A piece published Friday in Harvard Magazine is the latest salvo fired in the left’s never-ending battle against homeschooling. This battle has picked up steam in the past few weeks with millions of Americans becoming involuntary homeschoolers. However this new article in the august journal makes no mention at all of COVID-19 when it talks about the risk of homeschooling. In short, Professor Elizabeth Bartholet argues for a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling.
I’ll take on her points one-by-one.
“Homeschooling not only violates children’s right to a “meaningful education” and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.
Two things. Number one, there is no “right” to a meaningful education. Nor to ANY education. Just because something is a good idea does not make it a “right.” Educations have to be provided. If it is a “right,” then you are also assuming the right to conscript teachers to perform this service for whatever you decide to pay them—if you decide to pay them at all. A lot of government mischief has come about because of the misattribution of “right” status to things that are simply “desirable.”
Secondly, her assertion that putting kids in schools protects them from child abuse is silly beyond belief. If a child has abusive parents their chances of being abused does NOT increase if they are being homeschooled. This is a college professor, folks.
“We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling, if you look at the legal regime governing homeschooling, there are very few requirements that parents do anything.”
Well, Brainiac I can tell you that in Virginia we are required to have our children periodically be tested to make sure they have mastered basic skills. Ours have passed these ridiculously easy tests with flying colors. My 13-year old autistic son recently observed, “Why I am taking a test for little children?” They both scored in the upper-90 percentiles. (Dad Brag).
Apart from that, why should you be concerned about the *manner* in which my kids are educated? If they have the basic skills, what else do you need to know? Our journeys may take different routes, but if we arrive at the same destination, what’s the problem?
“Surveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture. Some of these parents are extreme religious ideologues who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.”
And there we have it. It is DANGEROUS for Christians to be able to educate their children in a non-secular environment! Why they might miss out on Drag Queen Story Reading Time for pre-schoolers; or Middle School Teachers passing along vital information like demonstrating how to put a condom on a banana! Homeschooling also means there’s also virtually no chance kids can be suspended for eating a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.
It is also instructive that a word search on her other published material produced no similar concerns from the good professor on Muslim parents homeschooling their children. Weird.
Hey, professor! Surveys ALSO show homeschooled children routinely have higher test scores, lower rates of teenage pregnancy and drug use, along with better performance at college and universities. We wouldn’t want any of THAT would we?
In public schools, Karens like Bartholet can better ensure that “children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”
Ah yes…tolerance of other people’s viewpoints. Unless they’re Christian homeschoolers. Spare me.
“Many of these parents have authoritarian control over their children. It’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.
Oh the irony. So what the ever-so-smart professor is saying is that the burden of proof should be on parents to get permission to homeschool from the government. Well she is only 100% wrong. Our children don’t belong to the government. The only way you think this way is if you believe that children actually belong to the State.
The bottom-line issue is the same as it ever was. Control. Those of the liberal persuasion (and those who already are in positions of authority) require a populace that is JUST smart enough to contribute, but without possessing any pesky intellectual curiosity. Their ideas work best when people think feelings are a substitute for thought…when people react rather than respond…and when people don’t ask “Why” too much.
I think this decades-old quote from one of my favorite pundits still applies today.
“I Would Rather Be Governed By the First 2,000 People in the Telephone Directory than by the Harvard University Faculty.” – William F. Buckley Jr.