Online Non-Government School

On another thread there was a discussion in comments of how Public Education in the USA was rapidly turning into an Indoctrination Camp of sorts filled with a variety of Left Wing Ideology. I’ve noticed it myself just in what the spouse says about what they are mandated to do in her school. She is a professional teacher, and also devoutly Christian, so sporadically tells me some of the things that are least beneficial about the ‘mandates’. On a recent trip to her classroom I noted the mandated “Read 180″ program had a poster up lauding many “left wing progressives” but with not a single “Captain of Industry” nor conservative type. Military was also remarkably lacking. So lots of MLK and Feminism, no Henry Ford, Edison, Pershing, Bradley…

OK, there’s a lot more on the ‘complaint’ side (not the least of which is the huge slush fund of mandatory union dues that go to Democrats and “progressives”) but rather than focus on the negative, what about a positive point?

One thing lead to another and I found myself at the blog of Mark Cuban. (Didn’t even know he had one, but it makes sense). So he had this article about the demise of the brick and mortar high cost profile college and how folks will find other ways to get the units at lower costs and more efficiently. I’d already seen where MIT and Harvard were offering their materials (and classes) on line at low to no costs, and personally had looked at a “Name” university in the UK offering a Masters for a couple of $thousand a year (very cheap compared to attending physically). So it was clear that he is right about the direction. I also have taught at a Community College and can attest that lots of folks could save a lot of money by picking up their first ‘2 years’ of general Ed there and transferring. (Not a new thing. My “old college roomie” did that back in the ’70s and picked up a fine UC Degree in Engineering with only 2 years of spending money there…)

http://blogmaverick.com/2013/01/26/will-your-college-go-out-of-business-before-you-graduate/

So, naturally, I asked myself the next logical question:

Are there folks offering K-12 degrees “online” where you could “home school” without a lot of the cost and bother of buying lesson plans and books and all? Has the “online revolution” come to K-12?

The answer was clearly “yes” after only a minimal web search.

So, in theory, one can “school shop” both for quality and for costs, and get your kid out of the clutches of State Sponsored Indoctrination in the process. A group of families in an area could have their own “recess time” where kids could play like they always did (at least when I was a kid) with others in the neighborhood in their own yards. No more “expulsion” for playing “finger gun” or “freeze tag” (can’t touch, after all…)

I also found that there are various ‘theme’ types. So “Jewish Online” or “Catholic Online” etc. It would make sense for folks who find the Loony Left Indoctrination oppressive to exit the system first.

For now, here are a couple that I found just as a ‘first to show up’.

http://www.k12.com/

Online Public Schools: High performance, individualized, and tuition-free: online public schools provide powerful choices for parents across the U.S.

Online Public Schools: World-wide, world class education through the K¹² International Academy and several online private school partners.

Individual Courses for Sale: Choose from 210+ award-winning courses, for grades K–12: including AP, world languages, credit recovery, and electives

http://www.alliedhighschool.com/

Allied National High School Enrolls Year-Round!
As an Accredited, Affordable, Flexible Online High School…

…Allied National High School is a perfect alternative to traditional, classroom-based learning. We work closely with parents and students to create a learning environment that is challenging, dynamic and thoroughly exciting. Discover how ANHS helps make educational goals a reality.

Some, like this next one, are promoting that they are very much in line with the Central Planning goals and directions:

http://www.foresttrailacademy.com/

K-12 Online School

Forest Trail Academy is committed to providing quality education to students any time, any place, online at their own pace.

Upon graduation, students will receive a nationally and regionally accredited high school diploma.

All our teachers are licensed in their respective subject areas. In addition, we are one of the few online high school in the country with doctoral educators.

Our students are not restricted or limited to classrooms as in the traditional environment. As long as you have a computer and internet access, you can participate in class any time from anywhere. Meaning – you are free to travel, work at your own pace, and complete classes as your time permits.

We have the necessary support in place to help foster your child’s learning. Our teachers, counselors, administrators, and staff are here to see that each student achieves their education goal(s).

Our curriculum, available in all states & worldwide, is aligned with the both Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

We work to ensure that No Child is Left Behind.

Forest Trail Academy accepts international students seeking to achieve a U.S. education & high school diploma.

These folks doing both degrees and “GED Prep”

http://www.excelhighschool.com/

High School Diploma Online / GED ® Online Prep.
Earn your Nationally Recognized High School Diploma Online
Online High School • Online GED ® Test Prep. • Summer School Online
Online High School Make-up Classes • Online High School Diploma

And, a bit to my surprise, even Stanford has a high school:

http://epgy.stanford.edu/ohs/index.html

About the OHS

The Online High School is a fully accredited, diploma granting, online independent school situated at Stanford University. Serving grades 7-12, the OHS prepares students from around the world for success both in life and in their future intellectual pursuits.

