Harvard Professor Calls for “Presumptive Ban” on Home Schooling

In an article published in the May-June issue of Harvard Magazine, professor Elizabeth Bartholet said there ought to be a “presumptive ban” on home schooling nationwide and that letting parents educate their children at home could help fuel white supremacy.

The article is filled with so much incorrect information that it is hard to know where to begin.

Among other things, Professor Bartholet claims:

  • Many home schoolers are “extreme religious ideologues”
  • Home schooled children face an increased risk of child abuse
  • Home schooled children are at risk of receiving a sub-par education

We know from experience that home schoolers come from all sorts of faiths and backgrounds.

There is no evidence suggesting that children who are home schooled are likely to be abused.

And the article fails to mention that home schoolers have had no trouble getting into Harvard University itself.

In 2015 Business Insider profiled one Harvard student who was home schooled, saying,

While homeschoolers might still live on the margins of the US education system — they only make up 3.4% of America’s student body — the leading research suggests the education they receive is second-to-none. 

In 2018 the Harvard Gazette profiled three students who were home schooled before being accepted by the Ivy League institution.

In Arkansas, home schoolers have routinely outperformed their public school counterparts on standardized testing.

In 2009, Arkansas’ home schoolers performed better on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills than 61% – 80% of the students who took that test, nationwide.

According to the 2013-2014 Home School Report from the Arkansas Department of Education, in 2014 home schoolers in grades 3 – 9 scored anywhere from the 51st percentile to the 65th percentile on that same test.

In fact, home schoolers in Arkansas have performed so well on standardized tests that the Arkansas Legislature ended state-mandated home school testing in 2015.

It’s a shame Harvard Magazine would publish such a one-sided piece against home schooling.

At a time when practically everyone in America is educating their children at home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, calling for a ban on home schooling seems a little out of touch, to say the least.

Throwback Thursday: Gov. Bill Clinton Signs State’s First Home School Law

Perhaps you’ve already seen this photo floating around on social media this week.

This is a picture of former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton signing the law that legalized homeschooling in the spring of 1985.

Standing behind him are the legislation’s sponsors, former Rep. Tim Hutchinson and Sen. Bill Henley, and Mr. Tom Holiman.

Home schooling has come a long way in the past 34 years, and home schoolers certainly are leaving a legacy in our state.

Today men and women who were home schooled as children now work in public policy at the State of Arkansas. They’re business owners and leaders in our communities. They are making an impact everywhere they go.

You and I get to be part of that lasting legacy, and you can help us continue that legacy by giving a generous, tax-deductible to support the work of Family Council and the Education Alliance. Click here to donate right now.