Home School Court Report
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VOLUME XV, NUMBER 3
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MAY / JUNE 1999
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Cover Story
Does One Size Really Fit All?

Special Features
Hard Work and Prayer Make David Beihl the Best He Can Be

A New Strategy on RLPA

Strings Attached to Vouchers Weave an Entangling Web

National Center Reports
Ed Flex Act Passes Congress

Pending Matters: Your Call Counts

Light Within Congress

Weyrich Letter Makes Waves

Across the States
State by State

Regular Features
Press Clippings

Active Cases

Prayer and Praise

A Contrario Sensu

President’s Page

N  E  W  S  P  A  P  E  R     E  X  C  E  R  P  T  S
Press Clippings
Homeschooling and Global Tyranny

    The American homeschool movement is not only growing in size but in political clout. For example, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) already has a very good presence in the halls of Congress. . . . the homeschool movement . . . is serving notice on our state and national legislators that this is still a constitutional republic in which parental rights are to be upheld and respected by our elected officials.

— Samuel L. Blumenfeld, WorldNet Daily Exclusive Commentary, Thursday, June 10, 1999

Homemade Midshipman Salutes Mom

    When Terry Pruitt enters the United States Naval Academy in July as a midshipman, if someone should ask what high school he graduated from he could very well respond: “Mom’s Islandia High.”
    The 17-year-old is one of an increasing number of home-schooled children, generally students whose entire elementary and high school education is provided by parents. In Terry’s case, the prestige of being accepted by the Naval academy in Annapolis, Md., is an extra tip of the hat to his mother, Phyllis, 43, a single parent for the last seven years, who is also personally educating her two other sons, Charles, 15, and Maurice, 14, at their Islandia home. . . .
    A recent study by the Home School Legal Defense Association, said, in part, “On average, home school students in grades 14 perform one grade level higher than their public and private school counterparts.” It added, “the achievement gap begins to widen in grade five . . . and by eighth grade is four grades above the national level.”

— Bill Kaufman, Newsday, April 4, 1999

A Home Run for Home Schooling
Movement can point to high test scores in national study
    Home-schooled children score well above the national median on standardized tests, often study above grade level and have parents with better incomes and educations than than do most American students, according to a study released yesterday. The Home School Legal Defense Association, which sponsored the study, embraced it as an endorsement of the quality of instruction received by the estimated 700,000 to 1.2 million children nationwide who are taught at home.
    “We just want to say to the government: We are doing a good job, so leave us alone,” said Michael P. Farris, president of the Purcellville-based association. . . .
    Farris . . . said home-schooled children develop social graces in more natural settings such as scouting troops or ballet classes, where there is a wider range of ages than in a typical school class. “Anyway,” he said, “when they are supposed to be doing their math, you don’t want them socializing.”

— Jay Mathews, The Washington Post, March 24, 1999

Study Finds Home Schoolers Are Top Achievers on Tests

    Students schooled at home score higher on standardized tests than their public and private school peers in every subject and at every grade level, according to a report that is being billed as the largest study of its kind. . . .
    The study’s author is Lawrence M. Rudner, a researcher who also serves as the director of the federally funded Education Resources Information Center Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation at the University of Maryland College Park.
    The goal in hiring an outside researcher like Mr. Rudner was to independently verify findings from earlier studies—done mostly by home school advocates, said Michael P. Farris, the president of the home school association.
    “Our aim in the study is not to criticize public school teachers,” Mr. Farris said. “The message is, we’re doing a good job, so leave us alone.” . . .

— Lynn Schnaiberg, Education Week, March 24, 1999

Home-Schooling Works, Study Says

    In his Oklahoma City University astronomy class this semester, Christopher Waters has the highest midterm grade with an A. . . .
    A year ago, he scored a stunning 30 on the American College Test. A year before that, he got a 1,250 on the SAT examination. . . .
    Yet, Christopher is only 14 years old—an eighth-grader who has been home schooled for the past six years. . . .
    Christopher is the type of student profiled in an unprecedented national report released Tuesday on home schooling conducted by the University of Maryland’s Educational Resources Information Clearinghouse.

— Jim Killackey, The Daily Oklahoman, March 24, 1999

Home-Schooled Children Test Above Their Peers

    Children schooled at home score far higher on a national basic skills test than their peers in public and private schools, and the gap widens with age . . .
    It makes no difference whether their parents are certified to teach. Their education cost, on average, is only $400 a year, far less than the thousands spent per public school student in most states . . .

— Nancy Mitchell, Colorado Springs Gazette, March 24, 1999

Study Finds Children Schooled at Home Learn More

    Children who are home schooled do far better than public school students on standardized tests, according to a study released yesterday by home schooling advocates.
    Proponents of teaching children at home hope the new research will weaken opposition and save parents unnecessary hassles from public educators.
    “We think that we’re doing quite well as a movement and we should be rewarded with more freedom and not more regulation,” said Michael Farris, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. . . .
    “The achievement levels of home school kids are exceptional,” said Lawrence M. Rudner, director of the Educational Resources Information Center Clearinghouse and Evaluation that conducted the study. . . .

— Darrell S. Pressley, The Boston Herald, March 24, 1999

Report Card on Home Schooling in the US
Study finds children taught by parents perform above national average.
    Home schooling is emerging as the fastest growing alternative to public education. As it breaks old stereotypes—as an easy out for students who can’t cope with academic demands, or as an alternative for religious families who want strong moral instruction along with ABCs—evidence is mounting that kids taught at home are doing just fine. . . .
    Based on 20,000 home students, the report said kids in Grades 1 to 4 perform one grade level higher than their public- and private-school peers. By eighth grade, the average home student performs four grade levels above the national average. . . .

— Stephanie Cook, Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 1999

Home Schoolers Lap the Field
Are stable families the source of high test scores?
    One thing’s for sure: The home schooling movement has exploded over the last 20 years. “There were probably fewer than 10,000 home-schooled children in 1980,” said Michael Farris, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association in Purcellville, Va. . . .
    Farris, whose organization funded the peer-reviewed study, added: “I don’t believe home schooling turns every child into a Fulbright scholar. Instead, I think it tends to maximize the natural gifts of children.”

— Aaron Steelman, Investor’s Business Daily, March 29, 1999

Byron Barnett Reports

    Good news for children who are schooled at home. As Byron Barnett tells us, a new study shows home schoolers are learning more than their classroom counterparts.

— NBC News Channel Script, WHDH, Boston, April 4, 1999