Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 4, no. 12 (August 08, 1996).
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b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c August 08, 1996
Public school reform : potential lessons from the truly departed / J. Dan Marshall [and] James P. Valle.
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1 of 13 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 4 Number 12August 8, 1996ISSN 1068-2341A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal. Editor: Gene V Glass,Glass@ASU.EDU. College of Educ ation, Arizona State University,Tempe AZ 85287-2411 Copyright 1996, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES.Permission is hereby granted to copy any a rticle provided that EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES is credited and copies are not sold.Public School Reform: Potential Lessons from the Truly Departed J. Dan Marshall Pennsylvania State Universityjdm13@psuvm.psu.eduJames P. Valle Donegal School District (PA)Abstract: In this article, the authors present data from a sm all study of 19 families who educate their children at home in rural Pennsylvania. Findings re lative to why they opted out of the public education system and whether they would return are analyzed in light of a previously established construct (Idealogue/Pedagogue) before being used t o critique and expand it in light of broader cultural concerns. The authors argue, overall, that home educators are asserting their historical option of cultural agency and schooling. (Note 1) If "school reform" is a bandwagon, then the parade is still in progress. Most of the grand proposals earlier composed by politicians, pundits, policy wonks, and professors have evolved into smaller, more locally pertinent endeavors by a ctual change participants (educators, students, parents and community members). In the worst case, the continuing accumulation of school reform efforts is understood as succeeding waves of perpetual hassle and silliness which disturb the basic soundness of business-as-usual. In the be st case, such efforts become a representation of participants' commitment to the repetitive nature o f the learning process: desiring to know and understand acting upon these desires making sen se of and reflecting upon those actions identifying new or different desires to know and un derstand. Thus, in the best case, school reform efforts should be here to stay. Those who care about examining and acting upon the quality of their local schools seek information from numerous sources, including their own experiences, outside consultants, beliefs


2 of 13and opinions collected from local, state, and natio nal polls, and "the literature" of academia. But they seldom tap the one segment of their community which may provide the most unique perspective: parents who have opted out of the loca l public school system. We suspect that this group -particularly those families who have taken it upon themselves to provide education at home -may have something important to offer those working to change public education. In this article, we discuss our preliminary foray into the lives of several Pennsylvania home educators in light of public school reform efforts.Home Education -A Return to Educational Agency The philosopher Jane Roland Martin (1996) recently discussed the relationship between a nation's cultural wealth and its commitments to edu cation in the broadest sense. Working from the premise that cultural wealth must be broadly de fined to include multiple "conceptions of high, popular, and material culture, and . coun tless other items as well" (p. 6), she suggests tha t the educational responsibility or agency for transm itting this wealth must return to the breadth it once enjoyed. And for a good deal of time in our hi story the home bore much of this educational agency. Prior to the great American experiment of educatin g all young people in publicly funded schools, most families bore primary responsibility for the education of their children. Support for these efforts in the form of reinforcement, refinem ent, and reorientation could be counted on from the community, extended family, and the church While schools existed in our colonial period, they had little to offer the majority of pe ople and little currency as a stand alone educational site. Even during the nineteenth centur y, the "common school" movement was accompanied by corresponding community located educ ational efforts (public libraries, agricultural societies, etc.). Slowly, beginning wi th Massachusetts in 1852 and ending with Mississippi in 1918, the United States became a lan d of compulsory schooling laws which, Supreme Court decisions in the early 1920s notwiths tanding, legitimized schools as the primary educational agency. "It was only in the 20th centur y," Martin writes, "that schools came to be seen as the sum total of education" (1996, p. 8). Martin's (1996) overarching point is that "the ass ets that our culture has placed in school's keep [i.e., preparing young people for their places in the world of politics, work, and the professions] represent one small portion of the [cu ltural] wealth" of our country (p.8); much of our remaining cultural wealth (largely that which p ertains to popular and material culture) was assigned to the educational agency of home. Over ti me, the primacy of schools as bearers of educational agency and transmitters of dominant, hi gh cultural wealth has overwhelmed the educational agency of the home and its historically gendered role in preserving other forms of cultural wealth. Social and political activities blossoming in the 1960s helped to tie these "other forms of cultural wealth" directly to public schooling. As t he federal government moved into the business of national curriculum development, activists and p arents raised questions about the overall relevance of schooling to students' "real lives." T he growing movements around people's rights (collective and individual) combined with a deterio rating political environment to produce a general desire to among many to question authority. Humanistic and critical thinking and practices complicated public schools which were cau ght in the throes of desegregation, while values -ranging from religious and spiritual to d emocratic and political -were noted as absent from the overall school experience. At the same tim e, new alternatives to the business-as-usual of public schooling began to appear. The late John Holt embodies the transitional spiri t of school reform during these times. From his call for sweeping changes in public school s in 1964 (How Children Fail) he came to believe that parents and families, themselves, must re-take control of their children's education.


