|March 1st, 2008||#61|
Judge orders homeschoolers into government education
Court: Family's religious beliefs 'no evidence' of 1st Amendment violation
February 29, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A California court has ruled that several children in one homeschool family must be enrolled in a public school or "legally qualified" private school, and must attend, sending ripples of shock into the nation's homeschooling advocates as the family reviews its options for appeal.
The ruling came in a case brought against Phillip and Mary Long over the education being provided to two of their eight children. They are considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court, because they have homeschooled all of their children, the oldest now 29, because of various anti-Christian influences in California's public schools.
The decision from the 2nd Appellate Court in Los Angeles granted a special petition brought by lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children after the family's homeschooling was brought to the attention of child advocates.
"We find no reason to strike down the Legislature's evaluation of what constitutes an adequate education scheme sufficient to promote the 'general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence,'" the court said in the case. "We agree … 'the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education.'"
The words echo the ideas of officials from Germany, where homeschooling has been outlawed since 1938 under a law adopted when Adolf Hitler decided he wanted the state, and no one else, to control the minds of the nation's youth.
Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has said "school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures, and helps students to become responsible [enemy code word, see our opposition forum, enemies subforum, enemy vocabulary thread] citizens."
Specifically, the appeals court said, the trial court had found that "keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children's lives, and (3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting."
The appeals ruling said California law requires "persons between the ages of six and 18" to be in school, "the public full-time day school," with exemptions being allowed for those in a "private full-time day school" or those "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught."
The judges ruled in the case involving the Longs the family failed to demonstrate "that mother has a teaching credential such that the children can be said to be receiving an education from a credentialed tutor," and that their involvement and supervision by Sunland Christian School's independent study programs was of no value.
Nor did the family's religious beliefs matter to the court.
Their "sincerely held religious beliefs" are "not the quality of evidence that permits us to say that application of California's compulsory public school education law to them violates their First Amendment rights."
"Such sparse representations are too easily asserted by any parent who wishes to homeschool his or her child," the court concluded.
The father, Phillip Long, said the family is working on ways to appeal to the state Supreme Court, because he won't allow the pro-homosexual, pro-bisexual, pro-transgender agenda of California's public schools, on which WND previously has reported, to indoctrinate his children.
"We just don't want them teaching our children," he told WND. "They teach things that are totally contrary to what we believe. They put questions in our children's minds we don't feel they're ready for.
"When they are much more mature, they can deal with these issues, alternative lifestyles, and such, or whether they came from primordial slop. At the present time it's my job to teach them the correct way of thinking," he said.
"We're going to appeal. We have to. I don't want to put my children in a public school system that teaches ideologies I don't believe in," he said.
A spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association, one of the world's premiere homeschooling advocacy organizations, said the group's experts were analyzing the impact of the decision.
"It's a very unfortunate decision," he said.
Randy Thomasson, of Campaign for Children and Families, said under California law parents have the legal right to create a private school in their home and enroll their own children.
"Children belong to the parents, not to the state," he said. But he acknowledged that there's a great deal of misinformation about the status of homeschooling in California.
"For years the government school establishment has been lying to parents about the law.[/B] Just this week, a Los Angeles Unified school district employee lied to a mother who wanted to homeschool, telling her you must have a license, you must be credentialed and you must follow all the state curriculum. That's three lies in one sentence."
"Now we have judges going crazy and actively separating children from their parents."
A legal outline for parents' homeschool rights in California, published by Family Protection Ministries, confirmed Thomasson's description.
The state's legal options for home educators include establishing a private school in their home by filing a private school affidavit with state regulators or enrolling in private school satellite instruction programs or independent study programs, it said.
The Long family had been involved in such a program with Sunland Christian School, but the appeals court took the extraordinary step of banning the family from being involved in that organization any longer, since it was "willing to participate in the deprivation of the children's right to a legal education."
A number of groups already have assembled in California under the Rescue Your Child slogan to encourage parents to withdraw their children from the state's public school system.
It's because the California Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worked together to establish Senate Bill 777 and Assembly Bill 394 as law, plans that institutionalize the promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other alternative lifestyle choices.
"First, [California] law allowed public schools to voluntarily promote homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality. Then, the law required public schools to accept homosexual, bisexual and transsexual teachers as role models for impressionable children. Now, the law has been changed to effectively require the positive portrayal of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality to 6 million children in California government-controlled schools," said Thomasson.
Even insiders joined in the call for an abandonment of California's public districts. Veteran public school teacher Nadine Williams of Torrance said the sexual indoctrination laws have motivated her to keep her grandchildren out of the very public schools she used to support.
The Discover Christian Schools website reports getting thousands of hits daily from parents and others seeking information about alternatives to California's public schools.
WND reported leaders of the campaign called California Exodus say they hope to encourage parents of 600,000 children to withdraw them from the public districts this year.
The new law itself technically bans in any school texts, events, class or activities any discriminatory bias against those who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles, said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute.
There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however. Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.
"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values. These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured," she said.
Karen England, chief of CRI, told WND that the law is not a list of banned words, including "mom" and "dad." But she said the requirement is that the law bans discriminatory bias and the effect will be to ban such terminology.
"Having 'mom' and 'dad' promotes a discriminatory bias. You have to either get rid of 'mom' and 'dad' or include everything when talking about [parental issues]," she said. "They [promoters of sexual alternative lifestyles] do consider that discriminatory."
The California plan still is facing a court challenge on its constitutionality and a possible vote of the people of California if an initiative effort succeeds.
|March 3rd, 2008||#62|
[revolutionary talk from Skunky McDoof... good stuff]
Note to parents: Let schools burn!
March 03, 2008
There comes a time when an institution has been so badly damaged that the best thing to do is to junk it and start over. The American schools have been in trouble for as long as I can remember. It's worth remembering that the nation has been at risk due to educational failures since 1983 saw the publication of "A Nation at Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform." But despite repeated reforms, the public schools of America have continued to get worse by nearly ever statistical measure.
And it's little wonder. Consider, for example, this recent communiqué from the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento.
There are four main goals that we have and will continue to focus on in the college, which are expressed in the acronym TEACH:
Equity and Social Justice
Human Differences and Diversity
Of course, they only teach education, not mathematics, so one shouldn't expect these professional educators to be able to count to five. Perhaps they expect that "one-two-three-many" should suffice for the intellectually lobotomized victims of their trained thought-executioners, after all, we're reliably informed that it's enough for rabbits. A keen observer might also note that nowhere in the concepts expressed by these fiver main goals is anything even remotely related to a traditional education as the average parent understands one to be.
This is particularly significant in light of an appeals court's decision to declare war on the homeschooling families of California. The school Nazis [sic - he means commies, just check the goals he cites above] are not the least bit concerned with educating the children, but rather making sure that it is their values that are instilled into the state's children, not the parents', and so have transformed the public schools from purported centers for collective learning into avowed intellectual death camps.
There is no point in attempting to fix such a lethally poisoned institution. Let the male teachers withdraw en masse from the system; they are not wanted anyway. Let no child be left behind as the illiterate and innumerate graduate with their meaningless degrees. Let the universities continue to devolve into remedial reading programs for unmarried women. Embrace the failures of the system with enthusiasm, because the sooner complete control is turned over to the cave-dwelling control freaks who seek to run it, the sooner the schools will collapse in ruins. Knowledge will still be accessible to those who seek it.
One cannot fix what is not broken, and the schools are working as they are designed to work. [As we have said many times, this is the crucial insight: the 'public schools' are not failing, they are succeeding] This is not a battle that can be fought and won; it is not a battle that should be fought. Homeschooling is but a stop-gap; in the long term, it is technology that will put an end to the 100-year American experiment with Prussian pragmatism. But until that day, do whatever you must to extricate your children from the system, teach them well and watch with confidence in the future as the professional educators immolate themselves and their system in a self-administered act of faith.
|March 3rd, 2008||#63|
Finding value in time together, setting own pace
By Sharon Roznik
The Reporter [email protected]
There's something to be said about getting an education while wearing pajamas.
Local homeschoolers say they have the best of all worlds: quality time spent with family, the ability to set their own schedules and the self-satisfaction of working at their own academic pace.
"Last year, I tried a whole year of public school, but I really didn't enjoy it," said 12-year-old Megan Peterman of Fond du Lac. " A lot of the time, I was waiting around for other kids to learn stuff."
Gathered this week for a local homeschool play rehearsal at Grace Reformed Church on 18th Street, teen friends Eric Ritzema of Waupun, Jed Heeringa of Campbellsport and Andrew Boon of Fond du Lac jostled each other as they waited for their turn.
The students have been busy rehearsing for upcoming community productions of the "Boxcar Children" and "Winnie the Pooh," the latter presented by the younger children in the homeschool group.
"I can wake up late and eat lunch while I'm doing schoolwork in the La-Z-Boy," said Eric of getting an education in the comfort of his own home.
"We take field trips as a family. If I need a day off, I can finish two days worth of work in one," said Jed.
Parents Dawn and Kevin Doll of Dotyville serve as leaders of the Homeschool Performing Arts Club, one of several offshoot homeschooling clubs in the area. The sub-group of about 13 families and 24 art-loving homeschoolers comes from the larger Fond du Lac Home School Association.
"The kids love to come to our barn and paint sets, and everyone in our group gets a turn to act," Dawn Doll noted. "It's a great way for them to socialize and meet other homeschooled kids."
According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, about 420 students in Fond du Lac County received a home-based education during the 2006-07 school year. In the Fond du Lac School District alone, 143 students were registered as homeschoolers this school year.
The Dolls' five children range in age from 2 to 12. Dawn Doll said she was employed as a teacher until her third child was born. Then it didn't pay to work outside the home.
"We liked having our children with us and instilling in them our own values and not those of society in general," she explained.
"We work from a Catholic base, so it's not just about education, but a whole way of life."
Her firefighter husband, Kevin Doll, said his first reaction of hesitancy didn't last long.
"I love it. I know what my kids are doing, we spend lots of time together and I don't have to worry about all the violence and tension they could experience in a regular school," he said.
Mary Ritzema lives between Waupun and Fond du Lac and has taught her own children for the past four years.
"I can give them the level of attention and instruction they need," she said. "They stay in touch with current events and what's happening in the world, but we discuss it as a family."
Mother-of-three Wendy Burich of Mount Calvary made the leap to homeschool when her young daughter was having trouble fitting in at a parochial school.
"We had only short amounts of time together as a family and only saw each other at night," Burich said.
"I didn't want that time to be all about doing homework and driving around in the car to after-school stuff."
At another end of town, about 44 families attend monthly meetings of the Fond du Lac Area Christian Homeschoolers.
