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Kansas Family Taken to Court; State Awaits Decision

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N A T I O N A L   C E N T E R   R E P O R T S

What's happening across the country, in the media, and in Congress

Calls on the U.N. Treaty Bring Us Within One Senator of Victory!

The National Center for Home Education and Home School Legal Defense Association have been fighting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for two years. Earlier this year, President Clinton signed the treaty, taking the first step toward ratifying it.

This February the National Center issued a nationwide alert and phone blitz on the U.S. Senate regarding the U.N. Convention. As a result of the phone blitz, 25 senators committed in writing to oppose the U.N. Convention.

According to a June 11, 1995, article in the Sacramento Bee, senators have been buried in letters opposing the United Nations Convention. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has logged more than four thousand letters in opposition. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) has received such a great quantity of mail regarding the Convention that his staff has "devoted a special mail box to the subject, currently drawing about one hundred fifty letters a week!"

As a result of the outpouring of opposition from grassroots parents, Howard Davidson, Director of the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law and one of the major proponents of the U.N. Convention, was quoted in the Sacramento Bee as saying, "I've come to accept that the Convention on the Rights of the Child may not be ratified in my lifetime."

The pressure generated by home schoolers also caused Senator Helms (R-NC) and Senator Lott (R-MS) to draft a resolution asking President Clinton not to send the U.N. Convention to the Senate. The National Center reviewed the draft of this resolution opposing the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child was introduced as Senate Resolution 133. The 19 co-sponsors of S.R. 133 include seven more new senators who had not previously committed in writing to opposing the Convention.

This means we have secured a total of 33 U.S. senators who, in writing, unequivocally oppose the U.N. Convention! We only need one more U.S. senator to ensure the defeat of the treaty during the 104th Congress. (Two thirds of the U.S. Senate must vote in favor of the treaty in order to ratify it.) In July, the National Center will launch one final phone blitz targeting key senators in order to secure victory.

Call and write your U.S. Senators. Urge them to oppose the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

The Honorable (Senator's Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Hooked on Phonics Case Settled

Earlier this year, a controversy erupted when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused the reading program Hooked on Phonics of creating misleading ads. The FTC took issue with Hooked on Phonics' claims that its program could "teach reading in a home setting without additional assistance." Home schoolers throughout the country know that children learn to read well in the home setting, and phonics is by far the best method for teaching reading.

On June 2, 1995, the FTC backed away from its original accusations, emphasizing that the controversy had nothing to do with home schooling or phonics. This change of heart is a result of thousands of phone calls, letters, and messages which swamped the FTC.

Under the settlement agreement, Gateway Education Products of Orange, California, who produce Hooked on Phonics, agrees to have "competent and reliable evidence to back up any future educational-benefit claims." Hooked on Phonics is confident that all their claims can easily be substantiated.

Home Schoolers Excel in College Setting

Recently, Oral Roberts University (ORU) conducted a study of home schooled students enrolled in their university. It was discovered that 212 home schooled students are enrolled at ORU—approximately ten percent of the student body.

The average home schooler at ORU has an above average ACT score of 24.0 and SAT score of 1420. The study showed that although the home schooled student has a similar ACT and SAT average as the rest of the ORU student body, home schoolers have a statistically higher accumulative Oral Roberts University GPA. The average GPA is 2.76, while the ORU home schooler GPA is 3.02.

The study revealed that 88% of ORU home schooled students are involved in one or more outreach ministries, and many of the home schoolers serve as chaplains in the dorms and embrace the honor code as an already adopted way of life. In addition, over 90% of home schoolers at the university are involved in intermural sports and nearly 80% are involved in various campus clubs and organizations. It seems apparent that home schoolers are not having problems socializing! This study is a good indication of home schoolers' performance at colleges across the country, and we expect to hear similar results from other colleges in the future.