Daryl is not happy.
On the email discussion list HEM-Networking, a list member posted a link to an article in German by Thomas Spiegler, a post-graduate student at the University of Marburg in Germany.
Philipps-Universitt Marburg, Marburg, Germany, Bildung zu Hause (Education at Home)(translation sites)
Inspired by this new (to me) researcher, I Googled Herr Spiegler’s name to see what popped up. Some of the results, both for his name and the results of some of the ‘breadcrumbs,’ are as follows:
Herr Spiegler’s website: Home Education Forschung in Deutschland (Home Education Research in Germany)
International: Situation von Home Education (Home Education Situations); Internationale Forschung (International Research); Links
Deutschland (Germany): Die deutsche Home Education Bewegung (The German Home Education Movement); Rechtliche Situation (Legal Situation); Forschung (Research)Aktuelles Project (Current Project): berblick (Overview)
Zur Person (‘about me’): Biographisches (Biographical information); Publikationene (Publications); Vortrge (Lectures); Lehre (Vocational training); Kontact (Contact)
Home Education in Germany: An Overview of the Contemporary Situation (this same article is included at the link in the section following this one)
Compulsory School Attendance in Germany and the Legal Position Regarding Home Education: Compulsory school attendance in Germany; Legal position regarding home education
The Development and Contemporary Situation of Home Education in Germany: Historical development, The parents: Supporting versus demanding; The parents: Taking care versus losing child custody; The parents at the legal dispute: Own freedom versus freedom for all; The authorities: Educational opportunities versus compulsory school attendances; The networks: Freedom of child versus freedom of parents
Conclusion and Prospects: Correspondence; References
The Basic Law: Parental rights versus rights of the state
Already in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany the rights of parents and of the state are in conflict with each other. This has been the starting point of several contradictory cases (for an overview see Avenarius, 2000: 435, 448). The freedom of religion and conscience is based in article 4 paragraph 1. According to article 6 paragraph 2, education and care of children are natural rights of the parents. These are firstly parental duty. But it is added that the state (the community) has the role of a guardian in this parental task.
It should be pointed out that the German word Erziehung, which occurs in this paragraph, and is translated here with education , focuses primarily on the field of upbringing. It includes forming a character and passing on values: but it does not mean teaching.
Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, U.K., Volume 17, Number 2&3, 2003, Evaluation and Research in Education
(the following articles are at the link in this section)
D. Galloway: Special Issue on Home Education
Scott Davies and Janice Aurini: Homeschooling and Canadian Educational Politics: Rights, Pluralism and Pedagogical Individualism
Paula Rothermel: Can We Classify Motives for Home Education?
Mitchell L. Stevens: The Normalisation of Homeschooling in the USA
John Barratt-Peacock: Australian Home Education: A Model
Christine Brabant, Sylvain Bourdon and France Jutras: Home Education in Quebec: Family First
Ari Neuman and Aharon Aviram: Homeschooling as a Fundamental Change in Lifestyle
Esther de Waal and Tinie Theron: Homeschooling as an Alternative Form of Educational Provision in South Africa and the USA
Daniel Monk: Home Education: A Human Right?
Chris Lubienski: A Critical View of Home Education
Thomas Spiegler: Home Education in Germany: An Overview of the Contemporary Situation
Cynthia M. Villalba: Creating Policy from Discursive Exchanges on Compulsory Education and Schooling in Sweden
DMOZ open directory project, World: Deutsch: Wissen: Bildung: Schule: Hausunterricht (World: German: Knowledge: Education: School: Home Instruction)
Education Week, 4 January 2006, U.S. Home Schoolers Push Movement Around the World (cached)
“Compulsory school attendance exists in Germany, and home schooling is not allowed,” he writes. Mr. Spiegler estimates that about 500 children are home-schooled in Germany “in secret, with tacit toleration by the local authorities or with legal consequences, ranging from a fine to partial loss of child custody, or even the possibility of a prison sentence.”
Officials at the Germany Embassy in Washington defended their governments position on home schooling. “The public has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different worldviews,” they said in a statement.
Mr. Klicka said that he and other American home-schooling parents can relate to what the German families are going through, and thats what motivates them to want to help.
