Home school teams

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Home school teams

Post by DrakeRQB »

In my county there's a loose association of students who are homeschooled. They field athletic teams and what-not (pretty decent baseball team, actually), and they are wanting to bring a group of kids to a few quiz bowl competitions in our area.

I was just wondering if this is common elsewhere, or if it is even allowed in other states.
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Post by First Chairman »

I have dealt with a homeschoolers group that was pretty good in the early days of my tenure in Cleveland. They were based out of Erie, and they attended the first NSC. After their best players left, they faded out of picture.
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Post by steven-lamp »

At NAQT nats last June we played a home-school team from Oklahoma. I think they were called Edmond Home School Cooperative or something. They had to be fairly decent if they got a berth to HSNCT...
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Post by quizbowllee »

Right now, arguably the best team in Alabama is Covenant Christian Academy - which is a home school collective.
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Home Schools

Post by mhanna »

I don't mean to be a bad guy and not to take away from Covenant Christian because they are a talented team, but why are home schoolers allowed to compete in any tournament that requires all students to be a member of the same school? Some of these academies are nothing more than locations for parents to home-school their children (a Sunday School classroom). Where is the accreditation factor? Requiring both parents to be Christians is commendable, but where is the governing body? I am not even sure that our school authorities would allow us to compete against home-schoolers, if they know that we did.

What is to keep me from forming a homework center made up of the best QB players in the country and give it a name like the All-American Learning Center and have these young people compete against high schools that draw their students from the general population of the community? Of course, the same might be said for county and state operated magnet schools.

I would like to hear from some others on this issue. No sour grapes here, just discussion. We'll play anyone. So, don't take my post wrong.
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Post by First Chairman »

Not that I want to raise possible issues of lawsuits, but it's because we want to offer equal opportunity for everyone to participate. There are homeschool athletics teams that compete in their own leagues or against other schools' teams. There are over 1 million kids getting homeschooling education now, and it's not all because of religious reasons:
The researchers asked parents why they home-schooled their children. Thirty-one percent said the most important reason was concern about the environment of the local schools. Thirty percent said it was to provide religious instruction. Sixteen percent said they were not satisfied with the quality of the instruction in the local schools.

The Associated Press recently reported about an increase in the number of black Americans home-schooling their children. An education expert said much of this increase was in cities with histories of racial tension. Also, some families were concerned that local schools were not teaching about African-American history and culture. citation
I'll admit it is an interesting question, but homeschooled children have won individual competitions before (spelling bee, geography bee, science competition). It may not be unreasonable to expect homeschooled kids to win academic team competitions as well.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

I'm sure every area has a guiding precedent on home-school participation in, if not athletics, than at least other extracurriculars such as debate or chess. It's best to follow the local custom and, in the unlikely event that there is none, rely on just letting people play as the default action.
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Re: Home Schools

Post by Captain Sinico »

mhanna wrote:What is to keep me from forming a homework center made up of the best QB players in the country and give it a name like the All-American Learning Center and have these young people compete against high schools that draw their students from the general population of the community?
Every reasonable set of eligibility criteria.

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Post by Tegan »

I prowled around the Illinois H.S. Association site for their take (I can't link because it is a PDF downlad).

The short of it is that in Illinois, our schools are explicitly prohibited from playing against any non-school, which I think translates to home school collectives. There have been a few charter schools which have applied for and received "non-member" status in the IHSA, which means you can play against them head to head, but for some reason there is an explicit ban against tournament play (I won't even pretend to understand that decision).

The interesting thing is that this is an all encompassing by-law which covers even non-IHSA sanctioned sports (like ice hockey). I've always found it confusing to say the least.
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Re: Home Schools

Post by Tegan »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
mhanna wrote:What is to keep me from forming a homework center made up of the best QB players in the country and give it a name like the All-American Learning Center and have these young people compete against high schools that draw their students from the general population of the community?
Every reasonable set of eligibility criteria.

MaS
I must agree with both people here. Mike is right that there ought to be a reasonable restriction on this, but that doesn't mean that every area has one.... and I would guess that it might not be put into place unless someone has a discussion like this one, or someone finds the loophole and tries to exploit it.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Isn't it the case in Illinois that homeschooled people, or even people who attend private schools that do not have a certain sport, can compete with the public school they would be going to if they were not home/private schooled?

