Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Homeschooling Article in Hartford Courant

While at the public hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford today one of the legislators mentioned this article which was published in the Hartford Courant yesterday and said it was a positive article.

When Home Is Also School: Two Parents In Stafford Find That Teaching Their Own Children Is An Education In Itself
By Jim Farrell
Published in: Hartford Courant
Published on: 2/18/08

I wanted to comment on this part from the article:

"Home-schooling continues to get more popular," said Laura Derrick of the National Home Education Network, noting that some studies suggest that more than 1 million students are being home-schooled throughout the country with the ranks growing by close to 10 percent annually.

Still, home-schoolers represent only about 2 percent of the total K-12 school population.

In Connecticut, an estimated 2,100 students are being home-schooled, according to the state Department of Education. That translates to less than half of 1 percent of the state's approximately 580,000 public school students.

The issue with the numbers in Connecticut is you have to figure out what statistics the Department of Education in Connecticut is using. If they are using statistics such as the numbers of the "Notices of Intent" (to homeschool) they have on file then this is not an accurate statistic. That is because not all families actually file a Notice of Intent form. In other words there are families who are homeschooling who the state's Department of Education has no idea even exist! Some have never been enrolled in any school, not even preschool. To further complicate matters, some parents who have filed the NOI in the past are no longer filing them, even though homeschooling continues with that child.

I don't know how many children are homeschooled in Connecticut. Some have tried to figure it out by calculating the national average of 1% or 1.5% or 2% of the school-aged children in Connecticut. I don't even know those numbers, of how many school-aged children live in Connecticut, so I could not tell you how that computes, as a guess.

Once a homeschool support group tried to figure out how many children were homeschooled by tallying their membership data. I don't recall what those numbers were.

This article profiles the Kopp family and the parts about their family were quite positive.

I also noted this interesting statistic shared by UCONN.

Lee Melvin, director of undergraduate admissions at UConn, said his office tends to place additional emphasis on standardized test scores when evaluating the approximately 20-30 applicants sent in by home-schooled students each year.

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