A search for “online Jewish school” turned up several:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=online+jewish+school

http://www.jewishonlineschool.com/

Hebrew School Online
The Online Hebrew School provides your child with a comprehensive Hebrew school education no matter where you are located.

Jewish Learning Day School Online
The Online Jewish Day School is the perfect alternative for Jewish homeschoolers or for students that don’t live near a traditional Jewish day school.

Bar Mitzvah Lessons Online
Using the most cutting edge video conferencing, your son can learn LIVE one on one with his own private teacher! Lessons are fun and interactive and are tailored to your son’s schedule and needs.

http://www.onlinejewishacademy.org/

“OJA’s groundbreaking and creative program could influence the way Jewish education is provided.” – Amelia Xann, Vice President of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

“My daughter has never been happier, she is succeeding in her academics and finally able to attend a Jewish Day School” – 9th grade parent

For Catholics it was a bit more complicated as a similar search turned up a bunch of links to physical schools with some online contact information, so a narrowing search would need to be done. Still, this one stood out from the clutter:

http://homeschoolconnectionsonline.com/

Online Classes
for Homeschoolers
Complete live online classes
for middle and high school students –
Educating the heart, mind, and soul
in the Catholic tradition.

A more generic search for Online Christian School

returned a very large number of “hits”. So looks like lots of folks are already choosing an alternative to the Government Boot Camp Schools.

http://www.onlinechristianschools.com/

Online Christian Schools
Enrollment in an online Christian school to homeschool has multiple benefits.

The greatest benefit is you can expect a biblical curriculum, often with a non-doctrinal, character building emphasis .
Online Christian schools have Christian values, so you are not continuously surprised by curriculum content.
It helps parents fulfill the command of Deuteronomy 6 to teach our children about the Lord all day long, every day.

The cost of online Christian schools may be slightly higher than some homeschool options, but are only a fraction of campus-based Christian schools. Parents can enjoy many school benefits at home. One of the greatest values for the money is school accreditation, especially a regional accreditation. Here are some of the benefits over just buying annual curriculum:

academic help options
identity
often older experienced organizations
achievement testing
assists parents with student motivation
removes government registration requirements for homeschooling in many states
payment options
records management
academic diagnosing
removes labor and time screening curriculum each year
school number for college entrance and college financial aid
often have one or two accreditations
have quality paper-based programs for younger grades that dovetail into online curriculum later

These folks are in Canada, so one could get a Canadian Degree, it would seem:

http://www.onlineschool.ca/

Welcome to Heritage Christian Online School! HCOS provides three distinctives which enable discipleship to thrive: Christian Educators, Christian Curriculum, and Christian Environment.
[...]
Anticipation Building for BC CHEC 2013!

Promising to be our best Homeschool Convention ever, make sure you mark your calendars for the 2013 The BC Christian Home Educators’ Convention, April 26 & 27. It’s an event that brings together homeschooling families with resource-providers, speakers, and supportive networking options for two days of inspiration, encouragement and challenge. Offering stimulating programs for all ages, BC CHEC endeavours to glorify God while meeting the unique needs of parents and children who are on this exciting journey called homeschooling.

It looks like there are many fine grained specifics to search through. Even a “Slavic Christian Academy”, though I’m not sure what makes that unique.

http://www.slavicchristianacademy.com/main/online-school

Online Christian School

Our education system has gone online. If you homeschool your children, or would like to, consider Slavic Christian Academy as your partner in online christian education. Slavic Christian Academy is an accredited, online private school for grades 3-12. By using SCA’s online curriculum, parents no longer have to worry about obtaining teaching credentials, grading assignments or even creating homeschooling curriculums.

SCA provides all of the necessary materials needed for students to excel in their academic careers.

Online Christian schooling now means students have full access to a deep catalog of standard and college preparatory courses by AOP’s Ignitia curriculum, certified teachers and a personal academic coach. With a flexible curriculum that allows students to work from home at their own pace, parents can control how much involvement they would like to have in their child’s education.

In Conclusion

I must admit, it ought not to have surprised me, but it did. Guess I’m just too close to the old style “local school” idea. But it does look like choice in education does not have to depend on getting a government voucher program approved. While these are likely “for profit” operations, it looks to me like “low cost” and potentially even “free” versions could be made.

I’m sure there are many folks with teaching credentials who would gladly work in a ‘teaching coop’ with similar minded folks, to create their own “school” in the virtual world. One without layers of “Six Figure Administrators” and “Government Mandated PC” and all the rest of the crap.

So that’s a rather encouraging thing.

“We The People” can just sidestep that whole Marxist Collective brainwashing and get on with traditional education.

No, I don’t see most folks doing that. For many, the school is free baby sitting service. Still, if “things get bad enough”, folks will find a way to ‘chip in’ and have one Mom watch the kids (or Dad…) while the others go to work. Having set ‘class times’ too.