For instance, I went to a private high school that did not field an ice hockey team. One of the girls that went there with me played hockey for New Trier, which was the public high school in her school district.
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Post by First Chairman »

The slope is pretty slippery. That is the same rationale against magnet or charter schools (why can't we just have a school where we get the best students from across the state?). We have let them in after about a decade or two... though I know it's still touch and go. Many public schools don't want to compete against private schools for the same reasons too.

Not saying your argument isn't valid, but just pointing out the similarities in the argument as I have known them.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

There is a difference to be noted in that magnet and charter schools are not designed to recruit the best quizbowl players but rather the best students (of whatever kind in the case of specialized magnets.) They're academic magnets, not quizbowl ones. Further, even if it is admitted that academic and quizbowl skills are correlated (which contention I categorically reject and have never seen supported by anything other than hand waving, by the way), there aren't any schools as such that I know of that have the mission of attracting the best quizbowl players. If it happens to be the case that the good students they attract are also good players, then they'll have the makings of a good team, but this is so through coincidence; they're no different than any other academically selective school. The same cannot necessarily be said for a home school collective if there are no rigorous criteria for what comprises one because, in that case, there's no reason not to patch one up to form the best team possible.
However, I cannot say whether this is actually the case, as I don't know what a home school collective is exactly. It will be for the rules judging eligibility of teams to decide whether a team is legitimate or not. I also think that "talent" in quizbowl is drastically overrated and that traditional schools have a number of advantages over coalitions of home schools, so that the fairness of the practice of fielding teams from one is probably moot.

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Post by pakman044 »

When I was homeschooled in first grade, the State (North Carolina in my case) recognized my mother as teaching a "recognized" (whatever that actually means) homeschool. So at least as far as that is concerned, that would be the strictest definition of a school--everyone is taught by the same person at the same house.
Now here's a question to throw out--would a home school collective be eligible if the particular State expressly provided for the establishment of loose collectives? (I do not know if this is actually the case of course).
As far as collectives containing homeschools in multiple States, that would shatter most eligibility rules because since homeschools are regulated by individual States, I don't think that could fit within eligibility rules because the homeschools are under different authorities (two different States).

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Post by Tegan »

Bruce wrote:Isn't it the case in Illinois that homeschooled people, or even people who attend private schools that do not have a certain sport, can compete with the public school they would be going to if they were not home/private schooled?

For instance, I went to a private high school that did not field an ice hockey team. One of the girls that went there with me played hockey for New Trier, which was the public high school in her school district.
IHSA By Laws wrote: 81) HOME SCHOOL STUDENT ELIGIBILITY
Q. May a student who is home schooled, participate on a high school team?
A. Yes, provided the student is enrolled at the member high school, the student is taking a minimum of twenty credit hours of work at the member school or in a program approved by the member school, and, the student must be granted credit for the work taken either at the member school or in a program it approved. (By-law 3.011)

83) PRIVATE SCHOOLS STUDENT PARTICIPATION
Q. May a student who attends a private school participate on a public school’s team?
A. No. (By-law 3.011)
I'm not sure when these particular by laws were put in place. If a parent wants their student to play on the high school team, then they have to enroll, and present to the school a program of instruction that the student completes at home. As I understand, the school has broad ranging authority to reject this outright, so to my knowledge it is pretty rare that this occurs. I think this is similar to what pakman044 is talking about.

Non-IHSA sports like ice hockey only have a few IHSA regulations which apply to them (but they can be meddlesome), and this might not be one of them. In addition, ice hockey gets around this because many of the public school teams are not actually school affiliated. For example, Maine Township has an ice hockey team, but it is not in any way actually affiliated with the school, except for its name. The team does not appear in the yearbook, and is not permitted to advertise in the school (home games are advertised by team members photo copying ads, and throwing them down the stair case). If that particular league chose to permit a non-attendance player to play on New Trier's team, then they didn't have to worry about IHSA regulations. I know for a fact that the ice hockey folks were getting ticked about the IHSA refusing to recognize them, but passing regulations which applied to them, so I think they found a way to get around that.

My guess is, this would not work with football, basketball, gymnastics, or scholastic bowl.

edited for realy poor spelling!
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home-school quiz bowl

Post by bdavery »

The laws vary in every state, both as to how a homeschool can be legally done (it is legal in all 50 states now) and the athletic rules pertaining thereto.

