More schools enjoy higher graduation rates thanks to homeschoolers

The numbers are coming in, and darn if I wasn’t right about this.

Bottom line is; more parents are willing to leave their poorly performing public school and possibly do NOTHING, rather than stay in that school and not have enough credits to graduate anyway. Read the Muncie StarPress article here (there are quotes by yours truly there) and then the sidebar article here, that shows many of the schools in the area are experiencing an increase in homeschool transfers and graduation rates.

This all started several years ago, when we thought nothing about allowing children to drop out at age 16. Then someone got the bright idea that ALL children should be forced to graduate high school with a diploma (no matter how worthless it might be.) Now all kids are forced to stay in school until age 18. But with every new law, there are unintended consequences.

In this case children who are leaving schools before 18 (whether the parent is planning to homeschool or not) are categorized by the school as “transfer students” to home education. This isn’t something new, as I’ve been blogging about it for a few years, but it’s not something that’s going to go away, either.

This is the trend I have been calling “Excommunication” for years… ever since the dropout age in Indiana was raised from 16 to 18. I believe that unless this practice is dealt with at the school district level (by allowing children to drop out of schools that are failing them and increasing the number of public choices outside of district public schools) we will see more frequent cases of parents simply LEAVING their schools and not pursuing other educational avenues.

The fact that more and more parents are willing to simply leave their government school and do nothing, says more about the public schooling monopoly and its failures than it does about the homeschooling community.

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Archive: Graduation Rates by the Numbers

The following is a reprint (copy/paste) from a a supplement to an article I archived here.

Graduation Rates by the Numbers

Written by The StarPress
10:46 PM, May. 21, 2011

The following represents the number of students from each graduating class (2006-2010) who dropped out or completed a home-school transfer anytime during their high school years before their expected date of graduation. The graduation rate for each year is also included.

Muncie Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 68.1 percent
Dropouts: 68
Home-school transfers: 11

2007
Graduation rate: 73.4 percent
Dropouts: 51
Home-school transfers: 48

2008
Graduation rate: 78.9 percent
Dropouts: 25
Home-school transfers: 121

2009
Graduation rate: 84.5 percent
Dropouts: 16
Home-school transfers: 146

2010
Graduation rate: 90.3 percent
Dropouts: 7
Home-school transfers: 143

Delaware Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 83.8 percent
Dropouts: 22
Home-school transfers: 1

2007
Graduation rate: 85 percent
Dropouts: 24
Home-school transfers: 6

2008
Graduation rate: 85.7 percent
Dropouts: 13
Home-school transfers: 8

2009
Graduation rate: 90.8 percent
Dropouts: 7
Home-school transfers: 20

2010
Graduation rate: 93.2 percent
Dropouts: 8
Home-school transfers: 18

Wes-Del Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 89.7 percent
Dropouts: 7
Home-school transfers: 0

2007
Graduation rate: 91.8 percent
Dropouts: 5
Home-school transfers: 0

2008
Graduation rate: 87.7 percent
Dropouts: 5
Home-school transfers: 3

2009
Graduation rate: 96.7 percent
Dropouts: 2
Home-school transfers: 5

2010
Graduation rate: 93.7 percent
Dropouts: 4
Home-school transfers: 2

Liberty-Perry Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 85.6 percent
Dropouts:
Home-school transfers: 0

2007
Graduation rate: 87.2 percent
Dropouts: 6
Home-school transfers: 1

2008
Graduation rate: 90.9 percent
Dropouts: 3
Home-school transfers: 2

2009
Graduation rate: 96.6 percent
Dropouts: 1
Home-school transfers: 3

2010
Graduation rate: 97.5 percent
Dropouts: 1
Home-school transfers: 6

Cowan Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 98 percent
Dropouts: 1
Home-school transfers: 0

2007
Graduation rate: 92.2 percent
Dropouts: 3
Home-school transfers: 0

2008
Graduation rate: 84.8 percent
Dropouts: 3
Home-school transfers: 1

2009
Graduation rate: 89.8 percent
Dropouts: 2
Home-school transfers: 0

2010
Graduation rate: 95.7 percent
Dropouts: 1
Home-school transfers: 3

Yorktown Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 88.3 percent
Dropouts: 11
Home-school transfers: 2

2007
Graduation rate: 93.2 percent
Dropouts: 5
Home-school transfers: 2

2008
Graduation rate: 88.1 percent
Dropouts: 15
Home-school transfers: 5

2009
Graduation rate: 93 percent
Dropouts: 5
Home-school transfers: 8

2010
Graduation rate: 95.3 percent
Dropouts: 2
Home-school transfers: 14

Daleville Community Schools

2006
Graduation rate: 84.4 percent
Dropouts: 2
Home-school transfers: 1

2007
Graduation rate: 81.6 percent
Dropouts: 6
Home-school transfers: 0

2008
Graduation rate: 85.2 percent
Dropouts: 7
Home-school transfers: 2

2009
Graduation rate: 87.5 percent
Dropouts: 6
Home-school transfers: 5

2010
Graduation rate: 78.7 percent
Dropouts: 8
Home-school transfers: 6

Source: Indiana Department of Education

The Definition of Ex-Schoolers: Enter Texas!

