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July 7, 2015

Why Does Diane Ravitch Think
Homeschoolers Shouldn’t Serve Others?

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>

When Texas Governor Greg Abbott selected Donna Bahorich to chair the Texas State Board of Education last month, some people expressed outrage. It seems that Ms. Bahorich once homeschooled her children before putting them into a private school.

The most surprising comment of all came from anti-Common Core leader Diane Ravitch. In a June 25 post on her blog, Ms. Ravitch wrote: “You can’t make this stuff up. Governor Greg Abbott selected a homeschooling mom to chair the State Board of Education in Texas.” She then copied verbatim the text of a polemic against Bahorich that had been published elsewhere.

It’s surprising that an education leader like Diane Ravitch, who has led the fight against the Common Core and other forms of nationalized, top-down education programs, would object to a homeschool mom chairing a state board of education. Homeschool moms do it all: school administration, teaching that spans grade levels, raising children, running a home, and everything else. They are on the front lines of education, just like any other teacher.

Parents who teach their kids at home still have a stake in public schools. They fund those schools through their property taxes, and they want to ensure that their friends’ and neighbors’ children also receive a quality education. In fact, research suggests that homeschoolers are more engaged in civics and politics than their public-schooled peers.

Finally, there is no question that homeschool students are succeeding academically. Homeschooling works.

Perhaps more state executives should follow the lead of Governor Abbott in Texas and bring in some outside education experts with new thinking and energy. After all, isn’t that what education is all about? Learning, and especially learning from others?

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