My wife and I have homeschooled our 6 kids for their whole lives. In Colorado, where we live, we haven't checked the athletic rules for fielding teams because my wife isn't into it (and because most homeschoolers we know here aren't into competition at all). But if we followed the rules, qualified our 3 oldest kids as a team for the state Knowledge Bowl, and they won in their class of schools, you better believe they'd set rules up for it immediately thereafter.

Usually, the homeschool issue comes up only after homeschoolers win something that a school (read: the parents whose kids are on that school's team) has long thought to be its personal, exclusive property. So those of you who know a good homeschooled quiz team where you live, get ready for a lengthy discussion on the subject coming soon to your area.

Besides Edmond, Oklahoma, which has already been mentioned, at the middle-school level, there was a homeschool group that reached the National Science Bowl finals in 2003 from Washington state. They were pretty impressive--though they didn't win the championship.
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Post by rchschem »

Charter schools in NC have no such selectivity, except in that the population of applicants tends to be self-selective. Admission is by blind lottery. The NC School of Science and Math, a selective school, does take regular part in NC quiz bowl events.

I wouldn't have a problem with competing against a team from a theoretically designed "Quiz Bowl High School" where students were selected based on their ability, even if they had no accreditation. Prove it on the field, baby.

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Post by jazzerpoet »

In Oklahoma, I believe, there is only one homeschool collective (the aforementioned Edmond Homeschool Co-Op) who competes in Academic Bowl. There may be some other homeschool collectives who compete in athletic events around the state, but I am not sure about that. And in Edmond Homeschool's case, they are not allowed to compete in the official state Academic Bowl championship tournament, which is run by the OSSAA (Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association). However, they are allowed to compete in any and all NAQT events, since they are all run by either the Oklahoma Quiz Bowl Alliance (Eric Bell), universities (OU, OSU, and TU), or a combination of the two.

Concerning magnet schools, they are allowed to compete in every academic and athletic competition, since they are all public schools. I cannot speak for magnet schools in the Oklahoma City area, but in Tulsa, there are two magnets: Booker T. Washington, which was made a magnet school as a response to forced integration in the 1970s (integration was voluntary at Booker T., since it was made the city's magnet program); and Thomas Edison, which was recently made half-magnet, half-public (publicly, this move was made because of declining test scores, but privately, this probably happened because rich White people were tired of sending their children to the poor Black side of town).

Also, Tulsa recently received its first charter high school (again, I don't know if OKC has any). And they are eligible to compete in any and all athletic and academic events. Enrollment for the charter school (Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences) is open to all students in the Tulsa area; the school has a contract with Tulsa Public Schools, so anyone eligible for education in TPS is eligible for TSAS.

Basically, I think that, in Oklahoma, if a school receives public funds, it is eligible to compete in the same activities as every other public and private school. And that is the way it should be. I mean, all public schools receive the same public fiscal support, whether they are magnet, charter, or simply a standard public school, so it is just a question of whether or not intelligent students choose to attend the more rigorous academic schools. And in no way does being a magnet school guarantee total dominance in academic competitions (although in BTW's case, they are always in the state finals); all you need to have to succeed in academic competitions is a thirst for knowledge and an opportunity to compete, although having just one stud on your team drastically helps the cause.

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Post by jrbarry »

Mr.Avery:

Not every state waits 'til homeschoolers do something well to have guidelines about such. Georgia has guidelines about homeschooler participation and has had for over a decade. In GA, homeschoolers can participate on teams from schools in the physical district in which they live. They simply try-out like everone else. I have had two homeschooled kids to try out for our academic team back in the 1990s. Neither one made it. I welcome even more to try-out and participate.

As an aside, I have worked with a homeschool association since 1990 at the request of parents who are close personal pals of mine. I have no problem with homeschool teams participating in our tournaments in GA.
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Post by mhanna »

J.R.,

Do you remember when I held Aiken's first tournament in the early 90s and I had to contact the state of Georgia (whatever association it was) to verify that I would not allow any non-accredited schools in the tournament? I presume that is no longer the case. Who accredits homeschoolers? I know. GOD! Good enough for me.

Aiken, win or lose, will play anyone, homeschool or not. However, when I wanted to bring up a couple of parish day school kids to play on our JV team prior to their actual enrollment at Aiken High, but who resided in our zone, my request was denied.