I coined a word about three years ago, to describe a condition that I believed would only worsen with the passing of time and lack of scrutiny: Ex-Schoolers.

Ex-Schoolers are public school students who are convinced by school officials and sometimes their own parents, that the best course of action is not to try harder to actually educate a difficult child, but to simply allow the student to leave the school with no strings attached, as a transfer student to a private school. Here’s the catch–or rather, the golden opportunity for public schools in trouble–in many states, homeschools are considered private schools. This is the perfect way to “excommunicate” the undesirable students so that the school can appear to be improving. And if anyone is called on it, then it’s the parents’ fault for using some loophole in the law. The schools will have a nice list of all those bad parents, I bet.

In Indiana, homeschools are considered non-accredited, non-public (gov-speak for private) schools. This means that once a student transfers out of public school to a private school, the public school is no longer responsible for making sure that child is attending a school, as per Indiana law. If they want to transfer to another public school, that student is tracked in the public school’s databases just like all other students. But in private school… they’re off the radar.

As they should be. You can read more about Indiana’s problem with excommunicating some of their students in my post about Public School Push-outs from earlier this year.

There’s nothing illegal-ish about transferring out of public school to homeschool, by the way. It’s been like this for ever, because we still respect our privacy in this country. Our children are only required to attend a State School if we are not choosing to educate them otherwise. So don’t get all bent about forcing all children to get some kind of tracking chip to make sure they’re attending school somewhere. K?

But not all parents are truly interested in homeschooling… especially if their child is receiving a poor education at their State Compulsory School. And not all public school administrators/teachers/superintendents are interested in working triple-time to educate a disinterested child… especially if that child is starting to go rogue.

Enter the easy way out!

If the student (and the parent) is convinced that the school has pretty much given up trying to give this rogue child a chance to graduate, and all their problems (and the school’s problems) will go away if they would just call themselves homeschoolers and leave, do you think they would take it?

In Texas, they believe a good portion of around 22,000 transfer students did exactly that–excommunicated themselves from public school in order to avoid flunking out or dropping out, and in the process… saved public schools from having to report an embarrassing dropout rate.

Read all about it right here: High number of home-schooled students prompts audit | Houston & Texas News – Houston Chronicle.

And keep tabs on this site for the latest news as Richmond Community Schools in Indiana is trying to explain how they went from a “dropout factory” to an award winning super-duper graduation school in just two years.

Followup: Lax Home-School Laws Put Kids at Risk

We learned in an earlier post that some people believe laws encouraging freedom and liberty, are actually dangerous to … the children. To put it in the context of homeschooling, I will quote from the article on www.detnews.com:

Michigan has one of the most lenient home school laws in the nation, giving tens of thousands of families the freedom to teach their children in the manner they want without government interference. But timid and sporadic enforcement of the law’s minimal requirements has been exploited by some unscrupulous parents hiding abuse or educational neglect.

In other words… parents who say they are homeschooling are more likely to abuse their children since their children are not under the supervision of the State for most of their childhoods.

Did the article mention that these parents have been under investigation for a long time? Nope. Wonder why? Me too.

Because the state is barred from collecting any data on home school students, it’s impossible to know how many parents may be abusing the law or how well those students are doing academically.

Does anyone with a brain cell agree with me that it’s asinine to think that  “collecting data” on families will deter abuse and violence against one’s own children? I know… CPS does an awesome job already.

But at least two deaths can be traced to parents pulling their children from public schools to squelch abuse complaints, authorities say. In both cases, parents claimed they were home schooling their children despite having no books or educational materials in their homes.

READ THAT AGAIN!! Two deaths related to pulling children away from the Government Schools! I will give $10 to anyone who can determine that Child Protective Services was NOT already involved in the lives of the family of the dead children.

You can quote me on this one:

…on a per capita basis, your children are thousands of times less likely to be assaulted, raped, abused and even killed, while in your home(school) than children under the care of their Government School.

This is insane! There were allegedly already “abuse complaints” filed somewhere, and then the parents yank the kids out of school. So… what? They get some get-out-of-school card that gives them sudden permission to void all pending inquiries by the state? Lunacy!!

Others have used home schooling as an excuse to keep children at home to care for younger siblings or ailing parents, without providing any educational materials.

NO CITATIONS OF FACTS OR WITNESSES TO SUPPORT THIS ASSERTION.

Just what can be done in such cases — and who can do it — is so unclear that some officials call a false claim of home schooling a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”

PLEASE QUOTE SOMEONE WHO SAYS THAT. I ASSUME “SOME” OFFICIALS MEANS MORE THAN ONE?

“As long as home schooling is as lax as it is,” said Charlotte Smith, a state Office of Children’s Ombudsman intake officer, “it’s an avenue for parents to hide abuse.”

