Future generations may study the education system in our day as a lesson in how difficult it is to make government do the right thing when there are entrenched interests involved. Indeed, reading a post by Annie Holmquist on the Foundation for Economic Education site, I wondered if our progeny will think us downright backwards.
Quoting a former public-school-teacher-turned-homeschool-mom named Nikita Bush, The Monitor explains this movement:
“Despite the promises of the civil rights movement, ‘people are starting to realize that public education in America was designed for the masses of poor, and its intent has been to trap poor people into being workers and servants. If you don’t want that for your children, then you look for something else,’ she says.”
Bush is not alone in thinking that the public schools are keeping minority children from reaching their potential. According to a poll released in 2016 by The Leadership Conference Education Fund, minority parents “strongly reject the notion that students from low-income families should be held to lower standards.” In fact, “Nine-out-of-ten African Americans and 84 percent of Latinos disagree that students today work hard enough and instead believe that students should be challenged more to help ensure they are successful later in life.”
According to Holmquist’s post, black students who are homeschooled perform as well or better than the national average in reading, language, and math, and the contrast with black public school students is stunning. (Having not reviewed the underlying research, I should note the possibility that there may be factors affecting the numbers, such as the relative income of the group.)
The thing that seems backwards, though, is that only in Georgia is it possible for parents to work together for a sort of homeschooling co-op. How did we get to a place in a supposedly free country in which the government’s underlying assumption is that parents cannot be trusted to educate their children? That doesn’t strike me as the proper relationship between government and the governed.
Of course, it may be an exercise in unreasonable optimism to think that future generations will have a better sense of how that relationship ought to be structured.