Charter Schools Wooing Homeschoolers, Part 2

Dee left some comments in my previous post that I want to address. I did start to answer in the comment box, but my answers are too long, so I decided to put them in a post instead.

Dee,

It seems that you did not understand my post. In the beginning I said charter schools-please notice the s-that means schools in general, not any one in particular.

Further on I said that this quote is from a Kansan, but that does not mean that he is the only school official who has that view. His quote just happens to be the one that I found.

I do not know what you mean by :

“the same EXACT K12 curriculum used by independent home school families across the country” since I know home schoolers around the country and they do not all use the same exact curriculum.

I went to the “Operating Procedures 2007-2008” (direct link here) and on page 2 under the Course Offerings header it says:

“The K12 core curriculum is mandatory for students enrolled in the School. Other curriculums may be used as a supplement by the Primary Adult (usually a parent); however, those curriculums may not replace any portion of the LVS curriculum.”

The manual says that no portion of the LVS curriculum can be replaced. How does this reconcile with your comment that “No family is ever required to take a course they do not want their child to participate in?”

Page 5 under the heading Supplemental Activities and Curriculum says:

“Parents seeking to provide the best possible education for their child(ren) often enrich the curriculum with extra activities, family trips and additional curricula. …These plans must be approved as part of the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP).”

If these plans, trips, extra activities, supplemental curricula are not approved as part of the ILP, then the student can not do them.

Yes it does say that alternative curricula is available and parents may opt out of certain lessons, etc… as long as they have consulted the educational specialist, and as long as the LVS curriculum is not replaced. In other words, if the curriculum change is not approved, the student can not go through with it.

Page 7 under the Grade Level Placement and Promotion says:

“Decisions on grade level placement and promotion are made jointly by the education specialist and administration before the start of the subsequent school year…”

The parent is not included in this decision-the parent does not have control, the school does.

Page 9 addresses Conference Calls and under that heading it says that the specialist sets up the call. Not the parent, the specialist.

Again on page 13 we are told that Curriculum Enhancement Programs may include Board-approved partnerships with business, service or educational institutions. As I have already stated, if it’s not approved, the student doesn’t get to do it. Once again there is no mention of the parents having any say in this decision.

Lastly, we are told time and again throughout the document that LVS is a public school. The Board of Education for that school is the same board for the rest of the Lawrence public school district.

This is a public school. The students are considered public school students who happen to do public school at home. Public school and home school are not the same thing.

The parents do not choose the curriculum, the school does, as I quoted from LVS’s own manual. Parents can not replace any portion of the core curriculum, again according to LVS’s own manual for this school year.

I already showed that the educational specialist and administration are the ones who decide what grade level the students are in each year. Since the educational specialist does not get a grade report, I have to assume that the administration does. Otherwise, how can they decide grade levels for next year? The manual makes it clear that it’s not the parents that decide. And the manual states that it is due to the mastery of grade levels that decide who gets promoted, so how can this be done without someone (other than the parent) knowing what the grades are?

On the other hand, parents of home school students decide what, if any grades their child is in, they pick and choose curriculum, and sometimes skip things in a curriculum altogether. Some of them even use different curricula for different subjects. Parents in this setting have a lot more say in their child’s education than they do in the charter school.

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