Their newsletter goes out to 150 families in the area, said Dawn Poss, who, with her husband, Randy Poss, chose to teach their nine children at home.
The group's focus is spiritual development, with homeschooling centered in Christian character development, Bible study and discipline.
"People said to us, 'Just wait until they are teenagers,'" Dawn Poss recalled.
"I currently have four teens at home. We deal with issues, but I like being around them because they are nice kids."
Another small homeschool group, the Fond du Lac Area Homeschooled Drama Troupe, is working on its fourth annual production. Leader Kristi Scorcio counts 24 families and 50 kids enthusiastic about working with their director, Therese Burazin from Milwaukee Youth Theater.
"Parents really pull together to help out, and Community Church allows us to do the play there. We have great support for local homeschoolers in the area," she said.
It was while living in northwestern Wisconsin that the Scorcios opted to homeschool. Travel to the nearest public school would have meant an hourlong bus ride for their 5-year-old kindergartner.
By the time their son was 16 years old, he was starting college at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac.
"You learn so much teaching them," Scorcio said. "When kids can move at their own pace, redo things or go fast, it keeps the spark of learning in their lives. They never get burned out."
|March 3rd, 2008||#64|
[1300 Nebraska HSers fight dirty kike or kikealike DiAnna Schimek's attempt to ban HS]
Records at Public Hearing
Thirteen hundred homeschoolers overwhelmed the Nebraska Capitol yesterday for a hearing on L.B. 1141, where the strongest argument raised in support of the bill was anecdotal evidence from a meter reader.
Senator Schimek Testifies for Her Bill with Meter Reader Hearsay
When Senator DiAnna Schimek introduced her oppressive testing bill, L.B. 1141, at the February 26 public hearing before the Nebraska Education Committee, she confessed that a majority of homeschoolers do a great job. Furthermore, she claimed that only anecdotal evidence of irresponsible homeschoolers exists. Her best anecdote was from a “meter reader” she knows who allegedly claimed that when reading meters during the day, he often sees children whom he believes are homeschooled. The assumption is that these kids are not receiving an adequate education.
Senator Schimek admitted knowing that her bill would be controversial, but said that she wanted to start a discussion about testing homeschooled students. She pointed to Iowa as a model for her legislation and used material from HSLDA’s website to show that Iowa is one of several Midwestern states that moderately regulate homeschoolers. She failed to mention that from Michigan to Idaho, Nebraska is also surrounded by a majority of states that have very few homeschooling regulations.
During her testimony, Senator Schimek read several emails from people, including a homeschooler, who support her bill. She also implied that legislators who passed the current homeschool law in the 1980s did not realize that it would be used by homeschoolers. However, a former legislator and chairman of the Education Committee who accompanied Senator Schimek did not concur.
Furthermore, many homeschoolers who attended yesterday’s hearing at the Capitol stated that they had testified at hearings back in the early 80s, and that it was clear to everyone that the crowds lobbying for the law were primarily homeschoolers.
As she closed her testimony, Senator Schimek acknowledged that she introduced the bill because “we don’t know what is going on” and to “catch kids who fall through the cracks.”
Homeschoolers Break Attendance Records
L.B. 1141 certainly has made people stand up and take notice. It has attracted the attention of the entire Nebraska homeschooling community and homeschoolers across the nation.
Hundreds of families attended yesterday’s hearing, overwhelming the Nebraska Capitol and amazing legislative staff with their good behavior and decorum. Ironically, the only reported issues of unruly children came from those participating in a public school scavenger hunt. Homeschoolers filled the Warner Capitol Chamber and five overflow rooms, listening intently to the two hours of testimony, which was mostly against L.B. 1141. Capitol staff informed Kathleen Lenzen, wife of Nebraska Christian Home Educators (NCHEA) President Nick Lenzen, that the crowd set a record for attendance at a hearing.
More Testimony Supporting L.B. 1141
Other testimony on L.B. 1141 was given by state government officials. Jay Sears of the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA) testified in favor of the bill’s principles and concepts, despite the fact that the NSEA has questioned the applicability and use of tests in public schools. Brian Halstead of the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) said that the NDE is neutral on the bill, and pointed out that the statutes and rules do not explicitly refer to homeschools, but rather to “exempt schools.”
Testimony Opposing L.B. 1141
Opponents of the legislation testified for an hour and 20 minutes, as Senator Ron Raikes, Education Committee Chairman, graciously allowed an additional 20 minutes of testimony.
NCHEA (Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association) Opens:
Dave Lostroh, former legislative liaison, homeschooling father, and veteran of the early 80s Nebraska homeschooling controversies, began the opposing testimony. He explained that the current bill would violate the religious convictions of homeschoolers operating under Rule 13. He also questioned the Department of Education’s ability to administer the new law in light of its history of scandal and current difficulty managing Nebraska’s public schools. Lostroh told the committee that Rule 13 homeschoolers believe that they are responsible to God for the education of their children and that the state does not have the authority to control them in the way that L.B. 1141 would.
Home School Legal Defense Association Speaks Out:
Lostroh’s point was underscored by testimony from Michael Donnelly, staff attorney for HSLDA, who said that “Nebraska’s current law properly balances the interests of the state and the rights of parents.” Donnelly further explained that L.B. 1141 would make Nebraska’s homeschool regulations the most restrictive in the country: “Senator Schimek’s bill combines the worst of all possible devices. And it does so with authority vested in a single state agency, the Department of Education. This is a recipe for disaster for Nebraska homeschooling.”
Donnelly pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that “children are not the mere creatures of the state,” and that while the state does have an interest in education, it does not have a compelling interest to dictate the method of education. When Senator Avery wondered if the Nebraska Constitution requires the legislature to test children, Donnelly pointed out that Nebraska compulsory attendance laws likely did not even exist when the Nebraska Constitution was ratified. Furthermore, the Constitution only authorizes the legislature to fund a free public education in common schools.
Federal Administrative Law Judge James Gillet Testifies:
James Gillet, a federal administrative law judge, compared L.B. 1141 to a bill requiring investigation of all legislators’ personal bank accounts and financial records simply because a few legislators had or might have embezzled state funds. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” he argued, saying that passing a law based on limited and sketchy anecdotal evidence is bad public policy.
Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute Shares:
Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute reviewed widely known research that homeschoolers perform above their public and private school peers on objective measures of academic and social performance. Dr. Ray went on to assert that L.B. 1141 operates from a “flawed premise” because it assumes that the state has “prior authority” over children.
University of Nebraska Testimony:
Dr. Ken Dick, a research fellow at the University of Nebraska at Omaha put testing in perspective by saying that public schools test to let parents know that the schools are doing a good job. By requiring parents who teach their children to test, the bill effectively reverses this, forcing parents to prove that they are doing a good job. He argued that because parents are responsible for their children's education, this makes no sense. Dr. Dick also responded to questions from the committee about testing, stating that testing is a mere “surrogate for reality,” and that he prefers other evaluative measures, preferably work product, such as essays or life experience. He noted that some of his faculty colleagues have noted how easy it is to identify homeschool graduates in their classes, because these students listen, ask questions, and engage the class in a way that distinguishes them from their public school peers.
Dr. Carson Holloway, professor of political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, noted that the danger of mandatory testing in this context is severe because parents will be forced to teach to the test to ensure that their children are not forced back into a public school environment. He stated, “When a precious right (such as homeschooling) is at stake, parents will have little choice but to teach to the test.” And, he noted, because the test would be state-approved and administered, this is unacceptable.
In their testimony, college professors and registrar staff indicated that Nebraska colleges and universities see homeschoolers consistently perform better academically than other students, both upon entering and graduation from these schools. Kris Udd of Grace University said that his college has decided to more aggressively recruit Nebraska homeschooled students because of these findings.
Finally, Nebraska homeschoolers testified that L.B. 1141 infringes on their freedom to homeschool, and claimed they will leave Nebraska before they will submit to such overbearing and intrusive regulation.
With the tremendous turnout and Governor Dave Heineman's promise to veto this restrictive bill, we hope L.B. 1141 will not make it out of the Education Committee. If, however, it does begin to move, we will notify you immediately.
Of the crowds in attendance, HSLDA Attorney Mike Donnelly said, “This was an incredible work of God and an amazing testimony to Nebraska homeschoolers. Thirteen hundred people in attendance is an overwhelming number, and the decorum and behavior of all reflected greatly on the homeschool community. It is such a privilege to serve the people of Nebraska, and I pray that the Education Committee can see that there is no need or public demand for this legislation. Homeschoolers do an incredible work even as they fund the public schools without much complaint through their taxes. All they want is to be left alone to continue turning out successful graduates.”
HSLDA appreciates and thanks all Nebraska homeschoolers for attending and supporting this effort to defeat L.B. 1141. We will keep you informed of further developments.
|March 3rd, 2008||#65|
Homeschoolers Launch Alternative to Film School and Hollywood
Contact: George Escobar, 540-751-0518
MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Advent Film Group (AFG), a new film company founded by homeschoolers recently completed "pickup" filming of their first movie, "Come What May" in Purcellville, Virginia. The movie has garnered wide attention because it features Patrick Henry College (PHC), a national powerhouse in debate and moot court competition. The movie centers on two PHC students who battle to overturn Roe v. Wade at the National Moot Court Championship. They are coached by Dr. Michael Farris, the real-life founder and Chancellor of PHC and a high-profile homeschooling advocate. This is the first of five movies planned by Advent.
With a cast/crew of 40 homeschooled students led by film professionals, AFG's movies are similar to "Facing The Giants" in scale, budget, and aspirations. AFG's national network of supporters, now several hundred homeschooling families strong (and growing); will help promote the film's release in late Spring 2008.
Homeschooled students and their parents, interested in rebuilding culture for Christ in cinema, have sought out AFG as an alternative to film school. "This fulfills part of AFG's mission," says Ex-Discovery executive and AFI producing fellow George Escobar, a homeschooling dad. "We are training students who will one-day direct big-budget films with moral integrity and fidelity to a biblical worldview."
Unlike film schools where students pay large tuitions to make short or student films, AFG productions are feature-length from the start, giving the completed film immediate market value. AFG actually pays college students a small stipend even as they are trained, earn professional credits, and receive profit-participation points.
Escobar explains, "We're doing this because film schools aren't working sufficiently for Christian filmmakers." Escobar claims, "The status-quo is clearly broken, otherwise big-budget faith-based or Christian-authored movies like 'Amazing Grace' or 'Narnia' would be directed by Christian directors, unless you finance the film yourself as Mel Gibson had to do for 'Passion of the Christ.'"
