The Mississippi State Superintendent, Hank Bounds, is apparently torn, according to the headline of Home-school quandary in the Clarion Ledger. It appears it is only his quandary; as the quoted homeschooling families sound very content. Valerie mentioned this situation last month in Homeschooling to be scrutinized in Mississippi.
At the risk of irritating homeschoolers in states who are in the “best state to home school“, I will say that even as Mississippi homeschoolers “are free to teach their children their way”, they still have to sign a “certificate of attendance” form by Sept. 15 every year through local attendance officers. So it could be better.
Illinois doesn’t require notification that you are homeschooling unless you are transferring from a public school. It’s an important point since some public school officials use that notification information to harass and sometimes overstep any authority they might have. But we also have some “truant homeschooler” missteps by a toxic State’s Attorney/Regional Office of Education combination in southern Illinois, as well.
But I digress, and Mississippi homeschoolers have this current issue of concern to deal with right now. From the article:
“Where Mississippi is normally at the bottom of everything in the United States, as far as home-school regulations, they are the best state to home school. You have free rein to teach your children what you feel like they need to learn,” Sims said.
And following that, I see that the Clarion Ledger had an article about an ethics situation with some “priority” schools per NCLB. This article doesn’t come up in the CL, but is posted on Susan Ohanian’s site under Cheating suspected on biology state tests:
J.J. McClain High is one of eight state “priority” schools because its test scores are among the lowest in the state.
In all, seven schools, including three in Holmes County, were cited by the state Department of Education for testing violations, such as coaching students or other issues that suggest possible cheating.
Back to this current article, Mr. Bounds is quoted here:
“We realize there are situations where parents don’t want to be involved; they don’t want to be engaged with the school. They’ve had attendance officers knocking on their doors, telling parent they must get their children in school,” he said at a recent news conference on dropout prevention. “They completely disengage themselves and disengage their children.”
Possibly, but homeschooling parents aren’t engaged in the public school for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with attendance officers knocking on their door; if or while their children were in public school. The dropout situation in the public schools doesn’t require a panel of homeschool parents. It’s obviously a public school issue.
Don’t dump or divert public school problems on homeschoolers. We’re busy enough taking care of our own business. Our business is overseeing the education and well being of our children. Take care of your own backyard as we homeschoolers do and will certainly take care of ours.
posted by Susan