(Goldstein 2012) Liberals, don’t homeschool your kids

Goldstein, Dana. Liberals, don’t homeschool your kids: why teaching children at home violates progressive values. Slate. 2012 Feb 16. Available from: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/02/homeschooling_and_unschooling_among_liberals_and_progressives_.single.html. Accessed 2012 Apr 26. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/67D8QHt9S.

Goldstein responds to Astra Taylor’s “Unschooling” with a defense of compulsory public education in the USA. Homeschooling is criticized as dependent on elite privilege, and in particular on the ability of parents to devote large amounts of time to teaching rather than to remunerated work. Goldstein denounces Taylor’s highly critical portrayal of public schools as a “caricature”, and characterizes homeschooling parents as suspicious of the outside world, partial to highly questionable “attachment parenting” practices, and given to a “creepy” blanket mistrust of “civic life and public institutions”. When privileged children are present in public school classes, less privileged children in the same classes tend to do better in school, a “peer effect” benefit they are denied when privileged children are homeschooled. Also, children who attend socioeconomically integrated public schools are found to have more progressive values. Goldstein argues that only government can reform education in the USA; thus, progressives are harming the cause by withdrawing support from compulsory public education.



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