Home-school is so popular, some are getting suspicious

Interesting article from the Houston Chronicle.

Seems that public schools there may be falsely classifying some dropouts as “home-schooled”.

Even the state’s biggest proponents of home-schooling admit that the structure is vulnerable to fraud.

“That seems to me to be a loophole,” said Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition.

The problem is not among legitimate home-schoolers, but among public school officials trying to run off problem students, Lambert said.

“We call it dumping,” he explained. Some advocates complain that Spanish-speaking and special-needs student are especially vulnerable to being pushed out of public schools.

Personally, I think home-schooling is a good thing. Mrs. Right and I have considered it for our kids ourselves. At the risk of offending any teachers who stumble upon this little not-yet-defunct blog, I think most adults could give their children every bit as good an education as the public school system. If you couldn’t, perhaps you should ask yourself how good that public education you had really was. This is, of course, assuming you have the time and the means.

However, designating dropouts as being home-schooled smells of corruption. School administrators know that their dropout rates are being monitored. Expulsion of behavior problem kids is a lot of work for the school district. And some parents probably either don’t care or know that their children simply are going to be truant no matter what. Put that together with a system doing no follow up on home-schooling and this seems to be the result. My guess is that the last sentence of the article is the actual impetus for making this public. ESL kids and special-ed classes get schools more funding. One wonders why local adminsitrators are chasing away sources of income for their districts. (Yes, I do know how cynical that sounds.)

Of course, I’m off in a world of my own politically on this one. I don’t believe school attendance should be mandatory. If the parents and the kids don’t care, neither should the public. If the kids can’t behave, give them the boot…at least until they can. I think we should shut down “alternative” schools – the ones for behavior problem kids. Yes, we have created an entitlement to public education. But that doesn’t mean we should make kids take advantage of the opportunity, nor should we allow any the opportunity to keep others from learning.

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