by Hank R. Kraychir
Position Paper, Reprinted with Permission.
There is a prevailing stereotype in the United States that homeschool education is racially prejudice (Butz, 2001; Danehy, 1999); that is, that white parents decide to homeschool their children because of their discriminatory opinions of other races. However, an interesting aspect of homeschooling is its universal appeal to all ethnic groups. Homeschooling has become mainstream in many ethnic communities, withmore people of color now choosing to homeschool their children. Taking this into consideration, the stereotype of white racist homeschoolers must be reexamined alongside the more feasible reasons for homeschooling, including the failing condition of America’s public education system. In doing so, white homeschoolers will be revealed not as racists, but concerned parents with their children’s best interests in mind.
With the gaining popularity and acceptance of homeschooling in the United States, a long-standing stereotype about white homeschoolers has come under fire. While homeschooling has become more prevalent in America, many people still consider homeschoolers to be isolationist, fanatical and socially ignorant. This often leads to the question of whether white homeschoolers are racist (Butz, 2001; Danehy, 1999), practicing homeschooling as a means of segregating their children from other races and ethnicities.
There is a prevailing assumption that homeschooling does not involve ethnic minorities; an assumption that has led to the current argument that America’s homeschooling movement is racist (Butz, 2001; Danehy, 1999). Homeschooling in the past may have been primarily made up of white Christians, however, that is no longer the case (Basham, 2001; Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999; McDowell, Sanchez, and Jones, 2000). Minority families are continually turning to homeschooling as an approach to educating their children (Farris, 1997; Holland, 2001). Minorities battle subtle forms of racism every day in public schools (Sarver, 2003), so it would be no surprise that the reason so many minorities are leaving public education may have to do with an attempt to escape the passive forms of institutional racism they are subjected to (Boyden, Johnson, and Pittz, 2001).
There have been studies that focus on homeschooling from an academic perspective. Very few of these studies specifically address the issue of racism within the homeschooling movement (Ray, 1997; Rudner, 1999; Snyder, and Hoffman, 2002). Political influences might determine how an individual feels about the homeschooling issue (Sowell, 2000; Stames, 2003). Finding available research regarding ethnic discrimination within homeschooling and how this relates to political influences has been less than successful. The concentration of research appears to be focused on whether students who are homeschooled were disadvantaged compared to their counterparts in either the private or public school systems (Anderson, 2000; Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999). There have also been studies concerning how well homeschooled children socialize and do well as adults in life (Knowles, and Muchmore, 1995). Even so, the specific issue of outward racism has not been determined universally (Boswell, 2002; Buac, 2003).
Even today, the question remains, does excluding a child from children of another race necessitate the term racist? Could it be possible that there are other factors that have determined the choice to homeschool? There are studies that have determined many parental reasons for homeschooling, and none have established racism as a cause (Anderson, 2000; Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999). However, one must wonder if these parents respond accurately to surveys, or would even admit to a racism claim if it were presented? Racism is not a term most people would feel comfortable talking about or answering questions on in a general survey (Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999; Jamieson, Curry, and Martinez, 2001).
Does having a national organization that excludes others based on race warrant the term racist? While conducting this research, it was determined that almost every ethnic group has such an organization (Homeschool Support Association of Japan, 2002; Mocha Moms, 2002; National Association of Hispanic-American Homeschoolers, 2002; Native American Home School Association, 2002; &Scoots, 2002). Though these groups do not outwardly promote racism, their exclusion of other racial groups allows for an open interpretation.
The topic of social development is a common theme brought up by opponents of homeschooling. Homeschooling supporters repeatedly deny that a lack of social development exists with homeschooled students (Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999; Jamieson, Curry, and Martinez, 2001). Still, the question remains, do children who are homeschooled function well as adults, or are there problems that will arise at a later period in life?
In the early 1990s, it was determined that many white families had vacated the public school system and started homeschooling their children (Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999). Minorities, in large part, also began to homeschool during this same time period (Colson, 2000; Holland, 2001). Why would white, as well as minority, parents pull their children from public schools? Could this surge of popularity in homeschooling for whites and minorities be considered a reflection of the public school system, rather than a case for racism? While increases in minority homeschooling have gone almost unnoticed, the claim of racism amongst white homeschoolers has continued (Butz, 2001; Danehy, 1999). However, the opposition claiming such racism, specifically the National Education Association, has a vested interest in destroying homeschooling for the betterment of their organization (Schlafly, 2000). Conversely, current research supporting homeschooling points to the practice not as racist, but as a way of exercising conscientious educational choice in the mist of disappointing public school environments (Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999; Jamieson, Curry, and Martinez, 2001).
