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Author Topic: NH HSing laws  (Read 10478 times)

rdeacon

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NH HSing laws
« on: October 03, 2003, 09:11:21 am »

I'm no home-schooling scholar, but i think NH has a system whereby you need to keep a portfolio of work your kid is doing, and that state has the right to check it (though they never do).  I think there might also be a system of checks ie. testing, but once again, I'm not sure.  Can somebody post NH's homeschooling laws?  I can't find them.
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thewaka

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Re:Towards anarchistic educational systems
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2003, 01:50:46 pm »

Can somebody post NH's homeschooling laws?  I can't find them.

from Home School Legal Defense Association -- a summary

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Compulsory School Age: "at least 6 years of age [on September 30] and under 16 years of age"

Legal Option: Operate a home school

Attendance: None

Subjects: Science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, U.S. and New Hampshire constitutional history, and art and music appreciation

Qualifications: None

Notice: Within 30 days of withdrawing from public school or moving into the school district, file a notice of intent with a private school principal, the state commissioner of education, or the local superintendent. See detailed analysis

Recordkeeping: Maintain a portfolio of records and materials including a log of reading materials used, samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the child

Testing: By July 1, file either: 1) results from a standardized test, or 2) results from a state student assessment test used by the local school district, or 3) a written evaluation by a certified teacher, or 4) results of another measure agreeable to the local school board

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That page has links to additional information, including a legal analysis (.pdf).

As a HSing parent, I think NH's laws are terrible. I would love it if these would be changed before I get there, which looks like at least 3 years, I hope no more than 5, from now.
Diana
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rodschmidt

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NH's homeschooling laws
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2003, 07:24:01 pm »


from Home School Legal Defense Association -- a summary

-----

Compulsory School Age: "at least 6 years of age [on September 30] and under 16 years of age"

Legal Option: Operate a home school

Attendance: None

Subjects: Science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, U.S. and New Hampshire constitutional history, and art and music appreciation

Qualifications: None

Notice: Within 30 days of withdrawing from public school or moving into the school district, file a notice of intent with a private school principal, the state commissioner of education, or the local superintendent. See detailed analysis

Recordkeeping: Maintain a portfolio of records and materials including a log of reading materials used, samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the child

Testing: By July 1, file either: 1) results from a standardized test, or 2) results from a state student assessment test used by the local school district, or 3) a written evaluation by a certified teacher, or 4) results of another measure agreeable to the local school board

You are apparently compelled to KEEP these records, but where are you compelled to SHOW them to anybody?  (Fourth and Fifth Amendment!)

New Hampshire statutes are at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/indexes/default.html

Home schooling statutes are at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/indexes/193-A.html

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thewaka

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Re:NH's homeschooling laws
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2003, 08:08:55 pm »

Quote
Recordkeeping: Maintain a portfolio of records and materials including a log of reading materials used, samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the child

You are apparently compelled to KEEP these records, but where are you compelled to SHOW them to anybody?  (Fourth and Fifth Amendment!)

Home schooling statutes are at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/indexes/193-A.html

193-A:6 -- II.(a) A certified teacher or a teacher currently teaching in a nonpublic school who is selected by the parent shall evaluate the child's educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the parent or child. The teacher shall submit a written evaluation to the commissioner of education, resident district superintendent, or nonpublic school principal;


If you choose one of the other three options for annual evaluation, it seems there is no need to show it to someone else. I would assume that if a child were evaluated/tested to be below where he should be, the portfolio would be called in as evidence. Does it matter if there is no need to show the portfolio spelled out in the law?

I really have a problem with this:

"193-A:4 Home Education; Defined; Curriculum Required. –
    I. Instruction shall be deemed home education if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities,..."

Sounds like unschooling isn't a legal option.

