Saturday, March 08, 2008

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger supports homeschooling

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will step in if the home schooling ruling is not overturned.

In a statement released Friday, the Governor says, "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their child's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts, and if the courts don't protect parents' rights, then, as elected officials, we will."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Henry Cate isn't worried about CA ruling

Henry from Why Homeschool was interviewed by a reporter for The Mercury News.
While many home-schoolers are fearing the worst, Cate said he is not
worried. "The U.S. Supreme Court has said again and again that parents can
home-school their children."

Things not as bleak for California homeschoolers as paper implies

From The Madison Project

The LA Times got it wrong in the first sentence of their article. Parents without teaching credentials can still educate their children at home under the various exemptions to mandatory public school enrollment provided in § 48220 et seq. of the Cal. Ed. Code. The parents in this case lost because they claimed that the students were enrolled in a charter school and that with minimal supervision from the school, the children were free to skip classes so the mother could teach them at home. There is no basis in law for that argument. If only the parents had attempted to homeschool their kids in one of the statutorily prescribed methods, they would have prevailed.

Drop by Doc's to read her take on the issue.

Learn More about Helen Keller

at History is Elementary

Public school officials expect that the decision will be overturned

Public school officials said they do not expect the ruling, which will be appealed to the California Supreme Court, to stick. Frank Lynch, superintendent of Lompoc Unified School District, said he doesn't like to speculate on what might happen if the ruling is upheld."Once it's at the Supreme Court, I expect that the decision will be overturned," Lynch said

Homeschoolers' setback in appeals court ruling

From the San Francisco Chronicle

Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."

Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.
"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

This is one scary guy, note he doesn't think the primary purpose of the educational system is to EDUCATE CHILDREN, but to train them to be servants of the state.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued a statement saying he supports "parental choice when it comes to homeschooling."

Homeschoolers have at least one friend in the educational system.

But Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles, which represented the Longs' two children in the case, said her organization's chief concern was not the quality of the children's education, but their "being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."

In fact the children's own lawyer isn't concerned with the children actually getting an education. She just wants them observed by people, other then the parents.

Be sure to read the article and comments.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Mercury News gets homeschoolers aren't all the same

Once largely the province of the radical left and conservative Christians, home schooling has grown rapidly in recent years and in some circles is considered mainstream.

Much of the growth has been fueled by the Internet, which allows parents to shop for online lessons in geography and history, swap teaching responsibilities with other parents, and access countless homeschooling blogs, listservs and conferences.

How refreshing.

Why Homeschool: Phase two of the contest for Carnival of Homeschooling images

Why Homeschool: Phase two of the contest for Carnival of Homeschooling images

Hundreds of public school teachers in California are teaching with emergency credentials

First,due to a shortage of credentialled teachers, hundreds of teachers in California are teaching with emergency credentials. That is, they have passed a test (the California Basic Educational Skills Test CBEST) but do not have a teaching credential.

So apparently you can teach in the California public schools without being properly credentialed, but you can't homeschool.

Read Lois Kazakoff: Should homeschool teachers have credentials? and feel free to leave a comment.

More on the California Homeschooling Issue

A Judge in California has made it illegal (pending appeal) for parents to homeschool their young-uns. This begs the question - how should the 166,000 homeschool families that reside in California react? What would you do if you were in their situation? WAVA-FM/780 AM will take your calls toll free beginning at 5pm EST - 888.293.9282. They will also attempt to simulcast the broadcast for those outside the DC area, click here and joining the chat room.

The show can be listened to at 5pm EST, and the podcast can be listened to anytime after 7pm by going here.

13 facts about the Pequot War

From the History is Elementary blog

I wish more teachers would spend a little of time discussing the Pequot War since it is one of the first major interactions between colonists and Native Americans. While it is mentioned in many of today’s textbooks being used in lower middle grade classrooms the war is not generally covered at an adequate level and it is usually grouped with King Phillip’s War which occurred almost thirty years after the Pequot War.

