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  1. #1 Court Reverses Home School Ruling 
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    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...0,858947.story

    Parents may home-school children without teaching credential, California court says

    Gov. Schwarzenegger praises the reversal by the 2nd District Court of Appeal as a victory for students and parental rights.
    By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    August 9, 2008

    Parents may legally home-school their children in California even if they lack a teaching credential, a state appellate court ruled Friday. The decision is a reversal of the court's earlier position, which effectively prohibited most home schooling and sparked fear throughout the state's estimated 166,000 home-schoolers.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had vowed to allow home schooling through legislation if the court did not act, praised the ruling.

    "This is a victory for California's students, parents and education community. This decision confirms the right every California child has to a quality education and the right parents have to decide what is best for their children," he said. "I hope the ruling settles this matter for parents and home-schooled children once and for all in California, but assure them that we, as elected officials, will continue to defend parents' rights."

    In February, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in a child protection hearing that parents must have a teaching credential to home-school their children. The decision caused a nationwide uproar among home-schoolers, religious activists and others, and the court agreed to reconsider its decision, a move described as unusual but not unprecedented.

    The issue arose in part because California's laws do not specifically address home schooling, unlike those of at least 30 other states.
    Friday's ruling essentially upheld the position of the state Department of Education and state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, who have traditionally allowed home schooling as long as parents file paperwork with the state establishing themselves as private schools, hire credentialed tutors or enroll their children in independent study programs run by charter or private schools or public school districts.

    "As head of California's public school system, it would be my wish that all children attend public school, but I understand that a traditional public school environment may not be the right setting for each and every child," he said. "I recognize and understand the consternation that the earlier court ruling caused for many parents and associations involved in home schooling. It is my hope that today's ruling will allay many of those fears and resolve much of the confusion."

    The court also said that the right of parents to home-school their children can be overridden if a child is in danger.

    Home-schooling families celebrated the ruling.

    "We're ecstatic, happy and thrilled," said Loren Gould of Westchester, who teaches her son, Logan, 7, at home. "He gets to keep his love of learning alive. . . . The world is his classroom."

    The case stemmed from the Long family of Lynwood, who were accused of mistreating some of their eight children. All of the children are or had been enrolled at Sunland Christian School, where they would occasionally take tests, but they were taught in their home by their mother.

    Lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children had asked the court to require them to attend a public or private school full time so adults could monitor their well-being. The family court declined, but the children's lawyers appealed.

    The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in February that Sunland officials' occasional monitoring of the Longs' methods of teaching were insufficient to qualify as being enrolled in a private school. Because Mary Long does not have a teaching credential, the family violated state laws, the ruling said.

    The Longs, the Sunland school and others appealed, and the appellate panel agreed to revisit the ruling. That panel heard arguments in June at a freewheeling hearing attended by at least 45 attorneys representing disparate groups. Democratic and Republican politicians, religious and secular home-schoolers, and liberal and conservative legal scholars all weighed in, saying the court had erred.

    Phillip Long, who has said the family chose to home-school the children because of their strong Christian beliefs, said Friday that he doesn't believe the court was swayed by the legal arguments.

    "Only one thing swayed this court -- politics," he said. "This court was under pressure. . . . They did it to protect themselves and their reputation. Those judges want to be Supreme Court judges, they want to move up. They're not going to do anything to upset their careers."

    Though the appellate court upheld the right of parents to home-school, it did direct the family court to revisit whether the Longs should be allowed to continue to home-school their children.

    It's unclear what will happen, because in July the family court terminated its jurisdiction over the family's children, though the children's lawyers are appealing that decision. Long is confident he will prevail.

    "Educating your children in your own home preexisted these buffoons that sit on the 2nd Circuit," he said. "It preexisted this state. It preexisted us. Parents have been teaching their own children since the beginning."

    California does little to enforce the education department's provisions and insists that doing so is the local school districts' responsibility.