For the assessment of this paper, the term homeschooling will be defined as children being educated in a home environment by their parent or parents. Homeschooling is not a new development; its roots go back as far man has been learning. The concept of public education is actually a contemporary phenomenon (California Homeschool Network, 2003).
Education in Early America
Homeschooling has a long history in the United States. A lack of central governmental control during the foundation of the United States led to a need for homeschool education. Homeschooling was very common in the United States up until about the 1870s (Basham, 2001).
Many people in America today consider the relationship between public schooling and government a critical link. The idea that our society cannot function without public education is a common theme held by many. However, the United States is now witnessing a rebirth of an earlier American educational belief. A parental right to educate one’s children is a popular belief among homeschoolers (Benoit, 1997).
A great many historical leaders were homeschooled. Notable homeschooled presidents include George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Other historical Americans who were homeschooled were Thomas Edison, General Robert E. Lee, civil rights activist Booker T. Washington, writer Mark Twain and industrialist Andrew Carnegie (Basham, 2001).
It is very common for powerful nations to centralize their educational systems. Public education has been used by many great nations to centralize common national goals (Peterson, 1999). The idea of centralized education had little influence in early American education, as it was often conducted independent of state or federal controls. Parents maintained central control of a child’s educational direction. This would be performed through either a one-room school, often set up by a local community; a private school, normally based on a religious belief; or a home school, within one’s residence. Parents decided a child’s educational requirements, determining how and what their children would be taught. Governmental bodies had no control over a child’s educational needs during this time period (Benoit, 1997).
It was not until the middle of the 1800s that the first government schools were established in the United States. Parents who were use to directing their children’s education became concerned with this new governmental direction. It was not long after when many states began implementing laws making public education compulsory (Baxter, 2001). The idea of state mandated education could be seen as early as 1817 in Boston (Brouillette 2001). Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory education laws. The Massachusetts Compulsory Attendance Act was passed in 1852. Since 1918 all states have maintained compulsory educational laws in the United States (Grocke, 2003).
From 1880 to 1904, John Dewey guided the progressive education movement in the United States. It was Dewey’s educational viewpoint that established most applicable theories during this time period. Dewey’s viewpoints were so influential that they lasted for more than 60 years (Maxcy, 2002). Dewey founded the first teachers union in the United States, the American Association of University Professors (Malone, 1999).
In the early 1900s, American industrialization had become so successful that American educators decided to use the same principles within the public schools. Educational behaviorists felt that America’s public schools should focus predominantly on mental growth in a productive atmosphere, rather then individualistic approaches (Woodbury, 2002).
Homeschooling’s Reemergence and Growth
The 1960s were considered the start of a counter-culture movement that had changed America’s educational system. It was through this change that the modern homeschool movement began to take hold, and the United States witnessed the reemergence of homeschooling (Kristol, 1995).
The first phase of this reemergence has been credited to Dr. Ray Moore. Moore published two popular books, Home-Grown Kids and Home-Spun School. These two books were influential in educating parents about the homeschool option. During this same period, John Holt wrote several books as well, including How Children Fail and Teach Your Own. John Holt is considered the founder of the modern unschooling movement a homeschooling sect that makes a radical departure from traditional homeschool methods such as curriculum usage (Basham, 2001).
Many studies have attempted to count the total number of homeschooled students in the United States. Several studies have been conducted in just this past decade in order to better understand these numbers, characteristics, and why families homeschool their children. Depending on the research study, the statistics differ by the thousands (Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999; Jamieson, Curry, and Martinez, 2001).
According to a study conducted by Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman (1999), there were 850,000 homeschooled children (ages 5 through 17) in the United States, which amounted to 1.7 percent of all school-age children in the United States. Lines (1999), by means of her research at the United States Department of Education’s National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum and Assessment, projected the number of homeschoolers to be around 700,000 during the 1996-1997 school year, forecasting an expansion to perhaps one million by 1997-1998 school year. Ray (1997), from the National Education Research Institute, estimated the number of homeschooled children around 1.15 million, and predicted its growth to be near 1.3 million by the 1999-2000 school year. Ray (2002) updated these estimates for the 2001-2002 school year between 1.725 million and 2.185 million.
