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  #1  
Old 09-25-2008, 04:29 PM
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Default What Standards Should Home Schooled Kids Meet?

Should home schooled kids be required to pass standardized state tests on key concepts in science -- such as a test on evolution?
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2008, 04:46 PM
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Of course!
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:55 PM
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Yes. Even if they're homeschooled we should as a society be able to guarantee every child has a fair shot in this world instead of being screwed over by parents who only "taught" them bible crap and that math and science "are the devil".
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:10 AM
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All school children should be able to pass exams that are based on national benchmarks. For homeschooled children, their exams should be administered by a trusted local official, such as a police officer or a Justice of the Peace (this is for Australia).
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstone View Post
Should home schooled kids be required to pass standardized state tests on key concepts in science -- such as a test on evolution?
Social skills and the ability to work as a team should be tested above all. I think you would find these days that individual work is dying in favour of congregations of like-minded individuals working together.
I don't think science and evolution are necessary, some distorted children who have been taught the bible as law will dismiss evolution and science whether they're home schooled or not.

Rojse: standards in Australia are lowered significantly, we face a skills shortage so they're dropping the bar. The OP to be an engineer is a 15.... 15, i could have got that if i did like maths A, home ec, business and other un-scientific subjects.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunstone View Post
Should home schooled kids be required to pass standardized state tests on key concepts in science -- such as a test on evolution?
I would argue against the standardization unless private and parochial schools are required to do the same thing. In Illinois, standardized tests and record keeping are not compulsory because the state identifies homeschooled kids in the same category as privately-educated kids, and therefore not under the same educational obligations as public schools.

Remember, there are a whole host of parents who educate their kids at home who are not of the anti-evolution crowd, and who choose to homeschool because of the desire to be absolutely certain where their children are with reading comprehension, science, mathematics, history, and government studies. Many parents don't homeschool because of their religious beliefs, but because of educational philosophy and to see their child learn at his or her own rate and with his or her unique kinds of learning (does she learn through visual cues, audio cues, or tactile cues? and so on).

And as darkendless pointed out, creationist parents will eschew evolution and will teach their kids creationism regardless of whether or not it's taught in public school science class or not.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MysticSang'ha View Post
I would argue against the standardization unless private and parochial schools are required to do the same thing. In Illinois, standardized tests and record keeping are not compulsory because the state identifies homeschooled kids in the same category as privately-educated kids, and therefore not under the same educational obligations as public schools.
Good point.

Personally, I think that if a test is adminstered across the board to public and private school students, home-schooled students shouldn't be excluded from it.

For example, here, we have standardized tests administered by the province in grades 3, 6 and 9 that measure performance in various key subjects and concepts. I don't think something like that would be an onerous burden on a home-schooling family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticSang'ha View Post
Remember, there are a whole host of parents who educate their kids at home who are not of the anti-evolution crowd, and who choose to homeschool because of the desire to be absolutely certain where their children are with reading comprehension, science, mathematics, history, and government studies. Many parents don't homeschool because of their religious beliefs, but because of educational philosophy and to see their child learn at his or her own rate and with his or her unique kinds of learning (does she learn through visual cues, audio cues, or tactile cues? and so on).
Yes, but generally, standards and scrutiny are meant to address the kids whose parents aren't up to the task, not those who are, even though the burden of those standards and scrutiny gets placed on all of them.

I recognize that teachers in public schools (and hopefully private schools as well, though I realize this may vary by jurisdiction) are subject to a licencing system that is intended to provide some assurance that the teachers meet some basic level of qualification. Do we have the same assurance about the people home-schooling their kids?

I have no doubt that many home-schooling parents would meet the basic standards of a classroom teacher; I'd bet that many parents (and, I should say, many classroom teachers) would greatly exceed those standards... but would all of them? Is it the case that all home-schooled students are at least as well-off educationally as they would be in their local public school? If not, what do we do about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticSang'ha View Post
And as darkendless pointed out, creationist parents will eschew evolution and will teach their kids creationism regardless of whether or not it's taught in public school science class or not.
I think the issue isn't so much that they will be taught creationism, but that they won't be taught evolution. In the public system, or in a system where evolution is included on a standardized test for all students, even if the kid is being taught evolution in a "memorize this stuff to pass the test even though we think it's false" sort of way, they'll still have at least some exposure to important concepts.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 9-10ths_Penguin View Post
Good point.

