reading comprehension, writing skills, and mathematics are extremely important, I hate to neglect the social sciences and sciences until the graduation exam (where they are covered) so maybe there would need to be some testing of those areas before 10th grade. But heck, what I've listed would at least be a start and if a child made sufficient scores on those then I'd feel pretty confident that he/she was learning basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Posts: 14428 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I've asked before--would you support the same kind of programs in place to "protect the right" to a moral education for all children, and support interventionary churching (for lack of a better term) for some families?
Sachiko, It really seems like you haven't been reading most of the thread.

We have an obligation to intervene when a child isn't being taught important language skills like reading, writing and basic math (yes I believe math counts as a language) not only because they are essential skills but also because there is compelling evidence that if a person does not learn these as a child, they will never be able to master the subjects.

I think that both those points are essential to justify limiting the parents right to choose for their child. Let me reiterate, two points are required to justify intervention.

1. The skill must be essential for the child to thrive in the adult world.

and

2. Their must be compelling evidence that the skill must be learned in childhood to be mastered.

Let me give some examples of things I don't think meet both those tests.

Example 1: Music. There is significant evidence that unless a person begins their music education before puberty, they will never be able to develop pitch memory so that meets criteria 2. On the other hand, many people have rich full filling lives and even become professional musicians without pitch memory so it doesn't meet criteria 1. As a result, I couldn't justify a requirement that every child receive music instruction.

Example 2: Learning chinese: There is compelling evidence that people who do not learn a language before they reach puberty will never be able to speak it accent free so this meets criteria 2 as well. But for a person in America, speaking chinese isn't an essential life skill. Furthermore a person can become fluent in chinese as an adult with effort even if they will always have an accent. It doesn't meet criteria 1 so I couldn't justify a requirement that every child be taught chinese (or russian or any other language not spoken by the majority in our community).

Example 3: The US constitution. I think understanding the basics of the constitution is pretty essential for a person who lives in the US so it meets criteria 1. But I've known many people who moved to the US as adults and have been able to master an understanding of the workings of our government better than those who learned them as a child so it doesn't meet criteria. 2. So if a parent doesn't want to teach their child about the US constitution, I would not feel it necessary to intervene. The child will still have that option as an adult should they choose it.

Example 4. Knowledge of Jesus Christ. I personally believe this an essential for peoples eternal salvation so I could argue that it meets criteria 1 but it certainly doesn't meet criteria 2. I can point to thousands of people who first learned of Jesus as adults, even senior citizens who have developed faith in him. I could also point to thousands who were taught to believe in him as children who have abandoned that belief as an adult. Therefore, I can't see any reason to accept that society should intervene in a parents choices regarding moral or religious education.


Now we may disagree about whether a given subject meets either of those tests and that is worthy of debate but arguing that because we don't require intervention for subjects that don't meet those tests we shouldn't require intervention for subjects that do indicates that you haven't grasped the topic at hand.

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now, I'm asking this in a very nice tone of voice-Belle, if you are so confident that the test won't be any problem for most homeschooled kids, then why do they need to take it in the first place Just in case a small minority don't pass--a small minority that might opt out of taking the tests anyway?

And I'd also like to point out that my concern was that educators would keep piggy-backing more things onto the tests, like science and social studies. Belle, you are just such a caring, eager educator; I think it's safe to assume that many other educators would, like you, want to add extra subjects to the the test, because they feel so strongly about the value of a good education.

And while I feel as passionately about teaching my children science and history, I may differ from the public schools on how/which parts of those subjects to teach.

This is where my "moral education" analogy comes in, and I don't think it's just silly. History is highly subjective, and I was taught a politicized version of it when I was in school, especially at my CA schools.

My teacher and that curriculum made value judgments I don't agree with. I assume they were teaching us that way because they thought knowing/agreeing with those things was an important and quantifiable part of being a good citizen.

So I worry that my children would be tested on that as well--not just "read this" and "find X" but also "this belief is wrong: True or False?" In my opinion, many public schools already do teach a religion/"moral education", one that is not mine, and mandatory testing could be used as a bully pulpit for enforcing those beliefs.

