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Last updated November 23, 2010

News & Events 

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Check back frequently for the latest News including International News (updated September 8) and Events updated May 10)!



RIP: David F. Nolan,
inspiration for the World's Smallest Political Quiz and co-founder of the Libertarian Party, dead at 66. 

Homeschoolers in Russia and Botswana Face Legal Battles


The freedom to homeschool anywhere contributes to the freedom to homeschool everywhere else.


You can help parents in Russia and Botswana whose choices for their children are being severely threatened by authorities. Your e-mails or letters can make a difference.


Help homeschoolers in Russia


Help homeschoolers in Botswana

Whose children are they?


The battle continues around the world between government and parents over who should control the rearing and education of children. Should government define education and control the future or should private citizens control their own families and define their own futures?


This is a war with phenomenal portent for the future. Almost every dictator who has ever lived has recognized and acted on the importance of controlling the education and formation of children. Hitler considered his takeover of Germany's schools vital to his success. Likewise Mao, Stalin and many others. Even less diabolical governments fear losing their influence if they don't control education.


Government must recognize the limits of its legitimate power. Shaping the future by way of controlling the minds of children through political power is wrong and dangerous. For that reason, we need to pay attention to what is going on around the world.


Before you take a look at the alarming stories below, remember that parents, even in these countries, are fighting back. Parents mean to keep government in its place and are showing they have the courage to do it.


Germany: Berlin's education minister says homeschooling is not an option for Germany, claims only government can teach tolerance and social values.


Botswana: Officials raid homes, order parents to stop homeschooling.


Sweden: Swedish officials pass 1500-page education law, restrict parents from choosing education options based on religious or philosophical principles, declare homeschooling unnecessary, restrict private schools' religious practices.


Sweden: Homeschooled child seized by authorities without warrant, held without charges, parents allowed 1-hour visit every five weeks.


Switzerland: St. Gallen canton (state) declares families unfit to educate children.


Caribbean Curaçao (Netherlands): Parents prohibited from taking their children off island during school hours, family denied right to homeschool.


Brazil: Parents convicted in criminal court for homeschooling sons who qualified for law school at ages 13 and 14.



New Study Shows Homeschoolers Succeeding in College

Posted August 3, 2010


Homeschoolers are being recruited by colleges, and they are excelling, as is demonstrated by a new study by Michael F. Cogan. It’s no surprise to their parents.


Excerpts:  There is a growing body of research demonstrating the academic success of homeschoolers. The most recent major study is the Progress Report 2009, which surveyed over 11,000 homeschooled students, and showed homeschoolers K–12 scoring an average 37 percentile points above the national average on standardized achievement tests….


… it was with great interest that we read the new study—Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students, by Michael F. Cogan—which shows homeschoolers succeeding in college. 


Vacation Liberty Schools: A Great Idea!


Here is everything you need to run a five-day liberty school for children ages 10-15. Children learn, from a Christian perspective, about the founding of America and the principles that made us a beacon of hope for people around the world.


This would make a great project for homeschool groups, church groups, neighborhoods, communities, everyone. Take a look -- we think you'll like it.


NEA, AFT Give and Give


Teachers' unions put their money where their ideology is, you can say that much for them.


Check out the statistics at the Center for Responsive Politics to see which politicians, committees and bills are benefitting from the largesse of the unions. Click on the tabs at the top of the pages for details.


National Education Association, 2008: $2,549,647


American Federation of Teachers, 2008: $2,845,923

Napoleon and the Gay Samoans

by Sandy Rios

Posted July 16, 2010


Do public schools have an agenda that has nothing to do with education? The evidence keeps adding up -- you be the judge.


Excerpts:  If education were a product we would be suing,” wrote the mother of a 2010 high school graduate....


Fellow angry citizens:  Let’s get busy. Let’s move our kids to private schools…private cooperatives…homeschool them.  The public school must either clean up its act or risk losing its power.  The radicalism in Providence, Massachusetts, for example has resulted in such a reduced student population, they are closing their high school doors.  Good.

