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    National Review | 4/30/20 | 8 min
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    National Review
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    • Florian
      Reading streak
      1 month ago

      The questions at the end are very fundamental and important.

      These sections stood out to me:

      Homeschooling inhibits the ability of the state to conduct surveillance on some families.

      Homeschoolers insist that their children are not the property of the state, to be farmed and dispatched in accordance with the state’s needs; the homeschooling ethos insists that the purpose of education is to serve the needs and interests of students rather than those of the state or of business; it insists that there exists a sphere of life that is private and not subject to state surveillance, and that this sphere covers family life and child-rearing unless and until there is some immediate pressing reason for intervention.

      The debate about homeschooling is not really about educational outcomes — there are good and bad homeschooling practices, good and bad public schools, good and bad private schools, etc. — but about who serves whom and on what terms.

      • thorgalle3 weeks ago

        These sections also jumped out for me, in the following way: "FREEEEDOOMMMM!!!"

    • SEnkey
      Scout
      1 month ago

      I do think it is pissing from a great height for a privileged professor whose children probably went to private school or some great public school to say that I shouldn't be able to homeschool my kids when the local public school is unsafe and ineffective and the private schools are not affordable. Zipcodes should not determine a child's educational destiny.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Zipcodes should not determine a child's educational destiny.

        Is there a way to prevent this from being the case that doesn't conflict with principles of localism?

        • SEnkey
          Scout
          1 month ago

          If there is choice in education then localism isn't an issue. Consider my own small home town in Down East North Carolina. We had four public elementary schools, a private Catholic school, a charter school, and homeschooling. If you live on the east side of town, you are going to a failed school - sadly this is also the side of town where most minorities live. The further west you live the better the schools get - this in a town of 20k people. Imagine if the schools allowed for open enrollment, ie a mother on the east side of town can enroll her kid to a public school on the west side. This introduces challenges, but it allows for choice and removes that moms zip code and neighborhood from affecting the quality of education her child receives.

          No imagine a town with just one elementary (like where I lived for 5 years in the mountains of Virginia). If you allow for homeschooling, or online schooling, then parents still have choice. This respects the local decisions of policy makers, while allowing for choice.

          In a different argument, lets say a local government mandated all kids attend public school. I would be fine with that - because I have much more influence and say at the local level to impact how that school is ran and how effective it is for my kids/our community kids - kids I actually know and can name. I would also be more involved in the decision to allow or not allow different options. The people making that decision would be known and accessible. It makes a world of difference.

          Sorry, long reply to a simple question! Localism brings its own challenges, but I'm willing to take the trade-offs.

          • jeff
            Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
            4 weeks ago

            I appreciate the reply! It was a short question but definitely not a simple one.

            This introduces challenges, but it allows for choice and removes that moms zip code and neighborhood from affecting the quality of education her child receives.

            I'd imagine this could lead to situations where the good schools end up with lotteries and wait lists and the bad schools aren't closed down and replaced since they're publicly funded.

            I'm definitely all for maximizing choice and putting it in the hands of the parents. In a weird way, that could even look like a state progressively taxing residents and redistributing fixed-valued vouchers to parents regardless of income or zip code. A bit of centralization to enable choice at the most local level which is the individual family.

            I don't even have any kids yet but it's a really interesting problem. In New Jersey a plurality of my very high property taxes go to funding regional schools which seems as zip code-dependent as it could get. I also remember reading up on what it takes to open a charter school in NYC and was horrified by the amount of bureaucracy and red tape.

    • Alexa
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I knew this would be a scathing take down from the first sentence (big fan of that).

      This is madness, the last thing we need is more children trapped in schools that's primary function is to make them good at standardized tests and prove they train well. Sure there may be some crazy, fundamentalists who are not doing it right, but there's no reason to attack the entire practice just because of a few nuts.

      • Florian
        Reading streak
        1 month ago

        “ there's no reason to attack the entire practice just because of a few nuts.”

        Plus 100 for this!!

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I couldn't imagine taking it upon myself to advocate for laws that would force parents to send their children to state-run schools. I totally agree with the author's point of view. The brief history of compulsory education and tie-in with Catholic discrimination in early America was also super interesting.