Home Schooling and Other Alternatives

If you get all your information from television, you may be only distantly aware that home schooling is a viable alternative to public schools, and that there are ideas in the works to make public schools more competitive with each other and with private schools.  Worse yet, if you watch too much television, perhaps you think that home schooling is strictly for hillbillies or Branch Davidians.  On the contrary, home schools are more popular than ever, and compared to public schools, they produce better educated students at a fraction of the cost per student.

The Editor of this web site, and Mrs. Editor, have had personal experience with both public education and home schooling, some of which is described in a subsection at the bottom of this page.

Home schools teach:
   Civics
   Ethics
   Christian principles
   Geography
   Grammar
   Penmanship, or at least legible handwriting
   American History and the reasons for America's superiority
   Math (without a calculator)
   Spelling (without a spell-checker)
   Reading, inference and comprehension
   Resistance to propaganda
   The benefits of capitalism and the proven dangers of communism
   Logical deduction and rational thinking
   Self-reliance and independence

The public schools teach:
   The answers to the next STAR test
   How to line up and march in single file (just like in prison)
   How to depend on the government for at least two meals a day
   How to count on your fingers and knuckles
   How to depend on a calculator for the simplest arithmetic
   How to watch television (instead of paying attention to a teacher)
   How to cheat on a test using a cell phone
   How to walk the halls in packs to avoid thugs who also walk the halls in packs
   How to throw the ball, catch the ball, kick the ball, and worship anyone who plays sports for a living
   How to save the earth from coal, oil and styrofoam
   101 ways to benefit from government handouts

If you place any value on your children's education, moral standards, personal safety, polite behavior, and eternal salvation, then you must get them out of the public school system.  Private schools are expensive, and home schooling is a lot of work, if you do it right, but the rewards are well worth the ivestments.

When you're finished here, read about the teachers' labor unions and the socialist ideas they support.

Note:  Items related to a 2008 court ruling in California are now located here



Opposition to Common Core spurs jump in homeschooling.  The home-schooling boom is getting a new push due to opposition to Common Core, the controversial national education standard that some parents claim is using their children's public school lessons to push a political agenda, according to critics of the Washington-backed curriculum.  North Carolina, already a home-schooling hotbed, saw a 14 percent rise last year in the number of students being educated at home, according to a report from Heartlander Magazine. Similar increases have been seen in Virginia, California and New York, according to education activists.

Homeschooling Parents Pepper Sprayed and Tasered Because Home School Was 'Messy'.  A family that home schools their children were attacked by government thugs with a home invasion where the parents were tasered, pepper sprayed and handcuffed and all this in front of their kids.  And why was this done?  Because the government thought the home school environment was "messy."  This is the sort of stuff that you should expect from our thuggish governments.  They really, really hate homeschoolers not only because they are usually conservative and religious but because it takes children out of the hands of government propagandists who want to indoctrinate kids.

Vindictive Officials Seize Homeschool Family's Assets.  More than a year ago, police in Germany obtained court permission to use "force" and arm themselves with a battering ram to take custody of four homeschooled children, only to see the parents resume homeschooling, and regain custody later.  But that ultimate defeat for the government apparently isn't going to be the end, according to the father in the case, Dirk Wunderlich.  In an online interview from his German residence, he told WND that a local school board attorney since then has begun issuing "notices of enforcement" that come with penalties of 1,000 euros, or about $1,350.

SWAT Team Tasers, Pepper-Sprays Homeschoolers.  A Missouri homeschooling family is suing a sheriff and another officer who forcibly entered their home without a warrant, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.  A court already has ruled that the actions of Sheriff Darren White and Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri, violated the U.S. Constitution, resulting in the dismissal of charges of child endangerment and resisting arrest against the couple, Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton.

Students are Fleeing Common Core's Sinking Ship.  [Scroll down]  In fact, parents do have an escape hatch, and one that they are increasingly eager to use:  the option to homeschool their children.  In North Carolina, homeschoolers now outnumber children enrolled in private school.  Today, more than 150,000 North Carolinians are being educated at home.  Compare this to a private school enrollment of about 96,000 and the fact that the largest public school district in the state has 143,000 students, and this is a pretty impressive statistic.  It's also shown significant growth of 14 percent over last year.

Why our family believes in homeschooling.  The Common Core curriculum, which is now being forced upon teachers and students in schools across the country, is using students as guinea pigs.  We choose to not participate.  Many good teachers and many thoughtful parents I have spoken with agree firmly that the standardized tests have been a disaster.  It has forced schools to teach to the tests, to the great detriment of students' overall education.  Schools are dropping untested subjects such as art and music.  After all, why provide art and music classes?  They aren't tested.  Yet, it's self-evident that art and music are necessary to become a well-rounded person, and they complement science and math, as many a scientist will testify.  Schools are no longer emphasizing creativity and critical thinking (to the extent that they ever did).  Why not?  Because such things are not tested.

More about Common Core.

They Are Coming for Your Children.  Home-schoolers represent the only authentically radical social movement in the United States (Occupy Wall Street was a fashion statement) and so they must be suppressed, as a malevolent committee of leftist academics and union bosses under the direction of Governor Dannel Malloy is preparing to do in Connecticut, using the Sandy Hook massacre as a pretext.  The ghouls invariably rush to the podium after every school massacre, issuing their insipid press releases before the bodies have even cooled, and normally they're after your guns.  But the Malloy gang is after your children.

Connecticut Targets Homeschoolers.  In Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has returned a curious and controversial draft recommendation:  the state should increase its oversight of homeschooled children with emotional or behavioral challenges.  The proposal has outraged the state's homeschoolers, who, like homeschoolers everywhere, are keenly aware of their sometimes conditional freedoms.  In Connecticut, as elsewhere, the law allows parents to homeschool if they choose.  But the practice has always been viewed as threatening by left-wing academics, social architects, and teachers' unions — all well represented on Malloy's 16-member panel.  Sadly, this is only the most recent assault on the rights of Connecticut homeschoolers.

Home schooling rate accelerates in North Carolina.  "If you're dissatisfied with public education, you really have two routes," said Kevin McClain, president of North Carolinians For Home Education, a statewide support group.  "You can send your child to a private school — which is really expensive — or you can home-school.  The economy means that, for many people, you home-school."  Home schooling has steadily risen in North Carolina since it was legalized in 1985 by the state Supreme Court.  Twenty-five years ago, there were about 2,300 home-schooled students in North Carolina.  But concerns about school violence, lack of a religious focus and the large size of public schools have helped fuel home-school growth.  And home-school growth in North Carolina has surged the past two school years.

Homeschool family
Homeschool Family Sends Seven Kids to College — All by Age 12!  A family from Alabama is inspiring the nation with its amazing homeschool success story.  In fact, Kip and Mona Lisa Harding, from Montgomery, have been so successful in educating their 10 children at home that seven have gone on to college — by the age of 12!  It all began when the Harding's oldest child, Hannah, was in third grade, enrolled in public school.  A friend suggested that the couple try homeschooling their daughter, something they conceded wasn't even on their radar.  But they ended up giving it a try and soon decided that they could do a better job educating their children than the local school district could.

Company rescinds Ohio man's job offer after learning he was home schooled.  Home school advocates are outraged by an energy company's decision to rescind an Ohio man's job offer after learning he had been home schooled.  Michael Donnelly, an attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), told FoxNews.com that the young man was offered a competitive job by the NiSource energy company.  The man, whose name has not been made public, had a home-schooled high school diploma and three years of relevant experience when he applied for the job, according to his attorney, who also noted he had completed seven college-level courses.  Donnelly claimed the energy company offered him the job and then changed its decision upon hearing he did not have an official high school diploma, which the company requires.

U.S. Supreme Court declines German home-school case.  To the disappointment of many home-schooling supporters, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday [3/3/2014] it would not consider the case of a German family seeking asylum in the U.S. because they cannot teach their children at home in Germany.  The leader of a home-school advocacy group said that while "normal" legal battles are exhausted, he and others would seek other avenues to support Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children.

DHS allows German home-schooling family to stay in US.  A German home-schooling family facing deportation following the Supreme Court's refusal to hear their appeal is being allowed to stay in the U.S.  The Department of Homeland Security has granted the family "indefinite deferred status," their attorney confirmed to Fox News.

Why school choice opens a door to the American Dream.  In America, a good education is the great equalizer, something that gives our children the chance to fulfill their potential no matter how they fared in the lottery of life.  That's why the more we can do to empower parents to pick and choose the schools that best meet their kids' needs, the better.  It's one way for us to live up to our billing as the "Land of Opportunity."

Don't Destroy This Family.  The Romeike family was granted asylum in the United States because the German government was intent on wresting away the children and putting the parents in cages for the crime of homeschooling their children, which is verboten in Germany, a legacy of the country's totalitarian past.  The Obama administration, which in other notable areas of immigration law has enacted a policy of "discretion" regarding deportations, took the Romeike family to court to have its asylum protections revoked, and succeeded in doing so.  The family has appealed to the Supreme Court, which has ordered the Obama administration to respond to the Romeikes' petition, but the administration has so far refused to do so.

Consider Alternative Schooling.  Even when they work well, public schools introduce all sorts of costs and rigidities into everyday life.  That's not surprising.  Public schools were designed to be rigid.  Back in the 19th century, when Massachusetts Board of Education Secretary Horace Mann toured Europe looking for models of public education to import to America, the one he chose came from Prussia.  Inflexibility and uniformity were Prussian specialties, and when Mann brought Prussian-style education to America, those characteristics were seen not as a bug but as a feature.  School was practice for working in the factory.  Thus, the traditional public school:  like a factory, it runs by the bell.

Why I Sent My Children to a School of Another Faith.  Although my husband and I deliberately moved where our children could attend high-performing public schools, the school board arbitrarily rezoned us, forcing our children into a middle school that experienced violence daily.  This was unacceptable.  Finding a private school that fit without forcing us into bankruptcy was daunting.  It was easy to find schools in the yellow pages, and every school welcomed me when I visited.  However, no school seemed like the right fit.

Supreme Court orders White House to respond to Romeike petition.  The Supreme Court has ordered the White House to respond to an asylum petition that appeared on Whitehouse.gov on behalf of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike.  The Romeike family fled Germany in 2008 when they were fined and threatened with jail-time for homeschooling their children.  They were denied asylum in 2012, and a lower court ruled against them when they appealed.  They have appealed to the Supreme Court, which has not decided to hear their case.  However, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which represents the family, has announced that the Supreme Court has ordered the Obama administration to issue an official response to the WhiteHouse.gov petition asking for "full and permanent legal status" for the Romeikes.

Supreme Court Orders DOJ to Respond to German Homeschoolers' Petition.  The Supreme Court has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to respond to the Home School Legal Defense Association's (HSLDA) petition on behalf of the Romeike family, a German family who sought legal asylum in the United States to escape persecution because homeschooling is largely prohibited in their home country.  In a press release, James Mason, HSLDA's director of litigation, said that the order is a hopeful sign that the High Court will hear the case.

Judge Allows Federal Oversight Louisiana Voucher Program.  A federal judge ruled against Louisiana in a case against the state's scholarship program on Friday [11/22/2013], requiring federal oversight for the program that allows children to escape failing schools.  The ruling may lead to a lengthy review process preferred by the Justice Department (DOJ), which Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) says could regulate the program to death.  The decision was the latest in a legal battle between the Obama administration and the state, dating back to August.

DOJ Drops Anti-School Choice Lawsuit in La..  The Obama administrated has abandoned its request for an injunction against Louisiana's school-voucher program, designed to help low- and middle-income students in failing schools to attend schools of their choice.  The Department of Justice claimed that the program impeded the federally mandated desegregation process, but in late October was unable to produce the documents central to their lawsuit, saying they needed to obtain the documents from archives and review them.  A number of more comprehensive studies indicated that the program presented no such problem, and may have actually been encouraging integration.

One Hundred Reasons to Abandon Public Education Now.  [For example,]
  (42) History curriculum designed by post-Marxist revisionists.
  (43) The entitlement mentality.
  (44) Natural attachment to the "provider." Abstract state replaces concrete parents as the object of future obligation and duty.
  (45) "Gender role" and "alternative lifestyle" lessons.
  (46) Unceasing Marxist critique of Western civilization: sexism, systemic oppression, capitalism is racist, the rich get richer, etc.
  (47) Public education requires lowest common denominator approach. Stifles natural intelligence.
  (48) Discouraging female modesty.
  (49) Discouraging male admiration for female modesty.

Where do public school teachers send their own kids?  About 11 percent of all parents — nationwide, rural and urban — send their children to private schools.  The numbers are much higher in urban areas.  One study found that in Philadelphia a staggering 44 percent of public school teachers send their own kids to private schools.  In Cincinnati and Chicago, 41 and 39 percent of public school teachers, respectively, pay for a private school education for their children.  In Rochester, New York, it's 38 percent.

This happened in Germany, but could happen here someday:
Police Raid on German Home School Family Brings Back Memory of Darker Times.  Even if the raid and the law were not contrary to certain European Union human rights agreements, Germany ought to be embarrassed at the spectacle of armed police kidnapping children for the crime of being home schooled.  That it gives rise to an earlier, much darker time in German history almost goes without saying.

Police storm homeschool class, take children by force.  Four children, ages 7 to 14, have been forcibly taken from their Darmstadt, Germany, home by police armed with a battering ram, and their parents have been told they won't see them again soon, all over the issue of homeschooling, according to a stunning new report from the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Police Raid on German Home School Family Brings Back Memory of Darker Times.  Apparently the raid stems from a Nazi era law still on the books in the Federal Republic of Germany that requires all children to be educated in state sanctioned schools, no exceptions.  Dirk and Petra Wunderlich preferred that their children be home schooled, a widely accepted practice in the United States, because of their religious convictions.  The German state disagreed and made their objections known with brutal efficiency.  The Wunderlichs have been informed that they will not see their children any time soon.

