As home-school numbers rise, is there oversight?

The number of home-schooled children continues to rise in the country — now up to an estimated 2.2 million.  Public oversight of home schooling? Not so much, The Kansas City Star reports.

In fact, Pennsylvania — where home-schooling families had to register with the local school district, submit study plans and follow other rules — recently eased its regulations under pressure from home-school advocates.

Is there government oversight to ensure that children are actually doing schoolwork and not being forced to work at family businesses?

Proponents, however, insist that parents who make the decision to home-school are committed to the task, and their children end up scoring higher on academic assessment tests than those in traditional schools.  Are the parents of home-schooled children well-educated and good teachers? There should be some type of review to make sure kids are progressing

In Missouri, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education makes clear on its website that it does not regulate or monitor home schooling. About the only rule governing home schooling in Kansas is that parents should notify the local school district when they stop doing it.

Religion is probably the biggest reason for home schooling. Others include anti-government sentiment, failing public schools, bullying, social elements and a child’s inability to cope in a conventional classroom.

The National Education Association, a union of teachers and other school employees, has never wavered in its position that “home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.” It, too, continues to push for more oversight.

With good parents, things go well. But some parents aren’t good teachers. I could not home school my children.  I do not know enough math and science for one thing.  How would you like to be a teacher of a child who was home-schooled and not subject to any assessment?  What would a high school do with a child who couldn’t read? How would that child perform in college?