06/15/2024

Homeschooling & School Choice Offer Success

Public Schools Are Failing Our Children

By RICH ROSTRON
The Response
02/14/2023

I was sitting at the counter working when, from behind me, I overheard two young girls talking. Something they said caught my ear. This was a few months ago and I don’t recall the topic, but I do remember that it surprised me. I turned around and engaged them in a discussion about the topic.

After speaking to them for about two minutes, I stopped and looked at them as though I had suddenly realized they were celebrities. “You two are homeschooled, aren’t you?” I asked.

“Yes,” they both said. Then one asked, “How did you know?”

I knew because I recognized their intellectual curiosity and a surprisingly broad base of knowledge. Though they are in middle school, I could tell that they were better read than many college and university students.

Their mothers were sitting at the next table, and I spoke with them about the exemplary education they’re giving their children. I told them that I’m deeply impressed.

The thing is that I knew they are homeschooled because I’ve spoken with students from the public school factories, and with homeschooled students, before. I’ve seen the difference. It’s consistent. It’s obvious. It’s obvious but it shouldn’t be.

Our schools are failing students, as well as America

A WOKE agenda is now the top priority in many of our school systems. DEI – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – is the mantra for a public education that is supposed to prepare children with the tools to succeed as adults.

America was falling behind other countries in terms of educating their young before the Pandemic. With COVID-19 and the propensity of most Democrat governors, along with teachers unions, America’s youth took an academic blow to the educational solar plexus. We fell further behind.

Keep in mind that teachers in our public schools are considered professionals – the experts – when it comes to teaching children. When a child is homeschooled, unless the parent is fortunate enough to have taught before, the children have amateur educators. How then can homeschooling succeed so wildly where public schools so consistently fail?

Within our nation’s borders, homeschooled and school-choice students have a significant advantage in life

According to the American Federation for Children (https://www.federationforchildren.org/21-soon-22-school-choice-states/), there are 21 or 22 states with school choice. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states though some states have different testing and other regulations associated with homeschooling (see: https://www.homeschool.com/articles/state-homeschooling-laws/).

According to a 2016 study by The College Board, homeschooled children finish 15 to 30 percent higher on SAT scores. This makes homeschooled children attractive to college admission boards. It gives homeschooled children a significant advantage over their public school counterparts.

States that allow school choice give parents the right to choose the school that will provide the best education for their child. This creates competition, competition that does not exist in public schools dominated by teachers unions. And competition makes schools and teaching better.

One former public school teacher I spoke with today told me how her students only had to turn in one paper to guarantee a C in her class. “I wasn’t allowed to fail them,” she said.

Outside of her classroom, and many other public school classrooms, the potential for failure is a reality in life. A school system that eliminates that possibility denies children a real-world experience they may dearly wish they had in years to come. In the meantime, it dramatically dampens the incentive to excel.

No doubt, just as homeschooled children have an advantage in college admissions, a time may soon come where children educated in school choice states will also have an advantage. They may, very well, leave students from the WOKE education of public schools far behind.

Our school systems are handing success to our rivals and enemies

According to an article in Pew Research Center (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/), America’s public schools rank behind 23 other countries in science and reading. In mathematics, the US ranks behind 38 other countries. And China is not included in the Pew study because only four provinces in China participated.

When we consider that this describes our opportunities to succeed against other countries, it presents a frightening prospect.

While homeschooled students, and students from school choice states have an advantage over students otherwise educated in public schools, on a broader scale, we are in trouble compared to other countries. One day, we may find that some of those other countries are more than happy to allow America to fail. Some would even like to help us along that downward path to ruin.