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January 3, 2017

Official Implies Homeschool Programs are Inferior

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In late November, Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore wrote to area homeschooling parents inviting them to enroll their children in public school and promising to provide a “more rigorous curriculum.”

by Scott Woodruff Contact attorney for Arkansas

The implication, obviously, was that the public school would provide a better curriculum than homeschool families—an astonishing and unsupported assertion. An apology was subsequently issued, but the district never withdrew its claim that its curriculum is more rigorous.

Is the public school curriculum really more rigorous? Let’s do some quick fact-checking.

For many years, all Arkansas homeschool students were required to take standardized tests. They consistently out-scored their public school counterparts. In 2009, the largest-ever national study of homeschool students showed that the average homeschooled 8th grader scored at the 12th grade level.

In 2010, public schools in Arkansas (and most other states) skidded into the befuddled Alice-in-Wonderland world of Common Core. Justifiably skeptical homeschooling families stuck with what works. As a consequence, homeschool students nationwide outscored others on all three sections of the important SAT college admission test for 2014 (the last year for which results are available for comparison) by significant margins.

Poore’s claim that the public school curriculum is more rigorous cannot be taken seriously.