"Do we truly want real reform in education? And not just tinkering around the edges? Home schools, private schools, charter schools are the wave of the future. Costly and inefficient government schools? They are so very yesterday. Time to sunset them."
Anybody else notice it as of late? If you are out and about during any day of the week, you seen more and more school age kids with their parents. It was at a time, when you would see that, it was only because the child had a day off of school or the child was sick. No longer. Some days we see kids with their parents all over the place.
One of the smartest things this country has done with education is allow our kids to be home schooled in all 50 states. And that happened a long time ago - in 1993. How has it been going? Well to start with, the number keeps growing all the time. In 2007 (eleven years ago) about 3% of all school aged kids (about 1.5 million) were home schooled (according to USA Today). That number today is undoubtedly higher.
How are they doing? The statists who live and breathe government education will argue this point. They will tell you home schooling is bad for kids. However, more neutral statistics speak differently. For example, one study shows that home schooled kids score about 72 points higher than traditionally schooled kids on the SAT tests. The average score for the ACT test for traditionally schooled kids is 21 out of 36 points. For home schooled kids it is 22.8 out of 36 points. Again higher. Finally home schooled kids are in the 77th percentile with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. And that is a good place to be.
Okay. Those are just statistics, and we all know statistics can be selective or manipulated. So I will talk about my own experience. We have friends who have home schooled kids and they have turned out very well, thank you. High achievers. One of my friends I met in politics has a son she has home schooled for years. I have watched this young man grow up. He is not only excellent with his social skills, he is very, very smart. Plus (and this a big one), he has been exposed to many experiences (thanks to his Mom), that he would have never received in a traditional school setting.
One more observation which many of us have seen. Many schools have turned into low achieving, low expectations bastions of liberalism. "How do you feel", more than what do you know. Personally, I hate how our public schools have turned out. I really do. When I was in the ISD 281 school district in MN, schools were good - very good. Now they are good primarily for social engineering.
We don't need expensive brick and mortar schools anymore. K-12, graduate and post-graduate can all have a good portion of the teaching done online. For younger kids, home schooling is excellent as with the parent's tutoring, experimental learning is the name of the game. And if not home schooling, private or charter schools. If you want to really talk about "no child left behind", nothing says it better than non-government schooling.
I have said for years now that education is the lowest fruit on the tree when it comes to cutting spending. Millions upon millions could be cut, and yet get better results. Using today's teaching methods at home, we can educate our future generation better, and at a fraction of the cost. Learning how to learn from computer based teaching will prepare these kids for graduate and post-graduate learning from a laptop - not a class room.
Do we truly want real reform in education? And not just tinkering around the edges? Home schools, private schools, charter schools are the wave of the future. Costly and inefficient government schools? They are so very yesterday. Time to sunset them.