Sex Education for Kindergarteners?

by Lisa Fine

Education Week

Posted July 14, 2010


No more need for parents to decide when and what children are ready to learn in this sensitive area. The state will make that choice and it will be the same for all children. And as usual, it will have unforeseen and sometimes devastating repercussions for too many.


Excerpt: education for kindergarteners would entail teaching kids the proper names for body parts in the reproductive system, such as.... In first grade, students would learn to "understand human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender," according to the proposal.

James Tooley on ABC News Now

Interview April 15, 2009

Posted on CATO Media Highlights


Although this is from 2009, it is entirely relevant and timely.


James Tooley on how the poor around the world choose private education. 

A must-hear interview with the author of The Beautiful Tree. "People are helping themselves," Tooley says in closing.

Don’t Know Much About History?

By Marist Poll

Posted July 2, 2010


Marist Poll Finds 4th of July Ignorance


How are our schools doing on the history front? Maybe one of the most basic things citizens should know, even if some think it is more or less trivia, is from whom their country gained independence, if from anyone.


A recent poll shows that 26% of adult Americans can't answer this question about the United States, but that's not the frightening part. 40% of 18-29 year olds can't answer it! One-third of residents under the age of 45 don't know.


Check out the table of results here.


End Them, Don’t Mend Them
It’s time to shutter America’s bloated schools.
By P.J. O’Rourke, Vol. 15, No. 38

Posted June 21, 2010 


P. J. O'Rourke has a way of hitting the nail right on the head and amusing us while he does it, yet never detracting from the gravity of what he's saying.


Here he is on the subject of public education.


Excerpts:  Figures in the Statistical Abstract of the United States show that we are spending $11,749 per pupil per year in the U.S. public schools, grades pre-K through 12….


In March the Cato Institute issued a report on the cost of public schools. Policy analyst Adam Schaeffer made a detailed examination of the budgets of 18 school districts in the five largest U.S. metro areas and the District of Columbia. He found that school districts were understating their per-pupil spending by between 23 and 90 percent. …


The real number is an astonishing $28,170—155 percent more than the average tuition at the famously pricey private academies of the capital region....


Enough, however, of outrageous statistics. Let’s generate some pure outrage. Here’s my proposal: Close all the public schools. Send the kids home. Fire the teachers. Sell the buildings. Raze the U.S. Department of Education, leaving not one brick standing upon another and plow the land where it stood with salt.

The Higher Education Bubble is about to Burst
Moscow Education (Idaho)
Posted June 8, 2010

Excerpt:  "Yes, this sounds like the housing bubble, but I'm afraid it's also sounding a lot like a still-inflating higher education bubble. And despite (or because of) the fact that my day job involves higher education, I think it's better for us to face up to what's going on before the bubble bursts messily."

Keep Government out of the schools
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
Posted May 30, 2010

Excerpt:  Taxpayer-funded, one-curriculum-fits-all schooling makes conflict inevitable. There would be far less animosity if parents were as free to choose how and where their children learn as they are to choose how and where they worship. Separation of church and state has made America an exemplar of religious pluralism and tolerance. Imagine what separation of school and state could do for education.

Separation of School and State
by Lee Wishing
Posted May 24, 2010

ExcerptOur forebears understood that disestablishment of religion was beneficial and they made freedom of religion a legal right after nearly 1,500 years of struggle. They threw off the state. I hope it won’t take as long to recognize the value of disestablishing education.

HARBESON: Education should respect the individual

by Debbie Harbeson

News and Tribune

Posted January 27, 2010


Excerpts:  Why don’t we just admit we do not now, and never did, have an organization devoted to education? What we have instead is a compulsory attendance system that’s merely dressed up in fancy political clothing to look like it’s all about educating the individual....