School of Education, Durham University, Durham, U.K., 2004, Home-Education: comparison of home and school educated children on PIPS Baseline Assessments
Many studies aim to evaluate children’s learning and attitudes to school, and yet almost unbelievably, none of these studies has ever used as a control, children whose families are electively home-educating.
Other links to writings on home education by Paula Rothermel
International Review of Education/Internationale Zeitschrift fr Erziehungswissenschaft/Revue internationale l’ducation, Volume 41, Numbers 3-4 / May, 1995, Home educators and the law within Europe (conclusion only; subscription required)
In education literature, there is often confusion between compulsory provision of education and compulsory schooling, falsely giving the impression that schooling is compulsory.
(this isn’t how state laws are written in the U.S., but it’s a good point)
Other links to writings by Amanda Petrie
Breadcrumbs continue to litter the path, but the attention spans of readers (and the tenacity of writers) have their limits.
Besides that, the blog ‘never ends,’ so there will be time to pursue other links later.
posted by Valerie
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Northwest Arkansas, 14 November 2006, 2,000 taught at home not on record for required test
Seven out of every 10 Arkansas home-school students in grades three through nine took at least a part of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills last spring as required by state law.
That leaves more than 2, 000 test-eligible students unaccounted for in state records and potentially truant — unless they were tested by an agency outside the state, were exempted from standardized testing because of a handicap, moved out of state, enrolled midyear in a public or private school or couldn’t take a test because there weren’t enough tests for everyone last spring, state education officials said.
… but it also gets to the point that a prosecuting attorney must weigh, “Do I gear up and go after this with the other things I’m dealing with in terms of cases ?’ What are the priorities ? Local superintendents have to push the local prosecuting attorneys.”
Prosecuting attorneys? Over a test? Military families take note with regard to the Dream Sheet.
With the exception of thirdand (sic) fourth-graders, home-school students who did take the Iowa tests earned higher composite scores than their public school peers.
I suppose those numbers are the lemonade from the lemons, but I think I’d switch to a cappuccino state.
Dare to Know, 6 November 2006, The Rot Sets in for Independent Home Education
It’s all light and love in Bedfordshire according to this Bedford County Council Home Education Service – Satisfaction Survey. And of course, it couldn’t possibly be just a teeny weeny bit biased could it? Nah, surely not. All those Home Educators who prefer not to be interfered with by the ptb are absolutely bound to send in their satisfaction surveys by return of post!
Live Momma at LiveJournal is of the opinion that HSLDA gave outÂ incomplete informationÂ about theÂ choices for homeschool complianceÂ in Iowa.
Live Momma, 25 October 2006, HSLDA’s Weekly Update – incorrect info for Iowa!
It’s great that The NICHE was able to resolve this issue. It’s unfortunate that HSLDA’s coverage of the issue includes incomplete information about parents’ options! Parents in Iowa have four options for homeschooling. The first is to partner with the school district through the Home School (sic) Assistance Program. Second, parents may choose to submit test scores. Third, parents may submit a portfolio for review. Or, finally, parents may choose to work with a supervising teacher who does not report to the school at all.
The irony is, Urbandale school district makes a mistake, and the letter goes to hundreds of families. HSLDA errs, and the letter goes to thousands!Â
[emphases in original]
Read the full blog post at the link.
Now whether you label the word “creep” as a noun or a verb is up to you.
HE&OS, 10 October 2006, NC ALERT: DUMBEST EDUCRATS EVER!
Monday, October 9, 2006
Dear Home School Administrator:
Instead of our coming to your home this year for a school record review visit, you have been randomly selected to ask if you would voluntarily come to meet with a representative of this office (name given below) on the date and at the location stated below. The meeting will last no longer than 25 minutes.
Please call this office within the next TEN days to arrange a specific appointment time. If you cannot attend or you are no longer home schooling your children please call or write this office within ten days of the above date and so state.
If you can arrange to come, please plan to bring the following to the meeting:
1. Students (those aged 7 through 17) currently enrolled in your school;
2. Student attendance records for the current school year
3. Student disease immunization records
4. Results from the most recently administered nationally standardized achievement test
5. Optional â€” Textbook list; this yearâ€™s daily log/lesson plan book; examples of student work, etc. which you might want to voluntarily show to our staff representative.
