I read an article in the Grand Forks Herald today and it appears that North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kristen Baesler learned the wrong lesson about the number of homeschoolers doubling in her state.
John Hageman reports:
There were 3,025 home-schooled children in North Dakota last year, according to a recent report from the state Department of Public Instruction, up from the 1,470 in the 2008 school year. But state Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said the actual number of home-schooled kids is likely higher, given some blind spots in the data.
Lawmakers, national surveys, state education officials and home-school advocates offered varying reasons for the trend, including bullying at schools, frustration with Common Core standards and the availability of educational resources online.
North Dakota’s trend also appears to follow a national shift. A 2017 federal report estimated the number of home-schooled students in the U.S. more than doubled between 1999 and 2012, jumping from 850,000 to nearly 1.8 million.
“There’s an increasing desire from parents across the United States to really make sure that their child has an individualized, personalized learning system,” Baesler said. “Public schools are moving in that direction.”
Ah yes, personalized learning, Jane Robbins warned us in September about this. What homeschoolers believe about “personalized learning” and what educrats like Baesler think it is is not the same thing. Robbins writes, “technology corporations have joined Brave New Worlders in seeking to implement technology-driven “personalized learning” (PL). What these forces won’t admit (or at least not in so many words) is that the goal of adopting education by machine is to (1) replace genuine education with training for workforce skills, and (2) eventually reshape individual personalities, attitudes, and mindsets to better fit the government-approved mold.”
Personalized learning means more screen time, and data shows that it is harmful, not that Baesler and others would pay attention to data that demonstrated their reforms are a bad thing.
Robbins pointed out during her testimony before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that education reformers who want more data tend to ignore data when it suits them.
Superintendent Baesler, putting kids in front of screens will not keep families from removing their students from public schools. Doing things like ridding North Dakota of Common Core, protecting student privacy, and bringing back classical education, as well as, a focus on educating students, not indoctrinating them would help.
I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for educrats to learn that lesson, however.