Sunday, March 09, 2008

Calilfornia’s Criminal Parents

school policeTime says about 200,000 children are home-schooled in California, while The San Francisco Chronicle gives the figure as 166,000. Neither source mentions where they got their figures, but I can tell you from experience with other parents that at least three times that number are flying under the radar.

Parents are simply not reporting their children to their school district. Unlike others, these non-reporters do not trust the state authorities to protect their children in a public school environment and trust even less the arbitrary nature of the law when it comes to the treatment of children.

This past week a California appeals court ruling proved the distrust of the scofflaws to be correct:

A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.

The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.

As a former home-schooler, I never quite believed The Bureaucrats wouldn’t shut us down on a whim...
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School unions are very powerful, even if their education skills leave something to be desired. When we submitted our bureaucratic forms to the local county agency, our approval to home school came back approved - and with serious spelling and grammatical errors - but signed by one of the people with Teaching Credentials.

In America, it does not matter if you are skilled enough to teach, it matters only that you are “credentialized” to do so. Thus:

Homeschooling parent Debbie Schwarzer of Los Altos said she’s ready for a fight.

Schwarzer runs Oak Hill Academy out of her Santa Clara County home. It is a state-registered private school with two students, she said, noting they are her own children, ages 10 and 12. She does not have a teaching credential, but she does have a law degree. [my emphasis]

“I’m kind of hoping some truancy officer shows up on my doorstep,” she said. “I’m ready. I have damn good arguments.”

She opted to teach her children at home to better meet their needs.

The ruling, Schwarzer said, “stinks.”

The judge says otherwise:

“California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. “Parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling under the provisions of these laws.”

Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.

“A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare,” the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

It doesn’t matter that the “educational” “system” is often unsafe, lacking basic hygiene facilities, and dangerous to students.

Who on God’s green earth wants to send their child to a school where the presence of the police is necessary to ensure order? Who wants their children to endure these conditions when they can learn safely at home? Here’s a report from 2002:

Despite clearly unsafe and unsanitary conditions in public schools in California and in Dade County, Florida, students and teachers have been required to work in those schools for years while school officials have done nothing to address the problems.

On May 17 [2002], the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit against the state of California, contending “appalling conditions” regarding safety, sanitation, and educational resources violated the state constitution’s guarantee of a free and equal public education for all. Broken windows, falling ceiling tiles, vermin infestation, leaky roofs, non-functioning toilets, broken HVAC systems, and lead in drinking fountains plague many of California’s public schools, according to the suit.

… a class action lawsuit was [also] brought against the Miami-Dade County School Board, calling on the board to correct and remedy “life-threatening violations of fire safety and other safety code requirements” detailed in the State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF). The lawsuit noted the school board “is aware of the violations and has in many circumstances failed and refused to correct them.”


“The School Board’s action and inaction have created a dangerous environment for Plaintiff’s children in that the students are required to attend schools that contain numerous serious violations of the SREF regulations, which constitutes the fire and safety code for state schools.”

These are the reasons many families have sacrificed the income that would be generated by two working parents in order to have one stay home and teach the kids. What is the point of creating so-called “wealth” when your child comes home with questionable ideas and very little solid learning?

As for schools teaching what the judge claims they do - “A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare” - try asking a youngster to sing the national anthem or to recite The Pledge of Allegiance, both of which were part of the school morning routine back when public schools produced educated children. Better yet, find out how many recent high school graduates have registered to vote. Or for that matter, if they even know who their governor, senators, or congressional representative are. See if they can tell you who is campaigning for office this year and what office they are seeking.

The results of your small survey will be disheartening. Some sample answers I’ve gotten: “oh, I don’t pay attention to that stuff.” Or, “it doesn’t matter to me.” My favorite so far is “vote for what?” One child said, hopefully, “could I learn about this?”

When it comes to an awareness of civic responsibility, our public schools have a miserable record. We feel fortunate if no one comes into the schools and shoots the students. What does it matter if they learn American history, math, or science as long as they get out alive?

And by the way, ask to see the history book you child is using. If it’s from a teachers’ union government school it is full of grievance issues dressed up as the correct paradigm. Every child can tell you about Harriet Tubman, but none of them know the Gettysburg Address or The Emancipation Proclamation.

Of those three subjects, Harriet Tubman has the most google hits. That fact would distress Tubman no end. She would be alarmed that so few children could even hazard a guess about the dates of the Civil War.

