This is a Rant :)

Recently a news station out of Nashville reported this story:
It is a biased report attacking church related umbrella schools here in Tennessee.

Go, read or watch, then come back and see my email to her and her response.

From: Jessica Carter []
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:29 PM
To: Jennifer (WSMV) Johnson

Subject: Church related schools

I am really disappointed with this report. It was very biased and based solely on a single family, who were obviously having difficulties in home.

This father was shocked at how far behind his children were. I find that sad. Had he been involved in children’s education, there would have been no shock.

The state of Tennessee DOES know how many children are enrolled in church related schools. Church related schools report to the state, every year, how many students they have enrolled.

My children are enrolled in a church related school. I pulled my oldest child out of public school because the school system, with all their oversight, was failing her. She could not read past a kindergarten level and she was in second grade. She is now in fourth grade and is reading much better. I am now educating her and her siblings.

I am not interested in standardized testing for my children. I don’t use the same curriculum as public schools. There are differences in curriculums and standardized testing would not be able to account for this. So the results would not accurately portray what my children have learned and not learned. My daughter, due to how far behind she was when I pulled her out of public schools, doesn’t yet know multiplication. She would test “behind” in that area. But, if she has not yet been taught that, is she really behind? No, she is just not meeting the standard of a totally different curriculum for her grade. But, she is exactly where she is supposed to be in the curriculum she is being taught.

Isn’t the most important thing that she is learning and moving forward? Why should she be forced to learn what she is not ready to learn, simply to meet the standards of a test?

Furthermore, Sylvan Learning Center is a for profit organization whose job it is to inform you of how miserably behind your child is. They want your money. Their standards are not even the school’s standards. Since when are they responsible for setting the standards for children?

Stories of children being behind and failing, are a dime a dozen in the public school system. The public school system has an extraordinarily large amount of government oversight, and they are failing children in many different areas. Where is your outrage and report?

Thank you for this report, as it reminds me of the ignorance and misinformation that most people have concerning homeschooling. I imagine that you have heard from many homeschoolers by this point, because we are one of the most active and effective voices in our communities. We are dedicated to our children and their educations. Shame on you for picking a single bad example and ignoring the thousands of good ones. The public school teachers I know would love to have the time, attention, and creative energy to devote to their students that we are able to give to our students.


Jessica Carter

Now her reply

Ms. Carter,

Thank you for your e-mail. I’m sorry you feel this way. The story wasn’t meant to be biased or insinuate that all students taught at home are failing. That’s why I used the statistic pointing out that home school students test 2 points higher on the ACT than their public school counterparts. I think Mr. Shearer also made some eloquent comments that speak to your points.

What the story WAS designed to do is point out that there are children who are slipping through the cracks, and I stand behind that. This is not an isolated incident. The state department of education says they get a half a dozen calls a day from people just like Greg. I’m sorry if I left you with the impression that this was an issue about one Tennessee family. I can assure you… that’s not the case. The fact that these kids are behind was illustrated by the fact that a judge stepped in and ordered them back to school.

I agree with you. There are many students being taught at home who are thriving. There are also some who are slipping through the cracks. If there are any other specific facts you dispute in the story, I will be happy to address those.
Jennifer Johnson

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Rapids said...

The plural of curriculum is curricula. I just learned that myself and I am 41 years old. Interesting. We live overseas and my child will be attending the local national schools. I plan on homeschooling her in subjects specific to an American education. I am a home schooling fan, but do agree that home schooled kids should be held to a standard to make sure none fall through the cracks. I'm not sure what that standard would be, since I am currently not involved in either public, or home schooling.

Jessica said...

Interestingly enough, the word curriculum has two plural; curriculums & curricula. Thanks for your comment. But, in reality, our public schools are failing at a more rapid pace and with more significance than those families who are homeschooling their children. Public schools have had increasing amounts of government regulation over the years and it really has not helped. If the government can not fix the schools it is already regulating, then why does it need to have its hand in my school, which actually works?

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