Of course, many of these studies do not take into account the apprehension homeschooling families feel when it comes to answering questions, especially from strangers or a governmental body over the telephone. Homeschooling families continually fear the knock on their door from (a) social services, (b) public school officials, and (c) the local police (Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999).
The prevailing stereotype that the homeschooling movement originated from middle-class Caucasian Christian families is not necessarily true. The modern homeschool movement actually derived from new age viewpoints, ex-hippies, and the homesteader movement of the 1960s (Basham, 2001).
Current research on homeschooling suggests several characteristics about students and families who homeschool. Rudner (1999) suggests that homeschoolers depart from the broad population with regard to parental educational achievement, family income, marital status, and how many members are within each family. McDowell, Sanchez and Jones (2000) proposed that even though homeschooling in the United States might have been a trend within middle-class Caucasian Christian families, development of this educational movement may be attaining a broader assortment of ethnic American families and principles.
Indeed, many demographic studies showed a surge in minority participation in America’s homeschool movement (Bauman, 2001; & Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999; Curry, Jamieson, & Martinez, 2001). It was reported that 75 percent of all homeschooled pupils are Caucasian, compared to 65 percent for publicly schooled pupils. Therefore, this research demonstrates that 25 percent of all homeschooled pupils are ethnic minorities (Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999).
Significant numbers of African-American families have started to homeschool. By the late 1990s, it was determined that 9.9 percent of all homeschooled children were black, and 48.9 percent of black homeschooling parents felt their children could get a better education at home (Holland, 2001).
Effects on educational reform. Homeschooling today is far reaching and encompasses every ethnic group in America. There has been no other educational development in America that has been so successful as America’s homeschooling movement. Homeschooling has impacted many educational reforms (Farris, 1997). And most importantly, homeschooling is actually forcing the public to take notice of the condition of America’s public schools (Bauman, 2001).
American homeschooling parents decide to teach their children for a variety of reasons. The National Household Education Surveys Program (1999) reports that varying reasons were given for homeschooling, including (a) better education provided at home, (b) poor learning environments in public schools, and (c) religious reasons. Indeed, an increase in public school drug use, gang activity and violence has been found to be additional reasons for parents to homeschool their children. None of the studied indicators, however, determined racism was a cause for homeschooling (Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999; Howie, 2003; McCain, 2001).
Socialization of homeschooled children. A lack of socialization in homeschooling is a common theme espoused by opponents of America’s homeschool movement. Research has proven that homeschoolers are not affected negatively by their homeschool experience. In the research conducted by Galloway & Sutton (2000), homeschoolers who went to college showed no significant social skill deprivation from their experience. Leadership domain among the homeschooled group was substantially higher than their counterparts from the private as well as public high school groups.
A study by Knowles and Muchmore (1995) concluded that the issue of social development of homeschoolers is overstated. Adults, who were homeschooled as children, exhibited no characteristics that implied any future disadvantage.
Homeschooled children develop normally with regard to social skill development. There are many reasons why parent’s homeschool. Racism has not determined to be a reason. Homeschooled children are neither aided by nor diminished by their homeschooled environments (Clery, 1998). Home-based charter schooled students were not negatively influenced with regard to their homeschooled experiences and socialization capabilities (Butz, 2001).
Research asserts that parents who homeschooled primarily sought a solid education for their children (Miles, 1995). With regard to motivating educational factors, Galloway & Sutton (2000), discovered no significant dissimilarities between three sampled college bound areas, (a) regular high school students, (b) private high school students, and (c) homeschooled high school students. One chief inference was that regardless of high school setting, all of the college students who were sampled, received an equally valued education.
Legality of homeschooling
Whether homeschooling is legal or not is a point often brought up by the opposition to denounce the practice. Many parents do not know that they can, in fact, homeschool their children if they want to do so. The legality of homeschooling goes back to the intolerances levied against modern-day homeschoolers during their many court battles (Seelhoff, 2000). Each state varies with regard to required regulations.
