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Brave New Schools

By Julie Foster
August 01, 2000

Modesto board rejects home educators controversial policy adopted denying credit to transfer students.
In a tie-breaking vote, the Modesto City School Board adopted a policy denying course credit to home schooled students who transfer to a public high school, effectively requiring the students to repeat their secondary education.

Some home schooled students transfer to public or private high schools as they approach graduation in order to receive a 田omprehensive・diploma. Under the new policy, Modesto public schools will not accept credits obtained through completed home school courses, requiring students to repeat classes.

Students who are home schooled under the direction of a charter school are an exception to the new policy, since the largely independent charter schools set standards and monitor students' progress.

School Board President Ricardo Cordova, who supported the policy, is quoted in the Modesto Bee saying, 典here's just too much room for abuse.・

Home schooled students may still take the California proficiency exam or the federal General Educational Development Test ・known as the GED ・allowing them to graduate from high school without transferring to an institutional school. But neither option carries the societal weight of a 田omprehensive・diploma earned by completion of a traditional four-year high school program.

Parents of home schooled children believe the district's new policy belittles their children's education. Additionally, it constitutes a discriminatory practice, they say, since students who immigrate to the U.S. from other countries are given credit as a result of individual evaluations ・a practice that is no longer an option for home schooled students.

Previously, home schooled transfer students were evaluated on a case-by-case basis by high school administrators, which occasionally resulted in transfer denials. Attorney Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, is ready to present a legal challenge to the policy.

Parents of home schooled children believe the district's new policy belittles their children's education. Additionally, it constitutes a discriminatory practice, they say, since students who immigrate to the US from other countries are given credit as a result of individual evaluations.

Home education banned in Berkeley? Attendance Review Board questions legality of parents teaching children.
Home schooling is under fire in Alameda County, Calif., where four families have been brought before the school attendance review board, or SARB, which is questioning the legality of the existence of home schools.

The Berkeley Unified School District SARB is demanding the families produce evidence of their children's school attendance as well as information regarding their educational curriculum. The Home School Legal Defense Association told WorldNetDaily the SARB has no authority to request any information regarding curriculum. However, according to Mary Schofield of Family Protection Ministries, a California-based advocacy group, the board may require proof of school attendance but only after a complaint has been filed against specific students.

Though the origins of such complaints are kept confidential by the SARB, sources told WND it is an 登pen secret・that a disgruntled ex-husband of one of the mothers in question filed the complaint. The divorced couple is currently in the middle of a custody battle.

All four families attend the same church, as did the suspected complainant until his divorce. Prior to his divorce, the man ・a school district employee ・was known as a strong advocate for home schooling and had been preparing to open a home school on his church's property.

However, he has since registered a complaint with the California Franchise Tax Board challenging his former church's tax-exempt status and reportedly initiated the investigation into his friends' home schooling practices.

The action has become a critical case for home schools in California. Alameda County is notoriously hostile toward home schoolers and may use the complaint to challenge the legality of home schools in the state.

Compulsory education laws require parents to enroll their children in school. The last 20 years has seen an increasingly heated debate as to what constitutes a 都chool・as more parents who are disenchanted with failing public schools decide to educate their children at home.

The Berkeley SARB case could be a turning point for the status of home schools in California. The families in question are meeting Monday to decide whether legal action should be taken in the matter.


Topics: Culture , Education, Family & Marriage, Statism

Julie Foster


Julie Foster is a staff reporter for WorldNetDaily.

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