    In addition, state education officials say some parents home-school their children without the knowledge of any entity, making them virtually impossible to locate.

    Home-schoolers and government officials have largely accepted this murky arrangement, but the court faulted the Legislature for failing to clarify the rules.

    "It is important to recognize that it is not for us to consider, as a matter of policy, whether home schooling should be permitted in California. That job is for the Legislature. It is not the duty of the courts to make the law; we endeavor to interpret it," Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a ruling signed by the two other members of the panel. "Our first task, interpreting the law of California, is made more difficult in this case by legislative inaction."

    To that end, the court said additional requirements for home-schoolers in other states such as standardized testing or home visits should be considered by the California Legislature.

    "Given the state's compelling interest in educating all of its children . . . and the absence of an express statutory and regulatory framework for home schooling in California, additional clarity in this area of the law would be helpful," according to the ruling.

    Statements such as those irked some home-school organizations that are weary of regulation, but were supported by constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of UC Irvine's law school, who urged the court to overturn its initial ruling that banned most home schooling.

    "I believe it's the right of parents, if they chose, to be able to home-school their children. That's absolutely their right," he said. But "the state has an important interest [in] making sure all children are adequately educated."
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    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    "I believe it's the right of parents, if they chose, to be able to home-school their children. That's absolutely their right," he said. But "the state has an important interest [in] making sure all children are adequately educated."
    If "the state" were even marginally able to adequately educate even those kids in public school, this nimrod might have a point. Mr Smith, being a community college teacher, loves homeschooled kids. Even with the pretty-good public school system in Kansas, homeschooled kids have much better skills. The colleges are being forced to add more remedial English and math classes every year to make up for the skills "the state" can't manage to pass on...even to the kids that go to college, let alone the huge percentage that drop out before graduation.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  3. #3  
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    I agree with your husband. The current educational system is turning out semi-literates in many areas. I just hope the State Department of Ed won't make too many inroads into the homeschooled kids. That's what worries me about that quote from the end of the article.
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    As with all unions (socialist organizations), anything that threatens their status quo must be opposed and even attacked and eliminated.
    OPEACHMENT NOW!!!

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    "I was... ordered to drop my pants, bend over and spread my cheeks."
    --RagingInMiami achieving the DUmp's highest level of nirvana
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    A serious question regarding home schooling from one who, up until this late stage of life, at least, has never had to deal with children (and, if he had them, would almost certainly send them to private school, anyway).

    How do parents home school children. really? When I was in public school, I took calculus, physics, French (4 years), Latin, etc. Do parents that home school really have the qualifications to teach a child all of these subjects? Moreover, doesn't the case wherein the family consists of multiple children complicate things further? How can a parent of four, for example, spend the requisite time to teach the children at their differing levels of education? And, as in the case wherein the family consists of 16 or more like that whacky bunch somewhere in the midwest, it would seem to me an impossible task.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    A serious question regarding home schooling from one who, up until this late stage of life, at least, has never had to deal with children (and, if he had them, would almost certainly send them to private school, anyway).

    How do parents home school children. really? When I was in public school, I took calculus, physics, French (4 years), Latin, etc. Do parents that home school really have the qualifications to teach a child all of these subjects? Moreover, doesn't the case wherein the family consists of multiple children complicate things further? How can a parent of four, for example, spend the requisite time to teach the children at their differing levels of education? And, as in the case wherein the family consists of 16 or more like that whacky bunch somewhere in the midwest, it would seem to me an impossible task.
    Tim Tebow QB of the University of Florida Gators was home schooled his whole life and I believe that he has an extremely high GPA at Florida. He's not taking fluff classes either. I guess the answer to your question is that it depends on the parents and what methods they are using to teach. There are quite a few instruction methologies available and groups that assist in home schooling.

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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    A serious question regarding home schooling from one who, up until this late stage of life, at least, has never had to deal with children (and, if he had them, would almost certainly send them to private school, anyway).

