Public School Issues
Many parents are basing part of their decision to homeschool on issues with public schooling, from bullying to poor academic performance to problems with governmental control.
Links and Items
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
The Exhausted School: Bending the Bars of Traditional Education
These 13 essays, presented at the 1993 National Grassroots Speakout on the Right to School Choice, illustrate how education reform actually works. Written by award-winning teachers and their students, these essays present successful teaching methods that work in both traditional and nontraditional classroom settings. “Gatto’s voice is strong and unique.” — Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
Exploring Single Black Mothers' Resistance Through Homeschooling

This work looks at contemporary Black homeschooling as a form of resistance among single Black mothers, exploring each mother's experience and perspective in deciding to homeschool and developing their practice. It faces the many issues that plague the education of Black children in America, including discipline disproportionality, frequent special education referrals, low expectations in the classroom, and the marginalization of Black parents. Most importantly, this work challenges stereotypical characterizations of who homeschools and why.

Concerns About Public Schools
The Myth of Teacher Qualifications
Most education officials publicly claim that teachers need special “qualifications” in order to be effective. As a result, public education organizations often promote legislation or an interpretation of the law which would require home school parents to have one of three qualifications: 1) a teacher certificate, 2) a college degree, or 3) pass a “teacher’s exam.” Although this seems reasonable on the surface, such requirements not only violate the right of parents to teach their children as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, but virtually all academic research documents that there is no positive correlation between teacher qualifications (especially teacher certification requirements) and student performance.
Students Against Testing
This website offers an alternative look at standardized testing. Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
Parents, Are You Ready To Teach Your Kids Arithmetic?
Parents are starting to realize that "fuzzy" math courses (variously called "whole math," "new math" or "new new math") are producing kids who can't do arithmetic, much less algebra. The U.S. Department of Education responded last October by officially endorsing ten new math courses for grades K-12, calling them "exemplary" or "promising" and urging local school districts to "seriously consider" adopting one of them. The recommended programs were approved by an "expert" panel commissioned by the Department of Education. But many parents believe that the "experts" are subtracting rather than adding to the skills of schoolchildren.
Lessons from Homeschooling
Americans are increasingly aware that government education specialists in charge of K-12 government schools are lousy educators. This awareness is prompting parents to act rationally in a way that provides the best evidence yet that education bureaucrats cannot educate namely, more and more parents are homeschooling their children.
Saving the Children
It is sometimes said, by public school supporters, that if some children are taken out of the system to go to other schools, the public schools will deteriorate. And so, the thinking goes, parents have a "duty to society" to keep their kids in the public schools, even though they have already deteriorated almost beyond recognition. How absurd that the government schools think of the children as serving the schools' or society's needs instead of the other way around. It's not the school system that needs saving, or even reforming. It's the children who need to escape from the failing government schools and be allowed to home school or attend successful private schools, without the penalty of paying twice -- once with taxes and again for tuition.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes. For the last several years, homeschooling has been the fastest growing educational alternative in the country. The sheer number of homeschoolers represent a distinct threat to the hegemony of the government school monopoly. Qualitatively, the academic success of homeschoolers, measured by standardized test scores and recruitment by colleges, debunk the myth that parents need to hire credentialed experts to force children to learn.
Common Core: A Threat to Homeschoolers?
Much of the time, public school initiatives and regulations do not affect homeschoolers. The “next big thing” in public education, called Common Core education standards, already is, however, and that influence will grow. There are three major ways this nationwide initiative affects homeschool families: curriculum, testing, and student data tracking. There are some positive things about Common Core for public school students. For homeschool families, it largely represents an intrusion into their education freedoms.
Universal Preschool
There is a national campaign to institutionalize all preschoolers through government funded and/or mandated "universal preschool." This group seeks to redefine universal preschool as an unheralded worldwide community of loving, functional parents who exercise their right and authority to nurture and teach their young children at home.
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