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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 12, 1995)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jeff Zeleny..Editor, 472-1766
Jeff Robb.Managing Editor
Matt Woody.Opinion Page Editor
DeDra Janssen.Associate News Editor
Rainbow Rowell.Arts & Entertainment Editor
Chris Hain..Senior Reporter
Time to test
Home schooling needs progress check
Almost 4,000 schoolchildren in Nebraska are missing out on
something every day.
The kids can’t be in the safety patrol. They can’t be line leaders.
And they can’t be in school plays.
As the kids grow older, they can’t easily be taught specializations
in art or music. They can’t learn to interact with their diverse
classmates. And they can’t go to the prom.
And the saddest circum
stance behind most of the 4,000
home-schooled children in the state
is they have no choice.
Home schooling has be
come a buzz word in Nebraska and
across the country. As parents be
come increasingly frustrated with
the quality of education in the pub
lic school system, they begin to take
matters into their own hands.
The problem is some of
these hands aren’t qualified.
When Nebraska home
schooling was legalized in 1984,
few regulations accompanied the
BretGottschall/DN law. The Daily Nebraskan believes
that students now are suffering from
Certainly students can — and some probably do — receive a
quality education at the hand of the ir mother or father. But the problem
lies in irresponsibility of the state.
There is little or no regulation required of home schools. Students
aren’t required to be given regular tests on their proficiency—or lack
A law is needed to monitor home-schooled student progress in
Nebraska. Since there isn’t one on the books, it is difficult to measure
the success of home-schooled students.
As it now stands, it is far too easy for a parent to pull a child out
of school and then not take their education seriously. It would not be
offensive to parents to make their students pass achievement tests.
In fact, such tests would help parents set and work toward realistic
Nebraska should follow Iowa’s example. Since 1991, home schoolers
in the Hawkeye state have been required to take an annual test. If the
students score well enough, they can continue theirschooling at home.
Parents who choose to school their kids in any state should realize
that it is a massive commitment. Children need structure and guidance.
At the same time, parents need a break.
Jumping on the home schooling bandwagon can be disastrous for
parents who don’t realize what they are taking on, and for their
children who have no choice in what they are getting.
Most parents who home school are Christian, and do so for
religious reasons. They view public schools as dangerous, corrupt
But Christianity shouldn’t mean isolation.
After all, aparent who can teach values and the difference between
right and wrong, can not necessarily teach calculus.
Staff editorials represent the official
policy of the Spring 1995. Daily
Nebraskan. Policy is set by the Daily
Nebraskan Editorial Board. Editori
als do not necessarily reflect the views
of the university, its employees, the
students or the NU Board of Regents.
Editorial columns represent the opin
ion ofthe author. The regents publish
the Daily Nebraskan. They establish
the UNL Publications Board to su
pervise the daily production of the
paper. According to policy set by the
regents, responsibility for the edito
rial content of the newspaper lies
solely in the hands of its students.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the
editor from all readers and interested others. Letters
will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity,
originality, timeliness andspace available. The Daily
Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject all mate
rial submitted. Readers also are welcome to submit
material as guest opinions. The editor decides whether
material should run as a guest opinion. Letters and
guest opinions sent to the newspaper become the
property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be re
turned. Anonymous submissions will not be pub
lished. Letters should included the author’s name,
year in school, major and group affiliation, if any.
Requests to withhold names will not be granted.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska
Union, 1400 R St, Lincoln, Nth. 68388-0448.
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Send your brief letters to:
Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St.,
Lincoln, Neb. 68588. Or fax
to: (402) 472-1761. Letters
must be signed and include a
phone number for
Why slander the homeless?
“Disturbances by vagrants up in
union” (April 11) is an interesting
slant on the news.
How did the Daily Nebraskan
recently miss a great headline,
“Theft by administrator’s children
up in union”?
If a person would look at dollar
values, administrators’ children as
a group are ahead of vagrants in
union crime this school year.
“Disturbances by vagrants up”
implies a constant disturbance level
exists, and vagrants are to blame.
“Vagrant” is an ill-defined term.
Would the Daily Nebraskan be so
quick to associate other groups
with such bad activities? Blacks?
No. Gays? No. Skinheads? Yes.
Republicans? Yes. Christians? No.
If a homeless, black, gay person
committed a crime, which category
of crime — vagrant, black or gay
— would be up?
On Wednesday, March 29, a
friend and I decided to go to one of
the classiest bars in Lincoln,
Barrymore’s. This establishment’s
relaxed and laid-back atmosphere
gives me the chance to unwind
after another long day.
Such was not the case when the
newly elected and outgoing ASUN
members showed up. I have never
seen that place the way it was that
night. I was informed that the
student government was having its
celebration after being sworn in.
And celebrating they were!
The only waitress and bartender
on duty were worked to the bone
without being appropriately tipped
for their services. The floor was
covered with popcorn, spilled beer
and whatever else (spit?). As for
there being only 20 ASUN people
IN the bar, there were more like 20
people AT the bar and another 50
roaming around drunk and rowdy.
It was not a pretty sight.
I and the handful of people not
with the ASUN “party,” felt as
though we were given no respect
for quietness and privacy by the
ASUN people. My friend and I left
soon after we came.
I know many of the employees
of Barrymore’s, and they are not
the type of people who get upset
very easily. I absolutely cannot
blame them for being frustrated
with this, as I surely was.
This incident will not stop me
from going to Barrymore’s but it
will stop me from respecting the
actions of many of the current and
outgoing ASUN members who
made fools of themselves.
If their actions are any indica
tion of how they are going to run
the student government at the
University of Nebraska, then I fear
for the future.
‘Not a choice’
I would like to make two
comments on recent material I have
seen in the Daily Nebraskan,
namely the Human Life Alliance
supplement that was in the Daily
Nebraskan on April 6. The supple
ment had an interview with Carol
Everett, who is an ex-abortion
I found it interesting that she
admitted that the abortion industry
is “selling abortions to women at a
time when they are most vulnerable
to buy it. This is done at the crisis
time in the woman’s life, when she
is uncertain that she wants a child
in her life.”
Everett also commented that “...
we didn’t do any real counseling.
We answered the questions the
woman asked and tried not to ‘rock
the boat.’ We did not discuss
alternatives to abortion unless the
woman forced us to.”
Many pro-abortion advocates
will try to say that this is not true
and that if it is, it has to be an
isolated case. Well, the statistics
say they are wrong.
During last November’s election
campaigns, the issue was brought
up that the city of Lincoln was
encouraging abortion by including
Planned Parenthood on the city’s
budget for “sex education.”
The pro-abortion candidates
stopped arguing the issue when the
statistics were released that 98
percent of the women who went to
Planned Parenthood for “counsel
ing” ended up getting an abortion.
This was more than part of the
reason why Planned Parenthood is
not on the budget any longer.
Carol Everett’s comment and
those campaign statistics convinced
me that it is not a “choice,” but is
just “bad business.”
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