AFG is also building a movie distribution system from within the homeschooling, pro-life/pro-family communities. Rather than sharing film revenues strictly with traditional distributors, AFG seeks to channel movie revenue into Christian and family-based organizations. Escobar remarks: "Homeschoolers have already successfully turned the public education monopoly upside down; we will now do the same in cinema production and distribution."
Advent Film Group was founded by Christian filmmakers to champion the mission and vision of Patrick Henry College and other like-minded organizations to shape our culture through media. See the movie trailer at www.adventfilmgroup.com.
|March 6th, 2008||#66|
Court Deems Homeschooling a Criminal Offense
by Steven Greenhut
The Pacific Justice Institute in Sacramento sent along a statement about a disturbing California Court of Appeal decision finding that parents have no right to homeschool their children. Parents who do not send their kids to the school deemed appropriate by the state may face criminal charges and fines. Remember when former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin tried to criminalize homeschooling? Here we go again. It’s ironic, given how badly the government miseducates students, that officials are so determined to criminalize this basic freedom. This really shouldn’t shock anyone who realizes the degree to which government at all levels runs our lives.
Here’s the PJI statement:
Home Schooling Found Unlawful by California Court of Appeal
Los Angeles – In a stunning decision affecting thousands of families in California, the California Court of Appeal has issued an opinion finding no legal right to home school. “Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program,” wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey whose opinion was joined by the other two members of the appellate panel.
The opinion was issued February 28, 2008, in a case titled In re Rachel L, which reversed a Superior Court Judge, Stephen Marpet, who found that “parents have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home.” The parents of Rachel L. enrolled her in Sunland Christian School, a private home schooling program. In his opinion, Croskey, 75, described what he called the “ruse of enrolling [children] in a private school and then letting them stay home and be taught by a non-credentialed parent.”
Despite this statement by the Court, it should be noted that Sunland Christian School has been in full compliance with the requirements of the law for more than twenty years. “We’ve never been given an opportunity to represent our case in the Court of Appeal,” said Terry Neven, the president of the school. “Consequently, we are excited that PJI will represent us before the California Supreme Court so that the rights of home schooling families are preserved,” he stated further. In a section titled “Consequences of Parental Denial of a Legal Education,” the Court said that “parents are subject to being ordered to enroll their children in an appropriate school or education program and provide proof of enrollment to the court, and willful failure to comply with such an order may be punished by a fine for civil contempt.” “The scope of this decision by the appellate court is breathtaking. It not only attacks traditional home schooling, but also calls into question home schooling through charter schools and teaching children at home via independent study through public and private schools,” stated Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute “If not reversed, the parents of the more than 166,000 students currently receiving an education at home will be subject to criminal sanctions,” he continued.
|March 6th, 2008||#67|
Join Date: Nov 2005
just a different source article
i read the news on the wnd site (alex's favorite - hah).
skunky macdoof. thats funny.
anyways...... same story, just wanted to throw the wnd article on it out here.
you know how it is, sometimes one article has a little piece of something in it that another article doesnt.
for instance -
i have a question on this -
Further, the appeals ruling said, California law requires "persons between the ages of six and 18" to be in school, "the public full-time day school," with exemptions allowed only for those in a "private full-time day school" or those "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught."
did anyone notice the last part of the statement?
it actually says, "the grade being taught.
so, lets say i am freeschooling my son.
what happens when he goes from being done with the 8th "grade" material i have taught him, up to the 9th "grade" material.
what i mean is, lets say the state tells you that you have to have a degree in education to freeschool your kids.
lets say, for the sake of arguement, that i go back to school and get this degree.
do i have a "valid" degree to teach my son from 1st grade all the way up to 12th grade?
i mean, thats not how people come out of teaching programs.
those that specialize in grammar school level education cant teach 12th graders, etc.
is this just the way this is worded, or is the state actually saying that when you want to teach your son 6th grade, you have to be state certified in 6th grade education, but then when you want to teach him 10th grade, you need another certification.
this basically makes it impossible for any parent to teach their kid at home because you cant have ALL those certifications.
i am just asking on this point because i know if i were a psychotic kike, this is what i would do.
i would make it so that even if some parent said, "ok, kike, i'll go back to school and get my education degree", that this would not be enough.
i would say, well, you're qualified to teach your kid 6th grade..... but what are you going to do when he gets to 10th grade?
can anyone help me with this?
and...... i love the thread (and the radio istinas), alex.
i follow ALL of it.
like you, i will be freeschooling my kids soon.
i have three, and my oldest is scheduled to start kindergarten this fall.
keep up your fight on this freeschooling front.
in my opinion, as a white nationalist, i believe THIS is the most important battlefront we are facing.
what is more important to our Aryan movement than keeping our kids away from the kikes mind washing machines?
|March 6th, 2008||#68|
[This article does not specifically concern HS, but it shows the type of craziness that goes on in (California) public schools, and why parents like the Longs don't want their children imprisoned and indoctrinated by the judeo-communists running the sick System.]
Communism In CA Public Schools
More proposed jew destruction from California via "education" of young minds:
Next on school agenda: Teaching communism
Family advocate: 'Just when we thought indoctrination couldn't get any worse'
Posted: March 04, 2008 10:47 pm Eastern
A new plan by a California lawmaker would allow schools to be used to promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, and let teachers in public district classrooms "inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism," according to a traditional values advocacy organization.
"Just when we thought the indoctrination in California's public schools couldn't get any worse, state lawmakers introduce bills that will further brainwash innocent children," said a statement from Capitol Resource Institute, a traditional values and family advocacy organization based in California.
"We're in California. Of course it has a chance of succeeding," CRI spokeswoman Karen England told WND. "These people get bolder and bolder every year."
Her organization, along with several others, already has been battling over lawmakers' orders, already placed in law, that public schools in the state teach nothing but positive messages about homosexuality, transsexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyles.
Those plans are being challenged in court, by citizens' attempts to place the issue on the 2008 election ballot and by family advocates who say the best option is for families to abandon public schools for private schools or other alternatives.
Now comes the plan, SB 1322, from state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat elected from the state's 27th District, including the towns of Artesia, Avalon, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate and others.
"This bill would actually allow the promotion of communism in public schools," CRI said.
That's because the state's Civic Center Act already requires a school district to grant the use of school property, when an alternative isn't available, to nonprofit groups, clubs or associations set up for youth and school activities.
"But the law also states that the property may not be used by anyone intent on overthrowing the government," CRI said. Now, the group said, "SB 1322 would delete the requirement that an individual or organization wanting to use the school property is not a Communist action organization or Communist front organization.
"This bill would also strike the law that a public school or community college employee may be fired if he or she is a member of the Communist Party," the group said.
Worse yet, the group said, "the bill would also strike the law that prohibits a teacher giving instruction in a school or on public school property from teaching communism with the intent to indoctrinate or to inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism," CRI said.
"SB 1322 is simply shocking," said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for the affiliated Capitol Resource Family Impact. "The socialist members of the legislature are now advocating that communism, one of the most brutal forms of government in history, be taught favorably to government school students. Anyone espousing communism, which does advocate for the violent overthrow of existing government, will be permitted to not only use government property, but work in schools and colleges, and teach their freedom-hating propaganda to impressionable young people."
"Less than 20 years after the fall of the communist Soviet Union, California lawmakers are eager to once again begin advancing a political ideology responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people," England said. "Instead of promoting communism in our schools, lawmakers should be focused on actually teaching students to read, write and think for themselves."
On a blog on the Red County website, Mike Spence concluded: "I know there is plenty of indoctrination goin' on already but I gues (sic) they won't be staisfied (sic) until all school children are gay loving (SB777) and Communist. If only they could all read at grade level."
The bill itself explains that it would delete provisions "regarding a person who intends to use school property on behalf of an organization to deliver a statement, signed under penalty of perjury, that the organization is not a Communist action organization or Communist front organization required to be registered with the Attorney General of the United States or does not, to the best of that person's knowledge, advocate the overthrow of the government of the United States or of the State of California by force, violence, or other unlawful means."
The plan also outlines it would drop provisions that school and college employees could be dismissed for being a part of the Communist Party and drop a ban on "teaching communism with the intent to indoctrinate or to inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism."
The proposal itself noted that the teaching about the facts of communism was allowed, and the previous requirement banned teaching "for the purpose of undermining patriotism for, and the belief in, the government of the United States and of this state." However, the new plan drops that.
Also deleted was: "For the purposes of this section, communism is the political theory that the presently existing form of government of the United States or of this state should be changed, by force, violence, or other unconstitutional means, to a totalitarian dictatorship which is based on the principles of communism as expounded by Marx, Lenin, and Stalin."
Also deleted was the conclusion from the California Legislature other nations already had fallen into totalitarian dictatorships through the establishment of communism as well as the recognition that "the successful establishment of totalitarian dictatorships has consistently been aided, accompanied, or accomplished by repeated acts of treachery, deceit, teaching of false doctrines, teaching untruth, together with organized confusion, insubordination, and disloyalty, fostered, directed, instigated, or employed by communist organizations and their members…"
Also tossed out of California law was the recognition that communism even presents "a clear and present danger."
The earlier school indoctrination into alternative sexual lifestyles has prompted creation of Rescue Your Child a coalition of various groups encouraging parents to withdraw their children from the state's public school system.
That's the result of the California Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wrote and signed into law Senate Bill 777 and Assembly Bill 394 as law, plans that institutionalize the promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other alternative lifestyle choices.
The Discover Christian Schools website reports getting thousands of hits daily from parents and others seeking information about alternatives to California's public schools.
WND reported leaders of the campaign called California Exodus say they hope to encourage parents of 600,000 children to withdraw them from the public districts this year.
The new law itself technically bans in any school texts, events, class or activities any discriminatory bias against those who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles, said Turney. But there are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however. Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.
"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values. These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured," she said.
England told WND that the law is not a list of banned words, including "mom" and "dad." But she said the requirement is that the law bans discriminatory bias and the effect will be to ban such terminology.
"Having 'mom' and 'dad' promotes a discriminatory bias. You have to either get rid of 'mom' and 'dad' or include everything when talking about [parental issues]," she said. "They [promoters of sexual alternative lifestyles] do consider that discriminatory."
|March 7th, 2008||#69|
[More reaction to Calif. ruling - SF Examiner piece]
Homeschoolers' setback in appeals court ruling
Bob Egelko,Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writers
Thursday, March 6, 2008
A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.
The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.
"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach who is active with a homeschool association. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."
The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credential.
The parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.
The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.
Some homeschoolers are affiliated with private or charter schools, like the Longs, but others fly under the radar completely. Many homeschooling families avoid truancy laws by registering with the state as a private school and then enroll only their own children.
