Given how many kids whose parents would be happy to drop off at school are currently quarantined, this was either brilliant clickbait or dreadful timing on the part of law prof Elizabeth Berthollet:
In a paper published recently in the Arizona Law Review, she notes that parents choose homeschooling for an array of reasons. Some find local schools lacking or want to protect their child from bullying. Others do it to give their children the flexibility to pursue sports or other activities at a high level. But 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. Bartholet notes that some of these parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.
She views the absence of regulations ensuring that homeschooled children receive a meaningful education equivalent to that required in public schools as a threat to U.S. democracy. “From the beginning of compulsory education in this country, we have thought of the government as having some right to educate children so that they become active, productive participants in the larger society,” she says. This involves in part giving children the knowledge to eventually get jobs and support themselves. “But it’s also important that children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints,” she says, noting that European countries such as Germany ban homeschooling entirely and that countries such as France require home visits and annual tests.Erin O’Donnell, “The Risks of Homeschooling” at Harvard magazine
Germany? Aw c’mon. Somebody gotta answer this:
I had a very positive experience of public schools myself, and we have never homeschooled our kids. But I admit to a recurring case of homeschool envy. The homeschooled students and graduates we know are exceptionally poised, articulate, smart, and well-educated people. These are all qualities that will set them up for success in later life. A family who are neighbors of ours homeschooled four kids, and sent not one, not two, but three to Princeton. We had a guest in our home recently, a young woman about 30 years old. My high school-age daughter later asked me, “Was she homeschooled?” That was a shrewd call: In fact, the woman was homeschooled, as I was aware but my daughter wasn’t. More than a decade after finishing high school, the giveaway was a certain poised, mature, and thoughtful manner. I’ve found it to be almost a signature of the homeschooling demographic.David Klinghoffer, “Harvard Law Professor — Ban Homeschooling for “Question[ing] Science”” at Evolution News and Science Today
That, of course, is the real problem. Home schoolers raise the bar for educrats and union shop teachers.
Most parents probably shouldn’t homeschool. It’s a big commitment and if they don’t understand or care how much of what gets shovelled at their kids these days is enforced mediocrity and PC rubbish, it’s not worth doing. Of course, if they really know better and want what is best for a kid, they would have to put home schooling on the list of possibilities.
As for questioning science, well, it’s the kind of thing that thrives on being questioned. All sciences have been built up on the foundations of questioned and discarded science. That’s just how it works. Check the history. Banning questioning science is how we get dead zones.