School Notes: Home-schooling keeps growing in Arizona

By Michelle Reese

TribuneEast Valley Tribune

New pencils, new backpacks, new faces: May the school year begin.

As students across the East Valley took their places in desks and at tables in district, charter and private schools in the last few weeks, another group of students took a different seat, one likely in their homes at the dining room table.

Home-schooling is becoming an ever-growing option in Arizona.

Arizona Families for Home Education estimates that between 25,000 and 35,000 students in the state are being home-schooled. Maricopa County Education Services Agency reported in 2011 that 9,300 students were registered as being home-schooled.

A year ago, the National Center for Educational Statistics deemed home schooling as the “fastest growing segment” of education. A story in Education News early this summer stated that number should continue to rise “as the dissatisfaction with the U.S. education system among parents grows.”

While some states require the home-school teacher (aka “mom”) to demonstrate her competency, file the name of curriculum in use and test students to show mastery, Arizona does not. It is one of the most open states for home schooling.

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