When are we going to simply look at the evidence and admit the system we created just doesn’t work well? Not only for teaching the basics of reading, but also in creating inquisitive, curious people who know how to think for themselves. People who will be skeptical of what they’re being told and who will critically examine even long-accepted standards, such as government compulsion being morally good.

Freedom From Fear
Posted by streiff

RS RedState
Posted February 5, 2010


German homeschoolers finally granted asylum by U.S.


Excerpts[The Romeikes] applied [to German authorities] to homeschool their children and were threatened with fines and jail and losing custody of their children....  Last Tuesday [U.S.] Immigration Judge Lawrence Burman... granted the Romeike’s political asylum....


[Judge Burman said] "the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate.”....


[British author Gerald Warner commented] Why did the German homeschoolers not seek political asylum in Britain? Because our rulers subscribe to the same tyrannical statist philosophy...


...we know that, while public utilities [in Great Britain] may have been privatised, children have been nationalised....


It takes the forthright remarks of an American judge, in a country where the culture war has not yet been lost, to bring home to us in Europe that we already inhabit the Gulag.

Grassroots Activism, National Attention Keys to Lopsided Victory
Posted January 14, 2010

Homeschoolers win major victory in New Hampshire


Excerpts:  ...HB 368 [proposing new, draconian regulation of homeschoolers] was defeated by a vote of 324–34...


“When you look at the crowd who showed up with their homeschooled students, politely but firmly making their wishes known, I can see why the vote was so lopsided,” said [attorney Michael] Donnelly. “Legislators had to walk through a sea of homeschoolers—that kind of grassroots presence is almost irresistible. As a former New Hampshire homeschooling parent, I am so proud of the dads and minute-moms who stood up this week to defend their freedoms. This is what happens when homeschoolers join together—our cause is just, and united we win battles.”



Opinion: Home education student, 14, offered place at Cambridge
by Paul Wallis

Digital Journal

Posted January 7, 2010


Excerpts:  Arran has also raised, yet again, the issue of Home Schooling vs. Death Valley, the standard educational stagger through the school system....


With monolithic fees and standardized qualification requirements as the criteria, not to mention the use of years of people’s lives, institutional schooling is starting to look pretty haggard, stingy, and unproductive....


The fact is that societies can barely afford their education systems, and don’t seem to know what to do with them. The people suffering are the kids themselves, and the employment market...

Two Bountiful Jr. High teachers accused of sex with same student

by Steve Gehrke and Jason Bergreen

The Salt Lake Tribune

Posted December 22, 2009


ExcerptsTwo Bountiful Junior High School teachers are accused of sexually assaulting the same 13-year-old student, after their separate relationships with him spiraled from personal conversations to...


Since 2007, at least 10 other Utah teachers or school employees have been charged with engaging in sexual acts with students....


A related article:


What's behind today's epidemic of teacher-student sex?

by David Kupelian

Posted March 22, 2006


Note: This essay is a few years old, but it won an Amy Award for good reason and may be even more relevant today than when it was written.


ExcerptsA popular middle school teacher, 43-year-old Pamela Diehl-Moore, had tearfully pleaded guilty to having sex with a child...  

"I really don't see the harm that was done here," the judge proclaimed, "and certainly society doesn't need to be worried. I do not believe she is a sexual predator. It's just something between two people that clicked beyond the teacher-student relationship."


Note: Our society is changing and it's not for the better. Rescuing our children is the cure. 

Financial site suggests separation of school and state


Rule By Outlaws, Spending Insanity, The Second Wave, Dreamliner Lessons and More!

by Addison Wiggin & Ian Mathias

Agora Financial

Posted December 17, 2009


(Last item – 04:00 – in "5 Min. Forecast")


Excerpts:  Currency trader Bill Jenkins says:


Forget paying for education and the huge bureaucracy that drives it (into the ground). American children learned very well for generations without public schools...


...until parents are willing to take their children’s education back from the hands of the educational elite who have proved to us decisively that they know how to teach children not to read and not to count...