Personally, I think that if a test is adminstered across the board to public and private school students, home-schooled students shouldn't be excluded from it.

For example, here, we have standardized tests administered by the province in grades 3, 6 and 9 that measure performance in various key subjects and concepts. I don't think something like that would be an onerous burden on a home-schooling family.
It isn't for many states. Illinois is one of the most unregulated homeschooling states in the country. For others, there are measures in place for homeschooled kids to have on state record where they are in comparison to the state standard. I personally test my homeschooled daughter to make sure I know exactly where she is according to our state standards. So no, it wouldn't be a bad thing to me personally if Illinois required this of our family.

Quote:
Yes, but generally, standards and scrutiny are meant to address the kids whose parents aren't up to the task, not those who are, even though the burden of those standards and scrutiny gets placed on all of them.

I recognize that teachers in public schools (and hopefully private schools as well, though I realize this may vary by jurisdiction) are subject to a licencing system that is intended to provide some assurance that the teachers meet some basic level of qualification. Do we have the same assurance about the people home-schooling their kids?
California recently passed legislation that requires parents to have certification in order to homeschool their kids, and of course, opinions are sharply divided on this issue.

The problem with state-compulsory certification is that it follows the same tired philosophy of what ever increasingly failing "No Child Left Behind" Act, which tested entire schools on the level of education their student population was at, and then punished the district accordingly if the students didn't meet those standards. In so far, I understand the public's concern for children and ensuring that the young have the opportunity to an education, but those that decide the standards are the ones that seek the most benefit from it. However, our children and our teachers across the board are tested and retested and retested again and again in the hopes that the numbers tell the whole story to the Department of Education. And yet, U.S. teachers are paid extraordinarily little compared to the amount they invest in their own education, are usually limited in their teaching approaches in order to conform to the district's administration financial budgets, and our kids continually on the whole receive substandard education as a result.

So, where has all this unquestioning reliance on testing and certification gotten us?

Quote:
I have no doubt that many home-schooling parents would meet the basic standards of a classroom teacher; I'd bet that many parents (and, I should say, many classroom teachers) would greatly exceed those standards... but would all of them? Is it the case that all home-schooled students are at least as well-off educationally as they would be in their local public school? If not, what do we do about it?
On average, American homeschooled kids have either performed at the same level or have shown to outperform public schooled kids regardless of state regulatory standards, race, or social class.

Throwing money, regulations, and government agencies at the problem is not going to fix anything, especially since homeschoolers generally do better than public school kids, imo. From what I have gathered, it isn't the amount of money generated, the programs involved, or even the educational philosophy used (Classics? Highly structured? Montessori?).....but the quality of mentorship that makes or breaks a child's education. Parents who homeschool - given the fact that it still is not that popular here in the States - make the choice to do so because of our deep concern about the quality of education that our children receive.

The teachers who are highly successful with their students adopt the same philosophy and mentor their students to their fullest potential.

Quote:
I think the issue isn't so much that they will be taught creationism, but that they won't be taught evolution. In the public system, or in a system where evolution is included on a standardized test for all students, even if the kid is being taught evolution in a "memorize this stuff to pass the test even though we think it's false" sort of way, they'll still have at least some exposure to important concepts.
And yet, this is precisely what goes on in too many schools nowadays......memorize facts and figures just so the kid can take a test, have the classes records on hand, submit these records to the state, so that the district can get funding. It's all about the money, and the kids only have to meet some bare minimum in order to do so.

And besides, the number one reason why parents in the States choose to homeschool is because of the concern for the "about the environment of other schools including safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure." Even though religious and moral reasons are cited as the second most popular reason, I haven't found creationism being the straw that broke the camel's back.

I think a lot of folks agree that our education system has strayed far far away from the foundation it's philosophy is based on. We're more concerned about how the football team is doing rather than how the physics lab is operating. And instead of redirecting our priorities toward providing the tools necessary for our kids to get ahead, we point fingers at fringe groups in the homeschooling community and demonize the entire demographic.

Ah, but now I'm making this too personal, I know. I have a stake in this since I'm a homeschooling parent. The flack I get can get rather tiresome, but I'm used to it as someone in the U.S. Midwest who isn't a member of a Christian church.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:22 PM
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They should meet the same standards as schools.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:42 PM
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In what setting?

In major universities? Universal yes.

In public schools? Most likely. The teacher may have to stress it not being "proven" though.
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