Thursday, August 23, 2007

Charter Schools And Homeschoolers


There are some great posts over at National Charter School Watch and Homeschooling And Public School At Home (AHA).

The National Charter School Watch blog was created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community.

Presented at National Charter School Watch are news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.

Charter schools are public schools.

They are publicly funded and must adhere to state and federal legislation (NCLB) and mandates for public schools.
Some states allow charters to exist in a home environment.
(CT does not do that - they have enough issues with brick and mortar charters).
Those families participating in home charters may be "schooling at home" but essentially are doing "public school" which is a - government regulated - publicly funded - and government dictated curriculum at home.

It's a choice. Choices are fine.
This choice may work for some families, and that's o.k.
But this choice is not what many call autonomous and sovereign homeschooling, and it should not be confused or construed or misrepresented as such.
It is not homeschooling in the true sense and intent of the word, and this has created controversy in the homeschool community for good reason.

The concern here is that public schools are beginning to co-opt the term homeschool and may begin to subsume all homeschooling under their umbrella of regulation.

Public education has been losing more and more students to homeschooling. They are seeking ways to regain that enrollment. Home charters is one popular method for them to do that. They even use the name "homeschool".

It's like if you started calling a kitten a puppy. They both have four legs and a tail and fur; they lick themselves and may respond when you call them. They may look and even act similar, but clearly they are not the same thing.

Choices in education are good to have, but we need to have at least two options that are free from government control and intervention. Private schools and sovereign homeschools fall under that category, and we are seeing increasing encroachment by the government into those educational choices, which only interferes with their ability to educate as they were originally intended to educate.

Public school education in the home is still public schooling.
It is government controlled education reaching into your home and calling itself homeschooling.
It is in fact the wolf in sheep's clothing.

2 comments:

Renae said...

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful post. I agree that we need to protect school choice and expand it.

While reading answers to a question about state requirements in a home school forum I was saddened when mothers wrote,"We only have to..." This seems like submitting gladly to government regulation. The government is not doing you a favor by making you come under authority of the local school board.

Alasandra said...

Thank you for explaining so thoughtfully why homeschoolers are concerned about public virtual schools co-opting the homeschooling name.