Home schoolers are expressing disappointment over a decision that will no longer allow them to form teams and compete together in a national math contest.
MathCounts, which is comparable to the National Spelling Bee, has decided to ban home schoolers from team competition in an attempt to curb cheating. However, most, if not all, of the cheating was committed by non-home school kids, according to the understanding of Penny Nance, CEO for Concerned Women for America (CWA).
MathCounts officials counter that students will still be allowed to participate individually, but that decision does not please Nance.
"The problem is about 60 percent of the slots in the competition are only open for group competition," she explains. "So now you have a whole group of home school children who would have been able to compete but now will not be able to compete because MathCounts doesn't want to do the extra work to check their paper work and to make sure that the kids who say they're home schoolers really are home schoolers."
Jeanne Reppert, a home school mom in North Carolina and a big fan of MathCounts, describes that this ban will communicate to her children "that that aspect of the program is no longer valued when it comes to them as participants. So they could get the paper test and answer the questions as an individual, but the dynamic that occurs between the students on a team just won't be there anymore."
Small schools and virtual schools are also prohibited from participating in the team competition.