Found an an interesting response to a column titled “Even Government Envious Of Homeschooling Success” on The Clarion Ledger website by former State Superintendent, Richard A. Boyd.
Matt Friedeman’s column (“Even government envious of homeschooling success,” Aug. 30) praised the success of students who are homeschooled on academic tests, and went on to point out how much cheaper it is for parents to educate their children at home rather than in the public schools. Mr. Friedeman omitted some very important facts that destroy his arguments.
The headline was nonsensical. I have never known nor heard of any public school figure or other public official who was “envious” of homeschooling. At this time in our history, the attitude of nearly all of those officials is, “If that’s what they want to do, so be it.”
Mr. Boyd goes on to say, as Superintendent he was involved with homeschooling back in the day.
I am not an opponent of homeschooling. During the time that I was serving as state superintendent of education in Mississippi in the 1980s, I had meetings with representatives of the homeschooling association to discuss their concerns that they were going to be overregulated by the state. The Mississippi Legislature ended up passing a law universally recognized as among the least restrictive in this nation.
I would argue that “least restrictive” is in the eye of the beholder. Yet, we agree on his next point.
Mr. Friedeman bases his entire argument on research done by Dr. Brian Ray, whom he didn’t mention is affiliated with a national organization that promotes homeschooling.
The most outrageous claim that Mr. Friedeman makes is that “Government now wants to get its hands on the surest educational method in the nation (homeschooling).” He is taking a page right out of the current health care debate: trying to scare people by making untruthful claims about “government.”
I do not know where to start on this last paragraph. While there is a thread of truth in the quote, I do remember well the politics within the homeschool community in the which lead us to publish Homeschool Freedoms At Risk back in 1991.
In many ways the turmoil of our national politics today seems oh, so familiar. I would assume Mr. Boyd and I remember a much less heated time. What he describes today as “scare people by making untruthful claims”, by the early 90’s, I had come to describe as the politics of fear, hate and misunderstanding.
Interesting times indeed.