And if atheists are moral people without the aid of a church--and I don't argue that--then why regard one certain kind of education as "the one true way", which therefore gives it the right to define and enforce its idea of education?

I appreciate that Belle and Rabbit want to enforce these same standards on all educational institutions, public, private, and home. But it seems like your reform efforts are being focused on homeschooling out of proportion to the number of children homeschooled in the USA, versus how many go to public/private schools.

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rabbit, my beef is with who decides they need to intervene, when, how and why.

In my anecdotal experience with similar government bodies--that is, my friends who have had run-ins with CPS--what generally tends to happen is that once CPS has been called, no matter how easy it is to prove that initial complaint false, if the CPS person decides they want to keep checking in on that family, they will come up with a reason, sometimes falsifying one, if need be.

One person I know had a fellow church member call CPS because they thought her preemie was too small. CPS showed up, took a look at the baby, talked to the doctor, and everything was fine--but CPS insisted they needed to keep sending someone to their house once a week for the indefinite future, "just to be sure".

Rabbit, I agree with your ideal of every child receiving an adequate education. I don't agree with your methods. I think they are impractical and prone to abuse.

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Since there is no testing for homeschooled kids, we know very little regarding how those students will actually do. And just because homeschooled kids are in the minority, they should not be ignored. No one is suggesting anything that would cost more (in time or money) then what is given to public school kids. So the out of proportion doesn't seem to be much of an argument for me. If we had a thread devoted to changes in public school requirements, I am sure you would see numerous suggestions for change and improvement for public schools from everyone here, but this is not a thread on public schools.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sachiko: Never in my pre-college history was I given a test which said, "This belief is wrong: True or False."

If anything, the public school system is so washed of bias due to the fears of political correctness, that morality is largely absent from historical education.

Besides, if a test like that came along, you could certainly protest it. It's rather silly to assume the worst possible situation, and then object to math and reading comprehension based on the slippery slope that something else might later be added on.

Now that I think about it, I wouldn't object to adding a formal logic and critical thinking section. [Wink]

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sachiko, by your definition of "prone to abuse", EVERYTHING government-related is prone to abuse.

I mean, right now there's a law saying you need to pay X amount of taxes each year. What if the tax people were to piggyback more taxes on that? Eventually they'll be making you pay ALL your money to the government? It could happen!!! Therefore, let's not pay any taxes at all, because it will be the first step in letting the government take ALL of your money.

At some point, you need to recognize that, as a member of a democratic country you have the ability to have your opinion heard, but you'll also have to abide by the will of the majority (as long as they aren't taking away fundamental rights).

There is no fundamental right for a parent to not having her child tested a few times during his childhood to make sure that the child's rights are being upheld. Sorry.

Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Belle
Member
Member # 2314

 - posted      Profile for Belle   Email Belle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now, I'm asking this in a very nice tone of voice-Belle, if you are so confident that the test won't be any problem for most homeschooled kids, then why do they need to take it in the first place Just in case a small minority don't pass--a small minority that might opt out of taking the tests anyway?

Because while MOST will pass, SOME will not. And by God, I think those some, even if they are very few, deserve the same access to education that every other child does, no matter where he/she goes to school. There is no other way, that I know of, of finding out how those homeschooled kids are doing unless they are tested, barring a portfolio review system that has been suggested and that I've already pointed out is fraught with difficulties like subjectivity and cost.

quote:
But it seems like your reform efforts are being focused on homeschooling out of proportion to the number of children homeschooled in the USA, versus how many go to public/private schools.
Well, number 1 it's because this thread is about homeschooling that you see us focused on what needs to be done about homeschoolers. Start a thread on what reading reforms need to be in the public schools and I think you'll see that even us public school educators find faults with the programs out there.

However, there is also the fact that we already have safeguards in place to help catch kids who struggling in the public schools. I can only speak to Alabama, since it's my state and where I'm being trained to become a teacher but I'm sure Alabama is not alone in having programs that emphasize the importance of reading.