I could easily see, for example, a “BYU Online” for Mormons. ( Damn, I hate it when that happens. Typed that. Thought, gee, maybe I ought to see if it already exists… search on “BYU Online School”:
http://is.byu.edu/is/site/courses/highschool.cfm
now I’m realizing I’m still playing ‘catch up’ with reality…)

Or similar cultural minority groups taking charge of their culture, and their kids.

So there is hope after all. The typical American (and, it would seem, Canadian) independent spirit lives on; with folks just “doing for themselves” what needs doing… Nice to see that…

So I suppose all it needs is a bit of advertizing, and some wider use / acceptance to get the costs down and utilization up. Maybe a few churches offering facilities where kids can do ‘online school’ at church at low enough costs to compete with ‘free’ government indoctrination. I think that deserves a bit more pondering, and some talking about… maybe even with your local church.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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42 Responses to Online Non-Government School

  1. philjourdan says:

    Actually, the Internet provided my wife and I with an inexhaustible supply of material when we home schooled my oldest son for a year. So I am not surprised at any of your findings.

    As an adult, what I was surprised at was how little kids are actually taught each day in school! My wife did the non-technical courses, but I had to do the math and sciences since I was more adept at them. And the amount of course information we had to teach each day was very surprising.

  2. pboucher1 says:

    When my wife and I got married we discussed school options for our children. I preferred home-schooling because of the “sneak attack” on values and brain-dirtying of some of the public school doctrine. We decided early on I would work and that she would stay home but that she was not able (or ready?) to home-school.
    We have found a charter school that we like in our area. In Michigan the charter school is a publicly funded privately owned school which gets to play by SOME of its own rules. The children where uniforms and have a “monthly virtue” that they learn about. Morals are highly emphasized and good behavior is celebrated. They have a “Panther of the Month” (school mascot) for each classroom for the student exemplifying the virtue of the month. Also, my wife is highly active in the school volunteering IN THE CLASSROOM (not just running copies etc). She helps give spelling tests on Friday and do other things to help the teacher. This seems to be a good fit for us now as my wife definitely wants to be involved in our children’s education (not to mention be tuned into the classroom dynamics) but does not feel comfortable taking on the task completely on her (or our) own.
    This is the school system. http://www.nhaschools.com/Pages/default.aspx
    I am still open to different / augmented forms of education. It’s ridiculous that you can pay $40,000 (or more) for an education and then not be able to get a job when you get out. I’m glad to see there are up and coming ways to more efficiently “train up a child”…. The idea of online/church classes is very interesting.

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    In times of changing those dying institutionalized paradigms which were extremely “convenient” for keeping the power first of the “Church” and then by those who replaced it or rather who shared its power, we should return to such a “perennial philosophy”, “traditional knowledge” which can be found everywhere and which can be identified easily as it is always rejected and anathematized or ridiculed by the “accepted”, “official”, knowledge.
    Those big buildings with latin words carved on its frontispieces will inevitably fall down: The Roman Empire, continued first by Anglia and then by Anglia´s colony, is about to end.
    Then, let us remember the teachings from old, that of the persecuted ones, that of the men and women who died under the inquisition and its new updated versions; let us remember the music, the lore, the spirit of people slaved by the few, let us remember ourselves FREE from anathemas and prohibitions issued by those who pretend to be our superiors and masters, let us remember ourselves as human beings, let us break such evil dichotomy which artificially has alienated us from the Universe, as reflections of the cosmos!

  4. Good thoughts, with which I agree. They bring back memories for me of the late ’50s in the UK. I had joined the Navy at 16, and left in my early 20s with lots of “education” but no valid civilian qualifications. Thanks to correspondence courses at the happily called “Rapid Results College”, I in due course passed the exams for university entrance and (eventually) graduated. Ever since, I have encouraged young people to be prepared to upgrade their own qualifications as and when they need to for career purposes. The internet is splendid for continuing education, and you are right to point to it as a real backup to home schooling.

    Regards, Tony.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    The “Loony Left” believed that the capture of Education and Main Stream Media insured that their 22% could control the world. That the Internet would allow their organization to work in concert. They are wrong! it is their demise. We don’t need them! All of the people of the world can communicate without the need for the Professional Educated Elite and their control of information. We Don’t Need Them!

    Old Hopi prophesy; ” The new Age will begin when a Net covers the World” pg

  6. Zeke says:

    If anyone would like an opportunity to support the traditional right and duty of parents to raise and to educate their own children, here is an important petition to amend the Constitution protecting that right.
    Erosion of this right is occurring in courtrooms and via international treaties. People of all points on the political spectrum support the right of parents to raise their own children, rather than give the highest authority to the State in determining what is best for the well-being of the child.

    http://www.parentalrights.org/

    The Proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

    SECTION 1

    The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.