Many homeschool families have learned to become ardently independent, stemming from their reluctance to succumb to governmental influence. Homeschoolers fear any influence that might allow a departure from their plans for educating their children, arguing that governmental regulations have led to the failure of America’s once proud educational establishment. Homeschoolers believe that governmental control will lead to failure of the homeschooling movement as well (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 2003).
Early American education reinforced the idea of black inferiority. Credible scholars provided data to justify racial opinions in public education. Teachers were taught to reinforce the natural superiority of the white race. Public schools would teach the natural superiority of the white race. The public schools became significant building blocks toward class racism within American society (Veris, 1996).
Public school racism. Education in America has not always been accessible to ethnic minorities. The Brown vs. Board of Education judgment from 1954 understood that race was influential in who obtains a quality education in the United States. Public education in America still singles out students of color for unfair treatment. (Boyden, Johnson, and Pittz, 2001).
Boyden, Johnson, and Pittz (2001) examined many educational policies and trends that impact students of color, and have determined the following: (a) public education often overlooks racially prejudicial regulations, which often lead to regrettable results, (b) public education censures individuals of color unfairly, and (c) public schools often redirect awareness and resources away from available solutions. The following recommendations must be applied to rid public education of institutional racism in the United States: (a) get rid of exit exams, (b) retract zero tolerance guidelines, (c) schools that perform in high need populations must be prioritized to receive adequate funding, and (d) schools must employ racial equity plans.
The concept of public school racism is not universal. Watson (2002) reported that public schools did not discriminate in the way they punished their students. The report issued by the United States department of education’s office of civil rights was in response to citizen complaints about policies based on race.
Racism in the United States has been established. A recent survey ascertained that bias toward immigrants in Michigan is still a relevant problem today. The research focused on the contention that anti-diversity views are fairly prevalent. (Hovey, Rojas, Kain, & Magaña, 2000).
Racism can be broken down into several subcategories. Wrench (2001) reported three forms of direct or intentional discrimination, (a) racist discrimination, which are actions by racist, (b) statistical discrimination, which are perceptions towards a minority group, and (c) societal discrimination. Also determined were three forms of structural discrimination: (a) indirect discrimination, whereby neutral practices may cause discrimination, (b) past and present discrimination, whereby historical impacts may effect present discrimination, and (c) side-effect discrimination, whereby inequality in one-area causes problems in another. This research is significant in its efforts to determine levels and types of discrimination.
There appears to be a disproportionate level of white teachers in the United States. Ninety percent of all classroom teachers in the United States are white, and this bias is often demonstrated in America’s classrooms. There are many differences between what white Americans say and how they live their lives (Star, 2001). White people have learned to talk about fighting racial prejudice, but often resist when these changes threaten their way of life (Texeira, 2001).
The issue of white privilege is often used to explain the significance of diversity, racism, and its importance in the United States today. The matter of white privilege illustrates a better sense of how being white is often considered by other ethnic groups. White people are trained not to identify white privilege. Disapproving a system based on white privilege is not enough. Whites in the United States believe that racial discrimination does not involve them. Racism will not end until white people changed their attitudes toward people of color (McIntosh, 1988).
Students of color continually struggle with racism as an issue that influences social opportunities. White students are uninformed about how white privilege affects their lives, and how this issue involves their view of the world (Cooper, 2000).
Perpetuating discrimination. Organizations that appear to be progressive may never be examined due to their progressive stance on issues of importance; thereby actually perpetuating the discrimination they are entrusted to prevent (Cooper, 2000).
Racial imbalance is very common within American public education (AA Up-Beat, 2001). The homeschool movement is a better reflection of the wants and needs for America’s children (Albert, 2003). Ninety percent of all public school teachers are white (Star, 2001). Seventy-five percent of all homeschoolers are white (Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999). America’s public school teachers do not send their own children to many of the schools in which they teach, but homeschoolers do (Haberman, 2003; Rudner, 1999).
