Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brazilian Homeschoolers beat the test.

I've been following the case of the two Brazilian homeschoolers David and Jonatas Nunes. These two brothers had already passed law school entrance exams at the age of 13 and 14, but the results were insufficient for local government authorities, who threatened to deprive their parents of custody and attempted to levy a steep fine.

The family spent a year and a half fighting the authorities. Finally the court gave the boys a test to try to prove that their homeschooling was inadequate. Despite stacking the deck against them, the boys prevailed.
David and Jonatas Nunes have passed tests proving a high level of knowledge in a variety of subjects, including history, the natural sciences, the arts, sports, computing, and mathematics.

The tests given to the Nunes children were so difficult that public school teachers admitted that they could not pass them. The two boys, aged 14 and 15, had only one week to study for several of the tests, which were announced only a week in advance.

The exams were ordered by a local court in an attempt to determine if the Nunes had committed the crime of "intellectual abandonment", which could have resulted in a heavy fine, and possibly jail time for the two parents, as well as loss of custody of their three children.

While the boys were told well in advance they would be tested on mathematics, geography, science, and history, they were informed only one week before the test date that they would also be tested on Portuguese, English, arts, and physical education, including questions about the history of handball, basketball, soccer, and other sports.

Read the entire article here.

Unfortunately, even though the boys passed the test, the Nunes family may not be out of the woods yet as the government has not yet rules on the test results.

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