6. Any questions or suggestions you may have.
We greatly appreciate the North Carolina home schooling communityâ€™s cooperation in meeting with us and look forward to hearing from you within the next ten days.
DATE: Thursday, November 2, 2006 from 10:00 a.m.â€“5:00 p.m.
DNPE Representative: Kristy Daughtry
LOCATION/DIRECTIONS: WEST DISTRICT POLICE STATION BEHIND THE WALMART IN GARNER STATION. THE ADDRESS IS 1809 GARNER STATION. IF YOU NEED MORE DIRECTIONS PLEASE CALL 919.722.8810
The North Carolina requirements are:
See comments at Daryl’s.
Huntsville Times, Huntsville, Alabama, 9 September 2006, Reply to “No to home-schooling”
I don’t believe there is one “right way” for a child to be educated. We have chosen private, public and home schooling at different times in each child’s life for different reasons.
While I agree with Huskey that there are “wonderful” aspects to our school system, I don’t agree that our school system is a perfect fit for each child.
Evansville Courier-Press, Evansville, Indiana, 9 September 2006, Proposal for home school
Among his proposed topics is whether Indiana should require home-schooled students to pass grade-specific examinations each semester. Related to that, should a home-schooled child who does not pass the test be required to re-enroll in public schools?
Should home educators be required to have minimum educational requirements and follow a specific curricula? Should home-school children’s physical exams be made a part of the public school records, and should children be visited by social service representatives throughout the year to evaluate their condition?
Manila Standard Today, Manila, Philippines, 25 September 2006, Is school overrated?
The question that comes up at this point is whether school equals education. In a generation where home-schooling is fast becoming a viable option for parents who, for one reason or another, prefer to educate their children themselves, what is it about school that still makes it the most popular choice for acquiring an education?
I also discussed the matter with a few educator-friends, including the blogger we fondly call Tito Rolly (http://titorolly.blogspot.com), a grade-school coordinator in a big private school. Everyone agreed that beyond the education aspect, children need to learn social skills that are best developed when they are allowed to interact with kids their own age.
The thing is, the issue of to-home-school-or-not was decided not on the basis of education but on the need for socialization. Weird, when I thought about it afterwards. But then again, that would only be true if I define education in the traditional sense, which is, in a nutshell, academic education. See, when I think about my own education, I have to admit that a great part of what I had become is a product of the education I acquired outside the classrooms before, after or in-between class hours, and even long after I graduated from the university.
The article seems to make the requirements seem more stringent than they sound (from safely in the ‘homeschooler emerita’ chair).
And, as for “the big commitment,” I would say that bringing your child into the worldÂ in the first place is t.h.e. big commitment.
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, 6 September 2006, Home school Q&A: The big commitment
Parents “need to realize they are going to have to make an investment in time and focus on their children,” said Randi St. Denis, director of the Roswell-based Home Educators Encouragement Alliance. But, she added, “the relationship with your children in the end is like no other. You end up raising children who love to learn; they don’t tend to compartmentalize it [or] think learning is so dreary. You can’t beat that.”
But before parents call it quits with their local public school, state law requires that they have a plan.
By all means, be aware of the laws of the state in which you live, in fact, find out as much as possible about the laws.Â The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be, and the better prepared you are, theÂ more at ease you’ll be.
I would say that a general rule of thumb is that if you’ve parented your children well up until now, homeschooling will only be a different investment of your energy.Â Having the kids do well at home takes energy; having the kids do well at school takes energy.
The National Home Education Legal Defense organization regularly issues bulletins on a variety of topics that may affect homeschooling. The bulletins are well-researched and documented.
The following series of bulletins have as their topic the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention has the potential to usurp the independent aspects of home education, but only if our legislators allow it to.
This Convention has been a focus of interest for homeschoolers in the years since it was first adopted and opened for signature by the U.N. General Assembly in 1989. The United States has signed, but not ratified the Convention (PDF-page 11; see the ‘s’-notation in the CRC column by the incomplete year notation; it should be 95, not 9). Other than Somalia, the United States is the only country that has not ratified the Convention. Somalia has no working government, and is unable to do so.