3 of 13With the establishment of his magazine, Growing Wit hout School in 1977, Holt dedicated the rest of his life to nurturing and supporting the ci vic-minded educational agency of the home by popularizing home education (Marshall and Sears, 19 85). "Home schooling," the more popular term to describ e families who teach their children at home (Litcher & Schmidt, 1991)(Note 2), has grown f rom roughly 15,000 to 350,000 students within the past ten years (Jeub, 1994; Lines, 1991) While in 1980 only three states had established laws to permit and control home schooli ng, 34 states have done so to date. Pennsylvania's more liberally enabling home schooli ng legislation (unanimously passed by both legislative bodies) went into effect in late 1988, following the state's supreme court ruling on the unconstitutionality of its previously confining sta tute (Klicka, 1990). We have a long-term interest in learning more abou t the pedagogical practices and guiding beliefs of these Pennsylvania home educators. In th e following section we describe our initial effort to establish lines of communication and deve lop a sense of their feelings toward education at home and in schools. Perspectives from Pennsylva nia Home Educators Following the passage of this more liberal Pennsyl vania legislation, one of us (Jim) became involved with home educators as the "Distric t Evaluator" of their efforts. In addition to his work as an elementary school teacher, his evalu ator's job is to see that home-based educational activities concur with the law's requir ements. Jim seems a wise choice for this role in that he is a former administrator of a Christian sc hool, a longstanding member of the community, and (alongside his wife) a home educator himself. N o less important, perhaps, is his reputation throughout the community as a vocal supporter of ho me education. When requested, Jim also serves families in the role of "independent evaluat or" (an advocate who is personally selected by each home education family) to certify that the fam ily's efforts have been "appropriate" in the eyes of the law. These roles provide him with "offi cial" (though not necessarily intimidating) access to home educators in several school district s, including his own. Jim's local school district includes about 15,000 people and can be rightfully described as largely rural and conservative. The county's pictur esque landscape in southeastern Pennsylvania, once dominated by neatly spaced barns and silos, is increasingly dappled with housing developments -up from 49 new housing permits in 1 980 to 518 in 1990. Most of the district's 2,508 students begin school in one of four elementa ry buildings, move on to the lone middle school, and eventually matriculate to the central h igh school. During the present school year some 55 children fr om this district are being educated at home -a number that has risen steadily since 1988 We wondered what has prompted so many families to sidestep the public school system and t ake on the work of educating their students at home. How might they characterize their motivation for and commitment to the educational agency they have regained as home educators? As the first step in a larger study designed to ex plore the curricular understandings and practices of home educators, we contacted all 27 ho me education families from Jim's district, along with 16 additional families for whom he serve s as independent evaluator (a total of 43 families). Each family received a personal letter f rom Jim, describing and seeking their participation in the larger study, and asking them to complete and return a brief (one side of one page) survey designed to collect preliminary demogr aphic information (number of school-aged children, number of years residing in district, etc .) along with answers to two simple questions. Those considering further participation signed thes e forms and provided telephone numbers; others remained anonymous. Nineteen families (44%) responded to our initial i nquiry -a response rate we accepted as adequate for our exploratory purposes, given that m any home educators prefer not to interact with interlopers (Clark, 1994). They raise an avera ge of three school-aged children, all of whom are home educated in 15 of these families. Responde nts have been Pennsylvanians for an average of more than 23 years (range of 1-45) and have live d within their particular school district for an


4 of 13average of 10 years. On average, these families hav e been conducting home education for nearly five years, though they range in this work from one to 11 years. Compelling Reasons for Home Education. Our survey made two simple, straightforward requests: 1) to describe the most compelling reason (s) for home education and 2) to say whether or not public schooling might again become an optio n and, if so, under what conditions. In cases where families offered more than one response, we i dentified their first one as a "primary" response, followed by a "secondary" response, etc. Our home education families offered at least five different reasons which compel them to teach their children at home. Though recorded by re spondents as such, these reasons may not be mutually exclusive. Here, we