The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XVI, NUMBER 2
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MARCH / APRIL 2000
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Cover Story
Legislative Hot Spots

Special Features

National Debate Tournament: Round One

National Center Reports

Legislative Tracking for 2000

Goals for 106th Congress

College-Bound Home Schoolers Make Headlines

National Center Completes College Survey

Across the States

State by State

Regular Features

Active Cases

Prayer and Praise

A Contrario Sensu

Around the Globe

Notes to Members

Press Clippings

President’s Page

N  E  W  S  P  A  P  E  R     E  X  C  E  R  P  T  S
Press Clippings

Class of their own
Home-schooled pupils are making colleges sit up and take notice

ATLANTA — Jason Scoggins . . . 17 years old, was home-schooled by his mother.

After he scored 1,570 out of a possible 1,600 on his SAT college-admissions test—with a perfect 800 in math—Oglethorpe [University] invited him to compete with other top applicants for five scholarships valued at about $100,000 apiece.

Of the 94 prospects in the Jan. 22 contest, eight were home-schoolers, each with SATs above 1,300.

The high scores are no fluke. As the movement grows larger and more diverse, evidence is mounting that home-schooling, once confined to the political and religious fringe, has achieved results not only on par with public education, but in some ways surpassing it. Though home-schooling may never be feasible for most families, the data offer little comfort to those who advocate a standardized curriculum as the best hope for improving American education. After all, each home-based pupil follows a unique lesson plan.

Jason’s twin brother, Jeremy, also home-schooled, scored 1,480 on his SAT. “I was afraid we were the rogues of the education community,” says Jeremy, who plans to attend the University of Georgia or the Georgia Institute of Technology. “It isn’t that way anymore. People know that if we’ve been home-schooled, we’ll do a little better than everyone else.” . . .

[S]elf-identified home-schoolers have bettered the national averages on the ACT for the past three years running, scoring an average 22.7 last year, compared with 21 for their more traditional peers, on a scale of one to 36. Home-schoolers scored 23.4 in English, well above the 20.5 national average; and 24.4 in reading, compared with a mean of 21.4. The gap was closer in science (21.9 vs. 21.0), and home-schoolers scored below the national average in math, 20.4 to 20.7.

On the SAT, which began its tracking last year, home-schoolers scored an average 1,083 (verbal 548, math 535), 67 points above the national average of 1,016. Similarly, on the 10 SAT2 achievement tests most frequently taken by home-schoolers, they surpassed the national average on nine, including writing, physics and French.

—Daniel Golden, The Wall Street Journal (Page A-1), February 11, 2000

Home schoolers sue Calvert board
Seek right to use community centers

Two home-school parents have sued the Calvert County, Maryland, Board of Commissioners and the county’s parks and recreation chief for refusing to allow them to hold student workshops at taxpayer-funded community centers.

Parents Lydia Goulart and Kyle Travers say county officials have repeatedly denied them permission to use the centers, which are used regularly by other organized nonprofit groups. . .

“Home schoolers don’t want special treatment, they just want equal treatment,” says attorney David Gordon of the Home School Legal Defense Association in Purcellville, Va., who is representing the families. . . .

“As far as we know, home-school groups are the only groups of citizens who may not use the facility.”

— Andrea Billups, Washington Times, February 4, 2000

Homes with class
Home schooling in Pinellas County and across the country is growing in popularity—and acceptance.

ST. PETERSBURG — When Neoka Apple started educating her children at home 11 years ago, she became used to stares of disapproval and a sense of stigma.

“If we went to Publix at 10 in the morning for a lesson on pricing and math, I’d tell the children ‘Look, people are going to wonder.’ And just about every time, cashiers or bag boys would say, ‘What, no school today?’”

But these days, Apple says she receives a mostly positive reaction when people find out she home schools her children, ages 16 and 10. She attributes the change to the growing ranks of home schoolers and the “mainstreaming” of home education. . . .

— Kathleen Beeman, Tampa Tribune, March 4, 2000