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Homeschooler Property Tax Credit .  Senate Bill 127, pegged to become effective in 2014, would give homeschoolers a tax credit equal to the proportion of property taxes on their home that fund their local school district.  "Home schooling requires an immense amount of parental involvement, which has many positive benefits for children, but it also involves a great deal of sacrifice," said bill sponsor and state Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Powell), in a statement.  "Families that elect to home-school their children often pay directly out of pocket for many of the materials and other items needed, and my proposal could help significantly in defraying some of these costs."

Senate Dems to resurrect United Nations treaty opposed by home schoolers.  Senate Democrats will try to resurrect a United Nations treaty on rights for the disabled that was rejected last year over GOP concerns it would imperil home-schooling.  The treaty fell five votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority in a 61-38 vote in December after former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) led a charge that it would give unelected UN bureaucrats the power to challenge U.S. home-schooling.

Education News report tells us homeschooling is thriving.  In a recent report, we learn that since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75 percent.  Though homeschooled children represent only 4 percent (about 2 million) of all school-age children nationwide, they are growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12.

Report: Homeschooling Growing Seven Times Faster than Public School Enrollment.  As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling.  Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.

GOP Senators Drafting Letter to Urge Asylum for German Homeschooling Family.  In an interview with Breitbart News, William Estrada, Director of Federal Relations of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), said that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has taken the lead in the Senate to draft a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to allow the Romeike family asylum in the United States.

Another reason to abandon government schools:  They are not safe.
Black on white violence in the schools.  The word bullying is often used to obfuscate.  Not illuminate.  In this case, it covered up significant and intense black mob violence in this school.  And it is happening all over the country.

Enough With the Bipartisanship.  In 2001, newly elected president George W. Bush decided he wanted to work with Democrats in Congress to do something about education.  So backs were slapped and hands were shaken.  Sen. Ted Kennedy was invited to the White House for a movie screening.  The resulting No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was co-sponsored by Kennedy, and amounted to little more than a consolidation of federal education power.  The one initiative that might have ameliorated the plight of inner-city students — school vouchers — was stripped out during negotiations.

Dewey: Stalin's Propagandist, the World's Teacher.  [In 1928], The New Republic published Dewey's Impressions of Soviet Russia and the revolutionary world.  This polemic stands as a remarkable testament to progressivism's disdain for mankind, reason, and truth.  It is also Dewey's most honest and concise primer on the principles of his progressive education method.  Anyone prepared to defend the idea of government-controlled schooling after reading this work is perhaps beyond reach of rational argument.

Obama Admin Wins Ruling to Deport German Homeschooling Family.  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Obama administration's denial of asylum granted to the Romeike family, who fled Germany over its strict anti-homeschooling laws.  In a press release Tuesday [5/4/2013], Michael Farris, founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), said, "We believe the Sixth Circuit is wrong and we will appeal their decision.  America has room for this family and we will do everything we can to help them."

US Court Denies German Home-Schoolers Asylum.  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama administration's refusal to grant asylum to the Romeike family.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed against the family, arguing that asylum should not be granted because home schooling isn't a fundamental right protected under religious freedom.  The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 facing criminal prosecution for home schooling.  In 2010, they were granted political asylum by immigration Judge Lawrence Burman, but his decision was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals last year.  On Tuesday [5/14/2013], the three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit issued a unanimous decision against the family.

Court Rules Against German Homeschool Family Seeking Asylum.  The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama Administration's decision to deny asylum to a German homeschooling family.  The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States — where they hoped to home school their children.  Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.

25 Reasons To Dislike Liberals.  [#14]  There's a reason why the average homeschooled kid gets a better education than he would in a public school run by liberals.  It's because the kid's parents are interested in educating him while his liberal teachers view public schools as just another way to indoctrinate children.

The Case of the German Homeschoolers.  In a case that calls to mind Melissa Harris Perry's recent opinionating on MSNBC about children and their relationship to their families and to the community ("We have to break through the kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or that kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities"), the Obama administration is trying to deport a German family, now resident in Tennessee, that sought refuge in the United States for the purpose of homeschooling their six children.  Homeschooling is against the law in Germany and can result in fines, jail time, and the removal of children from their families.

The Education of the Romeiki Family.  One of the great moments in this author's academic career came when I dropped out of public high school to return to homeschool.  My mother marched into the principal's office and informed the administration that she would be taking me out.  The principal, a woman who ran the school with all the delicacy of a Hessian dragoon, was visibly indignant.  "You can't do that," she said.  "Oh," my mother said, smiling, "yes I can."  And she could, thanks to Virginia's generally permissive homeschooling laws.  So I left, free to pursue an actual education instead of a daily helping of public school eyewash.

The Education of the Romeiki Family.  All homeschoolers in Germany, religious or otherwise, are persecuted in the same way; since the Romeikes aren't being singled out for their religious beliefs, but are merely suffering the same indignities as everyone else, they don't have a case.  Got that?  We've gone from a country of "All men are created equal" to "All men are created to suffer equally."

The Fifth Column.  [Scroll down]  At issue is the question of whether they can defy the German law against homeschooling their children.  The German Supreme Court has ruled that it wants to "counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies" — thus preventing the development of a 5th Column.  In pursuit of that policy goal the Romeikes were fined and punished; and so they fled to the US to avoid 'persecution'.  Or so they thought.  But the Obama administration isn't buying it.

Ron Paul launches his own home-school curriculum.  Former Republican congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul has launched his own K-12 home-school curriculum to provide an "education in liberty like no other."  The curriculum, which includes courses on "the economics of the Austrian school," provides its K-5 program for free, meaning that students and families will be able to learn under Ron Paul for six years "without spending a dime," according to one of the curriculum's high school teachers, Ludwig von Mises Institute senior fellow Tom Woods.

There are a hundred compelling reasons for removing your children and grandchildren from the public schools.
American Education: Rotting the Country from the Inside.  [Scroll down]  So it is my conclusion that what the WU failed to accomplish when they went underground and began their strategic sabotage is now being accomplished through the educational system and the political means that they have gained by supporting such people as Barack Obama and his Chicago supporters.  I tell people today that we are losing our freedoms because of the attacks that emerge from the left and are targeted on all of our basic societal organizations.  God is eliminated from the classroom; the history of our country is no longer being taught, but rather a revised edition which depicts our people and our nation as enemies of the world and of all that is good and right.  This includes church, religion, veterans, educational institutions, and any organization that supports the greatness of our country and the strength of its institutions.

One Hundred Reasons to Abandon Public Education Now.  [#10]  Benjamin Franklin.  Little formal schooling; a printer's apprentice at twelve.
[#11]  Jane Austen.  Little formal schooling; read books and wrote stories at home.
[#12]  Alexander Pope.  Little formal schooling; major poet and literary critic at twenty-three.
[#13]  John Keats.  Medical apprentice (and orphaned) at fourteen, professional surgeon's assistant at twenty, licensed apothecary at twenty-one, greatest English poet of his era at twenty-three (dead at twenty-five).
[#14]  Under compulsory schooling, only two entries in Keats' biography (item 13) would have been possible — "orphaned" and "dead at twenty-five."

Title IX for our boys.  Large urban school districts are losing students at an alarming pace.  They're going to charter schools, to online schools and to home-schooling.  But now there's another reason for parents to think about moving their children out of public schools — the boys.  It seems that teachers — overwhelmingly female — just might be prejudiced against boys and it's hurting their grades.  Stereotyped as "naughty," boys quickly learn that they are thought of as dumber and more trouble than girls.  And that has consequences.

Atty General Holder Argues Parents Have No Right to Educate their Children.  The background for this case is the German war on homeschooling that has led some families to seek political asylum in the United States where homeschooling is still legal for now.  While the Obama Administration refuses to expel illegal aliens who have committed felonies and welcomes in immigrants with AIDS, European Christians who don't like the compulsory indoctrination of their children are not their cup of tea.

A Miscarriage of Justice: Obama administration seeking to deport Christian homeschooling family.  The Obama administration is attempting to deport a German family that came to America seeking asylum from a Nazi-era law that prohibits homeschooling.  Uwe and Hannelore Romeike decided to homeschool their children in 2006 because the curriculum at their public school ran counter to the family's Christian convictions.

German home-schooling family fights to stay in US.  While the White House and many lawmakers push to grant legal status to immigrants who crossed the border illegally, the Romeike family thought they followed the rules — but now face deportation.  They are devout Catholics who emigrated from Germany in 2008 to home school their six children in Tennessee.  As Uwe Romeike told Fox News, it is illegal to do that in Germany.

The Editor says...
The government allows millions of unwelcome people to sneak across the Mexican border, then rewards them with food stamps.  The Romeike family came to America seeking freedom, and Barack H. Obama and his evil minions want to throw them back over the fence.

It's Time to Push for Impeachment Proceedings Against Eric Holder.  Attorney General Eric Holder has again shown his true colors — his disdain for America and her laws.  Recently, he took action against the Romeike family that is seeking asylum in the United States after being forced to flee their home country or risk losing their five children to the German government.  Germany was attempting to force the Romeikes to put their children in a government school against their religious beliefs in a terrifying repeat of history.

Home Schooling German Family Fights Deportation.  Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, devout Christians from the southwest of Germany who now have six children, initially took their three oldest children out of school in their native country in 2006.  Shortly after, the German government started fining the family and threatening them with legal action.  Home schooling has been illegal in Germany since 1918, when school attendance was made compulsory, and parents who choose to homeschool anyway face financial penalties and legal consequences, including the potential loss of custody of their children.

Obama Trying to Deport Homeschooling Family.  In 2010 a federal immigration judge awarded political asylum to a family whose German government was persecuting for having the temerity to homeschool their children.  Now, three years later, the Obama administration seems poised to reverse that decision and deport the family back to Germany.  Uwe Romeike, his wife, and children were told that they could stay as legal residents in Morrisstown, Tennessee, when the family moved there in 2008 after being threatened by German authorities because they homeschooled their children instead of sending them to government schools.

Obama Admin Wants to Deport Christian Home School Family.  The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States — where they hoped to home school their children.  Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported. The fate of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike — along with their six children — now rests with the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  In 2010 an immigration judge granted the family political refuge, but the Dept. of Homeland Security objected and argued they don't deserve asylum.  Neither the Justice Dept. nor the Dept. of Homeland Security returned calls seeking comment.

DOJ seeks deportation of family persecuted in Germany for homeschooling.  In the United States, the right to homeschool ones' own children is accepted, although frequently mocked by the left.  The homeschoool movement is thriving in the United States, but in Germany it is illegal, a holdover from Nazi-era law.  The Romeikes fled to the United States in 2008 after they faced mounting fines and the potential of imprisonment.

Deportation of German homeschool family affects US homeschool freedom.  In 1938, the practice of homeschooling was outlawed in Germany by Adolf Hitler and the infamous Third Reich. [...] Sadly for freedom and for many families, Germany has never lifted this archaic and totalitarian ban on homeschooling.  On the contrary, the German government seems to have stepped up its opposition to homeschooling over the past decade, forcing several families to flee, and others to enroll their children in state-approved schools against their will.

Obamunist America Is No Sanctuary for Homeschoolers.  Brainwashing of children to reject notions of individual liberty in favor of collectivist ideology has always been crucial to the progressive agenda.  This is why Hitler era laws against homeschooling are still on the books in Germany, the land that produced modern socialism.  Escaping from Germany to America isn't as effective as it once was.

Swallow Your Pride, Save Your Child.  To summarize:  parents who are capable of providing private or home schooling, but who leave their children in public school while hoping to undo the damage at home, are fooling themselves.  Some damage can never be undone, and even that which can be somewhat mitigated would be better avoided entirely.

Why Homeschooling is Becoming Hipster.  When I was five years old, homeschooling was not as cool and acceptable as it is today; homeschooling parents were scrutinized and ridiculed.  My mother did not care; she was an entrepreneur.  My mother's friends openly doubted her ability to teach her own children.  She proved them wrong; I graduated Summa Cum Laude from college, my sister is a teacher at a private school and I have a brother in medical school.

The Last Radicals.  There is exactly one authentically radical social movement of any real significance in the United States, and it is not Occupy, the Tea Party, or the Ron Paul faction.  It is homeschoolers, who, by the simple act of instructing their children at home, pose an intellectual, moral, and political challenge to the government-monopoly schools, which are one of our most fundamental institutions and one of our most dysfunctional. Like all radical movements, homeschoolers drive the establishment bats.

Online Schools Becoming More Popular, Despite Union Resistance.  Online schools, and other forms of digital learning, are an inevitable and promising form of education for the 21st Century, unless special interest forces are able to keep technology from becoming more integrated into everyday education.  Professor Gary Miron of the National Education Policy Center is a leading voice for those special interests, which include teachers unions and the education establishment in general.

How a Homeschooler Became a Best-Selling Author.  [Scroll down]  The decision to homeschool was made by parents who truly cared about their children's future happiness and success.  And they were willing to make the economic sacrifices in order to be able to do the right thing.  In other words, strong parents are the backbone of the homeschool movement, and that is why the education establishment will never be able to control them.  The essence of a free society is educational freedom, and in the end it also produces great economic benefits.

My Education in Home Schooling.  Today in the U.S., some two million children are home schooled, growing at an annual rate of 7% to 15% for over a decade, according to the president of the National Home Education Research Institute.  The term "home schooler" once implied "isolationist religious zealot" or "off-the-grid anarchist who makes her own yogurt."  Today, it also means military parents who hate to see their kids keep changing schools; or the family with a future Olympian who ice skates five hours a day; or your cousin whose daughter is gifted but has a learning disability.  The average home schooler is no longer a sideshow oddity.

With Traditional Schooling Increasingly Obsolete, How To Learn Without Being Taught.  It's odd how many people take my skepticism about college and try to twist it into an opposition to learning.  But like the quote often attributed to Mark Twain, "I never let schooling interfere with my education."  Here's a radical idea worth contemplating:  that school is not the best way to learn.