present them separatel y. The least often mentioned reason was "cost." Only three of the 19 families identified home education as a choice resulting from the prohi bitive cost of private schooling, though none of these saw cost as a primary reason. These three families identify themselves as having chosen home education for religious reasons as well. Five respondents specified what we call "family co hesion" as a compelling (though not primary in any case) reason for home education. Her e, respondents speak of benefits like "family unity," and "spending time together." These familie s have been conducting home education from four to nine years, and all who listed family cohes ion also identified themselves as religiously motivated home educators. Some 36% of families (seven) named "peer influence as a compelling reason for leaving (or never entering) the public schools. This reason typically expressed as "influences of other students" such as "boy-girl relationships," "drugs, sex, alcohol," and "becoming part of the Tin crowd," cut across the range of respondents in most respects (number of years doing home education, primary reasons for home education, etc. ). While only two of those identifying "peer influence" as a compelling reason for home educatio n also included religious reasons, "peer influence" was the sole, primary, or secondary reas on noted by all who included it. Fewer than half (8) of our respondents explicitly stated religious beliefs as a compelling reason for home education, with six of these eight families listing this as their sole or most compelling reason. Representative of such beliefs w ould be the following statement: "We home school so that our children might receive an educat ion that is consistent with our belief that God created the world and is in control of it." Interes tingly, all but two of these families have been home educating for five or more years (the upper en d of our range). Within our sample, the most frequently offered rea son for educating children at home pertains to the problematic quality of life and lea rning found in public schools -what we call "learning concerns." These concerns ranged from dul l academic environments to an over-emphasis on college-bound students; from inapp ropriate labeling of children to an inability to individualize instruction; from teachers who don 't care to administrators "out to get" certain problem kids. Thirteen of our 19 families (68%) fou nd such matters compelling, with seven listing learning concerns as either their sole or p rimary reason for abandoning public schools. Though this reason was identified by families who h ave been practicing home-based education from 1-7 years, it is the dominant (i.e., sole or p rimary) reason among those seven responding families with the fewest (1-3) years of practice in home education. Among these 19 families, 58% (eleven) identified m ultiple reasons compelling them to separate themselves from the district's public scho ols. Six of these eleven families include their religious beliefs as one of those reasons (almost a ll as a primary or secondary reason), yet only three of those six families list both religious con victions and learning-related concerns (in contrast, for example, to "family cohesion" which i s mentioned by five of these six families). Of those eight families who offered but a single compe lling reason for electing home education, two were religious and one was peer influence; the rema ining five noted "learning concerns." Returning to the Public School Fold. When asked whether or not they would "ever


5 of 13consider" returning to public schools and if yes, w hy, the answer from nearly 75% of our respondents was simply "No." Within this group of p arents, seven were unequivocal and emphatic; three would do so only as a result of som e personal catastrophe (e.g., illness or death); two would consider such a move only if their childr en requested it; one would return children to public schools only if the law required it; and one family would consider public schooling again only if the schools somehow changed. The remaining five families were clearly less stri dent in their feelings about a possible return to public schools. Two families are among on ly four from our sample who simultaneously have children attending public schools and, we susp ect, see public schools as a viable place for some of their children but not others. In the remai ning three cases, one family may consider returning their child to the public schools in orde r to take advantage of a senior high school vocational-technical career training option, anothe r is considering a return in light of their local school's apparently more enlightened understanding of their child's particular needs (in this case, "hyperactivity"), and the third would consider a re turn if they felt they were unable to adequately prepare their children for post-high school learnin g. Looking at the question differently, nearly 60% of these home educators take the position that nothing short of personal catastrophe or the l ong arm of the law would get their children back into public schools. Of this group, eight have been practicing home education for five years or more. None of