Monday, March 23, 2009

Well, OK, maybe not terrible, terrible trouble

A couple of months ago, state Sen. Jim Wilson tried to warn Oklahomans that we got trouble -- terrible, terrible trouble -- right here in Oklahoma's homeschooling families. Sen. Wilson made the astonishing claim that, on average, homeschooled students are two years behind other students their age.

The state's largest newspaper promptly pronounced Wilson's claim "hogwash." For my part, I called the senator's office to ask for a citation on this rather bold assertion of his. I got his voice mail, so I left a message asking him to call me.

After two months, I'm starting to worry that he might not call me back.

"You hear examples of homeschool students excelling," Wilson said two months ago, "but that is not the norm." Well, apparently now it is the norm. Because now Wilson is telling the Tulsa World:
"I'll stipulate that nine out of 10 people who say they're home-schooling are really doing it, and they're doing a great job of it. I'll stipulate that all these kids are going to grow up to be National Merit scholars, OK? All of them. Fine."

Wow. That's quite a turnaround, senator. If there are approximately 33,000 homeschooled students in Oklahoma (as a state Department of Education spokesman estimates), that means Sen. Wilson accepts the proposition that there are more than 29,000 homeschoolers in Oklahoma who will become National Merit scholars.

Even I wouldn't go that far. Nevertheless, it's good to know that things in River City aren't so bad after all.

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