Outcry over Sweden's Persecution of Homeschoolers Grows.  As homeschooling families continue to flee Sweden in the face of escalating persecution, the global outcry over the controversial Swedish policies is growing louder.  More than a few critics and reporters have even blasted the government's actions and behavior as reminiscent of the former Soviet Union.

Home schooling: Why more black US families are trying it.  Until recently, home schooling in the US was mostly practised by white families, but a growing number in the black community are now also turning their back on the public school system and educating their children at home.  Why?  Maybe because blacks are getting the worst public schooling.

Blitzing the Department of Education.  Tim Tebow and I both blitzed the Department of Education; we were both homeschooled.  Tebow became the first homeschooler to win the Heisman Trophy and he's now an NFL starting quarterback.  And, as someone who was homeschooled through eighth grade and attended a private high school before graduating from college, I personally know that young people don't need the federal government running their education.  I think American children and their parents deserve more than an unconstitutional, one-size-fits-all federal education system.

Alberta Law Would Ban Homeschool Parents From Teaching Against Homosexuality.  If you want to witness the eventual direction of "diversity" in America, you may want to take a long look at what is happening in Canada.  Under the new Education Act poised for implementation in Alberta, Christian schools and homeschool parents would be prohibited, as part of their academic program, from teaching children that homosexuality is sinful.

The Editor says...
Please note:  This law does not pertain to the public school curriculum -- it restricts what parents can teach their children in their own homes.

Surveilling homeschoolers, the 2nd try ...  For the second time in just months, an attempt to assemble information such as names and addresses on all homeschool students in one Mississippi judicial district and provide those details to judges has been defeated.  The latest attempt came in the form of a legislative proposal that would have added to each school attendance officer's obligations the responsibility to "(c)ollect and maintain information concerning each compulsory-school-age child who is being educated in a legitimate home instruction program."

Homeschool Leader Flees Swedish Persecution.  As the government intensifies its persecution of homeschoolers in Sweden, the president of the Swedish Association for Home Education (ROHUS) has finally been forced into exile with his family in neighboring Finland.  The battle for human rights and homeschooling in the Scandinavian kingdom, however, is far from over.

One more reason to resort to home schooling:
Sheboygan elementary school bars student from giving religious valentines.  In preparation for Valentine's Day, second-grader Dexter Thielhelm worked with his mom and siblings to create valentines of candy and a special message of love for his friends at James Madison Elementary School.  He filled empty water bottles with candy and included a rolled-up verse from the Bible with the message, "Jesus loves you."  The valentines never reached the hands of his friends, however, because school officials collected them before they could be distributed.

A World without Schoolteachers.  Americans should be able to envision a future without public-school teachers — indeed, a future without public-school administrators or state departments of education with their rigidly enforced, politically correct social-transformation curriculum.  A future without onerous school taxes, "education president(s)," self-preening school boards, or million-dollar classrooms. ... And it's all possible because these cheap, handheld, downloadable reading devices such as Kindle and Nook now give parents a choice between tutoring and classroom education.

This material came from akdart.com The Editor says...
An abundance of self-taught, self-reliant home-schooled students is entirely possible, with or without electronic media, but it would only come about if every student was willing to learn and they all used their time wisely and productively.  That would only happen in a sink-or-swim society where each individual either gets a job or goes hungry.  It will not happen in a godless, fatherless welfare state in which every kid has a cell phone and a television.

Homeschool Parents to Lose Children Permanently.  Swedish officials on the Island of Gotland are seeking to terminate the parental rights of homeschool parents Christer and Annie Johansson.  The latest development in this monumental homeschool rights case started when the state seized the parents seven year old son in June 2009.  Domenic, now 9 years old, has been held in state foster care for more than 24 months.  News of these developments does not sit well in the homeschool community.

Overreaching Judge Overruled.  The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled on April 21, 2011 that a court order issued by Judge Walker requiring state officials to disclose the identities of all the homeschoolers in the Thirteenth District of Mississippi was improper and thus vacated by the higher court.  The Supreme Court came to its conclusion after receiving HSLDA's Writ of Prohibition and Emergency Motion to Stay, Judge Walker's response, and HSLDA's response memorandum.

The Education plantation.  We are now approaching the end game with respect to sanity and the public school system.  A homeless woman who registered her 6-year-old son at a Norwalk, Conn. elementary school has been charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny for ostensibly "stealing" over $15,000 worth of education.  Tonya McDowell, 33, was released after posting a $25,000 bond.  She faces a fine of up to $15,000 and as many as 20 years in jail.

Education should start at home.  While theres no denying that teachers play a central role in a child's academic life, there's no place like home.  And that's where the struggle against the dropout epidemic needs to begin.  See, we know why children drop out, we know when they most likely will drop out and we know who most likely will drop out.

The Evolution of Home Schooling.  Anne Gebhardt's kids are learning about geography — in her dining room in Bedford, Texas.  It's not your typical schoolhouse, but it's one that Gebhardt says is serving her six children well.  "We can teach our religious values to our children freely," says Gebhardt.  "We can teach anything that we want."  Gebhardt is part of a growing trend.  Across the county, an estimated 1.5 million children are home schooled and that number's growing.  In the span of eight years, home schooling has grown nationally by almost 75 percent.

Education:  The Elephant in the Room.  As youngsters, our Founding Fathers were educated like most other children of early America.  Of the six Founding Fathers, three were homeschooled:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.  Two were self-taught:  Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin (though Franklin did attend primary school for two years).  And one, John Adams, was both homeschooled and privately taught (at a very small school).  How far from our early ways America has strayed!  Today, only a minority of children are homeschooled.

Home-Educated Youth and the Election.  For years liberals have sought to contain the home-school movement by harassing families and banning their children from publicly funded athletic programs and other extracurricular activities.  It hasn't worked.  On the contrary, these discriminatory practices have created a generation of motivated activists.  With every passing election cycle, Republican candidates become increasingly reliant on home-educated students to propel them to victory.

Back to school without leaving the house.  [Scroll down]  "Guess how much I care about August 23rd?" she asked the parents gathered for a meeting Friday night at a bookstore in The Woodlands.  [Melissa] Robertson doesn't care at all.  She plans to take her own three children, whom she has taught since kindergarten, to the park today.  She said she teaches them year-round.  "Home schooling is a lifestyle," Robertson said.  "The line between learning and living gets blurred — and it should."

Home School, Sweet Home School.  As I addressed a home school graduation exercise the other day, I thought — more than once — ah, good old human nature at work once more.  It's what happens when institutions fail or give the distinct impression they're about to.  Customers head for the exits:  not all of them, maybe just a handful.  Yet those who do flee, taking their hopes and their children with them, tend to be people of sharp and quick perception; the kind you want around as much and as long as possible.

Up Close with Homeschoolers.  Homeschooling has been on the rise across the country for some time.  And with conventional schools engaging in the likes of providing free condoms to elementary school students, asking students to turn their American flag T-shirts inside-out, and preaching about barrier methods of contraception to fifth-graders, homeschooling is likely to become even more prevalent.

Have Government Schools Become a Criminal Enterprise?  [Scroll down]  The moral risk is in being taught that premarital sex is okay, that experimentation with drugs is a matter of private decision making, and that the child's decisions should not be thwarted by parents' old-fashioned moral values based on superstitious religion. ... Millions of children are thus condemned to lead lives as intellectual cripples, stunted in mental growth, spiritually empty, open to vicious temptations without a moral code to protect them.  This criminal enterprise has become totally impervious to rational reform.  The only sensible thing that parents can do is remove their children from these schools and put them in private schools or teach them at home.  Parents still have the freedom to take matters into their own hands.  If they don't, then it is the children who will suffer.

Homeschooling and Socialism?  The most important institution in a socialist society is a government-owned and -controlled education system in which children can be indoctrinated to willingly accept state control of their lives.  Public-school teachers are not freedom fighters.  They are government employees who must obey the mandates of the state.  In a socialist system, the state owns the children.  Parents are merely breeders, and since homeschoolers tend to like large families, the population-control socialists will no doubt try to abolish homeschooling.

Homeschooling vs. Howard Zinn.  [Scroll down]  While I may not be a history major, or a certified teacher, I can read these books, teach from them, and supplement the text with additional curriculum of my choosing.  If my child were in a public school, what would they be learning from?  One of the more popular texts is The People's History of the United States by the late Howard Zinn, a radical Marxist.

Socialization not a problem.  Since the re-emergence of the home-school movement in the late 1970s, critics of home-schooling have perpetuated two myths.  The first concerns the ability of parents to adequately teach their own children at home; the second is whether home-schooled children will be well-adjusted socially.

Home-schooler ordered to attend public school.  A New Hampshire court ordered a home-schooled Christian girl to attend a public school this week after a judge criticized the "rigidity" of her mother's religious views and said the 10-year-old needed to consider other worldviews as she matures.  Ever since the judge's ruling came out in July, the case has aroused the interest of home-schooling groups nationwide, who have asked why a court has the power to decide whether someone's religious views are too extreme.

The Editor says...
This is an issue far greater than home schooling.  No judge has the authority to rule on the merits of any person's religious values or beliefs.

Study: Homeschoolers score 37 points higher.  A newly released study from the Home School Legal Defense Association shows that not only do homeschoolers incur expenses only 5 percent of what public schools spend on each student, they score nearly 40 points higher on standardized achievement tests.  "These results validate the dedication of thousands of homeschool parents who are giving their children the best education possible," said Michael Smith, president of the advocacy organization.

Huge Victory for Homeschoolers in New Hampshire.  Today [1/13/2010], the New Hampshire House of Representatives resoundingly rejected a draconian homeschool proposal by voting 324-34 to maintain the current law.

Home schooling grows.  The ranks of America's home-schooled children have continued a steady climb over the past five years, and new research suggests broader reasons for the appeal.  The number of home-schooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from when the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics started keeping track in 1999, and up 36% since 2003.

Christian Girls, Interrupted.  Two Christian girls.  Two sets of distraught parents.  And two state courts smack in the middle of it.  One of these courts is in New Hampshire, where a judge recently ordered that home-schooled Amanda Kurowski be sent to public school.  The order signed by Family Court Justice Lucinda V. Sandler says the 10-year-old's Christian faith could use some shaking up — and that the local public school is just the place to do it.

Homeschoolers:  Trailer-Park Denizens or Modern Heroes?  Robin L. West, in an essay titled, "The Harms of Homeschooling", and published by the University of Maryland's Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly, argues for greater government oversight of home schooling and takes a shot at fundamentalist Christian families who are short on mammon but big on procreation.

A Call to Arms for Parents Upset About Obama's Public School Address.  Public school parents cannot afford to be passive any longer.  You cannot simply delegate your child's education to others — some who are wholeheartedly committed to subverting the traditions and values you hold dear — and walk away.  You must be prepared to work as hard as homeschooling parents when the need arises.  You must make every effort to know what is going on in your children's schools — and now, obviously, coming down from the executive branch — and become a parent activist in what in some places is beginning to look like a resistance movement.

Home-school effort becoming mainstream.  In 1984, the Virginia legislature passed a law allowing home schooling as an education option.  Until then, it was illegal and the few who dared say they were subject to persecution.  Today, nearly 27,000 children in the state are taught at home, and the number is growing 10 percent to 15 percent a year, said Jim Bentley, executive director of the Home Educators Association of Virginia.

Amateurs Outdoing Professionals.  When amateurs outperform professionals, there is something wrong with that profession.  If ordinary people, with no medical training, could perform surgery in their kitchens with steak knives, and get results that were better than those of surgeons in hospital operating rooms, the whole medical profession would be discredited.  Yet it is common for ordinary parents, with no training in education, to homeschool their children and consistently produce better academic results than those of children educated by teachers with Master's degrees and in schools spending upwards of $10,000 a year per student….

Homeschool:  A Quiet Revolution.  Ten states, including Oklahoma, take a completely hands-off approach to home schools, subjecting them to no government regulation at all.  On the other side of the spectrum, half a dozen states — mostly in the Northeast — have strict standards, in some cases requiring parents to become certified as teachers or to use state-approved curriculum.  The other 34 states fall widely in between, some requiring home-school parents to register with local school districts and others demanding to see test scores.

The Editor offers a word to the wise:
Keep your healthy skepticism handy — the article above includes a small amount of accurate information and a great deal of bias against the whole notion of home schooling.  Part two of the article is even more biased against the home school movement; in fact, it sounds like it was written by someone from the teachers' union.

What Would MLK Do?  An altogether inconvenient reality for Barack Obama is that school vouchers do indeed work.  The Milwaukee school voucher program for low-income parents is the largest program of its type and has been operating since 1990.  According to a recently completed study on the program's effectiveness, about 64 percent of Milwaukee students who used vouchers to enter ninth grade at ten private schools in 1999 graduated from high school four years later, compared with 36 percent of students in public schools.

Home schooling grows by 80 percent in state in past decade.  When the upcoming school year begins Aug. 18 for Treasure Coast public schools, there likely will be more home-schooled students than ever before and the number of home-schooled students is expected to continue to rise.  For the 2007-08 school year, the Florida Department of Education estimated 56,650 students were home schooled, compared with 31,440 students in 1997-98 — an 80 percent increase.

Christians called to abandon public education.  You've heard all about the disputes: "Silent Night" banned at the "holiday" program, artistic references to the Bible censored and faith-inclusive children's programs facing discrimination.  Now some people are fed up with public school treatment of Christianity and have launched a campaign calling for a rescue of kids from government education programs — a "Call to Dunkirk."

NEA Teachers Have Become Re-Educators.  The NEA fiercely opposes any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans or public support of any kind to nonpublic schools.  The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even though such a designation is supported by more than 80% of Americans.  The NEA opposes home schooling unless children are taught by state-licensed teachers using a state-approved curriculum.  The NEA wants to bar home-schooled students from participating in any extracurricular activities in public schools even though their parents pay school taxes, too.

