By Tank Murdoch @TheNatSent
(TNS) It never ceases to amaze us how some of the most moronic people can become professors at our country’s oldest, ‘most prestigious’ universities — but they do.
Case in point: Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law Schoolâ€™s Child Advocacy Program.
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In an interview with the April-May edition of Harvard Magazine, she claims that it is “dangerous” for children to be homeschooled because a) parents aren’t ‘qualified’ for this; b) there is no ‘government regulation’ of homeschooling (because we know from past experience how helpful and efficient government regulations make our lives); and c) it’s “dangerous” (that’s a quote) to allow this to go on.
Though some 56 million kids have currently been kicked out of school, here we have this ‘genius,’ Bartholet, seeking to ban the only way kids can continue to learn.
She says nothing about the loss of educational opportunities over a virus that doesn’t seem to be a danger to children — especially not as big a danger as influenza, which kills children, occurs every year, but does not rate widespread school closures or the shuttering of our entire economy.
Bartholet also repeats some of the most outrageous stereotypes about homeschooled children and their parents:
Homeschooling, she says, not only violates childrenâ€™s right to a â€œmeaningful educationâ€ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.
And what is a “meaningful education,” precisely?
â€œWe have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling,â€ Bartholet asserts. All 50 states have laws that make education compulsory, and state constitutions ensure a right to education, â€œbut if you look at the legal regime governing homeschooling, there are very few requirements that parents do anything.â€
Even apparent requirements such as submitting curricula, or providing evidence that teaching and learning are taking place, she says, arenâ€™t necessarily enforced. Only about a dozen states have rules about the level of education needed by parents who homeschool, she adds.
â€œThat means, effectively, that people can homeschool whoâ€™ve never gone to school themselves, who donâ€™t read or write themselves.â€ In another handful of states, parents are not required to register their children as homeschooled; they can simply keep their kids at home.
This practice, Bartholet says, can isolate children. She argues that one benefit of sending children to school at age four or five is that teachers are â€œmandated reporters,â€ required to alert authorities to evidence of child abuse or neglect.Â
Recall, eggheads like Bartholet are also the very same Leftists who have been complaining for years about ‘school overcrowding,’ shootings, and other public school failings.
And recall, as well, that overall, our public school system is a joke for a supposed first-world economy, with test scores either falling or remaining flat for decades — andÂ always behind other Global North countries.
In December, the Washington Post correctly reported the right problem but the wrong diagnosis:
Teenagers in the United States continue to lag behind their peers in East Asia and Europe in reading, math and science, according to results of an international exam that suggest U.S. schools are not doing enough to prepare young people for the competitive global economy.
The results of the Program for International Student Assessment â€” widely known as PISA â€” were released Tuesday and show widening disparities between high- and low-performing students in the United States, adding to a growing body of evidence showing worsening inequity in public schools.
No,Â not inequity, inequality, racism, etc. It’s Leftism that’s the problem. Leftists (like Bartholet) have run the U.S. education system for decades,Â and it never gets any better. Who’s fault is that?
The New York Times reported some dismal stats which, again, must be blamed squarely on the Bartholets of our country who dominate the education establishment:
Low-performing students have been the focus of decades of bipartisan education reform efforts, costing many billions of dollars, that have resulted in a string of national programsâ€”No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core State Standards, the Every Student Succeeds Actâ€”but uneven results.
About a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the PISA test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old, according to Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers the exam.
Later in the Harvard Magazine article, we discover the real thorn in Bartholet’s paw, which is also pandemic within the American education establishment: Anti-traditionalism and bigotry:
[S]urveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture. Bartholet notes that some of these parents are â€œextreme religious ideologuesâ€ who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.
More hate. More stereotypes. More assumptions. Just not a lot of hard data.
As far back as 2004, hard data indicated that not only were homeschooled children ‘socially interactive’ but they fared better than public school counterparts:
Homeschooling works! This statement concisely sums up the facts. The average homeschooled child receives many benefits, from one-on-one tutoring to more efficient study time to closer family bonds. Homeschoolers are well-socialized and thoroughly prepared for the “real world,” easily gaining employment and entrance to colleges. Also, homeschoolers excel academically, scoring above the national average on college entrance exams and earning merit scholarships.
Homeschool graduates are even having a major impact on elections – making them a major force to reckon with in high-stakes politics.
It is sickening that this kind of anti-parental, pro-establishment bias continues to dominate our Ivy League institutions. What’s more outrageous is that we continue to give bigots like Bartholet free reign over the way in which our children are educated and control over a system that clearly is not producing the kind of results it should be producing for the money we’re spending on it.
‘Education experts’ like Bartholet are not the solution to what ails our education system. They’re what’s been the problem for too many years.
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