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It's worth noting that the top performers in national math/science/language/geography competitions are, as a general rule, home-schooled. In fact, California universities (who only accept students from the top one-third of high school classes) have admitted that about 2/3 of their incoming students require remedial math and English.
Contrast this with the results of standardized tests on home-schooled students, who score at the 85th percentile on average.
It is also a fact that data clearly indicate that American public education showed improvement in the years following WWII - until the federal government began to get involved; after which, scores declined. This decline became evident in 1965 and accelerated after the creation in 1979 of the Department of Education. This Department now spends $20 billion per year, $200 million of which is devoted to research that is supposedly geared toward improving educational practices in public schools.
According to the pro-education reform documentary Waiting for ‘Superman,’ one out of every 57 doctors loses his or her license to practice medicine.
One out of every 97 lawyers loses their license to practice law.
In many major cities, only one out of 1000 teachers is fired for performance-related reasons. Why? Tenure.
Or look at Chicago. In a school district that has by any measure failed its students — only 28.5 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded expectations on that state’s standardized tests — Newsweek reported that only 0.1 percent of teachers were dismissed for performance-related reasons between 2005 and 2008. When barely one in four students nearing graduation can read and do math, how is it possible that only one in one thousand teachers is worthy of dismissal?
A study conducted by Public Agenda in 2003 polled 1,345 schoolteachers on a variety of education issues, including the role that tenure played in their schools. When asked “does tenure mean that a teacher has worked hard and proved themselves to be very good at what they do?” 58 percent of the teachers polled answered that no, tenure “does not necessarily” mean that. In a related question, 78 percent said a few (or more) teachers in their schools “fail to do a good job and are simply going through the motions.”
When Terry Moe, the author of Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools, asked teachers what they thought of tenure, they admitted that the Byzantine process of firing bad apples was too time-consuming: 55 percent of teachers, and 47 percent of union members, answered yes when asked “Do you think tenure and teacher organizations make it too difficult to weed out mediocre and incompetent teachers?”
So why don’t districts try to terminate more of their poor performers? The sad answer is that their chance of prevailing is vanishingly small. Teachers unions have ensured that even with a victory, the process is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. In the 2006-2007 school year, for example, New York City fired only 10 of its 55,000 tenured teachers. The cost to eliminate those employees averages out to $163,142, according to Education Week. According to the Albany Times Union, the average process for firing a teacher in New York state outside of New York City proper lasts 502 days and costs more than $216,000. In Illinois, Scott Reeder of the Small Newspaper Group found it costs an average of $219,504 in legal fees alone to get a termination case past all the union-supported hurdles. Columbus, Ohio’s own teachers union president admitted to the Associated Press that firing a tenured teacher can cost as much as $50,000. A spokesman for Idaho school administrators told local press that districts have been known to spend “$100,000 or $200,000” in litigation costs just to get rid of a bad teacher.
It’s difficult even to entice the unions to give up tenure for more money. In Washington, D.C., school chancellor Michelle Rhee proposed a voluntary two-tier track for teachers. On one tier teachers could simply do nothing: Maintain regular raises and keep their tenure. On the other track, teachers could give up tenure and be paid according to how well they and their students performed with the potential to earn as much as $140,000 per year. The union wouldn’t even let that proposal come up for a vote, however, stubbornly blocking efforts to ratify a new contract for more than three years. When it finally did come up for ratification by the rank-and-file, the two-tier plan wasn’t even an option.
The eighth-grade boy held out his wrists for teacher Carlos Polanco to see.
He had just explained to Polanco and his history classmates at Virgil Middle School in Koreatown why he had been absent: He had been in the hospital after an attempt at suicide.
Polanco looked at the cuts and said they "were weak," according to witness accounts in documents filed with the state. "Carve deeper next time," he was said to have told the boy.
"Look," Polanco allegedly said, "you can't even kill yourself."
The boy's classmates joined in, with one advising how to cut a main artery, according to the witnesses.
"See," Polanco was quoted as saying, "even he knows how to commit suicide better than you."
The Los Angeles school board, citing Polanco's poor judgment, voted to fire him.
But Polanco, who contended that he had been misunderstood, kept his job. A little-known review commission overruled the board, saying that although the teacher had made the statements, he had meant no harm.
