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Mostly a vent/lament, but homeschoolers who just don't


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13 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

FWIW, I think everyone should standardize test each year.  Those results need to be turned in and checked. If you are scoring below 40% you should be subject to additional oversight.  If you have a child who has learning differences, that might look like turning in a PDP (personal development plan), or it might look like having an IEP through the school district to make sure any necessary services are being accessed (like PT/OT/SLP).  It might look like having a certified teacher kinda look through what you're doing. I'm not sure, I'm not an expert.  I think a screening test like a standardized one is an easy enough bar to achieve--you don't have to submit plans or count hours if your methodology works.

I do realize that some public schools are churning out students under 40% proficiency. I think they should be subject to additional oversight also. 🙂

 

I very much disagree with all of this. I have young kids and I am required to test them yearly. Even though I do not have to turn in the results it is very stressful. I have to sit there and watch my smart kids answer so many questions wrong because they slightly misread something. They still score high (much to my surprise every year), but I can see how easy it would be for higher than average kids to score low. And the unnecessary stress it would cause the parents. I've met some parents that don't homeschool well, but it is a small small percentage of the whole.

As far as public school: DH teaches at a lower school. A couple of years ago his school scored low enough on the testing that the state sent in extra oversight. It was unhelpful and stressful on the already overworked teachers. Many of his students come from homes that do not value education. He, and the other teachers in his school, do their best to excite them about education and sometimes they reach kids. But they are fighting an uphill battle and giving them more weight to carry does not help. How about an extra teacher so they can have smaller classes? That would be helpful. Instead they give them more paperwork and a threat of being fired if their scores are too low (no matter how good a teacher they are). 

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1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

I very much disagree with all of this. I have young kids and I am required to test them yearly. Even though I do not have to turn in the results it is very stressful. I have to sit there and watch my smart kids answer so many questions wrong because they slightly misread something. They still score high (much to my surprise every year), but I can see how easy it would be for higher than average kids to score low. And the unnecessary stress it would cause the parents. I've met some parents that don't homeschool well, but it is a small small percentage of the whole.

As far as public school: DH teaches at a lower school. A couple of years ago his school scored low enough on the testing that the state sent in extra oversight. It was unhelpful and stressful on the already overworked teachers. Many of his students come from homes that do not value education. He, and the other teachers in his school, do their best to excite them about education and sometimes they reach kids. But they are fighting an uphill battle and giving them more weight to carry does not help. How about an extra teacher so they can have smaller classes? That would be helpful. Instead they give them more paperwork and a threat of being fired if their scores are too low (no matter how good a teacher they are). 

Yes, younger children should not have to test.  

I do sympathize with your dh having been a teacher. However, it’s not a comparable situation in homeschooling. It is much harder for a parent to have a handle on how well their child is doing—no comparison, no other teachers.  And if the “culture” around you is laid back and you have executive functioning issues, you may think things are fine when they aren’t. My state doesn’t require it yearly until high school ( and not at all until 5th grade). 

I have taught kids from the backgrounds you mention. That’s apples to oranges bc homeschooling families have different home environments (and if their home doesn’t value basic education, they shouldn’t be homeschooling).  The other kids who may do poorly are ones with unidentified LDs and there are many of those in the homeschool community. Those kids would absolutely benefit from intervention. I’m not talking about punitive intervention but even the facilitating of testing or access to special education resources. 

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Posted (edited)

When I was a young homeschool mom I used to meet alot of older moms at park day and co-op and listening to them talk it sounded like their kids were not doing anything. Not enough, at least. I pretty much arrogantly discounted anything they said because it seemed I was more serious about my 2nd grader's education than they were their high schoolers. 

Much to my surprise I saw these kids go on from high school to college, careers, etc. They successsfully did dual enrollment. They got scholarships. They graduated from college and got jobs and, overall, they did well. At least as well as the average kids coming out of our highly competitive public school. (not as well as the super achievers but as well as the regular kids). I wouldn't be surprised if they had lower average ACT scores than the public school kids but as far as satisfying outcomes they did just fine.

So I learned not to be so judgy. 

I now am the older mom that the young moms think doesn't know anything. 

Edited by teachermom2834
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8 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yes, you're right. I misread -- thanks for the correction! 

Like you, I'd love to know if that's true or not. 

I can say that those who homeschool in our good district do so for one of 3 reasons: religious, education, or ideology. Usually there's some mix but there are a few purists (about 10%)  It's these last ones that slip through the cracks more often.  They are in families that believe anything is better than evil public school or that public school has inappropriate demands (communist, socialist, vaccination-based, or work expectations).  Even though they're surrounded by really good schools, including ones highly ranked nationally, their kids can't possibly go if homeschooling isn't working.  And the private schools are too expensive.

It's not nearly as prevalent to me as it has been in no-oversight places, but the parents here learn very quickly which school districts don't care enough to ask for end of year reports.

 

I will say my district actually may have started on something that is working.  A district can have ed plans sent to the Super's office or a designated person by the district. Last year the homeschoolers moved from reporting to the Director Of Pupil Services & Special Education to reporting to the Director of Curriculum.  She is a warm, nice person who made sure to send out emails this year informing hs'ers of services available to them and how to get them, keeping them in the loop for school events or special things (like a half-day program this summer), and is willing to answer questions or offer comments when asked, sending back personal replies instead of form letters.  They're starting to treat homeschoolers like more like people to have a relationship with and not plague carriers.  It's that kind of bridge that will make a difference long term.

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Standardized testing has not improved the quality of education in this country.  Decades ago before testing was a thing, the standards were significantly higher.  Poor outcomes are connected to far more complicated issues than testing vs not.

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14 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

But again, this is where I get frustrated: if the subject is homeschooling oversight, then standardized testing looks smart to many people. But if the subject is standardized testing and the impact it has had on teaching, suddenly the opinions are way more negative -- teachers complain about having to teach to the test and not having time to spend on things that won't be tested but are valuable. Many of us got into HSing because we didn't want that. We want to, say, focus on poetry memorization and Latin grammar the way things used to be done. Or we want to teach our kids shop and mechanic skills and self-control and self-reliance, and those aren't on the test either. THAT is why we fight for autonomy and are willing to give people the benefit of the doubt - we don't want the public school's standards of what's valuable, and frankly, we don't think they have earned the right to tell us what should be learned when, because it doesn't seem clear that they know. Their desire is to send all (mostly unprepared kids) to college (of some kind). Many of us think this is outdated, and teaching plumbing skills and problem solving at home is MUCH better for many kids than (badly) cramming them with Shakespeare who (largely) don't care about it. That's not my homeschool, but I respect people who have homeschools like that. And until the schools can show a great track record of educating all their own students well, they don't get to measure the rest of us by their (awful and badly implemented) standards. /End Texas-y rant, lol.

