Here's Why Progressives Hate Homeschooling

Students in classroom. (Credit: Unsplash/Taylor Flowe)

If there is one thing a Marxist hates, it’s the notion that people should be allowed to make their own choices without having the state meddle in their affairs. This is especially true when it comes to educating and raising children, an issue that has been the subject of fiery debate over recent years.

With parents increasingly taking their children out of government-run schools amid concerns over indoctrination and subpar education, some on the left are already beginning their push to ensure the state exerts control over these kids – particularly those who are being homeschooled.

RedState’s Becky Noble wrote an eye-opening piece about an op-ed published in Scientific American advocating for the federal government to regulate homeschooling. The details of the author’s plan are quite alarming and terrifying.

In a June 17 newsletter, "Scientific American" Magazine, based on numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), suggested that federal regulations be put on homeschooling. NCES shows that almost three percent of American students are homeschooled, roughly 1.5 million kids. But it is not the call for federal regulations that is the most disturbing thing about Scientific American's suggestion; the best part is that they also suggest that parents of homeschooled kids "undergo a background check." First, just one question: What does this have to do with "science?"

The newsletter goes on to concede that homeschooled students do excel. Test scores are consistently 15 to 20 percentile points higher than their public education counterparts, and homeschooled students also tend to score higher on SAT and ACT tests. However, Scientific American points out that "most states don’t require the same assessment of homeschooled kids that are required for their public school peers." But it seems that the real problem Scientific American has is with the parents' level of education, and the publication engages in a bit of fearmongering, saying:

"Parents are not required to have an education themselves to direct instruction, and in most states, no one checks to see that children are receiving an education at all. In the worst cases, homeschooling can hide abuse.”

What is amazing about this contention is that it completely ignores the type of abuses that often go unnoticed and unaddressed in government-run schools. The fact that so many school districts actively encourage and even facilitate “transitions” among children suffering from gender dysphoria without parents’ knowledge or consent is but one example demonstrating that these institutions are not as safe as proponents would have you believe.

The author suggested that homeschooling parents should be required “to pass an initial background check” and “could be required to submit documents every year to their local school district or to a state agency to show that their children are learning.”

School choice advocate Corey DeAngelis had the perfect response to this suggestion: “Hell no.”

At the heart of the progressive approach to education is their authoritarian belief that children belong to the state, not to their parents. The sooner we realize this, the better we will be able to fight against it. This is not about parental rights, it is about empowering the state to make wards out of America’s children, with their parents serving as mere babysitters.

In light of this, it is no surprise that the hard left loathes the notion that parents should be responsible for determining where and how their children are educated. When parents choose to homeschool, it is just another child that is not being influenced by those using government-run schools to indoctrinate students into leftist orthodoxy. The more this happens, the less control the state has over what students are learning in class.

Progressives are already fighting against school choice for this reason. When the practices of school districts first came to light a few years ago, there was a major push for school choice legislation. Many parents took their kids out of government-run schools and placed them in private institutions or chose to homeschool. It was only a matter of time before the left renewed calls to assert state dominance over parents who make this decision for their children.

Right now, it’s just an op-ed in a leftist publication. But make no mistake. If we are not hypervigilant, what the author suggests in the article could easily become federal legislation.



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