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Archive for February, 2010

This post briefly reviews William Jeynes, ed., Family Factors And The Educational Success Of Children(New York: Routledge, 2010).

I was excited to obtain this book given the promising title.  But my excitement soon dissipated upon reading.  Only two of the chapters deal with homeschooling, and neither of these is very compelling.  (more…)

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This post links to and briefly summarizes two recent child custody cases where homeschooling plays an important role.  The topic is important for several reasons.  First, these are the kind of cases that homeschooling advocacy groups like HSLDA know better than to get involved in, so they don’t.  Because of this lack of involvement they are not the kind of cases that are generally publicized in the homeschooling community, which is a shame because they get at some important and often painful realities.  Second, these cases help explain why the debate over the competing rights of parents, state, and child is not going to go away.  Third, they offer a window into the real world of homeschooling that one never reads about in the how-to books.  Of course we must be quick to note that the stories recounted in these court cases are by no means typical or normal.  It would be a terrible mistake to generalize about the entire world of homeschooling from these troubling and sordid examples.  But it would be an equally terrible mistake to pretend that such things are not going on as we work out public policy.  These are not isolated instances, as this post from Roscommon Acres and the related posts at the end of it make plain.  Here are the cases: (more…)

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Two weeks ago I reviewed Terry Moe and John Chubb’s new book celebrating market-based education reform, especially home-based online learning.  Today I review Patricia Burch, Hidden Markets: The New Education Privatization (Routledge, 2009), which is a critique of these same trends. (more…)

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I was prompted to write this when I read this month’s excellent cover story on the FLDS in the National Geographic.  I’m sure most of my readers recall the saga that played out on national television in 2008 when the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services removed 437 children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, TX after receiving what turned out to be a hoax phone call alleging widespread sexual abuse there by FLDS men.  This seizure led to the largest child custody battle in U.S. history, which resulted in the eventual return of all the children to the compound when the Third Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the families.  (more…)

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