Saturday, February 18, 2012


Liberals, Don't homeschool your kids

This is an interesting article if you find the debate about how to educate the young as fascinating as I do. So many different theories of learning, basic nature vs. nurture, and what incentives play a role in motivating teachers and children. As you might guess from the title the liberal objection to homeschooling elides from their need to create a common experience leading to a feeling of community. Even liberals know that humans are more likely to pay for common goods if they share values presumable shaped at the local public school.

I don't object to this other than I don't believe you can force a communitarianism beyond a certain point without the threat of force which would not, of course, need to be if shared sacrifice was natural or could be inculcated via education. What I really object to is the idea that there is no loss to a child when that child is forced into a class with lower performing students. (Lower performing by nature or choice.)

Low-income kids earn higher test scores when they attend school alongside middle-class kids, while the test scores of privileged children are impervious to the influence of less-privileged peers. So when college-educated parents pull their kids out of public schools, whether for private school or homeschooling, they make it harder for less-advantaged children to thrive. [Emphasis added.]

I don't buy this. Why? Because I lived it. While I attended Chicago public schools I can tell you that just one disruptive student can derail the teaching plan. A few troublesome kids can make the lives of the rest of the class miserable. Homeschoolers escape the chaos of an undisciplined school and for that reason they should be encouraged. They truth is that this article will fall on deaf ears. Liberals are very willing to vote liberal but they are much less willing to make their kids live up to their ideals.



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