View Full Version : Only certified teachers allowed to homeschool in California


Scattered
03-10-08, 08:20 PM
I couldn't believe it the other day when I was watching the news and saw that three judges had decided that only licensed teachers are going to be allowed to homeschool their own kids in California. I homeschooled my oldest for three years and am currently homeschooling my second one. I was licensed and taught school for 12 years, but I let that expire. I know a lot of parents of ADHD kids have found homeschooling the best fit for their kid's needs and I'm really angry about this ruling. Governor Schwartzneggar is going to fight it -- and I'm right behind him.

I'd be interested to hear anybody else's thoughts on this.

Jarleigannor
03-10-08, 09:47 PM
My son is in public school (Ex's choice and I don't have the gabillion dollars right now needed to fight it). Twice exceptional- Asperger's/Gifted. His certified teachers ask ME how to teach him.
I don't know what the certification qualifications are for teachers in CA, but I do know that plenty of states allow you to become a teacher by majoring in whatever you want, and then passing the Praxis. Someone could study agriculture for 4 years, prep for and pass the test, and be certified to teach. Meanwhile, I've studied my kid for nine and a half years and I'm supposed to be unqualified?! It's a crock.

Have you seen the comments from the NJ judge re:homeschooling regs (there really aren't any in NJ)? My custody agreement is still in the NJ courts. Just my luck.

zoomman
03-10-08, 10:38 PM
Oh great, and California's doing such a marvelous job screwing up the kids who are going to their public schools. Well, I'm sure California will build all sorts of new school buildings for the extra kids . . . HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA.

Oh my, I kill me.

Imnapl
03-10-08, 10:47 PM
Sounds like overkill to me. We have an excellent home schoolers' program through our local school district. Hindsight is 20/20, but I now know I could have successfully home schooled my kids and wish I had through elementary school. It was such a juggling act with sports, music, clubs and school. My daughter's wacky immune system meant she was home sick many days of the school year and always had to work hard to catch up.

EYEFORGOT
03-11-08, 04:35 PM
Upon further reading in the news the judge's decision is not well supported and Governor Schwartzengger is completely against it.

I find it insulting that some authorities in Education/Government believe they need to have my children in their care 6 to 8 hours a day to ensure that they are getting the best care possible, that I as a parent am not able to. That they alone are able to detect abuse of any kind. While there are always the exception, a flat out ruling based on a very few problem cases is completely unnecessary. It's disturbing, because even if you don't home school, the subtle removal of someone's personal rights is something to always keep a wary eye out for. Done rant. I could go on about this but I'll save it to get back on track...

My children, especially my middle son who clearly has some learning challenges, thrive at home. As an ADD parent w/bipolar I find it rewarding and challenging at the same time, but trying to defend myself against these kinds of attitudes is a drain on my energy that is needed elsewhere. It's worth the battle, but it takes a lot out of us.

HighFunctioning
03-11-08, 08:37 PM
There must be some overly educated individuals in CA, and these judges must see this as a threat and must deal with it promptly by abolishing it.

Seriously... perhaps these judges should spend more time figuring out the reasons why children are home-schooled in the first place, and focus on improving the system (at least, realistic goals anyway). But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if this was outside their area of understanding to begin with.

Perhaps their idea is that they can have "certified" teachers create "certified" individuals ("educating" them), so that they can acquire "certified" jobs or posses only "approved" knowledge....

Jarleigannor
03-11-08, 09:52 PM
There must be some overly educated individuals in CA, and these judges must see this as a threat and must deal with it promptly by abolishing it.

Seriously... perhaps these judges should spend more time figuring out the reasons why children are home-schooled in the first place, and focus on improving the system (at least, realistic goals anyway). But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if this was outside their area of understanding to begin with.

Perhaps their idea is that they can have "certified" teachers create "certified" individuals ("educating" them), so that they can acquire "certified" jobs or posses only "approved" knowledge....

I almost want to know what goes on in public school officials' minds. Almost.
I was looking into some of the controversy about virtual public schools and cyber charter schools and actually found one argument against these options that claimed the higher standardized test scores of taught-at-home public schoolers would lead to less faith in brick and mortar public schools. :eek:

Imnapl
03-11-08, 10:15 PM
I was looking into some of the controversy about virtual public schools and cyber charter schools and actually found one argument against these options that claimed the higher standardized test scores of taught-at-home public schoolers would lead to less faith in brick and mortar public schools. :eek:No mystery there. Home schoolers probably scored better on standardized tests for the same reason private school students do - no inclusion. Special needs kids don't go to private schools. ESL students don't go to private schools. Poor kids don't go to private schools. I doubt you will find a ratio of 1 adult to 30 grade eight students in your average home school situation. :eek:

Imnapl
03-11-08, 10:21 PM
This thread has reminded me of something I saw on t.v. several years ago. A reporter was sent out to investigate why a one room rural school was producing more state champion students than other schools in the state. One teacher, one room and kids from all grades. No fancy technology. I remember the teacher played classical music for the kids on an old record player.

