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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<img alt="" src="http://i.usatoday.net/_common/_images/clear.gif" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><br>
From USA Today<br><br><br><br><i>A California court ruling that challenges parents' legal right to teach their children at home is angering home schoolers, who hope the state's Supreme Court will overturn the decision. Otherwise, advocates say, thousands of families may be forced to abandon home schooling.</i><br><i>Meanwhile, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is vowing to challenge the "outrageous" ruling. He says that if the high court doesn't reverse the appeals court's decision, he'll support home-schooling legislation ensuring parents' rights.</i><br><i>The court on Feb. 28 upheld provisions in the state's education code that say parents must enroll their children in a public or private school. If they're being home schooled, they must be taught by a credentialed teacher or face possible fines or criminal charges. The ruling was a shock to the state's home schoolers, which number as many as 166,000, according to the Pacific Justice Institute, an advocacy group. Many families have long operated through a loose interpretation of the state code.</i><br><br><br><br><i>If enforced, the decision could cut the number of home-schooled children by 90%, says J. Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. "It would drastically reduce or do away with home schooling" in California, he says.</i><br><br><i>A 2003 study by the U.S. Education Department estimated that about 1.1 million students attend school at home, but the current number is likely much higher. Though the ruling doesn't pose a direct threat to laws in other states, Smith says, "it's a dangerous trend when you think about it. … California is an influential state, and (other) states might get an idea."</i><br><i>The case began as a child welfare dispute in Los Angeles County. Phillip Long, a father of eight, faced allegations from one of his children of "physical and emotional mistreatment," according to court documents. While taught at home by their high school-educated mother, the children were registered at the private Sunland Christian School, which periodically monitored their progress but didn't actually instruct the children. Many California home schoolers follow such an arrangement, officials and advocates say.</i><br><i>Attorneys appointed to represent two of the family's youngest children asked a juvenile court to require that the pair, ages 7 and 9, attend school outside the home so adults could monitor them for signs of abuse.</i><br><i>"Our concern was the kids' safety," says Leslie Heimov of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles. "There's a big difference between a social worker visiting once a month and (what) a teacher might be able to see on a daily basis."</i><br><i>A judge rejected that request, so attorneys appealed to the higher court, which ruled on Feb. 28 that enrollment in Sunland was a "ruse" that allowed the children to be taught at home "by a non-credentialed parent."</i><br><i>The appeals court ruled that the arrangement with Sunland was inadequate because the school "was willing to participate in the deprivation of the children's right to a legal education." It also ruled that Long and his wife couldn't claim to be home schooling their children for religious reasons. They had cited a 1972 case involving Amish families, but the court said that case allowed families to home school based not on "personal preferences," but on "a fundamental belief that salvation requires life in a church community separate and apart from the world and worldly influence."</i><br><i>Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus calls the ruling "an extreme position," adding, "We're confident the California State Supreme Court will not agree with (it)."</i><br><i>Schwarzenegger said in a statement Friday: "Every California child deserves a quality education, and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children. … This outrageous ruling must be overturned, and if the courts don't protect parents' rights, then as elected officials, we will."</i>
 

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So its not that they can't be home-schooled, but they must be taught by a credentialed teacher. I don't have a problem with that.
 

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A teaching credential isn't that hard to get. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I think its great. These are our future citizens being molded and educated.
 

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We home school. I have two associates degrees (Animal Health and Small Business Management), hubby has two bachelors degrees (Aviation and Aero Space Engineering). Neither of us has any teaching experience yet we're not having any trouble at all teaching our kids.<br><br>
Let's start with the basics. Who taught your kid to smile? Roll over? Count? The alphabet? Tie their shoes? Did you send them to some 'expert'? No. You, the parent did. Home schooling is the same thing.<br><br>
If you have serious questions about how we home school, ask away. I'm not up for a debate on our right to educational choice.
 

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This ruling is strange to me, seeing as how California allows students to be taught in public schools by people who are on their way to being credentialed but not yet fully credentialed, if I'm not mistaken. Also, it would make California the only state with such a stipulation in place.<br><br>
Also, I have a sister who home schools here in CA. She has to coordinate with the school district closely for all the curricula and the like. Her children either equal or test up to a full year ahead of other children in their respective grade level. And it's not like they have not been in the public school system either at times due to family commitments.<br><br>
While I would like each teacher to have a credential, having a credential doesn't necessarily translate into someone being a good teacher either. With that said, I understand that home schooling in the wrong hand or someone who isn't really capable isn't good for the kid(s) in that situation.
 

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What exactly are teaching credentials? I have no idea...
 

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My kids are both on the honour roll at the school board they're registered with. Neither has had a grade less than 85 in 5 years. They've skipped a grade...<br><br>
I have an education degree but have no certification. I never completed my joint MDiv/MTh. My wife finished high school.<br><br>
I know that in the States the homeschooling option is generally one used by people on the fringe, but not so much here.<br><br>
The Head legal counsel of our company and his wife home school and they are neither paranoid militia members nor fundamentalist Christian separatists... It is and should be an option to parents.
 

