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Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 13:42:01 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: SAFAN NO. 701. Solid Evidence to Support Home Schooling

>From: SafanNews@aol.com
>Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 15:39:30 -0400 (EDT)
>To: SafanNews@aol.com
>Subject: SAFAN NO. 701.  Solid Evidence to Support Home Schooling
>     @@@@                 
>   @ O  O  @        
> @ (    >    ) @          STOP ALL FEDERAL ABUSES NOW!!!
>       \   0  /          SAFAN Internet Newsletter, No. 701, Sept 12, 1997
>        /      \
>           *                                       
>by Michael P. Farris (The Wall Street Journal, Wed., March 5, 1997)
>Secretary of Education Richard Riley has announced that this spring he 
>will host a national forum to bring "the nation's best teachers" together 
>to address our country's education challenges. If he is willing to break 
>through institutional prejudice, Mr. Riley will include a number of
>homeschooling parents in his forum: A new study by the National Home 
>Education Research Institute again shows that home education is far 
>more successful that public education.
>Home-school students score significantly higher on standardized 
>achievement tests than their public-school counterparts do. While by 
>definition public school students average at the 50th percentile on 
>standardized tests, this nationwide study conducted by Brian Ray, 
>president of the National Home Education Research Institute, reveals 
>that home schoolers have average scores between the 80th and 87th 
>percentiles on every subtest (including reading, listening, language, 
>math, science, social studies and study skills). The average score on 
>the basic battery of skills is in the 85th percentile, while the average 
>complete battery score is in the 87th percentile -- a phenomenal 37- 
>percentile differential.
>And no one should think that home schooling is limited to a few former 
>hippies and fundamentalist Christians. There are 1.2 million school-age 
>children home schooled in America. This is more students than are 
>enrolled in New Jersey, the state with the 10th largest publicschool 
>enrollment. There are also more home schoolers nationally than there 
>are public school students in Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, 
>North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming 
>Public-school defenders will undoubtedly chafe at our test scores, 
>arguing that public schools have more minority students than home 
>schools do. But the study quickly  dispels the myth that minorities 
>cannot achieve as well as whites.
>Ethnic minorities make up 5% of home-school students, and home 
>schooled minorities and whites both score on average in the 87th 
>percentile on reading tests. In public schools, however, whites signifi-
>cantly outpace minorities in reading scores (whites: 57th percentile; 
>blacks: 28th percentile; Hispanics: 28th percentile). In public schools, 
>the disparity in math scores is huge: 58th percentile for whites; 24th 
>percentile for blacks; and 29th percentile for Hispanics.  Public school 
>officials have some explaining to do. Why is it that despite their constant 
>lip service to the goal of equal opportunity, public schools continue to 
>deliver abysmally low academic quality to minority students? Home 
>schoolers have broken out of the ugly, demeaning stereotype of racial 
>               Why can't government schools do the same?
>Whatever the reasons for the dilemma of public-education failure, they 
>don't include inadequate funding. For each home-school child, the 
>average schooling cost is $546 per year; the annual public-school per-
>pupil expenditure is $5,325. Both figures exclude the capital costs of 
>the building in which each child is taught.
>"But what about socialization?" you ask. There is no need to fear that 
>home schoolers are isolated at home all day. Home-school children are 
>involved in an average of 5.2 outside activities -- including scouts, 
>ballet, church activities, sports and 4-H clubs -- each week; 98% are 
>involved in two or more outside functions on a weekly basis.
>The No. 1 political goal of home schoolers is quite modest. We just want 
>to be left alone. Those who believe that government regulation is 
>essential for success would do well to look at the cold, hard numbers 
>that prove otherwise. There is no significant statistical difference in 
>student test scores between those taught by a parent who is or has been 
>a certified teacher and those whose parents were never certified. And 
>there is no significant statistical difference in student test scores between
>those taught by parents with a college degree and students taught by 
>those who have never attended college. In fact, students taught by 
>parents who have not finished high school score 30 percentiles higher 
>than students in the public schools. Students from state that highly 
>regulate home schooling score exactly the same as students from state 
>with little or no regulation.
>The success of the modern home-schooling movement can be 
>explained with a couple of old-fashioned concepts: Hard work and 
>parental involvement lead to the best individual academic achieve-
>ment.  But there is perhaps an even more fundamental reason. Home schooling,
>by its nature, focuses on the individual child. Public-school reformers with
>new ideas for "all children." Such programs, like the 
>federal government's Goals 2000, invariably lead to one-size-fits-all 
>ediocrity. Programs that allow each child to maximize his or her own 
>individual abilities lead to success.
>There is no reason that public schools cannot also adopt the "each 
>child" theory that underlies home education. No reason, that is, except 
>the politically difficult obstacles that the centralized bureaucrats pose 
>to parents and teachers. If Mr. Riley is serious about learning from 
>educational success, he'll find that the home is a pretty good place to 
>start looking.
>Mr. Farris is president of the Home School Legal Defense Association 
>of Purcellville, VA.
>Rod D. Martin

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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