The Times reviewed every case on record in the last 15 years in which a tenured employee was fired by a California school district and formally contested the decision before a review commission: 159 in all (not including about two dozen in which the records were destroyed). The newspaper also examined court and school district records and interviewed scores of people, including principals, teachers, union officials, district administrators, parents and students.
Among the findings:
* Building a case for dismissal is so time-consuming, costly and draining for principals and administrators that many say they don't make the effort except in the most egregious cases. The vast majority of firings stem from blatant misconduct, including sexual abuse, other immoral or illegal behavior, insubordination or repeated violation of rules such as showing up on time.
* Although districts generally press ahead with only the strongest cases, even these get knocked down more than a third of the time by the specially convened review panels, which have the discretion to restore teachers' jobs even when grounds for dismissal are proved.
* Jettisoning a teacher solely because he or she can't teach is rare. In 80% of the dismissals that were upheld, classroom performance was not even a factor.
When teaching is at issue, years of effort -- and thousands of dollars -- sometimes go into rehabilitating the teacher as students suffer. Over the three years before he was fired, one struggling math teacher in Stockton was observed 13 times by school officials, failed three year-end evaluations, was offered a more desirable assignment and joined a mentoring program as most of his ninth-grade students flunked his courses.
As a case winds its way through the system, legal costs can soar into the six figures.
Meanwhile, said Kendra Wallace, principal of Daniel Webster Middle School on Los Angeles' Westside, an ineffective teacher can instruct 125 to 260 students a year -- up to 1,300 in the five years she says it often takes to remove a tenured employee.
"The hardest conversation to have is when a student comes in and looks at you and says, 'Can you please come teach our class?' " she said.
1) Academic Results
One of the reasons parents are hesitant to adopt homeschooling is because they are afraid their child’s academic results will suffer. However studies have shown that children who are homeschooling have the same and if not better academic results than those going to traditional schools.
You could also say some of the world’s most famous people were homeschooled. Examples include Benjamin Franklin, Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill and Thomas Edison. Their achievements do not compare less than those who went to school.
Home Schooling allow the parent to cater the study schedule according to the needs of the child. In school, since a teacher has to teach 40 to 50 students at a time, it is quite impossible to cater a specific teaching schedule for each child.
2) Social Reasons
Another important reason why you should homeschool your child is because traditional school do not deal with this aspect of education. Teaching your child to be comfortable with dealing with people.
By introducing your child to church programs and other volunteering programs to help others, it educates the child’s moral values which are just as important as academic results.
Homeschooling also shields the child from bad habits due to peer influence. Examples are smoking, alcoholism, gambling, sex, drugs and violence etc
3) Family Bonding
Since homeschooling allows more time between your child and parents, the family relationship is strengthened and there is more family bonding. The child self-confidence and self-esteem improves. Studies have also shown that homeschooled children values family ties and kinship more.
4) Religious Reasons
Schools have always kept away from religious issues due to its sensitive nature in our country. The schools typically has a neutral stand regarding religion and spirituality. Therefore, most schools do not have any kind of religious education
Homeschooling does not have that limitation. Parents can pass on their religious values to their children. This has a great impact on the spiritual development of the child.
The New York State Court Of Appeals ruled last week that the state's students cannot use The New York Human Rights Law-- which prohibits discrimination based on “age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex or marital status”-- to get recognition of discrimination or get financial compensation for such discrimination.
Both districts argued that the public schools aren't "an education corporation or association," as listed for protection under the Human Rights Law. Rather, they argued, public schools are classified as "public corporations," and are therefore exempt.
1. Public schools can cripple millions of children's ability to read by using the "whole-language" instruction method (now called "balanced reading instruction" by many public schools).
2. Many public schools spend up to 50 percent of the school day on non-academic subjects that waste children's precious time. The rest of their time is spent on classes such as sex-education, personal safety, drug prevention, consumer affairs, AIDS education, save-the-environment, family life, study halls, multiculturalism, homeroom, electives, counseling, or sports activities.
3. Public schools teach "new" or "fuzzy" math (sometimes called by different names). These instruction methods can cripple children's ability to learn basic arithmetic. Students who fear math are less likely to pursue good careers like computer science and engineering that depend on a love of and competence with math.
6. Author John Gatto, in his book "Dumbing Us Down" said that a child eager to learn can learn to read, write, and do basic arithmetic in about 100 hours. Yet our public schools keep children locked up for 12 years, yet can barely teach millions of kids to read.
