Sep 24, 2016 09:09 AM EDT
John King Got It All Wrong about Homeschooling
Education Secretary John King is facing criticism from homeschooling advocates for his recent remarks about homeschooling. He said during a breakfast meeting with reporters that homeschooled kids don't get the same opportunities as those who go to school.
King also reportedly said that "students who are homeschooled are not getting kind of the rapid instructional experience they would get in school" as well as build relationships. Such remarks might be considered insensitive and can pose several problems on several points.
What King refers to as "rapid instructional experience" in K-12 education is considered questionable based on data and statistics regarding public education. According to a recent National Assessment of Educational Progress report, only one-third of those who are in eighth grade are proficient in reading. Moreover, only 2 out of 10 high school students graduate. Moreover, the United States rank lower on international assessments.
On the other hand, those who are homeschooled have undergone some of the most rigorous and intellectually challenging curricula there is. One of the reasons why parents choose homeschooling is because their children are looking for more challenging options than what is provided in the local public schools.
Research has shown that children who are homeschooled are much more equipped for college than their public school counterparts. In fact, some colleges around the nation are known for their rigor and high enrollees of homeschooled students.
In terms of building relationships, which is another of King's concern, a lot of parents who have homeschooled their kids have built an amazing network of mentors and fellow homeschoolers. Contrary to what King believes, homeschooling networks are becoming more sophisticated. Thanks to the Internet and other emerging technologies which makes communication much easier and convenient.
These technologies also allow parents who opt to homeschool their children access to almost every academic content which will help them prepare their children for higher education.
If there is something King should worry about education, it's not for the reasons he stated but for parents to find a much better alternative than what public schools can provide.
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