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Homeschooling “Dangerously Deregulated”

Home schooling has often been dismissed as a fringe activity, its practitioners caricatured as head-in-the-sand reactionaries and off-the-grid hippies. The most vocal and organized home schoolers have tended to be religiously motivated, most often conservative Christians. But a newer breed of home schooler is emerging, motivated not by religious belief or countercultural philosophy. Uppermost for such parents are concerns about violence, peer pressure, and poor academic quality in their schools.

Back in 1980, home schooling was illegal in 30 states. It was not until 1993 that all 50 states made the practice lawful. But in recent years, the practice of home schooling has taken off. Consider these statistics�in 1999, the federal government estimated the number of students being home schooled to be around 850,000 (Bieleck et. al., 2001). By 2003, the number had jumped to somewhere between 1.7 and 2.1 million students, according to data from the National Home Education Research Institute. While reliable numbers are hard to come by since states define and track home school enrollment differently, some experts argue that home schooling is the fastest-growing form of education in the country (Ray, 1997, 2001). Read more…

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