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Post by quizbowllee »

I don't mean to just drag up an old thread, but I have some input on this subject.

As I said earlier, probably the best team in Alabama this year is Covenant Christian Academy, which is a homeschool collective.

Apparantly, they are allowed to compete in Alabama as well as NAQT (which they plan to attend this year).

Now, my team has created quite a rivalry with CCA, and I have gotten to know their team and the coach and the rest of the parents. I like them all and think they are a great team and very good people. I have nothing against them at all.

However, I do have a slight issue with them being eligible. First, their coach is their team captain's mother. And being schooled at home, he has his quiz bowl coach as his teacher in every single subject. That is a HUGE advantage that a regular-attendance school will never have.

I know that as a literature teacher, I make sure that I cover material that I know will come up in quiz bowl in my Honors classes - as these are the classes that also have my team members in them. If I was also teaching them history, science, math, and every other subject, I can guarantee that they would be an exponentially better team. This is an advantage that homeschool teams get.

Again, I have nothing against the folks at CCA. However, had I been in charge of eligibility, I would never have allowed this team to compete as is. Nothing against homeschoolers, but it seems that there should be a certain trade-off in order to receive your education at home instead of at an accredited school - and participation in activities such as quiz bowl is one of those trade-offs in my humble opinion.
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Post by Howard »

quizbowllee wrote:However, I do have a slight issue with them being eligible. First, their coach is their team captain's mother. And being schooled at home, he has his quiz bowl coach as his teacher in every single subject. That is a HUGE advantage that a regular-attendance school will never have.
What if the students were from somewhere where the school was set up this way, that the school was small enough that there were only a few teachers and these teachers taught all subjects? By your logic, this team would be just as ineligible. The fact that the teacher of all subjects is also the quiz bowl coach should have zero impact on the eligibility of the team.
quizbowllee wrote:I know that as a literature teacher, I make sure that I cover material that I know will come up in quiz bowl in my Honors classes - as these are the classes that also have my team members in them. If I was also teaching them history, science, math, and every other subject, I can guarantee that they would be an exponentially better team. This is an advantage that homeschool teams get.
Spending more time on things that come up in quiz bowl makes you a better quiz bowl player. Period. Spending that time shouldn't make a team ineligible. And I'm sure that if I were a teacher, I'd mention things that came up in quiz bowl, but I don't think I'd actively concentrate on making sure the students learned these things unless they were part of the curriculum or I otherwise considered it important to the class. And I don't think it should make a difference how many quiz bowl students are in your class.
quizbowllee wrote:However, had I been in charge of eligibility, I would never have allowed this team to compete as is. Nothing against homeschoolers, but it seems that there should be a certain trade-off in order to receive your education at home instead of at an accredited school - and participation in activities such as quiz bowl is one of those trade-offs in my humble opinion.
As long as the state recognizes homeschooling as an acceptable substitute to state schooling, they've effectively accredited the homeschooling, regardless of whether they've done so formally. I.e., the state has recognized that these children are receiving a proper education, otherwise they'd be required to be schooled elsewhere.

Let's say your child was on your team. There's no question that if your child takes an interest, he'll learn things pertinent to quiz bowl for his whole life. Should that disqualify him from participating? What if you decided to homeschool him? Should he be disqualified then?
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Post by quizbowllee »

What if the students were from somewhere where the school was set up this way, that the school was small enough that there were only a few teachers and these teachers taught all subjects? By your logic, this team would be just as ineligible. The fact that the teacher of all subjects is also the quiz bowl coach should have zero impact on the eligibility of the team.
What school would possibly be set up this way? A teacher has to be qualified to teach each individual subject. In order for a high school teacher to legally teach all subjects, he/she would have to have a degree in math, language arts, social sciences, and sciences. That's a minimum. I don't know of any teacher qualified to do this...
Spending more time on things that come up in quiz bowl makes you a better quiz bowl player. Period. Spending that time shouldn't make a team ineligible. And I'm sure that if I were a teacher, I'd mention things that came up in quiz bowl, but I don't think I'd actively concentrate on making sure the students learned these things unless they were part of the curriculum or I otherwise considered it important to the class. And I don't think it should make a difference how many quiz bowl students are in your class.
Of course everything I cover is part of the state-mandated curriculum. Perhaps I need to qualify my statement. All of my quiz bowl players are in my Honors English class. I go signifcantly more in-depth with this group, not only because my quiz bowl players are in there, but also because it is an Honors class. For example, I might go into more detail about a specific author's life in this class than in a regular class.
Let's say your child was on your team. There's no question that if your child takes an interest, he'll learn things pertinent to quiz bowl for his whole life. Should that disqualify him from participating? What if you decided to homeschool him? Should he be disqualified then?
That's completely different. I'm not teaching every one of my child's classes in school. Sure, he/she might have an advantage growing up with a quiz bowl coach as a father. However, in a public school, there is a very strict curriculum that must be taught. Homeschools have a very loose curriculum and the tests that a student must pass are very easy. So, what's to keep a homeschooled team from basically spending their entire day doing nothing but quiz bowl prep??? I certainly can't do that with my team.