I see your point. Standardized tests have not always been as high stakes as they are now. I took standardized tests when I was in school, there were maybe two of them at the end of the year. They were not stressful, and I don't recall any preparation for them. I have no idea how many tests they have to take now, more than one or two, which go on for days. And they are politicized and stressful. In NY, we have to test every other year after between 4th and 8th grade, and every year for high school. Your kid has to score above the 33rd percentile. That's a pretty low bar. I don't think it's that big a deal. I can understand not wanting it, though, if it's introduced in a place where there's been practically no oversight by the state.

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38 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I will say my district actually may have started on something that is working.  A district can have ed plans sent to the Super's office or a designated person by the district. Last year the homeschoolers moved from reporting to the Director Of Pupil Services & Special Education to reporting to the Director of Curriculum.  She is a warm, nice person who made sure to send out emails this year informing hs'ers of services available to them and how to get them, keeping them in the loop for school events or special things (like a half-day program this summer), and is willing to answer questions or offer comments when asked, sending back personal replies instead of form letters.  They're starting to treat homeschoolers like more like people to have a relationship with and not plague carriers.  It's that kind of bridge that will make a difference long term.

I'm honestly sort of leaning towards the idea that the best oversight may be mostly a carrot and not a stick. Like, maybe the best thing is to require something extremely minimal, like personal contact with someone when you register, and in return for that there can be resources available for homeschooling -- a library, a meeting space, maybe some counseling if need be. There may need to, as you say, be a focus on building relationships... 

 

40 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I can say that those who homeschool in our good district do so for one of 3 reasons: religious, education, or ideology. Usually there's some mix but there are a few purists (about 10%)  It's these last ones that slip through the cracks more often.  They are in families that believe anything is better than evil public school or that public school has inappropriate demands (communist, socialist, vaccination-based, or work expectations).  Even though they're surrounded by really good schools, including ones highly ranked nationally, their kids can't possibly go if homeschooling isn't working.  And the private schools are too expensive.

Yes, I'd agree that people doing it for ideological reasons tend to be the ones that don't do an adequate job. And they also tend to be of the "whatever I do is better than public schools" mindset, so then they don't have particularly high expectations of themselves. 

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28 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I will say my district actually may have started on something that is working.  A district can have ed plans sent to the Super's office or a designated person by the district. Last year the homeschoolers moved from reporting to the Director Of Pupil Services & Special Education to reporting to the Director of Curriculum.  She is a warm, nice person who made sure to send out emails this year informing hs'ers of services available to them and how to get them, keeping them in the loop for school events or special things (like a half-day program this summer), and is willing to answer questions or offer comments when asked, sending back personal replies instead of form letters.  They're starting to treat homeschoolers like more like people to have a relationship with and not plague carriers.  It's that kind of bridge that will make a difference long term.

You are lucky. Our school district punishes us in lots of little ways. We used to be able to put out kids in Red Cross swimming lessons at the school. Now we can't because the school has reclassified swimming lessons as part of their athletics program, (they've also cited "insurance reasons") and NYS law says homeschoolers can't participate in a district's athletics. Moms who pull their kids from school aren't allowed to bring their kid's half used workbooks home. They are as punitive as possible, while remaining within the constraints of the law.

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3 minutes ago, knitgrl said:

You are lucky. Our school district punishes us in lots of little ways. We used to be able to put out kids in Red Cross swimming lessons at the school. Now we can't because the school has reclassified swimming lessons as part of their athletics program, (they've also cited "insurance reasons") and NYS law says homeschoolers can't participate in a district's athletics. Moms who pull their kids from school aren't allowed to bring their kid's half used workbooks home. They are as punitive as possible, while remaining within the constraints of the law.

NY is definitely outright hostile. We were thinking about moving to CA a while back, and we were thinking about how we feel about that... and honestly, it's a mix. I don't like that we don't have access to public school stuff, but on the other hand, it has also resulted in NYC's homeschool scene being really thriving and robust and self-motivated. When I was looking at CA stuff, it seemed much more local and less connected and organized. 

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We have moved a lot during our 27 yrs of homeschooling (8 major moves).  Homeschoolers in states with zero oversight are really not any different than in states with more oversight (though I have refused to live in states with excessively intrusive oversight).  It is a false narrative that more oversight significantly impacts education.  Families that value education value education.  The ones that don't, don't. 

Oversight can deter higher learning outcomes by hampering what and how things are taught.  (In TN I had one homeschool umbrella tell me I couldn't call what I was doing honors bc it wasn't AP or DE.  Or that middle school students can't receive more than 2 high school credits.  I know better, but their "oversight" could negatively impact a lot of less informed families bc they wanted conformity.....the entire reason I homeschool in the first place!  I don't want to conform to ps narratives/categorizing/methodologies.  Period.)  End of yr testing that is course specific is often tied directly to specific curriculum.  

I am thankful I'm almost finished educating my kids if more regulation is in the future.  My kids were able to achieve what they were bc I didn't have to comply with someone else's vision or definitions or oversight.  Thank goodness my severe dyslexic was in my home with no one telling him he was severely behind or someone telling me what I needed to do.  

So glad many posters aren't in our state legislatures.  Seriously.

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

 

I will say my district actually may have started on something that is working.  A district can have ed plans sent to the Super's office or a designated person by the district. Last year the homeschoolers moved from reporting to the Director Of Pupil Services & Special Education to reporting to the Director of Curriculum.  She is a warm, nice person who made sure to send out emails this year informing hs'ers of services available to them and how to get them, keeping them in the loop for school events or special things (like a half-day program this summer), and is willing to answer questions or offer comments when asked, sending back personal replies instead of form letters.  They're starting to treat homeschoolers like more like people to have a relationship with and not plague carriers.  It's that kind of bridge that will make a difference long term.

I would love if more things like that happened here. It sounds really personality and attitude dependent, though, for how good each person would be at that job. I wonder how it could be set up on a larger scale with semi-uniform positive results.

