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."