While I was away from this blog, an article by Robin West was found and quickly drew the attention of homeschoolers.
I have read Robin West’s piece and found it has no credibility in the big picture, much less the nuance of homeschooling’s history and issues. While unpacking her piece in detail might be a worthwhile mental exercise, at the same time it seems counter-productive.
My conclusion is that Ms. West is put off by evangelical politicians, and based on her lack of understanding for her subject, homeschooling is the target of her angst. Such are the pitfalls of tying homeschooling to a narrow ideology – the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) uniquely owns this responsibility.
While the piece lacks credibility, it does bring into clearer focus a long-held concern, and, as political power in the nation has shifted, we may see more of this kind of pushback. In the early years, before HSLDA placed themselves as a player at the federal level, members of the homeschooling community rushed to each other’s aid. I have faith that, if needed, we can get there again.
But looking back, what I do not understand is the “why” of the strategy HSLDA chose for protecting our freedoms to homeschool. In broad terms, the homeschooling community argued for our freedoms in terms of individual rights and responsibility while HSLDA’s actions pushed further and further towards protecting our freedoms by license – and I can only speculate on the “why.” Why justify homeschooling with standardized test scores, insert special treatment language into legislation, pursue risky court decisions, and argue for setting up homeschool institutions to oversee families?
History and logic are on the side of the argument that these steps inevitably lead to greater regulation. So, the most innocuous reason for the path chosen was to use homeschooling families for political gain. The alternatives are even less attractive.
Homeschooling Freedoms At Risk
HR 6 and the Federalization of Homeschooling
Homeschooling Organization’s Lawsuit Threatens Homeschooling Freedoms
The Military-HSLDA Complex and Our Freedoms
HSLDA Study: Embarrassing and Dangerous
HSLDA’s “History” Erodes the Foundations of Our Freedom
Say No To The Federal Homeschooling Legislation
Let’s Not Link Homeschooling to Partisan Politics
Yes to Parental Rights, No to a Constitutional Amendment
A White Paper by Raymond S. Moore