    SECTION 2

    Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

    SECTION 3

    This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.

    SECTION 4

    No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

  7. Steve C says:

    It sounds rather like your state education has suffered about the same degree of damage as ours in the UK. At sixtysomething, I don’t think I can recall one year since I left school when there haven’t been streams of BS from the government (of whichever flavour) claiming that there’s too much of this, not enough of that, or a completely unacceptable level of the other in our schools, together with some proposed, unthought-through (but soon enforced) nonsense to ‘improve’ matters, at least until next year. The only constant is that actual education becomes ever more peripheral. Meanwhile, employers have been complaining for many years about ‘graduates’ who have been right through the system and still can’t write in coherent – or sometimes even legible – English

    Frankly, I have great respect for those teachers who are still prepared to try to teach under modern conditions, when you don’t know from one year to the next what you’ll be doing. The problems here are legion, mostly resulting from the sort of stupid decisions that prevent teachers from even keeping their classrooms suitable places for learning. If the teacher lays one finger on that kid who is wandering around, distracting the class and making a nuisance of himself, it’s the teacher who is suspended, for ‘assault’ – result, the education of the entire class inevitably suffers. Also, of course, the nuisance kid soon learns that there’s no payback for being a pain in the arris, and so do all his mates. They’ve got their human rights, and don’t they know it – usually, that’s all they know.

    At least it looks as if the raw knowledge, at least, is going to be available online for those who wish to see their kids educated, rather than just ‘entertained’ by whichever oik is playing about in class today. Teach ‘em a little self control (the only sort of control that’s worth a damn), and how to learn, and who knows? The ‘next generation’ might turn out (nearly) as well as we did …

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @L.G.:

    Any theme to those schools? Or just “random picks”?

    @SteveC:

    Yup. Education for function is vanishing. Beyond very basic math and reading, it is far more indoctrination. Even writing is being debated… they are thinking of phasing out penmanship and cursive writing as folks all type now…

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    I always liked the Hopi ;-)

  9. Richard Ilfeld says:

    I know a young lady who did 6-12 online starting 10 years ago. She was an aspiring olympic skater and the training wasn’t really compatible with the local schools. She did fine & is currently in a PhD program — but of course someone sufficiently dedicated to be a world class skater is ok in the motivation dept. (she was sidlined by injury though did skate professionally with Disney).

    But this got me to thinking that there is potential for interesting charter schools here, with academics of quality provided online, & sports, music, Dance, art, etc etc (which many local schools eliminate) provided locally.

    Away from the cost structures and staff requirements of local schools with insane administrator/teacher relationships and educational sclerosis many things are possible. Can’t be worse than the football coach showing films in social studies…….lots of us went through that

  10. DirkH says:

    A while ago Sebastian Thrun thought, this is silly, I’m teaching a bunch of people in a lecture hall AI, why don’t we put it online. He told his uni – Stanford – and they said, can’t do that, that undermines our business model. He told them that he doesn’t care and that they should make it happen. Maybe some google money helped, but here it is.

    https://www.ai-class.com/

  11. John Robertson says:

    Having been a restless student, I always thought the real art of teaching was the ability of a tutor to make a topic interesting.
    The enthusiasm of the teacher is most often infectious, a genuine love of the subject works wonders.
    This tool, being able to access information when I am ready to understand it, is transforming and liberating, no more repeat after me?
    Irony abounds, as the common cause planners have seized control of government education, the quality as expressed in the students has plummeted, some say low information voters are the desired result but I see the law of unintended consequences .
    School board people seem to be genuine in their desire to improve education and turn out a product of smart, intellectually competent young adults, co-parenting even.
    They see no irony with “product”.
    Reading comprehension must not be on the desirable common production list, I guess Utube will be the solution to that.
    Actually there is a product needed because of this, an app that pulls up a picture of the product, when referenced by its trade name or part #, the position of parts man now being manned by people with zero practical experience.
    Other side of coin, I suspect we humans learn mostly thro pain, negative reinforcement trumping positive.Probably cause we get lazy inside our comfort zone.
    Which makes the maxim of, a good education is an expensive one, usually gained at the university of hard knocks.
    For myself it took a decade or two after graduating from high school to learn to enjoy learning again.

  12. crosspatch says:

    There is a lot of content available that could be used for schooling children. For example, there was an excellent program on the Military Channel last night about the Crusades. I watched it with my son (6th grader). There was a *little* bit of the usual progressive self-loathing (the Muslims seemed to always be justified in beheading prisoners but when Richard 1 did it, it was a “war crime”). but overall it was likely a better lecture on the crusades and why things were done the way they were (why Richard decided not to take Jerusalem in the 3rd Crusade, for example) than you will ever get from a regular middle school teacher. There actually is a lot of good content available if you sift through it.

  13. I’m currently refreshing my math skills using http://www.khanacademy.org.
    I give it top marks for making calculus not just comprehensible but, believe it or not, fun!

