A Falling or Rising Star?
Is child abuse more prevalent in the homeschooling community? That is just one of several questions being addressed in a 7-week online conference entitled Post-Pandemic Future of Homeschooling, sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School Taubman Center for State and Local Government. The event began on May 6th and will run through June 17th.
Each week panelists discuss aspects of homeschooling proposed by the Harvard Kennedy School, including questions like “Is it time for a change to homeschool law?” and “Are homeschoolers socially isolated?”
A year ago in the Arizona Law Review, Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet drew nationwide censure when she called for a presumptive ban on homeschooling and organized an anti-homeschooling summit at Harvard. This year’s conference is a bit different – “packaged a little bit more moderate” – according to Tim Lambert, President of the Texas Home School Coalition. Some of the invited panelists are well-regarded homeschool leaders like Brian Ray of NHERI and Mike Donnelly of HSLDA. Still, it is fairly clear that the organizers and many of the panelists, which change each week, are not home education proponents.
Why does this conference matter? As Tara Bentley, Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Home Education explains, “This is an academic event to present ideas… If you value homeschooling, then you need to be aware of these agendas.”
(Starting at 22:15 Day 1 Alliance Response)
Homeschool Freedom, a project of the Alliance of which CHEWV is part, has hosted a panel response to each week’s conference day. We encourage you to watch all of the Alliance responses, each of which is about half an hour.
The Week 3 Alliance response features Dr. Jay Wile, who was won over to homeschooling when he realized that the best students enrolled in his college courses were homeschoolers (33:40 Day 3). Several notable college statistics included in that Day 3 response not only encourage those who take the educational road less traveled but prove the overwhelming effectiveness of home instruction.
Other noteworthy excerpts from the Alliance panel responses:
• The new homeschoolers are overwhelmed and focused on “how do I do this?” so they take for granted that where homeschooling is today is where we’ve always been and will always be. But we have to be vigilant and our state organizations are really focused on that…
Tim Lambert, Texas homeschool leader
Day 1 Alliance Response, 24:28
• When you see articles in the news about homeschooling, look at it with an analytical eye… Follow the worldview – where is that person coming from when they address the question?
Pam Lucashu, Connecticut homeschool leader
Day 1 Alliance Response, 26:55
• It was asserted today that our view of homeschooling might be skewed by dropouts who are hiding under the guise of homeschooling…a lot of time students who are struggling in school are pushed out and encouraged to pursue other methods of education, often in environments where they have no actual support…
Copper Webb, homeschool graduate and leader
Day 3 Alliance Response, 19:59
• Don’t miss the reply by Yvonne Bunn, Virginia homeschool leader, to Copper’s question. Bunn connects this public school tendency to an agenda to increase public school graduation rates.
Day 3 Alliance Response, 20:59-21:44
Ideas have consequences: these ideas and discussions are no different. What is talked about today seems natural and expected tomorrow. Assertions in the news and social media eventually find themselves embedded in legislation that affects all of us.
CALL TO ACTION: Join CHEWV at any of 5 membership levels
and help us defend WV freedoms!
As with other trends in the culture which are attacking our parental and religious rights and other Constitutional liberties, it’s time to push back! A powerful way to do that is to support your state organization as we work to stay abreast of dangers to our freedom. For as little as $15 per year, we invite you to stand with CHEWV financially as we defend homeschooling freedom for all West Virginians.