those who have abandoned public sc hools for religious reasons would return to the public schools, nor would six of the nine famil ies who included learning concerns but not religious beliefs among their reasons to educate th eir children at home. The five families that would consider returning th eir children to the public school fold all say that they left (or decided against ever enrolli ng in the first place) due to concerns about their children's learning and/or peer influence. All but one of these families have been home educating for three years or less, and all respond to this qu estion with respect to their children. That is, for these families, home education seems to be a choice which has been made in the best interests of (and perhaps in consultation with) their school-age d children. This group of parents, it seems, will "see how it goes" -for their children at hom e and with respect to what's happening within their neighborhood public schools.Ideologues, Pedagogues and Beyond In light of the extant scholarship on "home school ing," none of this is especially new. Numerous studies have surfaced similar motivating f actors (see, for example, Mayberry, 1989; Mayberry & Knowles, 1989), though most find much mo re significance in the religion factor than we presently do (Lines, 1991). Much of this wo rk has been built on a scaffold developed by Jane Van Galen (1988, 1991) who characterizes paren ts who teach their children at home as falling into "two broad categories" of home educati on parents: Ideologues and Pedagogues. Acknowledging "tremendous variation" within and acr oss these groupings, Van Galen (1988) describes Ideologues as those parents, largely cons ervative Christian in their religious beliefs, who "object to what they believe is being taught in public and private schools and . seek to strengthen their relationship with their children." In contrast, Pedagogues believe that "schools teach whatever they teach ineptly" and that, based on their respect for their children's intelligence and creativity, "children learn best when pedagogy taps into the child's innate desire to learn." Thus, Ideologues abandon public schools when they f eel that schools teach "a curriculum that directly contradict[s] their own values and beliefs ," while Pedagogues opt for home education "because they [believe] that their children would b e harmed academically and emotionally by the organization and pedagogy of formal schools" (Van G alen, 1988, p. 55). In some respects, Van Galen's categories seem to f it our preliminary inquiry. Those Pennsylvanians we contacted who home educate for "r eligious" reasons are the same parents who


6 of 13identified "family cohesion" and "prohibitive cost" (each of the three families mentioned Christian schools here) as compelling reasons for s ustaining their home education efforts. Thus, we could refer to this collection of eight families as similar to Van Galen's Ideologues. These families constitute the more veteran home schoolers among our respondents -with half of them pre-dating Pennsylvania's 1988 home education law. Further, while only two families within this group listed religious beliefs as their sole compel ling reason for home education, six of the 11 families offering multiple reasons could be charact erized as Ideologues. All of this suggests that while religious beliefs may be strong among this gr oup, the concomitant benefit of family cohesion along with the prohibitive cost of private Christian schools help to keep them educating children at home. Only three of these eight familie s, for example, specifically offered any sort of "learning concern" as a compelling reason for leavi ng or never even considering the public schools. Van Galen's "Pedagogue" category also finds strong support from our preliminary findings. With the exception of the three families who listed both religious beliefs (Ideologues) and learning concerns (Pedagogues) as compelling re asons for dismissing public schools, our Pedagogues do, indeed, seem to highlight concerns a bout academic and/or emotional harm resulting from "the organization and pedagogy of fo rmal schools." Further, this group was unmistakably more willing than their Ideologue coun terparts to consider returning their children to public schools under certain circumstances. What we find problematic about this categorization scheme, however, is its temptation to allow us to reduce what Harris & Fields (1982) call this "outlaw generation" of parents into easily identifiable (and thus, easily disposable) c aricatures: Ideologues become right-wing Christian fanatics and Pedagogues become New Age ec o-progressives. In short, we risk distancing "them" from "us." Marginalizing home educators as "them" further ser ves to support and sustain all the myths which have grown up around this movement -i ncluding myths about who "can" teach, what does and doesn't get taught/learned, and the s ocial isolation of home-educated students (Meighan, 1984). Again, much available information indicates otherwise (see, for example, Calvery and Others, 1992; Frost, 1988; Groover & En dsley, 1988; Ray, 1988; Ray & Wartes, 1991; Stough, 1992; Tipton, 1990; Webb, 1989). More importantly, however, such