Here, every school system employs a reading coach as part of the Alabama Reading Initiative who reviews test scores and intervenes where a reading difficulty is spotted. My son received a low score on one reading test and I heard from our reading coach. Turns out he wasn't paying attention and just didn't apply himself and he can read just fine - but I was thrilled to see such intervention take place. That meant our reading coach at our elementary school is doing her job - she spotted a potential problem, notified the parents that "Hey, we need to check into this and make sure your son is getting the reading skills he needs" and then she examined him one-on-one and re-tested him and found that he was fine. That was the the last I heard from her except for the annual reports she sends home telling me how my child has performed on reading assessment. Since my kids all read above grade level, she's never needed to do anything else with them.

Now, in many cases, it's not that simple and the reading coach has to work with that student to help get him/her up to grade level in reading. But the point is, they are there - and they do work hard. We have middle school reading coaches too, which is my dream job - after teaching a few years and getting my master's in reading and certification as a reading specialist I want very badly to work as a middle school reading coach.

In many, many cases, all a struggling reader needs to become fluent is some intervention and one-on-one coaching from a trained reading specialist. Sometimes the reading specialist can help identify learning disabilities or dyslexia too.

Now, the vast majority of public school students pass reading benchmark tests. Even in what you would term a "struggling" school. I know, I've seen the reports. But because, say 78% of the school passes the report, does that mean we shouldn't even bother hiring reading coaches and not worry about putting those measures in place? Of course not. Those students in the 22% need help, and they deserve the chance to get it.

I've seen studies that show that most homeschooled kids read at or above grade level. Wonderful. But some do not. Even if the percentage is low, the kids in that group deserve the same type of intervention that the kids in the public schools get.

Posts: 14428 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It depends, Scholarette--the standardized tests homeschoolers would be taking; would these be tests already in existence, and to be administered by public schools,

or would the tests be written by separate committees, and administered by the same?

Since we're going to hold public and private schools to the same standard, does that mean they will also be subject to these committees and tests?

If so, that sounds like a centralized, authoritative body. Sounds like the government, and not like a political locally owned and operated affair.

If not, then who will people and lead these committees? Local professional educators overseeing homeschoolers, or homeschoolers themselves, or a mix of the two? This is important, because some people may feel that homeschooling oversight only by a professional educator is acceptable.

What if homeschoolers voluntarily created committees and tests for homeschoolers--would this be considered acceptable?

But, wait, some homeschool curriculum companies already do this. They are accredited and offer tests and certificates. I'm guessing, then, that the homeschoolers-testing-homeschoolers option wouldn't be acceptable, since a voluntary system is already in place.

And how are we going to enforce these tests? That requires resources as well, besides writing and administering them.

Don't forget about the time and resources required to form official third parties for people to appeal to when they feel the governing educational body, who/whatever that is, abuses their authority.

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I want children to be educated too, Belle. Especially my own, but also all the children I've never met, and will never meet.

But, I wonder when else the central authority, whoever it is, will decide intervention is needed. And it seems like some people--not all, not even necc. you--will focus more on homeschooled kids as subjects for mandatory intervention, either because they feel homeschooled children don't have the safety nets public schools offer, or because homeschooling by its nature disadvantages children.

If you feel public schools need reading reforms, then what do you think is the first priority--fixing public schools, or fixing homeschools? Which do you think is cheaper, or more effective, at least to begin with?

BTW, Belle, I loved hearing your enthusiasm in talking about becoming a reading coach. [Smile]

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why do I have to pick just one thing to fix? And I cannot believe that administrating one test will ever cost as much as teaching a child for a full year.
The homeschooling tests don't fulfill this requirement because they are voluntary. We want to protect every child, not just the ones whose parents are willing. In fact, the volunteers are probably the ones we are least worried about.

Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, then, in order for this testing to work, it must be compulsory.

What means of compulsion do you think would be best/cheapest?

I agree that volunteers are probably the ones who require the least worry.

(sorry about my constant use of the passive; I'm trying to be very careful in what I say, and it makes my writing really dry)

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Belle
Member
Member # 2314

 - posted      Profile for Belle   Email Belle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The decision about what standardized tests to use and when to administer them is a state one, IIRC. That is, NCLB requires testing, but each state decides which tests to use and when.

