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Governor recommends homeschooling:

      According to a June 20, 2007, report in Idaho’s Boise Weekly, "Late last month, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter found time in his schedule to make some glowing remarks at the ‘graduation’ ceremony of a group of home educated students. The prepared text of the speech, which was provided to the Boise Weekly, shows that Otter was prepared to do more than just wish the assembled children well. Otter was on hand to tell the students that their unregulated, undocumented form of education was just the sort of thing this country needs more of. Although Idaho law decrees that the state must provide some form of public education, he said, he was more than happy to see parents take their kids’ learning into their own hands. The remarks were written as a prepared speech for Otter; he may have diverged from them in actual delivery. ‘Yes, Idaho’s Constitution mandates a thorough system of public education,’ Otter said. ‘But ultimately, only the family and the individual citizen can be responsible for their own education.’ Otter described homeschooling as a fair extension of what President George Washington meant when he discussed, in his first inaugural address, the ‘sacred fire of liberty’ that was ‘staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people. Think about that,’ Otter said. ‘It doesn’t say, "entrusted to the hands of the public schools." It says, "entrusted to the hands of the American people."’ Further, he said, ‘There can be no firmer foundation for your future than the education you have received at home.’" Of course, the article had to point out "that Idaho doesn’t really have a clue as to what sort of education students are getting in their homes. Luna said the state of Idaho doesn’t have any methods for tracking students individually, much less those students who aren’t enrolled in public education programs," and quote Sherri Wood of the Idaho Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, who said her organization does not oppose homeschooling per se, but she questions the ability of all parents to take over a child’s education. "We have found that homeschool parents are not necessarily taking on the responsibility that they should take on as educators," Wood said. Also, Wood said, kids who aren’t in school are missing out on the socializing effects a public school offers kids. "They’re pretty isolated," Wood said. "They don’t have any of those socialization skills. Employers want students who aren’t just skilled in academics. They want them to get along well with other people." But it also quoted Linda Patchin, the director of Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State, who said the school environment is precisely why some parents take their kids out of school. All four of her kids were taught at home, she said in an interview; one just graduated from Albertson College, and another is at Boise State. Like many homeschoolers, she took her kids’ education into her own hands because she didn’t like the values they were exposed to in public schools.  (Thanks to Gary and Kathy Davis of www.HomeSchoolBuzz.com for this information.)

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