Fortunately, California’s governor is not sympathetic to this ruling. He has vowed to fight it in court and in the legislature:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced a state appeals court ruling that severely restricts homeschooling and promised to change the law if necessary to guarantee that parents are able to educate their children at home.

“Every California child deserves a quality education, and parents should have the right to decide what’s best for their children,” Schwarzenegger said in response to the ruling, which said children educated at home must be taught by a credentialed teacher.

“Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children’s education,” Schwarzenegger said. “This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts, and if the courts don’t protect parents’ rights then, as elected officials, we will.”

If you want to see a good curriculum used by homeschoolers and foreign service parents overseas, go here. We especially liked the Maths books at Calvert - serious business and not a politically correct picture to be seen in any of them. Just math and more maths.

Hat Tip: The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid


Zerosumgame said...

California imitates Germany.

How ironic that it takes a (sort of) German immigrant to fight this.

Diamed said...

Let's be very clear what's happening here. Well to do white couples are staying out of public schools because they are majority black or hispanic and their children would be beaten, raped, or killed.

They are paying hand over fist for the public schooling of illegal immigrants and gang banging thugs who lack all competence or wish to learn. Nevertheless, that isn't good enough for the California school system, because they fear, (rightly), that home schooled white children might be taught some sort of white value system, instead of the diversity and tolerance liberalism so necessary to keep together a multiracial state. Without slavish white guilt indoctrinations, who will you collect the taxes from? Who will you get affirmative action from? Better nip any sign of independence or self-preservation in the bud.

This is a declaration of war on the tiny remaining few white Californians who thought they could somehow ride out the storm of demographic change. Well now they know, and we all know, once you enter a multi-racial state, forever will it dominate your destiny. It's high time the rest of them left, no matter the cost, and rejoined their white countrymen who are still civilized in the interior.

laine said...

Can parents sue credentialled teachers who have not taught their children to read or do basic mathematics? The courts would be swamped.

In our jurisdiction, there is no such thing as educational malpractice in law. Is it the same in California?

Judge Crosseyed wants all children forced into the leftist indoctrination centers that public schools have become where their heads are filled with junk science about global warming and contempt for Western civilization at the expense of learning to read, write and think critically as well as the hard sciences.

The unbalanced power of teachers' unions has made the education system more focussed on the employees' rights and wants than on student well-being and results.

Americans are among the highest spenders on education but students' results are embarrassingly abysmal on international testing, beaten out by the Asian tigers, Canada, Finland, even Romania and a long line of others.

Everything the left touches turns to manure, including public education.

laine said...

Forgot to mention that home-schooled students in the United States are among the most qualified on university entrance exams!

Home schooling parents are more motivated, often better educated and certainly have their students/children's interests more at heart than many credentialed teachers who have degenerated into union workers instead of professionals.

The sheer selfishness and fraud of teachers' unions is on display in California where they oppose the successful Green Dot charter schools even for high minority public schools where the graduation rate is a shameful 20% and college acceptance rate 3% such as Locke High. (see Drew Carey You Tube presentation). The students and parents testified that "teachers" sat reading in out of control classrooms. Why doesn't Judge Crosseyed take away the right of these negligent credentialed teachers to teach?

Dymphna said...


I gotta hand it to you: like Jimmy Buffet you have just one tune, but you play it well. I do wish you'd learn another song, just for variety.

We homeschooled our son, but for none of the reasons you stated. And the myriad issues that homeschoolers have with the government/teachers' union schools haven't much to do with your polemic.

When we chose to home school, our annual income was about 20,000.00 a year. We were hardly the white well-to-do. Some parents are just ornery, Diamed, they *want* to teach their children *themselves.*

Race and your other demographics never entered into it. Our son was above average intelligence, could read when he was four, and would have been bored in a school.

When he got to the higher grades and got a scholarship to a good school, he was disenchanted. Liked the teachers, but the "cool" attitude toward learning that his peers assumed drove him nuts. He was excited about Dante; they were bored.

We took him out of that Friends' School when the upper grade curriculum turned to minority aggrieved literature. No dead white men, especially not Shakespeare.

So he transferred to a small, rural school with few credentialized teachers. But they were dedicated and knew their stuff. He actually had a Civics class...taught by a retired military man.

The school took anyone with tuition (and also did scholarships). We had Indians, blacks, Asians, and a few Muslims from Iran.