Until all this happens, there will be no escape. There will be no redemption. There will be no recovery. There will be no hope for our grandchildren.

Compulsory schooling can mean compulsory medical treatment


School District Upheld on Mandatory Vaccinations

by Mark Walsh

Education Week

Posted November 19, 2009


Note: However you may feel about vaccinations, we must consider not only this case but the implications it holds for the future. What vaccinations would you find acceptable to be forced on your children? What other medical procedures? It's commonly reported by parents that they have been coerced to have their children medicated for attention and hyperactivity "disorders." What next?


This is one more example, on top of a huge existing pile, of where we can expect to find ourselves if we do not maintain a wide-spread and healthy array of schooling options completely -- 100% -- free of government involvement.


Excerpts:  "Ms. Workman's freedom of religion claim fails," the judge said. "Her beliefs do not exempt her from complying with West Virginia's mandatory immunization program. It has long been recognized that local authorities may constitutionally mandate vaccinations." the judge put it, "Although most states have chosen to provide a religious exemption from compulsory immunization, a state need not do so." 

Not too much school choice now.


School officials worried about Ivy Academy

by Kelli Gauthier

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Posted November 3, 2009


Note: "Choice" as an option granted by the government always comes with strings attached. It's worth keeping in mind as so many people throw their energies into making public schools work how they want them to instead of building independence.


Excerpt:  Rick Smith, Hamilton County Schools’ deputy superintendent, said that since last week he has received calls from three parents asking that their children be transferred from Ivy Academy to another school.


Mr. Smith said the parents told him their children did not receive the opportunities and the unique instruction they were promised at the beginning of the year.


He said he denied the transfers because, like magnet school students, those attending a charter school must stay enrolled for the entire year once accepted.



Survey Subcommittee Meeting “Staged” to Support More Regulation [of Homeschooling]


Posted October 1, 2009


This is a prime example of what happens when government is allowed anywhere near education, and it's a prime reason to aim for education completely free of government involvement.


Excerpt“My district of approximately 47,000 people is among the largest in the state,” said Bates. “The two superintendents in this district informed me that no homeschool programs have ever had to be terminated for failure to achieve educational progress. In fact, to their knowledge, there has never even been a need to put a homeschooler on probation. I testified to this and gave letters from the superintendants to the Education Committee earlier this year. It appears to me that the invited superintendents were handpicked in order to support the subcommittee’s conclusion that more regulation is needed.” 



HOME-SCHOOLING: Take advantage of co-op options

by Michael Smith

Washington Times

Posted October 11, 2009


Michael Smith shows that homeschoolers are doing great all the way through high school, thanks to parental commitment and a homeschool community that works together.


ExcerptsTwo recent reports show that parents can indeed educate their own children to a high level. Home-schoolers scored an average of 22.5 on the 2009 ACT college entrance exam, compared with the national average of 21.1. Only 38 percent of students scored above a 22, so it's fair to say the average home-schooler scored in the top third of ACT test takers. These results were achieved by parents with varying educational backgrounds.


It's not just the ACT. Results released recently by the National Merit Scholarship Program showed that 363 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists were home-schooled. The scholarship is highly competitive....


Everyone should be encouraged by these achievements, because it shows home-school parents they can educate their own children through high school. It also should save taxpayers millions of dollars because home-schooled children are not educated with taxpayer monies. 



Education Moves Farther Away from Parents' Control


Education Secretary Leads Chorus Calling for Big City-Hall Role

Interest in bringing school districts under the municipal umbrella continues to grow

by Leslie A. Maxwell

Education Week

Posted October 12, 2009


Excerpts:  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who for seven years ran Chicago’s public schools under Mayor Richard M. Daley, is using his bully pulpit to aggressively promote the approach as a necessity for reversing decades of abysmal academic performance in some cities.


In a speech to mayors and school superintendents last spring, in fact, Duncan said he would consider his time as education secretary a “failure” if more mayors didn’t take over city school systems by the end of his tenure.