10. Public schools pressure many parents who have bright, normal children to give their kids potentially dangerous mind-altering drugs to make the bored kids "behave" in class. Over four million allegedly "unruly" kids (mostly boys) line up for Ritalin every day in public schools across America. Methylphenidate (sold as Ritalin) and coc aine are both listed in the same "Schedule II" of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Here in the Silver State, African-American and Hispanic children are two grade levels behind white and Asian students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress fourth-grade reading exam. The situation is identical when comparing the disparity between low-income children and higher-income children. Worse still, the average of all Nevada kids is behind the national average, which in turn is below the average for developed nations.
Graduation rates show even larger disparities. A 2001 report by the Manhattan Institute revealed that just 49 percent of African-American and 40 percent of Hispanic students graduated high school in Nevada. That compares to 65 percent of white students.
Clearly, public schools currently don’t serve any real concept of social justice — however defined.
To remedy the situation, Nevada needs reforms that allow schools to compete and parents to select among them. Empowerment schools, charter schools and virtual schools are decentralized, autonomous entrepreneurial schools that encourage innovation and competition. Importantly, these schools are only funded when parents select the schools, forcing schools to compete and prove they can actually teach children. Instead of focusing on bureaucratic compliance, politics and adult jobs, these schools focus on students and results.
Something interesting happened in 1990; the Education of all Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) from 1975, was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with some amendments attached to it. With the passing of the act, public schools were authorized money for each disabled child in the district. They had already been given money per student, but the money for disabled children was far greater, up to more than twice as much.
With the passing of IDEA, a dangerous combination was in the works; ADHD was a disability and was easily diagnosed with little effort, drug companies had a marketable drug to combat the symptoms of ADHD, and public schools were being pressured to improve grade performance but also needed more cash flow. Added to the brew was a generation of parents who were working harder for less reward and who were desperate for an easier way to raise their children.
On the other hand, I hear from parents who share their conflicted opinions about whether they are right to give their children medication "only" because they are just not fitting in to the school structure. Other parents confidently say that ADHD drugs are an absolute necessity to alter behavior at school and at home.
The Daily Beast reports on Adderall as the "study drug" in prestigious universities, reaching a "high water mark" during exams.
A recent The Huffington Post story caught our eye recently, as it connected the continued cut-backs of exercise and recess in our schools, while providing a solution that may help, without incorporating major changes in a school's system. While there is widespread agreement that there are students who are helped tremendously by prescription drugs due to health conditions, the question at hand is the increased and record level of acceptance of drugs as a usual and first course of action, without other adjustments made to students' day, either individually or collectively.
If Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were in a school in Massachusetts today, they'd be drugged with Ritalin, according to many psychiatrists and other experts. The drug is being used to sedate active, young boys because the teachers are unable to relate to them. It is in the same psychoactive category as coc aine. Somewhere between 29,000 and 48,000 children in Massachusetts' public schools are operating under the influence of Ritalin -- and they are almost all boys. The income to the drug company is between $30 to $60 per month per medicated child.
A prominent psychiatrist tells Massachusetts News that one of the key problems for children today, which may be causing the increase in the number of children diagnosed as mentally ill, is the increase in fatherless families. He is Dr. Peter Breggin, director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology in Bethesda, Maryland, who published an article in The Boston Globe last month on its editorial page under the headline, "Kids Are Suffering Legal Drug Abuse." However, it did not mention the gender problem. Breggin wrote:
"In a society that's supposed to accept and even value differences, drugging shy children reflects an extreme of enforced conformity... We are the first adults to handle the generation gap through the wholesale drugging of our children. We may be guaranteeing that future generations will be relatively devoid of people who think critically, raise painful questions, generate productive conflicts, or lead us to new spiritual and political insights." [Surprise, surprise. -RT]
"You're going to have to decide what's important. If you work, something else is going to have to give. You may be able to do everything for a while, but your sanity or health will suffer eventually," says Nancy Greer. Nancy works outside her home over 40 hours a week while her husband works at his home business. Then with her family, she spends 32 hours of the weekend at a home for handicapped children. On top of that, the Greers publish a newsletter and run a homeschool supply company (F.U.N. News and Books)!