Yet the appeals court said state law has been clear since at least 1953, when another appellate court rejected a challenge by homeschooling parents to California's compulsory education statutes. Those statutes require children ages 6 to 18 to attend a full-time day school, either public or private, or to be instructed by a tutor who holds a state credential for the child's grade level.
"California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."
Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.
"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.
The ruling was applauded by a director for the state's largest teachers union.
Union pleased with ruling
"We're happy," said Lloyd Porter, who is on the California Teachers Association board of directors. "We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."
A spokesman for the state Department of Education said the agency is reviewing the decision to determine its impact on current policies and procedures. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued a statement saying he supports "parental choice when it comes to homeschooling."
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which agreed earlier this week to represent Sunland Christian School and legally advise the Long family on a likely appeal to the state Supreme Court, said the appellate court ruling has set a precedent that can now be used to go after homeschoolers."With this case law, anyone in California who is homeschooling without a teaching credential is subject to prosecution for truancy violation, which could require community service, heavy fines and possibly removal of their children under allegations of educational neglect," Dacus said.
Parents say they choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons, from religious beliefs to disillusionment with the local public schools.
Homeschooling parent Debbie Schwarzer of Los Altos said she's ready for a fight.
Schwarzer runs Oak Hill Academy out of her Santa Clara County home. It is a state-registered private school with two students, she said, noting they are her own children, ages 10 and 12. She does not have a teaching credential, but she does have a law degree.
"I'm kind of hoping some truancy officer shows up on my doorstep," she said. "I'm ready. I have damn good arguments."
She opted to teach her children at home to better meet their needs.
The ruling, Schwarzer said, "stinks."
Began as child welfare case
The Long family legal battle didn't start out as a test case on the validity of homeschooling. It was a child welfare case.
A juvenile court judge looking into one child's complaint of mistreatment by Philip Long found that the children were being poorly educated but refused to order two of the children, ages 7 and 9, to be enrolled in a full-time school. He said parents in California have a right to educate their children at home.
The appeals court told the juvenile court judge to require the parents to comply with the law by enrolling their children in a school, but excluded the Sunland Christian School from enrolling the children because that institution "was willing to participate in the deprivation of the children's right to a legal education."
The decision could also affect other kinds of homeschooled children, including those enrolled in independent study or distance learning through public charter schools - a setup similar to the one the Longs have, Dacus said.
Charter school advocates disagreed, saying Thursday that charter schools are public and are required to employ only credentialed teachers to supervise students - whether in class or through independent study.
Ruling will apply statewide
Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the ruling would effectively ban homeschooling in the state.
"California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home," he said in a statement.
But Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles, which represented the Longs' two children in the case, said the ruling did not change the law.
"They just affirmed that the current California law, which has been unchanged since the last time it was ruled on in the 1950s, is that children have to be educated in a public school, an accredited private school, or with an accredited tutor," she said. "If they want to send them to a private Christian school, they can, but they have to actually go to the school and be taught by teachers."
Heimov said her organization's chief concern was not the quality of the children's education, but their "being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."
The ruling: To view the ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal, go to links.sfgate.com/ZCQR.
hundreds of reader comments:
|March 7th, 2008||#70|
Best reader comments:
This is all about money. California schools get paid by attendance and enrollment. Home schooling threatens that. So the judges appointed by Democrats beholden to public employee unions rule that they must attend school. Shocking. As for the "there's totalitarianism at religious schools, too" please explain to me how you can suffer under a totalitarian ruling at a school attended on a voluntary basis. Bay Area liberals think fascist = anything I don't like.
Many public school advocates on this board display poor grammar and spelling. What does that tell me? On the other hand, the finalists of spelling and geography bees are mostly home schoolers. Just saying...
This is ridiculous. If the State of California is going to force people to send their kids to public school or pay out the nose for private instruction, then they need to ensure that ALL public schools are safe & provide a high-quality education. Gawd knows we pay high enough taxes that we should be able to afford it. What if you live in a city like LA, SF, Berkeley, or Oakland & your child gets assigned to a crappy school, & you can't AFFORD private school or a freaking "accredited" private tutor? We left Berkeley & moved to Guerneville (which has an excellent elementary school) for this reason. Also, what if -- like many parents -- you simply don't want your child exposed to junk-culture & junk-food, like Bratz Dolls, Hannah Montana, foul-mouthed & overly-sexed pop music, & neon-colored food that's advertised as nutritious but is really just glorified candy. I guess now that parents can only opt out of this if they're wealthy enough to afford a 20K/yr Waldorf education.
[the comments i'm not posting slightly outweigh the pro-HS posters. Bay Area liberals are and always have been totalitarian fundamentalists who think everyone but them is a religious wacko. They not only see nothing wrong with forcing others to subsidize views they don't believe in (Jefferson's definition of tyranny), they think they should be taxed again and have their children forcibly submitted to the pro-queer teachings of their sick and moribund cult.]
The L.A. Law Center representative stated that this wasn't an issue (for them) of the quality of education but that they wanted someone (the State) to watch out for the children, i.e. the underlying message is: Parents are not to be trusted OR the State can raise your kids better than you can. I often regret that I haven't had kids of my own, but more and more, I am now relieved that I don't because the State insidiously, more and more, uses the fact they can control you through your children. On an educational front, it seems obvious that the agenda of our educational system is less about education and more about turning children into little brainwashed cogs in the wheel (corporate funding of educational programs in the public school system is just the tip of the iceberg).
Somebody needs a lesson in reality. This appeals court has just made California a State that is undesirable for freedom. We left California in the 90's because schools were bad. They are worse now. We took the kids to a safe place to be brought up and homeschooled. All four of them. Three now have diplomas and are in school and trade jobs and they did not have any problems with bullying, drugs and sexual abuse which is RAMPANT in California schools. We have one more who is 14 and we were heading to move back this summer with one more we are finishing homeschool and I guess not, huh? We will stay until he finishes here...By the way, all of our kids scored in the top 5% on SAT's...we are going to stay in Hawaii now until Arnold can straighten this out ... this is most disturbing and totally disgusting ruling...what happen to freedom in America?
[is there any group of people more self-righteous, intolerant and dogmatic than Bay Area liberals?]
It is absolutely understandable people want their children home-schooled when public schools indoctrinate kids in homosexual and marxist activities. What is happening now will only push the most productive and patriotic Americans to sane states and out of this insane communist cesspool.
166,000 X 10,000 per kid = 1.66 Billion the State will have to pay. Do these idiot Judges ever think? Besides 99% of the home school kids won't turn out like the thugs being made in the public schools. BTW Do school districts drug test Public School Teachers?
A fine gift to the teacher's unions and the various failed public school disstricts. Part of the socialist-fascism dream is to get to the children early so that they can begin a long and complete indoctrination process. How dare parents think they have a right to teach their children without the benefit of "credentials." Why the next thing you know they'll think they have a right to instill moral values in their children, and then what? Oh my, they might grow up to be independent thinkers, well adjusted adults, and have a real love of lifetime learning. Well the courts will put a stop to that nonsense. The clowns posting on this site who have spewed religious bigotry and have passed ingnorant judgement on homeschoolers and the homeschooled will cheer on the march towards socialists utopian dreams, mostly because they are products of the public schools have been told by their betters what is best.
Home schooled students also do not make very good soldiers. Too self motivated to take orders. Need to have it beaten into you in high school by your peers and some coaches to fit in with the rest.
What is incredible is the majority opinion that "Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children" and that "Noncompliance could lead to a criminal complaint against the parents." Wow!! If minimal standards are at issue, devise a test and let qualified parents test out. Have a test that allows kids to test out. Allow kids above the age of 12 to opt out and have the schools monitor those kids who are in schools against their parents' wishes. So many US public schools are so bad as to warrant lawsuits on substandard schooling, i.e. noncompliance of something more important: their actual education. On a personal level, I have a PhD in a real field and I tutor my kids in online math courses 4-5 years higher than their grade level and reading at 3-6 years above their grade. For us, would forcible public schooling represent a violation of their civil and consitutional rights? After all, their welfare, liberty, and life would each be made worse...
Folks, in the end its a money issue. The more catatonic butts in the seats in of the schools, the more money each school receives. Any CTA member who states otherwise is blowing smoke up your backside.
i was edgercated real dam goode in homscool. it was my funmental rite. mom wood beet me reaul goode for jesus if i dint anser her queshchuns like she liked. now i am's smart (as is my funmental rite)
I'm disgusted at the out and out BIGOTRY on these comments by the anti-religious crowd. Seriously, you are no better than the Klan. The ultra fundamentalists could learn a thing or two about smug self-righteousness and arrogance from the likes of you. i'm not religious, but I also don't think that I am the be all and end all of existence either. I believe there are things that are beyond our comprehension as humans. I am not ARROGANT enough to believe that if I can't make sense of it, it doesn't exist. Make no mistake, you DO believe in God... only you think that you're it! Anyway... My guess is that most homeschooling types will simply move out of state, as many more freedom loving people are doing every year. I was raised in a very good public school system in a fairly non-violent suburban community. I agree with the people who raised issues about kids needing other kids to be around. But the public school system has its own set of "monolithic" values, not just homeschools.
|March 9th, 2008||#71|
Governor vows to protect homeschooling
Jill Tucker, Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writers
March 8, 2008
(03-07) 13:37 PST SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced a state appeals court ruling that severely restricts homeschooling and promised Friday to change the law if necessary to guarantee that parents are able to educate their children at home.
"Every California child deserves a quality education, and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," Schwarzenegger said in response to the ruling, which said children educated at home must be taught by a credentialed teacher.
"Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education," Schwarzenegger said. "This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts, and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."
State Education Secretary David Long, a Schwarzenegger appointee, said that meant the governor supported allowing parents without teaching credentials to educate their children.
"The governor sees this as a fundamental right of parental choice," he said.
In the meantime, attorneys with Long's agency are poring over the decision to determine what to tell local school districts, the agencies responsible for pursuing truants, said Jack O'Connell, the state's superintendent of public instruction.
An estimated 166,000 children are homeschooled in California. Some are enrolled in independent study programs through school districts, charter schools or private schools. Others are taught at home or in programs that have no oversight by a public education agency or private school.
The ruling that prompted Schwarzenegger's anger was issued Feb. 28 by the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles, but went unpublicized until this week. The court said all children ages 6 to 18 must attend public or private school full time until they graduate from high school or must be tutored by a credentialed teacher.
State law is silent
There is no provision in the California Education Code or elsewhere in state law that addresses the issue of homeschooling. Homeschool advocates want to keep it that way, despite the governor's support for a new law to help them.
