Alaska: Making the grade?

alaskaAn in-depth feature article appeared in the Sunday edition of the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper:

Home school: Making the grade?

By Megan Holland

If Alaska parents want to home-school their child, no paperwork needs to be filed, no phone call made. No one need be told.

As for the student, no specific subjects need to be studied, no number of hours need be logged behind a desk, no tests taken.

Alaska has the most lax home-schooling law in the country.

No one even knows how many Alaska children stay home instead of attending a public or private school — they aren’t tracked or monitored.

Home-school advocates say the lack of reporting and regulation is the way it should be because it leaves parents free to make choices for the child. But others say it leaves an uncounted number of children at the mercy of parents who don’t have what it takes to give kids what they need to avoid being left behind in life.

The tension between the two camps — traditional bricks-and-mortar educators and fiercely independent home-schooling parents — has existed for years with each bad-mouthing the other for real or perceived inadequacies.

Should Alaska join the ranks of other states by tightening its home-schooling laws?

State Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux wants to at least ask the question.

Continue reading this in-depth article.

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3 Responses to Alaska: Making the grade?

  1. Teresa on September 14, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I’m against the proposal to tighten home-schooling laws.

    What happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” It seems like state education administrators and our representatives automatically assume that we’re slacking off on educating our kids just because we do so independently of the system. I say the burden of proof is on them and not on us. Take each case individually and get off our backs. Shall we live in a free state or a nanny state?

  2. Helen on September 16, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Follow-up opinion piece, Sept. 15th:

    “BOTTOM LINE: Alaska’s lax home-schooling law needs to be tightened up.”

  3. Christi on September 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Praying for Alaska Homeschoolers to stand strong for their right to continue homeschooling without oversight. I homeschool in a state with too much oversight. Every year when I have to submit my papers, my blood boils at the arrogance of the “professionals” who think they are more qualified to instruct my children. This article is filled with that same arrogance. One only needs to do a little research to realize that this country’s literacy level was at its highest when parents were in control of their children’s education. The common farmer was better educated than today’s college graduate. This has nothing to do with failing kids and everything to do with wanting control over parents and their kids. Stand strong for the freedoms you have. There are many of us who envy that freedom.