Incessant cultural war
The root of the racism claim appears to be founded in a continual cultural war based on political beliefs (Armas, 2003; Bucchanan, 1997; Cooperman, 2003; Heston, 1999). Since the foundation of the United States, there have always been opposing views about how to rule this country (Benoit, 1997; Grocke, 2003; Maxcy, 2002; Peterson, 1999; Woodbury, 2002). We have come to know these beliefs through the modern liberal and conservative themes of today. The liberal view regarding education is based on the view that public education must be inclusive and free of racism. The conservatives on the other hand have seen their power dwindle as a result of a power alliance between the National Education Association and the liberal Democratic Party. The conservatives or Republican Party consider the homeschool movement as an opportunity to weaken the liberal hold on American educational values. This debate has led to many powerful claims by both parties, one of which is the social cohesion argument (Cardiff; Krueger, 2000; Sealhoff, 2000; Zysk, 2000).
Two-party bias. The true strength of America’s homeschool movement does not come from either political party, but does in fact come from the American mainstream (Basham, 2001; Miller, 2003; Mintz, 2003; Ray, 1997; Sarver, 2003). However, America’s public school support is clearly driven by liberal bias from the Democratic Party. The conservative Republican Party is predominantly interested in diminishing the National Education Association’s power and influence with that of the Democratic Party. Both parties know very well that homeschool children do well with regard to test scores and social development (Schlafly, 1995; Schlafly, 2000). It is not about true facts that drive either position, but rather it is about politics, influence, power and money. This is the basis for the continued stereotyping of America’s homeschool movement (Cloud and Morse, 2001; Littlepage, 2003; Malkin, 2002).
The Need For Multicultural Education
Multicultural education is a progressive movement that enables educators the opportunity to challenge racial inadequacies. Multicultural education recognizes that education is an important component in the transformation of American society. One of the goals of multicultural education is to educate students about oppression and social injustice (Gorski, 2000).
The view regarding multicultural education is not universal. Multicultural education within America’s public schools is situated in a vacuum. Educators obtain little training in preparing them for multicultural classrooms. Public schools have multicultural education as a goal, but its success is still debatable (Wardle, 2000).
There are a many reasons public school educators believe in multicultural education. Public school educators continually debate the effectiveness of homeschooling when it comes to meeting the needs of an expanding multicultural society (Closson, 2002).
American educators did not always view other ethnic groups as equals. Thus, the contention that homeschooling might actually be reversing long fought after educational gains (Ellis, 2003).
Alternative forms of education
There appears to be an overwhelming need for alternative forms of education. Public education is also changing as demographic shifts continue to emerge. Alternative education venues reduce the strain between public schools and parental concerns (Taylor and Hughes, 2003).
Alternative forms of education have become an independent, yet powerful grouping of organizations that cannot be discounted. The Alternative Education Resource Organization currently lists over 12,000 educational alternative schools, resource centers, and programs within their organization (Mints, 2003).
Educational choice issues are often exhibited as a compromise between public school supporters and their critics (Montenegro, 1994). Parental school choice is not readily available to the poor. Poor minorities have very few educational options in the United States (Black Alliance for Educational Options, 2002).
Opponents of educational choice foresee the proliferating of racist public schools. Educational choice will force the public to promote racism (Bast and Wittmann, 2003). Conversely Professor Howard Fuller speaks to the evenhandedness of school choice as being an important component in the long-term fight against institutional racism (Arsen, 2003).
A popular option by opponents of school choice is the voucher system. The state can give a student’s family a voucher to choose a form of education for their children (Schoales and Stanton, 2003). The National Education Association (2003) deems vouchers not to be the best interest of students. The National Education Association believes a pure voucher system would promote economic, racial, ethnic, and religious division in the United States.
Structural racism in American education guarantees that the voucher option would only subsidize those who do not need assistance. Opponents of the voucher option contend that vouchers do not provide what many non-whites have continually demanded equal access to a quality education (Johnson, Piana, and Burlingame, 2000). Special interest groups attack vouchers because they want to maintain control of America’s public school institutions (Sowell, 2000), using the same tactics that are used on the homeschool movement (Schlafly, 2000, August).
In Florida, 67 percent of candidates for vouchers are black, and 30 percent are Hispanic. Public opinion polls demonstrate that blacks are strong supporters of Florida’s voucher system. Florida’s teachers are passionate rivals of the states voucher program, even though minority parents are witnessing positive results (Thomas, 2002). Florida’s experiment with vouchers and the response by minority parents is not only an indication of the states failed public schools, but also the greater desire and willingness to try an alternative form of education for their children (Rado, 1999).
