Consider Homeschooling

Homeschool InformationSure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s).

Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private schooling. Maybe you believe that the charter school is merely a different shade of the same public education model you want to leave. Maybe you simply want to play a bigger part of your child's life. Whatever the case, homeschooling is an excellent way to provide a quality education for your child. 

The decision to homeschool certainly isn't something to take lightly. We recommend reading a few books on the subject, talking with parents who homeschool, checking on the local education laws, and attending local homeschooling conferences. Additionally, it's worth pointing out that homeschooling can be done with a secular and non-secular approach. 

Books

On the topic of books, we recommend two. The first is "The Well-Trained Mind" by Susan Wise Bauer and the second is "100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum" by Kathy Duffy. For the parent considering homeschooling, we recommend reading the first part of "The Well-Trained Mind" without jumping into its outright curriculum recommendations. From there we recommend reading the first parts of "100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum" which will help you cut through the overwhelming amount of information out there as well as help you figure out who you are as a potential teacher and establish goals for your child's education. Once you wrap your mind around what sort of educator you will be and what sort of educational goals you have for your child, then dig deeper into the curriculum recommendations found in both books. Below you will find an embedded partial copy of both books.

 

 

 

 

Local Education Laws

Before pulling your child out of his or her current school or simply not sending your child to kindergarten, you will want to check on the local laws in your state regarding homeschooling. We recommend taking a look at the Home School Legal Defense Association's site for more details. Click here to go the site's page on state homeschool laws. 

Local Homeschooling Groups

There are many local homeschool groups and co-ops, both secular and non-secular. The Home School Legal Defense Association has a list of various groups around the country on their site. Click here for more information.

Homeschooling Forums

You may want to consider lurking on a few homeschooling forums while you're considering your options. For instance, there is a forum associated with the "Well-Trained Mind," which you can view by clicking here. Other forums can be found with a simple Google search. Additionally, you'll likely find other forums by reading comments. At any rate, forums can give you a glimpse into life as a homeschooler. 

 

If you decide to homeschool or are doing it, we'd love to hear your feedback at contact@intellectualtakeout.org

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Here is their combined effort....

"Citing a study that concluded some Minneapolis school administrators were underpaid, district Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson approved more than $270,000 in pay raises this summer for 35 central office administrators.

Johnson's announcement Friday surprised some school board members who said they weren't aware that their approval of a consultants' compensation study in May meant...

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"Between 2001-02 and 2010-11, average salaries in Park School District had the highest percentage increase (26.3%) followed by Poudre (17.9%) and Thompson (14.0%). The large increase in salaries seen in Park School District between 2005-06 and 2006-07 was due to an effort by the Park superintendent to recruit and retain educators in that district.

Teachers' base salaries are tied to two...

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"Over skits and snacks Wednesday, hundreds of teachers from around the country got a soft sell from the U.S. Department of Education to become more open-minded about new pay and evaluation systems.

Wrapping up the first national summit among teachers' unions, school administrators and board members representing some 150 districts from 40 states heard glowing reports from districts that...

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While many think that performance pay is a good idea for teachers, teachers unions like the NEA and AFT are slow to accept it. This article reports the NEA’s hesitant approval of the Obama administration’s experimentation with the idea. In general, this piece seems to imply that teachers unions will try ideas they are not in favor of, as long they are in favor of...

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In the midst of hard economic times, Bill Zettler notes that the Illinois education system could help the financial situation by getting rid of the exorbitant salaries of some of its teachers. The author states that Illinois could save money by getting other professionals to do the job of its teachers for much less. According to Zettler, the idea of tenure and the...

In this article, Marie Gryphon applauds Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to provide merit pay for teachers, but she also raises several serious pitfalls that come when merit pay is not carefully thought out and evaluated. According to Gryphon, unless merit pay is paired with more school choice options, rewarding teachers on the basis of their performance could...

In addressing the issue of teacher tenure, Jonah Goldberg offers several anecdotes to describe the extreme waste of public tax dollars that go into protecting and paying tenured school teachers. Goldberg suggests that tenure protects teachers from issues that have long since been resolved through other legislation, and hence, tenure is prohibiting rather than...

Reporting on a teachers’ survey that discusses a variety of education issues, Clowes notes that many teachers realize that tenure helps protect bad teachers who should not be in the classroom. This article also notes that a majority of teachers are against the idea of merit pay, but more out of concern that their ability to achieve it would be out of their control...

This article reports on the Michigan legislature’s attempts to change teacher tenure laws in order to more efficiently dispose of bad teachers. The reform attempt was made due to the many instances in which tenured teachers have been able to remain in their jobs even after committing acts of pornography and alcoholism while on the job.

Chart or Graph

This chart lists the National Council on Teacher Quality's state by state teacher grade.

"Teachers' base salaries are tied to two factors: years of experience and additional education."

In many cases, the hourly average wage of teachers was much higher than the hourly average wage of other professional workers.

The above chart demonstrates the pay raise schedule for North Carolina Teachers in the 2001-2002 school year.

This chart compares the current salary plan for North Carolina teachers to a plan designed to provide more salary increases earlier in a teacher’s career.