Diana
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bethecode

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2003, 09:08:32 pm »

My reply is directed to thewaka,
I agree that home schooling is an important part of choosing a location to move to and you seem to have reservations of the current laws for home schooling within NH.  However, my wife currently home schools two of our children and the laws for home schooling are similar to that of NH.  We firmly believe in the 'unschooling' method as well.  I believe with concentrated effort we can continue using the 'unschooling' method in NH and change the wording of the law to make it more apparent that 'unschooling' is acceptable. :)
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bethecode

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2003, 05:45:00 pm »

I am bethecode's wife and i must correct him in some ways.  I beieve in unschooling, yes, but I have a curriculum for my boys.  I started them out unschooling them and that increased my now 1st grader's reading ability to that of a 4th grader.  I see your point Diana about unschooling, maybe not being legal.  But I think that testing gets around showing a protfolio.  You can unschool all year long and if your child can pass a state recognized standardized test, then there is no problem.  It would be great if all states were like yours and didn't require proof that the child was learning.  I personally feel that providing a portfolio or standardized testing proves to me as well as others that my child does better in this environment and stays on or above grade level than if I placed them in public school.  I think that public schools are over crowded and SOME  teachers are there because it is a job, not because they want to teach.  My whole family is full of teachers and all I can say is that they don't make them like they used too and you don't go into teaching for the money.
I want my children to get into a good college.  If their abilities aren't measured in some way, they wouldn't get into any college, much less a good one.  If we can find some way around that, I am all for it.  It is a pain in the butt preparing every year for testing.
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thewaka

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2003, 02:01:05 am »

I see your point Diana about unschooling, maybe not being legal.  But I think that testing gets around showing a protfolio.  You can unschool all year long and if your child can pass a state recognized standardized test, then there is no problem.
As I stated above.

Quote
 It would be great if all states were like yours and didn't require proof that the child was learning.
It would be *terrible* if all states were like mine as I live in PA. I never even hinted at what the laws are like where I live. PA has all the requirements of NH plus some. Very bad.

I place no particular importance on college, but plan to keep a portfolio for our own use. The law isn't what will make me do it. (I will state here that my oldest is 4 so we are subject to no compulsory schooling yet.) Obviously if college is the goal, a good sampling of a child's abilities are needed. I believe this is provided for by a portfolio and ACT/SAT, which most colleges require of all applicants, no matter how they were schooled.

Diana
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jeanius

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2003, 11:32:38 am »

My understanding is that NH requires one of several ways to show competency.  One way is to keep a portfolio which is evaluated by a certified teacher or other "educational professional" approved by the school district.  Another way is testing.   Both are not necessary and so that provides some leeway for educational style to show through.  Also on the testing it is only results in the 40th percentile or lower that triggers public school involvement and I believe that return to the public school is NOT the first step.  There is a lot of wiggle room here!

In OR, where we are now officially short timers, what the rules are and how they're enforced differs.  They differ overall and they can differ by school district.  One northern OR school district has a fire for squashing homeschooling and is demanding annual letters of intent (only once is required) and requesting testing results in advance of the year for all years.  The way it works now is testing is required at grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 but it is a rare day when the school districts asks for the tests and the parent is not required to submit them.  The school district can't enforce a request in advance so will have to ask for testing at each grade level.  Some of the funding issues have school districts beating the bushes for more sources of funding.

It is important to get involved with existing NH homeschooling families to get the real read on how homeschooling works in NH.  There is the law and there is the attitude about the law and enforcing it as well as trends in the state.

Bethecode's wife, please join FSPHomeschooling@groups.Yahoo.com!  It sounds like you and I have a similar approach to homeschooling.   Email me at jalex@hand-off.com for an invitation.  I am a structured homeschooler who incorporates unschooling methods.

Jean

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sopwith21

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2003, 07:56:09 pm »

I've read HSLDA's summary of HS laws in NH as well as everything else I could find and the news is not good. It appears that HS'ling in NH is a rather dangerous proposition whereby parents strive not to teach their children as they see fit, but rather to impress the state-appointed judge of your work with a portfolio that may (or may not) please the state, depending on their mood and the weather.

The testing option might be better, assuming that your child is learning all the state dictates that the state wants answered on the test (THEY make the tests, you know).

As a homeschooling parent trying to support the FSP, quite honestly we're scared to death to move there. Are there other options that we've not seen yet? Is there any way to school your children in NH without state involvement, permission and approval?
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rodschmidt

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Fourth and Fifth Amendments
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2003, 08:03:59 pm »

The home-schooling laws make you generate a bunch of paperwork, right?

