Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Does school attendance effect crime rates?

I got the pointer to this from a local homeschool newsgroup.

What Effect Does School Attendance Have on the Crime Rate?

Increasing the length of school attendance does not decrease the crime rate, according to the postwar trends in most industrialized countries. Arguing that requiring children to attend school longer would reduce crime is arguing from a statistical fallacy. Neither school uniforms nor longer school days or school years can be expected to reduce crime as long as schools themselves promote the development of youth culture. A much more effective set of crime control measures, as demonstrated by the experience of the United States in recent years, is vigorous police work, strict law enforcement, and allowing young people more choice in education.

Here are a few insightful quotes:

"As the labor of children has become unnecessary to society, school has been extended for them. With every decade, the length of schooling has increased, until a thoughtful person must ask whether society can conceive of no other way for youth to come into adulthood."

A socialization used to mean something different.

Kett demonstrates, among other things, that the "peer group" of most children used to range in age from four to twenty-two-- until age-segregated public schools became commonplace after the Civil War.

Montgomery reached the conclusion that any time a state adopted compulsory school attendance laws in the nineteenth century, its crime rate and youth suicide rate increased. United States census figures are cited throughout the book. Montgomery also reemphasized the point Cowper made a century earlier, that age-peer socialization produces more criminal behavior than socialization by parents.

This is a different point of view than those awful commercials promoting universal preschool.

A 1992 Associated Press article about Dr. Shyer's research was widely reprinted in newspapers across the country. Dr. Shyers reports that direct observation by trained observers, using a "blind" procedure, found that home-schooled children had significantly fewer problem behaviors, as measured by the Child Observation Checklist's Direct Observation Form, than traditionally schooled children when playing in mixed groups of children from both kinds of schooling backgrounds. Shyers concluded that the hypothesis that contact with adults, rather than contact with other children, is most important in developing social skills in children is supported by these data.

Related Tags: , , , ,


Unknown said...

Nice catch.

Anonymous said...

Well another black eye for homeschooling. A father in Elizabeth Township, PA seemed to think that he was much better equipped to educate his children and pulled them out of the Elizabeth Forward School District.

It seemed as though school just got in the way of him sexually abusing his daughter. Well, since no one had contact with the home schooler but dear old Dad, no one knew what was going on and there was no one to help or to report suspicions.

The home schooler took matters in her own hands and shot her father. When authorities arrived at the home, they found mayhem to include animal feces and waste.

Now, I realize that there are many success cases but when it doesn't work, it really doesn't work. I have seen students who have been home schooled for a year or two to return back to school with more problems. There should be frequent visits to home schools to ensure that no home schooler is left behind.

Janine Cate said...

There are some people who use homeschooling as a ruse to hide child abuse. There are also some people who use the school system to abuse children, like this. Almost every week there is some article in the paper about some teacher sexually explointing a student. Evil people will corrupt any system, no matter how good.

In the example sited by Anonymous, I would be very surprised to find that the abuse began on the day the child started homeschooling. Most likely, the child had been abused at home during the years she attended school. If the school is not at fault for the abuse that happened at home while the child was enrolled in school, then why would homeschooling be at fault for the later abuse?

Janine Cate said...

I did some checking on the PA abuse/murder incident. The child had been abused for the 7 years prior to the murder. Sadly, social services was involved almost the entire time. So, I don't think school or homeschool had anything to do with the crime.

One news report called the girl homeschooled, another reported that she was truant and had missed 45 days of school. And, it is summer vacation, so she would have been at home either way.