Skewing Stats with Homeschooling!

Written by Scott

Topics: Uncategorized

The 1954 book How to Lie with Statisticsby Darrell Huff is so relevant that it is still being used in college classes around the country. Its unique presentation of statistics apparently has also captured the hearts and minds of some public school administrators in Texas.

You see, Texas, God bless it, has a very hands-off approach to homeschooling. This is a good thing. However…while homeschooling is a rapidly growing trend, some Texas districts rates are off the chart compared to elsewhere…which is, in and of itself, suspicious. Because there is little in the way of paperwork required in Texas, some school administrators are using homeschooling as a cover for their dropout rates, skewing those stats. They simply say those kids are being homeschooled.

But Texas does have required paperwork. The Texas Education Agency requires a “signed statement from a parent/guardian or qualified student” or “documentation of an oral statement by the parent/guardian or qualified student made within 10 days of the time the student quits attending school in the district, signed and dated by an authorized representative of the district” noting that they intend to attend home-school.

Oops. Tripped up in the details again…an audit of one of the districts with the apparently skewed stats in 2008 found that only a little over 60% of the supposedly homeschooled students had the paperwork. In true administrator-speak, the district “has reviewed its withdrawal process and identified areas of improvement”, but appears to have had no other consequences.
Full story here.