I AM ABSOLUTELY GOING TO EXPLODE! Some officials say that reading ignorant news articles like this can cause medical emergencies and outbreaks of heavy drinking. Really. It’s true!

In 20 years, Michigan has moved from some of the most restrictive home school laws to among the most lenient. There are no instruction-time requirements, no curriculum standards, no minimum education level for the teachers and no testing.

2014-06-24_20148_wta_5dm3And as we have learned… Michigan cities like Detroit have some of the worse public schools in the nation. So how is all that red tape and curriculum standards working out for you all? Pretty awesome, if you go by all of the photographers who are using Detroit as the super-model of urban decay photo essay subjects.  Catch some more examples of these monuments to the failed Government Education Complex, here.

That freedom has fueled an explosion of Michigan home schools, with an estimated 72,000 children now learning at home.

Did you know that the Indiana DOE thinks there are around 23,000 homeschoolers in Indiana? Would it bother you to know that in reality, it could be as high as 80,000? What difference does this make? It only points out that on a per capita basis, your children are thousands of times less likely to be assaulted, raped, abused and even killed, while in your home(school) than children under the care of their compulsory Government School. How’s that for a factoid?

Why are government officials all of a sudden so worried about FREEDOM? All this “freedom” caused an explosion of homeschooling? How about all this educational slavery finally caused parents to wake up and to seek out alternative educational options.

Just sayin’.

__________
During the past year [2005], 7.9% of students nationwide had been threatened or injured with a weapon (gun, knife, or club) on school property one or more times.
2005 CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance

If Indiana Homeschoolers were experiencing the same kinds of violence, that would mean (assuming there were 40,000 homeschoolers in Indiana) over 3,160 homeschoolers are allegedly experiencing the kinds of violence and “abuse” that close to 800,000 Hoosier Public Schoolers experience (for a fact) every year in those protective institutions we call Schools.

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Literacy Facts

There is one thing I always tell all new homeschooling parents: “The single most important thing you can do to succeed at homeschooling your child is this: Read, read, read.”

Okay… that’s three things.

At any rate, the ability to read well is, in my opinion, the single largest predictor of not only academic success, but personal success. Period. Teach your child to read and everything else will come in its own good time.

I can’t think of any other intellectual human ability that is more important than the ability to read; can you?

Here’s the Prime Directive: Read… Comprehend… Communicate. Teach your children to read. When they get that, teach them to write. Toss in some math so they can balance their checkbook. (Bonus: Teach them to balance a checkbook while you’re at it.) After that, the rest will follow.

Some of the schoolish things that we [homeschooling parents] fret over the most, are those things that are secondary, or tertiary to the Prime Directive. They are the things that we assume makes schooling work. After all, we were schooled as children; this must be how this education thing works.

But we forget that schooling only works when you have a mass of children to manage. Homeschoolers don’t have a classroom full of students; we have a family with children to raise. Part of that rearing, includes learning. In spite of the title, homeschoolers aren’t really “schooling” their children. What parents do with children is raise them, prepare them, foster within them a personal self-interest in learning more and more about the world in which we live and the history that got us here.

You need only one thing to accomplish 90% of this rearing thing: Literacy.

Seems to me, most public schools are attempting to teach too many things to too many children who have been damaged from the start by not having been taught to read and comprehend properly.

Here are some literacy stats that don’t give much hope for the way the State is educating our future citizens. Whenever you or another homeschooler is accused of somehow damaging our children by not forcing them to attend a State School of Communal Instruction, refer the inquisitor to this information… if they can understand it.

From Alliance for Excellent Education:
http://www.all4ed.org/publications/FactSheets.html

• More than eight million students in grades 4-12 read below grade level. Most are able
to sound out words—the challenge isn’t to teach them to decode text but, rather, to
help them comprehend what they read.

• Only 31% of America’s 8th-grade students—and roughly the same percentage of 12th
graders—meet the National Assessment of Educational Progress standard of reading
“proficiency” for their grade level.

• Among low-income 8th graders, just 15% read at a proficient level.

• A mere 3% of all 8th graders read at an advanced level.

• On average, African-American and Hispanic 12th-grade students read at the same
level as white 8th-grade students.

• The 25 fastest-growing professions have far greater than average literacy demands,
while the fastest-declining professions have lower than average literacy demands.

• Roughly 23% of high school graduates are not ready to succeed in an introductory level
college writing course.

• About 40% of high school graduates lack the literacy skills employers seek.

• Employment projections indicate that jobs requiring only a high school degree will
grow by just 9% by the year 2008 while those requiring a bachelor’s degree will grow
by 25% and those requiring an associate’s degree will grow by 31%.

• Male and female students with low academic achievement are twice as likely to
become parents by their senior year of high school compared to students with high
academic achievement.

• For juveniles involved in quality reading instruction programs while in prison,
recidivism was reduced by 20 % or more.

• High school dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be
arrested in their lifetimes.

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