Yes, it was mostly white, but it was largely lower middle class parents who valued education, plus the kids of a few professioanls.

These kids will be the future bankers, lawyers, firemen, insurance salesmen etc., that are the backbone of any thriving small American town.

Please learn another tune.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

I am a California native (refugee) and our grandaughter is a 6 year old Eurasian student at a Montessori private school. Her classmates include blacks, hispanics, whites and asians. The common denominator of their parents, even though they are forced to pay taxes to support the government indoctrination centers is to have their children educated, not brainwashed. We will ensure that our grandaughter and her younger sister will NEVER be the victims of the government brainwashing centers.
By the way: ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Diamed, it's very clear you do not know what you are talking about.
We've homeschooled since 1988. My husband was in the Air Force- enlisted. That is not well-to-do.

For five years we lived on five acres in the country a few miles from the base. My kids were the ONLY kids in our rural community who even KNEW any blacks (friend from my husband's work, people we had over for dinner regularly). When I came across some anti-homeschooling arguments by teachers who argued on teh basis that homeschooled kids lacked exposure to different cultures, I asked the kids at church and in my neighborhood who went to public school if they had EVER met a black person, spent any time with anybody who wasn't just like them- and they hadn't. That was Nebraska City.

My husband is now retired and we live in another rural state. HE manages a low-cost, cut-rate grocery store. With his retirement pay AND his pay from his regular job we've moved above the poverty line.
In our town of five thousand, there are not many black kids, but nearly all of them are in the *homeschool group.* Some of them were always homeschooled. Some of them, their parents started homeschooling them because they didn't like the way their teachers just let them slide academically because they were black- the idea seemed to be that being black, the kids couldn't do the work their parents expected of them.

We aren't rich, and we wish very much that more minorities would homeschool, because we sadly fear they are being defrauded of anything like an education.

christian soldier said...

This move is all about $$$$ and indoctrination. Here in CA-each school aged child comes with a price tag. The state sends taxpayer $$$ to the districts in proportion to the number of children enrolled. The more children the more $$$. I find it interesting that here in LA-there is a shortage of degreed teachers so some classes are being "taught" by non-credentialed teachers. HUM
Homeschoolers must be credentialed and public schools get a pass.
Twenty five years ago I decided that my unborn child would not go to public school. As a tenured teacher, I knew what the schools were becoming. I did not know about homeschooling until I read a book written by the Moores. I grabbed hold of their concept and never let go.

Charlemagne said...

The attack on home schooling boils down to two issues, it threatens the power of the teachers unions and it poses a threat to the Big government supported narrative of the West, and especially the US, being the root of all evil in the world.

My kids are in private school here in Little Rock, made famous when the National Guard escorted black students to the then all white Central HS. Thanks to decades of busing, Liberal/Dem run education, perpetual grievance politics and learning more than half of all white children in Little Rock and Pulaski County are in private school. LR schools have degenerated to the point where you literally risk your child's mental and physical well-being by sending them to the public schools. I only know one white parent who sends his kids to pubic schools, and he's a Clinton supporter.

Generally public education is to blame for the leftward drift of our younger generations (graduating after say 1990), their decreasing competitiveness and increasing ignorance of just about everything. The Liberal establishment is working its magic to ensure they are perpetually in power; ensure the public is not given adequate education to think for themselves, degrade the dominant culture, espouse the benefits of government, teach kids that Western capitalist culture is bad and that collectivism is good. Rinse and repeat.

Francis W. Porretto said...

At their birth, the government-run schools thought they would triumph because they were less expensive than the private alternatives. They were wrong.

When they became ubiquitous, the government-run schools were expected private schools to die off because, after all, why pay twice for the same service? They were wrong.

When school taxes rose to extortionate, confiscatory levels, the government-run schools expected private education to cease because no one would be able to afford it. They were wrong.

Now that homeschooling has become a nationwide movement, the government-run schools see no alternative but to criminalize the practice. Everything else they've tried has failed, so it's time to use the legislatures and the courts to stamp out this noxious excrescence of freedom.

They will fail. Americans determined to raise propaganda-free children will evade them. Already, parents are declining to register their school-age children in their places of residence. The mobility that charcterizes our society makes it fairly easy to evade the educrats, as does their hostility toward one another. Some parents are even keeping the existence of their children secret from the moment of birth; it's a lot easier than one might think, if you're willing to sacrifice the tax break.

