Revisions to Draft Survey Analysis Assured

The concerns by AHEA - specifically by AHEA's Government Liaison, Patty Marler - resulted in a teleconference meeting today between AHEA representatives and two senior Alberta Education administrators (including one who is a statistics expert).

AHEA's concern was primarily that the opinions of home educators were being disregarded (as was apparent in the first draft of the online survey results).

After reviewing Patty's analysis and recalculations, Alberta Education will be doing a complete revision of the survey results in six of the online questions (the home education question and five others with similar wording).

AHEA will have an opportunity to view the next draft of the survey results, likely in mid-January.

It was clear that home educators formed the largest group of respondents, and the Alberta Education representatives stated their goal to accurately reflect those responses.

One of the representatives summed up home educator responses in these terms: "Home educators responded in large numbers and were very expressive, writing from the heart.  They were polite, optimistic, passionate, informed, thoughtful, articulate, and respectful of the process".

Home educators have clearly and vocally expressed their views.  But it is still the political will that will ultimately determine the wording of regulations.

Keeping that in mind, please continue to pray - that God's Will be done and especially that Jeff Johnson remains Education Minister through this process - and to stay involved.

The easiest way to stay involved at this time of year would be a Christmas card - to your MLA and to the Education Minister too.

Thank you

Paul van den Bosch

Home Education Regulation Working Committee Meeting Summary

Nov. 30, 2013

The Home Education Regulation Working Committee (HERWC) meeting on Nov.27 went well.

I identified serious concerns with the survey results analysis and gross inaccuracies with calculations. Home educator survey responses in the form of 'other' had not been included when completing the calculations. I was later advised that these corrections had been passed along to the 3rd party contractor and other committees. I anticipate corrective measures and measurements will be taken.

A summary of the survey results (with anticipated corrective changes) will be on-line presently, as will the raw data (devoid of identifying markers). Individuals are encouraged to conduct their own analysis, and should other inconsistencies be identified, please advise AHEA as soon as possible.

There was a push for formal evaluation methods, not for the purpose of student enhancement, but for individual student success monitoring. AHEA continued to stand against systematic and mandated evaluation of home educating students, and the survey responses clearly support AHEA's stand. AHEA spoke boldly against the use of assessment results as a means for terminating home education programs.

The conversation and desire to shut down congregate sites or insist that they become private schools was again voiced. This topic continues to be the center of discussion amongst other stakeholders. There was a reminder to those promoting this thought that delegation does not mean parental abdication of responsibility.

Recommendations from tht various stakeholders in education are being passed onto Maureen Kubinec, MLA chair of the Education Act Regulatory Review Committee (EARRC) this week. AHEA is preparing its own final recommendation document that will also be submitted. It will then be the responsibility of the EARRC to make recommendations for the Home Education Regulation to Education Minister Johnson. Minister Johnson has the final say as to what is put in the regulation.

Reminder to home educators: It is important for those involved with these sites - and to ALL home educators - to be visiting their MLAs to renew and strengthen a positive relationship.

Another HERWC meeting was tentatively scheduled for January 10, 2014.

AHEA Convention Special Announcement

Dear AHEA Members,

It is with great regret that we must inform you that due to personal issues, our keynote speaker for 2014, Mr. Doug Philips has recently resigned from his position at Vision Forum Ministries cancelling all of his engagements, and also dissolving the ministry itself. We would encourage you to pray for the Philips family in this time of need. 
Vision Forum has been a beacon on a hill in a society of sin and have brought multitudes of families back to the basics of Biblical Christianity through their ministry for many years. A reminder for us to pray for those in positions of leadership (including the AHEA board). That we will always be aware of the attack, to be vigilant or as it is said, "be wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove”.
We know how excited many of you were, but fear not, for everything happens for a reason. The board has been diligently reviewing possible replacements and are very pleased to announce that Norm and Alma Wakefield will be our new keynotes for 2014. 
Norm is the founder and executive director of The Spirit of Elijah Ministries, International. He and his wife, Alma, live in Bulverde, TX, and have four children (three married), who are walking with Jesus, and sixteen grandchildren. They began homeschooling in 1984 and are still involved in the homeschooling of their grandchildren. Norm has been a keynote and conference speaker at state and international homeschool conventions since 1992. God has given him a pastor/teacher's heart to teach how the gospel applies to all relationships and circumstances in life. His knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures coupled with his homeschool experience enables him to specifically speak to the many challenges homeschool parents, children, and young adults face on a daily basis. What makes Norm unique is that he speaks from his heart to the hearts of his listeners with a reliance upon the Spirit and presence of Jesus Christ. You'll find his messages biblical, practical, inspirational, and encouraging.
Alma draws from her experiences as an elementary education major, teacher, mother, pastor’s wife, and 30 years of home education to encourage moms in their relationships with their children. She began homeschooling her four children since 1984 and has helped teach nine of her seventeen grandchildren. Having a special needs daughter, Amanda (now 30 years old), with Down’s Syndrome, has also given her experience teaching children with special needs. You’ll be encouraged by Alma’s love for God, her family, and her practical, biblical insight into relationships and home education.
Please check out their site at www.spiritofelijah.com
AHEA will post a new convention brochure on the website, also we will send out a new convention brochure to all of our members on the HOME Matters mailing list shortly.                               
Hope to see you all at the convention!
Chris Rogers,
President, AHEA

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