Three recent reports from National Public Radio indicate that homeschooling is on the rise, particularly in the African American Community. I have to wonder once again if the reporters are relying on data from The Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program, 1999. If so, I would have to agree with Valerie’s assessment from an earlier News and Commentary post – Homeschooling is a viable alternative to public schools that explains an apparent flaw in the survey. She wrote:
On some discussion lists, members have asked if now it isn’t the other way around. One of the criteria used in The Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program, 1999 was, “Students were considered to be homeschooled if their parents reported them being schooled at home instead of at a public or private school, if their enrollment in public or private schools did not exceed 25 hours a week, and if they were not being homeschooled solely because of a temporary illness.” [emphasis added]
Twenty-five hours per week divided by five days of school per week comes out to five hours per day. In whose universe does one hour of “homeschooling” and five hours of enrolled class time per day count as “homeschooling?”
Whether the number of homeschoolers is on the rise or not, the reports are well done and worth the listen. African-American Homeschoolers on the Rise by by Nancy Mullane, Making the Choice to Home School by Lester Spence and Black Home Schooling Couple by Karen Grigsby Bates can be accessed here.
Posted by Mary