Freedom will win out, and the edifice of State-supervised indoctrination of the young will fall. However, it will take time and determination to see this process through to the end. Be patient.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that there are many differing reasons for homeschooling children, depending on the situation, but I do think Diamed makes a very valid point. From my experience (I go to a private school, but I have a lot of friends who currently attend public school), attending public school can actually be very dangerous. There are a lot of drugs and violence at many of the public schools in my area. Dymphna, your reason for homeschooling is perfectly valid, but I do think Diamed's point is a factor for some parents.

Anonymous said...

I have a child in the California public school system. We are in a "good" school district (read: the average house in the district costs 800K or more.) My child's school is at least safe, modern and clean -- however the academic standards are laughable. I can confirm that more and more of the school day is devoted to "diversity" and other non-academic trash, while the parents are expected to teach the children the basics like times tables and phonics AFTER school (I don't get home at night until after 6 p.m -- then I'm expected to do the job our teachers don't do as well as dinner and housework). My child has heard plenty about MLK and Harriet Tubman, but has never heard of Neil Armstrong, the Wright Brothers, or Thomas Edison (or Thomas Jefferson, for that matter). I've often thought of homeschooling, but I know in my heart I don't have the patience or discipline to be successful at it. We compensate for the lack of basic skills teaching by paying one of the tutoring franchises to teach real skills to our child, and I buy older non-PeeCee books and DVDs online to compensate for the PeeCee brainwashing. I regard the tutoring franchise as my child's real school and consider the public school as simply the place where she goes to socialize with her friends. For the 8K a year we pay in property taxes (on top of one of the highest state income taxes in the country,and of course federal taxes on top of that), my child's school is a pretty expensive socializing experience. I have a sister who home-schooled all three of her kids and they were all accepted to good colleges and are quite well-educated. I can confirm that the California public schools are in a miserable state, currently ranking in the bottom three of all the states, and that when I was a child growing up here, we were number one. Gramscianism and illegal immigration are the main causes of the decline. And while I have no problem sending my kid to school with children of other races, I can also confirm that the anti-white brainwashing of the PeeCee curricula makes school a difficult experience for white children. For example when your kid is subjected to celebrating Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pan-Asian Pacific Islander month, etc., and comes home asking you why there is no celebratory month for people who look like us. I have no idea what to say in circumstances like that.

Zerosumgame said...

I might add that where I live (New Jersey), Diamed, is that the primary reason the school system remains fairly tough academically, has nothing to do with rich white parents -- my district has a large Asian [both East and South (Hindu) population] - in America, the term "Asian" is thus generally seen as a positive connotation, unlike in the UK, so it is the upper middle class Chinese/Korean/Indian (and to some extent, white Jewish) parents who insist on at least some standards to go with the high taxes they pay to support this.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/10/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Diamed isn't really making a point about violence in schools. She is saying that what is really going on here is white flight by wealthy whites who don't want their kids around black and hispanic kids.

That's not a good point, that's demonstrably false.

Concerns about violence in schools are a separate issue, and I refuse to permit her to confound those issues.

livfreerdie said...

Dymphna, I'll bet you were one hellacious school marm!

On the subject of education, from


Anonymous said...

I had nine years of private education in Catholic schools before being let loose in the public school system. I vividly remember walking into the high school on the first day of my sophomore year and thinking: "In two weeks I'm going to run this joint."

At the end of the two weeks I decided that running the joint was not worth the effort and coasted for the next three years. During that time I had two inspiring teachers. One was sacked over an affair with a senior girl. The other teach in a private school.

Charlemagne, it sounds to me like you read Paul Greenberg too.

Don M said...

The LA Times was wrong. Homeschooling is permitted in CA, these people did it wrong.

The correct way is to register your homeschool as a private school. Private school teachers do not need to be credentialed, but rather, must be able to provide effective instruction.

These people instead registered their children with a charter school, but then did not have a credentialed teacher or credential tutor provide instruction.

Charlemagne said...

Queen - I wonder how they will justify all the various ethnic heritage months after 2050 when whites are projected to be <50% and no longer the majority but just the largest minority in a nation of minorities. Will we even survive that long as a nation?

Anonymous said...

Charlemagne - one thing's for sure, all bets are off when WE are the minority. There won't be any "affirmative action" programs, special set asides or other "diversity perks" for our kind.