Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homeschoolers vs. The State

Excellent article at The Freeman discussing the various ways in which the growth of homeschooling in the United States threatens our state-sponsered K-12 educational system.  The article is written by the always insightful Wendy McElroy and is a must-read regardless of whether you support homeschooling or not (though my guess is that if you're reading OLS and like it, then you probably do!).  McElroy discusses the various ways the federal government tries to force the states to crack down on homeschoolers as well as showing why those efforts are often ineffective.  She also lists five important reasons why the state wants to do away with homeschooling.  The most troubling, to me at least, of the five is this one:
5. Access to children allows the government to inculcate its values. Public schools teach politically correct attitudes; for example, the diversity of race must be embraced but a diversity of ideas should be rejected. Public schools have become venues for social experiments such as the so-called healthy lunch programs championed by Michele Obama even though children often throw them away, preferring to be hungry. Public schools are also experimenting with using students as advocates for government policies. For example, America's second-largest school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has accepted almost $1 million for a pilot program to train students how to convince their families to enroll in Obamacare.     
Investor's Business Daily reported an LAUSD spokeswoman proudly proclaiming that the “pilot program” would ascertain “how well teenagers serve as messengers of government-sponsored information.” Investor's continued: “If they prove proficient at influencing their own families to believe material sent home from schools, she said, the teens will be used to deliver numerous other official messages to adults in their home and neighborhoods.” 
Whether you home-school or not, this should scare the heck out of you.  There is much, much more in this excellent article. Strongly recommend you read it.