Ten Principles of School Choice:  Competition Encourages Creativity.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school vouchers are constitutional in 2002, grassroots activists around the country have been organizing to support passage of school choice programs.  Legislatures passed statewide programs in Florida and Colorado, and other states are expected to follow their lead.  Some 35 cities have privately funded voucher programs.

Protests Call for Public School Exodus.  Houston lawyer Bruce Shortt refers to himself as an ordinary guy who "lives in flyover country."  But he has an unusual pastime that has attracted both critics and supporters:  He's working to encourage parents to "leave behind" public schools.  Shortt said if parents take their Christian beliefs seriously, they will do everything possible to ensure their children get a thoroughly Christian education.  A growing segment of the faith community is joining Shortt's call for an exodus, saying the public school system is hostile to their values and unresponsive to their concerns.

The Editor says...
This idea has come up before.  Earlier in 2006, it was the Southern Baptists who were in favor of abandoning the public schools.  There is more information in a subsection near the bottom of this page.

German Court Says Parents May Not Educate Children.  German parents lost their last legal appeal on September 11, 2006 when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) allowed to stand a German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) decision from November 2003 stating parents do not have a right to educate their children at home.  The case involved Fritz and Marianna Konrad, a Herbolzheim couple that wanted to homeschool their two children because they believed the public schools undermined their religious values.

Homeschooling Stereotypes Shattered.  No longer in the throes of adolescence, North Carolina's homeschooling movement celebrated its 20th birthday this year.  Much has changed since the General Assembly moved to legalize homeschooling in 1988.  Here and across the nation, the homeschooling movement has grown in stature and popularity — defying stereotypes and occasionally, disarming critics.

Homeschooling, sweet homeschooling.  [Even] though over one million children are homeschooled in America, there's a surprising amount of resistance to the idea, even from many who support other alternatives to the state schools (i.e. charter and private schools).

Research points to benefits of home schooling.  Two million children are home schooled in the U.S., according to the Nation Home Education Research Institute.  NHERI reports homeschooled students typically perform 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievements tests.

The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool:  Drawing from David d'Escoto's experience as a church ministry leader and adult Bible teacher, and Kim's background in elementary education, these two veteran homeschoolers are committed to reaching out to families and spreading the homeschool vision.  The d'Escotos give concise and compelling reasons why homeschooling is your best option for educating your children today.

Why Home School?  There is now incontestable evidence that, on average, children who are home schooled fare better academically than children of either public or private schools.  This is not surprising since tutoring has always been recognized to be the best method of education.  Home educated children are spared the corrupting environment of the peer-oriented classroom and thus benefit socially.  A common myth of our society is that children need to be with other children for extended periods of time to be properly socialized, but this is the exact opposite of the truth.  Much time in a peer culture is damaging to children.  Socialization is one of the best reasons to home school.

Here is another reason to start home-schooling...
School Apologizes to Muslim Student Over Graduation Held in Church.  A Muslim student who sued because his public high school graduation ceremony was held in a Baptist church has received an apology from Newark's school district and assurances that it will not hold future events in houses of worship.

And another...
Teacher suspended for letting class vote out autistic boy.  Criminal charges will not be filed against [Wendy] Portillo, because authorities determined the incident did not amount to emotional child abuse.  However, the boy's mother, Melissa Barton, said she plans to file a civil lawsuit, claiming discrimination and violation of the child's civil rights.  "This woman needs to be fired," she said.  "There is no reason for someone with that mentality to be around children.  I think nothing less than her being terminated needs to happen."

And another...
It is us.  Barack Hussein Obama did not sneak into power.  An army of clueless, disconnected, ignorant Americans invited him to bring his Marxist, glaringly anti-American jihad into our lives. ... But it gets worse.  For, you see, the blame doesn't fall just on the obvious stupidity of our friends and families who voted for this corrupt, death-wish government in whose stranglehold we find ourselves.  Ultimately, it is our fault.  It is the failure of those of us who know better but have failed miserably to educate our own.

Home Is Where the School Is.  During a break in a high school debate tournament not long ago, my 17-year-old son struck up a conversation with a student on the rival team from a New Jersey public school.  "Where's your school?" asked the boy.  When my son replied that he was home-schooled, the student probed.  "How do you socialize when you're at home all the time?" he asked.  "Well, for one thing, I'm here, right?" my son laughed.

The Why of Homeschool:  The National Education Association regularly passes an anti-homeschooling resolution at its annual convention.  The resolution states that homeschooling "cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience." … Even in a nation that applauds innovation and liberty, the act of homeschooling continues to raise many uncomfortable, but important, questions about government regulation of private choices.

Why Public Schools Hate Homeschooling Parents:  Homeschoolers are a direct challenge to the public school monopoly.  This monopoly makes it almost impossible to fire tenured public school teachers or principals.  As a result, tenure gives most teachers lifetime guaranteed jobs.  They get this incredible benefit only because public schools have a lock on our children's education.

Don't Suffer the Little Children.  Another school year has sprung itself upon us, which is always an occasion for my wife, a former Detroit public-school teacher, and me to remind ourselves why we home-school.  Part of the reason, in addition to my wife's expertise in this area, can be found in Thomas Sowell's "A Conflict of Visions," published 20 years ago.

Supreme Court levels playing field.  Now, for the first time, home-schooling has been recognized in an opinion by a U.S. Supreme Court justice as a viable educational alternative.  Morse v. Frederick, which recently made national headlines, involves free speech and whether a public school can regulate what a student says. … It is a reminder to all families that when your child enters the public school, you have virtually ceded your parental rights to the public school.

Publik Skule vs. Home School:  It's been eleven months since we pulled our teenage daughters out of the public school system and started to home school them, and I could kick myself for waiting so long. … Now … they actually get to study the basics, pursue their educational and athletic interests, without waiting for the 186% overcrowded class to decide to cease fighting and copulating long enough that the teacher can teach the students how to write their name so that they can endorse their unemployment check later on in life.

Here's another incentive for homeschooling:
Violence Scares Kids Into Avoiding School.  More than one out of every 20 high school students — 5.4 percent — skipped at least one day of school because of safety concerns in 2003, according to a CDC survey.  That is up from 4.4 percent in 1993.

Colleges Welcome Texas Homeschoolers.  While Texas homeschools often field inquiries from public school officials, social service workers, law enforcement officials, and employers who question their legitimacy, graduates are finding most colleges and universities eagerly accept them, and some are actively recruiting them.

Woman abandons home to escape public schools.  A Utah woman who was ordered by a juvenile court judge to enroll her children in public school or lose custody of them has abandoned her home, furniture and other possessions to escape the order.  Denise Mafi, a nine-year veteran of homeschooling, has confirmed to WND she and her children packed up their essentials — clothes and homeschool materials — and fled Utah over the weekend, spending more than 50 hours on a bus trip to an undisclosed part of the country.

City Tries to Bring Big Brother to Home Schooling.  After moving to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1993, Michael and Virginia Brunnelle decided not to enroll their five children in the public schools, opting to educate them at home instead.  Although Lynn public school officials approved the Brunnelles' qualifications as teachers and the contents of the curricula and the instructional materials, they still would not allow the Brunnelles to home school their children unless they allowed school officials to conduct periodic inspections of their home "to verify that the Home Instruction Plan is being implemented."

Liberating your children from government schools:  Some parents are ready to take the big step to liberate their children from government school and enroll them in private or homeschool.  They just need to find out how and where to do so.  Many others are considering the idea but are concerned about the cost of private schooling or the difficulty of homeschooling.

Home Schooling Yields Socially Involved, Above-Average Citizens.  The first large-scale study of adults who were home-schooled as children has been released, and among other revelations, it debunks the notion that home schoolers become socially isolated.

Homeschoolers in the trenches:  Given the poor academic track record of public education in many areas of this country, you would think the government and education establishment would be a little less arrogant about superimposing their will on homeschooling families who prefer to opt out of their system.  But you would be wrong.

Homeschoolers vs. big brother:  Legislators and the liberal media are pushing for increased regulation of homeschooling parents, including criminal background checks, because the grass-roots movement gravely threatens their socialist agenda of promoting dependency.

Government agent, cops confront homeschoolers:  [The parents] contend that no government entity has the legal right to force their children to take standardized tests, even though DSS workers have threatened to take their children from them.

California homeschool advocates celebrate "victory":  California homeschool advocates are breathing a sigh of relief after the state education department reversed its former stance that home education is illegal.

Illinois Home Schoolers Told to Resist Demands of Area Superintendent:  The Home School Legal Defense Association is urging home-schooling families in northeastern Illinois to ignore demands that they attend a pre-trial hearing to prove they are in compliance with the law.

Homeschoolers get a knock on the door from police:  A public school superintendent [in Illinois] has sent police in squad cars to the houses of homeschooling families to deliver his demand that they appear for a "pre-trial hearing" to prove they are in compliance with the law.

Tune in, turn around, drop out:  If you are for constitutionally limited government, freedom, individual rights, self government, personal responsibility and accountability to God, you are a rebel in today's America.  The political-cultural status quo opposes all of that.

Why Christians don't belong in government schools - Part 1:  "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war."  The rantings of a right-wing fanatic?  No, it's the conclusion of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, convened 21 years ago by U.S. Education Secretary Terrence Bell.

Why Christians don't belong in government schools - Part 2:  These are not people who are deliberately trying to destroy youth.  They are, rather, people who fervently believe, with a religious zeal, in a radically different worldview than the one in which you believe, in which most Americans believe.

Why Christians don't belong in government schools - Part 3:  Some Christians, aware that the modern public school has become a God-free zone, comfort themselves with the notion that their Christian children are bearing witness to their unsaved peers.  This, increasingly, is being seen for what it is  a convenient excuse.

Carolinas React To NEA's Anti-Home-Schooling Resolution:  Home-schooling parents say the claims that home education isn't comprehensive are unfounded.

Why are Christians losing America?  [Quoting John W. Chalfant] Once God was shown the door, America went into chaos.  Scholastic Aptitude Test scores plummeted.  Violent crime rocketed upward.  The abortion mills did an unprecedented business as they devised ever-more-sadistic ways to kill children before and even during birth.

Home-school battle heats up in California:  Confusion over California's insistence that home-schooling is illegal has prompted the state's superintendent of public instruction to call on lawmakers for help.

District digs its heels in over home educators:  Family facing prosecution and jail over "truancy" considers lawsuit.

Let's get government, not God - out of our schools:  Instead of fighting to retain God in government schools, why not battle to remove government from education?  That is the real outrage.

Homeschooling Must Be Decriminalized:  Parents Really Do Know Best.  Every fall, as students return to school, the education debate intensifies.  This year it is especially visible in California — even though the state pumps $45.7 billion a year into K-12 public education, California's public schools are still among the worst in the country.  Critics of public schools are arguing for alternatives to public education, including school vouchers and charter schools.  However, hardly anyone is citing the merits of homeschooling, the most successful and affordable alternative to date.  Instead, liberals and defenders of the public school system attempt to criminalize and stigmatize homeschooling as deficient in educating and socializing children.

Crusading to Keep Kids Clueless:  Public Education Monopoly Cracks Down on Home Schooling.  As I've said many times before, there's nothing like stiff competition to bring out the worst in government.  Nowhere does this prove more true than in the battle between home-schooling parents and public school bureaucrats.

Home Schooling Popularity Grows as Public Education Falters:  The popularity of home schooling is growing every semester as more and more parents in the U.S. opt out of the public education system.  And a recent survey found that 75% of Americans support the right to home school children.

Public education vs. homeschoolers:  When you read about the state of California's latest assaults against its homeschoolers, don't just dismiss it as another left-coast phenomenon that doesn't affect you.  This is bigger than California and involves more than education.

Publik Skool Biggotz:  Despite criminally low test scores, enormous waste, unsafe classrooms and administrative incompetence, the public schools remain a hallowed and untouchable fixture.  The snickering snobs of the education establishment smear those who seek to protect their children from that corrupted system as ignorant and intolerant anti-government radicals.

Home schooling has come a long way:  In 1984, five Florida home schooling families were prosecuted for truancy and one family temporarily lost custody of its children.  Home-schooling parents often had to suffer the disdain of neighbors, ignorant accusations of child abuse, and the hostility of the teachers union.  The Florida State Legislature got the message in 1985 and legalized home schooling.

No Child Left Behind.  President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are using the leverage of federal dollars to promote an increase in charter schools, which are still limited in many states by caps on their number and on funding.  State and local policy makers who cave to union demands and block the growth of charters aren't doing traditional public school students any favors.

The Constitution Favors Parental Autonomy and Religious Liberty:  At its core, the Cleveland Pilot Project Scholarship Program effects a transfer of power over one of the most basic decisions in a child's education—the decision about which school a child will attend—from State officials to parents.  Far from representing some radical departure, the program harmonizes with our rich constitutional tradition that recognizes the central role of parents in the education upbringing of their children.

Study Finds Home Schooled Children Better at Social Skills:  Despite a 1999 statement from the National Education Association that, "home schooling cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience," a study released earlier this month shows home-schooled students are actually more socially and academically dvanced than their peers.

Home-schoolers outperform peers:  Home-schooled children in Canada and the United States are more "academically advanced" than their public and private school-educated peers, according to a noted policy research group.

Maryland Home Schoolers Fight for their Rights.

Home-schoolers' college wins debate honorsPatrick Henry students take 8 trophies in first year of competition.

Revolution via home schooling:  The only effective group of citizens today in open opposition to big government are the home schoolers.  They are the only Americans willing to take on the public education system that props up the entire statist enterprise of big, intrusive government.  Forget about conservative politicians.  They are more concerned about conserving their legislative privileges than rolling back increasingly intrusive government.

