This post is our seventh of nine installments regarding the transcript from the Indiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing that was held on February 17, 2016. You may read our other posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
TESTIMONY: Dr. Susan Lockwood and I am the director of Juvenile Education for the Indiana Department of Corrections…..
Pg. 141 Then when it comes to how we are measured, one of the things, I found the testimony about the home — or the home school very, very interesting and we — I spoke with the presenter earlier and said it is very easy for us in our schools to add a field in our data system and just start tracking that. What we do is when a student comes to us and we do assessments and try to — we get all the records and place them where they need to be placed as far as education, we look to where the school corporation where he would have attended if he were out on the street, and so that’s the program that we enter into our system.
So we know that when the school goes back — or when the student goes back, we know where we are going to first contact, you know, which school we are going to contact to try to facilitate that re-enrollment. We are measured on being able to connect a youth to a credible program and so obviously it is hard to establish whether or not a student who is home schooled is actually connected to a credible home school program. So that’s what we do.
So what we can do is start asking the youth have you been home schooled, track that data, but basically what we would be doing would be saying these are the number of youth who have come to us who have reported that they are home schooled, which is some data but it is not something that we would really be able to validate because it would be, again, what youth reports to us. So it is not — there is not really a way that we can validate that, but we can definitely do that.
IAHE Action’s Response: Tracking a student’s educational history is a good idea. However, in tracking educational history one must be aware of the different forms of educational instruction including the difference between Public Virtual Charter schools, traditional homeschooling. Indiana Association of Home Educators would also take great issue with classifying students who have never received instruction in their home or outside of a brick and mortar school building as homeschoolers. As we have stated before, one must actually have received academic instruction in his/her home to be a homeschooler.
Pg. 208 Ms. Hiner: So previously we heard that by — that what often happens is that when a child is ready for expulsion then the alternative is not really an alternative and those are kids who don’t really get educated afterwards and they get lost in the system and are counted as missing children.
IAHE Action’s Response: We would agree that the alternative to expulsion is not really an alternative for these kids. Homeschooling requires cooperative students and a present parent instructing his/her children. Regardless, there does appear to be confusion in the recordkeeping and the categories given. Are these children really missing or are they homeschooled, public virtual school students, dropouts or simply transferred out of the district?