Thursday, March 13, 2008

Reason No. 999,999 to Homeschool

Two former Cal Poly Pomona professors have published a hate-filled screed against homeschoolers in the L.A. Times. They also rant about charter homeschool programs taking money away from "traditional schools."

You have to love the gratuitous slam in this sentence:

"It's evident that the vast majority who teach their offspring in front of the television do so because they don't want their children to be subjected to such dangerous doctrines as evolution, abortion, global warming, equal rights and other ideas abhorrent to the evangelical mantra...

"There has always been something decidedly elitist and anti-democratic in home schooling. It smacks of a belief that privileged children should not have to associate with the other kids in the neighborhood and that by staying home, they would not be subjected to the leavening effect of democracy."

Got that? If you send your children to public school to receive proper liberal indoctrination, that's democratic.

But Americans exercising free choice is anti-democratic!

And Heaven forbid parents have the right to pass on their own beliefs and values to their children.

Incidentally, I didn't know evangelicals oppose equal rights, did you?

The professors also seem to be completely unaware that California homeschoolers are a diverse group -- they carry on as though there are no liberal homeschoolers.

Public school supporters such as these gentlemen are hardly a positive advertisement for the system.

I'd add that a comment at the Times site responding to the column says "Home schooling by Far Right parents and Fox pundits is a modern version of the 1930s Hitler Youth indoctrinations." This comment, by someone who obviously doesn't know his history, is truly ironic since homeschooling has been outlawed in Germany since the days of Hitler (1938 to be exact), because he wanted to use the schools to develop loyalty to the state. Modern Germany continues to use the very same rationale to prohibit homeschooling.

What about the American concept of freedom -- "life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" -- do people such as the professors and this commenter not understand?

Update: A good analysis of the editorial can also be found at Consumed.

Among other points: "These men...have failed to justify a premise inherent in their argument, namely, that it is the right of the state to educate children, not the right of the parent to determine who and what educates their children... There's certainly nothing in the Constitution or our country's founding documents that warrants such a conclusion. Furthermore, public education in America is barely a hundred years old. Yes, it took secularists that long to convince the American public that it was the state's right and duty to educate children."

3 Comments:

Blogger Dana said...

My letter to the LATs:

"Editors,

What a shame authors Walter P. Coombs and Ralph E. Shaffer hadn't yet shared their self-professed insights into the motives and intentions of home schoolers some 20 years ago when I began homeschooling for a number of years. Maybe if they had my homeschooled kid would have been able to know some academic success in her life instead of graduating from UCLA.

Dana [Redacted]
U.H.S.P. (Uncredentialed Home Schooling Parent)

Heh.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

These comments remind one that the early proponents of compulsory public school attendance were bigots trying to save our nation from recent immigrants from predominantly Catholic nations. It is sobering to realize that such thinking still exists.

Mrs. UNG

11:35 AM  
Blogger Kori and Ken Pellman said...

Only freaks would want to homeschool their children. I mean, public school is where they learn how to engage in certain forms of sexual relations behind a teacher's back, during class. Now how can you deprive your children of that sort of important life lesson, you abusive parents, you!

Frankly, I'm surprised they're not happy enough getting your money, whether you send your kids to public school or not. Do they REALLY want scores of thousands of more students, given that they are talking about cutbacks right now?

9:23 PM  

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