Thursday, March 06, 2008

Homeschooling In San Francisco: Not Pro-Choice

You know, I don't get it. San Francisco is a town where every sort of right is championed--every sort of right. And today, an appellate court brought forth this ruling:

California parents without teaching credentials can no longer home school their children, according to a recent state appellate court ruling.

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a Feb. 28 opinion for the 2nd District Court of Appeals.

Noncompliance could lead to criminal complaints against the parents, Croskey said.

This, to me, is simply caving to Teacher's Unions intent on ensuring a monopoly. At the foundation, though, it's just a way for the state to control another aspect of the lives of it's citizens.

Choice. I'm pro-school-choice.

H/T Reader Glynn Washington


Anonymous said...

I have a number of friends that home-school their children and I have wondered if it is the best way to go. The answer, I think, lies with the parents. How much are they really committed to that task. Children have been known to go back to the public school system and are embarrassingly behind. Others are others are way ahead.

In Germany, it is against the law to home school because of the lack of credentials. I can see both sides. Someone like you, who values education will obviously do great in teaching their children. Still, others who only find home-schooling a convenience because it fits their schedule, or because they can sleep in, have a more laid back atmosphere, etc..., will perhaps do their children a gross injustice.

Chalmers said...

The parents may do their children a great disservice, or injustice, but either way, it is not the government's place to mandate participation in schooling.

Where does the constitution mention education, schools or teachers unions?

Anonymous said...

chalmers, you have an important point here. I guess if people want to ruin their children's lives, or help them to be successful in their education, that is their right as a free citizen of the United States of America. Freedom brings with it an enormous amount of responsibility.

Melissa Clouthier said...

The problem I have is that the parents have no choice if the schools ruin their children. Essentially, the state has control. What reprieve or recompense does an individual have by being undereducated or not educated at all by the school system. And yet, the state will go after a parent?

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you are right. It is nice to know that if the school system does not work for our children, we simply can take them out and try something different. Our family has,in fact, had those types of discussions and our children know that they are not "stuck" in a bad system, should it prove to be so.

The thing that hurts me is that we know three couples that home school their children who should never be doing so. They only work on curriculum when there is "not much going on" in their lives. In all three cases, the children have expressed that they miss their friends at school and that they feel isolated from their peers. In two cases, the children are falling dangerously behind and in general seem to be unhappy about the situation they find themselves in.

I guess the analyzer in me has some very huge question marks about home-schooling because of those examples which I just gave.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Anon 1:40,

I know families like that, too. The children, some with amazing potential, languish. I also know families where the child would be behind in the classroom anyway and being at home does not mar his self-image and the parents can pace the curriculum to the child's ability. In the latter case, the child might give up in a public school, suffer the humiliation of being held back, or just quit at some point.

Still, there are children in public school who fall behind, learn social garbage and at too young an age, and end up equally stupid as if they had been home schooled.

I do believe that a good chunk of a child's ultimate outcome depends upon the I.Q. he was born with, so I don't sweat the mode of education. To me, only in cases of outright abuse should a child be yanked out of the parents control. A home school education might not be the best for a child, but it can hardly be considered abuse.

kman said...


I had the exact same concerns about someone close to me that home schooled. It seemed they weren't doing much schooling. But then when their son went into public school (they recruited him for his Basket Ball ability) it seems he is WAY ahead and doing really well academically.

However... the fiasco in Frisco has nothing to do with the quality of education the child is getting. It has everything to do with the mandatory state led indoctrination.

From the San Francisco Chronicle article...

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

It's also about the State keeping tabs on it's citizens...

Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles ... said her organization's chief concern was not the quality of the children's education, but their "being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."

Based on my experience many teachers in the public school system are there because they want to have summers off... not because they love kids or want to teach. On the other hand... most parents deeply love their children even when they are frustrated and annoyed by them. With all of the resources available it doesn't take someone with an advanced degree to teach. Many of the teachers I know couldn't have made it through a more difficult degree plan anyway. (sorry in advance to the handful of awesome hard working teachers I know)

Are there parents who will screw up their kids... absolutely... but they have that right. Most people will choose to do right by their kids and kids should only be removed from their parents in cases of extreme abuse... educational and medical "neglect" are generally NOT abuse.

Anonymous said...

Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

There is no Constitutional basis for forcing participation in Local, State, or Federal education, PERIOD. This is another step toward Totalitarianism. Ironically, it is not the crazy right wing religious zealots, it is the godless fruits in San Fran driving the bus.

I find it very difficult to conceal my contempt for these people. Another great reason to live in Texas!


Anonymous said...

Melissa, certainly I was NOT suggesting that these people are "abusing" their children. Perhaps I am just wonder - who are they doing home-schooling for? Is it really for their children or is it really for them and some social need that they have? Just wondering.
Please don't crucify me for questioning. I think it is important.

I have actually thought about homeschooling before my children started in public school. A friend wrote me along letter of why she thought I should not. Ironically, she now home-schools her children and does a marvelous job, if I may say so. She would be my model should I have go that route. For now though, public school has worked well for us...for the most part.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Who was "crucifying"? I can see the positives and negatives of home schooling. And I can see the concerns people have about the weirdly socialized kids. Hell, I've posted about the phenomenon myself. Not to mention, I've been alarmed at undereducation, too. But, the school does the same and we're just supposed to accept that.

My whole point, is that the law should fall on the side of individual liberty as a principle. Period.

Anonymous said...

I only meant that I was not trying to say someone was being "abused" by simply looking at the situations honestly and hopefully, objectively.

Yes, the liberty that we have in this country is something I deeply value. I pray we will always have it and I agree that the law should always fall on the side of individual liberty.

Not too long ago, I was in a place filled with women who all but me, home-schooled their children. One lady said to another lady, "Are you home-schooling your kids? The woman replied, "Well of course. I would never put my kids in the corrupt school system." A few minutes later they realized that my children were in that "corrupt school system. Everything that came out of their mouths was, Jesus this, Jesus that, Jesus spoke to me, Jesus showed me this, etc...

By the time I left that place I wanted to VOMIT.

These are just observations that I keep making with people that are homeschooling. (not all of course) It seems so unbalanced somehow.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you said: "I've been alarmed at the undereducation, too. But, the school does the same and we're jsut supposed to accept that."

Could you explain to me how the schools are not educating our children. My husband and I keep talking about this because we keep hearing it. I am very concerned about this issue and we both seem to be in the dark over this huge concern. Perhaps the problem is that I have nothing to compare with. Would you be so kind to explain a bit further about how the kids are not receiving enough education. Thank you! :-)

sandy said...

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