Untitled Header Image NDHSA - encouraging and assisting home educators since 1985 Untitled Header Image

2019 Inductees

Dr. Brian Ray
Some folks may think statisticians and researchers are a dull lot, but they haven’t met Dr. Brian Ray and his wife, Betsy. Dr. Ray has a charming, intelligent, wide-ranging under-standing of the ‘who’ , ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘where’ of private, parent-directed home educa-tion.

In 1991 and 1993 Dr. Ray actually researched homeschooling in ND. His first published work on this project was entitled: Home Education in North Dakota-Family Characteristics and Student Achievement. The project was done with the "diligent assistance of Clinton Birst and the North Dakota Home School Association". His findings were encouraging.

Participants’ scores proved homeschooling was an effective method of education. Stan-dardized test scores 1991 research:

Reading - 84th percentile

Listening - 81st percentile

Language - 81st percentile

Math - 81st percentile

Science - 87th percentile

Social studies - 86th percentile

Complete Battery - 88th percentile

(National average is the 50th percentile.)

Again in 1993, Dr. Ray conducted another round of research on North Dakota home educators. His results were again stellar. Standardized test scores 1993 research:

Reading - 86th percentile

Listening - 81st percentile

Language - 85th percentile

Math - 83rd percentile

Science - 87th percentile

Social studies - 864h percentile

Complete Battery - 87th percentile

(National average is the 50th percentile.)

Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. and others founded the Nation Home Education Research Institute in 1990 as a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization, and is the president of the institute. He holds his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and his B.S. in biology from the Uni-versity of Puget Sound. Dr. Ray has been a middle school and high school classroom teacher in both public and private schools, an undergraduate college professor, and a university professor at the graduate level. He is a leading international expert with regard to homeschool (home school, home education) research. Dr. Ray executes and publishes research, speaks to the public, testifies before legislators, and serves as an expert witness in courts.

Brian was the keynote speaker at the NDHSA convention in 2004. Dr. Ray has continued his research and has published numerous articles on homeschooling and is the worldwide leading expert on private, parent-directed home education. Brian and his wife Betsy have 8 children, all homeschooled, and live (on purpose) in Oregon (where you are not allowed to pump your own gas!).

Be sure to visit with our 2019 NDHSA Hall of Famer during the convention. He is winsome and approachable and he will leave you smiling and reassured about the choice you have made to homeschool.

National Home Education Research Institute PO Box 13939 Salem, OR 97309 phone (503) 364-1490 fax (503) 364-2827 www.nheri.org  [email protected]


North Dakota Underground Homeschooler

1985 saw the N.D. Supreme Court hearing three cases dealing with homeschooling: Larsen-Patzer case, Lund-Reimche case, and the Sheldon case.

In 1987 new homeschoolers were told by their friends: Do NOT go to the gro-cery store in the middle of the day with the children; do NOT let them play out-side during nonschool hours; don’t tell folks you are homeschooling.

And for good reason. On March 26, 1987, Gerald and Sheryl Lund and Richard and Kathy Reimche were tried for the second time for homeschooling. Guilty. Home School Legal Defense Association appealed the case to the N.D. Supreme Court.

In September in North Dakota v. Melin, the judge ruled that the teacher certification requirement was unduly burdening to the Melins’ religious freedom and wasn’t necessarily fulfilling the state’s interest. Further it stated that this was not the least restrictive means avail-able to the state to preserve its interest.

In 1989 Michael Farris testified at the ND Legislative Assembly in favor of a bill that would make it legal to homeschool in ND, at least for some. The word got out around the country and on February 20, 1989, Farris and ‘undercover’ homeschoolers passed out tea bags to every legislator with a message printed on each, "The consent of the governed for homeschooling, too!" It was a tea party and 150 homeschoolers from 11 states joined in the protest on the steps of the Capitol on a cold winter’s day.

On February 27, 1989, Judge Dennis Schneider dismissed the child neglect charge against HSLDA members Barry and Kim Fischer, ruling that simply proving a child is not receiving an education as required by law is not sufficient to sustain such charges.

On April 7, 1989, Gov. George Sinner signed into law HB 1421 which repealed the state’s former teacher certification requirement for all teachers. The bill passed the House on 2/23/89 and the Senate on 3/30/89.

That first law had the following requirements:

parent must be state certified or meet or exceed the cut-off scores on a national teacher exam

or be monitored by a state-certified teacher - 1 hr./wk./child

mandated 175 days and 4 hours/day of instruction

required to maintain records of courses and academic progress and assessments

test annually and file the scores with the local school district

file an annual statement of intent 30 days before the beginning of the semester

developmentally disabled children could not be homeschooled

the bill had a 1991 sunset clause.

2019 Compare that to the current law. To homeschool in ND you must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. or be monitored for at least two years. You must file a statement of intent annually at least 14 days before beginning and you must teach the general elementary courses listed in the NDCC. You may opt out of testing based on philosophical, moral, or religious beliefs. The same with immunizations. Our law remains discriminatory against those with developmental disabilities.

2019 If HB 1052 sails through the Senate it will make clear that the parent is supervising the program and can choose the materials, educational philosophy, method, manner and delivery of instruction. It will also add ‘legal guardian’ to the definition of the homeschooling parent. This change will increase the freedoms we already enjoy to include tutors, online courses, video programs, coops, and more.

Big difference from 1989!

To God alone be all the glory for this journey,

for His oversight, guidance and care!

We ought to be very grateful for the work of those early pioneers and for the tenacious, godly spirit of Clinton Birst. Clinton persevered through years of struggle and was a constant encouragement to those who faced hardships because of the stringent government oversight of homeschooling. We are blessed because of God’s work through him.

Michael Farris, HSLDA Co-Founder, Remembers North Dakota

The cases that bothered me the most, and would qualify as the scariest from the parents’ per-spective as well, were situations where children were immediately at risk.

The one that stands out for me is the case involving the Dagley family from North Dakota. In that case, the prosecutor subpoenaed Carrie Dagley, who was 8 years old at the time, to come and testify against her parents. Under North Dakota law, Carrie could have been charged with a crime herself—truancy. The prosecution had a choice: charge the kid or charge the parent. So because she could be charged, she had the right to take the 5th Amendment and not testify against herself. Even though she was not on trial today, it could be used against her later.

And so I had to teach an 8-year-old girl how to plead the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. And she said, "So what happens if the judge says no?" And I said, "Well, theo-retically, he could hold somebody in contempt of court and put people in jail for refusing to testify." Then I said, "Don’t worry about it, Carrie. If he’s going to put anybody in jail tomorrow it’s going to be me, not you." And to have that conversation with an 8-year-old girl . . . she was scared. I mean, she really was scared. Her parents were scared. And it wasn’t an ab-stract theoretical fear either.

The fact that the prosecutor had gone to the extreme of subpoenaing this 8-year-old girl showed he was more aggressive than was rational. It came out okay. We took the 5th Amendment and it worked out well, eventually. It worked out well for Carrie right away, al-though it took a while for the Dagleys to win their case.

Thank you, Home School Legal Defense Association, for the many hours you worked on legal issues with parent educators, the N.D. legislature, and the N.D. Supreme Court.