They believe current code supports their practices and that new laws would include regulations and possibly restrictions on homeschooling.
"We just want to leave it alone because it's good the way it is," said Loren Mavromati, who homeschools her two children and volunteers with the California Homeschool Network, an advocacy organization made up mostly of homeschooling parents. "The law as it stands is working well in California."
It's unclear how much support the governor would have in the Legislature for allowing parents without credentials to teach their children.
Two members of the state Senate Education Committee, Sen. Jack Scott, D-Altadena (Los Angeles County), the panel's chairman, and Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, declined to comment Friday on the issue or the court ruling.
One complicating factor is that California's compulsory-education law is widely interpreted to mean the state is obliged to make sure every child is educated.
"As a society, we recognize that a well-educated citizenry is our goal," Long said. The purpose of compulsory education is "to help ensure that," he said.
Father happy for the help
The case that led to the court ruling stemmed from a child welfare dispute involving the children of Phillip and Mary Long of Lynwood (Los Angeles County). The couple's eight children have been homeschooled by Mary Long, who holds no teaching credential. The children were also enrolled in a private school through an independent study program, which included quarterly home visits by officials of the school.
Although the case did not involve the question of the children's truancy, the court decision broadly addressed the legality of homeschooling in California.
Homeschool advocates and the Longs have said they will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
Phillip Long, who is not related to the education secretary, said Friday that Schwarzenegger's support for his family's case was good news.
"The parent-child relationship existed long before any government and makes it the responsibility of the parent to educate the child," he said. That responsibility includes protecting one's children from "things hazardous to the child, emotionally as well as physically," he said.
Long, 54, said he specifically objected to his children being taught in school about evolution and homosexuality.
"I want to keep and protect them until I feel they're mature enough to deal with these issues," he said. "I believe the creator wants us to protect our children from things we believe are hazardous to their character."
Lawmakers avoided issue
A credentialed tutor for his children is out of the question, he said.
"A credentialed teacher ain't gonna come and educate my child for free," Long said. "I pay property taxes every year so that children can have an education in the public school system, including my children, but I choose to take on the expense and added pressure and time to educate my children on our own."
This is not the first time the state has grappled with the homeschooling issue. In 2002, then-state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin said homeschooling was illegal and that she would enforce the law.
Eastin then asked the Legislature to take up the issue. It declined.
Six months later, O'Connell took over as state schools chief and opted for a hands-off approach, directing homeschooling families to the forms required to create a private school and telling local districts that truancy was their issue.
For five years, homeschooling remained politically dormant.
In that time, the practice has become increasingly mainstream, with homeschooled children getting into the country's best colleges and participating in the National Spelling Bee.
One size won't fit all
Crafting legislation to address homeschooling could prove challenging, given the differences in educational styles and programs within each home.
Many homeschooling parents register as a private school with the state - a status that does not require credentialed teachers - and then enroll their children in their school. Across the state, there are 18,352 students attending private schools with five or fewer students, state education officials said.
Charter and private schools accommodate homeschoolers with varying levels of supervision. Some homeschool families follow a curriculum, and others don't.
An unknown number of homeschoolers practice "unschooling," which essentially allows children to learn by living and doing what they are interested in doing.
For now, Schwarzenegger is prepared to wait and see if the courts will resolve this case, spokeswoman Sabrina Lockhart said.
"He believes parents should have the right and flexibility to homeschool their children," she said.
If court appeals fail, legislation would be an option, Lockhart said. But she added that "what that legislation looks like at this point is premature."
E-mail the writers at [email protected] and [email protected].
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 9th, 2008 at 10:29 PM.
|March 9th, 2008||#72|
HOMESCHOOLING: There's no place like home
By Lisa Gibson, Herald Staff Writer
March 09, 2008
Eight-year-old Katherine Pauls read her history essay to her parents and sisters Tuesday as they sat together in her classroom, located in the basement of the family’s home.
Katherine is home-schooled by her mother, Kristin Pauls, and wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves to read, and her favorite subject is history. She especially is interested in the early pioneers.
“It allows us to individualize her instruction,” Kristin Pauls said of home schooling Katherine. “If she’s really interested in something, like pioneers, we can go deeper into that.”
Kristin and Kenton Pauls, East Grand Forks, have three daughters. Katherine is the oldest and is the only one receiving formal instruction at home. Anna Karen is 5, and Caroline is 3. Both also will be home-schooled when the time comes.
Home schooling allows a looser schedule and environment for Katherine, Kristin said, as her three young daughters showed off their toys in the playroom. It is a comfortable and familiar place for her to learn.
“She told me what to type, and I typed her essay,” Kristin said. “And she stood on her head the whole time,” she laughed.
But school at home isn’t all play. Katherine learns the same subjects being taught in public schools and does plenty of classroom work. Kristin follows grade levels, and Katherine is in second grade. Her parents add a Christian aspect to her learning, another benefit of teaching their children at home, they said.
“We can teach them a Biblical worldview,” Kristin said.
Two desks, a work table and book shelves sit in the basement classroom. The walls are covered with parts of speech posters, art projects and an American Sign Language ABCs poster, among other learning tools. A Korean houseguest taught the girls how to say and spell their names in the Korean language, but Caroline likes hers in English, since it has a C and that’s the only letter she can write.
One benefit of teaching at home is that the younger girls can pick up on lessons Katherine learns. Caroline learned a song that lists helping verbs by listening to Kristin and Katherine sing it.
“She doesn’t even know what a helping verb is,” Kristin said, smiling at the bubbly toddler, who was waiting to sing the song with her sister.
“Can, could!” she shouted at the end for her big finale.
That’s not all. Caroline also can jump up and down while almost perfectly saying the ABCs.
Anna Karen also is learning and is very excited to start school with her mom next year. She thinks home school will be fun, and she already gets to take part in some science projects with her sister.
“Thumbs up,” she smiled, with her two small thumbs stretched up toward the ceiling.
Kristin is a member of the Greater Grand Forks Home School Association, a Christian support group for families who home school. She also will continue to attend the North Dakota Home School Association annual conventions, even though the family recently moved to East Grand Forks.
The 20th annual North Dakota convention will be held Thursday through Saturday in the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The event will feature vendors and workshops for home-schooled children and their parents.
Home schooling is a challenge, Kristin said, but it’s worth it. The GGFHSA, which Kristin refers to as the support group, organizes fieldtrips and other events for its members. The students can get involved in tennis, bowling and gymnastics, among other activities.
“We have no chance to get bored,” Kristin said. “We’re fortunate living here. We have a lot of access to that. The community is becoming more and more aware of us and starting to offer things.”
The group meets about once a month and usually has a featured speaker to address certain aspects of home schooling. It is a very helpful tool for parents who home school, and the group’s activities get the children out in the community, Kristin said.
“People are always worried about the social aspect, but they do get that,” she said.
“It’s important to not stay isolated,” she said of home school families. “We like to be more involved in the community and other peoples’ lives.”
The children and parents in the support group also occasionally get together to do cooperative science projects, which Katherine loves. It gives her the opportunity to work with other students, but she enjoys learning about science at home on her own, too.
“Usually, you’ll see some science projects lying around the house,” Kristin smiled. “Some mold growing or something.”
Kenton will do some teaching when the girls start doing more advanced science and working with computers, Kristin said. But he’s gone during the day, working as the director of enrollment services at UND.
The girls love their home school, obvious by the giggles that fill the house, and even have a small room off the classroom where they play school. Katherine gets to be the teacher.
Her favorite part of being home schooled: “I get to be with my mama,” she said.
“Half the time, she doesn’t even know she’s learning,” Kristin said.
Gibson reports on education. Reach her at (701) 787-6754; (800) 477-6572, ext. 754; or [email protected].
|March 9th, 2008||#73|
Court ruling rattles many homeschool supporters
Educators concerned over decision requiring parents who teach at home to have credentials
By Dana Hull
Edwina Cirelli and her husband teach at local schools. But the Vallejo parents homeschool their youngest children, ages 17, 12 and 10.
"As an educator, I firmly believe in individualized education," said Cirelli, who teaches at Pathways Charter School in Benicia. "Both my husband and I were drawn to the relationship we saw homeschooling parents have with their children."
But it's not a bond that should require a state teaching credential, Cirelli said, referring to last week's ruling by a three-member panel in Los Angeles that parents who homeschool their children must have such a credential.
The court ruling could affect an estimated thousands of homeschool students in Solano County, many of whom are outraged by the decision.
Although the ruling probably will be put on hold during an appeal to the state Supreme Court, it could put a damper on the increasingly popular phenomenon of parents keeping their kids out of schools to teach them themselves.
The ruling has angered and confused tens of thousands of parents who are part of the state's vast and diverse home-schooling community.
If the decision is upheld, California would become the only state in the nation to require parents who educate their children at home to have a teaching credential.
The court case centers on a Southern California couple who homeschooled their eight children through the Sunland Christian School in Sylmar. The family came to the attention of Los Angeles County social workers when one of the children claimed the father was physically abusive. The workers learned that all eight children in the family were homeschooled, and an attorney representing the two youngest children asked the juvenile dependency court to order that they be enrolled in public or private school as a way to protect their well-being.
Homeschool advocates blasted the Feb. 28 decision, written by Justice H. Walter Croskey of the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
"I'm sure there are a few isolated cases like the alleged one at the center of this court decision, but they are few and far between," said Becky Purdy, a Benicia resident who has home-schooled her two children for nine years. "From what I've experienced, parents that choose to homeschool their children want the best for their children."
As a published decision, the appellate court ruling sets precedent throughout California, although in the short term it handed down orders only in the Los Angeles case and is unlikely to force other school districts to make immediate changes to their policies. Other state appellate courts could still weigh in with differing opinions, and the California Supreme Court would have the last word - unless the Legislature decides to act.
"The ability to homeschool freely in California should not depend upon one family in a closed-door proceeding," said the Home School Legal Defense Association, which plans to support the Los Angeles family's appeal to the state's highest court.
Exact statistics on how many students are homeschooled in California are hard to compile, but advocates put the number at between 150,000 and 200,000. The state Department of Education uses a more conservative figure of 50,000 to 100,000.
[How can this be? How can there be two differing estimates that aren't within FIFTY THOUSAND of each other?]
Some parents homeschool for religious reasons, but others turn to home-schooling out of concerns over campus safety, peer pressure and the increasing focus on standardized tests. Others believe they can offer their children an education superior to what public and even private schools provide.
"I think the reason the state is challenging homeschooling is because homeschooling is challenging the state," said Kelli Orona of Vallejo, who home-schooled her two daughters, now adults. [Exactly. Homeschooling is revolutionary. If you don't need public schools, what other government functions don't you need?]