I wouldn't choose to homeschool my kids. First, because I am a public school teacher. Secondly, because I want my kids to have the social interaction gained from regular school. However, if I DID decide to homeschool my kid, I would expect that there be some concessions that would have to be made. My kid would never be prom king/queen, for example... Likewise, I wouldn't expect that he/she would be able to compete on interscholastic teams. Again, I think there should be some trade-offs. If a homeschool kid gets to stay home to complete their education on their own time, AND still gets to compete in sports, quiz bowl, etc? why shouldn't EVERY kid who has the means be homeschooled?
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Post by bdavery »

Lee, 80% of the kids in America would be _infinitely_ better off being homeschooled than going to public school. The only reason the other 20% shouldn't is that their family lives are so disadvantaged or screwed-up that government-run schools are actually an improvement over their daily lives. These are the 20% that many teachers go into education to reach.

If you, as a teacher, cover your state-mandated curriculum and nothing else (or the curriculum, plus other important stuff), you are one of the few, the proud. Most of us on the list have had at least one teacher who said, "I don't give a fig what the curriculum says, I'm teaching what I like (or believe, or think is important)." Probability says there's at least one teacher at your school well-known for exactly that (at least by all the students, if not by the faculty).

It is true that homeschoolers tend to have a very loose curriculum--but most of the time, they take the same tests everyone else does. If you can get a 30 on the ACT (or, conversely, if you can get what your state says is a passing score, which is nowhere near 30), who cares how long you were in school or what you study?

If a homeschooled team spent all of their day, every day, on quiz bowl prep (which is only a theoretical construct, postulated by people who have never homeschooled), what would be wrong with that? If they spent 30 hours in a week studying the quadratic equation, Charles Dickens novels, the Ideal Gas Law, and Bach (and only to the depth where it comes up in quiz bowl), that's studying math, lit, science and fine arts. And it's a lot better education than they would get in a week in pretty much any public school in the country. In fact, if public schools went to a quiz-bowl mentality in writing their curriculum, I might consider putting my kids in a public school--because in quiz bowl, you tend to get what is relatively important without all the crud that is not.

I can see where a public school teacher would want to keep non-public-schooled kids out of the sandbox. And there are tradeoffs--though maybe not the ones you think of:

1) I pay nearly $2,000 a year in property taxes, most of which goes to the public schools. Yet, my kids can't use the school facilities or buses because they're not students.

2) This means that in addition to being _legally forced_ to pay for something I cannot use, I get the privilege of paying again for materials with which to teach my own kids.

So let the homeschool kids play. If you win, great. If you don't, then your kids may learn that occasionally, life is not fair.
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Post by Howard »

I don't know of any high schools which have teachers which teach all subjects, but if you think back historically, it was that way once upon a time. In fact, some areas were slower to get rid of such schools than others, mostly due to geographic size and population density. I'd posit that such a thing could exist in some remote areas, but I don't know that any do.
quizbowllee wrote:So, what's to keep a homeschooled team from basically spending their entire day doing nothing but quiz bowl prep??? I certainly can't do that with my team.
Actually getting a good education. So far, you've said nothing regarding the actual education these kids get. I can't say I know the regulations in your state regarding homeschooling (and I'm sure you probably do), so you may need to educate me a little on this. Regardless, I don't think it's relevant as long as the state sanctions the homeschooling.

