Saturday, February 02, 2008

Who Watches the Watchers

A spokesman for the state agency (FL) that oversees the welfare of children was arrested Friday on charges that he solicited minors, at least one of whom may have been in state custody, to create pornography, authorities said.

Al Zimmerman of the state Department of Children & Families has been fired, agency officials said. The 40-year-old was charged with eight counts of using a child in a sexual performance and faces up to 120 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

Read the rest in The Sun Herald.

Why Homeschool: Then what would we do?

Why Homeschool: Then what would we do?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Thoughts on the Independents Article on Homeschooling

First why do they always showcase Fundamentalist Christian Homeschooling Families and their Bible Studies? There are plenty of secular homeschoolers who do not start the day with Bible Studies. It would be nice IF articles on homeschoolers showcased the wide diversity amongst homeschooling families instead of making it sound like only Fundamentalist Christians Homeschool.

For some reason the reporter felt in necessary to mention anti-homeschooling Rob Reich's criticisms of homeschoolers.

For the few independent researchers looking at homeschooling, Reich points out, there's simply no good data. Most discussion centers around what Reich calls the "glorified anecdote." Kids have won national spelling competitions and aced the SATs based on what they learned at the kitchen table. Some take these examples and conclude homeschooling must work.

But, Reich asks, "What's the average homeschool? The answer is, "We have no idea.'"

Answer there is no average homeschool. Each homeschooler is FREE to tailor their methods to suit their child's individual learning style. Some methods homeschoolers chose to use; the Charlotte Mason Method, Classical Education, Eclectic Homeschooling, Enki Education Method, Montessori Homeschooling, Unit Studies, and the Waldorf Method. That's the beauty of homeschooling being able to use what works best for your child. There is absolutely no reason homeschoolers should have to use the same methods as failing public schools and submit to regulations and testing just so educators like Reich can have the data they want. Public Schools which are regulated regularly fail the students they are suppose to be educating even though they provide the Reichs of this world with plenty of data.

At least the reporter did mention why homeschooling is so popular today.

It wasn't until the 1960s and '70s that John Holt and other educators started making a case that schools failed many children. Holt's notion that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their own interests lies at the heart of the modern "unschooling" movement.

And Lane at least mentioned that all homeschoolers are not Fundamentalist Christians.

Yet it's not fair to say all homeschool families believe the same things or are motivated by a religious worldview. In a 1999 federal survey, religious reasons were the second most common explanation given for homeschooling, at around 38 percent; 49 percent responded they believed they could do a better job at home.

Unfortunately he didn't choose to elaborate on what a wonderfully diverse bunch homeschoolers really are. In fact ANTHONY LANE seems to be completely unaware that there are atheist, liberal and Democrat homeschoolers. He apparently buys into the malarkey spread by Michael Apple that the majority of homeschooling is done by Christians wishing to brainwash their children.

Lane then finds it necessary to bring up the Murray tragedy.

Several homeschooling families intersected Dec. 9 when Matthew Murray ended his murderous rampage at New Life Church. Having killed two people at a missionary school in Arvada, the 24-year-old shot his way across the New Life parking lot as Sunday services let out, killing Rachel and Stephanie Works, teenage sisters who were homeschooled. Their father was also injured. Judy Purcell, administrator of the High Country Home Educators enrichment program that meets at New Life, was shot in the shoulder as she and her family prepared to leave that day.

Murray, who raged in multiple Web postings against his homeschooled upbringing in a strict Christian family, killed himself after he was shot by a New Life security guard.

We all know about Columbine, we have all read about children who have killed themselves after being bullied in public schools, but nobody blames public schooling for these tragedies. Why when tragedy befalls a homechooling family does the media rush to blame it on homeschooling?

Kerry Kantor sums up nicely why regulation of homeschool families is unnecessary.

Kerry Kantor, with the Colorado Academy of Independent Learners, says regulations are unnecessary to ensure most homeschooled kids get a good education.

"Parents really do have their best interests at heart," she says.

Public School Teacher makes terroristic threats

A teacher who was upset because she didn't get her preferred classroom assignment left more than a dozen scribbled threats at her elementary school and a suspicious device in a student's desk, authorities said.

Susan Romanyszyn, 45, was charged Thursday with 17 counts of making terroristic threats in connection with the incidents at Longstreth Elementary School in Warminster in October.

Read the rest in The Sun Herald.

Do we really want our children taught by people like this?

Just how different is a homeschool education?

Dana over at Principled Discovery ask Just how different is a homeschool education?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teacher admits sex with student

A Biloxi teacher, who was suspended after sexual battery charges were filed against her, admitted to police she had sexual relations with the 15-year-old, according to court documents provided by the county attorney. In one communication she called the juvenile her little "sex fiend."

Rebecca Dawn Bogard, 27, was charged with sexual battery of a teenage male student Jan. 18, and released on $50,000 bond. She was suspended by the Biloxi School District with pay Jan. 23.

Why are tax payers being forced to continue to pay her salary? She admitted she had sex with a 15 year old, she abused her position as his teacher. She should be fired immeadietly and all 'pay' should stop.

Monday, January 28, 2008

persistent problem with sexual misconduct in U.S. schools

Heeding a steady drumbeat of sexual misconduct cases involving teachers, at least 15 states are now considering stronger oversight and tougher punishment for educators who take advantage of their students.

Lawmakers say they are concerned about an increasingly well-documented phenomenon: While the vast majority of America's teachers are committed professionals, there also is a persistent problem with sexual misconduct in U.S. schools. When abuse happens, administrators too often fail to let others know about it, and too many legal loopholes let offenders stay in the classroom.

This seems to be a step in the right direction to making public school safe and getting predatory teachers out of the classroom.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are Homeschoolers for Huckabee?

So far the evidence says NO. 68 people have voted in my poll over at Alasandra & The Cats (it's in the sidebar scroll down if you want to vote). 58 (85%) of the homeschoolers voting have indicated that they would NOT vote for Huckabee. 10 (14%) of the homeschoolers have indicated they would vote for Huckabee. There are 4 days left to vote.

Why Homeschool: My heart pains for the poor parents

Why Homeschool: My heart pains for the poor parents

I can identify with the boy Henry's post is about. I had a 4th grade teacher who verbally abused me. If my music teacher had not walked in during the middle of one of her tirades telling me how stupid, worthless and retarded I was and rescued me from the class permanently this could have been me. I felt helpless and I didn't know of a way to escape from the abusive teacher. Without my music teachers intervention I wonder how long it would have been before I thought death was preferable to having to endure the 4th grade teachers abuse?

Is Michael Farris a False Prophet?

Rudy Takala's take on Michael Farris

The defense of homeschooling isn't why Farris instituted the college, nor is it why he is engaged in the homeschool movement. What he did was understand the energy potential of people who were willing to take their children out of the public system of education, and he wanted to utilize that energy to his own ends. He wanted to have a personal voice in Washington.

Read his entire post False prophets here.