Orona said homeschool students are often recruited by good colleges and universities.
Cirelli said her 17-year-old daughter takes classes at Solano Community College and will earn her associate's degree before many graduate from high school.
Purdy said she and her husband started to homeschool their children when they were ages 5 and 7.
"My husband used to travel a lot with his job and we wanted to tag along," said Purdy, a Benicia resident. "It seemed natural to homeschool so we could go with him. We were able to take our kids to so many wonderful places."
Purdy's children are 14 and 16 now. They both spend time with friends and doing extra-curricular activities, she said.
"A common misconception of home-schooling is that the children are socially isolated," Purdy said. "If anything, they have more flexibility with their schedules."
There are various ways to homeschool in California. Parents can file paperwork with the state establishing their home as a small private school, hire a credentialed tutor to educate their children, or enroll their children in independent study programs that are overseen by either charter schools or local school districts.
The school districts provide oversight. In Vallejo, for example, credentialed teachers help parents plan lessons, go over course work, provide instructional materials, guide curriculum and administer annual tests to independent-study children.
E-mail Tony Burchyns at [email protected] or call 553-6831.
|March 9th, 2008||#74|
[from Catholic California Daily, with reader comments below]
“Parents may legally teach their own children”
Response to state appellate court decision declaring homeschooling unlawful
(The following letter was sent via email to members of the Home School Legal Defense Association on March 6.)
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
On February 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a juvenile court proceeding that declared that almost all forms of homeschooling in California are in violation of state law. (Private tutoring by certified teachers remains an option.)
Moreover, the court ruled that parents possess no constitutional right to homeschool their children.
This case involved a family with a 20-year history of litigation in the juvenile courts over the care of their children. Prior adverse decisions had been rendered by the courts.
This family was not a member of Home School Legal Defense Association. They were represented by court-appointed counsel throughout the proceeding. Since it was by law a confidential proceeding, to the best of our knowledge neither HSLDA nor any other legal advocacy organization had any knowledge that the right of all homeschoolers in California was depending upon the outcome of this family’s case.
There are two appellate options at this time.
First, we have been told that the family is appealing this decision to the California Supreme Court with their California counsel.
HSLDA will file an amicus brief on behalf of our 13,500 member families in California. We will argue that a proper interpretation of California statutes makes it clear that parents may legally teach their own children under the private-school exemption. However, if the court disagrees with our statutory argument, we will argue that the California statutes as interpreted by the Court of Appeal violate the constitutional rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.
HSLDA welcomes other organizations and persons to assist with the amicus process so that a full defense of home education, religious freedom, and parental rights can be given to the California Supreme Court.
The second appellate option is to seek to have this particular decision “depublished.” Depublication is a decision that can only be made by the California Supreme Court. If the Court determines that the decision should stand, regarding this family, on the facts presented, but that the general pronouncements of law for all of homeschooling should not be determined by this case, then the Court has the option of “depublishing” the Court of Appeal’s decision. This would mean that the case is not binding precedent in California and has no effect on any other family.
HSLDA will take the lead in an effort to seek to have this case depublished.
Homeschooling has offered a great opportunity for families to give their children a quality education with a moral and philosophical approach that is consistent with each family’s beliefs.
The ability to homeschool freely in California should not depend upon one family in a closed-door proceeding. All families should have the right to be heard since the rights of all are clearly at stake.
J. Michael Smith, HSLDA president
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 4:07 AM By JPeterman
Wow, the devils are really roaming free in CA. First they fill the schools with anti Catholic teaching such as homosexuality, birth control, and alternative lifestyles. Then, angry at those darn Christians who don't buy into this moral decay, pass laws to take away parent's right to avoid such teachings. This ruling won't end in Cal but rather will creep into other states as well. The demons are really working overtime to control minds and corrupt souls.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 5:14 AM By simone_dubois
"Moreover, the court ruled that parents possess no constitutional right to homeschool their children. " Is there a constitutional obligation to educate one's children? I thought this was statute law. I don't recall reading that in the constitution.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 5:51 AM By simone_dubois
Hitler said, "Let me control the text books, and I will control the state." Joseph Stalin said, "Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Lastly, as GK Chesterton observed, "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another."
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 6:31 AM By John L. Sillasen
One further tyranny that such a ruling could lead to eventually by banning home schooling would be the banning of books. Since banning home schooling forces the public to learn only specific ideas to the exclusion of others, then gradually other ideas ... ie philosophies, theologies ... will fade from public memory. By and by, then, the stage would be set for the banning of ... say, any material that trains the mind to reason.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 7:21 AM By Grisha
HSLDA says :"This case involved a family with a 20-year history of litigation in the juvenile courts over the care of their children. Prior adverse decisions had been rendered by the courts." Their program was probably not a good advertisement for home schooling. Based on my limited knowledge of family law, I expect HSLDA will be successful in getting this depublished or even overturned. The question remains as to whether home schooling in California will be subject to ANY regulation and, if so, how comprehensive should such regulation be.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 7:22 AM By Marcia
Another angle to destroy the family. Does anyone know the percentage of homeschoolers that graduate high school versus public school students? I bet there is a big difference with homeschoolers having more success.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 7:33 AM By Fr. M.P.
Another example of how big brother is trying to control us, violating our God given rights. This type of behavior was also pracficed in the atheistic French revolution.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 8:10 AM By leslie cook
It seems that one arguement given is that only certified teachers "know how to teach."This is so plainly not true given the state of public school results, that they should be put on the stand to prove their superior ability if it's true. I think most homeschool parents, including myself are much better teachers! We have learned how to listen, pay close attention to what our students need, how to make learning more interesting,etc. Our test scores bear this out! My children had excellent scores on the CAHSEE , and the two who take classes at the local community college both have 4.0 averages. Most importantly we really care how our students are doing. We CAN talk about morality, spiritual development, etc. Isnt that our constitutional right? Thank you for fighting for us all.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 8:26 AM By The other Mike
The Long family was the perfect test case for the anti-choice teachers union to promote in California. Of the estimated 177,000 home schooled children in the state, these kids had to be in the lowest percentile of quality. They certainly are not representitive of any home school kids I've ever met. Hopefully sanity will be introduced into the appeal process and the government school will be seen for what it is (progressive indoctrination center), and isn't (education). Parents that want clear-thinking, educated children homeschool them.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 8:47 AM By Charles O'Connell
The other shoe that not yet dropped, is the issue of mandatory sexual indoctrination, especially of the homosexual variety. The scenario was first set in remote history, in the story of the attempted assault upon Lot's house (as he gave hospitality to God's holy angels) on the part of the citizens of Sodom (Genesis 19:5 - 'Bring them out, that we may know them'). The current manifestation of this ever-repeating story, that sets up the current scenario, is found in the account of the late 1960s Charlie Mansion 'family', who systematically sexually debased each of their members in every possible way. (Recall that Sodom was so corrupted, that each individual citizen had to be sexually debased, from each man down to each woman and child; thus Lot's family were the only ones in the whole City left uncorrupted.) A metaphor is apt here: When a Zombie tries to bite you, it's just his way of being friendly and trying to say 'hello': The Zombies feel uncomfortable at their difference from non-Zombies, and so want to spread their way of life (if such could be called 'living'). This is end goal of the initiative of California 'education', that each child be made 'safe' for the neo-sodomites to freely live their radical lifestyle and evangelize California's children to it. The inevitable response will be for faithful Christians to flee, to Nevada, Arizona or even to Mexico, to preserve their families' moral integrity.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 1:32 PM By The other Mike
166,000 homeschooled children forced to attended government school means 5,000 new teacher's union members and 1,000 new administrators. This case is a gold mine for corrupt union bosses and government bureaucrats. It has nothing to do with the welfare or education of our children.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 2:33 PM By John Andersen
The Other Mike: It sounds like are plugged in to the shenannigans of CA's educators. I would like to take this opportunity to point out to others the "education coalition," which consists of the Dept of Education, the CSBA (CA School Board Assocation), and the CTA (CA Teachers' Association (UNION)). Except for O'Connell, these are the UNELECTED decision makers of education policy in the State. The "elephant in the room" is the MILLIONS the CTA gives to the democrat party every election cycle. So, if you were wondering why we get nothing but progressive baloney out of the legislature, this is why. That is why progressive bills like SB777 pass with 100% of the Dems voting for it. Follow the money.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 3:55 PM By Lisa
I just read that our governor Schwarzenegger is planning on cutting funding on social programs in the state of CA. The hardest hit will be education, a cut that will be in the billions of dollars. The average CA student is worth $11,000. No wonder DEA and other groups want every child to "count" for the money they receive. These 166,000 families at several children, and often more, a piece, add up to a lot of money that the school system is missing out on.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 4:25 PM By John Andersen
Lisa: I am not sure who/what DEA is that you refer to. The state has NO incentive to bring homeschooled kids into the system. The state is already receiving the taxes of the parents, and is making NO expenditures for them. If the kids did come into the system, the state would have to distribute more money to each individual district as their respective enrollments go up. The state does NOT want this -- individual districts do. My district recently TRIED to have a partnership with a homeschooling group, so they (the district) could collect the money from the state and give virtually nothing to the families. It lasted only two years, ostensibly because the families realized they were getting no benefit from the program. Additionally, the teachers' unions want EVERY CHILD in public schools because it means more jobs, a bigger union, and more kids to brainwash (sorry for that last one, I am feeling a little bitter about the unions).
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 7:35 PM By simone_dubois
John Anderson, Every child enrolled in a public school means dollars the state "reimburses" that school. They do not receive the funds when kids are not at the school, gone for doctor appts, etc. even though they are enrolled. Some 166,000 non-enrolled students times the daily dollar amount the state must allot the school is not distributed to schools, 30 years ago the allotment was $6.00 per day per student which was $996000.00 per day or $179,280,000.00 per 166,000 per school year of 180 days, No small amount, but by Lisa's figure it's closer to 2 billion or 61.11 per day per student. The taxes the parents pay stay in the general fund to get spent elsewhere, since they are not enrolled at all. The schools compete for these tax dollars and plan budgets from the amount. From a school's point of view the child means dollars alloted to the school. While the schools also receive other tax monies a big portion comes from this sector hence the impetus to go after those bodies and those dollars. I think this might be what Lisa is referring to.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 8:51 PM By Helen
If the State doesn't want Homeschooling the State should ensure that the curriculums that are taught in the schools are of high quality education with a sound moral and philosophical approach that will be in the best interests of students and their families. Obviously the fact that there is Homeschooling should tell the State that maybe they have been pursing a wrong course of action that is not in the best interests of students and their families.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 9:31 PM By John L. Sillasen
Local school districts are saying they may have to lay off hundreds of teachers due mainly to dropping enrollment as well as the budget cut.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 9:46 PM By John Andersen
Simone: Thanks for the note. I think you and I are saying the same thing. The term many districts use is ADA -- average daily attendance. I believe the current ADA reimbursement from the state to districts is just under $7000 per year per child. We agree -- a district makes more money by enrolling more kids. The first point I wanted to help clarify is that the state itself takes in no more money if additional kids suddenly enroll. Please feel free to write me directly at [email protected] if you want to discuss in more detail. Thanks again for your contributions.
