[This is how to profoundly change the political landscape over time.]
In North Carolina, the number of homeschoolers has now surpassed the number of students attending private schools.
That statistic may seem shocking if you’ve been a stranger to the growth of the homeschooling movement, which has rapidly increased in recent decades.
In 1973, there were approximately 13,000 children, ages 5 to 17, being homeschooled in the United States. But according to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of the 2011-2012 school year, that number has grown to almost 1.8 million or approximately 3.4 percent of the school age population. Other sources report numbers well over 2 million.
In the Tar Heel state alone, homeschooling has increased by 27 percent over the past two years.
Those are pretty impressive numbers for a movement considered “fringe” not that long ago and that has only been legal in all 50 states since 1996.
So, why are more parents making the choice to homeschool? As with many decisions, it’s rarely one single factor. The Department of Education, which surely isn’t happy with the trend, has tracked the issue since 2003. According to its findings:
- In 2003, 85 percent of parents said they chose homeschooling because of “a concern about the school environment” which included worry about safety, drugs or negative peer pressure. That number jumped to 91 percent by 2011.
- In 2003, 72 percent said “a desire to provide religious or moral instruction” was a major reason. In 2011, that number had increased to 77 percent.
- In 2003, 68 percent said “dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools” contributed to their decision. By 2011, that was up to 74 percent.
And my guess is when the figures are reported related to the past two years you’ll see the number of parents citing “dissatisfaction with academic instruction” spike with the growing uprising against Common Core and national standards. Those who run local homeschooling groups in North Carolina say Common Core is a big factor.
Naturally, those representing the public education establishment don’t find homeschooling up to their standards. The National Education Association, the country’s largest teacher’s union, declared in a 2011 resolution: “The National Education Association believes that homeschooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.”
But, there is quite a gap between what the NEA believes about homeschooling and the actual results from homeschooling. According to Education News:
Recent studies laud homeschoolers’ academic success, noting their significantly higher ACT-Composite scores as high schoolers and higher grade point averages as college students. Yet surprisingly, the average expenditure for the education of a homeschooled child, per year, is $500 to $600, compared to an average expenditure of $10,000 per child, per year, for public school students.
What is not calculated in the cost line above for homeschooling is the time spent by a parent teaching. But the bottom line is still the same – overall, homeschooling costs less than public education and produces better results.
Add that to the growing list of reasons fewer children are getting on a school bus this year.
January 1, 2006
Socialism and its consequencesWhy has public schooling been riddled with so many problems? The answer is that public schooling is an absolutely perfect model of socialism and central planning. The entire system is based on the same top-down, command-and-control system on which the military is based, with political and bureaucratic committees planning the educational decisions of multitudes of children under their jurisdiction. Participation is mandated, with criminal penalties imposed on recalcitrant parents. Funding is also based on coercion, with taxes taking from everyone — even those who don’t have children — to fund the schooling of those who are sent into the system.Nearly everyone knows that socialism produces shoddy products and services. So why should anyone be surprised that public schooling does so as well?
Is the situation any different in private schools or home-schooling? It has to be, if for no other reason than that the child is not under the direct supervision and control of a government employee who is filling his mind with government-approved doctrines. But the situation is still far from ideal, given that the state, through licensing of schools and certification of home-schooling curricula and results, still wields ultimate control over the education of everyone’s children.
What is amazing is that after so many years of government involvement in education, with all its dismal results, so few people ask basic and fundamental questions about the education of their children, such as: Why shouldn’t families have the same sovereign and independent control over the education of their children as they have over religious matters? Given that the free market produces the best of everything and socialism produces the worst of everything, why are people willing to submit their children to a second-rate product in an area as important as education? Why should providing education to people be considered a legitimate function of government?
What is also fascinating is that most parents hardly pay any mind to the potential damage that educational socialism wreaks on the mind and life of a child, especially after 12 continuous years of mandatory participation in such a system. All that seems to matter is that parents have a “safe” state-run place to park their children every day for 12 years, a place in which they will supposedly be taught the basics of a good education. Some parents have even embraced the state’s suggestion that resistance to such a system by their children reflects dysfunctional conduct that can be remedied only by state-administered drugs (e.g., Ritalin), ignoring the distinct possibility that such resistance is instead a very healthy and normal reaction to a dysfunctional socialist educational system.
Why are people so unwilling to look at such potential damage to the mental well-being of their children? Because they operate under the assumption that, despite its many problems, public schooling can be relied on to educate their children. After all, the argument goes, if it was good enough for parents, it’s good enough for their children, ignoring the quite obvious point that the state’s position is that generation after generation of public-school graduates cannot be trusted with making educational decisions for their family because they lack the competence to do so.
