California kids sent home for wearing USA flag apparel on Cinco de Mayo

I need a margarita Jack & Coke after reading this. Four students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif. were sent home from school after refusing to remove bandannas and T-shirts on May 5 – Cinco de Mayo – since their apparel was incendiary.

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Home Schoolers on SOC – Update Video

If you haven’t seen Steve’s post on the home schooling mom in North Carolina you can read it here. The mom in this post Venessa Mills and another home schooling mom Robyn Williams will be joining us on the show at 10:10 am. Here’s a quick recap of the story.

A judge in Wake County said three Raleigh children need to switch from home school to public school. Judge Ned Mangum is presiding over divorce proceeding of the children’s parents, Thomas and Venessa Mills.

Venessa Mills was in the fourth year of home schooling her children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. They have tested two years above their grade levels, she said.

“We have math, reading; we have grammar, science, music,” Venessa Mills said.

Her lessons also have a religious slant, which the judge said was the root of the problem.

“My teaching is strictly out of the Bible, and it’s very clear. It is very evident so I just choose to follow the Bible,” Venessa Mills said.

In an affidavit filed Friday in the divorce case, Thomas Mills stated that he “objected to the children being removed from public school.” He said Venessa Mills decided to home school after getting involved with Sound Doctrine church “where all children are home schooled.”

Thomas Mills also said he was “concerned about the children’s religious-based science curriculum” and that he wants “the children to be exposed to mainstream science, even if they eventually choose to believe creationism over evolution.”

This is a complicated case. I am not happy a judge has decided that somehow public school is in the children’s interest instead of home schooling, in effect ruling on evolutionary science over creationism. On the other hand no matter what the husband did, I believe he should have a say in his children’s education. We will talk to the mom about this.

Click here to watch video of the story from WRAL in Raleigh


High School Dropout Rate Crisis

If anything can be defined as a crisis, the current high school dropout rate statistics just might qualify. America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Colin Powell, released a report entitled Cities in Crisis, A Special Analytic Report on High School Graduation [PDF, 1.8 MB]. Overall, only seven in 10 high school student go on to graduate, even less go on to attend higher education.

The report provides data and does a good job of breaking down the differences between urban, town, rural and suburban dropout rates; it does not suggest causes or propose solutions. But how do school districts that have the highest dropout rates – as high as 75 percent in one city – compare to those with the lowest? How is the academic structure different? Does the city have a true school choice with a voucher program? Shouldn’t we review the political approach – liberal versus conservative – of these school districts? Read more

Can’t Win the Game? Change the Rules

A California appellate court has ruled that it is not legal for parents who lack official government teaching credentials to home-school their kids. This ruling is freaking out the parents of about 166,000 kids who are home schooled in the state.

There is little doubt that the public school system is not doing a good job of educating our kids, you might say there is a consensus on the issue 😉

Anyway, you can find many studies on the Web that provide us with academic statistics comparing student results. Here, here and here are some examples. Yes, I know, some of these studies may be biased, but find me some facts that say public schools do a better job overall; other than in affluent areas like Avon, Conn.

Malkin has more, and the full LA Times article can be found here.

The appellate court ruling stems from a case involving Lynwood parents Phillip and Mary Long, who were repeatedly referred to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services over various allegations, including claims of physical abuse, involving some of their eight children.

All of the children are currently or had been enrolled in Sunland Christian School, where they would occasionally take tests, but were educated in their home by their mother, Phillip Long said.

A lawyer appointed to represent two of the Long’s young children requested that the court require them to physically attend a public or private school where adults could monitor their well-being. A trial court disagreed, but the children’s lawyer appealed to the 2nd District Court of Appeal, which has jurisdiction over Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The appellate panel ruled that Sunland officials’ occasional monitoring of the Longs’ home schooling — with the children taking some tests at the school — is insufficient to qualify as being enrolled in a private school. Since Mary Long does not have a teaching credential, the family is violating state laws, the ruling said.

What it comes down to is this.

Teachers union officials will also be closely monitoring the appeal. A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said he agrees with the ruling.

“What’s best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher,” he said.

Yeah, right. This is just another reason for me not to move to California.

My analysis? Since the union hacks know they can not win the game – better educated students is the desired results ya know – they are happy to sit by, or contribute, to judicial influence that would attack home schooling from any angle possible.