This chart traces the rise of starting teacher salaries from 1972 to 1997 and compares them to the starting salaries of other common professions.

"For 2011, Florida received the highest overall teacher policy grade with a B, and three other states – Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee – earned B minuses."

Analysis Report White Paper

This fifth annual edition of the Yearbook documents more changes in state teacher policy than NCTQ has seen in any of its previous top-to-bottom reviews of the laws and regulations governing the teaching profession in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Although Hassel takes the more progressive view that teachers are underpaid and in need of a salary increase, he also acknowledges that a variety of reforms should be tied to their raises.

This article explores the idea of teacher tenure and its relation to the effective instruction of children. The author opines that the idea of tenure is often misunderstood. In an effort to correct this, this paper describes what tenure actually involves and the process that teachers generally have to go through to get it.

Greene and Winters note that the subject of teacher pay is often emotionally charged, and as such, they attempt to create a detached, factual analysis of the true nature of teacher pay in America. Their findings demonstrate that teachers are often paid as well, if not better, than their white-collar professional counterparts.

This piece compiles research on major pay-for-performance programs in the United States.

Vigdor compares the current teacher payment method to that of doctors and lawyers. He suggests that teachers must endure many more years of practice before seeing significant wage increase, whereas doctors and lawyers enjoy a much faster rise in income levels.

Hess and Castle provide a comprehensive overview of the many issues surrounding teacher pay. Some of the issues that these authors take on include teacher pensions, performance pay, tenure, and the correlations between teacher quality and compensation.

Podgursky and Springer trace the history of teacher pay in the United States in order to discover why many teachers today are being paid through the “single salary schedule.”

According to Hess, changes in teacher salary options would go far in helping to get schools on the path to reform. In light of this, Hess discusses a variety of issues including teacher salaries, pensions, merit pay, and tenure.

"This volume includes one of the first systematic analyses of pay-for-performance practices in the private sector, and finds that although periodic 'bonus' payments are not uncommon in private firms, formulaic payments based on individual productivity are rare, particularly among professional workers outside of banking and finance...."

"The ability to effectively educate the nation's children hinges on the quality of our teachers. And to recruit and retain quality teachers requires that they receive pay commensurate with that offered in other career opportunities available to them."

This study covers information on what teachers actually get paid in comparison to other professions, and also seeks to dispel the myth that a first-year teacher does not have a sufficient salary to pay back college loans.

Video/Podcast/Media

This video describes Colorado’s implementation of the “Teacher Incentive Fund Program.” The program seeks to recruit and retain good teachers by offering bonuses for excellent performance in the classroom. According to this clip, the program is working well and teachers have more incentive to work harder and produce high quality students.

Washington D.C. school superintendent Michelle Rhee discusses her controversial steps to reform the failing D.C. public schools district. She shares stories about how ill-run the district was at the time of her arrival. Her proposals for teacher pay reform include giving teachers a choice to be either tenured or non-tenured. Both options come with a bonus, but the...

Researcher Robin Chait explains what the federal "Teacher Incentive Fund" is. This program incorporates pay for performance ideas in order to incentivize teachers to become more effective in the classroom, and thus raise student achievement scores in the process.

Primary Document

A FEW YEARS AGO, the question which required to be argued on the subject of endowments, was the right of the State to interfere with them....

"I’m here today to share our ideas about how the Legislature should deal with three education issues in the current session.

One involves steps to immediately address the achievement gap.

The second is a plan for performance reviews of teachers that will make our strong teaching profession even stronger.

And the third is a responsible plan to create alternative pathways...

Dan Goldhaber traces some of the ups and downs of teacher salaries throughout the years in this report prepared for the government. This article includes information on how teachers are generally paid, what starting salaries commonly are for teachers, as well as other benefits that teachers receive from their choice of employment. Goldhaber also studies some of the...

Burroughs argues on behalf of the NEA in this testimony concerning the standards of NCLB. Among other education issues, Burroughs addresses the problem of teacher quality and its relational issue of salaries. Burroughs asks Congress to raise the starting salaries of teachers and also provide other monetary benefits to teachers such as “financial bonuses, college...

This act seeks to spend federal funds for the use of teacher and principal merit pay. According to this document, these federal funds are to be linked to the rise of student academic performance. The act also specifies that this program is to be frequently assessed and used as a type of study to measure how well the idea of merit pay really works.

This document describes the Michigan legislation on teacher tenure. Some of the issues that are covered in this law include how a teacher can gain tenure and how a teacher can lose tenure, as well as the time line and legal process of both.

Ritter's congressional testimony declares that teacher performance pay can be used to effectively increase student learning and achievement. Although Ritter acknowledges that the evidence in this area is lacking, he points out that the research that is available backs up the claims of those who would tie performance pay to high academic standards. Ritter suggests...

Mayor Bloomberg describes what his city has done to improve student achievement in this congressional testimony. Bloomberg attributes much of their success to the city’s commitment to provide better salaries for teachers, improve tenure laws, and implement a pay for performance plan. The Mayor also proudly notes how these steps have been negotiated with the New...

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