Skip to comments.Groups Believes Cyber Charters Target Home Schools
Posted on 05/23/2002 7:51:50 AM PDT by neefer
A group of home schoolers from across Ohio believes the cyber charter school movement is a runaway train about to run them over.
The group, called the Ohio Home Education Coalition, thinks their students are being unfairly targeted as potential prey of the cyber schools.
Home schoolers are the target market, but we never asked to be, said Mary Nix, an Olmsted Falls resident and co-coordinator of OHEC. With very little overhead and huge profits, we know the corporations are making money from children in front of a computer in their home.
School districts, such as Lorain, are also trying to start their own cyber schools.
We are here to say our children are not for sale, Nix said.
Nix home schools her two sons, ages 17 and 12. She and about 60 other home schoolers attended a meeting last Friday of the University of Toledo Charter School Council University of Toledo is the only university in the state authorized to sponsor charter schools.
At their meeting, the UTCSC awarded a contract to Ohio Virtual Academy, which plans to start this fall.
Nixs main objection is not so much against charter schools, but cyber schools like the Ohio Virtual Academy.
Cyber charter schools receive the per-pupil amount of money public school districts receive from the state. In turn, they provide their students with a computer and other equipment to conduct their education.
Though the learning takes place in the home, its not home schooling, Nix said.
Most home schoolers families who take responsibility for the education of their children using their own resources and no taxpayer funds those families know this is not home education, Nix said.
If you have people claiming to be home schooling, and theyre taking money in the name of home schooling, then we dont want to get stuck in the middle.
The Ohio Home Education Coalition is also concerned about extraordinary profits made by corporations on cyber schools. Allison Perz, spokeswoman for UTCSC, said those concerns are unfounded.
I would say weve not seen any evidence to support that claim, Perz said.
Perz said she understands home schoolers fought hard for legislation that makes home education legal.
I can understand where they wouldnt want to blur the lines. But this is educating in the home, and it is for people who want a different kind of support mechanism in place, Perz said.
The Home Education Coalition also claims UTCSC took only a few weeks between preliminary and final approval of the Ohio Virtual Academy, another charge Perz refuted.
This is fascinating because it is so grossly inaccurate, Perz said. The (preliminary) approval was granted in February, and the contract was finally approved in May. I dont know where they got their information.
The UTCSC has authorized six schools three that are currently open and three that will open in the fall. Two of those charters are of the cyber type, started by corporations.
For higher math, I used videos from a dynamic math teacher. (I was made aware of these tapes when I learned they were being used in a local college).
If you want to check out what's available, say in the area of math, check out this link.
There is an amazing amount of materials available for higher classes.
We are much closer as a family than most PS kids. We have a great time together and when I meet PS families they are always a little amazed that my kids seem to have bypassed the "sullen, rebellious age" they are told is so normal with their kids. From my observations that is a byproduct of the school system.
Homeschooling has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. Despite what the liberal media would have you believe, huge amounts of money are poured into PS and that is sometimes hard for a HS parent to compete with. For instance, I have always regreted that I never had a really great microscope for them to use like I had in HS or other science and art supplies that I can't afford. But the trade off is FAR worth it.
As far as a prom or sports goes, depending on your area, you can find hs'ers organized to offer such things. You can get class rings and other stuff. The kids in my hs group have a group ethic where they actually feel like a school as far as socialization goes. They skate together, have beach day, graduation ceremonies, etc. Today my son is going to a language class with his friends. They just aren't herded together without parental supervision for 8 hours a day.
Wow, this is a long post but I hope it tells you some interesting things about homeschooling. If you have the commitment there is nothing more rewarding. It is like you actually have your children to ENJOY them, and don't have to ship them off all day into the care of others. We have a great old time.
Now, the oldest is 9, the middle is 7, and her youngest will be starting schooling next year. The two in school now can carry on complex conversations in a broad range of subjects with most adults. That's because they have learned at their own pace, not held back by slower students, and their curiosity can be explored freely, not limited by a bell ringing every 50 minutes. They learn to think creatively and with complexity and perspective.
I swear, talking with the oldest one makes me feel like I'm talking to George Will.
Obviously, now the family has seen the wisdom of homeschooling.
Our daughter has always been involved in community groups and sports. She has wonderful friends, both home educated and public/private educated, and gets together with them on a regular basis.
Currently she's on a USATF (track and field) team competing in long jump, high jump, 80m hurdles, sprints, and javelin. On off season she plays basketball on a competitive girls league (not a homeschool league). She was asked to play on a summer comp league but chose track instead.
Who says homeschooled kiddos can't cheer at a football game? I know some who attend local high school games. I know others who attend professional games...of football and basketball.
She, along with a friend, will be completing a Red Cross First Aid and Babysitting course in a few weeks. Droves of friends have already begun lining up for her services. :o)
I lead a homeschool support group in our city. We have 34 families and get together throughout the month for coop classes and fellowship. 34 families means scads of kiddos!
I know of many high school homeschoolers. While they may not have the typical prom, they don't want it either. Have you chaperoned a prom lately? lol! There are alternatives to the typical prom experience.
Homeschoolers are very creative with their resources and time. I do not know of even *one* young person or parent that regrets their decision to school at home.
The socialization issue is a myth. True socialization means the ability to converse with and get along with people of all ages, not just their peers.