Author Topic: Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state  (Read 1863 times)

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Offline Red

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Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state
« on: March 11, 2008, 12:50:36 pm »
03-07) 04:00 PST LOS ANGELES --

A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.

The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.

"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."

The ruling was applauded by a director for the state's largest teachers union.

"We're happy," said Lloyd Porter, who is on the California Teachers Association board of directors. "We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."

Academic Statistics on Homeschooling

Many studies over the last few years have established the academic excellence of homeschooled children.

I. Independent Evaluations of Homeschooling

1. In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America." The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects. A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that homeschoolers who are homeschooled two or more years score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less. The new homeschoolers were scoring on the average in the 59th percentile compared to students homeschooled the last two or more years who scored between 86th and 92nd percentile. i

This was confirmed in another study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of 20,760 homeschooled students which found the homeschoolers who have homeschooled all their school aged years had the highest academic achievement. This was especially apparent in the higher grades. ii This is a good encouragement to families catch the long-range vision and homeschool through high school.

Another important finding of Strengths of Their Own was that the race of the student does not make any difference. There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students. For example, in grades K-12, both white and minority students scored, on the average, in the 87th percentile. In math, whites scored in the 82nd percentile while minorities scored in the 77th percentile. In the public schools, however, there is a sharp contrast. White public school eighth grade students, nationally scored the 58th percentile in math and the 57th percentile in reading. Black eighth grade students, on the other hand, scored on the average at the 24th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading. Hispanics scored at the 29th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading. iii

These findings show that when parents, regardless of race, commit themselves to make the necessary sacrifices and tutor their children at home, almost all obstacles present in other school systems disappear.

Another obstacle that seems to be overcome in homeschooling is the need to spend a great deal of money in order to have a good education. In Strengths of Their Own, Dr. Ray found the average cost per homeschool student is $546 while the average cost per public school student is $5,325. Yet the homeschool children in this study averaged in 85th percentile while the public school students averaged in the 50th percentile on nationally standardized achievement tests.iv

Similarly, the 1998 study by Dr. Rudner of 20,760 students, found that eighth grade students whose parents spend $199 or less on their home education score, on the average, in the 80th percentile. Eighth grade students whose parents spend $400 to $599 on their home education also score on the average, in the 80th percentile! Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better, scoring in the 83rd percentile.v

The message is loud and clear. More money does not mean a better education. There is no positive correlation between money spent on education and student performance. Public school advocates could refocus their emphasis if they learned this lesson. Loving and caring parents are what matters. Money can never replace simple, hard work.

The last significant statistic from the Strengths of Their Own study regards the affect of government regulation on homeschooling. Dr. Brian Ray compared the impact of government regulation on the academic performance of homeschool students and he found no positive correlation. In other words, whether a state had a high degree of regulation (i.e., curriculum approval, teacher qualifications, testing, home visits) or a state had no regulation of homeschoolers, the homeschooled students in both categories of states performed the same. The students all scored on the average in the 86th percentile regardless of state

Homeschool freedom works. Homeschoolers have earned the right to be left alone.

2. In a study released by the National Center for Home Education on November 10, 1994. According to these standardized test results provided by the Riverside Publishing Company of 16,311 homeschoolers from all 50 states K-12, the nationwide average for homeschool students is at the 77th percentile of the basic battery of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In reading, the homeschoolers' nationwide grand mean is the 79th percentile. This means, of course, that the homeschool students perform better in reading than 79 percent of the same population on whom the test is normed. In the area of language arts and math, the typical homeschooler scored in the 73rd percentile.

These 16,311 homeschool students' scores were not self-selected by parents or anyone else. They represent all the homeschoolers whose tests were scored through the Riverside Publishing Company. It is important to note that this summary of homeschool achievement test scores demonstrates that 54.7% of the students in grades K-12 are achieving individual scores in the top quarter of the population of students in the United States. This figure is more than double the number of conventional school students who score in the top quarter.vii

3. In 1991, a survey of standardized test scores was performed by the Home School Legal Defense Association in cooperation with the Psychological Corporation, which publishes the Stanford Achievement Test. The study involved the administering of the Stanford Achievement Test (8th Edition, Form J) to 5,124 homeschooled students. These students represented all 50 states and their grades ranged from K-12. This testing was administered in Spring 1991 under controlled test conditions in accordance with the test publisher's standards. All test administers were screened, trained, and approved pursuant to the publisher's requirements. All tests were machine-scored by the Psychological Corporation.

These 5,124 homeschoolers' composite scores on the basic battery of tests in reading, math, and language arts ranked 18 to 28 percentile points above public school averages. For instance, 692 homeschooled 4th graders averaged in the 77th percentile in reading, the 63rd percentile in math, and the 70th percentile in language arts. Sixth-grade homeschoolers, of 505 tested, scored in the 76th percentile in reading, the 65th percentile in math, and the 72nd percentile in language arts.

The homeschooled high schoolers did even better, which goes against the trend in public schools where studies show the longer a child is in the public schools, the lower he scores on standardized tests. One hundred and eighteen tenth-grade homeschool students, as a group, made an average score of the 82nd percentile in reading, the 70th percentile in math, and the 81st percentile in language arts.

4. The Bob Jones University Testing Service of South Carolina provided test results of Montana homeschoolers. Also a survey of homeschoolers in Montana was conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute. Dr. Brian Ray evaluated the survey and test results and found:

On average, the home education students in this study scored above the national norm in all subject areas on standardized achievement tests. These students scored, on average, at the 72nd percentile in terms of a combination of their reading, language, and math performance. This is well above the national average. viii

5. In North Dakota, Dr. Brian Ray conducted a survey of 205 homeschoolers throughout the state. The middle reading score was the 84th percentile, language was the 81st percentile, science was the 87th percentile, social studies was the 86th percentile, and math was the 81st percentile.

Further, Dr. Ray found no significant statistical differences in academic achievement between those students taught by parents with less formal education and those students taught by parents with higher formal education.

6. In South Carolina, the National Center for Home Education did a survey of 65 homeschool students and found that the average scores on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills were 30 percentile points higher than national public school averages. In math, 92 percent of the homeschool students scored above grade level, and 93 percent of the homeschool students were at or above grade level in reading. These scores are "being achieved in a state where public school SAT scores are next-to-last in national rankings." ix

Mandatory state sponsored and controlled schooling, sounds a little 1984ish to me.

And is forcing homeschoolers into a failing public system really what’s best for these kids?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 12:53:06 pm by Red »
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Offline tetsujin

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Re: Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 03:32:06 pm »
It is interesting to see the numbers that go along with homeschooling. The one that interested me the most though was the comparison of minorities to caucasians. We are exactly the same if our parents teach us...but teachers discriminate who they teach?


Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 03:48:26 pm »
I wonder if those numbers can be standardized by the race of the instructor.  That would be an interesting study.

Good thread!  I have to go, but I will write more later.

Offline JakeJZG

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Re: Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 01:17:01 pm »
Remember comrade, when traveling in the People's Republic of California you must carry your papers to teach your own children.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2008, 03:04:57 pm »
Rather than trying to force homeschooled kids into public schools, we should be trying to figure out what homeschooling parents are doing right and trying to integrate that into the public school system.  The ideal end would be to have a public school system that was so good that people wouldn't want to homeschool their kids at all (of course, there are those who disagree with WHAT is being taught, not just how WELL it's being taught, but it's the latter I'm referring to).


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