It would appear that long-standing educational alliances are beginning to divide over the issue of school choice. Minority students are receiving an inadequate education in America, which is having an outcome toward American politics. Political alliances that use to define America’s educational landscape are being redefined. The strain is most evident between African-Americans, and the Democratic-leaning National Education Association (Chaddock, 1999).
Many homeschool organizations believe that the claim of white homeschoolers being racist has a lot to do with platform positions of the National Education Association. The NEA believes that a homeschool environment cannot offer a comprehensive education. When homeschooling does occur, the NEA believes that all students must meet state requirements. The NEA argues that only persons who are licensed by each state’s educational licensing agency should be the ones to teach. The NEA also maintains that homeschool students must not partake in any extracurricular activity on school grounds (Schlafly, 2000).
Background on the NEA
The National Education Association has been the leading force against most forms of alternative education (Quade, 1998; White, 1998). Homeschooling is only one type of many alternative educational reforms available to parents today (Washington Homeschool Organization, 2001). It is the divide between public school education and alternative forms of education that has led to so much rhetorical stereotypes (Home School Legal Defense Association News, 2003; Miller, 2003; World Net Daily, 2002).
Public school workers worry about losing students, financial support and control over the education of America’s students. Governmental control is a common theme used by self-directed and powerful organizations. The suggestion that these organizations must also change is a difficult stance for power-wielding institutions (Kasman, 2000).
The NEA has led the fight against America’s homeschool movement (Robinson, 2000). The NEA’s interest is served by not acknowledging the truth about America’s successful homeschool movement (Schlafly, 2000; Schlafly, 1995; Zysk, 2000). The organization issued their first statements on homeschooling in 1984 when their board of directors offered the Policy Statement on Home Study. The following resolutions made in that statement have been reaffirmed in later conventions as well. Resolutions passed at the 1984 convention include (a) home instructors must meet state teacher qualification requirements, (b) consent to home education must be authorized by the state, (c) home instruction must be supervised by the state, (d) compulsory testing is a requirement, (e) supplementary public school teaching must be available, and (f) students must be calculated into the daily average with no pro-ration. Many states follow these guidelines by making them a part of state laws, thereby maintaining national control of America’s educational future (Zysk, 2000).
The NEA has further opposed homeschooling by implementing a declaration in 1990 denouncing homeschooling. The NEA’s position is that homeschooling cannot offer America’s children a complete education as compared to that of public schools (Robinson, 2000).
Efforts to stop the homeschooling movement
Public school educators have a vested interest in stopping America’s homeschool movement. Many earlier attempts to brand homeschooling illegal have failed. Many public officials continue to legally prosecute homeschool families. Legal prosecution is a preferred weapon used against America’s homeschoolers (Cardiff, 1998).
The National Education Association often uses the socialization argument as a weapon against America’s homeschool movement. At their 1998 convention, two resolutions were passed reflecting its position on racism B-7: Racism, sexism, and sexual orientation discrimination, and B-28: Multicultural education (Schlafly, 2000).
The NEA’s stated ambition is the equality of all students. Resolution B-7’s aim is to eliminate all forms of discrimination and stereotyping as it relates to (a) race, (b) gender, (c) immigration status, (d) physical disability, (e) ethnicity, (f) occupation, and (g) sexual orientation. The NEA also believes that any curriculum for educating students should get rid of bias and stereotyping. Such programs must have the following: (a) enhance respect, and sensitivity to all people within a diverse culture, (b) eradicate bias and stereotyping in any program, instructional material, or activity, (c) promote nondiscriminatory practices and activities, and (d) present diverse role models within the culture (Schlafly, 2000).
The aim of B-28 is to increase individual and group self-worth through multicultural education. Through B-28, the NEA attempts to recognize individual as well as group differences, thereby reducing racism (Schlafly, 2000).
Through its membership, the National Education Association administers all related resolutions. As its membership is advanced through the America’s public school systems all associated National Education Association issues are placed above those of local concerns (Schlafly, 2000).
The NEA and alternative charter schools
The National Education Association (2003) supports alternative charter schools. Charter schools have similar standards of academic accountability as those of public schools. With the proliferation of the home study option the National Education Association has also determined that many charter schools are violating the classroom status of public education. The National Education Association believes this is a misuse of the charter school option.