  14. p.g.sharrow says:

    Crosspatch; of course it was a war crime! Christians don’t do such things. Muslims consider it normal treatment for their enemies. So it is not a war crime for them to do. The western Crusades were the Christian reply to 300 years of Muslim conquest over Christian areas. It is a terrible thing to encounter an enemy that fights back effectively and then brings the war to your house! pg

  15. bkindseth says:

    When I bought our first computer, an Apple II+ about 30 years ago, I also purchased Typing Tutor by of all companies, Microsoft. The program structure was great, it put up 2 sets of 4 letters and measured the speed with which you typed them. It continued to test you on the letters that you had slow response, and then introduced new letters. My 3 kids learned touch typing real quickly using that program.
    I have used some online courses that are essentially a textbook put into the website. You read a chapter, may have problems to work and then take a test. They have not had a feature where the program measures your weaknesses and works with you to address the weaknesses. A website could also give feedback to the site administration so that they could strengthen the material in areas where users are having problems.
    I would hope that these ideas are being addressed. Does anyone know if they are?

  16. crosspatch says:

    Our parents also had the World Book Cyclo-Teacher that was AWESOME! World Book encyclopedia is absolutely, hands down, THE VERY BEST for school children.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bkindseth:

    CBT Computer Based Training is heavy into that ‘stress your weakest parts’ drill. FWIW, I hate it.

    It gets wound up in a ‘perfection’ as a standard so you end up spending most of your time focused on whatever was least interesting to you. I’m more fond of “good enough – grade and move on” (Then come back later to retest retention after more interesting stuff was presented)

    Getting “trapped” into “failure” is the risk of such systems. Then folks lose motivation and drift ways.

    The best systems do a repeat, then ‘move on’ and have a configurable parameter for “level of perfection” desired, so you can set it it “perfect” or “good enough and move on” as desired.

    I had to sit through several of those to become Solaris / Sun certified and a couple of other manufacturer certs. It gets old…

  18. crosspatch says:

    Example of the Cyclo-Teacher. It is a great examination / quiz tool for home schoolers. http://saginaw.craigslist.org/bks/3543622313.html

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. It gets old… It´s because we are being invited to read the “dumb book”, where the real knowledge resides. It´s easy to figure it out: Just receiving information at a hundred thousand times faster than usual, how would it “sound” such information, such a high frequency for us?, like a uniform monotone.. SILENCE! . Let us allow ourselves to be “bathed” and fed with this “background sound”, no more need to reach for something outside, to be “dis-tracted”, to keep buying things we do not need, to unceasingly search for what it is already with us; we are too old to be cheated with shining mirror pieces or beautiful color beads: what we are in need of, the answer to the burning question of our lives it is written in the silent words of the “dumb book” of eternity.

  20. Zeke says:

    From Washington State:
    Action Needed to Halt Third-Party Visitation Bill Coming Up for a Vote

    “Ever since the Troxel v. Granville Supreme Court decision in 2000 threw out Washington’s visitation statute, the legislature has been trying to pass a replacement. These bills have failed because they don’t adequately protect the right of parents to make decisions on behalf of their children. This year’s attempt is no better.

    HB1506 would allow any person who is not the parent of the child to petition for visitation with the child if they had “established an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child.” Under this bill a person could even petition the court where the family is an intact two parent home.

    House Bill 1506 states that a person can demonstrate they have established an “ongoing and substantial relationship” when they have had a relationship with a child of “substantial continuity for at least one year through interaction, companionship, and mutuality, without expectation of financial compensation.” Mutuality is simply shared sentiments.

    This bill will cause intact families, including perfectly fit parents, to face potential court challenges to their parenting decisions whenever they limit or restrict their child’s visitation to any person. While the bill provides some minimal protections of parent’s decision making, the parent will still have to defend any petition for visitation rights, no matter how outrageous.

    House Bill 1506 was heard in the House Judiciary committee yesterday and is currently scheduled for a vote on February 12.”

  21. What a wonderful discussion. Thank you Chiefio, our magnificent mentor! K-12 education is my passion as you may appreciate by visiting my pathetic (under construction) web site:

    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Education.htm

    K-12 education in the USA is mediocre with a few spots of excellence where remarkable people,have been able to overcome the dead hand of our failed institutions. I refer to the relentless trend towards centralizing power into fewer and fewer hands. The federal Department fo Education was formed in 1979 and since then the trend towards centralization has accelerated.

    The only hope for improving government schools depends on reversing that trend. The opposite of centralization and monopoly is “Pluralism” or speading power into more and more hands.

    This was done in New Zealand in 1989 via the “Tommorrow’s Schools” legislation that eliminated the “Top Down” heirarchy and placed each school under the control of locally elected boards. No more Department of Education in Washington, no more state Boards of Education and no more District school boards and no more salaried administrators at any level. All the money is spent within the schools so the teachers are free to teach without confusing and conflicting directives from bureaucrats.