In my state, there are state-administered tests like the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test and the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

As for enforcement - it's easier than you might think. We already have administrative bodies in place for home schools - cover schools. (At least, in the states that require them - like mine)

I think that cover school should have to report testing scores to the state department of education just like every other school district has to. If they don't, they lose their license to operate as a cover school. If the cover school loses it's accreditation, the students enrolled in that school would have to enroll in a new cover school or be subject to truancy laws.

Then, the same people who audit the score reports from public and private schools would also audit the reports from the cover schools. At the school level, they would be required to report on which students failed to meet reading benchmarks and how that student is being remediated. If the remediation fails to improve scores in a follow-up test, then the student should be referred to the local reading specialist that works for the school the child would attend if he/she were in public school. That reading specialist takes it from there. Ditto if a learning disability is suspected - the child would be referred to the exceptional education specialist at the local school.

Using the cover school as the main administrative body for the students and parents allows the cover school to be treated at the state dept of education level exactly like a private or public school is. And certainly parents have input into who serves on the board of that cover school - so they have local control there.

As for your concerns over affecting policy - state depts of education are under the jurisdiction of a state board, and you either elect them or they are appointed by officials you elect, so you have the same amount of control every voting citizen has.

Posts: 14428 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sachiko
Member
Member # 6139

 - posted      Profile for Sachiko   Email Sachiko         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, basically, we need to encourage the use of cover schools, which amounts to homeschooling being a somewhat modified version of public schooling.

(Oh, and, if I don't answer for a few days, it's because we just closed on a house, and I need to pack/move/school the kids. Just so you know. [Smile] )

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Instead of cover schools, it could simply be in the packet you turn in to the state so that you don't get nabbed for avoiding compulsory education laws. In Texas, I would currently turn in a letter saying I plan to homeschool. Under this plan, I would turn in a letter and the scores. The test could be administered by the school or it could be by one of the testing companies (or perhaps a tutoring company like Sylvan or Kumon) if you want to avoid dealing with the schools entirely.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sachiko, are you even reading the thread? The vast majority of your questions have already been answered previously. I remember you pulling this exact same stunt in a previous thread - asking the same questions over and over again that have already been answered, failing to acknowledge that others have answered your question, and then using the answers to jump onto some point that no one suggested (such as transforming homeschooling into "a somewhat modified version of public schooling"). Which forces everyone to answer that random point, afterwhich you jump onto the next conclusion, and again fail to acknowledge that you were wrong. Etc, etc.

If this pattern continues in this thread, I have absolutely no qualms in just ignoring anything you write, and encouraging others to do the same (in this thread). It's equivalent to feeding a troll. (Albeit one who asks in "a very nice tone" *rolls eyes*)

Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sachiko:
Rabbit, I agree with your ideal of every child receiving an adequate education. I don't agree with your methods. I think they are impractical and prone to abuse.

Sachiko, I don't disagree with your "ideal" of a parent having the option to educate their own children. I just don't agree that parents who make this choice should be free from oversight. I think home schools are prone to abuse and that many of them violate the rights of children to learn. As a community, we have a moral obligation to keep that abuse from happening.

I know there are many parents home schooling that are doing a adequate or better job of educating their children, that's why I'm not recommending that homeschooling be banned, I'm only asking for oversight.

Thie isn't about achieving some educational "ideal", its about the rights of children and I as a member of the community I have a moral obligation to protect those rights.

If you don't agree with my methods, suggest some other way that I can meet my moral obligations. I know the method I've proposed isn't perfect and could be abused, but I can't come up with a idea that is both less prone to abuse and has a reasonably high probability of protecting the child's rights. If you've got one, I'm glad to listen but so far all you've done is tell me and the rest of the community its not our business.

You're wrong! Protecting the rights of children is not only our business, it is our moral obligation and I for one am unable to walk away from that obligation just because you don't approve.

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eaquae Legit
Member
Member # 3063

 - posted      Profile for Eaquae Legit   Email Eaquae Legit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sachiko:
So, then, in order for this testing to work, it must be compulsory.

