Friday, 6 May 2011

A scheme worth looking at in this country


  1. In Indiana, the law views home schools as small private schools. This means that each home-school family has all of the rights and freedoms of any private school in the state. Indiana law clearly states in section 20-33-2-12 of the state code that private schools do not have to follow any of the guidelines from the Board of Education for curriculum and content. A private school must report to the local superintendent the number and grade levels of students if the information is requested directly. The Indiana Board of Education website has a page available for parents to report the ages and grades of the children they are home-schooling. Because this is not required, many home school families choose not to offer this information unless it is solicited directly by a local superintendent.

    All children in Indiana, including home-schoolers, must attend school from age 7 to 18, or until they graduate. While there are no laws about what a home-school student must do to graduate from high school, most parents base the high school course of study on the local public school system's required number of credits for graduation. Additionally, each school year must be the same length as the local school system's according to Section 20-33-2-5 of the Indiana law. There are no laws about how long a school day must be or which hours of the day, days of the week, or months of the year children must be in school. However, parents must keep a record of which days school was in session. Most parents use a lesson planning book as proof that 180 days of lessons were planned out and conducted. Placing a check mark after each task in the lesson plan book to show that it was completed is acceptable

    Students are not required to participate in standardized testing. However, many parents choose to take part voluntarily because testing can help gauge how students are progressing and identify weaknesses that need to be addressed.

    Home-schooled students do not receive a traditional diploma unless they are involved in a distance learning program. While this may appear to be a concern, most colleges and branches of the military have special application processes for home-schoolers that make having a diploma unnecessary. A home-schooled student who wishes to attend college should take the same number of courses in each subject area as the students in a college prep program in the local public school district. However he is free to substitute whenever he chooses to match his interests and abilities, such as switching algebra for calculus or an overview of history for a concentrated study on one country, war or time period. Each college has its own requirements from home-schooled students, but most include some combination of a list of courses taken, books read, projects completed and papers written. Students and parents should keep a detailed list of all of this information beginning in the ninth grade, as many college will use it in place of an official transcript and diploma. While home-schoolers do not have to take standardized tests, SAT or ACT scores are necessary for college applications and students should take one or both

  2. Why is an American State scheme worth looking at?
    Totally different legislature.

  3. 'Why is an American State scheme worth looking at?
    Totally different legislature.'

    Worth looking at from the point of view of tax breaks for home educators.

  4. Why should we get tax breaks? You might just as well say that anyone using private schools or private education should get tax breaks. What about those with massive private pensions? Should they get a tax break if they agree not to take the state pension? Maybe we should all be able to opt out of society and not pay any taxes?

  5. "private schools or private education"

    Meant to say,

    private schools or private *health care*

  6. Voucher schemes like this are almost universally opposed by home educators in the US who are not Chritisan fundimentalists (see Hime Education Magazine's website to get a flavour of the argument). They are generally supported by fundimentalists as part of a larger political agenda (if tax money can be given to families who home educate, then it can also be given to churches that run private schols, goes the argument.)

    Worth noting that bills like this are not likely to stand up to court scrutiny in the US - they are unconstitutional because they violate the separation of church and state, which is much stronger in US law than in the UK. (Specifically, they violate the 'establishment clause') No US family can legally be forced to pay for anyone else's religious education. So this initiative will eventually fail, even if it initially passes the legislature.

    (There's an important distinction to be made here between what are called 'voucher schemes' in the US - this type of scheme that funnels taxpayers money into religious organisations - and what are called 'charter schools' - which are the equivalent of UK 'free schools', must be secular, and are perfectly OK under US law.) Some of the UK cheerleading for vouchers seems to come from people confusing them with charters.

  7. _Home_ Education magazine! Oops!