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Your Opinion: Home-schooling story lacks quality

by Mary Russell, Jefferson City | January 21, 2015 at 12:02 p.m. | Updated January 21, 2015 at 12:02 p.m.

Dear Editor:

After reading the recent front-page story entitled "As home-school numbers rise, regulation falls" I was extremely disappointed to discover a shocking lack of quality throughout the article.

To begin with, one would hope that an article re-published from another news source would be scanned for basic grammatical and factual errors. One might also assume that basic sentence structure would be present in an article calling for more oversight in non-traditional education. Ironically however, this seems to have been overlooked, as sentences like "Unlike home schools" were published, seriously calling the credibility of the article into question.

Additionally, including information from a satirical source like "The Onion" and presenting it as evidence to support an argument shows a lack of effort on the part of the journalist who wrote this piece and the editor who allowed it to be re-published.

Next, I take issue with the way home-school alumni's views on the subject have been presented. I am personally acquainted with the student cited in the article (Caitlin Reynolds). As an individual, Miss Reynolds does not represent the opinions or experiences of the greater home-schooling community or the large and healthy home-schooling group in Mid-Missouri. I agree with her on one account: my parents were great teachers; however Miss Reynolds and my personal experiences and credentials have no bearing on the validity of parent managed home-education.

The local community comprised of students, parents and policy makers has been completely ignored and one presumptuous opinion has been presented as the viewpoint of all home-schooled alumni.

In terms of student well being, there is no dispute that home schooling does not work for everyone. The educational experiences of students, whether in public, private, parochial, university-modeled, or home-schools, are vastly different. Of course, as in any community, there will be instances of struggling students with unfortunate family situations. However, to imply that this issue only exists as a result of educating at home is naive and simply untrue.

Education reform is a hot-button issue, however, that does excuse shallow research, questionable interviews, and satire in place of quality journalism. Local home-schooling parents choose to educate their children at home for a variety of reasons, and their choices must be respected.

Rather than allowing sloppily written, poorly researched articles to take precedent over real news, we should all become educated about the issues facing our young people, and how best to serve their needs.


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