“Too much of this depends on who the mayor is,” says Bryant.* “One mayor will be great, but the next mayor could undo the progress. Or, you end up with an autocratic situation like in New York, where parents honestly feel like they don’t know what’s going on, and all they get is the cotton-candy spin machine.”


*Anne L. Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association

My Child, My Choice

Angry parents, the Friedman Foundation on Vouchers, and School Choice articles.

The Decline of Ed Schools: Ten Questions and Answers

By James Guthrie

Posted September 30, 2009


The United States boasts nearly 300 education schools that issue over 200,000 degrees a year. James Guthrie says we don't need them.


Excerpt:  8. Don’t ed[ucation] schools add value to graduates’ instructional capacity? Don’t ed[ucation] schools contribute by undertaking valuable research?


No on both counts. Researchers (e.g., Hanushek and Rivkin) cannot discern a positive association between students’ academic achievement and their teachers’ post-BA course credits, degrees, or certificates.


Most education school faculty do not undertake research. Those who do are often ideologically, not scientifically, oriented…


Note:  This is encouraging news for the world of independent education. It suggests endless possibilities for instruction in private and home schools.


SAT Scores Fall as Gap Widens; Asians Gain

By John Hechinger

The Wall Street Journal

Posted August 26, 2009


Excerpts: Average [SAT] scores for the class of 2009 in critical reading dropped to 501 from 502, in writing to 493 from 494 and held steady in math, at 515. The combined scores are the lowest this decade and reflect stalled performance over the past three years. The reading scores are the worst since 1994.


Many observers Tuesday viewed the flat results of recent years as discouraging in light of a more than 25-year effort to improve U.S. education. “This is a nearly unrelenting tale of woe and disappointment,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank. "If there's any good news here, I can't find it."


The results come a week after the disclosure that only a quarter of 2009 high-school graduates who took the ACT, the other main college entrance exam, had the skills to succeed in college.


Note: The effort to improve public education has been going on for a whole lot longer than 25 years, and many different reforms have been tried over the past two-and-a-half decades. In spite of it all, people are still ready to believe that the next one just might work.

Scores on ACT Show Majority of Students Not College-Ready

Fewer Than 25 Percent Do Well Across All Subjects

By Catherine Gewertz

Education Week

Posted August 25, 2009


Excerpt:  Fewer than one-quarter of last school year’s graduating high school seniors who took the ACT scored at the “college-ready” level in all four subject areas...

NH court orders home-schooled child into government-run school
Alliance Defense Fund
Poseted August 26, 2009


Q.  What happens when the state becomes accustomed to the idea that it is in charge of forming children into adults?


A.  It sees no limits on its jurisdiction, as in this case in which a judge ordered a homeschooled youngster into public school to forcibly expose her to views and ideologies other than those her mother wished her to embrace.


This is a natural consequence of committing our children to the government for their education. The solution is to remove our children from the hands of the state and to help others do the same. It may not be easy or instant, but it is the answer.


"Live free or die" is the motto of the state of New Hampshire. It's a radical idea to many people today, but our choice is really much simpler: Live enslaved or take back our children. Taking back our children should be a joyous prospect. Living free will be the bonus.


Excerpt: Marital Master Michael Garner reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view” and then recommended that the girl be ordered to enroll in a government school instead of being home-schooled.  Judge Lucinda V. Sadler approved the recommendation...


New Research: 100,000 Homeschool Graduates Per Year


The latest research shows that the homeschooling movement continues to grow and thrive, with homeschool students actually increasing the academic gap between themselves and public schooled students, from 30 percentile points to 37.


What's more, homeschool student achievement is about the same regardless of family income, amount spent on homeschooling, level of state regulation, teacher certification of parents, and gender of students. A small difference was found based on parental level of education, but even where parents had the lowest level of education, their children averaged 33 percentile points higher than the public school average (the homeschooled children of parents with the highest level of education averaged 40 percentile points higher than their public schooled peers).