Book review
Can Teachers Own Their Own Schools?  Despite more than 15 years of effort, it is widely acknowledged that internal reform of the public schools has produced little if any success.  This has led to renewed interest in alternative forms of educational delivery to devolve decision-making through charter schools, public and private voucher plans, contracting out educational services, and home schooling.  However, such reforms have largely been resisted by public school interest groups, including teacher unions, state departments of education, colleges of education, and school board and administrator organizations that have fought any but the most benign changes.

Another book review
School Choices:  True and False.  Economist John Merrifield shows that the "school choice" movement has become mired in false alternatives, petty distinctions, and diminished vision.  Yet, he argues that programs providing real educational choices must not be allowed to fail like so many government programs — a freely competitive market for education must remain the ultimate goal.


Vouchers, Charter Schools, and School Choice:

Public School Maven Predicts Public School-Free Cities in Ten Years.  Diane Ravitch says that America's urban public schools are about to go belly-up, killed by the Right (charter schools) and the Left (the Common Core curriculum).  I dearly hope she is correct.

Sen. Tim Scott: Choice in Education 'Would Lead to Revolution'.  Sen. Tim Scott, the first black Republican elected to a full term in the Senate from South Carolina, says putting more poor students in better schools is a priority for him. [...] Scott said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has done a "great job" of changing things in his state, where 90 percent of students in New Orleans are in charter schools.  "I'd love to see that throughout this country," Scott said.  "I am a great advocate and champion ... on that issue."  He also hailed the District of Columbia's opportunity scholarship program, a voucher system that has produced a much higher percentage of college-bound students than ordinary public schools.

In New Orleans, major school district closes traditional public schools for good.  The second-graders paraded to the Dumpster in the rear parking lot, where they chucked boxes of old worksheets, notebooks and other detritus into the trash, emptying their school for good.  Benjamin Banneker Elementary closed Wednesday as New Orleans's Recovery School District permanently shuttered its last five traditional public schools this week.  With the start of the next school year, the Recovery School District will be the first in the country made up completely of public charter schools, a milestone for New Orleans and a grand experiment in urban education for the nation.

Soros-Backed Group Claims Charter Schools Are Racist.  A George Soros-backed advocacy group filed complaints in three cities alleging that charter schools are racist.  The Advancement Project is asking the Justice Department to investigate the closures of failing public schools in New Orleans, Chicago, and Newark on the grounds that the closings are racially motivated.  The group, whose mission is to dismantle "structural racism" and promote "racial justice," filed complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act on behalf of "Journey for Justice," a coalition of grassroots organizations supported by teachers unions.

Emanuel's Plan to Build Elite 'Barack Obama High School' in an Upscale Chicago Neighborhood Has Parents Enraged.  Shortly after he became president, Barack Obama killed Washington, DC's school voucher program.  His own Department of Education had concluded that students who received the vouchers benefited from it and improved, but that did not matter a bit.  He callously turned a deaf ear to pleas from parents and students who found the vouchers to be an escape from the city's terrible schools.  He sided with the teachers' unions against those families and their children, even while claiming to be a champion of the oppressed and under-represented.  Obama also sided with the unions on charter schools, another escape path for children from terrible public schools in Washington.  He only relented under massive pressure three years later, in an election year.  So, Barack Obama's record on education opened to scenes of him siding with the powerful teachers' unions against the powerless children our public schools are supposed to exist to educate.  Barack Obama stood in the doorways of private schoolhouses, keeping poor children out.

Congress Should Promote Charter Schools.  There is bipartisan agreement that the American economy needs entrepreneurship.  There is bipartisan agreement that our education system could stand some improvement.  Charter schools are a development that addresses both of these needs.  Entrepreneurs have been putting energy and innovation into the charter school effort, and we are starting to see positive results.  Now is the time for Congress to provide funding to states to set up the apparatus needed to facilitate further charter school growth.

When government bullies children.  Last Monday, March 17, parents in New York City who send their children to Success Academy, a Harlem charter school, filed suit in federal court to stop another school bully, Mayor Bill de Blasio, from denying them previously arranged space in a public school building.  Without space, their children and 173 others will not be able to continue at Success Academy this fall.  Across the nation, teachers unions' and civil rights opportunists are standing on the school house steps, trying to stop the rapid growth of school choice and the emergence of charter schools that serve kids rather than union bosses.

Democrat Bullies Against School Choice.  On March 17, 19 parents who send their children to Success Academy, a Harlem charter school, filed suit in federal court to stop New York Mayor Bill de Blasio from denying them previously arranged space in a public school building.  Without space, their children and 173 others will not be able to continue at Success Academy this fall.  School bullying is a problem nationwide, but in New York the bullies are de Blasio and his pals — state NAACP President Hazel Dukes and teachers unions.  Their targets are middle-school kids, 97 percent of them minorities, and 80 percent eligible for lunch assistance.

New York, Chicago, and the war on charter schools.  New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched a war against charter schools. [...] But a welcome thing has happened.  The assault on charter schools has been met by a public backlash.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has forcefully defended charters.  Many New Yorkers have made it clear that they elected de Blasio — but they didn't elect him to push poor children out of successful schools.  [New York Schools Chancellor Carmen] Farina and de Blasio have felt the heat and have tried to step back.

Parents will file federal suit over Harlem charter school's closing.  Parents of students at Success Academy Harlem Central Middle School contend the city's decision to close the school violates their children's constitutional right to adequate education, a source told the [New York] Daily News.

The Left versus minorities and charter schools.  If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political Left's avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now — and the place would be New York City, where far-Left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things.  These schools have given thousands of low-income minority children their only shot at a decent education, which often means their only shot at a decent life.  Last year, 82 percent of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed city-wide mathematics exams, compared to 30 percent of the students in the city as a whole.

Fired Up Gov. Cuomo Vows To 'Save Charter Schools' At Massive Capitol Rally.  A fired up Gov. Cuomo vowed Tuesday afternoon [3/4/2014] to "save charter schools."  "We are here to tell you we stand with you.  You are not alone," said Cuomo, speaking at a massive pro-charter school rally that attracted thousands of parents, teachers, and kids from across the state who braved frigid 20-degree temperatures to fill the park in front of the Capitol in Albany.  "Our point today is that parents deserve a choice," Cuomo said.  "I am committed to ensuring charter schools have the financial capacity, the physical space, and the government support to thrive and grow."

De Blasio starts his war on charter schools.  Mayor de Blasio brought down the hammer Thursday on three charter schools operated by his nemesis Eva Moskowitz, leaving hundreds of kids without classrooms this fall.  "This has to be the saddest day for the Success Academy's children, family, teachers, school leaders," Moskowitz said after meeting with stunned charter parents in Harlem.

NYC mayor boots charter schools from city space.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took off the gloves in his battle with education reformers, rescinding an agreement for the city to share space with several public charter schools.  The move undercuts educators, parents and some 700 students at four schools, including Harlem Success 4, one of the public charter school movement's top success stories, and two set to open in the fall.  While agreements at those schools were rescinded, expansion of a fourth school was also blocked.

Politics Versus Education.  Among the few bright spots in a generally dismal picture of the education of black students are those successful charter schools or voucher schools to which many black parents try to get their children admitted.  Some of these schools have not only reached but exceeded national norms, even when located in neighborhoods where the regular public schools lag far behind.  Where admission to these schools is by a lottery, the cheers and tears that follow announcements of who has been admitted — and, by implication, who will be forced to continue in the regular public schools — tell the story better than words can.

AFL-CIO goes after charter school supporters.  The New York State AFL-CIO is targeting two of the Legislature's staunchest charter school supporters — Sens. Jeff Klein of the Bronx and Craig Johnson of Nassau — claiming they're anti-union.  The 2.5 million member union umbrella group blitzed the two senator's districts today with flyers accusing them of "siding with big corporations and against teachers and students" by voting for a bill last week to expand charter schools "with no real reform."

The Lottery Makes a Strong Statement About Charter Schools.  An interview with the flimmaker behind the new documentary that highlights the desperation of parents and children affected by school choice — or the lack thereof.

Jindal: DOJ 'More Interested In Skin Color' Than Education.  In November, the Obama Justice Department dropped a lawsuit aimed at stopping a school voucher program in Louisiana.  The Louisiana Scholarship Program is intended to give students in failing public schools a chance to attend better schools, including private ones.  Justice tried to block the program on the basis that it may have violated a 1975 federal desegregation order.

School Choice — Now More Than Ever.  Inside of two decades, charter school enrollment in the U.S. has climbed to 1.1 million from zero.  Two tiny voucher programs in Maine and Vermont blossomed into 21 programs in 13 states and the District of Columbia.  Tuition tax credits, once puny and rare, are now sizeable and commonplace.  The idea that teacher pay should be based on performance, not just seniority, is gaining ground.  Not bad for a small band of education reformers facing skepticism from the liberal media and outright hostility from well-funded, politically connected heavies like the National Education Association.

DOJ Tries to Stop Parents from Defending Louisiana School Voucher Program.  The Justice Department is attempting to block parents from defending the Louisiana school voucher program in court, according to a brief filed Tuesday [10/22/2013].  Four families filed last month to intervene in the DOJ's lawsuit against the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which grants vouchers to students so they can flee failing schools rated C, D, or F.

Mendacity, thy name is Eric Holder.  Mendacity should never be associated with the U.S. Department of Justice, but Attorney General Eric Holder's minions are giving the nation a textbook example of that characteristic.  In a motion filed earlier this year in federal court, Justice Department lawyers asked the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to enjoin state officials from "awarding any school vouchers to students attending school in schools operating under federal desegregation orders."  Why?  Because enabling such students to flee their typically failing institutions to other schools allegedly "impedes desegregation."


"What makes charter schools preferable to traditional schools is that failing schools can be easily closed down and replaced by new schools."

– Michael Van Winkle.   



What Democrats Really Care About.  Black unemployment is twice that of whites.  Yet not only do liberals refuse to try to improve the black inner-city schools so that blacks have a fighting chance of using their talents to support themselves, but they actually work to ensure that public education stays bad.  Obama ended a school choice program that disproportionately helped blacks in D.C., and Obama's administration is suing Louisiana to end a school voucher program that is primarily helping poor blacks.  Any competition would result in the public schools having to improve, but if they do, then there will be fewer dependent people, and that is bad for Obama.  Obama proves he cares more about power than about the poor when he works to ensure that the public schools in poor areas remain horrible.

Justice Department vs. Louisiana Voucher Kids.  School-choice programs have faced no shortage of legal challenges en route to their adoption in 18 states and the District of Columbia.  But none of the challenges is so perverse or perplexing as the Justice Department's motion last month to wield desegregation decrees to halt Louisiana's voucher program.

Obama's cruel fight against school choice.  The Justice Department has challenged my state in court for having the temerity to start a scholarship program that frees low-income minority children from failing schools.  In other words, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder would rip children out of their schools and handcuff them to the failing schools they previously attended.  And, in the ultimate irony, they are using desegregation orders set up to prevent discrimination against minority children to try to do it.

Obama, Holder Stand In Louisiana Schoolhouse Door.  The Justice Department has asked a federal court to stop 34 school districts in Louisiana from handing out private-school vouchers so kids can escape failing public schools, just like the president's daughters.

Bobby Jindal: Obama's DOJ using civil rights law against black children.  President Obama spoke about the fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who hoped every American child receive a good education, but his Justice Department is using a civil rights law to shut down a school choice program that allows black children to escape failing schools.

Justice Department bids to trap poor, black children in ineffective schools.  Nine of 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools are black.  All are poor and, if not for the state assistance, would be consigned to low-performing or failing schools with little chance of learning the skills they will need to succeed as adults.  So it's bewildering, if not downright perverse, for the Obama administration to use the banner of civil rights to bring a misguided suit that would block these disadvantaged students from getting the better educational opportunities they are due.

The Holder-Jindal Collision.  Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal found out late on Friday, August 23.  Attorney General Eric Holder was suing to block the state's school voucher program, which aims to give low-income kids in terrible schools the opportunity to attend better public schools and even private schools.  The Justice Department claims the two-year-old program could interfere with federal desegregation orders in several Louisiana parishes, holdovers from the Civil Rights era.

Justice Dept. tries to stop La. school vouchers.  The U.S. Justice Department is trying to stop the state from distributing school vouchers in any district that remains under a desegregation court order.

MLK's Dream Deferred.  The irony isn't merely rich.  It's tragic.  As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech this week, the Obama Justice Department is suing the state of Louisiana to stop it from distributing school vouchers to kids seeking to escape failing schools.

Meet the Radical Lawyers Suing Bobby Jindal to Block School Choice.  Personnel is policy, and the Obama administration knows it.  That's why they hired swarms of committed leftist lawyers to populate the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.  Bobby Jindal and school choice advocates are finding out the hard way how it works.

Holder vs. Martin Luther King Jr..  Give Eric Holder credit for cognitive racial dissonance.  On nearly the same day the Attorney General spoke in Washington to honor the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, his Justice Department sued to block the educational dreams of minority children in Louisiana.

Some say vouchers push limits of the law.  As the Indiana voucher program enters its third year, with more than 9,300 students enrolled in private schools this academic year, some still say the program pushes the limits of the state constitution's clause calling for separation of church and state.  The voucher program, established in 2011 under House Enrolled Act 1003, enables parents to use state tax dollars to pay tuition for their children attending private schools, typically religious schools.  The law also expanded the state's pre-existing tax credit scholarship program and instituted a tax deduction for families with children home-schooled or already enrolled in private school.

More about the one-sided separation of church and state.

The Research Conclusively Supports School Vouchers.  School choice opponents frequently claim vouchers don't improve recipients' academics, hurt public schools, cost taxpayers, increase segregation, and even reduce civic unity.  A new report reviewing the highest-quality research on all these topics concludes the opposite is true.

