Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SSA frustrations may lead to homeschooling

I'm being told that a couple of the MPASSa folks are so fed up with the current state of affairs that they're looking into homeschooling. The problem is they're getting some bogus advice. Like most parents suddenly finding themselves looking at this education option they need some accurate information quickly. In an odd turn of events, since many of them aren't happy about my SSA support or tenure on the BOE, the best place to go is my own website for homeschooling. No matter which end of this debate we're on--misinformation must be cleared up. I promise I won't bite, abuse, make fun of or quote you if you need to ask for more specific information. The goal is to help you find the right education choice for your children.

Let me suggest those interested parents start at, then move on to

And to answer a couple of points immediately:

1. No, you generally cannot ask other people to 'homeschool' your children for you. Anything more than a tutoring situation or a cooperative class becomes private education, not homeschooling.

2. No, the state doesn't certify anyone to homeschool and neither does the Home School Legal Defense Association. You're the parent. That's certification enough. There is a rule about high schoolers and parents having a BA/BS degree but there are legal accommodations that can be made.

3. Yes, you can pull your child from the public school at any point in the year and register them with either the LEA or a church-related school.

4. My support for SSA was motivated by a desire to help a great principal's effort to expand the success in her school to the rest of MNPS--it wasn't part of an EVILE plot to increase the number of homeschoolers. ;-)

Disclaimer: I AM NOT A LAWYER. Any legal information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered complete, professional legal advice.


din819go said...

Kay - To your support of uniforms in MNPS -- sadly the "success" of Litton was based upon lies. The principal you call "great" and she may be did not update the information so it showed an annualized picture. When it was annualized, it showed the uniforms were not helping. In fact, Litton's discipline problems were worse. Sorry you could not see past the lies.

Kay Brooks said...

It'd be better for your point of view and the greater discussion if you provided some verifiable facts instead of just driving by and dumping a charge of lying here. Do you really expect anyone to believe the word of an anonymous poster?

notforuniforms said...


You should be able to do the math to figure out what the original poster is talking about. The principal at Litton did 12 bar charts for one of the SSA presentations, supposedly comparing the 2005-06 school year with the 2006-07 school year.

In fact, she was comparing one full year of data (05-06) with 5 months of data. This, of course, is not indicated as such on the graphs. When she was challenged by a board member about this her comment was something along the lines of---Well, I would have liked to compare two full years, but I didn't have the data.

It is appalling that a school leader with an advanced education degree would present such inaccurate data, much less think it was OK to do so.

So I think that what the original poster is saying is that if you extrapolate that data she presented to a full year, that the second year was worse than pre SSA in many areas.

Not to mention, that one year of data, even if it were a full year, is not nearly enough to draw any conclusions.

Kay Brooks said...

Yes, I can do the math, but I have to know where and what some of the numbers are.

It doesn't help for you to repeat the same assertion and not provide the rest of us with the ability to check it out. Where, when was this presentation done? How do I, and the rest of the public who may be interested, check those same charts so we can see for ourselves what was presented. If you want to make your case do a bit of the legwork and provide the citations for this data. URL's would be perfect considering we're discussing this online.

din819go said...

Kay -- All you have to do is pull the data from MNPS (the third presentation of uniforms I believe) and look at the litton data it was not annualized. Once annualized you would see the school was not improving because of uniforms. I think you know this, too.

Sadly you will have to dig through MNPS to find the uniform presentations.

din819go said...

oh -- I forgot to add the first report of a gun found at school with bullets in the student's pocket happened yesterday. Let's see not even 10 days into the school year. Hmmm...uniforms were to stop this, right?

ned said...

Perhaps I feel a post coming on, but as I read your post, I was thinking about the value of having a homeschooling parent on a school board. If one assumes that the only form of education that representative government is obligated to facilitate (and entitled to supervise/oversee) is public/gov't schools, then it makes sense not to have anyone other than public school consumers on the board.

Of course, how a given school district spends money and hires educators are big elements of what a school board does, but their authority extends well beyond those two areas and the makeup of most (all?) school boards fails to reflect that diversity of interests, it seems.

Kay Brooks said...

I hope you write that post. Maybe Martin Kennedy already has.

The problem with only public school consumers on the Board is that it can be pretty incestuous, there can be a conflict of interest and/or a concern about retribution/favoritism served on their children. You'd like to think that such wouldn't happen but we don't live in a perfect world. Knowing that my children were NOT going in a classroom gave me a great deal of freedom.

However, I maintain that as long as the system needs my tax money and my vote to operate they must allow me, and folks like me, the opportunity to help run the system.

If public school consumers want to fund it entirely themselves, then they're welcome to run it themselves.

The Board doesn't really hire anyone but the superintendent (Garcia). They provide tenure on a wholesale basis...I doubt they do more than rubber stamp the list of hundreds each year.

And while they wrestle with the budget and approve it to be approved and funded by the Council they don't hold Garcia accountable for how it was spent. They just gear up for the next budget begging session.

The MNPS BOE agreed some years back to adopt a policy governance form of running themselves. This is very hands off and while they can insert their authority---I never saw any attempt to do so. It comes off as an excuse to NOT do anything, shrug their shoulders and say it's a Central Office decision.

My understanding is that by TCA the duties of a school board are really pretty minimal. Here's the TSBA's web page about that. Scroll about half way down.