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Clinton Speaks About Home Schooling

St. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — President Clinton said while he would not choose it for his own child, home schooling can work well when students and parents are made to answer for the students' learning.

``I think states should specifically acknowledge the option of home schooling,'' Clinton said. ``It's going to happen anyway,'' and state educators should accept and try to work with the concept, the president said during a a live, online chat with students nationwide.

``We should say, 'Look, there's a good way to do this and a not-so-good way to do this,''' and require that home-schooled students meet academic benchmarks, Clinton said.

Over the last decade or so, the growth of the home schooling movement has unsettled and angered many education traditionalists. There is also mistrust on the other side, especially from home school advocates who have religious or social reasons to oppose mainstream classroom learning.

Clinton said home schooling was not really a widely available option when his 20-year-old daughter Chelsea was younger.

``But if it had been I wouldn't have done it,'' because he preferred that Chelsea be exposed to a wide range of students and experiences in school, Clinton said.

Clinton's comments came after a speech to students at the nation's first charter school, a public-school innovation that Clinton applauds. Charter schools which are public schools created by parents and teachers and run with exemptions from many state laws and regulations.
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