Are we seeing the collapse of public education? One can hope

By Carole Hornsby Haynes

That thunderous noise that sounds like the Twin Towers crashing down is public education collapsing. Big teacher unions are using blackmail tactics for the reopening of schools, while wealthy school districts refuse to reopen as teachers continue to receive full pay.

With the closing of schools in March over the pandemic, parents have once again become their children’s teachers. They have had an opportunity to see firsthand what their children are learning – and not learning – and many are balking at sending them back to the public classroom. Even for schools that do reopen, virtual learning will continue along with the Twilight Zone restrictions recommended by the CDC.

A national poll shows that 40% of parents are more likely to homeschool once the shutdown ends. So many parents were withdrawing their children from the system to homeschool that a government website in North Carolina crashed.

Some parents are being blocked from withdrawing their children from the system. The fight is over money – not children. Because district funding is based on the number of students enrolled in their system, public schools will lose funding if parents homeschool them.

History of American Education

Homeschooling has its roots in colonial America. Prior to the 1830s, education was local with families teaching their children, as well as some private schools. Private tutors and small academies prevailed in the American South until after the Civil War. In New England, locally controlled one-room schools took root and became an important part of the life of many small communities. These small units existed in some parts of the U.S. until the 1960s and are making a comeback. Judeo-Christian values with religious teaching and morals were the foundation for children’s education even if the school was not church related.

In 1837, politician Horace Mann overhauled the public school system in Massachusetts and established the first state “normal school,” which was a state-financed and state-controlled teachers college. Teachers would be the front-line troops to spread statism – centralized federal control – throughout society. Public schools would train students to be obedient to government dictates and promote secularism rather than Christianity.

UNESCO was founded as the education arm of the United Nations to separate children from parental and church influences and indoctrinate them in humanism and one-world government. Even though the U.S. has pulled out of UNESCO, its left-wing ideology is already deeply embedded in American schools.

Family First

The right of parents to determine the education of their children is a fundamental right. This is antithetical to the philosophy of public schools and teachers’ colleges, which view themselves as the sole arbiters of children’s education. Homeschooling parents are especially in the cross-hairs of these bureaucrats who attack the right and ability of parents to educate their children and form their worldviews and beliefs.

NBC News reports that college of education professor Kevin Welner does not believe parents are capable of teaching their own children:

“‘Parents are trying to decide what is right for them during a time of crisis, which isn’t easy,’ said Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center and a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education.

“‘But what is important to recognize is that what parents did with remote learning wasn’t home-schooling but an “emergency response that involved trying the school in the home,’ he said.

“‘Home-schooling is very different. It is very demanding and requires a lot of hard work, preparation and time.

“‘Parents need to have not only the subject area knowledge, but also knowledge of how to teach, and because that often requires a big commitment by at least one parent to succeed, it doesn’t work with every situation,’ Welner added.”

Even as schools closed for 55 million children across the nation, the media and academic elites began attacks on homeschooling. The May-June issue Harvard Magazine published a shocking article about the “risks” of homeschooling.

Elizabeth Bartholet, a Harvard law professor and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, called for a ban on homeschooling because it supposedly “violates children’s right to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse.” She said that some homeschooled “children are simply not learning basic skills or learning about the most basic democratic values of our society.”

Is Bartholet so uniformed that she doesn’t know nearly two-thirds of government school students aren’t proficient in reading and that homeschooled students tend to outperform academically and socially their peers in conventional schools? Did she purposely ignore a 2018 report from the Department of Education that found 79% of government schools had violent incidents or crimes on their campuses and around 20% of students had been bullied in recent school year?

As the academic performance of students in government schools has continued to spiral downward, there has been reform after reform with no improvement. Taxpayers are continually gouged for more money to add more technology, more hours, more days, more courses, more layers of bureaucracy – ad infinitum.

The Future of Public Education

The decades-old premise that public education is one of the most important institutions in America has been exposed as a fraud. With the shutdown there is no longer the window dressing of school sports, school music programs and other extracurricular programs, free child care services and the social function of sports. When schools do reopen, social events will be canceled, team sports will be gone, and school days will be shorter.

Parents are questioning just what they are getting for their money. Why should they continue to pay for government schools that promote radical sex curriculum, social justice, Common Core, pornography, transgenderism, Black Lives Matter studies, the 1619 Project and anti-American history?

Lawmakers will have no reason to fleece the American taxpayer for more money with the “new norm” of virtual learning since there will be less staff, fewer teachers and smaller budgets. Universal compulsory attendance and long school days will seem antiquated.

With the exciting education alternatives that are available, parents no longer have to depend upon mass government indoctrination centers.

The pandemic seems to have provided the catalyst for many parents to exit the public school system. This just might be the beginning of the end of public education as we know it today.

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