And the only thing keeping you from spending 6 hours a day with your team is that neither you nor your team wish to do that. Bottom line, you've all got lives. And to suppose that homeschooled children are learning quizbowl rather than other topics, at least in my opinion, is a tad reckless.
quizbowllee wrote:If a homeschool kid gets to stay home to complete their education on their own time, AND still gets to compete in sports, quiz bowl, etc? why shouldn't EVERY kid who has the means be homeschooled?
Nothing makes homeschooling in general particularly better or worse than public schools. In my county, we have an excellent public school system to the point where I think parents who homeschool or send their children to private school are largely foolish. But some of them nonetheless have good reasons for making this choice. Typically, it's because they wish their children to learn some things that are not taught in public school, or they wish their children to avoid being exposed to some things that are taught in public school. So, as to why every child with means shouldn't be homeschooled, the simple answer is that homeschooling doesn't necessarily provide educational advantages. And the further question is why is the fact that a parent wishes to offer a curriculum different from the public schools in a manner approved by the appropriate government should exclude these children from grouping together and forming teams, holding dances, etc.
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Post by quizbowllee »

I concede that you have made good points and have made me think.

However, I would like to share some informational anecdotes from my own experience concerning home-schooled kids.

Last year, we had a young lady come to our high school after having been home-schooled since 4th grade. She was 16 years old at the time of her enrollment. She had passed all of here mandated home-school tests, had the appropriate paperwork, etc. When she entered my class as a 9th grader, she could not read. Other than her name and some basic one-syllable words such as "cat" and "dog," she was illiterate. How had she passed all of her "tests"? She ended up dropping out after a few months....

We also had a young man come in after being home-schooled. He was in the 6th grade. He could not count past 10. Literally. Once again, though, he had "passed" all of his requirements. I have heard teachers who have been in the profession a lot longer than me telling story after story about home-schooled kids returning to public schools and how terribly far behind and maladaptive they were.

Now, obviously these parents weren't doing their jobs in educating their kids. Furthermore, I have absolutely no doubt that they had been cheating on whatever tests are required.

Mr. Avery, I have absolutely no doubt that you have done an excellent job home-schooling your children. However, I HIGHLY disagree with your statement that 80% of kids would be better off home-schooled. I would argue that there is a very minute percentage of kids in a situation that would allow them to get an optimal education at home. Sure, there are some teachers who stray a bit from the state curriculum. But, a student in a public school will usually have a different teacher every year. Odds are they won't have JUST bad teachers for thirteen years of their lives. I'd also add as a side note, that one of the best teachers I ever had in school was one who thumbed his nose at the state-mandated curriculum and who taught so much more than was required.

At any rate, the original debate was not home-school vs. public school per se, but rather whether or not a homeschool collective should be allowed to field a team. I still lean towards "no." I'd have no problem with them competing against other collectives, or as an exhibition team, etc. But, the rules state that participants in quiz bowl should all be enrolled at the same SCHOOL. A home-school collective is NOT a school. Just because a group of kids get their learning/testing materials from the same location does not make them a school. That's not a far cry from me putting a team together of students who all buy books from the same bookstore. Or perhaps I should be able to combine the best of my players with the best from a school two hours away because we both teach out of the same textbook.

Again, this is all conjecture, because for whatever reason, the powers that be are allowing them to compete. However, I've heard a good deal of people questioning that decision and the whole issue might come to a head soon in Alabama. I'm not going to bring it up myself, but I know which side of the issue I'm going to take when and if the topic arises.
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach - West Point High School (Cullman, AL)
President - Alabama Scholastic Competition Association (ASCA)
Tegan
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Post by Tegan »

I am pretty certain that in Illinois our teams would not be permitted to play against a homeschool or homeschool collective unless they were members of their own state association. While there are charter schools which are members of the IHSA, I do not belive I have heard of any home school collectives that are members. I'm not sure if this is because no one ever tried, or if they have been denied.

I think Quizbowllee's point is the reason: while there are certainly plenty of good homeschool situations (and plenty of good "traditional" school situations), there are plenty of bad situations on both sides. The issue is: I would not know of any "traditional" school which could get away with "coaching" all day all week. A homeschooled student(s) could theoretically get away with this for large portions of the year and create a juggernaut.

If I had assurances that the team in question was not getting "coached", but instead was going thruogh some semblence of an education, I don't think anyone would be troubled by this.

