Skip to comments.We Stand For Home Schooling
Posted on 06/08/2003 7:14:39 PM PDT by steplock
We Stand For Homeschooling This view is distorted and incorrect. The vast majority of homeschoolers has never sought public funding. The "proponents" are those who would make a profit from publicly-financed home-based education. These proponents are not homeschoolers. The newly-emerging consumers of these programs are being misled into thinking these programs are homeschooling. Anyone who is enrolled in a publicly-funded school program, even if that public school is based in the home, is a public school student and not a homeschooler. Further evidence of an unprecedented crisis is seen in a report from the Ozaukee Press (WI). Reporting on the development of Wisconsin Virtual Academy, a for-profit K12, Inc. cyber-charter school directed by William Bennett: One of the most blatant examples of "blending" homeschooling with existing public school models is represented in the Okaloosa County (FL) Blended School Project (BSP): In an additional report from the Akron Beacon Journal regarding Ohio's TRECA, a cyber-school consortium of multiple school districts: What happens to homeschooling when publicly-funded school programs come under fire as has already begun? What will be the inevitable results of this guilt by association? As cited in Education Week: We understand that it is pure folly to define what homeschooling is because of its diversity; nor can any one group pretend to speak for all homeschoolers. However, some educational programs can be clearly identified as NOT homeschooling. It is time to take a strong stand. Any time home education comes under "the state's umbrella" through public funding, it is no longer homeschooling. It is now public schooling. ________________________________________________________________________ WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS WHEREAS NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED __________________________________________________________________________ We encourage you to print and circulate this document widely. View the Original Signers by clicking Download this document as an Acrobat Print a printer friendly Download Acrobat Reader _________________________________________________________________________
The very nature, language and essence of homeschooling are being challenged and even co-opted by a vast array of emerging educational programs which may be based in the home, but are funded by government tax dollars, bringing inevitable government controls. These new "home-based" publicly-funded entities are variously called: charter schools, cyber-charters, e-schools, Independent Study Programs (ISP), dual enrollment, Blended Schools Programs (BSP), Programs for Non-Public Students (PNPS), Public School Alternative Programs (PSAP), virtual schools, academies, community schools, home bound, and other newly devised terms and concepts. There is a profound possibility that homeschooling is not only on the brink of losing its distinctiveness, but also is in grave danger of losing its independence. A recent article in Education Week illustrates the problem.
Now, the situation has been upended in an unanticipated manner as proponents of home schooling in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states use charter school regulations to launch cyber schools. In many cases, youngsters who were already being schooled wholly at home are simply turning to cyber charter schools as a conduit to public funding, but others who had been in classrooms are staying home, too, to take whole schedules of courses online. (1)
[Northern Ozaukee] School Board member Kate Redmond said she liked the idea of using a virtual school to reach out to families that want homeschooling for their children. "It is bringing home schooling under the state's umbrella," Redmond said. (2)
This proposal is designed to create a seamless educational plan for two groups of students: students that are schooled at home and students that are schooled at "government schools" (public schools). The proposal on the following pages would add a third choice beyond just home school or government schools
Blended Schools. (3)
Educating children at home is the fastest growing element of charter schools in the state. Enrollment could soar from about 3,000 cyberschool students last year to more than 12,000 in the next few years. The superintendent estimates that while the schools receive more than $5,000 in state and local money per child, the cost is only $2,500 per elementary pupil and $3,500 per high schooler. He said public school districts would use profits to fund other school programs, while for-profit companies would pocket the difference. (4)
Ohio's first online charter school-the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow, or eCOT-received $1.7 million in state payments for students who may not have met enrollment requirements in September and October of 2000, a recent state audit concludes. (5)
We also encourage others to join us by
We Stand For Homeschooling
This view is distorted and incorrect. The vast majority of homeschoolers has never sought public funding. The "proponents" are those who would make a profit from publicly-financed home-based education. These proponents are not homeschoolers. The newly-emerging consumers of these programs are being misled into thinking these programs are homeschooling. Anyone who is enrolled in a publicly-funded school program, even if that public school is based in the home, is a public school student and not a homeschooler.
