homeschool changes

unanimously last week that parents who home-school their children must have a California State Credential. “ If this passes the Supreme Court (which I highly doubt it will), h/s will change in CA that’s for sure.This is a bit extreme, no?   

20 responses to “homeschool changes”

  1. extreme…but you have to agree that does bring to light that california needs to have “clear” guidelines for those parents….most states allow you to h/s but you have apply to do so….and they just want to make sure you are actually teaching your kids.

    the case that brought this all on is difficult because it’s not just h/s it also had something to do with physical abuse? (don’t quote me)

    I really don’t understand the whole the h/s thing…but I do question why a parent wouldn’t want any help or guidelines.

    I know that I have a pretty strong (anti) h/s attitude…. but that judgement was meant for that family and seems crazy to hold every h/s family to it.

  2. To Martha’s question – it doesn’t directly affect private schools, but if it goes through, it eventually will.

    This is because the homeschoolers will respond by organizing themselves locally into “private schools” and continuing to do things the way they have been all along, and then the laws (or whatever) will have to be expanded to account for that.

    I have mixed feelings on this one. While I don’t necessarily believe that all teachers of any kind should be required to be “credentialed” (the best ones I had growing up weren’t, and some that were sucked), I also do think there should be some relatively high standards for accountability that teachers and schools are held to, for the sake of the kids.

    I just don’t know what the best way to structure those kinds of requirements would be.

  3. No, those aren’t actually the kind of requirements I’m thinking of.

    If I understand the process correctly (and I may not), teaching credentials are obtained before the teacher ever really proves themselves to be a good teacher. I know there is some sort of classroom time involved, but I doubt it’s enough to really tell whether they’re going to be good in the long run. Exhibit A: all the crappy teachers who have credentials.

    Furthermore, the requirements I’m talking about have more to do with how successful the teacher (and the school at large) is in educating kids on an ongoing basis. Flying in the face of long-time establishments like tenure, they should be held accountable year by year until they stop teaching, and dismissed when they’re no longer effective.

    Like I said, I don’t have the answers for how that should work, since any measurements would likely be (or at least should be) based to a large degree on testing how much the students are learning, and even if the teacher is excellent, there’s the whole “leading a horse to water, can’t make them drink” thing. That’s why (in my opinion) one of the most important qualities a teacher can have is the ability to inspire the necessary kind of thirst.

    Anyway, in spite of not knowing how to solve this problem, I do believe that it’s a critical issue that we (as a society) need to put a huge priority on. This is primarily why I disagree with the concept of vouchers for private schools (at least if their implementation means taking resources away from the public school system). I believe that things like education and health care are things that a good society must ensure are in place for its citizens, and you unfortunately can’t leave it to “the market” or the parents to take care of, because unfortunately there are a lot of stupid and/or greedy parents out there, and their kids shouldn’t have to be punished for that.

    OK, I better stop now before someone accuses me of communism… 🙂

  4. I agree with everything you say…at the end…

    Credentials are in place to determine wether a person can be a “good” teacher. People have failed and will continue to fail the credential programs because they wont be “good” teachers.

    If the teacher, whom passes the credential programs, becomes a bad teacher it’s not the credential program, it’s the person.

    My point is, the credential requirements and tests throughout their career are made to prevent bad teachers/teaching. And if there are crappy teachers it’s because of crappy *people* being good while watched.

    Tenure is an issue but that’s just one of the government’s ridiculous policies that affect schooling, similarly, No Child Left Behind.

    …it could also be, crappy teachers are excellent teachers for the majority while the so-called “excellent” teachers could be crap.

  5. BTW: I should mention I don’t care if private schools don’t require credentialed teachers. I prefer they don’t.

    I just think it’s weird that you want requirements but there are very strict requirements that a credentialed teacher must go through. Requirements that should be respected, maybe you’re not familiar with the challenges a prospective teacher has to go through.

  6. I did read a really god article somewhere on the web…about asking people to calm down. Basically what h/s people need right now is just to have the decision unpublished (meaning the decision would be for that family only) but with the all the news they are concerned that it make actually make it’s way to the supreme court…which could be really bad….

    oh here is the articel

    I haven’t actually signed the petition….still reading and then will decide.

    Being in school drama myself with the boy….i really can appreciate the desire for you kids to be an a system that actually works. Our son is suppose to attend school next year where the test scores are soooo low they barely compute and because of the area, english is the second langauge. Now I’m all for diversity….but it basically means that only 2% of the children speak english as their primary langauge….

    The system is so screwed up that we are left waiting until after august to find out what school we can “transfer to”.

    I think the real thing people should be petitioning and panicing for it better schools in general!
    I should NOT have to pay top $$ to educate my kids and to have them in a safe environment.