The methodology of education
The teaching methodology that characterizes public schools (as well as many licensed private schools) is one that is based on cramming and memorizing. Education is viewed as a process by which information is fed into the minds of the students, who are then expected to memorize and regurgitate the information on tests that are given to judge whether the student has become “educated.” Students are then judged by a grading system that informs them whether they are “A”-, “B”-, “C”-, or “D”-level students.
Permit me to share with you a bit of my personal life to show how different education and education methodology are in a free market. Like most adults, I have had occasion to take educational courses simply “for the fun of it.” For example, I have taken ballroom dance classes as well as foreign-language classes here in the D.C. area. The difference between those classes and public schooling is night and day.
My dance and language classes have been composed of people of all ages, including high-school students. In a beginner class, everyone pretty much starts out as a complete novice. Over an 8-week course, however, everything starts to change. Some people study harder than others. Some practice what they’re learning while others just show up to class every week. Some people excel much more quickly than the others. Sometimes people skip class, returning the following week. No one is given mandatory homework but everyone seems to know that practice is key to getting better. Everyone has a very enjoyable time even though the sessions can be tiring. Whenever a teacher asks whether people mind if he goes over the allotted time, no one objects and most stay to take advantage of the “free” teaching.
At the end of the course, everyone is at a different skill level, but such a determination is entirely subjective because no test or final exam is given. The decision to move to the next level is entirely up to the student. Many decide to repeat the beginner level and others immediately move up to the next level of difficulty. No student is ever criticized or demeaned for having an insufficient skill level but usually figures out for himself that he might be in “over his head” at a higher level and voluntarily decides to stay at a lower level. No one is “graded.”
The teachers treat everyone — even the worst dancers and linguists — courteously and considerately. In all the private classes I have taken, I have never heard an instructor insult or abuse a student for having poor dance skills or not speaking the foreign language well.
In this type of educational system, one of the big differences is that the customer is paying the school directly for his education, unlike the public-school system which relies on taxes from everyone, including people who don’t even have children. Thus, like any business that strives to survive and prosper, the private education company must be nice to its customers, especially because satisfied customers can bring in other customers.
I should also mention, however, that not all the dance and language courses are provided by for-profit companies. Some are provided by nonprofit educational foundations. In fact, one nonprofit dance studio offers students free lessons in return for helping with dance classes.
One of the crucial differences concerns the mindsets and attitudes among the students. In the private classes, students are engaged in a seeking process rather than being subjected to a cramming process. That is, they are there because they want to be, because they are interested in the subject, and because they want to learn that subject. They (or their parents) are paying for it directly. Therefore, they listen intently, soaking up every word the instructor speaks.
Most important, the course is fun for everyone, even those who clearly lack the skills of other students. Everyone enjoys himself primarily because he has chosen to be there to learn something that he wants to learn.
Did I mention that no one cares that everyone is of a different age in such classes, even though the ages range from the teens to the 70s?
That’s how a free-market educational system works. The sovereignty is with the consumer, and businesses pop up in response to their wants and interests, serving them and, in the process, bettering their own economic lot in life.
While it is impossible to predict the marvels of a free-market educational system that would arise from the separation of education and state, these types of adult-education classes give us a hint of how a free market in education would work for children. No longer would children lose their natural sense of awe and wonder that the regimentation of state schooling slowly but inevitably grinds out of them. Instead, that sense of awe and wonder and love of learning that they have to age 6, when they enter the public-school system, would continue to be nurtured and cultivated as parents and children worked together to figure out which educational vehicles would be best suited for them at their different stages of growth. My hunch is that in a free-market educational system, children would continue to badger their parents with “Why? Why? Why?” throughout their entire pre-teen and teenage years.
Finally, let’s examine the funding mechanism for public schooling — the taxation imposed on everyone to fund the schooling of those who have children. Where is the morality of such a system? That is, under what moral authority does the state take one person’s money and give it to another person, even to fund the education of his children? We wouldn’t do that to help a person attend a church, would we? To put it another way, why shouldn’t people be free to keep their own income and decide what to do with it?
“But people wouldn’t educate their children if they weren’t forced to.” Balderdash! But if that’s true then what better argument to rid ourselves immediately of public schools, given that that’s the type of parent that public schooling has produced? The fact is that the parent who doesn’t care about the education of his children is a rarity. The problem is that everyone has become so accustomed to the “one size fits all” public-schooling system, they have a difficult time accepting the idea that families should be free to fashion their own particular educational plans for each of their children. In other words, we need to develop the same degree of tolerance in education that we have developed in how people raise their families generally, including in religious matters.
One of the finest gifts that the American people could bequeath to their children and to the world would be a free-market educational system. Just as our ancestors benefited themselves and future generations by separating church and state, Americans today should follow that path of liberty by separating education and state.
This article originally appeared in the January 2006 edition of Freedom Daily. Subscribe to the print or email version of Freedom Daily.
The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.
Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
April 14, 2013
It seems once again Ron Paul is being attacked by big publications like the Guardian, even in retirement he simply can’t promote liberty without the internationalists taking issue. So what is the tactic they are using this time? Apparently his Homeschool Curriculum is being written by Evangelical Christians… dun da duuuun!
Don’t Change the System, Create a Better One
If you haven’t heard he recently just announced from his brand new radio platform the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum. In his genius he is starting a schooling alternative that totally bypasses the establishment indoctrination camps, mislabeled as public education here in America.
It is no secret he opposes public education as being unconstitutional and a dismal failure. In fact in the 2012 Presidential Debates he put forth a proposal to cut spending by 1 Trillion Dollars, and in that proposal right at the top was ending the Department of Education. Ron Paul is a purest in every since of the word and his congressional record proves it.
This clip from the 2012 debates demonstrates superbly how far our politicians have gone from the values in the constitution and the oath to office they swore to uphold.
Predators, Probing the Ron Paul Revolution for Weakness, and Exploiting it’s Ignorance
The homeschooling curriculum can be lauded as a masterstroke against the New World Order. There can be no question that internationalist bankers have taken over the minds of our children in this country through the co-opting of finance, government, and the public education system. They know that the vast majority of adults and students that make up the Ron Paul Revolution have gone through the public education system. A system that has absolutely rejected and even mocks the principles of the Constitution and the moral instruction found in the Bible.
Now the majority of these young libertarian/constitutionalists that have been inspired by Ron Paul’s message have un-indoctrinated themselves towards liberty, but they sure have retained their hate for anything resembling Biblical values.
Essentially the tactic is this, we have major media going after some of the writers, mainly Gary North, Tom Woods and obviously Ron Paul for their Christian beliefs. For example the article in the Guardian is insinuitating that they are embedding Christian fundamentalist beliefs into the educational curriculum, in the form of Reconstructionalism
“Paul’s advocacy of home-schooling is not just about getting kids out of what home-schoolers disparagingly call “government schools”. It’s not just about teaching them that government should be small and largely inconsequential. It’s based on the idea that the government is largely illegitimate, and that one must create a society in which the populace will follow “moral” (that is, biblical) laws, rather than the laws created by an overzealous, tyrannical government.”
This approach is clever because it indicates a thorough understanding of the demographic of the Liberty movement and the people who have aligned themselves ideologically with Ron Paul. Most of them are avowed Atheists and hate Biblical Christianity as the internet flavor of the month.
It is true, but what is ironic is the vast majority of young libertarians will tell you how much they hate the fed, and big government, and even the public educational system, but they will defend the social darwinistic ideals that have been spoon fed them from their youths by public schools. Hand to mouth, shoveling information arranged and codified into our public education system by the very elitist internationists they profess to hate.
This is an example of double think at it’s finest. It demonstrates that even though libertarians everywhere have totally grasped and embodied the finest principles enshrined in the Constitution they refuse to talk about, recognize or even admit that these principles exist because of the Bible and the Reformation.
There simply would never have been an enlightment period with out the Reformation, the two go hand in hand. We would of never had a Lexington Green, Concrod Bridge, American Revolution, Bill of Rights, or Constitution. None of it would exist without a profoundly logical expression of our God given natural rights by that founding generation. See for yourself our founding fathers in their own words time and time again reiterated that Biblical Christianity and moral instruction is foundational to our form of government.
“Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society. ~ John Adams”
So what the elite are doing is exploiting this ignorance with in the movement. It is nothing more than a divide and conquer tactic. If they can get libertarians to reject Ron Paul’s curriculum on the grounds it has a religious bent then they win and prevent this remarkable idea from taking root as a very real way to assure that liberty principles are taught inside the family for generations to come.
Remaining Loyal to Liberty
The charges in this article are laughable, and show just how desperate the establishment is at disrupting the growing liberty movement.
Ron Paul will remain committed to keeping his religious beliefs private, as he always has you can be assured. Even in the undertaking of writing a homeschool curriculum, I am positive he will maintain neutrality. How one can expound upon ALL of the the principles of liberty and not touch on the impact the Christian faith has had isn’t really possible, but I am sure it will be addressed in an all inclusive way.
If Ron Paul taught us anything it is this, the Constitution and liberty principles is a very big tent that everybody from every walk of life can seek refuge and knowledge in as truth. We, the ones who hold these truths as self evident need to remain loyal to these principles, especially when confronted with information or beliefs that you may not adhere to or like. After all isn’t that what Liberty protects?
Do not fall for this tactic, regardless of how you feel about the Christian religion recognize that the elite love splitting popular movements along religious and ideological lines. Keeping factions at one anothers throat means they can continue to rule unimpeded towards a global tyranny called the New World Order. Let’s simply not give them that pleasure and abandoned public education in favor of homeschooling this next generation of children under the Ron Paul Homeschool curriculum, and take the minds of our children back.