myths reinforce th e primacy of school as the sole educational agency, particularly when they are perp etuated by professional educators like education professor Robert Slywester, who believes that "Home-schooled children miss important opportunities," and Thomas Shannon, execu tive director of the National School Boards Association, who believes that "Few [home educating ] parents . are objectively qualified to do so" (Cohen, 1995, p.7; see, also, Mahan & Ware, 198 7). But exploring and explaining these myths detours o ur attention to larger and more important matters concerning educational agency and civic-minded public schooling. Arguing that only schools can provide social competence or state certified teachers sidesteps the larger and more immediate questions pertaining to which sp ecific civic and cultural responsibilities belong to and might best be accomplished within sch ools and how those differ from responsibilities which belong to and might best be addressed within the home and family. Home and school -the two primary sites of educat ional agency -must, Jane Roland Martin argues, begin to balance and share responsib ilities for maintaining our cultural wealth. As Martin puts it: It is downright irrational to persist in assigning school a function that is defined in relation to and relies on home's educational agency while denying the existence of that very agency. It is also the height of folly to assign what we take to be our one


7 of 13and only educational agent the task of preparing ch ildren for life in the public sphere . Besides, given the great changes home has und ergoing in recent decades and the importance to both the development of children and the life of society of the cultural wealth that home has been charged with transmitting to equate education with schooling, yet continue to endorse a function for s chool that is premised on home's carrying out an opposite but equally important func tion, is short-sighted in the extreme. (1996, p.9) Potential Lessons from the Truly Departed Let us reiterate: Our simple inquiry was not desig ned in order to construct significant generalizations from a large or unique database. Ra ther, we hoped to openly and honestly connect with those volunteer families who might lat er serve as informants for a study of home educators' curriculum and instruction practices. To wards this ultimate end, we posed two simple questions could might permit us to discover certain angles and issues related to home education which might not yet have been developed within this growing body of scholarship, and permit our respondents to remain anonymous or self-identif y as a statement of further interest. While public schools in Pennsylvania and across th e United States seem grudgingly headed toward positions of greater interactive supp ort for home educators, they do so, in part, to recoup moneys lost when "home" students do not appe ar on public school roles. Beyond this mercenary motivation, reconciliation is sought in t he name of accountability and control. Maralee Mayberry believes, for example, that "a significant proportion" of home educators who are permitted to have a say in how new relationships ge t negotiated between themselves and their local public schools will, over time, "accept some guidance and standards from states and public schools" (Cohen, 1995, p.6). Meanwhile, few efforts are made to critically reflect upon what home-based educators have to say "about learning, a bout educational policy, and about the strength and viability of the institution of school ing" (Van Galen & Pitman, 1991a, p. 5). We believe that our preliminary inquiry, when seen in light of the existing knowledge about home-based teachers and learners, contains se veral important inferences of value to those engaged in school reform efforts. To begin, don't o versimplify people and their concerns. Public school curricula remain "godless" in the eyes of pr imarily religious-motivated home educators (Van Galen's Ideologues). And though issues around the "wall of separation" between the secular and spiritual aspects of public schooling in this c ountry continue to proliferate in all venues of public discourse, our data suggest that such issues are typically interwoven with others having to do with social and pedagogical values. Complex issu es like these provide openings where people can explore and attempt to untangle their concerns in an effort to communicate their differences and seek commonalities. The greatest area of concern registered by the hom e educators represented here pertains to parents' dissatisfaction with schools in which thei r children could not learn and grow strong in appropriate ways (Van Galen's Pedagogues). Rather t han place their children within environments they characterized as too quick to pro duce and act according to labels (e.g., behavior problem or slow learner), or too academica lly challenging or unchallenging, most of these families claim to have given up on the possib ility of that ever happening. For these families to dismiss those opportunities which can perhaps be st be provided through the educational agency of school is a tragic loss which affects eve ryone who cares about civic America. The most complicated and pertinent message about t he state of public school affairs we find within our data pertains to home educators' co ncerns about "peer influence" -a message all but lost when oversimplifying the Ideologue/Pedagog ue categories. Variously referred to as concerns about the effects of urbanization and mode rnization (Mayberry & Knowles, 1989) or the quality of socialization (Mayberry, 1989), pare nts of all religious, ideological, and social