Scattered
03-11-08, 10:26 PM
A while back I read the argument that its hurting our public schools because we're pulling out the best and brightest and homeschooling them. It never occured to anybody that maybe homeschool kids are a cross section including as has been mentioned lots of special needs kids and that they do better because it's a better fit for their learning styles and because 1 to 2 ratios work better than 1 to 30.

Of course, another reason that was mentioned this time is that since California has 10% across the board cuts due to budget shortfalls, the public schools need the extra money they would get if these homeschool kids attended public school ($2500 or something like that per child).

Eyeforgot, insulted is exactly the word for how I feel about it!

Thank you everybody who responded! I love reading other people's opinions, experiences, and rants about this!:)

HighFunctioning
03-12-08, 06:04 AM
Of course, another reason that was mentioned this time is that since California has 10% across the board cuts due to budget shortfalls, the public schools need the extra money they would get if these homeschool kids attended public school ($2500 or something like that per child).

I think many schools are underfunded to a certain extent, and will find ways to acquire better funding, even if it hurts the students (i.e. focusing on state-mandated standardized tests when/if scores have an impact on funding). If the schools are concerned about the $2,500 per child, I'm curious as to what percentage of that actually goes towards per-student costs of operation (as opposed to costs that don't increase (or at least to the same degree) with the number of students present).

Imnapl
03-12-08, 09:10 AM
If the schools are concerned about the $2,500 per child, I'm curious as to what percentage of that actually goes towards per-student costs of operation (as opposed to costs that don't increase (or at least to the same degree) with the number of students present).I can't remember the word for it, but districts here are concerned about aging infrastructure and the cost of maintaining or replacing old school buildings. With decreasing enrollment due to the aging population, every student not attending school in a building means less money for building maintenance.

Jarleigannor
03-12-08, 06:17 PM
I can't remember the word for it, but districts here are concerned about aging infrastructure and the cost of maintaining or replacing old school buildings. With decreasing enrollment due to the aging population, every student not attending school in a building means less money for building maintenance.
Our school district has been growing exponentially for quite a while, along with the surrounding districts. Every year, there is a new building opening up in effort to accomodate everyone.
Having moved here less than 3 years ago, I'm "bad" for bringing in one more child to serve, and I'm "bad" for not planning to send the others. I can't win for losing!

Scattered
03-13-08, 12:28 AM
Well, my oldest is in parochial school now (so the public schools wouldn't benefit anyway), and I'm going to homeschool my youngest next year. The Educational Superintendent (or some title like that) said that he's not enforcing the teacher certification thing -- yeah!:)

Along with Highfunctioning's question about how much they spend per student -- I wonder if they're figuring in how much they would need to appropriately educate ADD and other special needs kids that are currently homeschooled? Those kinds special education teachers are frequently the first to go along with music, art and other classes that ADD kids frequently thirve in.

Scattered
03-13-08, 02:03 AM
I found this article interesting and a little scary. I added the highlights and underlining.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20080312/cm_csm/ehomeschooling

Last month, a three-judge panel in California ruled that only parents with state-recognized teaching credentials can educate their children at home. Otherwise, the parents are criminals and, as the court wrote, their children will not learn "loyalty to the state."

The ruling, which now turns some 166,000 of the state's home-schooled children into truants, may be overturned on appeal. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has promised to protect home-schoolers, saying correctly, "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education." The state legislature should quickly follow his lead.
But this ruling may have ripple effects. In many states, home-schoolers must ensure that lawmakers – under pressure from turf-protecting teacher unions – don't put onerous rules on parents. This decision could provide fresh ammunition for harsh controls.

Fortunately, such efforts have largely failed to roll back a movement that has grown with the rise of conservative Christians and others who prefer home schooling, and with the Internet's ability to bring the best teaching tools into the home. Parents are now organized into virtual communities for mutual educational support.

Still, as the California case makes clear, a right to home school remains vulnerable to political interpretation. Rules and enforcement are sometimes murky, with education officials uneven in their demands. At the least, home schooling should fulfill society's interest in compulsory education up to a certain age, with students asked to provide a level of minimal educational competency.

But often that demand goes too far, as when it requires parents to stick closely to a state's educational curriculum or to state tests based on that curriculum. And until states show that public-school teachers can achieve results that taxpayers expect for their dollars, it is hypocritical to demand professional teaching credentials of home-schooling parents.
The record of home-schooled students – such as the many winners of spelling bees – show parents have the devotion and means for high standards.
At the national level, President Bush has guarded the interests of home-schoolers, even under his No Child Left Behind law that requires testing in – only – public schools. But it's likely that a White House win by either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton – who would rely on teachers' unions for money and votes – could lead to fresh assaults.