Of course, in this activity, the difference between "coached" and "educated" can at times be a fine line of distinction.
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steven-lamp
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Post by steven-lamp »

I don't see anything wrong with locally centralized home-school collectives playing quizbowl at all, especially if they have a common curriculum supplier, etc. To disqualify home-schoolers in a local collective would mean disqualifying all local magnet schools (like LAMP, my alma mater). Furthermore, one could argue that charter schools or statewide magnet schools (Alabama School of Fine Arts, Alabama School of Math and Science) should be ineligible because they pull from across the state.

And honestly, if one studied a curriculum just for quizbowl, that would be a sad, sad way to waste an education. I've learned that it's very hard to establish sequences or even link broad concepts when studying for things "quiz-bowl style" because such concepts will never be asked for in that format. I've never heard a question asking someone to evaluate the effectiveness of the various Civil War Reconstruction plans, and I've no doubt that a good quiz-bowl player could name all of them in about 5 seconds, but a good student of history should name them, explain what they were about, and be able to make that connection between the plan and the rest of history. Anyway, I digress and ramble. Basically, if quizbowl is so important that you're concerned about someone beating you because of him studying an all quizbowl curriculum, you should probably take a broader look around and realize that it's just a game, a game that doesn't measure abstract or high-level intelligence, and that anyone studying such a curriculum is losing a lot more than they could ever gain through quiz bowl.

And now, onto the home school thing. I'm going to have to disagree with Mr. Avery, as well. I have no doubt that homeschooled kids can often times be extraordinarily intelligent (3 of my cousins were homeschooled and 2 are now on scholarship at decent universities), I think that in most cases homeschooling fails to develop the necessary peer interaction skills that are crucial in society. I don't want to come across as mean or judgemental at all, but I think that interaction with a large group of people of your age group and learning to make decisions on your own in a diverse environment is one of the most important things earned from a traditional public/larger private school education. Academic knowledge can be made up quite easily with hard work in a short time, but social abilities and social knowledge are something learned over a long period of time that become crucial following the high school years.
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Post by Byko »

Lee, 80% of the kids in America would be _infinitely_ better off being homeschooled than going to public school. The only reason the other 20% shouldn't is that their family lives are so disadvantaged or screwed-up that government-run schools are actually an improvement over their daily lives. These are the 20% that many teachers go into education to reach.
Considering the problems we have in this country finding good teachers to teach even in GOOD public school systems, I find it hard to believe that 80% of all parents in America would make good teachers. That's a huge requirement here to a good homeschool education, and we're also talking about someone who can pretty much teach EVERYTHING. Maybe people who were good generalists in quiz bowl and did well in school could make good homeschool teachers because they at least would know enough to teach everything, but 80% of the parents in this country don't fit that bill.
I don't see anything wrong with locally centralized home-school collectives playing quizbowl at all, especially if they have a common curriculum supplier, etc.
I'll plead ignorance as to exactly what homeschool collectives/cooperatives do, but what Steven says has been my impression. It's something I'd want to find out more about before making a judgment call. Until then, I'm willing to give homeschool groups the benefit of the doubt.
Dave Bykowski
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Michigan '02
PACE 1998-2009
Director, JROTC National Academic Bowl Championship
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quizbowllee
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Post by quizbowllee »

steven-lamp wrote:I don't see anything wrong with locally centralized home-school collectives playing quizbowl at all, especially if they have a common curriculum supplier, etc. To disqualify home-schoolers in a local collective would mean disqualifying all local magnet schools (like LAMP, my alma mater). Furthermore, one could argue that charter schools or statewide magnet schools (Alabama School of Fine Arts, Alabama School of Math and Science) should be ineligible because they pull from across the state.

And honestly, if one studied a curriculum just for quizbowl, that would be a sad, sad way to waste an education. I've learned that it's very hard to establish sequences or even link broad concepts when studying for things "quiz-bowl style" because such concepts will never be asked for in that format. I've never heard a question asking someone to evaluate the effectiveness of the various Civil War Reconstruction plans, and I've no doubt that a good quiz-bowl player could name all of them in about 5 seconds, but a good student of history should name them, explain what they were about, and be able to make that connection between the plan and the rest of history. Anyway, I digress and ramble. Basically, if quizbowl is so important that you're concerned about someone beating you because of him studying an all quizbowl curriculum, you should probably take a broader look around and realize that it's just a game, a game that doesn't measure abstract or high-level intelligence, and that anyone studying such a curriculum is losing a lot more than they could ever gain through quiz bowl.

