The Progressive War On Homeschooling
Homeschooling families are the latest to become the target of the liberal attack on individual liberties. Millions of folks once legally immigrated to America because of the multitude of freedoms which were drafted into the Constitution by our Founding Fathers. Today, millions of people still come across the border, but to partake in the benefits of an increasing socialistic society where personal liberties are being squashed at an alarming rate.
Progressives have been fighting the rights of parents to educate their children at home since the early years of the 20th century. The fight to keep children under government control and within the public school system has not ebbed. The liberal dislike of homeschooling was quite evident in the Romeike case. As previously noted byOff the Grid News, the legal immigrants from Germany were granted asylum in the United States, only to have it yanked away by the Obama administration.
The couple would likely lose custody of their six children if sent back to Germany where homeschooling was ruled illegal by Adolf Hitler (the law has never been changed). Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are a deeply religious couple who want to govern how their children learn and be the primary influence in their lives. The Romeike family, like many Americans, consider religious freedom and the ability to parent extremely important, but Eric Holder and President Obama appear to vehemently disagree.
A 2010 report by the National Home Education Research Institute revealed that nearly 2 million students were educated at home. The homeschool community reportedly grows by 2 percent to 8 percent on average every year. The increased desire to opt out of the public education system is bad news for unions, and quite realistically, the primary reason why the Obama administration does not want to set a precedent in the Romeike case. When children are educated at home, they cannot be indoctrinated with a liberal mindset (unless the parents so choose) and therefore another possible reason behind the far-left’s continued opposition to homeschooling.
Liberals simply cannot dispute the effectiveness of homeschooling on academic grounds. A recent report citing educational statistics compiled by The Blaze Assistant Editor Sharon Ambrose clearly illustrates the academic prowess of homeschooled students. An academic achievement test scores comparison chart shows that homeschooled students score between the 84th and 89th percentile in all core subjects – public school students average in the 50th percentile across the board.
The Harding family was recently featured on Fox and Friends. The retired military father and his stay-at-home wife homeschool their ten children, six of which entered college at age 12. The eldest daughter recently became the youngest doctor in the United States—she is 22. The Harding family plans to send the remaining youngsters to college before they become teenagers as well. The children are not geniuses and the parents told Fox viewers that all children can obtain similar academic success via a quality homeschool curriculum.
Even though homeschool success rates continue to soar, many states strictly regulate and dismiss parental requests to leave the public school system. Just 11 states allow parents to homeschool their children without any type of formal notification process. A total of 13 states require parents to simply notify the state of the decision to homeschool before nixing the idea of publication education. All but one of such states is located in the West and in the South.
The majority of states with either moderate or high regulation of homeschooling are along the East Coast. Not surprisingly, the states which place the most hurdles in front of parents are union and Democrat strongholds.
The homeschooling movement began to take shape during the 1970s. Liberals who wanted to escape the constraints of society moved onto communes and conservative families concerned about infusing morality into the educational process began teaching their children at home during this era. Although both groups approached homeschooling from entirely different perspectives, they collectively laid the groundwork for the burgeoning academic alternatives available today.
As is often par for the course, the allegedly tolerant left viciously attacks parents who choose to homeschool their children. During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Bill Maher had this to say about Rick Santorum’s decision to teach his children at home:
“Rick Santorum homeschools his children because he does not want them eating that f*****g apple. He wants them locked up in the Christian madrassa that is the family living room, not out in the public where they could be infected by the virus of reason.”
The concept of reason must be apparently twisted into an unrecognizable definition when processed via a liberal mind. The Harding family is a perfect example of why the seclusionary stereotype is inaccurate. Parents afraid to have their children influenced at all by the outside world would surely not send their preteens onto a college campus.
New Republic writer Leon Wieseltier considers homeschooling a demented idea and chastises parents who feel they are qualified to teach their own children while “keeping them from the world.”
