Home School Students Better At Basic Skills
The following article, written by staff reporter Richard Jarvis, appeared in the Greenville Piedmont (South Carolina) on August 2, 1990.
Students who were taught at home in Greenville County performed better on basic skills tests than children in public schools last year, according to figures from the Greenville County School District.
Of the 61 students who took the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills, 52 met state standards — a better percentage than state-educated youth.
The Greenville County School Board approved 233 applications for home schooling last year.
In reading, 93.4 percent of the home-schooled students passed, compared to 83.9 percent of students in public schools.
In math 87.9 percent of the home schoolers passed, while 83.1 percent passed in public schools.
Under state law, students who are taught at home are required to take the same standardized tests as students in public schools.
“These students are taught by highly motivated people,” said Associate Superintendent Norman Mullins.
“The people who teach them, usually parents, give them lots of personal attention and only have one or two students to work with,” he said.
Mullins said he is not surprised at those results because of the personal attention the students get.
Parents of students who did not meet state standards must present a remediation plan when they file their applications to home school this fall.
Parents have to submit new applications each year showing they meet state requirements for home schooling.
Most children being taught at home were in the elementary grades, with grades 1 and 2 having the highest number at 39 each.
By the high school level, the numbers drop to only two or three students in each grade.
Mullins said some parents provide home school in the early grades and then send their children to a public or private school for middle or high school instruction.
Jack Cushing, director of pupil personnel, said the district has already received about 160 applications for home schooling for this fall.
He said he expects to see more disapproval of applications this year because of state requirements.
The state requires that parents who want to home school pass the Education Entrance Examination and meet other standards. Four home school applications were turned down last year.