Further evidence of an unprecedented crisis is seen in a report from the Ozaukee Press (WI). Reporting on the development of Wisconsin Virtual Academy, a for-profit K12, Inc. cyber-charter school directed by William Bennett:
One of the most blatant examples of "blending" homeschooling with existing public school models is represented in the Okaloosa County (FL) Blended School Project (BSP):
In an additional report from the Akron Beacon Journal regarding Ohio's TRECA, a cyber-school consortium of multiple school districts:
What happens to homeschooling when publicly-funded school programs come under fire as has already begun? What will be the inevitable results of this guilt by association? As cited in Education Week:
We understand that it is pure folly to define what homeschooling is because of its diversity; nor can any one group pretend to speak for all homeschoolers. However, some educational programs can be clearly identified as NOT homeschooling. It is time to take a strong stand. Any time home education comes under "the state's umbrella" through public funding, it is no longer homeschooling. It is now public schooling.
WHEREASa significant aspect of homeschooling is the independence from government control that it holds for every family regardless of the approach to education they choose;
WHEREAScharter school enrollees are public school students;
WHEREASpublicly-funded programs have co-opted the very language which homeschoolers have developed and utilized for years, including words and concepts such as: home education, family-based, parent-directed, independent family education, and the very word homeschooling itself. Publicly-funded cyber-schools are often misidentified as homeschools and the public will view them as homeschools if they are allowed to co-opt the language of homeschooling;
WHEREASit is clear that the strongest motivation of the proponents of publicly-funded programs is access to taxpayer monies;
WHEREASsavvy marketing and slick corporate styled PR campaigns are purposely blurring the distinct difference between a publicly-funded cyber-school conducted at a place of residence and a homeschool, and in the process they are insulting parents by stating that homeschooling is extremely "arduous", "you need not feel frantic," and you need an "expert;"
WHEREAShomeschool parents are capable, intelligent people who accept responsibility for their children's education and have been effective without the enticements of a computer, "experts," reimbursements or packaged curriculum, and have succeeded without standards-driven accountability models, testing and other government interference;
WHEREASthe biggest difference between homeschools and publicly-funded school programs is that homeschoolers take direct responsibility by choosing a curriculum, an approach to learning, and the principles and values on which these are based while publicly-funded school program parents accept and follow detailed instructions about what to learn and how to learn it, using a curriculum designed to comply with state requirements and values;
WHEREAScyber-public schools masquerading as homeschools are justifiably under fire for abuses, inevitably tarring homeschooling with the same brush; and
WHEREAScorporations are finding willing accomplices in school district administrations who are enticed by the financial gains corporations are promising their districts. Public school districts, because of the loss of funding, have pre-empted the for-profit corporations by starting their own publicly-funded in-home programs, even districts which object in principle to charter schools,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVEDthat the words and concepts of homeschooling should not be used by publicly-funded school programs, and/or by the corporations that control them, to seek legitimacy or profit;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDthat the words and concepts of homeschooling should not be used to seek legitimacy by those who have chosen to enroll in a publicly-funded school program. These families should honestly call such enrollment what it is - enrollment in public school. Their choices should not compromise others' rights to remain independent.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDthat the signers of this statement will work to ensure that the basic right to choose an education consistent with one's principles and beliefs is maintained for homeschoolers by informing homeschoolers and the general public that public school programs (including charter schools) that are easily confused with homeschools threaten the freedom to choose an education consistent with one's principles and beliefs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDthat the signers of this statement will encourage homeschoolers to make known explicitly and publicly how public school programs that are easily confused with homeschools, threaten our basic homeschooling freedoms and the nature, language, and definition of homeschooling.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDthat the signers to this document reclaim homeschooling.
We encourage you to print and circulate this document widely.
View the Original Signers by clicking.
Download this document as an Acrobat.
Print a printer friendlydirectly from your browser.
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_________________________________________________________________________(1) Education Week "The Virtual Schoolhouse," by Gene I. Maeroff, February 26, 2003.(2) Ozaukee Press, "Virtual school gets go-ahead in Fredonia," by Mark Jaeger, February 6, 2003.(3) Okaloosa County (FL) Blended School Project Proposal at: http://www.okaloosa.k12.fl.us/stuserv/ci/blended_school_information.htm (4) Akron Beacon Journal, "Funding falls short for cyberschools," by Dennis J. Willard and Doug Oplinger, July 17, 2002.(5) Education Week, "Ohio Audit Reveals Difficulties Of Tracking Online Students," by Andrew Trotter, December 5, 2001.
Sounds like you guys are the ideal homeschoolers. I didn't have any of that. I did play softball for a few years on the city league, but that was only for a few months out of the year and I didn't really make any long-lasting friends.