I really like the carrot approach. Our state homeschool association with ties to HSLDA gave me the impression that they want the state completely out of things, including no extra curriculars for homeschoolers. Recently, however, they supported a bill allowing homeschoolers on public school sports teams, so maybe there would be support for this sort of thing? 

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Alaska uses a 'carrot' approach. Anyone can homeschool with zero oversight, but almost no one does, because if you sign up with one of the many official school district programs you get around $2000/yr per kid for educational expenses (more for high school), can check out a laptop or tablet, have the ability to take a class or two in the local school, participate in sports, optional homeschool field trips and contests, etc... In return, you have contact with an oversight teacher and have to turn in semester reports (pretty low paperwork requirement), and (pre-covid), do the same tests the public school kids do. I've never asked for much of anything other than the money, but the oversight teachers seem pretty friendly and helpful. Around 9-10% of Alaska kids are homeschooled in this system.

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10 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

My kids were able to achieve what they were bc I didn't have to comply with someone else's vision or definitions or oversight. 

Oh, sure. I'm glad no one is looking over my shoulder either (not in a real way). It's absolutely true that the things that benefit the exceptional amongst us may not be the same thing as work best on average. I both want to do whatever the heck I want with my kids (and yes, they'll benefit!) and am worried about some kids I know whose issues are being unaddressed for far too long. I don't know how to square that circle, either...

If everyone were law-abiding, we wouldn't need any police, you know? And what a nice world it would be. Truly. 

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17 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, sure. I'm glad no one is looking over my shoulder either (not in a real way). It's absolutely true that the things that benefit the exceptional amongst us may not be the same thing as work best on average. I both want to do whatever the heck I want with my kids (and yes, they'll benefit!) and am worried about some kids I know whose issues are being unaddressed for far too long. I don't know how to square that circle, either...

If everyone were law-abiding, we wouldn't need any police, you know? And what a nice world it would be. Truly. 

Except that I have witness situations similar to @teachermom2834 (except much closer and personal) where the students' educations seemed substandard **to me**.   (They were perfectly on target with the goals of the families involved.)  As adults they have gone on to have decent careers.  Not careers that I could see my kids wanting to have pursued, but they have jobs, are married, have families, and are living stable adult lives.  I gave my kids solidly college prep educations.  They gave their kids a minimal education, but it works for them.  

FWIW, my Aspie ds has worked with some extremely poorly educated people over the yrs.   (He worked at a Goodwill whose main outreach was excons and those in drug rehab.)  They were all products of public schools.  No system exists that "guarantees" students will actually receive (and take in) a quality education. There are failures everywhere.  It really comes down to personal responsibility for wanting to learn and bein surrounded by people who value learning.  Truly, where there is a will, there is a way.  When a family doesn't care, it is a up hill battle to make inroads.  

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A question about 33rd percentile cut-offs as evidence for an adequate education, and 33rd percentile considered a low bar (I'm in a very low regulation province, and my kids have never written a standardized test, so please bear with me):

It seems to me that 33rd percentile is actually a pretty high bar.  1 in 3 of all kids writing the test are going to score 33rd percentile or less. 33rd percentile is well within the range of normal, no? (if one accepts normal as within 1 or 2 standard deviations of the mean).  15th percentile would seem a more useful screening cut-off (roughly one standard deviation from the mean).  I can't think of any other developmental (or medical) screening test that would accept classifying fully one third of kids as having a problem.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, wathe said:

A question about 33rd percentile cut-offs as evidence for an adequate education, and 33rd percentile considered a low bar (I'm in a very low regulation province, and my kids have never written a standardized test, so please bear with me):

It seems to me that 33rd percentile is actually a pretty high bar.  1 in 3 of all kids writing the test are going to score 33rd percentile or less. 33rd percentile is well within the range of normal, no? (if one accepts normal as within 1 or 2 standard deviations of the mean).  15th percentile would seem a more useful screening cut-off (roughly one standard deviation from the mean).  I can't think of any other developmental (or medical) screening test that would accept classifying fully one third of kids as having a problem.

I honestly don't even think the tests SHOULD have cut-offs. It's not, in my opinion, reasonable to decide that kids below a certain proficiency level can't be educated at home. I think it's much more reasonable to just require the test for the parent's information and maybe to have a non-confrontational conversation with a knowledgeable teacher (not even evaluation) triggered when a test score is low. 

This all assumes the kind of goodwill between parent and state that doesn't currently exist most places, frankly. I know @lewelma has described that it exists in New Zealand, though, and it probably does exist in some states... but it definitely couldn't happen in a place like NY, where the homeschoolers are constantly fighting with the school system. 

As I said, I've started leaning towards carrot and not stick for most homeschooling situations. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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13 hours ago, wathe said:

A question about 33rd percentile cut-offs as evidence for an adequate education, and 33rd percentile considered a low bar (I'm in a very low regulation province, and my kids have never written a standardized test, so please bear with me):

It seems to me that 33rd percentile is actually a pretty high bar.  1 in 3 of all kids writing the test are going to score 33rd percentile or less. 33rd percentile is well within the range of normal, no? (if one accepts normal as within 1 or 2 standard deviations of the mean).  15th percentile would seem a more useful screening cut-off (roughly one standard deviation from the mean).  I can't think of any other developmental (or medical) screening test that would accept classifying fully one third of kids as having a problem.

Our state requires 15%. I think we should require higher as just picking a standard answer should trigger a score of 25% or so if you just choose one answer in a multiple choice test. I came to this position after several moms one year decided to just have their kids report the answer B on the exams. They scored higher than 15%. They were advising that other moms do the same this year. *sigh* 

I agree, my system requires a nonconfrontational process. My state does not have homeschoolers interacting directly with schools, we register with education districts. That does minimize tension.

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18 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Our state requires 15%. I think we should require higher as just picking a standard answer should trigger a score of 25% or so if you just choose one answer in a multiple choice test. I came to this position after several moms one year decided to just have their kids report the answer B on the exams. They scored higher than 15%. They were advising that other moms do the same this year. *sigh* 

I agree, my system requires a nonconfrontational process. My state does not have homeschoolers interacting directly with schools, we register with education districts. That does minimize tension.

Percentile (ranking) is different than percent of answers correct though.  I understood that the cut-off for flagging a kid was 33rd percentile, not 33% score/answers correct?  15th percentile makes perfect sense to me as a statistical measure of "normal".  Arbitrary raw score cut-offs do not.