8 of 13persuasions in our sample are removing their childr en from U.S. public schools on the basis of "peer concerns" (for additional support for and ela boration of this position, see Aiex, 1994; Gladin, 1987; Knowles and Others, 1994; Morgan & Ro driguez, 1988; Pike, 1992). The message here is that schools are simultaneously feeding and reflecting broader social and cultural changes which are considered inappropriate by growing numbe rs of people. This critique of schools is not new. The 26th annu al Phi Delta Kappa/Gallop Poll of attitudes toward public schools indicates that amon g the top four problems faced by schools and communities are "fighting/gangs/violence," "lack of discipline," and "drug abuse" (Elam, Rose, & Gallop, 1994). Indeed, concerns about discipline and drugs have been uppermost in the minds of respondents over the past 25 years of such polls (Elam, Rose, and Gallop, 1993). And while poll respondents carefully complete thes e Gallop surveys, Pennsylvania's home educators continue in growing numbers to remove the ir children from socially and culturally complicated public school environments. In our stat e, the number of school-aged children educated at home doubled between 1990 and 1992 as t he number of home education support groups climbed to more than 100 (Richman, 1994). That our sample of home educators comes from a lar gely rural Pennsylvania community underscores the need for concerned school reformers to confront the porous nature of the school/community inter-relationship head on -not in an attempt to more successfully isolate its school inhabitants, but rather in an effort to iden tify and better understand larger problems, construct and critique desirable alternative vision s, and determine appropriate collective actions (Note 3). Such opportunities provide a site where p arents, educators and community members struggle through their distinct and reinforcing rol es and responsibilities -a site where the realization that various educational agencies must jointly participate in the transmission of cultures to our youth cannot be ignored.Conclusion With so many public school educators diligently at work to bring renegade parent educators back in line in terms of the products of public schooling (test scores, content coverage, minutes on-task, etc.), we believe that those commi tted to public school reform ought to pay a different sort of attention to them. Confronting a changing culture is the order of the day for a public school machine slowly becoming obsolete within an increasingly conservati ve, libertarian effort to ignore an inevitably postmodern world (see Doyle, 1992). In this world, absolutes are fading, demands upon schools have increased to the point where individual learni ng and development can no longer be taken for granted, and balkanization, fear and ennui have ove rwhelmed civic-mindedness. And while schools have obvious and crucial educational and cu ltural responsibilities in light of this world, they are not alone. To address these issues, Jane Roland Martin urges schools to return to an earlier position wherein they shared their responsibilities with oth er educational agents -particularly with the home. This change will require that those who repre sent schools see themselves, again, as members of "the whole range of cultural custodians" and accept that "school has much to gain from treating other educational agents as partners rather than as humble assistants or else dangerous rivals" (10). Doing so also creates the n eed for all educational agents to understand, appreciate, and accept responsibility (and thus, be accountable) for the cultural work at hand. In her words: if we can envision an array of instituti ons, all of which share the tasks of preserving our vast cultural assets, see themselves and are se en by others as legitimate educational agents, and work together to transmit the [cultural] wealth we will at least have a better idea of what to strive for. (1996, p. 10) We choose to see home educators as thoughtful and important critics of public schooling