Indiana Supreme Court upholds nation's broadest school voucher program.  The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the nation's broadest school voucher program, clearing the way for its expansion.  Critics had argued that the program primarily benefited religious institutions that run private schools.  But the program's supporters say parents can send their children to any school they want, whether it's public or private, religious or not, and the Supreme Court agreed with that Tuesday [3/26/2013].  In a 5-0 decision, the justices said the program does not violate the state constitution.

Terrorist Professor Bill Ayers and Obama's Federal School Curriculum.  Three years after the Department of Education announced a contest called Race-to-the-Top for $4.35 billion in stimulus funds, some parents, teachers, governors, and citizen and public policy groups are coming to an awful realization about the likely outcomes. [...] When these dangerous initiatives are implemented, there will be no escaping bad schools and a radical curriculum by moving to a good suburb, or by home schooling, or by enrolling your children in private schools.  How was it that 48 governors entered Race-to-the-Top without knowing outcomes?

A Short History of the Obama Campaign Against Education.  President Obama has been a foe of education reform, since his days of thwarting reform via his chairmanship of the Annenberg Challenge, where he proceeded to waste $387 Million dollars that could have been spent helping students get and education in Chicago.  In his role against education, Obama has been a leader in attacking parental choice in education, consistently siding with entrenched unions and failed institutions against parents, taxpayers and students.  Since being elected President, Barack Obama, along with Sen. Dick Durbin and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have battled against public education in private schools in Washington DC.

Louisiana's bold bid to privatize schools.  Louisiana is embarking on the nation's boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.

Kids' charter crush hits record high.  City parents desperate to give their children the best education available are storming the doors of charter schools — but nearly 53,000 heartbroken kids will be left out in the cold.  Savvy moms and dads have learned that kids in charter schools are more likely to score high on math and English exams.  They're also more motivated — as proven by the higher attendance rates at charters.  A record 67,500 families have applied for the 14,600 seats available in the fall, according to estimates released yesterday by the New York City Charter School Center.

NEA: Poverty Pimp #1.  Charter schools typically lead to better educated kids and save us money at the same time.  Inner city charter school operators like Eva Moskowitz and Geoffrey Canada and the KIPP schools do a far better job — with fewer tax dollars — than traditional public schools.  Even taking the superstars of the movement out of the mix, charter schools outperform traditional public schools.  As Jay Greene writes, "Charter Benefits Are Proven by the Best Evidence."  But no, the NEA doesn't back charters.

Poll: 71 Percent of Moms Support School Choice.  A national, statistically representative survey of mothers of school-aged children has found 71 percent say school vouchers should be available to all families, regardless of income or a child's special needs.  Sixty-one percent of moms and 55 percent of adults polled nationally favor a school voucher system that would allow tax dollars to follow children to the school of their choice, private or public.

Parents nationwide can learn from D.C. success.  D.C.'s school voucher program was renewed because parents fought tirelessly for its renewal.

The story of how the New York NAACP sued charter schools serving black kids.  The United Federation of Teachers, the New York City teachers' union, joined forces with the New York State NAACP in a lawsuit to evict charter schools from the buildings those schools share with traditional district schools.  This despite the high percentage of minority children who attend the city's charter schools.  Why would the NAACP agree to sue the very charter schools that were saving the lives of so many black kids?

A Revolving Door Of Media Bias.  Bill Clinton was very big on touting his achievements on "proven strategies" for public school reform "instead of gimmicks like vouchers."  Yet while he was doing so, Washington reporters weren't supposed to ask whether Clintonian privilege and power let Chelsea skip a grade of elementary school, then attend D.C.'s most prestigious private school, the pricey Sidwell Friends, where both of the Obamas' daughters now go, not to mention Vice President Biden's granddaughters.  Those gimmicky vouchers could let ordinary Americans taste such privilege.

Grand theft education.  Two cases of what might be called "grand theft education" raise serious questions for many states, especially California.  Tonya McDowell, a single mother from Bridgeport, Conn., was arrested and charged with first-degree larceny for "stealing education" by using the address of a baby sitter to register her 6-year-old son in a Norwalk school district where she didn't live.  Ms. McDowell, 33, could face repayment of more than $15,000 and 20 years in prison.

Arrest of Homeless Connecticut Woman for Enrolling Son in School Illegally Sparks Debate.  A Connecticut mother who says she wanted to give her son a better education will be arraigned on Wednesday [4/27/2011] on charges for enrolling the 6-year-old in another town, sparking outrage and support from people nationwide.

New Documentary Dares to Question ACORN/Labor Union Infestation of Public Schools.  "In a country where 58% of African-American 4th graders are functionally illiterate, The Lottery uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system and reveals that hundreds of thousands of parents attempt to flee the system every year.  The Lottery follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery.  Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win the chance of a better future."

The Lottery: Movie trailers and other information.

Unions' Special Interest: Blocking School Choice.  A new spate of documentaries and media coverage have all centered on the role teachers unions play in blocking necessary change and innovation in public schools.  At this point in the national discourse, a majority of Americans are convinced that our education system is in crisis and are looking for someone or something to blame.  Unfortunately for effective teachers across America, the finger has been pointed in the wrong direction.  It is the teachers unions — the NEA and the AFT — that are largely responsible for a system that is failing far too many of our children, especially those trapped in the inner cities.

School Choice:  Past, Present, and Future.  Beginning in the 1850s, [the American educational] system was undermined and then destroyed.  Public funds were withdrawn from all but Protestant schools, and those schools became government schools, with their buildings owned by governments, their teachers working for governments, and their curricula chosen by governments.  Parental choice and competition in education, except for a very small private sector of mostly religious schools, came to an end.

Parental choice in education works.  Allowing parents to choose the schools their children attend empowers them vis-a-vis the school's staff, making it possible for them to play a more decisive role in their children's education.  This encourages parents to participate in their children's schooling, which in turn is positively related to student learning.  Higher levels of parental involvement are a major reason private schools tend to outperform public schools.

Step up for D.C. vouchers.  Parents love it.  Students benefit from it.  But neither the White House nor most Democrats in Congress had the backbone to support a unique program that provides vouchers to low-income D.C. families in search of better educational opportunities.

Speak Up on D.C. Schools, Mr. President.  That deafening roar you hear — that's the sound of Barack Obama's silence on the future of school reform in the District of Columbia.  And if he doesn't break it soon, he may become the first president in two decades to have left Washington's children with fewer chances for a good school than when he started.

Obama's exclusionary Easter Egg Roll.  The Obama administration announced on Tuesday it has reserved 3,000 free tickets to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll for students in D.C.-area public and charter schools, but not for children who attend private or parochial schools.

The Editor says...
Remember, Obama's daughters go to a private school.  Are they unwelcome, too?

With 'Social Justice' You Don't Get Egg Roll.  President Obama claims that the Catholic Church's tradition of social justice has had a "profound influence" on him.  He should try telling that to kids in private and parochial schools who were intentionally excluded from the official invitation list for the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll today [4/5/2010].

'Fire Them All' At Central Falls High.  [Scroll down]  The long-term solution to the disasters of our "educational" system, which functions as little more than tax-supported propaganda-camp day-care centers, is to remove the government from its operations completely through the "transformation" of privatization.  Then, and only then, will you see the free interplay and accountability of free competition on a free market work its wonders, just as it does with shoes, refrigerators and a million other sectors of our economy.

Upward Bound Is Down... Radical Sexual Indoctrination of Kids Is In.  Recently the Obama Administration cut funding to Upward Bound, a successful educational program with a proven track record.  Upward Bound provides support to participating students in their preparation for college entrance.  Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree.  95% of Upward Bound graduates have entered post-secondary education and are four times more likely to earn a college degree than students from similar backgrounds who do not participate in the program.  The Obama Administration will cut funding for this successful educational program.

Obama the Racist?  Blacks recognize almost universally that education is the key to escaping the cycle of poverty and other ills plaguing the black community.  Obama's first racist act as president was to remove the voucher program that Bush had established in D.C., a program that Democrats vote against overwhelmingly.  This program was producing proven positive results, but it was eliminated — and black children in D.C. were relegated to socialized schools in crime and drug-infested neighborhoods. ... Obama thinks so highly of the public schools in D.C. (and Chicago) that he put his children in private school.

Administration Again Cuts Funding for Scholarship Program That Helps Low-Income D.C. Kids.  In his fiscal 2011 budget, President Barack Obama makes further cuts in funding for the District of Columbia's Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income, mostly minority students.  Obama stopped funding altogether for the OSP in his 2010 fiscal year budget, but after protests from parents and school choice advocates, the administration decided to let children already receiving scholarships continue to do so until they graduate from high school.

There is no hope in Obama.  In the last election, unions spent $450 million to elect candidates who favor their agenda.  They have succeeded beyond the dreams of avarice.  The federal government is now virtually the empire of Big Labor.  Especially gleeful are the teachers' unions, who helped elect a president explicitly and vociferously opposed to vouchers.

Obama, Democrats deny D.C. kids option they exercise themselves.  Few national images are more shameful than those of innocent, low-income kids milling through decrepit public schools, uncared for, unsafe and barely educated.  In Washington, D.C., alone, 173 schools — 67% — fail to meet federal standards of learning.  So it was curious that when President Obama recently allowed 1,716 of Washington's neediest schoolchildren to keep, until graduation, the vouchers they use to escape their failed public schools for higher-quality private ones, he also closed the program to new applicants.

Congress putting D.C. kids in danger.  The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program saves lives.  The fate of the nonprofit outfit, which takes poor children out of failing schools and gives them scholarships to private institutions, is currently up in the air — in the hands of Congress and, ultimately, the president.  Supporters of the program cite its strong record of academic improvement, but its value goes beyond grades.  It quite literally saves lives.  Children enrolled in the DCOSP, now in its fifth year, are physically safer than they were in District public schools, some of the most violent in the nation.

D.C. Council Wants Vouchers.  The life and death saga of the D.C. voucher program for low-income families continues.  A majority of the members of the D.C. Council recently sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan expressing solid support for continuing the program. ... The D.C. Council's letter shows that support for these vouchers is real at the local level and that the opposition exists mainly at the level of the national Democratic Party.

One Last Hope for DC Voucher Program.  In early May, President Obama presented a revised 2010 budget that included $12.2 million for the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.  The proposal represented a "compromise" solution to DC's embattled voucher program, but is hardly a gain for low-income students and their parents.

Would you have a personal computer without free markets?  Obamanista is marked by Leftist dogmatism, determined on making the American people obey its predetermined agenda.  It is amazingly arrogant, but people who are mentally stuck often are that way; they don't know how they look to others.  And they are awfully eager to use and abuse power far beyond their Constitutional role.  Look at the way Obama just trashed one of the few new and good ideas in education reform:  School choice in Washington, D.C.  It's one of the few escapes for kids stuck in the inner city ghetto, and one of the first thing O did on arriving in Washington is to crush it.  Courtesy of the teacher unions.

Obama Stance Against School Vouchers Fuels Close-to-Home Debate.  A new law cutting off taxpayer- funded private education for poor children in Washington is shutting five-year-old Marquis Greene out of a school where his sisters have thrived.  It's also providing a challenge to President Barack Obama's education policies that's as close to home as his daughters' classrooms.

Obama Administration Stifles Favorable DC Voucher Study.  Last January 21, his first full day in office, President Obama declared, "My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government."  Just 10 weeks later, Obama has broken both these promises. And poor-but-promising minority kids suffer the consequences.  These 1,714 children — 90 percent black and 9 percent Hispanic — enjoy the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.

D.C. parents to push to keep vouchers.  D.C. parents said Thursday that they are prepared to rally against a Capitol Hill proposal to end a voucher program that helps 1,700 students from low-income families attend private schools.  "With all the programs that don't work, we're frustrated that this — one that does work — is being proposed to end," said Virginia Walden Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice.  "Right now, we're preparing to fight and we're hoping not to fail."

Charter Schools Get a Big Fat Zero in Spending Plan.  Despite a state budget that includes $405 million more in school funding than last year, charter schools aren't slated to get an extra dime in state aid come July, critics charge.  Advocates yesterday [3/30/2009] said a provision that freezes the next fiscal year's charter funds at this year's levels would slice as much as $30 million from city charters — akin to an 8.5 percent cut.  And that would translate to a loss of nearly $1,000 per student, according to charter officials.

The Civil Rights Challenge of Our Time.  We've got all kinds of flowery rhetoric from our president about the education crisis and the need to do everything to educate our kids.  But, as is unfortunately often the case, Mr Obama's deeds are less inspiring than his words.  Most recently, and flagrantly, was the announcement that Obama would sit by and allow Congress to pull the plug on the five-year old voucher program enabling 1700 kids in Washington, DC to attend private schools.  This despite a new study from Obama's own Department of Education saying that these kids outperformed their peers in DC public schools in reading.  And that the vouchers, valued up to $7500 per scholarship, cost less than half the $17,000 per student that DC spends to maintain one of the worst public school systems in the country.

Obama's shameful silence.  [Scroll down]  When congressional Democrats recently doomed the Opportunity Scholarship Program for poor children in the District [of Columbia], the education president didn't say a word.  Of the 1,700 students, starting in kindergarten, in this private-school voucher program, 90 percent are black and 9 percent are Hispanic.

Cruelty, Thy Name is Obama.  The Obama administration is making it easier than usual to mine the depths of liberal cruelty.  For all of their endless jactitations of compassion for the less fortunate, the current crop of liberals in charge wasted no time setting about to destroy the futures of disadvantaged minority schoolchildren in Washington, DC.  Finally finding one government program they could do without, liberals passed the omnibus spending bill which included express language killing the successful Washington, DC school vouchers program.