    Recognizing that such sweeping reforms are unlikely in the USA I have been putting schools under local control sice 1997 via charter school laws. Thus far I have created six community controlled schools in North Carolina and one in Florida. Another four schools are “In Process”. I could have set up two charter schools per year but for the 100 charter school “Cap” imposed by the NC legislature. Any reasonably diligent person could have done the same.

    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Education.htm

    http://www.k12.com/flva

    Today I am getting a little impatient so now I am pushing for the wholesale emancipation of schools from local school boards. Here in Florida, the Brevard Public Schools Board of Education is about to close four schools regardless of the spirited opposition from the local communities:
    Gardendale Elementary (Merritt Island)
    Sea Park Elementary (Satellite Beach)
    South Lake Elementary (Titusville)
    Clearlake Middle Schools (Cocoa)

    Instead of closing these schools I am recommending that each be handed over to the control of locally elected boards. This will generate a quantum leap in parental involvement so that these schools will improve dramatically within a couple of years.

    Will it happen? There is support from the Brevard Count Commissioners, the Mayor of Titusville and state government officials in Tallahassee. It all depends how many parents will show up in Tallahasse in support of the petition. Vaclav Havel called this the “Power of the Powerless”, Wish us luck!

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Good Luck, Camel!

    You might consider having a “home school via online” option / offering for places that cap the charter approach. Mostly it would just take some time ‘vetting’ the options, picking one, and getting some folks behind it. ( Probably most easy via getting a church to set up ‘classes’ at their facility. Install wi-fi and BYO-Tablet computer… with parents doing volunteer site management. That is, keeping the kids on task with the online school.)

  23. GAI says:

    Good luck Camel
    It is nice to ‘meet’ someone who was involved in setting-up Charter schools here in NC. If memory serves me correctly the NC 100 school cap is being challenged. (Mike Stone maybe?) link Mike is also going after the no fracking in NC law.

    Art Robinson (Access to Energy) offered a K-12 home schooling course we purchased ($200) to use to help the neighborhood kids about 15-20 years ago. It used all old text books and NO COMPUTER. The courses were all self taught by the child once he learned to read. The NO COMPUTER rule was to make sure the kid learn arithmetic and how to write well. Once passed those two hurdles the computer would be OK. All his kids were home schooled and generally tested out of the first two years of college.

    He and the other scientists at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine setup the course material after his wife died suddenly and his children “voted” to continue with homeschooling instead of going to public school. At the time I think his youngest was two.

    The advantage to the Robinson Curriculum is that it goes anywhere since it does not need a computer.

    http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/

  24. Tim Clark says:

    When I met my future wife, she was teaching at Heritage Christian in Fort Collins, Co.,
    so I looked it up. Still there, but not online. FYI, she received about 65-75% of public school pay. But didn’t have the headaches. If some little snotty little rich kid bastard got out of line, it was handled, trust me. They kicked out two pupils from her class (7th grade) her first year. When we married, she never taught again, but would never, ever teach in public school. She did one term prior to HCS and was threatened with physical harm (Arickaree HS CO) by a parent of some smart-ass idiot. We left the state to pursue MS’s elsewhere..
    I am whole heartedly for programmed home school experience. i am not for parents doing it on their own.

  25. Thanks, Chiefio! 2013 may be a year that real reforms of K-12 education get a notable boost, for example in NC.

    GAI: The cap was removed in North Carolina last year. It will be interesting to see how many get set up each year from here on. My little group (FREE = Financial Reform for Excellence in Education) was able to set up two schools a year until the 100 school “Cap” was reached ten years ago. Without artificial restraints such as “Caps” or unreasonably restrictive approval processes there should be at least 40 new charter schools each year, statewide. Then there is the K-12 proposal for a huge “Virtual School” that has been mired in the courts so that the government can maintain its “Virtual Monopoly” in this area.

    Tim Clark: If I lived in Fort Collins I would find a way to hear Ned Nikolov explain his “Unified Theory of Climate”. I am working on a follow up to my review of the N&K poster from a year ago. This time I will take a close look at some rocky bodies instead of gas giants:

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/unified-theory-of-climate/

  26. Zeke says:

    There have been extensive studies on the scores of homeschooled children as compared to their public school counterparts. Here is a summary of some of the data.

    http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp

    I would like to point out the fact that many home schooling parents have only a high school education. This does not negatively effect the performance of their children on standardized tests as would be expected. On the contrary, most experts and teachers who are trained educators must spend a great deal of time learning how to manage large numbers of students. It is in fact the schools who are the impetus behind the diagnosis of ADHD and the use of drugs to treat them. Remember, there is no known cause of ADHD and the symptoms are a subjective and varying list. 20% of kids on medications were wrongly diagnosed.

