Thursday, March 06 2008 @ 06:35 PM EST Contributed by: AIA
An appeals court in California has ruled against a home schooling family, arguing that no parents in California have a state Constitutionally guaranteed right to control & govern their own children's schooling. The ruling, which applies only to one family, may be used by other courts as justification for outlawing homeschooling, affecting an estimated 166,000 students in California.
The court ruled last week that minor children must attend a public school unless the child attends a private school or is taught by a teacher with a valid state teaching license. The court also ruled that the religious convictions of families do not guarantee a right to homeschool their children.
The case arose when one of the eight home schooled children of Phillip & Mary Long reported "physical & emotional mistreatment by the children's father." Under the supervision of Children & Family Services, the children were appointed an attorney who argued that home schooling the children was not in their best interests, & asked that the judge force the parents to enroll their children in public school. The judge ruled against the children's attorney, who then appealed the case to the (3rd Division) 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Homeschooling, which has been gaining in popularity & success over the last 3 decades, includes children who are instructed entirely & independently by their parents; those who group together with other families, sharing the teaching duties among the parents; those associated with organizations that provide oversight, record keeping, testing, & curriculum; those associated with private schools that also offer campus instruction; & those associated with public schools. An estimated 1.9 to 2.4 million students are homeschooled in the United States, according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI).
Surveys, test scores, & analysis show consistently that home schooled children score higher, advance educationally more quickly, & display greater skills in many areas than do typical public or even private school children. Homeschooling appeals to families with a wide variety of religious commitments, including many families with no religious commitment at all. Although homeschooling is particularly popular among conservative Christians, & often contains a strong Christian foundation in theology & world view, many homeschooling programs are not explicitly religious. According to the NHERI, "Home Schooling Achievement, a study conducted by National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), supported the academic integrity of homeschooling. Among the homeschooled students who took the tests, the average homeschooled student outperformed his public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders were virtually non-existent among the homeschooled students who took the tests."
The Lord's Servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change of heart leading to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:24-26