From: Kimberlie Kehrer
To: Brad Last, Val Peterson, Richard Cunningham, Dean Sanpei, Patrice Arent, Marie Poulson, Greg Hughes, Lowry Snow, Francis Gibson, Kraig Powell, Steve Eliason, Carol Moss, Daniel McCay, David Lifferth, Jim Nielson, Keven John Stratton,
Subject: SB39- Yes Please! and Why
Date: Tue Mar 04 20:53:07 MST 2014
Dear Representatives: First I want to thank you for your service. I have only spent a few hours up there at the capital and have to come to see only a portion of the enormous workload you take on. I appreciate your efforts. I just hope this comes out clearly for I have to get back to helping my son with his English Blog and I don't have time to edit. Can I just say as a parent who has had my children in and out of the public school system that SB39 is just common sense? It is how it is working anyways. Please vote for it. •The school districts can't track what or how long we teach. They don't have the time nor funds. And as homeschooling families, we spend far more time educating our children than the hours stipulated anyways. For homeschooling is not an institution, it is a lifestyle of learning. •Filing just once per child per district makes a lot of sense. It costs the district less time and money. They already keep a list. Why remake that list over and over? In the time I was President of Wasatch Home Educators network down in Utah county, the number of homeschool families I worked with went from 30 active families to 900 in four years. Yes, 900. And that is families not number of children. It was last seen at about 1200 families. That is a lot of work to keep track of. I would say about 6000 kids at least. •The public education system is only one of the resources available to educate our children. The era of education as mandatory seat time in a classroom is old fashioned. Learning doesn't just take place through a book or sitting at a desk. Most of our children are learning more at home through the internet than they are in a classroom. And as many of you are aware, the best education/learning takes place mostly through experience. • Every mode of education has its failures. In working with both public school and homeschool families, I have found there are all levels of interest in education in both sectors. But those I worked with in the homeschool arena were far more interested in education as a whole. They have parent teacher conferences everyday. *Every child's education is like swiss cheese, it will have holes in it. Some will be larger than others and the more parental involvement, the smaller the holes will be. Especially, if parents are informed and can know of where to fill those gaps. The public education system is just ONE of those institution to help fill those gaps. •Public educators are paid to provide a service. It is an exhausting service. I know, I have been there. I taught 3rd- 5th grade Spanish Immersion as well as over one hundred 5th grade science students in the same year. I not only expected myself to be the best I could be, but to also meet as many needs as I possibly could. • There will always be a variety of skill mastery levels within a classroom because each child is an individual not a cookie shaped by a cookie cutter. • Public educators are being required to bump up the service. They need to know the internet, how to work computers, make interactive presentations, and more. As a parent representative on the parent panel for the state test, many of the teachers are going to have to actually understand their subject matter, not only teach it. For them it is best to have children in the classroom who actually want to be there and learn. Many homeschool children who come into the system are eager to learn. Many soak up information like a sponge if delivered properly. I have personally taught many of the homeschool children- Anatomy, chemistry, biology, American literature and writing. •We don't need more regulations. We need options. Education this day is far different from our past. These kids need to have opportunities based upon skill level not age level. Homeschool parents are able to identify many of these skill sets and want their children to succeed in college careers. My son, 13, having taken all the computer programming courses available to him online, needed a class where he could progress. With Senator Gibson's help, my son got what he needed. I am ever so grateful to him. A class was available through the school district. He is taking a CE computer programming class in which he is the top of the class with 11th and 12th graders. Unfortunately, according to current regulation and because he is not 10th grade, he can't have credit for his work in the current system although he is far beyond his classmates. His teachers think he is a computer wonder, but their hands are tied behind their backs. My question to you is how many other computer wonders are out there who are being held back? • We are failing our Governor. He wants to raise our graduation rates, yet he has never known about the children succeeding who completely bypass the system due to unneeded regulations in the public system. For example, not only can my son not get credit for a computer class he is succeeding at, but with the new math system he is required to take common Core Math 1 and 2 again. He passed them with A's in 7th and 8th grade. But since rules do not allow his scores to be placed on his high school transcript and Math 1 and 2 are required to be on that transcript for a diploma, he has to make a choice. He will have to choose between the diploma or moving forward. I think he may just skip the diploma and move forward with math 3 and to college level classes. If he chooses to test out of those classes, he can't not be awarded any state scholarships. Best to just aim for the associates and no diploma. Some of you have already heard of our experience with my oldest child that needed to take two physiological exams to participate in choir in the Alpine School district. She never participated in the choir. May I report back she is graduating from BYU with honors (3.98 GPA), married and extremely happy at 20 years old. She will be gradating in April with her Bachelors in Biotechnology/Biology Education and has been just been offered a job before she has even finished her student teaching in the very same district that denied her participation in choir. The mentors that work with her, give her accolades because she is able to reach children never reached before.- IN SCIENCE! Irony? She is working to educate children in the very system she could never succeed in - and doing well despite all the unnecessary stigmatism. •Many more families are leaving the public system due to the new math standards and data tracking methods. We are aware of many families who just gave up working with the public system and have moved on. Yet as our governor watches the graduation levels, he is clueless to this whole group of students who are succeeding. • So often you hear only the negative. So please allow me to share some positives. My daughter now 17 didn't learn to read until she was ten. We tried everything. In researching, I discovered that her right brain and left brain were not connecting the information and it was suggested to take piano lessons to help the left and right brain connect. Get that! Play piano. We then put her in piano with her sister just to give it a try unbeknownst to them. Soon with piano practice, her reading skills improved dramatically. The left and right brain connected somehow. But piano continued to be frustrating, We then learned from a piano professor that she was struggling to read the treble and bass clef lines at once. Despite her struggles in piano, she did become an avid reader. So much so, that this child is in her second year of her associates degree with 3.9 GPA seven years later. And just received her ACT score of 33 in Reading, Writing and English this past month. If she had been in the current public system, she would not be where she is today. She would have been stigmatized, placed in a lower track and never had the opportunity to excel as she has. Fortunately the UCAS charter school was available for her high school years, if not we would bypass the system all together and send her to college. I am so grateful for the opportunity to homeschool my children. I thank you for supporting legislation that will allow my children to do the same. Many homeschool families here in Utah are raising capable, effective and excellent citizens of Utah. Thank you again. And.... I ask that you please support SB39. It is just common sense. Thanks again for all you do. Kim Kehrer