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Rejecting The Blue Progressive Worldview

Even the NYT is now running pieces about the rise of the homeschooling movement:

Once mainly concentrated among religious families as well as parents who wanted to release their children from the strictures of traditional classrooms, home schooling is now attracting parents who want to escape the testing and curriculums that have come along with the Common Core, new academic standards that have been adopted by more than 40 states.

According to the most recent federal statistics available, the number of school-age children who were home-schooled in the United States was close to 1.8 million in 2011-12, up from 1.5 million five years earlier. According to federal data, the highest concentration of home-schooling families are in the South and West, although precise figures are difficult to collect because many states, including Connecticut, Oklahoma and Texas, do not require families to register with either a school district or the state education agency.

The NYT is right to pay attention to these numbers because homeschooling is part of the pushback against the culture of organized, state-certified expertise that was at the heart of the progressive worldview. The rise of the public school system and teacher certification was a major achievement of the progressive movement. During the progressive era, most families were eager to see the professionals take over. Rural parents with poor education worried about how their kids could be prepared for an urban world the parents didn’t understand. Immigrants hoped that the public schools would provide their kids with the language and cultural skills needed for success in America, which, again, they knew they themselves could not provide. Ordinary people led lives of backbreaking toil that left no room for quixotic ventures like educating their own.

A century later, the climate is changing. Millions of parents today think that they are smarter than the “professional educators” and the school establishment. They are dissatisfied with what the schools offer. An increasingly well-educated American populace feels more confident than ever that ordinary middle-class people can dump the help of certified experts.

The homeschooling trend is a symptom of a profound lack of trust in the professional upper middle class that bills itself as the white knight saviors (and, when necessary, stern guardians and mentors) of hoi polloi out there. And that lack could very be the undoing of blue progressivism.

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  • DiogenesDespairs

    The model of a governing elite class making judgments and decisions at the “top” of a hierarchical pyramid and an executive power imposing them through a chain of command on the masses “below” is the fundamental principle of every tyranny that ever existed. I hope those home-schooled kids are learning that power properly resides in the people and the pyramid should be inverted: The people telling the government what to do is the way to go.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Half the people in the country now believe the government can be shrunk to the size where it can be “dragged into the bathroom and drowned in the tub”. SERIOUSLY, that joke plays well with half the people in the country. Those particular people are completely unqualified to be telling the government what to do—–due to the cement of cliches poured in their heads— and THOSE are precisely the ones you recommend do the “telling”.

      • Tom

        The purpose of the government is to serve and protect the people. Otherwise, it is not doing its job properly.
        As such, the people, whether or not you think they’re stupid fools, are the ones who need to direct the government, because the experts will inevitably act in their own interests rather than those of the people they are supposed to serve if the people do not direct them. Government is a lousy master.
        And you’re one to talk about cliche cement.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Why don’t we just get the core fans of Duck Dynasty to supervise, banks, insurance, securities, aviation, military weaponry, automobile safety, cell phone communication, education, medicine, food safety, the electrical grid, air quality, water quality, building construction, material standards, fire departments, zoning, foreign relations, gambling, alcohol, and nuclear reactors? Seriously, Tom, why don’t we?

          • Tom

            We already do that, Goat, and they seem to do the jobs you’ve mentioned quite well.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Nice dodge. No sale. The idea that the people who want no government are telling people what to do in all these fields just is not happening. SOMEBODY who recognizes and understands the needs actually does the telling.

          • Tom

            Because, as we all know, believing in a very small government is exactly the same as believing in not having a government at all and in not having any sort of hierarchy or authority structure at all.
            And, as we all know, everyone who watches Duck Dynasty loves Grover Norquist. And, as we all know, the current size of government is too small for the country’s needs. And, as we all know, anyone who disagrees with you is a moron.

          • FriendlyGoat

            We are a century past the point of a “very small” government. Nobody actually comprehends ANY level of detail at all when they utter that phrase, anyway. Nothing is ever fleshed out with the explanation that high-end tax cuts are the only goal of the campaigning on that issue. Most of the Duck people actually do like Grover. And, you can call yourself and most of the TAI comment writers morons if you wish.

            I’m going to keep writing my own perspectives and you and this cadre of naysayers are not going to talk me down. Nightie night.

          • Tom

            Sleep well, and don’t let your bile give you heartburn.

  • Fred

    To obtain my current job, I supplemented my PhD in English with an MEd in Instructional Design. I was exposed to many education majors in my undergraduate and graduate English classes, the classes I taught at several different universities, and of course while I was getting a masters degree from an education college. Believe me, it doesn’t take much to be smarter than the average product of our fine “education” colleges. It’s a bit like being a faster runner than a paraplegic. They excel at mouthing politically correct pieties and educational fads (I’ll give them that), but most of them couldn’t find their ass if you kicked them in it. My parrot could teach more effectively than those idiots.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We should not discount the fact that many people choose home schooling NOT to keep their kids away from government teachers and tests, but rather to keep their kids away from the other kids. In addition to matters of religion (which are STILL driving a lot of the home school movement), plenty of parents worry about “losing” their kids to drugs, ill-advised sex culture, gangs, bullying, over-zealous school policing of silly rules, and any number of culture factors. Those who think their kids are capable of home schooling may also prefer that their individual kids not be held back to the necessarily-slower speed of a class of 30 students. And, every year, the home schoolers get better curriculum tools. No wonder it’s growing. Blaming the Common Core is absurd (except, once again, for religion-based objectors.)

    Meanwhile, however, MOST children and MOST parents rely on public schools. Society had better make them the best they can be, because we are all going to live among people who are MOSTLY the public school products. Undoing the blue model is not an option.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Looking at the results of home schooling proves that the public school system is doing a miserable job of educating children. Since home schooled children are winning all the spelling bees and other education contests, as well as testing far above children educated by the public system. Parents are rightly doing the best thing by removing their children from such a lousy system which is basically being used to indoctrinate the leftist world view onto America’s future generations.

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