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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I honestly don't even think the tests SHOULD have cut-offs. It's not, in my opinion, reasonable to decide that kids below a certain proficiency level can't be educated at home. I think it's much more reasonable to just require the test for the parent's information and maybe to have a non-confrontational conversation with a knowledgeable teacher (not even evaluation) triggered when a test score is low. 

This all assumes the kind of goodwill between parent and state that doesn't currently exist most places, frankly. I know @lewelma has described that it exists in New Zealand, though, and it probably does exist in some states... but it definitely couldn't happen in a place like NY, where the homeschoolers are constantly fighting with the school system. 

As I said, I've started leaning towards carrot and not stick for most homeschooling situations. 

I think that's what is supposed to happen in most places; a score below cut-off triggers some sort of  review/inspection.  I don't think it gets you kicked out of homeschooling.  But I'm only parroting what I've seen posted here before, so take it for what it's worth 🙂

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23 minutes ago, wathe said:

I think that's what is supposed to happen in most places; a score below cut-off triggers some sort of  review/inspection.  I don't think it gets you kicked out of homeschooling.  But I'm only parroting what I've seen posted here before, so take it for what it's worth 🙂

In the state where we are, you are "on your honor" to seek additional testing/evaluation for potential learning disabilities if your student scores below 30th percentile on their standardized test.  Since it's "on your honor", there's no way to know how many families follow through on this.  I think the idea is that it is supposed to be a "wake up call" to families who have no idea their kid is struggling.  No one is saying you can't continue homeschooling no matter what the scores. We have mostly been in fairly academic circles in homeschooling, so parents with struggling kids I've known have usually known their kids were struggling and either got evaluations or just chose appropriate curriculum to address struggles, even if they didn't actually pay for an eval (buying Barton for a kid who is probably dyslexic, etc).  But I'm sure there are circles where people don't follow through with additional evals, or who don't even do the test at all (since we don't have to show proof that we actually had our kids take the standardized test.  We just have to promise to do it on our form each year and state which test we plan to use).

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On 5/29/2021 at 6:41 PM, 8filltheheart said:

Except that I have witness situations similar to @teachermom2834 (except much closer and personal) where the students' educations seemed substandard **to me**.   (They were perfectly on target with the goals of the families involved.)  As adults they have gone on to have decent careers.  Not careers that I could see my kids wanting to have pursued, but they have jobs, are married, have families, and are living stable adult lives.  I gave my kids solidly college prep educations.  They gave their kids a minimal education, but it works for them.  

FWIW, my Aspie ds has worked with some extremely poorly educated people over the yrs.   (He worked at a Goodwill whose main outreach was excons and those in drug rehab.)  They were all products of public schools.  No system exists that "guarantees" students will actually receive (and take in) a quality education. There are failures everywhere.  It really comes down to personal responsibility for wanting to learn and bein surrounded by people who value learning.  Truly, where there is a will, there is a way.  When a family doesn't care, it is a up hill battle to make inroads.  

I do think the thought line is leaning toward testing too much in this thread. The test doesn't tell you anything about what the child knows other than simple facts, and it certainly doesn't show how proficient they will be as an adult. There are plenty of kids in Public education who know as little as the kids who are minimally educated at home. The fact is no one can force a kid to learn and no one can force a family to care if they don't, not in public school and not at home. Ideally the best thing for kids would be to have parents who care and take time with them. SO maybe instead of putting these "tests" on kids they should have parents be enrolled into parenting classes to be a parent (or to homeschool) and if the parents don't show they are learning or get good scores then they can't parent.... Isn't it ridiculous to say that? So why are we putting all this on the kids? The fact is its parents who are responsible. But the focus is usually on how if the kids test within a certain "score" then everything is good, when they are not what is responsible for low scores.

* I AM NOT BEING SERIOUS ABOUT PARENT TESTING* I am trying to show a point that its silly to have kids test when they are KIDS. No test in the world can show what they are capable of beyond a multiple choice test. I know first hand that kids who are not schooled at home, and don't go to school, can become as good or better than kids who were taught much more. My siblings were minimally taught yet, any of us who have gone to college has done very well, they even earned scholarships! Some have started successful businesses and they do quite well for themselves, especially compared to my husband who went to school K-12th, was on honor roll, won state scholarships and makes less than 50K, while they are living at a higher wage. This testing thing is silly and will not help.

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7 minutes ago, seemesew said:

I do think the thought line is leaning toward testing too much in this thread. The test doesn't tell you anything about what the child knows other than simple facts, and it certainly doesn't show how proficient they will be as an adult. There are plenty of kids in Public education who know as little as the kids who are minimally educated at home. The fact is no one can force a kid to learn and no one can force a family to care if they don't, not in public school and not at home. Ideally the best thing for kids would be to have parents who care and take time with them. SO maybe instead of putting these "tests" on kids they should have parents be enrolled into parenting classes to be a parent (or to homeschool) and if the parents don't show they are learning or get good scores then they can't parent.... Isn't it ridiculous to say that? So why are we putting all this on the kids? The fact is its parents who are responsible. But the focus is usually on how if the kids test within a certain "score" then everything is good, when they are not what is responsible for low scores.

* I AM NOT BEING SERIOUS ABOUT PARENT TESTING* I am trying to show a point that its silly to have kids test when they are KIDS. No test in the world can show what they are capable of beyond a multiple choice test. I know first hand that kids who are not schooled at home, and don't go to school, can become as good or better than kids who were taught much more. My siblings were minimally taught yet, any of us who have gone to college has done very well, they even earned scholarships! Some have started successful businesses and they do quite well for themselves, especially compared to my husband who went to school K-12th, was on honor roll, won state scholarships and makes less than 50K, while they are living at a higher wage. This testing thing is silly and will not help.

Having taught other people’s kids, while a test emphatically doesn’t tell you everything, it does NOT tell you nothing. I can tell you that seeing what kids could do in class told me far more than what their parents told me...

Also, I suppose by some standards, I’m not doing well, since I’m not making much money at all 🙄. I guess I don’t really evaluate my education by the money I make... I think kids deserve a good education, period.