Posted Friday, March 07, 2008 9:47 PM By Innocent III
Helen, you make some good points, but I would contend that a public school system can ultimately *never* be "in the best interests of students and their families." The problem is that in a secular democracy, a public school system can't embrace any one moral system for fear of "discriminating" against all the others. So it will have to teach that all beliefs are equally true--and, hence, will teach that there are no absolutes. We then end up with a society of relativists who can't think critically about any important issue. Honestly, someone who uses reason to argue in favor of abortion isn't so scary to me; he may eventually use reason more effectively and come to embrace the pro-life cause. But someone who says, "well, abortion all boils down to people's individual opinions"? Yeesh. How do we convert them?
Posted Saturday, March 08, 2008 8:41 AM By The other Mike
I think Lisa's figure of $11,000 per student per year is the right one. The state, the feds, and the county all pay into the system. Costs for constructing new schools are financed by bonds issued by the state or the school district, and I think those costs are not in the $11k. If you are looking for a grand total cost per student per year, I think it is well over $11k. Most of it goes right down the drain.
Posted Saturday, March 08, 2008 8:13 PM By simone_dubois
Thanks John, I do understand that state tax revenue isn't increased by enrolling students. Still the schools themselves have a vested interested in having students enrolled because they get a bigger piece of the pie. And let's face it If people take on the education of their children successfully more people may want to do it, the teachers union is an incredibly powerful union. Kids schooled at home mean less jobs, less schools, etc., especially if more and more people decided to do it.
Posted Sunday, March 09, 2008 5:06 PM By Sig
We removed our son from school because the schools refused to meet his needs as a highly gifted child child with a learning disability, who was unable to defend himself against physical and psychological assaults by staff and students--- in a California school district that systematically violated the civil and education rights of such children and intentionally created a hostile school environment. There existed no legal or practical recourse against such a depraved, scofflaw school district. The laws governing the welfare and education of such children have not been enforced since they were passed in the 1970's. Note that the school district is using taxes-- paid by homeschooling parents--- to violate the parents' right to protect, educate and rear their children.
Posted Sunday, March 09, 2008 5:08 PM By LeeRP
When do we get your remove and disbar these rogue judges. They are supposed to judge within the bounds of the law, not whatever happens to suit their leanings. Just remember to vote NO when these judges terms need approval again. If needed keep a file of judge names on your computer to reference during each election cycle. This has got to stop while we still have freedoms!!!
|March 9th, 2008||#75|
Homeschooling legal in Michigan since 1993
Wyoming - Michigan once had a law requiring parents to have a teacher certification if they homeschool their children.
But unlike California, the Michigan law was changed 15 years ago.
Now Michigan parents who say they want to home school their children for religious reasons need no certification.
The law was overturned in 1993 after an Allendale couple took their case to the Michigan Supreme Court and won.
Thousands of Michigan children are now homeschooled.
"You see the spelling bees, the geography bees things of that nature often are led by homeschoolers," says homeschool mother Diane Hehman.
"It's more one on one," says 15-year-old student Kaitlyn Hoffman. "My mother can explain it to me if and if I don't get it, she can help me with it."
Parents must teach their children customary subjects like reading, math and science.
It is up to the state to prove the children are not learning.
"Parents know children better than anyone else knows them," says homeschool mother Carol Hoffman. "Parents know what they need, what their strengths and weaknesses are. There is no need for a certificate."
|March 10th, 2008||#76|
[background of judge who tried to ban homeschooling in California]
California Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a February 28th, 2008has ruled that, “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.”
Division Three: JUSTICE H. WALTER CROSKEY
Justice H. Walter Croskey
Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 3 (November 20, 1987 - Present); rating received from Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (October 21, 1987): "Exceptionally Well Qualified."
Judge of the Superior Court, County of Los Angeles (January 4, 1985 - November 20, 1987)
Civil trial attorney for 23 years practicing in both state and federal courts; practice emphasized commercial, business and real estate litigation (May 1, 1962 - January 4, 1985)
U.S. Navy (JAG), Commissioned Officer (May 1, 1959 - April 30, 1962)
Admitted to Practice
California - January 1959
District of Columbia - June 1960
U.S. Supreme Court - February 1962
U.S. Court of Military Appeals - October 1959
University of Southern California Law Center, LLB/JD (June 1958)
University of Southern California, School of Public Administration, B.S.
(Major: Law Enforcement and Police Administration), Magna Cum Laude (June 1955)
HONORS AND AWARDS:
Bernard S. Jefferson Award, Distinguished Service in Judicial Education, California Judges Association, 1992
Roger J. Traynor Memorial Award - Appellate Justice of the Year, Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association, 1993
Distinguished Service Award - Jurist of the Year, Judicial Council of California, 1994
Jurist of the Year Award, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1998
Member, Judicial Council Appellate Standing Advisory Committee 1993 - 1995
Chair, Judicial Council Ad Hoc Committee on Trial Court Funding 1990 - 1992
Chair, Second Appellate District Court Reporter - OSC Panel 1989 - 1995
Member, State-Federal Judicial Council 1989 - Present
Member, Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Superior Court 1986 - 1987
Co-Chair, "Fast Track" (AB 3300) Rule Drafting Committee, Los Angeles Superior Court - 1987
* “Litigation Cost Shifting, An Economical Path to Court Reform”, which proposed a statutory modification to the so-called “American Rule” in California regarding the award of attorneys fees in civil litigation, published in the Los Angeles Lawyer (Vol. 8, No. 6, September 1985)
* “Bad Faith: The Expansion of Tort Remedies in Non-Insurance Litigation”, published in the Beverly Hills Bar Association Journal (Vol. 19, No. 4, Fall 1985)
* “Bad Faith in California - Its History, Development and Current Status”, American Bar Association, Tort & Insurance Law Journal (Vol. XXVI, No. 3, Spring 1991)
* “Understanding and Applying The Hearsay Rule”, published in the Los Angeles Lawyer (Vol. 14, No. 11, February 1992); (co-author)
* “Avoiding Evidence Pitfalls”, published in the Los Angeles Lawyer (Vol. 15, No. 1, March 1992); (co-author)
* California Practice Guide, Insurance Litigation (3 volumes), The Rutter Group (co-author), published 1995
* “The Doctrine of Reasonable Expectations in California: A Judge's View”, Connecticut Insurance Law Journal (Vol. 5, No. 1, 1998-1999)
* Born August 2, 1933, Los Angeles, California
* Married, 2 Children
* Elder, Presbyterian Church (Pacific Palisades, California)
|March 10th, 2008||#77|
Crime Against the State: Why Progressives Hate Homeschooling
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. - 02/14/08
The homeschooling movement in the United States has reached a level of institutional maturity that few could have predicted only a decade or two ago. A massive infrastructure is in place, from curriculum companies to social groups, catering to the millions of people who engage in homeschooling. The movement remains as unpopular as ever in fashionable circles, to be sure, but by now the standard arguments against homeschooling are so trite and predictable that families who practice it are able to parry them with little effort.
Once in a while, though, we get a glimpse of the real reason homeschooling is so despised.
By now a great many bloggers and homeschool activists have heard about the case of fifteen-year-old Melissa Busekros of Germany and her three-month ordeal with the authorities. Having fallen behind in her math and Latin, Busekros had been kept home by her parents to receive private tutoring. That unthinkable offense violated anti-homeschool statutes in place since the days of Adolf Hitler—who of course demanded state control of education—and Busekros found herself expelled from school.
Oh, and on February 1, 2007, the government placed the girl first in a psychiatric ward and then in a foster home. She had “school phobia,” you see.
Although her parents were permitted to see her, they were not told where she was staying. In March, Busekros wrote an open letter in which she pleaded for her “right to go back to my family, as I wish,” and insisted: “I am not sick as the doctor said and my family is the best place for me to live.” The latter remark is a reference to the psychological evaluation, so vague as to be a parody of psychiatry itself, on which her removal from her family was justified. (The state’s own testing later found the girl to be perfectly normal.)
Now none of this has anything to do with homeschooling, German officials insisted. They were just concerned for the well-being of this young girl.
But Wolfgang Drautz, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany, gave the game away. First, in defending the importance of school attendance he explained that school “teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct.” Such a claim is risible enough: one of the reasons some of us intend to homeschool our children is precisely that we don’t want them learning “social conduct” from the slobs and vulgarians who roam the halls of the typical public school. It takes time and effort to raise well-mannered and civilized children, and we do not intend to see that good work undone by sending them to the local savage factory.
Still, that misplaced objection to homeschooling is not unusual. But things turned rather sinister when Drautz went on to warn that “the public has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole. If we are to achieve integration, not only must the majority of the population prevent the ostracization of religious minorities or minorities with different world views, but minorities must also remain open and engage in dialogue with those who think differently or share different beliefs.”
He neglected to add: or we’ll take their children.
German officials have complained about comparisons of their actions and rationales to those of Hitler. But consider the Führer’s words: “We have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”
With which of these sentiments does Herr Drautz disagree?
All of this talk about countering parallel societies and integrating minorities into the population might have been drawn from the rhetoric of the American Progressive Era. In my book The Church Confronts Modernity, I chronicled an overlooked but central aspect of the Progressives’ thought: they sought to construct a new American ethic in which the citizen’s primary loyalties were to the “national community,” rather than to states and localities, and to a new, nondogmatic, nondenominational ethic instead of to any revealed religion. America, the Jesuits’ magazine, described the Progressive attitude this way: “You may hold any faith or religion you please, but then you must not belong to any specific sect or be bound by any dogma.”
For John Dewey and the Progressives, children in the new age needed to be taught procedural rules rather than substantial goods. In other words, they should be taught toleration, open-mindedness, and flexibility, for in this world of change and flux citizens must be readily adaptable to new situations. The last thing children needed, therefore, was unchanging religious dogma taught as truth. As William H. Kilpatrick said, “We must free our children to think for themselves. Anything else is not only to refuse to accept the facts as to the unknown changing future, but is at the same time to deny democracy and its fundamental demand that we respect other people, even our own children.”