Drop by to read 13 facts about the Pequot War.

State appellate court says those who teach children in private must have a credential.

From the Los Angeles Times

Homeschoolers are appalled by the courts decision.
"This decision is a direct hit against every home schooler in California," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which represents the Sunland Christian School, which specializes in religious home schooling. "If the state Supreme Court does not reverse this . . . there will be nothing to prevent home-school witch hunts from being implemented in every corner of the state of California."The institute estimates there are as many as 166,000 California students who are home schooled. State Department of Education officials say there is no way to know the true number.

But homeschoolers are not the only ones interested in what the state Supreme Court will do.
Teachers union officials will also be closely monitoring the appeal. A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said he agrees with the ruling."What's best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher," he said.

Sounds as if Duffy is afraid of losing his cushy job in the public school system if the ruling is reversed.

Parents this isn't just a homeschooling issue; this is a parental rights issue. If they take away your freedom to choose how and by whom your child will be educated, what other choice will they take away 'for the good of the child' ?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More on the CA Legal Drama

Annette M. Hall had this to say about the California Legal Drama

What I learned after speaking with Mr. Long and reading through miles of documents was that this case is anything but straightforward. Each parent and the children were supplied with court appointed attorneys, who it is obvious by the court records had a superficial knowledge of homeschool (read private school) laws in the state of California.

In the coming days I will be covering certain aspects of the appellate courts ruling and what it means for the future of homeschoolers living in California. Phillip Long is acutely aware of the situation we are facing and had this to say, "This isn't really about us, it's about homeschooling. We're not happy about it, but it's much bigger than us."

Having worked in the past with California Homeschool Network's legal team and in turn with the other homeschooling organizations, I can assure you there are some great legal minds at work on this and I am confident that this matter will be handled expeditiously and the appellate court taken to task over this error of judgment.

Public School The Finnish Way

High-school students here rarely get more than a half-hour of homework a night. They have no school uniforms, no honor societies, no valedictorians, no tardy bells and no classes for the gifted. There is little standardized testing, few parents agonize over college and kids don't start school until age 7.

Yet by one international measure, Finnish teenagers are among the smartest in the world.

Aloha ~Carnival of Homeschooling

The 114th Carnival of Homeschooling is up at PalmTree Pundit. We had a hail storm last night so a visit to Hawaii is very welcome this morning.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Poorly informed decision hurts CA homeschoolers

Bruce Shortt, a Houston attorney involved with the Exodus Mandate, a group that is calling on California parents to remove their children from state public schools as a result of the recent passage of SB 777, which prohibits schools and teachers from “reflecting adversely” on gays and lesbians, criticized the decision as “arrogant” and “poorly informed,” and said that he was confident that the decision would not stand given the “federal issues” involved.

Saying that the decision, if upheld, would “reduce the choices of parents,” Shortt said that his group would continue its call to remove children from public schools and that the decision would merely cause the group to push in a “different direction.”
The case is In re Rachel L., 08 S.O.S. 1340.

Homeschoolers everywhere need to keep a close eye on this case. I am very concerned about the reported physical and emotional mistreatment by the father. I have several ?'s concerning that.

  • If the father is physically and emotionally abusing the children why haven't they been removed from the home?
  • If the father isn't physically or emotionally abusing the children why can't the family continue to homeschool? They followed the law and were registered with an umbrella school.

Advanced Placement Vs. State History

His son hoped to take Advanced Placement courses in chemistry and calculus; instead the boy had to waste school hours repeating physical education and state history courses usually taught to freshmen. California was the third state in which he attended high school, and he had to take three classes in basic state history.

"He was denied AP Calculus and AP Chemistry. He took badminton with 9th graders and a third history course," Hering said.

It's a no brainer, state history should not be required for graduation. It's unfair to those students who wind up moving from state to state during their high school years. State history should be waived not just for those students whose families are military, but for all students. With the economy like it is many students are uprooted during their high school years, not just those whose families are in the military.