Ultimately, challenges to home-schooling are up against US Supreme Court rulings that support a parent's primary role in the upbringing of a child and argue against treating children as mere creatures of government.

Home-school parents are better equipped than ever with new learning tools such as the Internet to provide broad-based education. States and communities themselves have diverse standards to achieve education excellence. They should allow parents to do the same, while fixing their own schoolhouse first.

Imnapl
03-13-08, 09:30 AM
That's scary because it also puts school boards on the spot. In B.C. - each province in Canada is responsible for their own educational system - a student is entitled to an education, but there are several choices in how that child receives services for that education and several of them are not in a regular school setting.

Not learning loyalty to the state?

HighFunctioning
03-13-08, 09:35 PM
Last month, a three-judge panel in California ruled that only parents with state-recognized teaching credentials can educate their children at home. Otherwise, the parents are criminals and, as the court wrote, their children will not learn "loyalty to the state."

There must be some overly educated individuals in CA, and these judges must see this as a threat and must deal with it promptly by abolishing it.

What a coincidence. I was only joking in my initial response. I didn't know that it was actually true at the time.

Scattered
03-13-08, 11:10 PM
What a coincidence. I was only joking in my initial response. I didn't know that it was actually true at the time.I couldn't believe they said that either -- I thought it was mostly about money. Seig heil!:eek:

madderakka
03-14-08, 10:39 AM
I don't think you should have to be a certified teacher, but I think that in a lot of states more stringent testing is needed for homeschoolers. I was pulled out of public school and homeschooled and my education really went downhill because my mom didn't really do anything with me. She just handed me the books and expected me to teach myself. The only requirement by the state was that I take the standardized test every other year.

Jarleigannor
03-14-08, 01:44 PM
I don't think you should have to be a certified teacher, but I think that in a lot of states more stringent testing is needed for homeschoolers. I was pulled out of public school and homeschooled and my education really went downhill because my mom didn't really do anything with me. She just handed me the books and expected me to teach myself. The only requirement by the state was that I take the standardized test every other year.

I take it you're not originally from PA. ;)
It's unfortunate that there are stories like yours. Missing the opportunity for a good education shouldn't happen to anyone. But it's important to remember that outcome based testing has NOT been proven to be a positive thing.

Science and history is almost non-existant in our local elementary schools (and I hear the same across the country) because the focus is on math and reading testing. Even with that focus, PA's standards are to have 56% and 63% of all students "proficient" in math and reading, respectively, by the end of next year. Barely more than half! And that's based on whatever they decide qualifies as "proficient". There are loads of studies on how tests are being dumbed down to meet those standards.
My standards are MUCH higher than that.

Scattered
03-14-08, 05:24 PM
I don't think that the testing aspect is as important as supervision of homeschool teachers. When I was homeschooling my oldest, I reported monthly to a certified teacher to discuss progress, lesson plans, etc. Even though I had previously taught school for 12 years I found it very helpful both in getting another unbiased viewpoint and in helping me keep on track. We know someone that lives near us whose son got in trouble for being late or absent, so they pulled him to "homeschool" him. Best I can tell he's had very little schooling at all since that point and that is definately a problem. Having some oversight/accountability would help avoid those kinds of problems. Having a certification doesn't necessarily mean that someone homeschooling will do a good job. Without a teaching superviser to report to I had trouble keeping with the program (being ADD and all) even though I was highly motivated and still certified at that time.

DeloresMelon
03-14-08, 08:01 PM
I attempted to homeschool my son for pre-K and K. I'm the ADD one, so you can already figure how that went.

But, I have to say, with the resources available, it is not necessary to have a teaching certificate. Some degree of intelligence is definitely required but god help the ones that have nutjobs for parents.

I whole heartedly believe those are the ones the "system" is trying to weed out, but basically they're killing the grass too with most of the weed killers they are using.

Fortunately for my son's education and my sanity I realized, while I'm intelligent enough, I'm not nearly dedicated and focused enough to provide him his entire education. While they are in public school now, I will tie myself to a train track before I send them to public middle and high school.

I hate to say it but America sucks sometimes. :(

HighFunctioning
03-15-08, 11:09 PM
Until a system can accommodate 100% of all possible situations (and even then, it still won't be true), the system will not have 100% acceptance. It's very basic cause-and-effect, and "authorities" in many aspects in life sometimes try to ignore. The main impact that such regulations would have if put in place would be to create more "criminals" than there already are.

I would agree that many are not necessarily effective teachers, "certified" teachers included. Especially when these certified teachers are paid to teach a subject with very little expertise in the area. Though there are many more attributes to a good teacher than knowledge, not having a good understanding of the subject at hand usually doesn't mesh well with the idea of focusing on one subject to begin with (a.k.a. the typical structure/model of education). I don't think that I'd be a particularly good teacher myself, but that's probably because I'd have lack of follow through and that I tend to be confusing at times.