Now it is one thing to say that since a great many belief systems coexist together in the United States, we must make an effort to devise some kind of common moral vocabulary by means of which we can speak to each other fruitfully as we tackle divisive issues in the public square. Whether or not such a thing is possible, the mere suggestion is not obviously foolish or contemptible; if a natural law that binds all men really does exist, it is at least plausible that people of diverse backgrounds might be able to recognize common values. But the Progressives were going much further than this.
Sociologist Albion Small spoke explicitly of the need to invent a new religion, a national creed that could unite Americans on essentials and lift them out of the dual parochialisms of geography and religion. “By 1915,” writes historian Eldon Eisenach in The Lost Promise of Progressivism, “Small is really codifying the results of a long-standing theological-ethical enterprise when he concludes that the symbolic centerpiece of this ‘new’ national religion is the now historically recovered ‘Weltanschauung of Jesus’ excavated from barbarism, superstition, church, and dogma.”
According to Eisenach, Progressives held that “all social knowledge deserving a hearing must be cosmopolitan in origin and national in import.” They “invented a conception of citizenship that stipulated that the possession of social knowledge entailed the duty of reflecting on and articulating ideas of national public good unmediated by party, interest, region, or sectarian religion” (emphasis added). No parallel societies allowed.
Not surprisingly—but again, unfortunately overlooked by scholars of the Progressive Era—the period was marked by numerous efforts to devise a new ethical system and a new foundation on which to ground moral behavior. The ethical culture movement, founded in 1876, sought to do exactly this: to construct a nonreligious ethic that could serve as the foundation for a better and more humane world. That sentiment persisted into the Progressive Era. In 1918, the National Institution for Moral Instructionawarded $5,000 to Oberlin College professor William J. Hutchins for his code of morality, which began with an exhortation “to be physically fit” and concluded by declaring loyalty to humanity to be the highest law. Another such proposal came from Lake Forest College’s professor Henry W. Wright, and still another from Harvard president Charles Eliot. In the Harvard Theological Quarterly Eliot proposed a nondenominational, nondogmatic “religion of the future.” In place of the personal God of old-fashioned Christianity he would substitute a “sleepless, active energy and will” that is recognized “chiefly in the wonderful energies of sound, light, and electricity.” Naturally, the religion of the future would also abandon “the official creeds and dogmas of the past.”
The rationale behind all these systems, in an eerie anticipation of modernbanalities, was that they had the potential to unite rather than to divide. That none of them survives as anything more than an interesting curiosity is perhaps a fair indication of how well they resonated with the population.
Education was a central plank of the Progressives’ plan to bring about the national community they sought. If children were to be emancipated from the stupid prejudices of their parents, educated in the values of progressivism, and lifted out of their “parallel societies,” they would have to be instructed in a government-run school staffed by people who shared the Progressive outlook. Private and/or religious education only compounded the problem that Progressive education aimed to solve. No wonder John Dewey said, with regard to the Catholic school system, “It is essential that this basic issue be seen for what it is—namely, as the encouragement of a powerful reactionary world organization in the most vital realm of democratic life, with the resulting promulgation of principles inimical to democracy.”
This had been a Progressive theme from the beginning. William T. Harris, the most prominent figure in the American educational establishment after the Civil War, and who possessed the mystical reverence for the state so characteristic of Hegelians, warned in an 1871 address to the National Educational Association: “Neither is it safe to leave the education of youth to religious zeal or private benevolence,” since “our State [will] find elements heterogeneous to it continually growing up.” We certainly can’t have that.
In my experience, the average homeschooled student is far more likely than his public-school counterpart to show good manners, to interact well with others, and to be able to hold a serious conversation with an adult. And, significantly, they are better equipped to interact with people unlike themselves (their unusual maturity and knowledge base serve them well in such situations), one of the very reasons they are typically said to need public education. (If a dignitary from a non-Western country came to town for a visit, would you expect a public-school student or a homeschooled student to be more likely to do or say something stupid and embarrassing? Does the question not answer itself?)
Someone who truly cared about the welfare of children would be delighted by homeschooling and the astonishing fruits it has borne even as it continues to receive no mainstream cultural support. But homeschooling is the ultimate repudiation of every grandiose scheme to pull children away from their families and train them in the values of social democracy. That, and not transparent claims about child welfare, is why all the usual suspects detest it, both in Germany and at home.
|March 10th, 2008||#78|
Join Date: Sep 2005
|March 11th, 2008||#79|
New York Times Spins Black Murders Into Excuse to Ban Homeschooling
By Christopher Donovan
January 12, 2008
Homeschooling is widely feared by the multicultural establishment because it is seen as a way for "racist" whites to shield their children from liberal indoctrination. But arguments against it are difficult to make. With few exceptions, most Americans consider the right to raise children as one sees fit as inviolable.
Meanwhile, never-ending examples of black pathology and criminality are deemed by the same multicultural establishment as mere aberrations, not indicative of any racial pattern worth considering. If anything, it is some failure of the white "system" to address "underlying needs" that is responsible.
In a recent act of dizzying spin, the New York Times has found a way to advance both these agendas in a single story.
In Washington, D.C., a black mother has been charged with the murder of her four children, whose bodies were found recently in a state of advanced decomposition. A monstrous act that finds more frequent expression among America's inner-city black populations? No, guess again.
An excuse to ban homeschooling.
Nowhere in the story by reporter Jane Gross is there support for the contention that the mother was in fact homeschooling her children. It remains to be seen how she came to this conclusion. Did the mother fill out an application for withdrawal from the school system? Appear on homeschooling support lists? Purchase homeschooling curricula? Gross does not say.
But assuming even a trace level of credibility to the idea that the woman, Benita M. Jacks, was "homeschooling" her children, rather than simply withdrawing them (or letting them withdraw), the connection between this overwhelming white, suburban or rural practice and the grisly murders in Washington, D.C. is simply fantastic. Ms. Jacks reportedly said she killed her children because they were possessed by demons.
So why not a story about mental illness, then? No, it's homeschooling in reporter Gross's sights. She lines up an impressive array of "experts" to wax on that "officials" are all of a sudden unable to monitor children in the evil and shadowy practice of homeschooling. It is rather like a story following the "Twinkie defense" to murder quoting nutritionist after nutritionist warning that unless we ban sugar, murder in America will run rampant. The reporter's agenda could not be clearer.
As a cosmopolitan journalist for the New York Times (and presumably Jewish), Jane Gross has probably never met a homeschooled child or homeschooling family, imagining them all to be cross-burning white Kentuckians in desperate need of "surveillance" by liberal-minded "authorities" who will subject them to presentations on the Holocaust and posters of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez.
The natural result of this episode and its spin by the New York Times is that a practice of whites will become discredited, and the behavior of blacks excused. It is yet another example of the way in which the dominant media not only ignores the legitimate interests of whites, it actively campaigns against them.
Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist.
|March 11th, 2008||#80|
[Not one iota of evidence that HS has anything to do with the ordinary nigger behavior outlined below. The HS connection is wholly due to the jewess' bias.]
Lack of Supervision Noted in Deaths of Home-Schooled
By JANE GROSS
January 12, 2008
Ten states and the District of Columbia, where Banita M. Jacks was charged on Thursday with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her four daughters, have no regulations regarding home schooling, not even the requirement that families notify the authorities that they are educating their children at home.
The lack of supervision of the home-schooling process, some experts say, may have made it easier last year for Ms. Jacks to withdraw her children from school and the prying eyes of teachers, social workers and other professionals who otherwise might have detected signs of abuse and neglect of the girls.
Instead, the children, ages 5 to 17, slipped through the cracks in multiple systems, including social services, education and law enforcement. Their decomposed bodies were discovered earlier this week by United States marshals serving eviction papers on the troubled family.
The absence of any home-schooling regulations in Washington is largely the result of advocacy and litigation by the Home School Legal Defense Association, which since its founding in 1983 has transformed the landscape for families home schooling their children. Once against the law in all but five states, home schooling is now legal throughout the country and highly regulated in just six states, New York among them. About 1.1 million of the 50 million school age children were home schooled in 2003, the National Center for Education Statistics says.
For sure, the fact that Ms. Jacks’s children last attended school in March in no way accounts for their deaths, which the medical examiner said occurred more than two weeks ago. There was evidence that the eldest girl had been stabbed and that the others had signs of strangulation and other trauma. Ms. Jacks denies responsibility, saying the children died in their sleep and were possessed by demons.
Officials at the Home School Legal Defense Association, in Purcellville, Va., acknowledge that children schooled at home, as Ms. Jacks said hers were, are in rare instances the victims of abuse. But such cases generally occur in families already known to law enforcement or social service agencies who may have “missed the signs and signals,” said Ian M. Slatter, a spokesman for the association, and “being in school wouldn’t all of a sudden make those children safe.”
That view is disputed by other experts.
Clive R. Belfield, a professor of economics at Queens College and formerly a researcher at the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Columbia Teachers College, said that “limited compliance and follow-up” gave abusive families “an excuse to get out of being observed.”
Mitchell L. Stevens, an associate professor of education and sociology at New York University, said school officials, who are required by law to report suspicion of child abuse, were society’s best watchdogs of how parents treat children.
“Home schooling removes children from a lot of that surveillance,” Mr. Stevens said, adding that the vast majority of home schooling families are “overwhelmingly trustworthy people who place a very high value on parental autonomy.” And thanks to the advocacy of the legal defense fund, he continued, “they have been largely successful since the late 1980s in getting the law to favor parental rights.”
One example of that, in 1991, disrupted an effort by the District of Columbia to regulate home schooling, with rules that included unannounced home visits and required teachers certification for parents doing the instruction. Christopher Klicka, senior counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association, met with District officials, told them they were on shaky ground because of the 1st, 4th and 14th amendments, and the rules were rescinded.
Mr. Klicka said he had also intervened to overturn requirements for home visits in a number of other states, including South Dakota, Rhode Island, Illinois and Massachusetts. At one time, he said, 20 states had such a requirement; now none do. Mr. Klicka added that the only regulation he found “reasonable” was that families notify authorities of their plans to home school. Other requirements, including record-keeping on childrens’ progress and either standardized testing or year-end portfolios to demonstrate competence, all required in New York State, were currently being challenged in eight active court cases nationally.
Washington still has no formal regulations, according to spokesmen for both the mayor and the public school system, although parents are supposed to file an “intent to withdraw from school” form with the district, something that did not happen in the Jacks case, although school social workers made several attempts to visit the family and reported the childrens’ absence from school to authorities.
Among his plans, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington promised “to establish better tracking and monitoring of home school families.”