Monday, January 18, 2010

The Double Standard of Robin West - Author of The Harms of Homeschooling

Last week, the homeschooling forums were all talking about Professor Robin West's article, The Harms of Homeschooling published in the Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly.

Her article is worth a read because it is a good indication of how homeschooling is still regarded in certain parts of academia. I'm embarrassed that Ms. West is a member of the faculty at Georgetown University - a "Catholic" institution, (although I guess if you make high enough scores on your PSATs, even Georgetown will take a homeschooler!)

Ms. West's article was full of a lot of stereotypical gripes against homeschooling, but I had to giggle when I read this part:


Fourth, there are political harms. Fundamentalist Protestant adults who were homeschooled over the last thirty years are not politically disengaged, far from it. They vote in far higher percentages than the rest of the population. Ht They mobilize readily. The "army" in which adult homeschooled citizens are soldiers has enormous clout: homeschoolers were called "Bush's Army" in 2000 and 2004 for good reason. Their capability for political action is palpable and admirable, although doubly constrained: It is triggered by a call for action by church leaders, and in substance, it is limited to political action the aim of which is to undermine, limit, or destroy state functions that interfere with family and parental rights. Nevertheless, and by their own accountings, these citizen-soldiers in the "homeschool movement" and the various political campaigns in which they are enlisted have no clout in the army in which they serve. They are as effective as the are, and as successful as they are, because they engage in politics in the same way that soldiers participate in combat. They don't question authority, and they can't go Awol. With little education, few if any job skills, and scant resources, their power either to influence the lines of authority within their own sphere or to leave that sphere is virtually nil.
So let's be clear.  Ms. West is against homeschooling because it produces adults who are engaged in the political process, willing to work with the process to bring about the changes they are interested in even it that means getting read of policies and practices that they believe are wrong, and that they are effective because they get their marching orders from the pulpit.

Right.  Because the school system would never try to influence the political leanings of the students!


and the left never tries to influence the views of church goers.


and homeschoolers can't think for themselves and only follow marching orders - yea right.



Pot, kettle and all of that Ms. West.




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