This is great news to share with parents you know who might be thinking about homeschooling. It works!


Read a summary of the latest research here.


Read the pre-publication version of "Progress Report 2009" here. 


The Health Care Bill
Bulletin #69
Posted August 3, 2009

Excerpt: Did you know? One of the proposals for health care revision may lead to increased accusations of parental abuse and neglect regarding the upbringing and education of your child. . .

Don’t take our word for it.  Go read the bill for yourself.  Your legislators certainly won’t be reading it before they vote on it.  Somebody should read it, after all.  Parents need to know what their government is proposing, how the government very soon, could be inside your home.  If states accept this money, they will be obliged to conduct the “voluntary” home visits.  Do you want government officials coming to your home, telling you how to parent, and reporting what you do to other state and federal agencies? 

Stealth Agenda in Health Care Bill: Early Childhood Home Visitation
The Foundry
The Heritage Foundation
Posted July 17, 2009

Excerpt: The massive 1,018-page health care bill introduced by House Democrats is full of bad policy ideas, and they’re not all even about health care. One troublesome provision calls for a home visitation program that would bring state workers into the homes of young families to improve “the well-being, health, and development of children.” . . .


The federal government doesn’t hold the key to parenting success, and creating a new home visitation program would further increase the federal role in preschool education. Just one more reason for parents to be concerned about what’s actually in the health care bill.


Local nonprofit to open inner-city Christian school
Chattanooga Times Free Press

Posted July 25, 2009


Excerpt: A local group has formed a nonprofit organization and plans to open a Christian elementary school in the inner-city this fall or next. . .


"Our commitment to diversity is in breaking down the barriers of race and denomination," she [Jerilyn Sanders, head of the school] said. "We're not trying to take away students from Christian schools that serve a particular faith; we're really trying to reach kids whose families would like to give them that kind of education but, for whatever reason, they're not able to."

NEA General Counsel: Union Dues, Not Education, Are Our Top Priorities

The Foundry

The Heritage Foundation

Posted July 9, 2009

Read Alliance commentary

Comment: NEA lawyer admits children are not the top priority.


Bob Chanin, retiring general counsel for the National Education Association, had this to say in a speech before teachers:


"Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.


"The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power...."


Watch the video and note the response from the audience. Also read The Heritage Foundation's interesting comments about the "voluntary" nature of the union dues to which Mr. Chanin attributes the NEA's power.



Detroit Schools on the Brink

Shrinking District Heads Toward Bankruptcy to Gain Control of Its Costs

by Alex P. Kellogg

Wall Street Journal

Posted July 21, 2009


Excerpt: Some experts say the Detroit case could be the first in a string of Chapter 9 bankruptcies among school districts and other public entities battered by the economic crisis, and it could help shape that area of the law. "Given the state of public finance," says Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, "I think the wave is coming." 

Why Government Should Stay Out of Early Education

by William A Estrada, Esq.

Director of Federal Relations


Posted July 20, 2009


Excerpt: In the realm of early education, there is neither compelling evidence nor constitutional justification for government involvement. Institutionalized early education programs are an assault on parental rights and limited government. It is parents, not the government, who know what is best for their children. . . 

Seventh Grader Sues School Over Right to Wear Pro-Life T-Shirt

by Maxim Lott

Posted July 6, 2009


Excerpt: "Schools have a lot more authority than the government does in regulating speech,” he said. “If someone is speaking on a street corner and it looks like other people are going to start a fight over it, the government's job is to protect the speaker. That is not the case in schools. We need to make sure students learn. So if speech is highly disruptive, well … in that case we can suppress it."


Last updated October 12, 2009

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Last updated May 10, 2010


On April 25, 2010, Alan Schaeffer was a guest on the last hour of Rule of Law Radio discussing the case against government control of education. Listen to Alan here. [If you are not able to make the connection using Internet Explorer, we suggest you use Firefox instead.]

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