And now, onto the home school thing. I'm going to have to disagree with Mr. Avery, as well. I have no doubt that homeschooled kids can often times be extraordinarily intelligent (3 of my cousins were homeschooled and 2 are now on scholarship at decent universities), I think that in most cases homeschooling fails to develop the necessary peer interaction skills that are crucial in society. I don't want to come across as mean or judgemental at all, but I think that interaction with a large group of people of your age group and learning to make decisions on your own in a diverse environment is one of the most important things earned from a traditional public/larger private school education. Academic knowledge can be made up quite easily with hard work in a short time, but social abilities and social knowledge are something learned over a long period of time that become crucial following the high school years.
Steven, I think you put into words a lot of the things I failed to, particularly why a "quiz bowl only" education would NOT be so great.

However, I disagree with you that banning homeschools and banning magnet schools are the same. Obviously, I think that LAMP, ASFA, and any other academic magnet school has its advantages in the game, but I'm not in favor of banning them. They still fit my definition of a "school". Homeschools do not.
steven-lamp wrote:Basically, if quizbowl is so important that you're concerned about someone beating you because of him studying an all quizbowl curriculum, you should probably take a broader look around and realize that it's just a game..."
Furthermore, I'd like to address your "it's just a game" comment. I hear that SO MUCH on this board. Of course it is a game, but this a board dedicated to the discussion of this game. People who know me through this board, or through interaction at tournaments, know me through my association with this game. Do I take it seriously? Yes. Is it ALL that I take seriously? Of course not. Though, I can see where it is easy to make that assumption seeing that, for the most part, that's all I discuss on this board - because that's what this board is for.

Am I "concerned about someone beating us because of him studying an all quizbowl curriculum?" I guess so... in that I'm concerned about someone beating us - period. I'm a coach. It's my job to be concerned about my team getting beat. I think that maybe my school is unique in that when I bring a 3rd place trophy back to the school, I usually don't get a lot of "Way to go!" I get "What happened?" That could really wear a coach down, but I like it. I'm so proud to coach at a school that supports us and expects excellence. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Anyway, I guess that this has gone sufficiently off-topic...
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach - West Point High School (Cullman, AL)
President - Alabama Scholastic Competition Association (ASCA)
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Howard
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Post by Howard »

Thanks for the anecdotes, Lee. They make me both sad and angry.

I think rather than trying to prohibit homeschooled children from forming a collective and competing, I'd try to bring more attention to the issues of actual education. The standards for homeschooling should be rigorous enough that it's impossible to spend all education time on quiz bowl. It's not the quiz bowl competition that is hurting these children, it's the lack of proper education. And I believe the government has the responsibility to properly assess homeschooled children, and if they're not being properly taught, that they should be required to attend a public or other accredited school.
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred
ok_quizbowl
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Oklahoma

Post by ok_quizbowl »

Angelo was half-right about magnet schools in Oklahoma. The one he left out is the one that has the most hassle go into it--the Oklahoma School of Science and Math in Oklahoma City.

Because OSSM was quite a controversial creation in the first place, and still isn't the most popular idea ever in Oklahoma education, it has quite an unusual status as far as OSSAA is concerned. OSSM's charter forbids it to field competitive teams in any OSSAA-sponsored sport or athletic activity. OSSM students count toward their home high school's ADM (total student count) for purposes of classification. However, OSSAA has allowed OSSM students to compete on their home high school team for all such activities. In practice, as far as I know, this has happened in only two activities--speech/debate and academic bowl. I don't know if it's ever been a problem in speech, but in academic bowl this has been a repeated headache.

While OSSAA allows this to go on, most other sanctioning organizations do not--particularly the organizers of National Science Bowl. At least two Oklahoma teams have been disqualified from local NSB competition because they were playing their OSSM students. The national organizers have been contacted on this and the local people have explicit instructions about the fact that OSSM students *cannot* play on their home teams. Trying to explain to local coaches that OSSAA rules do not apply to other organizations was not one of Gail's and my highlights in several years of organizing the regional science bowl, and I feel sorry for whoever has to do it now.

I tried for several years to get OSSM to organize its own science bowl team, but they felt that they would be violating their charter to organize such a team. They also don't participate in any other local competitions as a team, but will allow students to participate in individual competitions. OSSM students can also try out for the Oklahoma Panasonic team.
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Post by emactruman »

In Michigan there is one such team that participates in Quiz Busters.
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