The politics of Belgium
The most recent cause for attention is the use of the Convention in the home education laws in Belgium, with the subsequent summoning of one homeschooling father to a police station. The overt reason for the summoning was homeschooling. Recent changes to Belgian law require parents to sign a document stating they will abide by the provisions of the Convention. The parents in this family did not sign.
The overt reason for the summons may, or may not, be identical to the covert reason(s), but, without being conversant with the deep backstory about Belgian politics, the Flemish separatist party Vlaams Belang, and the political friends and enemies of the family in question, our guesses as to the true reasons for the summoning are just that: guesses.
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, 8 September 2006, 2 more arrested in a Belgian neo-Nazi terror plot
Editorials in the country’s newspapers denounced the threat of far-rightists. Le Soir in Brussels assailed the “neo-Nazi soldiers who seek to destabilize the country.”
Support for the far-right, anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang party has grown in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region, and Belgium, where local elections will be held in October, has seen a spate of apparently racist crimes.
In May, an 18-year-old skinhead shot and killed an African woman and a white child in her charge in the port city of Antwerp.
The arrests Thursday and Friday came a month before municipal elections across Belgium.
They have provoked charges from some rightist groups that the government was trying to manipulate the voting.
Still, one works with what one has.
My curiosity about the Convention and the continuing concern by homeschoolers centers on any evidence of the possibility of American ratification of the Convention, especially during the current administration. Belgium has many laws that would fly right over the American right field and land clean out of the ballpark. Iraqis suing an American general in Belgium, anyone? (unsuccessful)
The fact that Belgium has a law does not affect what the United States has as laws, and vice versa. Still, Prudence advises that stranger things have happened.
Solving political puzzles
We can’t even get to the bottom of our own political intrigues: recall the investigation of President Clinton by Ken Starr, witness the continuing Valerie Plame controversy, and fuhgeddabout the Iraq war.
We must try to project the effect of fallout from legal documents because fallout does not always jibe with the reasons and motives of the major players as the doughnut hole in Medicare Part D demonstrates. It is reasonable to be prudently and cautiously circumspect. Be careful, too. Like a wary forest creature.
International implementation of the Convention
Another aspect for consideration is to look at how the Convention is being enforced in the countries that have ratified it. For example, according to the Status of Ratifications of the Principal International Human Rights Treaties, Afghanistan has ratified both the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as have Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Given the track records of those countries concerning the rights of humans-who-are-women, to me the records indicate that any concern about enforcement should not be about what comes from an outside source, or the minutiae of the Convention. Our concern should be about how our politicians, bureaucrats and courts would go about bending the Convention’s requirements to their uses.
Groups sympathetic to the Convention
There are groups within the United States working to obtain ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Becoming familiar with their reasoning could be a useful barometer of whether, and when, to actively support one side or the other.
In order for the United States to have a voice in setting, evaluating, and improving standards for children worldwide, ratification of the CRC is absolutely essential.
There are widespread misconceptions–spread to the public by a very small number of organizations–about the CRC’s likely impact. These have been used to fuel political opposition that influenced decisions by both Bush administrations and the Clinton administration to not pursue its ratification. Critics have mislabeled the CRC a “threat to the American family” and made unsubstantiated claims about it undermining our national sovereignty and interfering with our parent-child relationships. No other nation appears to have had these concerns, and despite assertions of some opponents, the CRC does not give children a right to sue their parents or give the UN authority over American families.
House Resolution 108 (1996)
WHEREAS, among the rights for children recognized in the Convention’s 54 articles are the rights to education and basic health care and to be protected from sexual exploitation, hazardous work conditions, and child slavery;
Another important reservation that the United States has taken to each human rights treaty is the non-self-execution reservation. Usually, when the United States ratifies a treaty, it becomes part of our federal law. In other words, the treaty is self-executing; it does not require additional laws to be passed to implement its provisions. However, when we ratify human rights treaties, we have always included a statement that the treaty will not be self-executing, meaning there must be other legislation passed to implement the treaty’s provisions.
