Harvard Professor Spills Beans on Purpose of Public Education Part I

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What many seem to miss about the continued impact of the coronavirus, (since it started reeking havoc in some lab in Wuhan, China, so the story goes anyway); is the fact that the havoc it’s reeked so far hasn’t only been biological and economic in nature. True, the coronavirus’ impact has seen the near collapse of major economies and has brought to their creaking knees healthcare institutions the world over. But it has also played the role of unbiased revelator, a truth serum, of sorts, that continues to loosen the tongues of the previously tight-lipped. Even those at Harvard!

Now it seems everyone is spilling the beans on the secret machinations of the more sinister in our midst, (the how and the why of their dastardly deeds pre-coronavirus), much of which continues to be dismissed as the wild imaginings of looney conspiracy theorists.

Take public schooling for example. It’s been described as a necessity for the vast majority of our children because it’s the only way they could be adequately educated, prepared for the real world, be qualified for jobs and so live out their days happy and successful. At least that’s the fairy tale we’ve been spoon fed for decades.

The cold reality–despite what they perpetually peddle about public schooling–is that the education system has been far more damaging to children, than it has been successful at its bungled efforts to mould them into well-rounded citizens for the good of Big Brother Nation State. More children, it seems to me, have fallen through the cracks of the public education system, than have gotten to live out that promised pagan alternative to the Christian Heaven.

So it truly is “ironic” as PJ Media’s Paula Bolyard put it, that “at a time when 56 million children in the U.S. are being homeschooled as a result of the COVID-19 [coronavirus] pandemic, that Harvard Magazine would publish an article calling for a ban on homeschooling.” (What a truth serum that coronavirus is!)

The article Bolyard references, was written by Erin O’Donnell, who observes that “A rapidly increasing number of American families are opting out of sending their children to school, choosing instead to educate them at home. Homeschooled kids now account for roughly 3 percent to 4 percent of school-age children in the United States, a number equivalent to those attending charter schools, and larger than the number currently in parochial schools.”

Imagine the panic if as much as 10% were being homeschooled.

But despite the apparently jaw-dropping numbers (3 to 4 percent), of U.S. school-age children being homeschooled, “Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, sees risks for children—and society—in homeschooling, and recommends a presumptive ban on the practice.”

In her recent Arizona Law Review paper, Prof Bartholet describes homeschooling as “a realm of near-absolute parental power”, that is “inconsistent with important rights supposedly guaranteed to children under state constitutions and state legislation throughout the land.”

The Harvard professor believes also that homeschooling is “inconsistent with a proper understanding of the human rights of children, one recognizing children as full human beings with interests entitled to the same value as adult interests.”

I wonder if Bartholet thinks so highly of unborn children, and sees them as “full human beings” as well. I doubt very much though, that I’d catch her anywhere near a March for Life rally, except perhaps in protest.

Homeschooling as currently constituted, according to this particular nutty professor, “poses real dangers to children and to society. [author’s emphasis]”

“Children are at serious risk of losing out on opportunities to learn things that are essential for employment” Bartholet goes on, “and for exercising meaningful choices in their future lives. They are also at serious risk for ongoing abuse and neglect in the isolated.”

One problem with Bartholet’s assertions about homeschooled children, is that they all just as easily (if not more so), apply to students who attend public schools. Public school students lose opportunities to learn things essential for employment also. And they too are at serious risk of abuse and neglect, not only from home, but also at school.

Additionally, Paula Bolyard in that earlier referenced PJ Media article, dismisses Bartholet’s anti-homeschooling rhetoric as just that, rhetoric; no different from the typical liberal narrative on the subject. And to counter the professor, Bolyard cites some of Brian D. Ray’s “Homeschool Fast Facts” about homeschoolers. They…

  • Typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests
  • Score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income
  • Typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests
  • Typically score above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development including peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem
  • Go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population
  • Participate in local community service more frequently than does the general population, vote and attend public meetings more frequently than the general population
  • Internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a high rate

To name just a few.

“That last one by the way,” Bolyard notes, “is what the moral revolutionaries in the education establishment fear most.”

But Bartholet dismisses studies such as the one cited by Bolyard as “dominated overwhelmingly by policy advocacy research put out by the homeschooling movement.” She posits that public schooling isn’t only an academic necessity but it “makes children aware of important cultural values and provides skills enabling children to participate productively in their communities and the larger society through various forms of civic engagement.”

This runs totally counter to the findings of the study cited by Bolyard. Is it any wonder Bartholet was so quick to minimise its relevance?

The professor would however, go on to prove Bolyard’s assertion correct, that the tendency for homeschooled children to “Internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a high rate”, is in reality “what the moral revolutionaries [like Bartholet] in the education establishment fear most.”

As Professor Bartholet writes: “Many homeschooled children miss out on exposure to others with different experiences and values.” and “A very large proportion of homeschooling parents are ideologically committed to isolating their children from the majority culture and indoctrinating them in views and values that are in serious conflict with that culture.”

More specifically: “Some believe that women should be subservient to men; others believe that race stamps some people as inferior to others. Many don’t believe in the scientific method, looking to the Bible instead as their source for understanding the world.”

But does the secular society actually believe in the so-called ‘scientific method’ it touts so highly? They teach the theory of gravity in schools, although it fails to hold up to the scientific method. They teach as unquestionable fact the theory of evolution though that too falls short of the scientific method. And they teach about the “gay gene”, “black holes”, the earth being billions of years old, (and spherical too), that the moon is made out of cheese (what pseudo-scientists commonly call moon rock), none of which have passed the smell test of the scientific method. Yet all of these fictions, though carved in ‘scientific’ hypotheses, are preached in schools as a sort of bizarre secular gospel to run counter to that of Christ.

And just in case you missed it. Does anyone notice the main target of Bartholet’s ire? Anybody? When the law professor mentions that “Some believe that women should be subservient to men; others believe that race stamps some people as inferior to others”; I thought for a second she was referring to “some” in the Moslem community, or the Hasidic Jews. Yet there was no denigration of the Torah or the Koran for their verses that teach “that women should be subservient to men”. Oh no, no, no. That particular jibe was reserved for those “Only looking to the Bible instead as their source for understanding the world.”

Part II coming soon.


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Dean Nestor

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