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Document Number: 5168

Home-Schooling in the US - Beginning with the questions, “Who are homeschoolers—both child and parent?” and “Why have they chosen to homeschool?”, the author goes on to evaluate homeschooling through the criteria of freedom of choice, efficiency, equity and social cohesion. The author finds: (1) that the desire for choice cannot be the unique determining factor in a family’s decision to homeschool; (2) it is difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of homeschooling in and of itself given that the majority of homeschooled students come from families with “above-median resources” from which one might expect above-average academic achievement; and (3) the “efficiency” of homeschooling varies depending on whether efficiency is examined from the perspective of the family or the state. He identifies regulations, finance and support services as three state policy areas which must be weighed when designing policies affecting homeschooled students, and suggests future trends or considerations in homeschooling. (Clive R. Belfield, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, January 2004)...

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