Tag Archives: Homeschooling

The COVID-19 Disruption of K-12

Educators of all types, including parents, have a tremendous challenge before them.

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A Few "Irrational" Parents Better Than Bureaucrats in Charge of All Kids

Updated for clarity Over at the Britannica blog, Dan Willingham wonders aloud if school choice might be a bad policy not effect positive change in the system through competition because many parents won’t make the “rational” decision: The logic of school choice seems obvious. If parents selected their children’s schools, they would not choose bad ones, so bad schools would not be able to survive. Schools would have to improve or close, just as a store that offers poor service will lose business to a store that offers better service. Here’s my problem with that logic: I think it’s highly likely that many parents will choose bad schools. (H/T Core Knowledge blog) You’re welcome to go ahead and read Mr. Willingham’s entire entry. But I think Jay Greene has done the best job of providing a rational objection:

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New Report on Colorado Homeschooling History: A Call to Vigilance

It’s easy for those who have secured the benefits of educational freedom to take them for granted. That’s especially true in the case of homeschooling, as parents in New Hampshire have responded to a bill that would restrict their rights: The legislation has angered many home schoolers who showed up in record numbers when the bill was being debated in Concord. “There were about a thousand home schoolers there. It was a record-breaking crowd, never been that many home schoolers,” the [Home School Legal Defense Association’s Mike] Donnelly notes. “In fact some of the people at the state house said that they’ve never seen such a large crowd inside ever.” It’s encouraging to see so many Granite State homeschoolers rallying to action. If what’s going on across the country doesn’t wake up and make Colorado homeschoolers vigilant, then maybe a refreshing and comprehensive look at the history of securing parental rights in this arena will. My Education Policy Center friend Marya DeGrow has written a simply awesome new issue paper called Colorado’s Homeschool Law Turns Twenty: The Battle Should Never Be Forgotten (PDF). Two decades ago, after numerous legal battles and legislative battles and struggles with local and state education […]

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Delaware Is More Proof that Strong Standards and Parental Choice Work

A couple months ago I told you about the state of Florida’s amazing success in improving early reading test scores. Here were the main things to which former Gov. Jeb Bush attributed the successful gains: Raising standards, measuring progress, grading school performance, providing educational options and targeting resources to reward success and reverse failure are all tools that are transforming schools and raising student achievement…. I also believe we need to better apply free-market principles to the way we deliver education in order to improve the entire system. We should expand educational options so all parents can make the best choices for their children. Teachers and principals should be paid based on performance. Educators that teach subjects with a shortage of teachers, teach in low-performing schools or carry increased responsibilities should be paid more. We should also give merit pay to teachers based on student learning gains and other objective measures…. But blogger Charlie Barone says, hey, wait a minute, let’s take a closer look at Delaware, too. It seems that the First State has shown remarkable improvement, as well. As Matt Ladner points out, some of the same success story themes emerge that have come from Florida: It turns […]

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Tony Woodlief Reminds Us That There Is No "Typical" Homeschool Family

One option more and more parents take for their kids is homeschooling. Thousands of Colorado kids are being educated at home by their parents. Despite a great diversity in the families that undertake home education and the different kinds of programs used, there’s still a tendency among some to have stereotyped conceptions of what a “typical” homeschool family looks like. People who want to pigeonhole homeschoolers into a box really ought to read this Pajamas Media column by Kansas parent and writer Tony Woodlief. A key excerpt: Given preconceptions about this practice, I should note that we are not anti-government wingnuts living on a compound. We like literature, and nice wines, and Celeste would stab me in the heart with a spoon if I gave her one of those head bonnets the Amish women wear. We are not, in other words, stereotypical home-schooling parents. But neither are most actual home-schooling parents. Even though Ma and Pa Ingalls sent their children off to the little schoolhouse in Walnut Grove, we’ve decided to start our own. In the eyes of Kansas authorities that’s exactly what we’ve done; regulations require us to establish a school and name it. Ours is the Woodlief Homestead […]

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Reason to Celebrate: California Parental Rights to Homeschool Upheld

For those who educate their children at home, and for all those who support the rights of homeschoolers, recent news from California comes as a relief. A little more than five months ago a state appeals court issued a ruling that many worried would have the effect of shutting down homeschooling in California. Supporters in other states rallied to their defense, in part from fear that the dangerous precedent would have a ripple effect in their own backyards. Last Friday brought a happier ending to this saga: In a decision widely praised, a California appeals court this morning affirmed the right of parents who don’t have a teaching credential to educate their children at home. A three-judge panel overturned a lower-court order in February that had created an uproar among home-schooling parents when it required that they be credentialed. An estimated 166,000 California children are home schooled. The Second District appellate court in Los Angeles ruled that individual parents, like private schools, are exempt from the requirement that those who teach children be credentialed by the state. This court decision (follow the link to read the actual ruling) is truly a victory for parental rights and personal liberties. The growing […]

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