It is extremely unlikely that the US Senate would approve the CRC without including a statement making it clear that the treaty is not to be interpreted to undermine parents. And furthermore, because the Senate traditionally approves human rights treaties using the non-self-execution doctrine described above, the CRC probably would require implementing legislation to bring its provisions into use.
Non-self-executing treaties — think presidential signing statements
The Association of American Law Schools, International Delegations and the Structural Constitution (PDF-pages 17 -19)
At least some of the delegation concerns discussed above can be addressed by treating the decisions and rulings of international institutions as “non-self-executing” — that is, as not enforceable as federal law within the United States.78 This distinction between self-executing and non-self-executing obligations has long been reflected in U.S. treaty law. The Supremacy Clause makes clear that treaties can override inconsistent state law, and it has been construed to mean that treaties also can override earlier federal statutes (a component of what is often referred to as the “last- in-time rule”).79 Although the Clause could be read to suggest that all U.S. treaties have these effects, U.S. courts have recognized a distinction between self-executing and non-self-executing treaties. … Although non-self-executing treaties are binding on the United States, they are not enforceable in U.S. courts and do not by themselves override federal statutes or state laws.
… but Congress or the treatymakers (or in some instances the Executive Branch) would need to implement the decisions or rulings before they would alter U.S. domestic law or become enforceable in U.S. courts. For example, if the UN Security Council authorized the use of military force, this authorization might affect the United States’ rights and duties under international law, but it would not by itself satisfy the constitutional requirements for the use of force. Similarly, if an international adjudicatory body entered an order concerning the propriety of U.S. conduct or litigation, the order would not by itself change the law to be applied in U.S. courts.
There are indications that the Convention will either affect American law, or that it won’t. Without a state of the art crystal ball with a lifetime guarantee from a quality manufacturer, it’s hard to say which way subsequent events would go.
Keeping an eye on any developments is always wise, but it’s hard to keep an eye on all the balls in the game. Watching the ones in play is probably a good strategy.
Our government already has the power to put into law the tenets of the U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our politicians rarely need help from others in thinking up laws, and I’m sure they wouldn’t wait for the ratification of the Convention to do just that, if they agreed with the various points in the Convention that aren’t already covered by American law.
If the Convention is ratified by the U.S. Senate, then we’ll have to do what we already do: keep our eyes and ears open, and communicate, either individually or en masse, with our legislators.
De-thatching the homeschooling grassroots in the United States based on political commotion on the far side of the Atlantic ocean seems to be an exercise in worry-for-worry’s sake unless there is credible evidence that the political flapping of a Belgian butterfly’s wings will goad American senators into doing something they’ve ignored for over a decade.
Susan, at Corn and Oil, and Fran at The Illinois Review, haveÂ posts on the recent push by Illiniois authorities to roll up homeschooling with truancy in a situation from earlier in the year:
The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, Illinois, Marion woman to spend weekend in jail for allowing son’s truancyÂ
Williamson County Stateâ€™s Attorney Charles Garnati filed charges against Harris in 2005. An investigation by the Regional Office of Education determined that Harrisâ€™ son, then 15 years old, was not being home-schooled by his mother, Garnati said.
Corn and Oil, Â 13 July 2006, Teaching Mom a School Lesson
Thatâ€™s the second time Iâ€™ve seen home checks as authorized under the ROE.Â Guess there should be a clear message about their real authority.
Illinoisreview, 12 September 2006, Show me your books, or else
Truancy officers in downstate Franklin/Williamson Counties evidently believe Illinois law allows public schools to determine whether private schools which meet in the home are offering an acceptable education.
Reminds one of a McDonald’s inspector appointing himself to determine whether or not a Wendy’s salad is acceptable for consumption.
Corn and Oil, 12 September 2006, Homeschoolers Donâ€™t Like Hearing “or else”
Garnati said home-schooling parents arenâ€™t exempt from truancy policies governing Williamson County students.
Wrong again, Mr. Garnati. And youâ€™re not making any friends in the homeschooling world, in case you were wondering.Â There is NO authority to ” to do home checks and monitor home-schooled children” as described in the Marion Daily Republican.