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While it's heartening to hear of kids whose primary education was very minimal becoming very successful later in life, it would be a shame to think that is the norm. If a home is being run with a "better late than early" philosophy and so young kids are engaged in the world rather than in formal lessons, that's something homeschoolers can discuss in a "different philosophies" kind of way. If a parent wants to teach their children, had plans set up, and then quits when she meets resistance and so certain children never do lessons, that's different. It doesn't mean all is lost by any means, but without some, probably external, influence, those children aren't going to become more compliant as they get older, the parent-teacher is not going to become more diligent. I'd expect those things get harder to change the longer the pattern continues. I know it's my fault for starting this thread, but they tend to go the same way. Some people fall into the camp of "children have the right to an education and so legislation needs to be passed to ensure it." Some fall in the camp of "legislation is too clunky to be helpful, but parents are probably doing well." Some fall in the category of "I gave my kids a good education and don't care about other people's kids. Legislation would have annoyed/inconvenienced me, so there should but even be discussion of it " Unfair oversimplification, I know. I wish there was more encouragement for homeschoolers to mentor others. There is lots of guidance out there for new homeschoolers, but so much of it (especially the stuff that pops to the top of searches and then follows you around in ads) is for profit, full of slick packaging and dubious promises. There's tons of great advice on this board, given out for free by people willing to listen carefully and answer thoughtfully, and that is precious. How can we bring that into "real life" in our face-to-face interactions? If you do, what do you do? How do you approach it?

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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Having taught other people’s kids, while a test emphatically doesn’t tell you everything, it does NOT tell you nothing. I can tell you that seeing what kids could do in class told me far more than what their parents told me...

Also, I suppose by some standards, I’m not doing well, since I’m not making much money at all 🙄. I guess I don’t really evaluate my education by the money I make... I think kids deserve a good education, period.

"it does NOT tell you nothing" I actually agree. I just think too much is put into the scores on the whole. 

" I’m not making much money at all 🙄. I guess I don’t really evaluate my education by the money I make..." I don't value education by money either but some do, I was simply pointing out that "uneducated" people in the terms of a test can still make a good living.

"I think kids deserve a good education, period." I do agree that kids deserve a good education and I am doing more schooling for my kids than I was raised with, much more. But I also think to enforce more testing isn't the answer. 

How to encourage others around us to want to do more? I don't know, but force isn't the answer. I think in a perfect world where there is no politics with public schools being afraid of homeschoolers (and vice versa) there would a symbiotic relationship between the two. As for the way it is now, you can’t do anything, but help those in your circle and try to influence them to do the best they can.

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2 hours ago, seemesew said:

How to encourage others around us to want to do more? I don't know, but force isn't the answer. 

I agree there 🙂 . That's why I lean towards a "carrot" and not a "stick." I was just suggesting that a test that does NOT result in penalties may be informative for some parents. 

Come to think of it, there's a post up right now talking about kids who don't absorb vocabulary from books, and the way the mom knows is the tests 🙂 . Sometimes, tests DO help out. 

But you're right that the current atmosphere is totally unhelpful. 

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4 hours ago, Xahm said:

 There's tons of great advice on this board, given out for free by people willing to listen carefully and answer thoughtfully, and that is precious. How can we bring that into "real life" in our face-to-face interactions? If you do, what do you do? How do you approach it?

In terms fo the above, there is information everywhere.  People have to want to hear it/access it/use it.  People who don't want to, won't.  It is sort of like trying to have a conversation about different levels of learning or the differences in types of approaches (like people who believe that math is math and that there is no difference between TT and AoPS......only someone who doesn't want to know can say that and believe it.)

In terms of personally, I have been offering workshops since 2014.  (I'm giving another later next week.)  I have a large curriculum selection that I invite people over to look through and compare in order to figure out what will work for them. 

It is best to keep the perspective that ultimately people are going to do what they are going to do regardless of how quality compares.  

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Posted (edited)

Mentoring can only happen within healthy and respectful boundaries. My friend just called me earlier this week and asked if I'd do a zoom call with her to help her think through her school plans. She can do this because a. She knows I respect their family and don't judge her, b. She knows that I'm willing and able to help, c. She knows that I know her kids as whole people and (again) won't judge them by individual subjects.

I've helped people who are basically homeless and on social services radar, people who's kids are struggling with LDs, young mums with a passel of little kids, why did they feel able to talk to me? Because I am not threatening, I'm encouraging and respectful that they love their families and want to do their best. I'm not saying that I turned them into super homeschoolers, more than a few end up back in the school system - also with my support. 

What will never work is a top down, dehumanizing, hypocritical enforcement of a system that often already failed them. People find loopholes and fudge a system they don't respect, and they don't give respect if all they get is barely concealed contempt.

Eta - I'm not insinuating anything about your relationship Xahm 💜, just contributing to the general discussion.

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On 5/28/2021 at 4:23 PM, Emily ZL said:

But again, this is where I get frustrated: if the subject is homeschooling oversight, then standardized testing looks smart to many people. But if the subject is standardized testing and the impact it has had on teaching, suddenly the opinions are way more negative -- teachers complain about having to teach to the test and not having time to spend on things that won't be tested but are valuable. Many of us got into HSing because we didn't want that. We want to, say, focus on poetry memorization and Latin grammar the way things used to be done. Or we want to teach our kids shop and mechanic skills and self-control and self-reliance, and those aren't on the test either. THAT is why we fight for autonomy and are willing to give people the benefit of the doubt - we don't want the public school's standards of what's valuable, and frankly, we don't think they have earned the right to tell us what should be learned when, because it doesn't seem clear that they know. Their desire is to send all (mostly unprepared kids) to college (of some kind). Many of us think this is outdated, and teaching plumbing skills and problem solving at home is MUCH better for many kids than (badly) cramming them with Shakespeare who (largely) don't care about it. That's not my homeschool, but I respect people who have homeschools like that. And until the schools can show a great track record of educating all their own students well, they don't get to measure the rest of us by their (awful and badly implemented) standards. /End Texas-y rant, lol.

 

 

 

 

standardized testing anxiety is one of the reasons we pulled my DD from public school to homeschool. Teachers were teaching to the test and putting a lot of pressure on the kids in the process, and she was doing very poorly.  (In Texas, btw)

Some of my comment got into the quote of yours and I can’t get it out. Read that first 

We homeschooled for four and a half years, during which time I did not teach to the test, and often felt I was having to slow down to often/too long or wasn’t covering subjects adequately. Yet when we went to put her into public school in high school, and they tested her for the grade level using excerpts from that same standardized test, she passed and tested into the grade level she was at. I have never felt more vindicated as a homeschooling parent, AND as a public school parent who believes they teach to r the test way too much.