I have a lot of friends now, but few close ones. I'm not a hermit, but I'm comfortable - sometimes more comfortable - being alone.
Keep up the good work! Your son sounds really lucky - or blessed. Congrats!
However that's a semantic argument. The major question is whether or not it is a threat to private home education (or homeschooing if you will.) I think when we increase educational choices, it strengthens the ability for parents to choose private home education.
The public school system has two main arguments against homeschooling: 1) the kids need to be in an institution for socialization, and 2) the kids need the benefits of the curriculum and the expertise of a state-certified teacher. By supporting public home education, they have conceded point #1, reducing them only to argue the second point. I think they have weakened their position, not strengthened it.
Sorry... I don't think we can have it both ways.
SepSchool has a great link that address some of these issues... some of their points are below or to read in its entirety click on :www.sepschool.org/misc/vouchers.html
What about tax-funded vouchers, tax credits, and charter schools?
While tax-funded vouchers, education or scholarship tax credits, and charter schools introduce sorely-needed competition into schooling, they have at least four serious flaws which outweigh their good side.
(This article will refer to vouchers. When all the camouflage is removed, these flaws are also inherent in universal tax credits, refundable tax credits, scholarship tax credits, and charter schools.)
1. Vouchers spread the dependency attitude to independent families currently paying for their children's education.
2. Vouchers obscure the difference between parents who are willing to sacrifice to send their children to a private school from those who are unwilling to sacrifice. This means private schools will lower their standards of who gets in.
3. By creating a flow of money from the state to private schools, vouchers pave a wide road for additional regulations and controls. "When you reach for the money is when they slip on the handcuffs."
A common control is to require voucher-redeeming schools to administer standardized tests. These tests, in effect, dictate the curriculum, as the private schools do not wish to have lower test scores than the "public" schools.
4. Other than expensive prep schools, private and religious schools that refuse to accept the voucher will lose a significant number of their students to voucher-redeeming schools. Many will face the choice of accepting the voucher and its controls or going out of business.
The net result of these flaws is that private and religious schools will become more and more like the "public" schools. In effect, vouchers and other schemes of using tax funds for education will kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs of private education.
One of the key problems with choosing to home-school via the use of state or federal dollars is that you are then required to take the state ASSESSMENTS. That's the big "catch" to the choice.....You can't test what you don't teach.
"We stand for Home Schooling" does not demand lock step uniformity, but rather warns us not to get caught in the "Government school web". "No Child Left Behind" is a title carefully chosen and means what it says. They have designed an ALL inclusive system with single "points of entry" built in all along the way from 'cradle-to-grave'. This proclamation serves to point out some of those "points of entry" that may jeopardize your independence.
Bennetts K-12 program is available to independent Home Schoolers and does not have the State/Federal accountability ASSESSMENT albatross attached unless they accept state (tax) dollars to pay for it.
I'm fine with that warning for the very reasons that you stated. Unfortunately I have seen homeschooling organizations go the route of lobbying the government, opposing these types of programs. That's where I have problems because in that case it a homeschooling organization seeking to limit the educational choices of other families.
Socialism by any other name is socialism.
You're not homeschooling your charter schooling at home. There's a difference.
For this you must be severely punished. < /sarcasm>
BUMP to that. People forget about the "Lord of the Flies" element in public school. It's very real.
I have the same feelings but was institutionalized in a government school. When I left school I remember thinking, "Thank God I don't have to hang around with those kids any more." Or, in a more kind way, I'm glad that I'm free to choose my friends.
netmilsmom--No, vouchers put the money you are paying for your child's education out of the pockets of the government and back into yours
Posted by Lady Eileen to Republic If You Can Keep It On News/Activism 04/28/2003 10:45 AM EDT #36 of 58
Republic If You Can Keep It : Vouchers are our only hope.
Lady Eileen: I hope not, because that is the same as saying government, which got us into the present mess, is our only hope. That's because in every voucher system, government politicians decide who gets what, when, how much, etc.
This is not the same as parents keeping their own money and deciding how to spend it on their children's education. The state is still controlling the money and handing it out on its own terms. Sure, vouchers are better than providing only one local school alternative. But they are not freedom. And they are not the state acknowledging its usurpation of parental authority. So they are a small bandaid on a wound that won't heal without surgery.
If we are wise, we won't be distracted from what should be our goal of complete eduational freedom from the state by the siren song of vouchers.
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