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Record: Rachana Bhatt, “Home is Where the School Is: The Impact of Homeschool Legislation on School Choice” in Journal of School Choice 8, no. 2 (2014): 192-212. [Abstract Here]

Summary:  Bhatt, an economics professor at Georgia State University, here presents a sophisticated statistical model to try to determine the degree to which a State’s passage of an explicit law granting homeschooling rights to parents increases the tendency for parents to choose homeschooling. Continue Reading »

Record: Garvey Lundy and Ama Mazama, “‘I’m Keeping My Son Home’: African American Males and the Motivation to Homeschool” in Journal of African American Males in Education 5, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 53-74. [Available Here]

Summary: Mazama and Lundy have recently published several important articles on the motivations of African American parents for homeschooling, all based on interviews with a sample of 74 such parents from seven U.S. cities.  In a 2012 article they first articulated their concept of “racial protectionism” as a defining motivation for many African American parents who want to rescue their children from the institutional and individual racism they experience at school.  In a 2013 article they added the concept of “educational protectionism” to the mix, which they characterize as an effort on the part of African American parents to replace the boring, unchallenging, and rigid curriculum of schools with higher expectations, relevant (often Afrocentric) curriculum, and student initiative.  In a 2014 article they explain how a small subset of their sample, about 15% of the overall group, did not identify with the racial dynamics expressed by everyone else.  For this small subset the motivation seems to be more exclusively religious (they call it “religious protectionism”), very like the motivations of the much larger group of white fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers.

In the present article they again use their rich study of 74 African American homeschoolers to focus particularly on boys.  Continue Reading »

Record: Helen E.  Lees, Education Without Schools: Discovering Alternatives (Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2014). [Abstract Here]

Summary: Lees, a Visiting Research Fellow in Education and Theology at York St. John University in England and founding editor of the online journal Other Education, here draws on her doctoral research to make an impassioned plea for expanding the public understanding of education to include more than formal institutional schooling.  I summarized the first five chapters of her book here.  In this post I will summarize chapters six through nine and end with a bit of analysis. Continue Reading »

Record: Helen E.  Lees, Education Without Schools: Discovering Alternatives (Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2014). [Abstract Here]

Summary: Lees, a Visiting Research Fellow in Education and Theology at York St. John University in England and founding editor of the online journal Other Education, here draws on her doctoral research to make an impassioned plea for expanding the public understanding of education to include more than formal institutional schooling.  In this post I will summarize the first five chapters of her book. Continue Reading »

Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: Part one of this report summarized recent legislative activity relative to virtual public schooling.  Part two surveyed the academic research on virtual schools.  Part three, which I review in this post, provides raw data on the number of online schools in operation, the providers that run them, and the students who attend them.  Continue Reading »

Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: This post summarizes the second of three sections of this report.  For a summary of section one, which surveys recent legislative activity concerning virtual schooling, click here.  For a summary of section three, which provides data about the number of online schools and the type of students attending them, click here.

Section two surveys the research literature on virtual schools.  It was written by Michael K. Barbour of Sacred Heart University.

Barbour begins with the general statement that despite the fact that we’ve had 20 years now of virtual schooling, the research base for this form of education remains very weak.  Continue Reading »

Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: This report is the second in a projected annual series of reports published by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC).  The first report was published in 2013 and can be read here.

The 2013 report chronicled the 311 full-time virtual schools enrolling around 200,000 students, 67% of whom were being taught in schools run by Education Managament Organizations, or EMOs.  The largest such organization is K12.  The report also found that despite serving a student population that has fewer Black, Latin@, poor, or special needs children than attend conventional public schools, academic achievement at virtual schools lagged significantly behind brick-and-mortars.  Continue Reading »

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