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I think this ruling will be overturned. It really wasn't a question of the home schooled children of California receiving an inferior education. It was an issue that these particular children were being physically and emotionally abused at home. The opponents of home schooling were able to argue their case better.<br><br>
Being certified as a teacher doesn’t mean that the certified individual is a good teacher. Conversely, not being certified doesn’t make an individual a poor teacher. Remember the Strawman in the Wizard of Oz? All he wanted was a brain. The fact is that he already had a brain, what he didn’t have was a diploma. New York City has a building that is set aside for Certified Teachers that are so poor that they can’t be used in the classroom, but the Teachers Union won’t let the city fire the teachers.<br><br>
I think the problem that some here have is not with the quality of the teaching more than it is with the curriculum.<br><br>
That’s my two cents FWIW.<br><br>
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
4boysmom, I don't doubt that you and many others are doing a great job....But what if you aren't the norm? What kind of stuff is in place to make sure?
 

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I think that was the case a generation or so ago, Grizz, but I'm not so sure. Homeschooling seems to have approached something closer to the mainstream with time.<br><br>
Our kids were educated in the public schools and we have no complaints, but I absolutely support the right of parents to make that educational call for their families. Less government in our houses, not more.<br><br>
I wish I had numbers; the number of homeschooled kids doing poorly in areas of real concern cannot be that huge, can they? Every homeschooled student I encounter is a real pleasure to work with or deal with. Generally respectful and comfortable interacting with adults, knowledgeable and a credit to their families.<br><br>
I know this is not the case everytime but anecdotally anyhow, homeschooling by parents who give a damn gets my vote.<br><br>
The question, what does credentialing mean, is a good one. Take us for example, dh has more education than the average first-year public school teacher, yet he's not credentialed to teach public K-12.
 

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What I dont understand is you dont need a credential to teach in a private school (I know people who have this particular job without one) so what is different about home schooling?
 

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Quite a bit since the home schooling parent must educate their children in all areas. The private school teacher has been interviewed/vetted/etc and deemed appropriate in (usually) one area.<br><br>
Credentials are a piece of paper that indicates that someone has the basic level of knowledge in their area and has proven that they can appropriately transfer that knowledge. My only concer with home schooling is that the parent may not have that knowledge-base from which to draw. In that case it behooves that school district/private school to step in.
 

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I will agree that there are SOME parent who claim to home school but are not. I've not seen it in the two co-ops in which we participated. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I've just not seen it.<br><br>
What you have to understand is that MOST parents want the best for their kids. What parent is going to let their kids run wild and do nothing with them so that when the kid turns 18yo they will not be employable? We want the very best for our kids which is why we home school.<br><br>
As far as not being able to teach all subject areas. Yes, that has become an issue. The older boys (15 and 13yo) have passed my math understanding. I was able to do Algebra I and II with them. Beyond that, I'm stuck. Hubby, an engineer, now does math with them. Next year our oldest will a Sophmore and will be taking classes at the community college. With the younger guys, it was a matter of learning right along with them--stuff that I should have learned when I was in school!<br><br>
Our guys have to take the Iowa Basics test every year. And every year, they test several grade levels above.<br><br>
In our case, and every other home schooling family we've known, home schooling works.
 

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We have three little girls (6-8 grade) in our tri group that are home schooled and they are the frikkin smartest. most polite, most well-rounded, appreciative kids I have ever met!<br><br>
It is cool because their school day is flexible based on their activities. So like, Swim practice for us is 8:00 pm on Wed, so they don't start their lessons til later on Thurs, etc..... It sounds awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's awesome.<br><br>
And please forgive my ignorance on the subject, but from the few, now adults, I've known who were home schooled it didn't work.<br><br>
How are you're kids socially? Do they do any kind of outside activities?
 

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I have only one experience with a home schooling family and its an absolute disaster, starting on the third generation. My husband's step-family.<br><br>
And yeah, they are fundamentalist christian separatists. And they teach their girl children that its a sin to go to college. And a sin to wear pants. And a sin to cut their hair. Basically, its a sin to be anything other than "Christian" breeding stock.<br><br>
If laws could prevent these people, to whom I am vaguely related, from home schooling, I'd support those laws.
 

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Every home schooled child i have met has been an incredibly bright and outgoing child.<br><br>
There are so many activities for home schooled children so they are not holed up at home seperated from society. A running friend is a track coach for homeschooled children and they compete and go to meets like any other school child.
 

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Sadly, in this country, no one can tell them to teach their children different. If this law passed, they'd just have to get credentialed. If you made every kid go to school, they'd at least be expose to other ways of thinking, but their parents could still tell them how wrong it was. There is just no good fix for ignorance.
 
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