Category archives: Education

Homeschooling and Socialization

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

Stuart Buck found an interesting quote in psychology professor Richard G. Medlin’s article, “Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 75 (2000): 107-23:

Shyers (1992a, 1992b), in the most thorough study of home-schooled children’s social behavior to date, tested 70 children who had been entirely home-schooled and 70 children who had always attended traditional schools. The two groups were matched in age (all were 8-10 years old), race, gender, family size, socioeconomic status, and number and frequency of extracurricular activities. Shyers measured self-concept and assertiveness and found no significant differences between the two groups.

The most intriguing part of the study, however, involved observing the children as they played and worked together. Small groups of children who all had the same school background were videotaped while playing in a large room equipped with toys such as puzzles, puppets, and dolls. The children were then videotaped again in a structured activity: working in teams putting puzzles together for prizes.

Each child’s behavior was rated by two observers who did not know whether the children they were rating were home-schooled or traditionally schooled. The observers used the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist … , a checklist of 97 problem behaviors such as argues, brags or boasts, doesn’t pay attention long, cries, disturbs other children, isolates self from others, shy or timid, and shows off. The results were striking — the mean problem behavior score for children attending conventional schools was more than eight times higher than that of the home-schooled group. Shyers (1992a) described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive” (p. 6). In contrast, the home-schooled children acted in friendly, positive ways.

To Have And To Hold Fake Wedding Ceremonies

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Ive heard a lot of stories about indoctrinating kids, but this one doesnt just take the cakeit cuts it. At Glendale High School in California, gay teachers got permission to hold fake weddings for students in the cafeteria. As part of the Freedom to Marry project, sponsored by the school, teens could participate in same-sex ceremonies. The event was approved by the principal and hosted by an openly gay teacher who said, The goal was to mock marriage. Unfortunately, Glendales making an even bigger mockery of education. As part of the lesson, everyone took part in a petition drive that called on the government to end its discrimination against gays. But in the eyes of angry parents, the honeymoons over for promoting a political agenda during school hours. To encourage this lifestyle with kids that are 13, 14 and on up, it just totally… disturbs me. In the end, the only thing this schools testing is parents patience.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Pro-Homosexual Sex Ed: New But Not Improved

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Montgomery County, Maryland, which had its last sex education curriculum thrown out by a federal judge in 2005, has started implementing a new version. In the new curriculum, condoms are demonstrated on a piece of wood (not a cucumber as before) and lessons on homosexuality no longer bad-mouth the long list of historic world religions that disapprove of it. But the lessons still fail to explain the high health risks of certain sexual acts favored by homosexuals and still stigmatize those who disapprove of homosexual behavior by using the loaded term “homophobia.”

Two citizens’ groups that oppose the curriculum, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), appealed the curriculum to the State Board of Education—but the county rushed the pilot program into use without even waiting for a ruling on whether it complies with state laws and regulations. FRC’s Peter Sprigg, a Montgomery County resident who served on a committee that reviewed the curriculum, will speak on its flaws at a town hall meeting tonight in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Order his pamphlet, “Homosexuality in Your Child’s School,” to learn how you can fight the homosexual agenda that is affecting schools across the country.

South Carolina: Learning Their Lesson on School Choice

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

Despite the sagging test scores in South Carolina and disappointing graduation results, The Wall Street Journal tells an inspiring story about one school that is raising the grades—and hopes—of low-income kids. In Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy has gotten by on a measly $160,000 budget, holding school in rented office space with a total of 42 students. As the WSJ tells it, teachers are either volunteers or work for a humble $8 an hour. “Only five students come from two-parent homes, and most of the students are African-American. Each year, [the principal] is forced to dip into her retirement account to keep the school running.”

As the state debates whether or not to spend a small amount of government money on school choice, the Capers school makes a good case for why it should. Despite Capers’ modest budget, the students’ SAT scores are 164 points above the state average. Each graduate is expected to go on to college.

As the South Carolina lawmakers debate whether to create a tax credit for middle-class parents and a “scholarship” for poor students in failing schools, we urge them to look no further than Capers, where a small investment is paying dividends in the future of our next generation.

Federal Judge: No Room for Parents in the Classroom

by Tony Perkins

February 27, 2007

According to a federal judge, public schools—not parents—have the right to control the curriculum to which children are exposed. Joseph and Robin Wirthlin sued Lexington, Massachusetts schools for allowing their son’s second-grade teacher to read the homosexual fairy tale, King and King, to the class without prior notice to the Wirthlins. A couple FRC interviewed for Liberty Sunday, Tonia and David Parker, joined the suit when their son brought home a book about families that included two gay adults. Judge Mark Wolf sided with the school, saying, “…Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become productive citizens in our democracy.” Wolf continued by saying that if parents don’t agree with the curriculum, they are welcome to send their kids to a private school. “It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation.”

Clearly, this is not about diversity but a political agenda. Massachusetts law on homosexual marriages was imposed by judicial decree and is far from settled. The government seems bent on overpowering parents and dictating what’s in the best interest of children. At the very least, the Parkers, Wirthlins and others deserved to be informed about the content of the curriculum and to have their kids exempted from lessons that violate their moral beliefs. School administrators argued that the books did not focus on human sexuality but family structures. If they truly believe that, Lexington officials must be living in the very fairy tales their schools are promoting.

It’s no wonder America is failing miserably to keep up with international test scores. Public schools are consumed with teaching not the basics reading and writing but the chic and the radical. Both couples will appeal the case to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, where we can only hope that the inherent authority of parents will fare better.

Hint: They’re On Each Side of Iran…

by Family Research Council

February 23, 2007

Dr. Steven Taylor, associate professor of political science at Troy University, is depressed by his student’s lack of geographic knowledge:

Out of 16 students in my general studies World Politics class only 1 could identify Iraq and Afghanistan on a blank map on their exam. One other student found Iraq and another correctly located Afghanistan.

Pardon me while I go weep quietly in the corner.

Well, it’s not exactly as if those countries have been in the news lately. Perhaps we just need more globes in the classroom — or more military veterans.