The Homeschool Revolution: Huge Changes in Education
According to new data from the Department of Education, there was a 61.8 percent rise in homeschooling between the years of 2003 and 2012. The data, which looked at kids between the ages of 5 and 17, shows that more and more American parents are choosing to educate their children at home rather than put them in public schools.
In 2003, the DOE says there were 1,096,000 homeschooled children in the targeted age group. By 2012, that number had risen substantially. As of that year, 1,773,000 children were being educated outside the realm of the traditional schoolhouse. The data also showed that there were demographic similarities between those children being educated at home. Children from middle-income households were more likely to be homeschooled than those from families on the extreme ends of the income spectrum. The data also showed that parents with higher education were more likely to homeschool their kids.
The numbers aren’t particularly surprising given what we’ve all heard about public schools over the last couple of decades. Homeschooling used to come with a significant stigma attached, but that reputation is slowly but surely fading away. With bullying and violence at epidemic levels in school classrooms, it’s only natural that parents who can afford to do so would choose to keep their kids home instead of sending them to the wolves.
Of course, there are other factors as well. Education in the United States is growing increasingly federalized, and many parents are concerned about what their children are learning. Textbooks are getting more liberal every year, often teaching kids a version of history that makes America out to be oppressive, evil, and genocidal. Parents who grew up learning another side to that history want to pass on their patriotism. That’s to say nothing about increasingly liberal policies on sex education and the bizarre new math being foisted upon them by Common Core.
There is also an increased emphasis on endless testing, which has angered not just parents but teachers as well. One can hardly blame a parent for keeping their child out of that rat race. The testing has less to do with learning and accountability than with lining the pockets of test companies like Pearson.
Of course, Obama and the rest of the Democrats hate this trend and will do anything they can to reverse it. The more parents there are who choose to keep their kids home, the less money there will be for the public school system. There are legitimate concerns there – poor children will have no choice but to attend violent, terrible schools while wealthier kids can either homeschool or go private – but there are answers for that dilemma that Obama is unwilling to consider such as vouchers and school choice.
But since embracing those measures would require Democrats to let go of their federal stranglehold, don’t hold your breath. They’d much prefer to make homeschooling illegal. And don’t think they won’t try.