9 of 13who have decided to assume their responsibilities a s what Henry Giroux terms "cultural workers" at great personal cost and uncertainty. Parents who educate their children at home do so at considerable cost (Bishop, 1991; Reynolds & William s, 1985; Williams and Others, 1984). It is "an arduous option" (Lines, 1983, p.183) to educate one's children at home; as Virginia Seuffert (1990), a home-teaching mother notes, "Home-schooli ng dominates your time and demands a certain energy level that not everyone has" (p. 74) Nonetheless, the number of home educators continue s to increase nationwide -a fact that should put everyone committed to the ongoing reform ation of public schools on notice. That so many families we contacted in rural Pennsylvania ha ve exited the public schools solely or primarily for "pedagogical" reasons, that more than one third remove their children because of "peer influence" concerns, and that so few parent-t eachers can imagine their children returning to those exited public institutions ought to tell us s omething not only about our neighbors but about ourselves. Perhaps it's time for us to consider the possibility that these "truly departed" represent important voices in our continuing efforts to refor m schools in light of our changing world.ReferencesAiex, N.K. (1994). Home schooling and socialization of children. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 372 460.Bishop, C. (1991). Home schooling parent support gr oups in Kansas: A naturalistic inquiry into their concerns and functions. Ph.D Dissertation, Un iversity of Kansas. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 338 368.Calvery, R., and others. (1992). The difference in achievement between home schooled and public schooled students for grades four, seven, an d ten in Arkansas. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Researc h Association, Knoxville, TN, November 11-13. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 35 4 248. Clark, C. (1994). Home schooling. C Q Researcher, 4 (33), 769-792. Cohen, P. (1995). Schooling away from school. Education Update, 37(6), 1,6,8. Doyle, D.P. (1992). The challenge, the opportunity. Phi Delta Kappan, 73(7), 512-520. Elam, S.M., Rose, L.C., & Gallop, A.M. (1994). The 26th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallop poll of the public's attitudes toward the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(1), 45-56. Elam, S.M., Rose, L.C., & Gallop, A.M. (1993). The 25th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallop poll of the public's attitudes toward the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 75(2), 137-151. Frost, G. (1988). The academic success of students in home-schooling. Illinois School Research and Development, 24(3), 1111-117. Gladin, E.W. (1987). Home education: Characteristic s of its families and schools. Ed.D. Dissertation, Bob Jones University. ERIC Document R eproduction Service No. ED 301 925. Groover, S.V., & Endsley, R.C. (1988). Family envir onment and attitudes of homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers. ERIC Document Reproduction Servi ce No. ED 323 027. Harris, J.J., & Fields, R.E. (1982). Outlaw generat ion: A legal analysis of the home-instruction movement. Educational Horizons, 61(1), 26-31, 50-51.


10 of 13Jeub, C. (1994). Why parents choose home schooling. Educational Leadership, 52, 50-52. Klicka, C.J. (1990). Home schooling in the United S tates: A statutory analysis. Paeonian Springs, VA: Home School Legal Defense Association.Knowles, J.G., & Others. (1994). Home education as an alternative to institutional education. Educational Forum, 58(3), 238-243. Lines, P. (1991). Home instruction: The size and gr owth of the movement. In J. Van Galen & M.A. Pitman (Eds.), Home schooling: Political, historical, and pedagogi cal perspectives (pp. 9-42).. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Lines, P.M. (1983). Private education alternatives and state regulation. Journal of Law and Education, 12(2), 189-234. Litcher, J.H., & Schmidt, S.J. (1991). Social studi es in the home schools. Social Education, 55(4), 239-241, 248.Mahan, B.M., & Ware, B.J. (1987). Home schooling: R easons some parents choose this alternative form of education, and a study of the a ttitudes of home schooling parents and public school superintendents toward the benefits of home schooling. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 286 624.Marshall, J.D., & Sears, J.T. (1985). John Holt: In memory. Changing Schools, 13, 5. Martin, J.R. (1996). There's too much to teach: Cul tural wealth in an age of scarcity. Educational Researcher, 25 (2), 4-10. Mayberry, M. (1989). Home-based education in the Un ited States: Demographics, motivations and educational implications. Educational Review, 41(2), 171-180. Mayberry, M., & Knowles, J.G. (1989). Family unity objectives of parents who teach their children: Ideological and pedagogical orientations to home schooling. Urban Review, 21 (4), 209-225.Meighan, R. (1984). Political consciousness and hom e-based education. Educational Review, 36(2), 65-73.Morgan, P.T., & Rodriguez, R.C. (1988). Home school parents: A rural survey. Rural Education, 10(1), 15-18.Pike, B. (1992). Why I teach my children at home. Phi Delta Kappan, 73(7), 564-565. Ray, B.D. (1988). Home schools: A synthesis of rese arch on characteristics and learner outcomes. Education and Urban Society, 21(1), 16-31. Ray, B.D., & Wartes, J. (1991). The academic achiev ement and affective development of home-schooled children. In J. Van Galen & M.A. Pitm an (Eds.), Home schooling: Political, historical, and pedagogical perspectives (pp. 43-62 ).. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Reynolds, P.L., & Williams, D.D. (1985). The daily operations of a home school family: A case study. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, March 31 April 4. ERIC Document Repr oduction Service No. ED 256 080.


