Sunday, June 26, 2005

Public School's Backyard

Let officials tend to their duties and leave home schoolers alone
Tribune Editorial
June 23, 2005
With the AIMS test staring the Class of 2006 in the face, you might think the Arizona School Boards Association would have its hands full making sure public school students pass muster. Well, you’d be wrong. Instead, they’re fretting about the welfare of home-schooled children.

Or they could be concerned about the documented problems within the public school system. I don't want to bash public schools, but there are some distinctly shady characters mixed in with our communities' children.
“There is no way of knowing what is happening to those kids,” laments Oracle board member Betty Harmon. “I think it is more a matter of protection for the kids. I have nothing against home schooling . . . but every other child in the state, whether they are in a private school or a charter school or a (traditional) public school, they have people to monitor them . . . There is nothing like that for home-school children.”.

There is that monitoring in brick and mortar private, charter and public schools, but does it always help?

Apparently not. Or we wouldn't be seeing this
Required under the No Child Left Behind Act, the report by sexual-harassment researcher Charol Shakeshaft concludes that such misconduct is "woefully understudied," but that as many as one in 10 students may be subjected to some form of it during their K-12 careers. A draft version of the report was made available to Education Week when Ms. Shakeshaft submitted it to the department in late February. ("Sexual Abuse by Educators Is Scrutinized," March 10, 2004.)

Meanwhile, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National School Boards Association all said the report could create a false impression in the public’s mind that the physical sexual abuse of students by educators is rampant in schools. The NEA called the report’s tone alarmist, and the NSBA suggested that it diminished the problem by appearing to overstate it.

It seems to me that their reaction should have been that this greatly concerns them and they'd like to pursue the results in this study. That they'd like to assure the public and the parents that they will deal immediately with any members who abuse any of our children.

Instead we see on p 41 of this study that
LaRue found no state that specifically listed educator sexual misconduct (or language that was similar) as a reason for terminating or dismissing an employee.
National teacher associations, to date, have not included suggestions for preventing educator sexual misconduct nor conducted studies of incidence. Suggestions for collective bargaining model language from the two national teacher unions do not specifically include language on educator sexual misconduct.

Why Not?
The editorial continues:
Perhaps it’s too much in this day and age to suggest that parents are in the best position to monitor their children’s well-being. The “experts” know best, of course. Oh, well — we’ll suggest it anyway, and strongly urge the Legislature to reject this solution that is looking for a problem.

Looking for the few and horrific child abusers, has been fairly unsuccessful even with the oversight and monitoring in the school system. So why suggest spreading resources even thinner by including involved and engaged homeschooling parents in the pile? Looks like a bureaucratic answer that has very little to do with solving the abuse problem for children.

Homeschool Legislation Watch
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