As families and schools deal with pandemic, Harvard Magazine launches war on homsechooling: Corey A. DeAngelis

Posted on: April 30, 2020

We’re all homeschoolers now.

Schools have closed for more than 55 million students nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic and at least 34 states have shuttered schools for the rest of the academic year. Just in time, some in media and academia are coming out swinging against homeschooling.

The Washington Post and ­Salon have run pieces raising questions about the practice lately. More alarming, Harvard Magazine this week unleashed a thoroughly unfounded attack on homeschooling, drawing on the work of Harvard University law professor Elizabeth Bartholet.

The article cited Bartholet’s call for “a presumptive ban” because homeschooling supposedly “violates children’s right to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse.”

Strangely enough, the article left out the fact that nearly two-thirds of U.S. students aren’t proficient in reading, and that the most rigorous evidence shows that homeschool students tend to fare better academically and socially than do their peers in conventional schools.

The article also forgot to mention the 2004 report from the U.S. Department of Education estimating that 1 in 10 students in government schools will experience school-employee sexual misconduct by the time they graduate from high school.

By Bartholet’s own logic, she should call for a presumptive ban on government schooling.

To read the rest of this column at Reason, please click here.

Featured Publication:

Report Card on American Education: 22nd Edition

The status quo is not working. Whether by international comparisons, state and national proficiency measures, civic literacy rates, or career preparedness, American students are falling behind. The 22nd edition of the Report Card on American Education ranks states on their K-12 education and policy performance.

Learn More