Will Someone Ask Obama About Voucher Kids?  There are many disgraceful aspects to the $410 billion 0mnibus spending bill that is working its way to passage in Congress.  But amid the many porky earmarks and boondoggles that are part of this travesty there is one provision worth singling out:  the killing of the experimental school choice program that was giving 1,700 D.C. children a chance to get out of their failed public school system and attend a quality private or religious school.  The Senate vote on Tuesday [3/10/2009] ensured that the program will be effectively killed after the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Obama's Charter-School Challenge:  Fresh evidence of charter schools' success should put President Obama on the spot:  Will he put his muscle where his mouth is?  This month, Obama issued a direct challenge to the more than two dozen states like New York that have arbitrary, teachers-union-imposed "caps" on the number of charter schools they allow to operate.  But if he's serious, he's going to have to put force behind his words.

Cincinnati Public Schools Lose Students to Choice.  Cincinnati Public Schools lost 510 students this year to vouchers.  The remaining voucher recipients are kindergartners or charter students who would have been assigned to the poor-performing schools.  District Superintendent Rosa Blackwell declined to be interviewed about vouchers because of a scheduling issue, district spokeswoman Janet Walsh said.  The student losses could cost the system about $3.3 million in state aid, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

Forget seats on political panels, give families more school choice.  When I grew up in Harlem, my mother didn't know she had a choice in where to send me to school.  She thought her only option was to enroll me in a failing District 5 school and hope I turned out all right.  I guess things wound up okay — but not really because of the public education I received.  I did well in school, even graduated first in my class at the city public school I attended.  But I wasn't prepared for the world.

Hope in All the Wrong Places.  If ever there were a case of mixed-up priorities in Washington, this is it.  Tucked into the $410 billion "omnibus" spending bill passed by the House of Representatives on February 25 is a provision designed to terminate the Washington Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), the school choice program established with bipartisan support in 2004 that is providing a glimmer of hope to thousands of students and families in the District of Columbia.

A cruel school move.  We wrote last week about Democratic efforts to strip 1,900 low-income Washington children of $7,500 "opportunity scholarships" to attend private schools.  It's an experiment in school vouchers, an experiment with little potential downside.  But it's an experiment that was launched in 2004 by a Republican-controlled Congress.  Today it's on the verge of extinction because the Democratic-controlled Congress wants to do the bidding of public-school teachers unions.  The unions see vouchers that let poor kids go to private schools as aiding the enemy.

Public School System, Not Vouchers, Is What's Unfair.  A recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution unfairly claims vouchers are cheating poor students out of quality schools, but the evidence shows exactly the opposite is true.  School choice opponents sometimes characterize vouchers as tuition subsidies for the wealthy.  Claiming public schools are vastly underfunded, they say the only solution is a dramatic increase in taxpayer funding.  They claim voucher programs lead government money away from these schools, leaving poorer students behind.  The facts say otherwise.

Why Dogs, Not Liberals, Are Man's Best Friend.  [Scroll down]  Finally, I have never heard a liberal speak out in favor of school vouchers.  Instead, they wave the flag for public schools, even though everybody in his right mind knows that, in spite of the No Child Left Behind program, a majority of public schools in America are a disgrace.  The system has routinely passed along youngsters who wound up graduating from high school lacking self-discipline and even rudimentary math and reading skills.  Yet, every liberal in Congress can be counted on to pay lip service to public education, although not one of them has a child enrolled in the Washington, D.C., school system!

A Trojan Horse Made of Charter-School Money.  Should charter-school advocates ignore the mythology lesson and jubilantly drag the proposed cash inside their schools, they will surely awaken wishing that reality were only a drunken stupor.  In the aftermath, they will realize too late that the NEA and bureaucrats have already toppled them.  By then, administrators and the NEA will have charter schools mired in the same muck of central control, worthless regulations, and bureaucratic red tape that plagues so many traditional schools.

The "Problem Profiteers":  In one survey, 83% of black respondents who knew about school vouchers said they were in favor of choice programs "where parents can send their children to any public or private school that will accept them."  Yet in a floor vote at the 1993 NAACP convention, delegates passed a resolution opposing voucher programs that would provide low-income children with the means to attend private schools.

School Choice Could Help Lower Latino Dropout Rate.  Latino students are leading the pack when it comes to dropping out of high school, according to a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), and two leading researchers say school choice could help solve the problem.

Charter schools can only help public education.

The Greatest Scandal:  The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation's greatest scandal.  The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark.  John McCain is calling for alternatives to the system; Barack Obama wants the kids to stay within that system.  We think the facts support Senator McCain.

Is Obama Another Elitist Limousine Leftist?  The left in America pretends to care about poor people, but many of them seem more interested in serving the interests of powerful lobbies such as trial lawyers and teacher unions.  The education issue is a great example.  Leftists such as Ted Kennedy and Al Gore have been fierce opponents of school choice and other proposals to reduce the power of the government education monopoly.  Yet they send their children to private schools.

Kentucky's quest for school choice:  America's schools were locally controlled and funded for more than 200 years.  However, that rich legacy ended in 1839 when Horace Mann, the first Secretary of Education, organized state-mandated, publicly funded schools.  Since then, local control of our schools has weakened considerably.  As a result, little or no accountability exists to ensure our children receive the quality public education necessary to enable them to compete effectively in the evolving global marketplace.

Black Flight:  Something momentous is happening here in [Minneapolis] the home of prairie populism:  black flight.  African-American families from the poorest neighborhoods are rapidly abandoning the district public schools, going to charter schools, and taking advantage of open enrollment at suburban public schools.

New Orleans Parents Shop for Public Schools.  More than 100 parents, some with children in tow, browsed dozens of booths at the New Orleans Arena on August 5 in an exercise only an upheaval such as Hurricane Katrina might have created.  They were shopping for public schools, viewing various schools' offerings as a grocery shopper might inspect melons.

Want to Help the Middle Class?  Embrace School Choice.  Promises to help the middle class are as common in campaigns as yard signs.  Both political parties claim their agenda will benefit the middle class the most.  Democrats typically see more government — new regulations and services — as the solution.  They push for a higher minimum wage, more government provided healthcare, more government funding for daycare, subsidies for college costs, and other government programs.

School Choice for Students in Underperforming Public Schools.  Millions of students across the United States are enrolled in persistently failing public schools. … In addition, failing schools serve a disproportionately high number of low-income children.  In the large school districts of New York City and Los Angeles, for example, as many as 300,000 children are attending the most persistently underperforming public schools.

Competition works.  It works because it gives people the chance to be creative.  Educational experts, freed from the massive regulations that snarl the public schools, can come up with new and better ideas for teaching.

Open education to innovation.  The last thing we need, contrary to what the American Federation of Teachers seems to be saying, is to preserve our disastrous status quo.  We need innovation.  The U.S. has shown mankind that that nothing unleashes innovation and creativity like free markets.

Time for choice and competition.  From the uproar the governor's plan generated, you would think that South Carolina had a great school system in place and that the governor wanted to demolish it.  But it doesn't, and he didn't.

The lessons of school choice:  Choosing how your children are educated should be as routine in America as the ability to choose your neighborhood, your church, and your place of employment.

School choice threatened:  Thanks to an active school-choice movement, funded and staffed by dedicated and principled private citizens, an increasing number of American parents have the quintessentially American opportunity of choosing where to send their child to school.


"The behavior of young people in society is of particular importance; it should, above all things, be marked with propriety in the presence of superiors and elders:  the youth who does not learn betimes a seemly behavior in company will scarcely know how to conduct himself judiciously on any future occasion."

–  George Crabb (1778-1851).



Milwaukee Begins to Ration School Choice.  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction officially announced on December 27 its plan for rationing seats in the 15-year-old Milwaukee Parental Choice Program in the 2006-07 school year.  The plan, required by state law, means hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students will not be able to return to the schools they now attend.

Apply "ownership society" to government schools.  President Bush has become, quite rightly, an evangelist for the virtues of private property, speaking about an "ownership society" just about everywhere he goes.  Just about everywhere, that is, except when he visits a government-owned school.  Then he is a big-government man.

Educational Freedom In Urban America:  In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated public schools unconstitutional.  The ruling in Brown v. Board of Education set public education on a course toward equality.  Yet, five decades later, schools are not equal.  Minority children living in America's inner cities suffer disproportionately from a failing education system, with black and Hispanic students dropping out of public high schools at much higher rates than whites.  There is, however, reason for hope.  The expansion of school choice offers new opportunities for children struggling in failing schools.

A Choice Future for Students:  The big winners on Election Day weren't politicians.  They were students.  That's because many of the politicians who won — Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Senator-elect James Talent of Missouri, to name just two — are vocal supporters of school choice.

To Improve, Public Schools Need Competition, Not More Money:  According to the U.S. Department of Education, public education spending in Illinois jumped 26 percent in the five years through school year 2001-02, with spending per student up almost 22 percent.  Spending per student in 2001-02 was $7,600, above the national average of $7,525.  Revenues per student were over $8,000.  If 61 percent of Illinois school districts are operating at a deficit, then taxpayers certainly aren't to blame.

More than a Lifeboat:  an interview with John D. Merrifield:  We don't need school choice as a lifeboat; we need it as a reform catalyst.  We have a low-performing educational system where some schools are better than others, but few are good.  In the suburban districts, the schools are better, but not necessarily good.

Ten Principles of School Choice.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school vouchers are constitutional in 2002, grassroots activists around the country have been organizing to support pasage of school choice programs.  Legislatures passed statewide programs in Florida and Colorado, and other states are expected to follow their lead.  Some 35 cities have privately funded voucher programs.

Trapped in the wrong government school.  If you're a public-school student, your chances in life may be largely dependent on where you live — not just which country, not just which state, but which little bureaucratic zone.  In San Jose, Calif., many parents want to get their kids in Fremont Union schools because they're so much better than neighboring schools.  So parents sometimes cheat to get their kids in.  At least cheating is what local officials call it.

Separating school and state:  It's time to put an end to government control of the schools.  There is nothing indispensable about a state role in education.  Parents don't expect the government to provide their children's food or clothing or medical care; there is no reason why it must provide their schooling.

Polls Show Vouchers Are Popular and Would Be Widely Used  … But negative wording results in under-reporting of voucher support.  Only 42 percent of Americans polled in the latest Phi Delta Kappa International/Gallup Poll say they are in favor of vouchers.  Yet the same poll reports 57 percent of Americans say they would use full-tuition vouchers, if they were available, to enroll their children in private schools.  A new national study conducted by leading research firm WirthlinWorldwide suggests an explanation for the discrepancy:  The use of negative wording in a key poll question reduces the reported support for vouchers by more than 20 percentage points.

Three Objections to School Vouchers … Answered.  Every time a student uses a voucher to move from a government school to a private one, the budgets of government schools shrink.  In this way, vouchers gradually defund government schools.  If vouchers were adopted by cities and states nationwide, millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars would move from the government to the private sector.  This is a critical point in the case for vouchers that critics fail to address.

National Study Raises Question of Bias in Annual Phi Delta Kappa Poll.  The study, sponsored by the Friedman Foundation, set out to determine, using a sound methodology of split sampling, if the annual Phi Delta Kappa poll, to be released on August 24, used wording that could artificially lower support for school choice.

$5,000 Voucher Would Open Most School Doors.  There are already many affordable high-quality private schools on the market, and, once they are allowed to compete on a level playing field with government schools, many more will come into operation.

Uneducated Youth Threaten America's Future.  Despite an increasing awareness that the U.S. public education system offers widely differing educational opportunities to different ethnic and income groups, the system will change for the better only when it is exposed to competition from charter schools or vouchers, says former U.S. Representative Reverend Floyd H. Flake.

What Is Capitalism?  Many criticisms of school vouchers are actually thinly veiled criticisms of capitalism, the way the economy in the U.S. (and most of the rest of the world) is organized.

DC Vouchers Return to Front Burner:  Representative Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) is quoted as saying, "The best thing we can do to improve education is to expand parental choice and increase competition…."

Vouchers Within Reason:  A Trojan Horse to Control Private Schools.  Finally, someone on the left has presented a thoughtful rationale for why leftists should favor vouchers:  They can use vouchers to push religion out of private schools and further reduce the ability of parents to inculcate their values into their children.

The Voucher Trap:  In the 1941 case of Wickard vs. Filburn, the Supreme Court said that "It is hardly lack of due process for the government to regulate that which it subsidizes."  When the trap springs, and the victims scream out their anguish, the truly private schools' owners will receive their vindication.

Canada's experience shows that school choice works:  Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court early this summer gave school choice a green light, anti-choicers have asserted that vouchers are chancy because they've only been tested on a small scale so far.  Canadians know that's not true -- 92 percent of the people to the north of us live in areas with school choice.

Educational Vouchers:  Saving public education is not the same as, and may indeed be exactly the opposite to, saving children.

Ten benefits of School Liberation:  When government involvement with education is ended, we can prudently predict at least ten changes in America's schooling systems.

Conservative Education Scholars Say School Choice is Working:  School choice initiatives are showing promise, conservative education scholars believe.  A school choice scholar, who spoke at the Heritage Foundation press conference in Washington, D.C., indicates that the fears of school choice opponents are unfounded.

No Voice, No Exit:  The Inefficiency of America's Public Schools.

A Tale of Senate Obstructionism Courtesy of Senator Edward Kennedy:  Unlike Senator Kennedy and the NAACP leaders who pose as champions of the underprivileged, Gerald Reynolds supports school choice scholarship programs for poor black kids cheated by rotten public schools.  He calls it the great "civil rights issue" of our time.  No wonder Ted Kennedy hates him.

A Minority View:  Educational Vouchers:  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Cleveland school voucher case, Zelman vs. Simmons-Harris, that taxpayer funds that go to parents who might use the money to enroll their children in religious schools was constitutional.  One need not be a rocket scientist to understand why.

School Choice Works:  Private high-school graduates are more likely to be professionals, technicians, managers, proprietors and salesmen.  Their public-school counterparts more likely are craftsmen, laborers, farmers and service workers.