 And she passed her first year of public high school. She did really well in Algebra and English, and though she tried to use the excuse that we had never done biology and that’s why she did poorly in it (we did, but the book didn’t say “biology” on the front) it’s hard to do well in a class you don’t turn in the majority of the work on time for, or at all.

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On 5/29/2021 at 3:06 AM, LauraClark said:

I have to sit there and watch my smart kids answer so many questions wrong because they slightly misread something.

As a smart child who misread tests a lot (99% because I just wanted to get things over with) I wish my PS teachers in K-12 made a bigger deal out of it instead of coddling me. It was a huge learning curve for me when I started working after college, because a little misread number is the difference between going home at 7pm vs. 11pm. 

Although I'm not so sure when is an appropriate time to push doing things carefully and under a time-constraint.

Obviously K-12 was a long time ago for me and all I remember of state testing and stuff was that it was mostly a joke and I would get > 95th percentile on topics I never officially learned.   

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On 6/1/2021 at 12:37 AM, Not_a_Number said:

I know @lewelma has described that it exists in New Zealand,

Here, the State evaluates the homeschool teacher, not the child.

In the application to homeschool, you as the parent teacher must describe *how* you will teach (not really what). And if you have a student with learning disabilities or neurodivergences, you must describe how you will handle that and what resources you will use.

When we had regular reviews (which we don't now because not enough people were failing to make it worth the $$), the evaluator came to evaluate your program and if it met the state requirement of 'as regularly and as well' as public school. The program of study needed to cover the 7 learning areas (so you can't just skip math) and it had to be regular (so you can't collapse it into 3 months). They did NOT test the student. The State is evaluating the program that is provided. They are evaluating that the legal guardian is providing a legal education.

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On 5/31/2021 at 2:05 PM, seemesew said:

I do think the thought line is leaning toward testing too much in this thread. The test doesn't tell you anything about what the child knows other than simple facts, and it certainly doesn't show how proficient they will be as an adult.

The parents in my circle who have given their children placement or standardized tests this year, only to find them 3+ grade levels behind certainly learned a lot about their kids' education that they hadn't known before. They were shocked at just how far behind their children were. And it was not a case of silly mistakes or testing anxiety. Those kids are truly that far behind. Now all but one of those parents has been kicked in the pants and are seeking solutions. If the state had required a test of any kind starting in 3rd grade or so - even if it never had to be reported to anyone, these parents would not be discovering their shortfalls for the first time in junior high. Because they just do care, but have executive function or other issues and let schooling get away from them until they were smacked in the face - by test scores.

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On 5/31/2021 at 1:39 PM, Xahm said:

There's tons of great advice on this board, given out for free by people willing to listen carefully and answer thoughtfully, and that is precious. How can we bring that into "real life" in our face-to-face interactions? If you do, what do you do? How do you approach it?

Anytime a mom talks about struggling with something with her kids or feeling inadequate as a mom, I with a "hug" and an empathetic word. Then I ask if they want advice or just want to lament. (I think we come to these boards seeking advice so, it's different than in real life where someone may just want to talk and not get any advice.) If they say that they do want a solution then I tell them what I do with my kids (if pertinent) and mention some other ways people have approached their problem as well. Then if possible give them actual physical help, if I have left over material they can borrow or an easier/cheaper method of doing something, or showing them exactly how to do something.

Sometimes I have to do a this is how I did/do it, but I don't think this will work for you exactly because you have a different situation. That's OK (super important to say). For you a method like … may suit you better. Because I just love researching things, sometimes for super close friends and family I'll do the research for them and summarize. I also understand for some the research can be disheartening because some authors/bloggers/ information dispensers sound very only my way works and you are screwed if you didn't start off doing everything my way.    

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2021 at 12:28 AM, knitgrl said:

I see your point. Standardized tests have not always been as high stakes as they are now. I took standardized tests when I was in school, there were maybe two of them at the end of the year. They were not stressful, and I don't recall any preparation for them. I have no idea how many tests they have to take now, more than one or two, which go on for days. And they are politicized and stressful. In NY, we have to test every other year after between 4th and 8th grade, and every year for high school. Your kid has to score above the 33rd percentile. That's a pretty low bar. I don't think it's that big a deal. I can understand not wanting it, though, if it's introduced in a place where there's been practically no oversight by the state.

We had standardised tests at the beginning of the year (New Zealand).  We were never told are scores and neither were out parents.  There was no prep and no stress.  They were simp!y one of the start of unearthing along with getting stationery and getting to know the teacher.

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On 6/2/2021 at 2:02 PM, Sk8ermaiden said:

The parents in my circle who have given their children placement or standardized tests this year, only to find them 3+ grade levels behind certainly learned a lot about their kids' education that they hadn't known before. They were shocked at just how far behind their children were. And it was not a case of silly mistakes or testing anxiety. Those kids are truly that far behind. Now all but one of those parents has been kicked in the pants and are seeking solutions. If the state had required a test of any kind starting in 3rd grade or so - even if it never had to be reported to anyone, these parents would not be discovering their shortfalls for the first time in junior high. Because they just do care, but have executive function or other issues and let schooling get away from them until they were smacked in the face - by test scores.

I have met a lot of parents in New Zealand schools who have had that experience.  The schools have been marking them as at standard then they go to intermediate and they realise they are years behind in basics.

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15 minutes ago, Clarita said:

Anytime a mom talks about struggling with something with her kids or feeling inadequate as a mom, I with a "hug" and an empathetic word. Then I ask if they want advice or just want to lament. (I think we come to these boards seeking advice so, it's different than in real life where someone may just want to talk and not get any advice.) If they say that they do want a solution then I tell them what I do with my kids (if pertinent) and mention some other ways people have approached their problem as well. Then if possible give them actual physical help, if I have left over material they can borrow or an easier/cheaper method of doing something, or showing them exactly how to do something.

Sometimes I have to do a this is how I did/do it, but I don't think this will work for you exactly because you have a different situation. That's OK (super important to say). For you a method like … may suit you better. Because I just love researching things, sometimes for super close friends and family I'll do the research for them and summarize. I also understand for some the research can be disheartening because some authors/bloggers/ information dispensers sound very only my way works and you are screwed if you didn't start off doing everything my way.    