11 of 13Richman, H.B. (1994). Home schooling: The oldest ed ucational invention. In C.E. Greenwalt II (Ed.), Educational innovations: An Agenda to frame the fu ture (pp. 221-239). Lanham, MD: University Press.Seuffert, V. (1990). Home remedy: A mom's prescript ion for ailing schools. Policy Review, 52, 70-75.Stough, L. (1992). Social and emotional status of h ome schooled children and conventionally schooled children in West Virginia. Masters Thesis, University of West Virginia. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 353 079.Tipton, M. (1990). An analysis of home-schooled chi ldren's Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills results and demographic characteristics of their fa milies. Masters Thesis, Antioch University. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 336 208.Van Galen, J.A. (1988). Ideology, curriculum, and p edagogy in home education. Education and Urban Society, 21(1), 52-68. Van Galen, J. (1991). Ideologues and pedagogues: Pa rents who teach their children at home. In J. Van Galen & M.A. Pitman (Eds.), Home schooling: Political, historical, and pedagog ical perspectives (pp. 63-76).. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Van Galen, J., & Pitman, M.A. (1991a). Introduction In J. Van Galen & M.A. Pitman (Eds.), Home schooling: Political, historical, and pedagogi cal perspectives (pp. 1-5 ). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Webb, J. (1989). The outcomes of home-based educati on: Employment and other issues. Educational Review, 41(2), 121-133. Williams, D.D., & Others. (1984). Understanding hom e education: Case studies of home schools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Americ an Educational Research Association, New Orleans, April 23-27. ERIC Document Reproduction Se rvice No. ED 244 392. Notes We wish to acknowledge and thank Gary Knowles and P at Shannon for their helpful and insightful conversations with us as we worked to wr ite and revise this piece. 1. Given the distinction between the general terms "ed ucation" and "schooling," wherein the latter is typically associated with bureaucratized and impersonalized institutional arrangements designed to promote the former, we hav e chosen to employ the term "home education" for our work here. 2. Dr. Betty Beach explores rural home educators' situ ations in particular. She can be reached via e-mail at for specific i nformation and dialogue. 3. About the AuthorsJ. Dan Marshall Associate Professor 146 Chambers University Park, PA 16802 (814) 865-6569


12 of 13 FAX: (814) 863-7602 James P. Valle Elementary Teacher & Home School EvaluatorDonegal School District Mount Joy, PA 17552Copyright 1996 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesEPAA can be accessed either by visiting one of its seve ral archived forms or by subscribing to the LISTSERV known as EPAA at (To sub scribe, send an email letter to whose sole contents are SUB EPAA y our-name.) As articles are published by the Archives they are sent immediately to the EPAA subscribers and simultaneously archived in three forms. Articles are archived on EPAA as individual files under the name of the author a nd the Volume and article number. For example, the article by Stephen Kemmis in Volume 1, Number 1 of the Archives can be retrieved by sending an e-mail letter to LISTSERV@a and making the single line in the letter rea d GET KEMMIS V1N1 F=MAIL. For a table of contents of the entire ARCHIVES, send the following e-mail message to INDEX EPAA F=MAIL, tha t is, send an e-mail letter and make its single line read INDEX EPAA F=MAIL.The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is Policy Analysis Archives are "gophered" in the directory Campus-Wide Inform ation at the gopher server INFO.ASU.EDU.To receive a publication guide for submitting artic les, see the EPAA World Wide Web site or send an e-mail letter to and include the single l ine GET EPAA PUBGUIDE F=MAIL. It will be sent to you by return e-mail. General questions about ap propriateness of topics or particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, Glass@asu.ed u or reach him at College of Education, Arizona Sta te University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. (602-965-2692)Editorial Board Greg John Andrew Coulson Alan Davis Sherman Dorn Mark E. Thomas F. Alison I. Arlen Gullickson Ernest R. Aimee Craig B. Howley u56e3@wvnvm.bitnet William Richard M. Jaeger


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