Vouchers vindicated:  If there has actually been harm done to the public schools by vouchers, there ought to be evidence of it by now.  But voucher critics have none, after all these years, and rely on scary but unsubstantiated theories instead.  What we are really talking about are the teachers' unions wanting to keep a captive audience, for the sake of their members' jobs, and social engineers wanting to control low-income children and their parents, as they themselves would never want to be controlled.

Vouchers:  Neither Panacea Nor Poison:  Would education vouchers solve all of America's education problems?  No, but we can't "fix" education until we "fix" who makes the decisions about education.  The people who make the decisions are those who control the money.



Southern Baptist Subsection:

Are Southern Baptists about to Abandon Government Schools?  A resolution recently submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention for its annual meeting to be held in Indianapolis on June 1516 calls on parents in this country's largest Protestant denomination to pull their children out of government schools, and either homeschool them or send them to private Christian schools.

Simply Rearing Pagans:  Between 12 and 15 million evangelical Christian children attend public schools.  If the mass majority of these students were to leave public education, it would cripple the one system that is doing more harm to our nation than any single thing except perhaps the popular media.

On the "sin" of sending kids to public school:  The man who helped push the issue of public education onto the national agenda of the Southern Baptist Convention has written a new book that blows the lid off government schools, showing parents the kind of worldview and values their children are influenced by 180 days a year. … "The truth is that the public school policy and curriculum decisions that matter to Christians are not made locally.  They are largely dictated by federal and state court decisions, federal and state legislation and regulations, and the teachers' union and other professional associations connected with the public schools."

What happens then?

Will the transition hurt some children?  We can go in one of two directions:  a) continue down the present road of bringing more and more families into dependency with such notions as school breakfast, school clinics, longer day, and longer year, or  b) we can reverse the 160-year slide into parental dependency and move toward more family responsibility for education.

Resources for parents investigating their options

New:  Baptist Home Schoolers Pushing for SBC to Vote on Public School Resolutions.  Home-schooling families in the Southern Baptist Convention are urging the denomination to vote on a resolution that calls on Baptists to shield their children from homosexual indoctrination in public schools.

The same idea returns in 2006:

Baptists:  Plan exit from government schools.  A group of Baptists activists who two years ago tried to get the Southern Baptist Convention to approve a resolution urging the faithful to pull their children out of government schools announced they are proposing a similar measure this year.

However...
SBC Official Questions Wisdom of Public School 'Exit Strategy' Proposal.  The chairman of the Resolutions Committee for next month's Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is being careful not to throw his support behind the idea of developing a plan to remove Baptist children from public schools.



Books and Internet Resources

Book review:
The Harsh Truth About Public Schools:  [Bruce Shortt's] advice is to parents:  Get your children out of the system!  Home school them if you can.  If that's not possible, find a private school where the textbooks, teachers, and other parents will be reinforcing what you and your spouse are teaching your children.

Book review:
Let My Children Go.  I have read many books on home education, but never one that touched on sensitive issues such as socialist indoctrination through "group-think".  Government schools are not broken — they are performing exactly as planned.  Christian parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers work diligently "to train up a child in the way he should go".  Then, at the tender age of five, pack the child off to government school, to have everything planted in their child's heart completely destroyed.

Web site:
The Exodus Mandate:  Don't simply ask what kind of education you want for your children.  Ask what kind of people do you want them to become!

Web site:
Alliance for the Separation of School and State:  The goal of separation is best achieved one family at a time.  The brightest future for education begins with you.  If you're a parent, we offer not only the chance to learn how the government came to control education, but also ideas, resources and encouragement to help you on your road to educational freedom, as well as true stories of others who have already chosen educational freedom.



Personal anecdotes

This is a subject with which I have personal experience.  Our son was homeschooled from the third grade all the way through high school.  He has a math degree and is now working full-time, but hopes to finish his master's degree soon.

One factor that really helped our homeschooling experience is that my wife is a state-certified teacher.  Very recently, she went to work as a full-time math teacher at the local high school (in a Dallas suburb), and confirmed right away that every bad thing we've heard or suspected about public schools is true.  Many high school kids in public schools appear to have vocabularies of 500 words or less, much of which is unfit for publication on this web site.  Thanks to television, they have a maximum attention span of about ten seconds.  Audacity, arrogance and aggressively bad taste are on display everywhere.

High school kids are totally dependent on calculators to do the simplest math problems, because the availability of electronic calculators is guaranteed throughout the school.  Some of them can't tell time on an analog clock, because digital clocks are the only kind they ever see.  Recently one "student" (using the term loosely) asked a security guard for the time of day, and was told "It's a quarter to five."  Then the kid got indignant because the security guard wouldn't tell her the time!  This is a high school student, mind you, who was unable to figure out what a quarter of an hour would be, because she has not learned how to work with fractions.  My wife asked an eleventh grade girl, "What is zero minus seven?"  The poor girl had to admit that she had no inkling of the answer — not even a guess.  Many of the kids who are taking Algebra II don't know anything about how to solve an equation, which they should have learned in the eighth grade, or about fractions, which they should have learned in elementary school.  Public school kids almost seem to take pride in their ignorance and anti-intellectualism, and are quick to blame everything and everyone but themselves for their failures.

When politicians tell you "we need more money for education", that is a lie.  This high school is as big as most colleges, and it looks like an airport terminal with hallway after spacious hallway of first-rate classrooms.  The facilities are second to none.  There is a huge new auditorium, a natatorium, and a new football stadium as well.  (Earlier I had said they had an olympic-size pool, but as it turns out, this pool is half that size — a mere 25 meters by 25 yards.)  The taxpayers have poured millions of dollars into the physical facilities and it hasn't helped academics at all.

The school's top priorities are the football team, the band, and the TAKS test at the end of the year.  Discipline, decorum, and the dress code are secondary concerns at best.  As a result, the kids won't keep quiet in class, they cheat, they lie, they'll steal anything that isn't bolted down, they send text messages to each other via cell phones, they throw paper wads at the teachers, and they don't care about learning.

You might get the idea that I'm engaging in harmful stereotypes, or at least painting an unflattering picture with a very broad brush.  And yet the overwhelming majority of the kids enrolled in this school — I hesitate to call them "students" — have a great deal in common.  There seems to be no stigma associated with illegitimacy, promiscuity or fatherlessness.  Anti-intellectualism makes it fashionable to be ignorant.  Overexposure to television (and Hollywood) gets them accustomed to destructive behavior and corrosive communication.  And despite decades of better-than-equal opportunity, they still think of themselves as victims of someone else's prejudice.

Of course they aren't all hopeless.  There are a few kids who want to learn, who want to go to college, and who want to do better than their parents mothers.  But most of the kids who graduate from this school will be ill prepared for a life that does not involve flipping burgers, selling drugs, or welfare dependency.  If these kids are "America's future", we're going to need more prisons.

Updated 9/16/2006:
My wife lasted five weeks as a public school teacher.  That was enough.  No amount of money could get her to teach there for an entire semester.

Read more about it, from her perspective, here.




One California judge says parents have no legal right
to home school their children.  [2/28/2008]


The latest:
Court backs off ruling that restricted home schooling.  A state appellate court Friday morning [8/8/2008] backed off a never-enforced February ruling that severely restricted home schooling in California.  The new decision from the 2nd District Court of Appeal says California law permits home schooling, although it is particularly lax in ensuring children are properly educated in such a setting.

Homeschool Victory.  Hold on to your hats.  Common sense and constitutionalism have prevailed in the California judiciary.  Last week, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles declared that parents who homeschool don't need teaching credentials in order to educate their own children.  Amazingly, the three judges were overturning their own February decision.

California Court to Reconsider Homeschooling.  California's Second Appellate District Court of Appeals touched off a firestorm when it issued an opinion that parents have no right to homeschool their own children — a firestorm so great that on March 25, a full month after issuing its decision, the court agreed to rehear the case, with a decision expected in June.  According to the February 28 decision, neither the U.S. nor the California constitution gives parents without teaching credentials the right to homeschool their children, and nothing in California law permits unregulated homeschooling.

California Decision Has Roots in Age-Old Bias against Homeschooling.  Though California's constitution guarantees citizens freedom, independence, and privacy, the state regularly invades those rights — albeit with the consent of the governed.  But don't tread on homeschoolers.  That's what a California appellate court did with a February 28 ruling that parents have no federal or state constitutional right to homeschool their children and that they risk criminal prosecution if they do.  The uproar was immediate and widespread.

Court to reconsider home-school ruling.  A state appeals court will reconsider last month's controversial decision that said parents who home-school their children must have a teaching credential.  The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles granted a rehearing Tuesday [3/25/2008], essentially voiding the 3-0 decision until it rules again.  The decision will now allow home-schooling organizations that had blasted the decision to weigh in.  "Wow!" said Diane Flynn Keith of Redwood City, who edits Homefires, an online home-schooling journal.  "I think the judge recognized that he hadn't done his homework."

Threat to Homeschooling:  The cat is finally out of the bag.  A California appellate court, ruling that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their children, pinned its decision on this ominous quotation from a 47-year-old case, "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train schoolchildren in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."  There you have it; a primary purpose of government schools is to train schoolchildren "in loyalty to the state."

Home schooling unlawful, says California court.  A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal has determined parents in that state have no legal right to home school.  A Christian attorney in Sacramento says unless the ruling is reversed, literally thousands of students in the Golden State will be subject to criminal sanctions.

Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state.  A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.  The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.

Court:  Teaching Credential Required To Home School.  California parents without teaching credentials cannot legally home school their children, according to a recent state appellate court ruling.  "Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a Feb. 28 opinion for the 2nd District Court of Appeal.  Noncompliance could lead to criminal complaints against the parents, Croskey said.  The immediate impact of the ruling was not clear. Opponents said they will appeal.

Do Homeschoolers Need Teaching Credentials?  One way or another, this ruling will not stand.  It's not just that the homeschoolers have lawyers and political savvy, which they do.  They also have the support of the majority of parents who want a full range of choices, even if they'd never choose homeschooling for themselves.  Mom needs a credential to teach her kids?  Not going to happen.

Governor vows to protect homeschooling.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced a state appeals court ruling that severely restricts homeschooling and promised Friday [3/7/2008] to change the law if necessary to guarantee that parents are able to educate their children at home.  "Every California child deserves a quality education, and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," Schwarzenegger said in response to the ruling, which said children educated at home must be taught by a credentialed teacher.

A threat to home schooling:  In a blow to parents everywhere, the Los Angeles 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled last week that under provisions in the state's education code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children and in fact criminalizes efforts to do so since they are not certified teachers.  Perhaps more disturbing than the ruling is how some "education experts" are classifying it.  One National Education Association (NEA) official has referred to home-school parents as "gullible, amateurs" who don't have the skills to teach their own children.  Sound a little condescending?

Home Schooling Poses a Threat to The State.  Socialism, of which liberal-progressivism is the American sect, is more than control of the economy.  Most importantly it is mind-control through the public education system. … Why the animus of liberal courts and teachers' unions against home schooling?  The obvious answer is that home schooling does a better job, revealing the poor quality of public education.  Less obvious is the desire of home-schooling parents to teach Judeo-Christian moral principles, which directly conflicts with the public school aim of teaching the secular religion of liberal-progressive-socialism.

It Takes a Village to Raise an Idiot:  California and Parental Rights.  For teachers unions and education bureaucrats, compulsory school attendance is a tool of social control.

Saying No to the Nanny State:  While I bemoan the liberal goings-on in my once liberty-loving state, I only have that much more empathy for the many good people of California, who also have a RINO governor, but labor under the "leadership" of a much worse regime.  This week's outrage concerns the ruling of an appellate court that "parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children" and that those who do so might be subject to severe penalties.

California:  Giving Home-Schoolers the Shaft.  Teachers' unions are pro-choice on abortion, but not on education.  They use their enormous political capital with the Democrat Party to block voucher initiatives in whatever state or municipality proposes them, including in California.  Consequently, many parents home-school their children at their own expense, even though they still have to pay local property taxes which are spent mostly on public schools their children do not attend.

Homeschoolers in the Crosshairs of the NEA.  Recently a landmark ruling that stunned many parents and could have legal repercussions for families across the country was handed down by a California state appellate court.  Judge H. Walter Croskey wrote a court opinion that declared California children were only allowed to be taught by teachers credentialed by the state.  Such a decision was a stark about-face from the previous California policy that provided parents with options in determining how best to educate their children.  A decision such as this has profound ramifications that stretch beyond educational choice, from parental rights to privacy laws.

Did someone mention the NEA?

Your Child Is Not State Property.  California legislators were entitled to enact this blanket prohibition, according to the judge, because they feared the supposed social disorder that would result from "allowing every person to make his own standards on matters of conduct in which society as a whole has important interests."  "Allowing"?  By what right does government presume to "allow" (or, in this case, forbid) you to make your own standards concerning your child's education?  Government has no such right.

California Appeals Court Clears the Way for Homeschooling.  There's been an important decision released by a California appeals court — a decision that overturns a previous ruling — and now clears the way for parents to homeschool their children.

Victory for a Judge and for California Home Schoolers.  Today we are pleased to announce that a U.S. District Court sitting in Cleveland has formally dismissed a motion brought by the ACLU of Ohio to hold in contempt of court Richland County Judge James DeWeese for displaying a poster entitled "Philosophies of Law in Conflict" in his Mansfield courtroom.  The ACLU charged that Judge DeWeese's display of the poster — which graphically compares and contrasts the Ten Commandments with Seven Humanist Principles — violated a 2002 injunction barring him from displaying a poster consisting solely of the Ten Commandments under the caption "Rule of Law."

Parents rights to direct kids' education affirmed.  Homeschool supporters and pro-family advocates spent today [8/8/2008] praising a California court ruling that affirmed the right of parents to direct their children's education.  The upbeat reaction was triggered by the decision announced early today by the 2nd Appellate District in Los Angeles that affirmed the right of California parents to homeschool.



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Updated November 26, 2014.

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