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.