  7. You’re right, I’m not too familiar with the credentialing requirements; I think I mentioned that above.

    If it’s the case that they are continually evaluated on an ongoing basis, for effectiveness, etc. based on how well the kids are learning, then that’s good, although (like most things) there is probably room for improvement, since the general feeling I get is that kids are not learning as much / as well as they used to. (Maybe I’m wrong about that too, though)

    I was making my point under the assumption that obtaining credentials was a one time process, and that there are limited rules in place to test the ongoing effectiveness of teachers. I may have been wrong about that, I don’t know, but the point was that I think all schools (home, private, public) should be held to some level of accountability, and that what that looks like should not be left exclusively to the parents, since many parents cannot be trusted to always act in the best interests of their kids, and (in the case of homeschooling) even if they want to, they may not be capable of providing the level of teaching that their kids need. Having standards in place would at least help them evaluate whether that is the case.

  8. I’m just confused, Iread two conflicting statements:

    1. You don’t want the current system’s requirements imposed on h/s and public teachers
    2. You want oversight, similar to how our current system works, imposed on all teachers

    And you already answered the main question of “what’s the difference between the current requirements and the requirements you would like to see?” but you’re answer was,
    “Furthermore, the requirements I’m talking about have more to do with how successful the teacher (and the school at large) is in educating kids on an ongoing basis.”
    Which is No Child Left Behind, which was the worst initiative ever forced on our kids and teachers.

    You don’t have to respond, I’ll move on from being “confused”… 🙂

  9. I don’t think my statements were conflicted. I didn’t say I wanted “oversight similar to the current system” or similar to no child left behind; I said we needed a different, reformed system that actually works. Hope that clears up the confusion.

  10. There are ongoing requirements for credentialed & tenured teachers-so many hours per few years (not sure on the number) of professional growth, that could be classes at the Uni, conferences or workshops. Teachers are evaluated twice a year by the principal and then a conference is held. I do think that becoming tenured is too quick, it only takes two years within the same district- not even the same grade. Once a teacher is tenured they have job security. Meaning if the school district gets smaller, a job must be found for the teacher. Or if the teacher is awful and playing games all day, it is really hard to fire them. They are put on leave (still getting paid), a long term sub is brought in and a lawyer is hired = lotsa $$! Eventually when a “settlement” is reached, the school district usually pays a lump sum to the teacher to leave. A definite flaw in the system.
    There are a few BIG problems/reasons kids aren’t learning as much as they used to;
    * class sizes- way too big
    * parents don’t give their kids the repsonsibility/ownership to learn- “not my child…” attitude
    * students are “babied” – wouldn’t want to hurt their self esteem
    * around here we have ELL (English Language Learners) which sadly enough does hold back the kids who are on target so there is a lot learning going on that should have been done a year or two ago.

  11. Good points. I hope my earlier comments didn’t imply that all the blame / responsibility for how well kids perform should be place only on the teachers. I think that any good accountability system must require something (in terms of effort) from the parents, the students and the teachers and other school officials on an ongoing basis.

  12. Why are people so ignorant that they think a parent that actually cares about their childs future, can’t teach their child what they learned in school, If america is so stupid why are high schools giving out diplomas? My children are smarter than most adults,love learning,yes love learning.The problem is we have all these democrats that want to act like they are smart,but dont have a clue…….another thing christian homeschooled children actually have morals ,and a country full of anti-moral democrats can’t handle the thought of children growing up with morals…….

  13. Wow! Just because one doesn’t h/s doesn’t mean they don’t care about their childs future. That is a pretty presumptuous of you Stellaa. I am fully capable, and if this passes legally able to, h/s my kids, but I do not plan to- although you never know what the future might hold. I know plenty of kids who went to (gasp) public school that have morals, and I am sure there are a few h/s kids that don’t have good morals too! You sure do lump all Christian h/s kids together.
    I think we all agree that changes need to be made, but what (how extreme), who will regulate and how. It is such a huge issue that there is no way for a rule to solve this issue.

  14. Stellaa, I’m sure there are lots of parents who care about their kids AND are able to teach them well enough, but surely you don’t believe that every parent who has this desire is automatically capable of teaching to the level of education that kids need.

    It isn’t about how much they love their kids, etc., it’s just that not everyone is cut out to be a good teacher, even if they have the best of intentions.

    PS – I think it’s great that your kids have morals and love learning. I have to wonder whether they’ve learned to love people labeled “democrats”, though… something tells me that lesson might not be coming across very clearly.

  15. I’ve always wonder this….why do so many “christians” opt to h/s?

    I know I’ve read that on average most h/s children test higher through school (k-12) but what about on to college. Do most of these children continue there education?

    And I always do find it interesting that most families I’ve read about, the parents don’t have anything past a high school education…..

    P.S….my children will not be h/s, however I do believe that I am raising two children with morals (ah christian morals too), that also love to learn….they will also be (are) self-confident, independent and strong individuals!

  16. Stella,

    Isn’t it counter productive and against the Christian faith to hide your children and prevent them from being missionaries to those kids without “morals”.

    If it weren’t for a Christian friend I wouldn’t believe what I do today.

    Go Obama!!!

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