What means of compulsion do you think would be best/cheapest?

I agree that volunteers are probably the ones who require the least worry.

(sorry about my constant use of the passive; I'm trying to be very careful in what I say, and it makes my writing really dry)

This is not a nitpick. Honestly. It just happens to be a useful illustration of my feelings on the issue.

There is not a single passive sentence in that post. There's a mix of subjunctive mood and impersonal pronouns, but no passive verbs at all.

Sometimes, despite a parent's best intentions (and I genuinely believe that the majority of homeschoolers have the best intentions), they do not have the knowledge to pass on.* A parent who means well but doesn't have the technical knowledge could easily end up passing incorrect information to their child. For something like passive sentences, it's not all that important. I don't believe it meets The Rabbit's criteria, and I wouldn't advocate intervention for it.

But for the very important things - math and literacy - I agree 100% with Belle and The Rabbit. These things are absolutely fundamental and every child should have the right to learn them. There are a host of reasons why a homeschooling parent might fail get help for a struggling child on their own (ignorance, pride, etc.). When you suddenly realise you've got a kid with a learning disability, the situation can seem overwhelming, and you might not know what resources you have. The special ed support system can be incredibly arcane, and worse so for someone trying to figure it out independently. Skilled intervention at the earliest possible opportunity is key for kids with special needs. They don't have time to wait till university. A basic, periodic testing system like Belle outlined, based on the criteria The Rabbit outlined, really would not be that intrusive.

I had to do an English Proficiency exam when I entered university. I was given a statement and told to write an essay arguing Pro or Con. No one cared what I wrote as long as it was formed in a coherent sentence and demonstrated a basic understanding of how to form an argument. That's the kind of test people here are advocating. I can't see it being that hard to give parents a chance to review it and object if they didn't like the content, either.

All kids have the right to learn to read and do basic math. Some kids need extra intervention and early help. Some parents aren't qualified to judge when extra help is needed or to give that help on their own. They're a minority, to be certain. But that 1% of kids still have the right to learn, and we can't ignore them.


* I've seen this in public schools too, and it bothered me even more in that setting because these people have degrees specifically for teaching.

Posts: 2849 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Rabbit
Member
Member # 671

 - posted      Profile for The Rabbit   Email The Rabbit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sachiko, If you read through this thread, you'd see that I had already said that I think oversight by an NGO would be acceptable. I think its acceptable for private schools who are accredited by an approved NGO to be exempt from additional oversight and I can agree to the same for home schools as well.

I would want to ensure, however, that the NGO wasn't just a cover organization that wasn't actually providing acceptable oversight, which most likely implies government involvement in certifying the NGOs and enforcement. The key thing is that our community (as represented by our democratically elected government), needs to have a way to fill our responsibility to protect the educational rights of children.

As someone whose been involved in accreditation of programs, however, I do think you should be aware that any legitimate accreditation procedure is bound to be far more work and far more invasive than the minimum competence testing people are suggesting here.

Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Belle
Member
Member # 2314

 - posted      Profile for Belle   Email Belle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sidetrack issue: How were you guys taught to recognize passive voice?

I remember in middle school I was told that it occurred when the object of the action became the subject and it was confusing to me. Then when I took linguistics in college, my professor gave me the simple explanation that it occurs when you have a form of BE + the past participle and then suddenly I could see it.

I wonder how others were taught. I think that maybe middle school grammar books don't do a very good job of defining it.

I have seen a lot of people that I tutored in linguistics think you have passive voice anytime there is a form of "BE" in a sentence, which is of course not true.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Posts: 14428 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jhai
Member
Member # 5633

 - posted      Profile for Jhai   Email Jhai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was never formally taught to recognize the passive voice. However, when getting graded papers in middle & high school sentences were circled as "passive voice" by my teachers. That, combined with studying German grammar, was enough to allow me to recognize when I'm using passive voice.

Also, I don't think using passive voice is that bad a grammar "sin", unless one is using it to avoid taking or assigning responsibility for some action.

Posts: 2409 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 8 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2