Given the poor academic track record of public education in many areas of this country, you would think the government and education establishment would be a little less arrogant about superimposing their will on homeschooling families who prefer to opt out of their system. But you would be wrong.
The establishment's assault against the homeschooling movement continues. In Waltham, Mass., local authorities are so adamant about imposing their mandatory standardized testing that they sent social workers and policemen to the home of George and Kim Bryant at 7:45 a.m. last Thursday demanding their two teenagers take the tests.
According to Worldnetdaily.com, the Department of Social Services (DSS) actually threatened to take the Bryant's children away from them over this issue -- if other issues were involved, the article didn't say so. But the Bryants refused to let their children go, believing they have a right to determine their children's educational choices.
The Waltham Public School's homeschooling policy mandates that parents develop a grading system and file educational plans for homeschooled children, but the Bryants have steadfastly resisted the government controls.
It's not that homeschooling families are afraid of competing with their public school counterparts. Homeschoolers have continually done well on academic tests and contests.
In 2000, the top three winners in the Scripps-Howard News Service's National Spelling Bee were all home-schooled. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that only 11 percent of the contestants were homeschoolers. That same year, homeschoolers placed first and second in the National Geography Bee.
There's more. According to official reports for the American College Testing Program (ACT), homeschoolers have scored higher on average than students in public and private schools. In 2000, the average composite ACT score for high school students was 21, while homeschool students scored 22.8.
Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, an expert in quantitative analysis and one who has studied the performance of homeschoolers, once remarked that this move to make homeschoolers meet public school standards was "odd" given the superior academic performance of homeschoolers.
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