The Home School Court Report
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November / December 2003

Colleges and homeschoolers

Paul Owen's story

The big picture
2003 art contest

The judges and their thoughts on the artwork

Winners of the three categories
Farris meets with President
A gift for the next generation
Homeschooling grows up

Along the way

Abounding in the work of the Lord

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From the heart
Across the states
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Freedom watch
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HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

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Prayer & Praise




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Core 40 may rise in importance

For more than two years, a little-noticed public advisory group called the "Education Roundtable" has been meeting and planning recommendations for changing college admissions and financial aid practices in Indiana.

The philosophy behind the group's plan, called "P-16" (for "preschool through grade 16," or college senior year), is to "unify" the entire educational program from preschool through college. In September, they published a draft of P-16 that recommended requiring all students to complete the courses in the "Core 40" before being admitted to a public college in Indiana or getting financial aid. Non-accredited private schools, including homeschools, are not required to teach the Core 40, so their graduates could have been at a disadvantage if this recommendation were implemented.

Core 40 is Indiana's recommended public school high-school-level program. It includes 40 semester credits, summarized as follows: eight in language arts; six in math; six in lab science (including two in biology, two in chemistry, and two in physics or integrated chemistry-physics); six in social studies (including two in U.S. history, one in U.S. government, one in economics, and one in world history or geography); one in basic physical education; one in health and safety; eight among foreign languages, fine arts, computers, or technical career areas; and four in any other courses taken for high school credit. A student who successfully completes this program in a public school or accredited private school receives a "Core 40 Diploma" upon graduation.

Home School Legal Defense Association wrote each member of the Education Roundtable and explained the problem with requiring every public college applicant to complete the Core 40. Homeschooling parents flooded the Roundtable's website with comments. Thankfully, the Roundtable got the message and the next draft of P-16 introduced welcome flexibility. For purposes of college admission and financial aid, it treated students who have taken the "documented equivalent" of the Core 40 the same as those who have taken the Core 40 itself.

This change is good news for homeschooling families, many of whom are already teaching the equivalent of the Core 40. College-bound students should, however, be aware that some private or out-of-state colleges require even more than the Core 40 for admission. To be adequately prepared, it is important for students to check the course requirements at several institutions they are considering attending.

Another particularly troubling P-16 recommendation is that the state legislature broaden the age of compulsory attendance at both ends of the spectrum. But HSLDA will work to prevent this.

Fortunately, P-16 is only a recommendation at the present time. Whether this plan will eventually be adopted, and in what form, remains to be seen. HSLDA will continue to monitor P-16 to protect the rights of homeschooling families.

— Scott A. Woodruff