Numerous American parents want to hold schools accountable for politicizing their children’s curricula – or to pull the kids out of the system altogether
It is now clear that the United States has reached an important point in its fight against big government. The Covid-19 pandemic, as terrible as it was, had one unexpected but productive side effect – it pulled back the curtain on what government schools (aka “public”They are also teaching children. At the same time, it exposed what can go wrong when a tyrannical city council, teachers’ unions, and school board members pile on mandates, restrictions, and put students last. Opting out was the only way to go for many families.
Online learning through Zoom and other video conference means that the classroom is brought to your living room in 2020-2021. Parents were often dissatisfied with what they heard. There was a moment of awakening, which is ongoing. It was the first time that controversial issues like gender ideology and critical race theory were brought up and discussed. Parents began showing up at school board meetings and addressing their concerns – and in some cases, were met with hostility.
Meanwhile, social media drew attention to public school teachers who were caught speaking to elementary-aged children about gender and “Prefered pronouns” – topics that, at this time, tread the border between education and political indoctrination. The Twitter account brought some of the most outrageous instances of unhinged, politically driven teachers to the attention of the public. Libs of Tik Tok. The account was suspended and then reinstated following some backlash. Hundreds of teachers could be seen bragging about transgenderism and sharing inappropriately their personal and sexual lives on camera for the first-time.
‘Year of the parent’
Alarm bells went off from Florida to Virginia to California, which prompted parents to run for school board positions, remove their children from school altogether, and get more involved in their children’s’ education. Conservatives have even dubbed 2022 “The year of the parent.” And why shouldn’t it be? The parents have the right to find out what their kids are learning and decide what’s best for their family. Project Veritas has a new series that will question anyone who claims otherwise. Released on August 30th, “The Secret Curriculum”Undercover investigation to expose teachers The series’ one teacher goes as far to force high school students to pledge allegiance against the antifa.
And while it’s one thing to speak up at school board meetings, it’s another to see the results of all of this at the polls. Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin solidly beat out his Democrat opponent in Virginia last year – a state that hasn’t seen a Republican in that office since 2009 – because he addressed the concerns parents have about “woke”School board members and teachers
My own state, which is blue, had parental anger more to do the schools that required masks and coronavirus vaccinations. This was despite there being very few outbreaks at school and the possibility of extreme illnesses in children. Masks became an issue that broke many hearts, despite some religious exemptions being in place regarding vaccinations. A neighbor in Los Angeles was still considering whether she would send her seven year-old daughter to school for the fall. I spoke to her over the summer. She had never considered home schooling as an option before Covid, but confided that she just wasn’t willing to mask her child for eight hours per day – and she is not alone. Californians feel her pain and are not alone in their frustration. “let them breathe”Coalition, which provides parents with resources to combat mask mandates
California had the most restrictive school Covid policies anywhere in the country, so it shouldn’t surprise that enrollment dropped in this state. Cal Matters reported that school enrollment saw a decline of more than 100,000 students from 2020 to 2021. It is predicted that this number will rise.
A blog entitled “Recent Blog” was published. “The School Board Takeover”Kevin Kiley (California legislator) noted that more than 50,000 children didn’t show up to school the first day in Los Angeles Unified school district. Kiley encourages California parents to run for school board elections. Yet, moms and fathers are choosing to leave homeschooling altogether. Homeschooling has trended steadily upward for decades, with the biggest increase jumping 3.4 to 9% between the fall of 2019 and fall of 2020.
Is home schooling better?
It is not new in America, but home schooling is a well-established American tradition. Are children better off being taught at home than when they go to school? The data shows that homeschoolers have a better record than public school students. 67% of them graduate from college while 59% go to high school. The homeschoolers also score better on achievement tests, averaging 72 points higher on SAT’s. These results held true across all segments.
Ideally, most parents want their children interacting and engaging with other kids in a classroom and at playgrounds and ball fields, but not if it comes at the expense of handing their children’s minds over to people and institutions they don’t trust. And certainly not at the expense of hindering their speech and social development with masking – which is understandably a deep concern among most parents. To process social cues, humans need to be able to see their entire faces. Children also require interaction with children their age outside of the home.
In the past, Christians and conservatives were more inclined to prefer homeschooling than rural residents. Based on these demographics, many assumptions and stereotypes were made. Then there’s the question of whether every parent is qualified to teach. Although most parents have the ability to access resources at their home for education, this is not always true. It is important to consider the issues of poverty in America and how financially feasible it might be for one day to leave the system. Two meals per day may be required by some schools in the case of low-income children.
Another potential downside of avoiding formal education – and one that can’t be solved so readily – is the possibility for greater societal divide. It is possible that the fact that conservative parents homeschool more children than liberals could lead to more national polarization. The two competing world views will have even fewer opportunities to intermingle and find common ground than they do currently, and that at a formative stage of the young people’s lives. It would be hard to quantify this outcome, but statistics indicate that children who are homeschooled participate in five extracurricular activities per year. Although learning at home does not necessarily mean isolation, it is necessary to foster social engagement.
Freedom in education is ultimately about school choice. This includes private schools and charter schools. And for those who opt out, it is up to the parents to make sure their kids aren’t missing out on the social experiences they need. Young adults must have the right preparation if they decide to go to college instead of trade school. Even for students in middle and high school, resources are readily available. I know parents who are thrilled with Hillsdale College’s online courses because they offer a variety of history, economics, literature and classics courses, complete with tests.
The idea of homeschooling may not be for you. Some parents or children may not want to take that path, while others might be unable to do so. But that doesn’t necessarily leave such families at the mercy of public-school curricula. More and more are choosing to get involved, run for their local school boards, become more aware of what is being taught in their children’s classrooms and hold the teachers accountable when necessary.
Statements, opinions and views expressed in this column do not reflect those of RT.