Hundreds of thousands of homeschool students are mingling with their public school peers in scouting programs, 4-H, dance classes—the list could go on and on. Off-grid and homesteading families living far from traditional communities likely cannot organize such activities frequently, but that does not mean they are raising feral children shielded entirely from society either.
Dana Goldstein of Slate wrote an article entitled, “Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids: Why Teaching Children at Home Violates Progressive Values.” Goldstein said this in her pro-progressive education piece:
“Government is the only institution with the power and scale to intervene in the massive undertaking of better educating American children.”
Hmmm … I don’t recall the Founding Fathers putting either such a mandate or such confidence in the government to do any such thing. George Washington University Law professor Catherine Ross had this to say in her anti-homeschooling academic article:
“The state can and should limit the ability of intolerant home-schoolers to inculcate hostility to difference in their children.”
The left’s push to demonize homeschooling parents and push for more government control of youth extends to Emory University law professor Martha Albertson as well. An excerpt from Albertson’s article on the subject reads:
“The risk that parents or private schools unfairly impose hierarchical or oppressive beliefs on their children is magnified by the absence of state oversight or the application of any particular educational standards. The more appropriate suggestion for our current educational dilemma is that public education should be mandatory and universal.”
The most common reasons parents listed for opting to homeschool, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, include the desire to offer moral or religious instruction, concerns about the safety of the school environment, subpar public school academic instruction, distance from school, and a desire to offer a non-traditional approach to learning. Demographics statistics note that 77 percent of homeschooled students are white and 89 percent of such students come from a two-parent home. The most recent statistics offered by the national center date back to 2007.
My daughter went to an amazing elementary school. The rural educational facility offered a well-rounded curriculum and did not “teach to the test.” Teachers were still permitted to inspire their students with fun, yet educational, hands-on extension activities, field trips, and experiments. The middle school experience was slightly less stellar. Half of the teachers were dedicated and actively engaged with the students, but the other half sat behind their desks and used ditto sheets to introduce academic material. The principal was a retired Marine, who kept the facility safe and demanded a professional demeanor from staff and respect from the students.
The downward public educational spiral began for us during the high school years. My daughter was a good student involved in extra-curricular sports and clubs. Once again, there were some awesome teachers, but the ones who did not fall into that category left a whole lot to be desired. Fights occurred weekly, drug use and heavy partying became the norm, even among students who were equally good students and involved in positive activities. I heard likable and educated educators using phrases such as “I seen,” and “I haven’t ate yet.” Two teachers from the high school (one male and one female) had sexual affairs with students—one went to prison and the other quietly resigned and went to a juvenile detention facility to teach a whole classroom full of potential victims.
By the middle of my daughter’s junior year, we decided to make a change. She began attending an online charter school. She finished all of her remaining high school courses by the end of the same academic year (and the charter school had more requirements for graduation than the public school). During summer break, she began taking dual credit college courses. She spent her entire senior year on the college campus. By the time she technically graduated a few weeks ago, she had a year and a half of an Associate’s Degree completed at no cost. In Ohio, the PSEO program allows students who meet the academic threshold to take dual and full credit college courses at no cost, books and fees included. With such a wonderful program in existence, one would think more parents would take advantage of the college option, but they do not. Public schools do little to nothing to promote the PSEO program because allotted tax dollars for the child’s education follow them to the college.
The institutions of higher learning offer courses at a discounted rate to be approved for the PSEO program. Students who are unable to drive the 35 miles required to reach the nearest college campus are often refused approval by their host school to take online classes. The reasons for the refusals vary, but typically involve reluctance by schools to believe the students are responsible enough to keep up with online classes. All students have at least one study hall, a perfect time to send students to the library to participate in a supervised online learning experience.
American parents who want their children to be exposed to more than the lowest common denominator educational experience offered by most public schools should continue to have the right to homeschool or select an online charter experience.
How do you feel about homeschooling and the liberal opposition to the academic alternative?