  27. Zeke says:

    What about the cost of homeschooling?

    “Another obstacle that seems to be overcome in homeschooling is the need to spend a great deal of money in order to have a good education. In Strengths of Their Own, Dr. Ray found the average cost per homeschool student is $546 while the average cost per public school student is $5,325. Yet the homeschool children in this study averaged in 85th percentile while the public school students averaged in the 50th percentile on nationally standardized achievement tests.iv

    Similarly, the 1998 study by Dr. Rudner of 20,760 students, found that eighth grade students whose parents spend $199 or less on their home education score, on the average, in the 80th percentile. Eighth grade students whose parents spend $400 to $599 on their home education also score on the average, in the 80th percentile! Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better, scoring in the 83rd percentile.v

    The message is loud and clear. More money does not mean a better education. There is no positive correlation between money spent on education and student performance. Public school advocates could refocus their emphasis if they learned this lesson. Loving and caring parents are what matters. Money can never replace simple, hard work.”

    (By the way, schools have ways of hiding the amount per student spent. Spending varies a lot per state, but 7,000 per year per student is not unusual.)

  28. Graeme No.3 says:

    The system in Australia doesn’t allow for home schooling, although it is becoming more flexible. The old monolithic State system was well… In the 1950’s it was split into standard and elite schools, with the latter considered the equal of private schools. The elite high schools (grades 8-12) got the best teachers and the best pupils were invited there. This was too much for the left wingers who claimed that “students were being discriminated against etc.” so they split them up.

    At the same time the “progressives” decided to teach New Maths and Whole Word reading (if I’ve got that name right). The result was 20 years of chaos. I remember at one firm 2 young blokes just out of State school turned out quite illiterate, unable even to write their own names. One was quite stupid, but the other was of at least average intelligence, yet both were born in Australia and had passed through 10 years of “State Education”.

    The strongest comment I can make on the State system was that a majority of State School teachers were found to be sending their children to private (fee paying) schools. So did I, but that was after my father discovered that my class teacher was insane (and known to be).

    When I went to University the progressives were loudly highlighting that the University intake was two thirds from private schools. 50 years later after increasing the number of Universities, and dropping the required standards, they are complaining that over 75% of the intake comes from private schools.

  29. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Zeke: All what is needed is to teach music and elemental mathematics: A mono cord and sand on the floor to draw a square triangle.

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    ….al the rest is self-indulging…

  31. Zeke says:

    Adolfo says: All that is needed is to teach music and elemental mathematics: A mono cord and sand on the floor to draw a square triangle.

    Now you would say that, wouldn’t you? (; It cannot be a coincidence that your last name even sounds like Pythagoras, Mr. Pita Giurfa.

    In my state, the 11 required subjects are reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation, and they do not have to be taught separately. The hours of instruction vary from state to state.

  32. Zeke,
    There is plenty of evidence showing homescholled students outperforming the traditional schools. In North Carolina home schooling is growing faster than enrolment in charter schools or private schools.

    Given the fact that even highly educated parents cannot cover every high school subject adequately I am promoting “Virtual Schools” that provide instruction “On Line”. It is not for everyone but some home schoolers find it useful. My little board opened our first school last year and are working on four more.

    http://www.k12.com/flva

  33. Graeme No.3 says:
    It is shocking to note the harm done by progressive education throughout the English speaking world thanks to a “Top Down” approach to education that enables a few people to impose their bad ideas on the many.

    Fortunately, New Zealand is showing what independent schools controlled by the local community can do.

    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/EdReform.doc

    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/BadIdeas.doc

  34. Zeke says:

    @gallopingcamel,
    Thank you for creating more options for parents in Florida.

    I will say that there was a bill here in Washington to introduce charter schools, which I voted against. The bill requires so many controls by the public schools that the ability to develop the superior curricula and methods was neutered from the beginning. In my opinion, it is be like a failing car maker being able to manage its smaller competitors. The Teachers Unions don’t like charter schools doing so much more with so much less, and so I saw this as a false beginning for educational choice here.

    It passed any way.

  35. Zeke says:

    It is understood among home schooling parents that if you do not choose or create your own curriculum, you are not home schooling.

  36. Zeke,
    While I have been trying to improve K-12 education 20 years most of that time was spent creating charter schools because it was the only option available. More powerful approaches are now politically possible.

    Florida is far more receptive than North Carolina when it comes to education reform. Florida has had a voucher programs for many years although it is loaded with so much baggage that it helps very few children.

    I am convinced that the best approach is to return schools to local control and there seems to be a real chance to do that here in Brevard county. Here is a column that I wrote for Florida Today:

    http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013301180008

    By disbanding the BPS administration there will be direct savings of over $20 million. Our 72,000 students attend 100 schools so each of these will need to elect a board of trustees to be accountable to the local community. These will be the same schools that they are today but liberated from the “Top Down” control by the “Brevard Public Schools” administration. My dream is that next year our teachers will be free to teach. What a concept!

