Equal players

Published by Lori Pickert on August 18, 2011 at 01:43 PM

[H]ome-schoolersoutperform traditional students across the spectrum. The National Home Education Research Institute found that, on a standardized reading test, home school students perform at the 87th percentile while formal school students perform at the 50th percentile. What’s more, the gap remains roughly the same despite parents’ education level, the amount of money spent on education or minority status — three factors that greatly influence the performance of traditional students. For example, both white and minority home school students performed at the 87th percentile on reading tests, while white public school students performed at the 61st percentile and minority public school students performed at the 49th percentile.

There haven’t been studies conducted about informal learning at the college level yet. But I imagine we would observe similar results showing that those with an informal education would perform better than those with a formal education. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer as to why informal learners do better, but I believe it’s because students outside the classroom are able to think more freely and encouraged to follow their passion instead of memorizing facts. The upshot is this: Don’t make a decision to stay or leave school based upon your background because research shows that we’re all equal players outside the classroom. — The Case Against College


Comment by Heather on August 18, 2011 at 02:38 PM

Very interesting. I plan on sharing this.

Comment by Arwen on August 18, 2011 at 03:35 PM

I saw that statistic recently, and it really surprised me. It's counter-intuitive, isn't it? The mother's background plays a bigger role when she is sending her kids away. Hmm..

This leads me to two conclusions: 1. All of those moms who have told me, "I'm not smart enough to homeschool," were wrong. 2. Gatto was dead on when he said that one of the purposes of public school is to perpetuate class distinction.

Oh, and "No Child Left Behind" is a huge scam. But we already knew that.

Comment by Lisa on August 18, 2011 at 04:44 PM

I think my post (linked below) may have a few answers!


Comment by Ian on August 18, 2011 at 11:04 PM

That explains my 2.778 college gpa...and my official class rank of 252 (out of 499)... :)

Comment by Florence on August 19, 2011 at 12:24 AM

This seems very encouraging in terms of trusting the process of bringing kids home (those who are able) and the sheer power of letting their minds run unfettered, regardless of what we may or may not have to add to the process. Seems like it says something hopeful about our inherent nature as people. Though not so much about schools. And it feels like it's still important for some of us to figure out how to help schools do better.

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 20, 2011 at 12:50 PM

somehow all of the comments i wrote earlier today have disappeared...

heather, arwen, and lisa, i hope you got my e-mails!

to arwen i had said something along the lines of — it makes sense to me just because homeschooling at all means that you are focused on your child's education and they're getting one-on-one attention.

i hope everyone clicks over and reads lisa's post.

ian, yes, i could have healed you with the magical powers of homeschooling. :)

florence, i think it says something about what we need to be competent learners. and we do *not* need someone who already knows everything we want or need to learn. we just need someone to help us figure out how to learn what we want or need to learn.

re: the importance of some of us figuring out how to help schools do better .. the problem is, we already KNOW what would help schools do better. educators have been saying the same things for decades. but things don't change. someone has to figure out how you actually get the system to change according to what we *already know* we need to do.

Comment by Amy @ simply ne... on August 27, 2011 at 02:53 PM

I recently posted about testing my kid (http://amypayson.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/to-test-or-not-to-test-should-i-test-my-homeschooler/)...and we did, VERY informally for reasons mentioned in post (don't you just love that we have the freedom?) and here I, erroneously thought that he had huge gaps in history and science. This brought his overall test score down to 84% when it would've been in the 94% (math and english)...so silly of me to have worried about it (which, in and of itself is why I probably should've abstained, but the curiosity was killing me) when it seems that is a good score (i'm still basing off of my grades of what an "A" was when I was a child...had no idea what the national averages were). This article makes me feel more confident that I was already doing a fine job! ;)

Comment by Amy @ simply ne... on August 27, 2011 at 02:54 PM

Sorry. My "...and" got linked somehow to the link. Here is the right one - http://amypayson.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/to-test-or-not-to-test-should-i-test-my-homeschooler/

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 28, 2011 at 06:53 PM

amy, thank you so much for sharing your post. that was really interesting.

of course, teachers know what is on the test and so they cover exactly that material -- "teaching to the test". if you had tested gabe specifically on the material he covered, i imagine you would have gotten a different result. the question then becomes -- does the standardized test cover the material a child at a particular age must know? or just the information that he was taught?

interesting stuff...

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