By David E. Smith, Executive Director, Illinois Family Institute
CNSNews.com reported yesterday that compared with other students, home school students score higher than the national average on the ACT college entry than other students taking the standardized test.
The national average for 2009 graduating high schoolers reported by ACT (American College Testing) officials is 21.1 on a scale from 1 to 36. Home school students scored a national average of 22.5.
Ian Slatter, director of media relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association, speculated that the one-on-one attention home-schooled students receive may explain the finding. "Parents can tailor-make an education program to suit the child. The child can then advance at their (sic) own pace. Typically, in the home-school environment, the teen is self-directed in their learning because parents set a topic or task, and the student will then do their own research," he said.
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IFI's Director of the Division of School Advocacy, Laurie Higgins agrees:
"This encouraging academic news will perhaps lead parents who have been considering home-schooling to take the plunge. Although many families are not in a financial position to home-school their children, many others have both the financial resources and time to do so. IFI would like to encourage those families to consider seriously this option.
"It's not just the lack of academic rigor in a many schools that should concern parents; it's also the public school environment. The problems include your children's exposure to destructive, ungodly ideas and language from their peers and your children's immersion in the classes of activist teachers who use abuse their positions and their autonomy to inculcate other people's children with their own social, political, and moral views.
"In terms of both political and moral climate, public schools are only getting worse. Schools of education are dominated by liberal ideologues who are devotees of critical social theory (i.e. "social justice" theory) with its promotion of identity politics and the view of teachers as "agents of change." Curricula increasingly include resources rife with sexually graphic, deviant, and profane images, ideas, and language. Behind closed classroom doors activist teachers commingle teaching facts and preaching politics, often peppering their rhetoric with salty language that would offend many parents.
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"Since the conservative community lacks the courage and will to respond appropriately, the decay of public education will continue. We should view what takes place in public education as a stewardship issue because our taxes subsidize public schools. And we should view what takes place as a stewardship issue because the children being "educated" will very shortly be our culture-makers. But instead, we allow the relentless efforts of activists "educators," college and university education departments, the NEA, and GLSEN continue to bear toxic fruit.
"If possible, it would best serve the immediate needs of our children to exit public schools, while working vigilantly, tirelessly, and courageously to make public education better for all those who remain behind and for the society that will be shaped by the next generation.
"Home-schooling provides parents with the opportunity to train up their children in the way they should go, deepen the bonds with our children, and delighting in the company of these incomparable gifts from God given to us for such a very short time. As the mother of four children who are all getting married in the same year, I can attest to how very soon they leave the nest. Treasure this time, and use every possible moment to teach your children to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Take very seriously Paul's words in 1Corinthians 10:31: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
"Unfortunately, today the halls of academia are more likely to do the opposite."