In order to find the time to combine working and homeschooling, keep a record of what you do - every hour of every day - for a week or two. Then, add the number of hours spent on each type of activity. You might see that you have wasted hours doing things that could be eliminated, and replaced with more worthwhile endeavors. And most of us could become more efficient. Catherine White recommends, "Simplify housework and cooking, eliminate TV, stay home and run all errands on one day." (Nick and Catherine White publish An Encouraging Word.)
A twelve-month schedule works for some, while others do school during the months that business is slower. With a nine-to-five job, two to three hours each evening and four or more on the weekend could meet individual goals and requirements. (Total supervised hours would depend on such factors as whether your child can do independent study, your state's requirements, and how much informal learning you plan to do.) Saturdays would be ideal for hands-on activities, museums, reading, workbooks, or texts. On Sundays, study the Bible - read and dictate to teach language arts, hear recitation of memory verses for speech practice, and read aloud about creation science or church history.
Elise Griffith - who has two home businesses - says, "I 'work' mainly during afternoon quiet time and after the boys go to bed." This plan - dividing the day in half, doing school in the morning and work in the afternoon - is common. Children can either nap, work on projects, read, or play while Mom works. Anne Olwin - artist, writer and business owner - suggests, "Prepare ahead of time for deadlines." And Catherine White wisely explains, "Fit school in - don't be rigid - sometimes fit work in."
Can you find another homeschooling family to help out?
Once you become acquainted with your local homeschool community
you may be able to find a homeschooling mom who is willing to provide
child care (or child minding) as a source of income. She may or may not
be able to actually do some of the homeschooling, too -- state laws vary
as to whether or not another homeschooling parent can legally provide
daily schooling to children other than her own, so check the regulations
for your state.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make it work?
Will you be willing and able to do homeschool activities when you get
home from work and on your days off? Homeschooling doesn't take
nearly the amount of time that classroom teaching does... so it's not like
you will spend every free moment homeschooling... but it does take a
certain amount of daily commitment at all ages.
As others have said, it is very doable. Education does not have to happen in the 8-3 world of public school. :-)
My DH teaches/mentors all the math and science (except life science - that's mine!) while working around 60 hours a week.
If she needs math help, you might look into a self-teaching program such as Teaching Textbooks. Part of her problem with math may be the mis-match of her learning style and the public school curriculum. If she's an audio-visual learner, Teaching Textbooks would be great. If she's very hands-on, then a curriculum such as Math-U-See would be great. Try to match all of her curricula to her learning style.
My son is 10 and he's very independent with his work - he just needs reminding to stay on task and he needs a daily & weekly plan to work from.
There are several "working moms who HS" groups on Yahoo Groups. That would help, as would joining your local HS'ing group(s). If there are any HS'ing conventions, I would recommend spending the money to attend.
Ask your sister for input on curricula also. If she's doing the mentoring/daytime teaching, then she needs a curriculum to fit her teaching style also. :-)
You will be very tired, but what moms aren't? Kudos to you!
The answer depends on the ages of the children and your family's teaching style. Younger children require more hands-on supervision and assistance with tasks. A preteen is beginning to become more independent and requires less supervision. A responsible teen can often be given the freedom to pursue studies independently, with only minimal supervision.
Some kids are more mature and able to focus on the task at hand. Others need frequent reminders, and tend to drag their feet when asked to cooperate. As you can see, there are a lot of variables.
It is not unusual for homeschool families to have both parents working. What is unusual, however, is for both parents to work full-time. The families that do have a very strong commitment to homeschooling, and are willing to sacrifice to make homeschooling work for them.
I know of two homeschool parents, both psychologists, who stagger their clients early in the day and later in the evening so one parent is able to focus on the kids. Another father I know operates a mobile "office" from his car and works while his kids attend homeschool activities. And still another, a dancer, schedules her classes and performances around her daughter's homeschool calendar. So it's not impossible to homeschool and work full-time, but it is a challenge.
I've also known several families who took their work experience and training, and channeled it into new careers. A few started home-based businesses, while others provided services to families who learn at home.
Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori. “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?” Read more: www.smithsonianmag.com...
Originally posted by Wildbob77
The first question that I have for you is, do you have children?
The other observation that I have for you is that one can choose the school district in which to enroll their children.
We moved to a town that has a very good school district. Most of the teachers that my kids had were highly motivated. My kids got a great education. I don't think that I could have provide them the education that they received in public school.
You need to remember that most adults may not be qualified to teach their children.