I've done this, too. I also learned to ask, "Do you enjoy the confidence that comes from following a plan set by an expert, or do you love to control the details and would be driven crazy being told what to do?" If they are the first kind, and they want advice, I'll listen to their description of their family and give them one or two suggestions, telling them that there are other good options they should look into if those first ones don't work. If they are the second kind, I encourage them to read a few different homeschooling philosophy books, like TWTM and something by Holt, and only then start to look at curriculum. I started that when someone asked me what the best age was too teach a child to read and I told them 4 different views and why each had supporters and detractors. The listener was upset upon learning there isn't a clear answer. I'm energized by that kind of thing, so I've had to learn to moderate my enthusiasm.

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On 6/2/2021 at 1:27 PM, lewelma said:

Here, the State evaluates the homeschool teacher, not the child.

In the application to homeschool, you as the parent teacher must describe *how* you will teach (not really what). And if you have a student with learning disabilities or neurodivergences, you must describe how you will handle that and what resources you will use.

When we had regular reviews (which we don't now because not enough people were failing to make it worth the $$), the evaluator came to evaluate your program and if it met the state requirement of 'as regularly and as well' as public school. The program of study needed to cover the 7 learning areas (so you can't just skip math) and it had to be regular (so you can't collapse it into 3 months). They did NOT test the student. The State is evaluating the program that is provided. They are evaluating that the legal guardian is providing a legal education.

Which would solve most problems that result from parents not teaching.  I am not sure I would pass though I could show maths and English well history and science are input and discussion only.  PE and music are covered and we have just started latin.

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The other thing about regulation is that it can be gamed by people who know the system, and penalizes those who don't. I've never had any problems with the TN state DOE, or the local school district,or the Umbrella school, because in most cases, I know TN Ed code better than the person who is trying to tell me what isn't allowed, and I can speak the language and bury them in jargon. And I've used that to help quite a few people locally, as well as in my homeschool. Tests can be gamed, too-it is pretty common for homeschoolers who register with the school district and don't want to test to have kids just skip the tested grades (so register for even numbered grades twice, and skip odd ones where testing is mandated). 

The umbrella school system is useful when it comes to having records in one place and someone to send them. It gave someone to sign the stupid required "in good standing" form to get a learner's permit. It was helpful in getting S. Accommodations for the ACT, and when L wanted to apply for Governor's School, where the application had to come from the school. It meant that some of the schools, like UAH, didn't require as much paperwork from me for college apps. But as far as actually providing any oversight that meant anything? Not so much. 

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I have family that is struggling with homeschooling. Mom doesn't sit and help much, and they very rarely get to a full week of school. 2 of the 5 in school are about 2 years behind. The other 3 are behind but only about half a year. But she also has chosen a curriculum that I am always hearing people are behind in, I think it is just so hard to keep up with curriculum that has a lesson for 180 days. 

Anyways, I have thought about this subject often. I firmly believe that homeschooling offers a child so much more than academics. And that is one of the reasons I have loved it so much. But it is also a LOT of work and really a full time job. And I think so many people come to homeschooling with the idea that each year can be like kindergarten. And I am alarmed by people I know in real life who are not prepared for higher grades. One mom I know has struggled with at the 4th and 5th grade level, but hasn't put any effort in to improve her own math skills. 

Kids have to want to be educated, and they also have to work. But there is a big difference between public schoolers being offered an education that kids don't work towards, and a homeschooler not being offered an education at home. That is the big difference I see. A kid at public school was given opportunity to learn, resources, experience. If they are at an awful public school there still is a teacher offering an education. But in some homes that isn't the case with homeschoolers. If a mom isn't teaching and offering an education that isn't the same as a child refusing an education. And most kids who have a limited world will choose occupations that are "easy" or don't need further education. It doesn't mean that is what they would have chosen if they had a different schooling experience. I know many peers who were homeschooled and have no desire to homeschool their own kids, or have no enjoyment of their time being homeschooled. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, lulalu said:

I have family that is struggling with homeschooling. Mom doesn't sit and help much, and they very rarely get to a full week of school. 2 of the 5 in school are about 2 years behind. The other 3 are behind but only about half a year. But she also has chosen a curriculum that I am always hearing people are behind in, I think it is just so hard to keep up with curriculum that has a lesson for 180 days. 

Anyways, I have thought about this subject often. I firmly believe that homeschooling offers a child so much more than academics. And that is one of the reasons I have loved it so much. But it is also a LOT of work and really a full time job. And I think so many people come to homeschooling with the idea that each year can be like kindergarten. And I am alarmed by people I know in real life who are not prepared for higher grades. One mom I know has struggled with at the 4th and 5th grade level, but hasn't put any effort in to improve her own math skills. 

Kids have to want to be educated, and they also have to work. But there is a big difference between public schoolers being offered an education that kids don't work towards, and a homeschooler not being offered an education at home. That is the big difference I see. A kid at public school was given opportunity to learn, resources, experience. If they are at an awful public school there still is a teacher offering an education. But in some homes that isn't the case with homeschoolers. If a mom isn't teaching and offering an education that isn't the same as a child refusing an education. And most kids who have a limited world will choose occupations that are "easy" or don't need further education. It doesn't mean that is what they would have chosen if they had a different schooling experience. I know many peers who were homeschooled and have no desire to homeschool their own kids, or have no enjoyment of their time being homeschooled. 

In an ideal world, yes, all kids would be offered a stellar education and live in a positive, healthy environment.  That is just not the real world.   33-60% of high school graduates who pursue higher education (so assuming those who are motivated to succeed in school) require remedial coursework.  The problems with education in this country are profound.  Testing and oversight have not solved the problems within the system, even with teachers offering an education.  (What would the statistics would reveal if they included all high school graduates, not just those pursuing higher ed?)

Quoting this article below without the quote box:

  • 60% of community college students take at least one remedial course.
  • Around 33% of those in 4-year public colleges take a remedial course.
  • More than 50% of students in 2-year schools are required to take at least one remedial course.
  • African American, Latino, and low-income students are more likely to attend remediation programs.
  • Remediation courses are so ineffective that less than 10% of remedial students in a 2-year school graduate within 3 years...

60% of incoming community college students are unable to handle college-level English or math. This represents a huge issue and stands to show how flawed the high school system is, especially in public schools. The number of students who graduate high school without reaching a satisfactory level of literacy or mathematics is simply staggering....

