No Place Left to Turn for Homeschoolers
- Tuesday, November 26, 2002
"The man who won the Civil War and brought an end to slavery in America, Abraham Lincoln, is hardly mentioned. Instead, attention is lavished on a new pantheon of politically correct 'heroes.'
"America's flaws and shameful moments are repeatedly highlighted, while its noble sacrifices and tremendous contributions to the world are overlooked. Apparently, the goal is to teach impressionable children to be ashamed rather than proud of their country.
"Communists are often presented as victims, with no mention of the terrible atrocities committed by communist officials around the world, which continue to this day in China, North Korea, and Cuba."
For other homeschool parents, the issue is simply quality of education.
According to the Oct. 14 issue of Time magazine, "more than 600,000 of the freshmen who arrived at U.S. colleges this fall -- remarkably, 29 percent of the total, are taking at least one remedial reading, writing or math class." No wonder some parents believe they can do better by teaching their own kids.
Given the education establishment's checkered record, in terms of both values taught and quality of education, it is certainly understandable that approximately 400 - 600,000 children are currently taught at home. And lest there be any doubt, these children are not languishing.
Every study done on homeschooled students, including several by state governments, have concluded such pupils actually perform better by every measure. According to a USA Today Weekend report several years back, even homeschoolers' social skills often surpass those of their publicly schooled peers.
Regardless of one's own personal education preference, I think we can all agree that homeschooling is -- and should remain -- a viable option for California's parents. It is my hope that Delaine Eastin's successor, Jack O'Connell, will embrace this view.
Homeschool parents aren't the enemy. They are partners in our shared goal -- giving all children the very best education they can get.
Tim Leslie is Assemblyman of California's 4th Assembly District, which reaches from Roseville to Lake Tahoe in the north and Mammoth Lakes in the south.
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