Thursday, September 02, 2010

Homeschooled or Dropouts

I will be interested to see what they find. Texas is known for being a homeschool friendly state. I hope that doesn't change.

High number of home-schooled students leads to state audit

In an attempt to ensure that public school districts aren’t disguising high school dropouts, the Texas Education Agency is conducting an audit of students who withdrew under the auspice of home schooling.

TEA officials wouldn’t reveal details of the audit — other than to say that the state is contacting a random sampling of families to validate that they intended to home-school when they left middle or high school.

More than 22,620 Texas secondary students were listed as withdrawing to home-school in 2008 — raising a red flag among some experts and educators who worry that Texas’ lax regulations are encouraging abuse in the hands-off home-schooling category. The 2008 figures reflect a 24 percent jump from the prior year and roughly triple the number of high school home-schooling withdrawals from a decade ago.

I don't doubt that there a small percentage of parents who claim to homeschool who are not. The big question is what to do with the "fakes" in a manner that doesn't negatively impact the genuine article.


Crimson Wife said...

Not that many families begin to HS during the high school years. Sure, there are a few, but most of those who are HS teens either pulled their kids out when they were younger or never enrolled them in the first place.

If the numbers allegedly being HS in the high school grades are significantly larger than the numbers in the lower grades, that sounds like a scam to me. My observation is that the age distribution among actual HSers is a pyramid- lots of little kids, and progressively fewer 'tween and teens.

Janine Cate said...

That is similar to my experience. I've almost never had a friend successfully transition to homeschooling in or past middle school.

However, I know many people who homeschool teens in Texas.

Time will tell.

DB said...

With the addition of online schools in the last few years it has become easier to homeschool a high school student. You do not need to have teaching experience or create a curriculum just an internet connection and computer.
There will always be people that scam a system. We just can't let the 1% that abuse the system ruin it for the rest of us.
We use Forest Trail Academy for our kids.

abba12 said...

I can only speak for my country, but a HS family is more likely to put kids INTO highschool than take them out for the first time in the highschool years. It does happen, a friend of mine did it, but she didn't make it, went back within 6 months.

J. Bramlett said...

I have known many teens who leave highschool in Texas for homeschool. They usually end up doing online public schools instead of your traditional homeschool. By that time they don't really need the "hands on" the younger kids do and going to school online is just a better option. I cannot stand Highschools in TX. I have lived all over TX and not once have I seen a highschool worth sending kids to. What I do see is an influx of teachers who take advantage of students. In our small town we have had 3 incidents in the last 2 years. That is enough for any parent to rip their kid out of public school.

Of course I also do not doubt people abuse the system. I just do not doubt the majority of them really are going to school at home with the way TX schools can be.

Janine Cate said...

I, too, wondered if online programs were responsible for the increase in high school homeschooling.

Aimee said...

I live in Texas and we are VERY homeschool friendly. I hope a few bad apples won't ruin things for all of the legitimate homeschoolers. I actually know lots of people who are pulling their kids out of regular schools to homeschool...many in Jr. High or High School. Online courses might have a lot to do with that. Others are just really disgusted with the school system. I am part of a homeschool support group here and when I first joined about 6 years ago we had about 35-40 families. Now, we have about 75! Lots of them are people who have pulled their kids out of school.