Can’t Compete with ’em? Control ’em

29 01 2007

Filed under: Homeschool, Liberalism, Socialism, Humanism

I homeschool my children. I do it because it the best thing for them at this time. It is my opinion that if I don’t want the product, I should not have to pay for it. In other words, I should be able to deduct all purchases of curriculum, supplies, and classroom space from my taxes. But current laws will not allow this. I guess if the socialist government is so bad that it cannot brainwash the children in the public school system line the pockets of its humanist adminstrators without my few extra tax dollars, then I’ll just have to live with it.

At least in Alabama the laws pertaining to homeschooling do not interfere much with the way I want my children educated. But, if liberals have their way, that too might change. Joel Belz discusses the PBS segment this month that took a shot at homeschoolers:

Lucky Severson brings on Professor Robert Reich from Stanford University, who from his lofty academic perch worries that the state might find itself shortchanged in its “interest in knowing that children are growing up to become well-rounded public citizens.”

“If parents can control every aspect of a kid’s education,” the professor frets, “shield them from exposure to the things that the parents deem sinful or objectionable, screen in only the things which accord to their convictions—and not allow them exposure to the world of a democracy—will the children grow up then basically in the image of their parents, servile to their own parents’ beliefs?”

Uh, yes. That is correct sir. Most Americans don’t want their children being indoctrinated with your socialist ideals either. And for many Americans, homeschooling is not an option they can take. Single parents, financial circumstances, etc force many to put their children in public schools.

Then the professor shows how generous and liberal-minded he is, by adding that “I’m not anti-homeschooling in the sense that I want to see homeschooling banned. I just want good regulations to apply to those parents who choose to homeschool.”

Most states require homeschoolers to register with their school district and a local “umbrella school” that any average church could throw together in a few days. The umbrella reports grades to the district every quarter/semester.

To its credit, PBS gave the final word in that particular program to Bruce Shortt, an attorney, a homeschooler, and an activist in a movement to encourage Christians to leave state schools. “I think it’s ironic,” Shortt responded, “that someone with an obviously authoritarian agenda is attempting to lecture others. Unfortunately, education seems to be one of those areas in which the failures astonishingly insist on trying to regulate the successful.”

After the program, Shortt told me: “Reich’s attack is fundamentally ideological. He is clearly a collectivist who, like his fellow travelers in the universities, is seeking complete cultural hegemony. What he is really objecting to is not the ineffectiveness of homeschooling, but its effectiveness. A homeschooled child is effectively a child outside the grasp of the state and, therefore, outside the grasp of those who control the state’s educational institutions. He fears that these children will have a worldview of which he disapproves and that he finds threatening. That is what drives Reich. His real concern is not ‘ethical autonomy’ or the welfare of children in any conventional sense; it is ideological control. Frankly, his ostensible arguments are so weak that it is difficult to view them as any other than a smokescreen for his ideological and cultural agenda.”

That which is true of such efforts to control homeschoolers is just as true of those who would impose rigid state control on private and parochial schools. The evidence is in—and no one truly worries anymore about the educational prowess of such efforts. Graduates of these schools, like homeschooling graduates, tend to excel wherever they go. And that’s precisely what people like Prof. Reich are so worried about.

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