    To bring this about there will have to be a high level of commitment from local parent organizations. The situation is evolving rapidly so we should know one way or another within a matter of weeks.

  37. Zeke says:

    Excerpt from this article by Galopingcamel:

    “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.”

    Education, in common with many other activities, suffers when a top down structure is imposed. If the goal is to deliver the best quality education possible, control should be at the lowest possible level. Schools should be controlled by locally elected boards. If you want to see what can be achieved by local boards consisting mostly of amateurs, look no further than private schools that generally outperform public schools in most comparisons of student achievement and customer satisfaction.

    Are there any examples of K-12 government schools being operated under local control? Yes, there are several, and one of the examples most relevant to the USA can be found in New Zealand following its “Tomorrow’s Schools” legislation enacted in 1989. The education department was abolished while school funding was turned over to the New Zealand treasury. Here is an excerpt from a recent study by Mark Adams of George Mason University:

    “The Tomorrow’s Schools reforms in New Zealand fundamentally overhauled an education system that was bureaucratic and inefficient. Even leading critics of the reforms, Edward Fiske and Helen Ladd, admit that “literally no one, not even the most vocal critics of the new fiscal and enrollment policies … wanted to go back to the old highly regulated system.

    “New Zealand’s reforms were premised on a shift from directing activities to monitoring outcomes. Schools were given the freedom to teach and were made accountable to parents through a board of trustees … The results of reform indicate substantial improvements in overall performance with fewer students being failed.”

    This is no small miracle in New Zealand!

  38. Zeke says:

    @Camel,
    I hope that you have all of the support from the parents you could wish for and then some. I think that is the principle at work in home schooling also. The care and commitment that a parent has for a child works in the best interest of the child, and overcomes the difficulties and limitations of budget and certification. The states that try to regulate home schoolers the most, I have noticed, have the worst performing schools. Germany jails home schoolers and seizes the children.

    The parents in our country must always be assumed legally to have the best interest of the child at heart and be able to direct the upbringing and education of their own children. The State does not know or serve the best interest of the children except in cases where life is at stake; the state is not the father.

    What you are doing demostrates the success of open society, local control, and parental involvement to the other states.

  39. Zeke,
    “Germany jails home schoolers and seizes the children. ”

    The idea that only the state knows how to educate our children is beyond scary. How can Gemans have forgotten who was so determined to control the nation’s youth? His propaganda minister said:
    “Youth belongs to us and we will yield them to no one.”

    Here in Brevard county we are trying to liberate our schools, not from a demented demagogue but from a bumbling bureaucracy. We may fail entirely; we may liberate a few or we may liberate one hundred schools. It depends on how much support there is from the community and our elected officials. Thanks for your understanding and support!

  40. Zeke,
    One of the things that worries me is that the leaders of other countries understand what America stands for better than our own “Leaders” do.

    http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/3178

  41. Zeke says:

    Gallopingcamel,

    I am so glad I caught the article you linked just now. It is brilliant and succinct and contains the most penetrating observations regarding science, NGOs, the fear of freedom, green ideology, and the generation that is bringing individual freedom systematically to an end around us. And this generation, the 60’s radicals, are humorously treated as the intellectuals who are the “chosen.” — These are the same intellectuals who despise the people who produce anything, and despise the faiths of “chosen” people and traditional beliefs, and yet have taken on precisely that role – the “chosen” intellectuals who will hand down the grand new Collective paradigm!

    And this is rightly divided:

    I feared the ideology of human-rightism, but did not anticipate the consequences of this doctrine. Human-rightism is an ideology that has nothing in common with practical issues of the individual freedom and of free political discourse. It is about entitlements. Classical liberals and libertarians do not emphasize enough that the rights interpreted in this way are against freedom and the rational functioning of society.

    Human rights are in fact a revolutionary denial of civil rights.

    Progressives who fall madly in besotted love with the idea of “human rights” need to keep in mind that they are committing assault and brutal theft by acting to strip individual liberties. And they are also perpetrating great falsehood and deception by promising the glories of giving up individual liberty, because this has turned deadly so many times before. So there will be a mirror up and a light on these false, evil and absurd arguments for the destruction of individual rights, in which they can see the truth about themselves as they commit this lawless and senseless attack on personal liberty.

    But finally, I think the article is right to hint that in the end, this attack is spiritual: “We underestimated certain problematic aspects of a standard, formally well–functioning democratic system that lacked an underlying set of deeper values.” The eternal principles and the actual love of liberty must be in the human heart, or no system or set of laws can save it. And this love is what is dying. “Because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” If we only realized that our love for each other and for our own chosen duties and purposes are what really preserve us.

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