January 18 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 18, 2010

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Welcome National Review Online readers
01.19.10 at 9:59 am
January 22 roundup
01.22.10 at 8:27 am
Update: judge dismisses vision-impaired gamer’s suit against Sony
02.16.10 at 7:24 am

{ 6 comments }

1 Doug 01.18.10 at 10:22 am

Indeed, i thought we were supposed to live in small (less than 1000 square foot) houses. Other than that, Ms. West’s article was really a poorly done editorial on the evils of self sufficiency. My niece, who was always home schooled, just graduated at 18 from a 2 year RN program. Can’t say that about our public schools.

2 BG 01.18.10 at 11:41 am

Here’s a review from December about West’s article. West took the time to make a comment about the review. West seems to have taken the talking points list from Home School Legal Defense Association about certain things. (HSLDA has taken some flak for over-stating the “illegality” of home education before they came along).

http://gaither.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/west-on-the-harms-of-homeschooling/

3 VMS 01.18.10 at 1:35 pm

I did a quick (not thorough) search of New York’s Education Law and found nothing in it requiring the submission of lesson plans for home schooling. If that requirement exists, it is probably in the Commissioner’s Regulations. What I did find was that:

§ 3204. Instruction required. 1. Place of instruction. A minor
required to attend upon instruction by the provisions of part one of
this article may attend at a public school or elsewhere. The
requirements of this section shall apply to such a minor, irrespective
of the place of instruction.

§ 3233. Penalties. Except as otherwise provided, a violation of part
one of this article shall be punishable for the first offense by a fine
not exceeding ten dollars or ten days’ imprisonment; for each subsequent offense by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

It seems that the the Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a Penal Law statute, is a bogus charge under the circumstances of this case.

In any event, the Fonda-Fultonville School District seems to deliver a mediocre education. Whether that’s the fault of the instruction or the pupils cannot be discrned from the data. It would be interesting to see if the regents scores of home schooled students are on par or better.

https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/School.do?county=MONTGOMERY&district=270601040000&school=270601040001&year=2008

4 Doug 01.18.10 at 4:37 pm

BG-thanks for the link. It was a great critique. I must restate, coming by a couple of times a year to check for abuse is a poor use of money. Assuming you ignore “probably cause” and “reasonable suspicion” or whatever standard you need to investigate abuse, CPS does a poor job now investigating those children who are already known to the system as needing protection. For a law professor to advocate a position reminds me of “those who can do, those who can’t teach”.

5 Le Mur 01.19.10 at 11:46 am

Has anyone else noticed that the winners (and 2nd, 3rd place, etc) of spelling and geography “bees” are usually home-schooled?

My favorite of West’s complaints was the one about kids not being politically indoctrinated properly.

6 William Nuesslein 01.21.10 at 11:29 am

I found Ms. West’s paper on homeschooling terrific. Some thoughts:

a) Between them the Presidential and vice-presidential Republican candidates in the 1964 election had but two terms of schooling, and President Lincoln had both of them. Mr. Johnson’s wife thaught him reading. President Obama is but one of many who are inspired by the words of Lincoln. So just what is the benefit of schooling?

b) I am amazed that people turn down a benefit that costs governments $8,000 a year or so without any break from their property taxes.

c) I recall fondly my friends in school. I question any parent’s decision to deny his child’s access to shoollhouse friends.

d) Back when Dick Armey was majority leader of the House, there was a proposed regulation to require proof of competency for home schools. The congressmen were instantly inundated by their constituencies and the regulation was summarily trashed.

I did not home school my children, and I wish that the practice was rare. But if that is what people want, then God Bless Them.

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