    How do parents home school children. really? When I was in public school, I took calculus, physics, French (4 years), Latin, etc. Do parents that home school really have the qualifications to teach a child all of these subjects? Moreover, doesn't the case wherein the family consists of multiple children complicate things further? How can a parent of four, for example, spend the requisite time to teach the children at their differing levels of education? And, as in the case wherein the family consists of 16 or more like that whacky bunch somewhere in the midwest, it would seem to me an impossible task.
    My brother and his wife home schooled their kids off and on. They have groups like FlaGator said, where parents almost end up basically forming an independant pseudo-school. In this sort of cooperative, there will of course be parents who have more expertise in certain areas and can help with the teaching of those subjects.
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    Our local Christian schools will also accept part-time homeschooled kids for specific classes, like calculus, if neither parent can teach the subject. Community colleges do the same. Of the families we know that homeschool, 100% of their kids have gone on to very successful college careers...without any need for remedial English or math.

    BTW, remedial math in college is at about the 6th grade level...basic math, algebra, etc.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    A serious question regarding home schooling from one who, up until this late stage of life, at least, has never had to deal with children (and, if he had them, would almost certainly send them to private school, anyway).

    How do parents home school children. really? When I was in public school, I took calculus, physics, French (4 years), Latin, etc. Do parents that home school really have the qualifications to teach a child all of these subjects? Moreover, doesn't the case wherein the family consists of multiple children complicate things further? How can a parent of four, for example, spend the requisite time to teach the children at their differing levels of education? And, as in the case wherein the family consists of 16 or more like that whacky bunch somewhere in the midwest, it would seem to me an impossible task.
    I worked in a home where the children where homeschooled. Four boys!! It was fascinating to me. The boys went for tutoring in languages (Latin), and music. They participated in organized sports within the community.

    I enjoyed watching the schooling in action for the 2 days I was working there. While it may not always be the case, these kids were bright, polite, well rounded kids, as far as I could tell.
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  10. #10  
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    The only case I know of personally of home schooling was a bad one, and I don't judge everyone who homeschools by the standard of my late dumbass uncle and his bitchy wife. Neither one was qualified to home school, and their kid was a manipulative genius who used home schooling to get out of having to get up every morning and report to school-she had flunked 9th grade in a catholic school because she got her parents to call her in sick too many times, even though she had straight As. The catholic school had been my suggestion, after she had behavior problems in a bad public middle school (but no academic problems). Plus, she had run away at one point and had asked for my intervention, which I offered on conditions. She didn't like my conditions so she went to a shelter, where she manipulated the staff there for 30 days before going home.

    Good parents, who read up on what they are doing, can educate kids better than the Detroit Public Schools. I just think that if you live in a good public school system, like the one I grew up with, or you can afford private school, then your kids have other opportunities-social, athletic, musical, that a home school can't offer in the same way. With the exception of my math education (which affected my science abilities beyond biology), I had an excellent public education from the Kentwood Public Schools. The math thing was a result of changing trends-they switched from the New Math and back again in my elementary school years, and I was left hopelessly confused. I had good teachers here and there who helped me, but I rarely retained it beyond a year or two. I did have 4 years of English classes, including writing classes and a speech class, and my senior year, I took an AP class. The school offered some advanced math and science classes that I never qualified for, but that my brother took. I played violin in an award-winning school orchestra, and we had high-quality musical productions in our auditorium every spring. Our field house and pool were better than the ones I found at WMU a few years later. I could have taken 4 years of spanish, 3 years of german or french, or 2 years of Latin-I took 2 years of german. We had a county-wide vocational education program that had autoshop, food preparation, and numerous other skills training programs for the kids who weren't going to college. Good schools are worth the community investment.

    I lived in a fairly conservative community, though. There were certain lines that were never crossed, officially. The Catcher In The Rye was in the library, but it was not used as teaching material in any class. Although, we did read The Canturbury Tales, which in retrospect, really is much dirtier.
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