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IPFS News Link • Education: Private Secular Schools and Home School

No, We Don't Need Federal Homeschooling Standards


Some of you may remember that four years ago this week I debated Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet who called for a "presumptive ban" on homeschooling. The online event was hosted by the Cato Institute and drew thousands of participants, including many homeschooling families who were incensed by Bartholet's proposal.

Now, Scientific American is joining the crowd of busybodies eager to constrain a family's right to raise and educate their children how they choose. "The federal government must develop basic standards for safety and quality of education in home­school­ing across the country," read a recent editorial in the magazine.

Beyond the obvious point that there is no constitutional role for the federal government in education, the proposal for top-down, national mandates on homeschoolers assumes that the government knows best when it comes to education. Yet, the vast majority of school founders I interview are former public school teachers who grew so disillusioned with the rigidity, standardization, and coercion of government-run schooling that they left to create their own schools and spaces.