Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pittsburgh City Paper

SEPTEMBER 28, 2006
Learning Curves
Education is no longer a simple line from "A" to "B." How do students feel about the dizzying array of choices their parents can make?


"In his 2005 book It Takes a Family, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum argues that home-schooling, and not mass education, is really the norm.

"Santorum has a point. While it seems as if school buses and back-to-school shopping have been with us for eternity, our public education system is relatively new ... about 150 years old. And while mass education is hardly on death's door, it does appear that families are increasingly choosing alternatives to traditional public and private schools: from "cyber-schools" and charter schools to parent-led home-schooling. The National Home Education Research Institute reported this July that there were between 1.9 and 2.4 million children home-schooled nationwide during the past school year, an increase of about 10 percent from the year before. Home-schooling is growing even more quickly among non-white families; about 15 percent of all home-schooled families are non-white.

"In Pennsylvania, about 15,000 students were home-schooled in 1995; today more than 23,000 kids are being home-schooled, about 1.2 percent of the state's student population. ...."

The article has a section of questions and answers with teens, the intro to which is

"In late August, City Paper sat down with five Pittsburgh-area students who have participated in at least one of these forms of alternative schooling: charter-schooling, cyber-schooling, home-schooling and "un-schooling." If the students in our discussion group are representative, we may be witnessing the birth of a new fluidity between traditional and alternative forms of education."

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