The home schooling advocacy blogs (a couple of which are linked at the left) are all up in arms over a report on CBS News this week called "A Dark Side to Home Schooling". I didn’t see the report but after reading the summary on CBS News’ web site, I agree that it’s a bad piece of journalism. The reporter tries to blame home schooling, specifically the lack of government supervision for children who are home schooled, for "dozens of cases" of children being abused or killed by parents.
While the report certainly has examples of some nasty parents, blaming the crimes on the fact that the kids were not in public schools just doesn’t wash. From the sound of it, these parents had some major screws loose and probably would have done something bad no matter where their kids attended schools. There are far too many abused children who already attend public schools and even the most attentive teachers have trouble identifying kids whose parents might harm them.
While I’m not a fan of home schooling past about the 5th grade (full disclosure: my sister home schools her children and is doing a good job of it), for some kids it’s a better education than they would get in the local schools. Certainly there needs to be some government oversight of children in home school situations but not the kind of supervision this report seems to want.