Father and Mother Know Best

“Home-schooled students are routinely high performers on standardized academic tests, beating their public school peers on average by as much as 30 percentile points, regardless of the subject.  They perform well on tests like the SAT – and colleges actively recruit them both for their high scores and the diversity they bring to campus.” (Wall Street Journal 3/22/08).

The 166,000 families in California that choose to educate their children at home do so largely for three reasons:  religious, protecting their children from gangs and drugs, and mostly because they want to ensure their children a good education.

Considering the overwhelming success of home-schooling, one would think it perplexing that a California court ruled in March that parents cannot home-school their children without government certification.  Fascinating, since non-credentialed parents spend their time teaching English, math and science precisely because they don’t think the public schools do a good enough job!

You should know that this whole court case was not about quality of education.  The case was initiated by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services after one – ONE – home-schooled child reportedly complained of physical abuse by his father.  A lawyer assigned to that child invoked the truancy law to get the children enrolled in a public school and away from the parents (California law requires children between six and 18 to attend a full-time day school.  Failure to comply means breaking the truancy laws).

So, a single case of parental abuse is being used to promote the certification of all parents who make that huge commitment to their children’s education.  Unbelievable.

Between 1999 and 2003, the rate of home-schooling increased by 29% and the performance results speak for themselves.  Of course, the California Teacher’s Union is ecstatic about this outcome – in spite of the facts that demonstrate that, on the average, children do better academically outside of their classrooms.