In California, the community college remediation rates have drastically different numbers for various public schools in the state. For California’s community colleges, the rate of those who need to take remedial courses is 80%. Meanwhile, for California State University, the percentage is around 30%, while for the University of California, less than 10% of new students go into remediation.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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I am not arguing for all to have a stellar education. Just that the difference between those in public schools not taking responsibility for their own education is different than a home not providing an education. 

I have family that never graduated high school. But the possibility was there, the persons just needed to step up and do it. 

But a mom who doesn't buy materials or do school regularly is the one taking away the possibility. 

These two senarios are vastly different. The person with authority and power is where the responsibility rests. 

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14 minutes ago, lulalu said:

I am not arguing for all to have a stellar education. Just that the difference between those in public schools not taking responsibility for their own education is different than a home not providing an education. 

I have family that never graduated high school. But the possibility was there, the persons just needed to step up and do it. 

But a mom who doesn't buy materials or do school regularly is the one taking away the possibility. 

These two senarios are vastly different. The person with authority and power is where the responsibility rests. 

So do you believe that 60% (80% in CA) of students attending CC requiring remedial coursework require remediation bc they failed to take responsibility for their educations and that the power and authority fulfilled their responsibilities?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

So do you believe that 60% (80% in CA) of students attending CC requiring remedial coursework require remediation bc they failed to take responsibility for their educations and that the power and authority fulfilled their responsibilities?

Obviously in a lot of these cases, the schools have failed the kids. 

However, before we make too free with these stats, we should at least compare and see whether homeschooled students actually do better than this on average. 

I think there are many complicated questions rolled into one here. If one is in a failing public school district, then there's a distinctly different question than if one is a good school district with good teachers. I absolutely do know homeschoolers in good school districts who don't send their kids to school because they are convinced that ANYTHING they do at home is better than what the school does. And that definitely seems like flawed reasoning... 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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Posted (edited)

I disagree. You can't propose blanket across the board requirements based on specfic good school district outcomes bc they impact everyone. Poor educational outcomes occur with professional teachers, testing, and oversight.....yet the argument in this thread is that that will solve poor homeschooling outcomes.

I agree that it is a complicated issue. That is why simple.....increase regulations....proposals are unlikely to fix anything. They have not fixed the educational issues in this country. There is no evidence that homeschoolers in high regulation states out perform those in low regulation states. If there was you'd see evidence in college admissions and in the calls for greater regulations.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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2 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

In an ideal world, yes, all kids would be offered a stellar education and live in a positive, healthy environment.  That is just not the real world.   33-60% of high school graduates who pursue higher education (so assuming those who are motivated to succeed in school) require remedial coursework.  The problems with education in this country are profound.  Testing and oversight have not solved the problems within the system, even with teachers offering an education.  (What would the statistics would reveal if they included all high school graduates, not just those pursuing higher ed?)

Quoting this article below without the quote box:

  • 60% of community college students take at least one remedial course.
  • Around 33% of those in 4-year public colleges take a remedial course.
  • More than 50% of students in 2-year schools are required to take at least one remedial course.
  • African American, Latino, and low-income students are more likely to attend remediation programs.
  • Remediation courses are so ineffective that less than 10% of remedial students in a 2-year school graduate within 3 years...

Thank you for that article about students entering college. Having read more on the article remedial is below college algebra or English 101. When high school graduation requirement is three years of math including algebra 1. This information is from  this article and Yreka high school in CA. The gap between algebra 1 and college algebra would explain the high number of high school grads that require math remedial course. One answer is to raise the level of math required in high school however we as a nation have said that we need all students to graduate from high school so set the bar very low, combined with the fear of hurting students by not passing them to the next grade with out regard to if the student is ready for the high level.  A second article then goes on to explain the problem with the math placement exams given by college, place a lot of students in math classes they took in high school leading to high drop out rates with the cost of remedial and normal math classes being the same. 

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5 hours ago, LadyLemon said:

Thank you for that article about students entering college. Having read more on the article remedial is below college algebra or English 101. When high school graduation requirement is three years of math including algebra 1. This information is from  this article and Yreka high school in CA. The gap between algebra 1 and college algebra would explain the high number of high school grads that require math remedial course. One answer is to raise the level of math required in high school however we as a nation have said that we need all students to graduate from high school so set the bar very low, combined with the fear of hurting students by not passing them to the next grade with out regard to if the student is ready for the high level.  

I think some families have an unreasonably low expectation of the time involved in learning.  Students are expected to contribute to family income by working long hours outside of school.  Or doing sports.  This is time that should be spent in study at home.  

It brings to my mind the thoughts of Kevin Karplus at UCSC about graduate student stipends:

A TAship is not supposed to be a full-time job that can support an extended family—it is a half-time job that is supposed to be enough for a single student to live on frugally.  So when the COLA supporters sent email to faculty with the following sob story, I felt that they were missing the point:

Quote

Since I was an undergraduate, a portion of my wage has been sent back home to my immediate family members to pay for necessities. I don’t want to see my family struggling, so I would much provide some money for them. My mother, who had a heart attack in February, was put on a seven-month leave from her job, and I had to provide more for my family at that moment. After more recent health issues, I have had to return home multiple times to physically help out, which means I am still paying rent on a space that I only spend partial time in (not including the airfare).

While one may feel sorry for a student who feels they have to fly home multiple times a year and wants to provide financial support to their parents, it is certainly not the function of a TAship to fund those actions.

Students expecting to earn a graduation certificate from high school should also not need to also provide income to their families.  

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18 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

There is no evidence that homeschoolers in high regulation states out perform those in low regulation states.

There's also no evidence otherwise. We have practically no data on homeschoolers. Certainly nothing that allows us to compare states. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

There's also no evidence otherwise. We have practically no data on homeschoolers. Certainly nothing that allows us to compare states. 

Since homeschoolers are admitted to colleges around the country, including states with little to no oversight, it does demonstrate that colleges are not biased against homeschoolers in general.  If homeschoolers in no regulation states were extremely underprepared, it would be news worthy.  I have been doing this for a very long time.  There have been strong anti-homeschooling movements (Robert Reich tried for yrs to prove that homeschooling destroyed the lives of children.)  If the evidence were to be found against homeschooling, it would be used as ammunition to further the anti-homeschooling movement.

You jumped into homeschooling when it now more normalized.  The anti-voices are fewer.  But, that has not always been the case. 

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OK.  So don't test the kids test the parents.  Show what you have been doing, explain what YOU have learnt about how to teach. What are you doing to improve your knowledge and skills.  Look at the work done by the kids.

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