Quick Links – Homeschooling surges in growth; glossary of education terms; higher college graduation rates

by Grace

Homeschooling growing seven times faster than public school enrollment’ (Breitbart)

As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.

A recent report in Education News states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75%. Though homeschooled children represent only 4% of all school-age children nationwide, the number of children whose parents choose to educate them at home rather than a traditional academic setting is growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12 every year.

As homeschooling has become increasingly popular, common myths that have long been associated with the practice of homeschooling have been debunked.

Any concerns about the quality of education children receive by their parents can be put to rest by the consistently high placement of homeschooled students on standardized assessment exams. Data demonstrates that those who are independently educated generally score between the 65th and 89th percentile on these measures, while those in traditional academic settings average at around the 50th percentile. In addition, achievement gaps between sexes, income levels, or ethnicity—all of which have plagued public schools around the country—do not exist in homeschooling environments.

Poor socialization is not a problem for homeschooled students.

Similarly, the common myth that homeschoolers “miss out” on so-called “socialization opportunities,” often thought to be a vital aspect of traditional academic settings, has proven to be without merit. According to the National Home Education Research Institute survey, homeschoolers tend to be more socially engaged than their peers and demonstrate “healthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood.”

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Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists 

THE GLOSSARY OF EDUCATION REFORM FOR JOURNALISTS is a comprehensive online resource that defines and describes widely used school-improvement terms, concepts, and strategies for journalists and media professionals.

Top ten terms:

  1. Proficiency-Based Learning – 233 views
  2. Learning Standards – 110 views
  3. Rigor – 72 views
  4. Academic Acceleration – 67 views
  5. Blended Learning – 58 views
  6. Achievement Gap – 51 views
  7. Extended Learning Time – 48 views
  8. Personalized Learning – 45 views
  9. 21st Century Skills – 43 views
  10. Expanded Learning Time – 42 views

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As colleges attract fewer marginal students who wouldn’t have succeeded in attaining a degree, completion stats go up.

College isn’t for everyone, and there’s data to prove it. During the 2011-12 academic year, the number of students enrolled in American colleges and universities dropped by 1.6 percent, while the number of degrees awarded increased by 5.1 percent, according to a new study. As colleges attract fewer marginal students who wouldn’t have succeeded in attaining a degree, completion stats go up. This is largely good news. Students who fail to complete their degrees take on the costs of college with none of the benefits of a degree.


4 Comments to “Quick Links – Homeschooling surges in growth; glossary of education terms; higher college graduation rates”

  1. My son started home schooling in 10th grade and scores well above the 89th percentile (usually above the 99th percentile). Home schooling has been good for him, but I don’t see it as a panacea.

    For example, I think that the use of standardized exams to prove that home schoolers are doing well is bad statistics, subject to large selection bias. Many home schoolers object to standardized exams and don’t have their kids take them. The lower the kids would score on the exam, the more likely that parents won’t have them take them.


  2. Also, homeschoolers skew to the more educated and more privileged side of society. You have to have the resources to have a parent at home for significant chunks of time, if the kid is young. As a general rule, kids of more educated and wealthier parents do better no matter what. That is precisely why you can’t extrapolate best educational practices from Westchester County schools, for example.


  3. I agree that homeschooling is not a panacea, but with the advent of more online education options it is becoming a more viable option for an increasing number of families.

    “Also, homeschoolers skew to the more educated and more privileged side of society. ”

    Even with the recent surge in homeschooling parents not motivated by religious reasons, I’m not sure if that’s true. I haven’t seen any figures that support that. However, homeschoolers do skew toward families with involved parents who value education, so there’s that.


  4. I didn’t say that all homeschoolers are wealthy, just that they skew to the educated and better off. Why? Because homeschoolers are almost never single-parent households, simply because of logistics. As we all know, single parent households tend to be poorer. So right off the bat, a big chunk of poorer families are eliminated from the homeschooling pool. Also, it takes a certain amount of education and savvy to decide to homeschool. Families that are new to the U.S., families where the parents don’t speak English, families with serious dysfunction are not going to be homeschooling. Now you have eliminated another big chunk of famlies who will tend to be lower income. So I am certain that if you compare homeschooling families against the total population of families with school age children, there will be large differences, and the differences will be the very same ones that tend to predict school performance: income, education, and parental involvement.

    In order to carefully study outcomes for homeschooled kids, they need to be compared against similar populations.


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