Then at some point you are expected to show that paperwork to a bureaucrat, right?

And that paperwork can be used against you, right?

What about the Fourth and Fifth Amendments?

And what about:  "Teacher, I won't turn in my homework because of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and you better not give me a bad grade because I'll sue you for libel."
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rodschmidt

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Re:NH's homeschooling laws
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2003, 08:22:28 pm »

193-A:6 -- II.(a) A certified teacher or a teacher currently teaching in a nonpublic school who is selected by the parent shall evaluate the child's educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the parent or child. The teacher shall submit a written evaluation to the commissioner of education, resident district superintendent, or nonpublic school principal;

Who is compelled to act, by this statute?  The statute mandates a TEACHER to act.  "A...teacher...shall evaluate"

It never says "the parent shall..."  

This is because the legislature wrote it with the Bill of Rights in mind.  The legislators saved their statute from being unconstitutional by NOT mandating the parent to produce the records.

Put the portfolio in a sealed envelope, write on the envelope "This material was prepared involuntarily, under compulsion, and under protest.  Do not open without a court order.  Fourth and Fifth Amendments.  We will sue under Title 42 for violation of constitutional rights.  Consult with an attorney before taking any action." and see if the teacher dares to open the envelope.

If nobody backs down, at some point it would go to court.  Judges are more likely to understand the Bill of Rights than school bureaucrats.
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jeanius

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2003, 09:49:06 pm »

There is always the passive resistance approach.  Don't register with the school district.  
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sopwith21

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2003, 11:04:44 pm »

a) Thewaka - If the Bill of Rights was honored in this country, we wouldn't need a free state project.

b) Jeanius - Refusing to register (though the idea does appeal to me) is a quick way to get Child Protection Services to kidnap your children.

Given that the risk involved (my kids) is greater than I am willing to assume, I'm looking for a good, legal way to avoid bureaucrats and still school my children at home. So far I haven't found one. If NH is really the best state like everyone says, there's got to be a legal way to school your children at home without state intervention and still remain legal.

Somebody help me out here.
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thewaka

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2003, 12:49:29 am »

a) Thewaka - If the Bill of Rights was honored in this country, we wouldn't need a free state project.

Huh? Are you responding to rodschmidt who mentions the 4th and 5th amendments? If not, please explain because I don't understand the reference otherwise.

Quote
Given that the risk involved (my kids) is greater than I am willing to assume, I'm looking for a good, legal way to avoid bureaucrats and still school my children at home. So far I haven't found one. If NH is really the best state like everyone says, there's got to be a legal way to school your children at home without state intervention and still remain legal.

Well, in PA, as in NH, the yearly evaluator is chosen by the parents, though there are certain requirements to be met. In PA, the school districts have to approve evaluators first. Doesn't seem to be the case in NH, which is better. Even here, there are friendly-to-homeschooling evaluators. I am sure finding them in NH is not a problem. This does not mean changing the law isn't something that is desperately needed.

As far as the law not requiring parents to give the portfolio: the law says the teacher must review it before writing the evaluation. If parents don't allow review, the teacher can't write the evaluation and therefore the parents won't be in compliance with the law. Testing or another method agreed upon by the school district are the other options. For me, the least intrusive would be a friendly evaluator reviewing the portfolio. Probably costs more, though. That is a big complaint here in PA, the cost of having the evaluation done.

Diana
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jeanius

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Re:NH HSing laws
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2003, 03:33:25 am »

Not registering your children as homeschoolers has different outcomes in different places.  In OR there is a $100 fine and you must register.  CPS never comes into it.  NH may handle this differently.

Frankly, I don't find the NH requirements too bad.  I have been successful at keeping my kids up to and beyond their grade level and I choose my educational materials and teaching style.  I find I can use unschooling and eclectic methods and still acheive the state necessitated results.

I do, however, have my eye on the future changes we can enact and that is what I hang my hopes on - not the short run restrictiveness.  NH is the state we've chosen and what is going to make it succeed as Free State is getting all of us there actively pushing for change!
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