Mary Nix at The Informed Parentwrote about a homeschooling discussion on the WAMU Kojo Nnamdi radio program with participants Deborah Gist, the State Superintendent of Education for Washington, D.C., Michael Donnelly of HSLDA, and Sekou Biddle, the State Board of Education representative from District 2.
I am not a fan of HSLDA, but I’d like to offer my kudos to Mr. Donnelly for several of his comments. Ms. Gist claimed that CA now requires teachers to be certified. Mr. Donnelly quickly clarified that that the ruling was rescinded when the court granted the June 23rd, 2008 rehearing.
Mr. Donnelly’s answers to the comment about California requiring certification of parents in order to teach, and his answers to other questions, were informative and well thought out.
Mary has a link to the discussion, and you can listen for specific topics at the following times in the discussion, bearing in mind that I never learned shorthand and was writing very quickly.
- 5:16 D. Gist’s comments that the state office has a responsibility to see that children are educated, and a “responsibility to allow parents to make the choices that they believe are best for their children.” [emphasis added]
- 6:30 M. Donnelly’s response that in the framework of the current draft, the bureaucracy could be arbitrary and capricious; concern about family privacy; application of subjective standards
- 8:50K. Nnamdi’s question as to how, in the case of a parent without a high school diploma wanting to homeschool his or her children, the BOE can determine whether a homeschool education (of the parent) can be equivalent with the education that a state diploma certifies has occurred
- 9:02 M. Donnelly’s reply that made me laugh with its brevity. Points for style!
- 9:21 D. Gist’s reply
- 10:05 working on chicken farm interlude (see Mary’s site for comment)
- 10:44 adequacy/equivalency determination by BOE
- 11:10 addressing the diploma “waiver” granted by a BOE to a parent to allow him or her to homeschool
- 11:43 California homeschooling and justification of waiver process
- 12:30 question from caller about standardized tests
- 13:12 is state funding a factor in the new regulations?
- 13:45 D. Gist answer about standardized tests
- 14:13 M. Donnelly’s answer about standardized tests
- commercial interlude
- 17:31 national response to SBOE initiative to change homeschool regulations
- 18:15 question about parental rights and oversight to protect children
- 18:30 parents are responsible for educating children
- 18:50 M. Donnelly’s comments (in context of waiver) about school systems being accountable to parents
- 19:08 D. Gist’s reply that the law requires compulsory education* [emphasis added]
- 19:30 S. Biddle comment that “we won’t know” the results of the application of the new regulations until “we move forward” with applying the rules
- 20:36 changes to the proposal?
- 20:40 S. Biddle’s reply to question about the agenda
- 21:25 S. Biddle’s comment that the people working on the agenda have done “everything within reason”
- 22:04 Caller who approves of homeschooling
- 23:55 Caller asking about Texas regulations, the polygamists and ‘adequate education’
- 24:27 M. Donnelly’s response about Texas
- 25:00 D. Gist’s comments on compromises within the drafts of the new regulations; the State Board has received lots of feedback with emphasis that “home visits” are unacceptable
- 26:29 D. Gist gives one example of change in making evaluations irregular
- 26:40 caller with question about homeschooled kids who had horrific experiences and what about kids who don’t want to be homeschooled
- 27:10 S. Biddle response that parents are ultimately responsible for raising children
- 27:55 M. Donnelly response to caller that the family must deal with problems
- 29:05 District wants to know how they can support homeschooling families
* The District of Columbia has a law requiring compulsory attendance, not compulsory education.
In the District of Columbia, children between the ages of 5 and 18 are required to attend school in accordance with the Compulsory School Attendance Law and the rules that are issued by the D.C. Board of Education. Currently, the D.C. Board of Education issues the compulsory attendance rules and the Superintendent has oversight responsibility for the enforcement of these rules.
Attendance is required by the laws of the states, not successful passing of grades while a person is of compulsory school attendance age. So far, no one who has sued a school district for ‘educational malpractice’ has been successful.
- Educational Malpractice in the USA
- Educational Malpractice: If Our Children Aren’t Learning Who Should Be Held Responsible?
- The Current Controversy of Educational Malpractice
I believe that, in theory, NCLB is supposed to remedy the problem of schools that do not do a good job of preparing children to pass certain tests, but the children themselves are not held liable … other than the fallout from being required to pass tests or else their school ‘loses.’