Even though the National Education Association approves of public charter schools it is still not universally recognized. Opponents contend that alternative charter schools do not truly meet America’s integration concerns. Charter schools do not deal with the issue of segregation (Kopplin, 1999). Racism is the primary issue educators are willing to believe about charter schools (Goldfarb, 1999). Educators still debate racial equity within charter schools. Public school children still experience many forms of racism. Charter schools provide the same degree of institutional racism (The Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, 2001).
In essence, the National Education Association is using certain types of alternative forms of education as a pacifying tool to appease a growing dissatisfaction with public schools (Gibson, 1998). The NEA will support selected alternative reforms as long as it maintains control (Lieberman, 2000). Homeschooling today does not fall under an acceptable accountability structure. Due to a lack of accountability the National Education Association has determined that homeschooling must be defeated (Hurd, 2001).
Linking Alternative Education Reform to Racism
The idea of white privilege is a common theme exhausted by opponents of racism (Danehy, 1999; McIntosh, 1988). The National Education Association has determined the issue of class racism must be eliminated (Robinson, 2000; Schlafly, 2000; Zysk, 2000). Universal acceptance about class racism cannot be determined (West, 2003). No direct link has been determined that proves alternative forms of education or homeschooling harm a student’s ability to interact with other racial groups (Boswell, 2002; Neiberger, 1996).
Studies have reported many positive facts regarding America’s homeschooling movement. The homeschool racism claim has not been considered in many prominent national studies (Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999; Lines, 1999; Ray, 1997). The racism subject to so inflammatory it is understandable why many have decided not to deal with this issue directly (Samuels, 2002).
The expression, white privilege, is commonly used to express racial differences (Jensen, 1999). Many opponents of the homeschooling movement commonly use this term to better explain why cultural division still exists today (Schlafly, 2000). The use of the term racist immediately brings out strong emotions (McCulloch, 2003). White society might very well present class advantages that many whites do not want to admit to. It is extremely hard to understand what another ethnic group is feeling when dealing with class advantages (McIntosh, 1988). Understanding class distinctions may very well relate to educational issues and how opponents of the homeschool movement use the racism issue (Schlafly, 2000; Star, 2001; Texeira, 2001; Veris, 1996). Danehy (1999) best summarizes the opposition’s view on homeschool racism. In his 1999 article, Home-schooled kids shouldn’t be playing high school athletics, Danehy stated that he hated the idea of homeschooling and considers it a type of child abuse. Danehy said he felt that homeschooling engaged in certain forms of racism, paranoia, and religious bigotry. The unfortunate aspect of Danehy’s article is that he does not take into consideration that minorities in greater numbers are turning to America’s homeschool movement. Many minority families are finding that homeschooling is an alternative to that of public school education (Bauman, 2001).
The homeschool movement is not based on ethnic discrimination. Rather, there is an extensive conspiracy for cultural control by the National Education Association (Zysk, 2000).
Politics is playing a decisive role in education today, and because of this the true educational needs of America’s children are not being met (Thompson, 1994). It is politics that are feeding a backlash toward the homeschool movement (Krueger, 2000). It would appear that the battle lines have been drawn between public education and the homeschool movement. Public school and homeschool advocates continue to attack each other’s position (Cardiff, 1996).
Senator Charles Starr from Oregon, who is a member of the state’s senate education committee; tells every parent who will listen to “Run, not walk,” out of the public schools system (Oregonian News, 2003). Public schools are untouchable fixtures in America today, even if the schools have become inept, dangerous, and a waste of public revenue (Malkin, 2002). Homeschoolers are outpacing more contemporary forms of education, like charter schools and vouchers. By bleeding millions of dollars in funding and eroding public confidence in traditional education America’s homeschool movement has turned into a major threat to the existence of public education (Cloud and Morse, 2001).
Minority families along with white families have discovered homeschooling. The homeschooling route has not yet been blocked by the special interests. Even though liberal Democrats have prevented disadvantaged children from leaving public education, many are finding refuge in America’s homeschool movement (Littlepage, 2003).
The homeschool movement is not without its critics. As homeschooling has become more popular, political parties and their supporters continue to champion their respective positions. Political as well as religious agendas become primary motivators that often become more important then an individual’s independence. Homeschoolers on the other hand are more concerned with the education of their children then any other issue (Seelhoff, 2000).
Homeschoolers taking control
Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans, an African-American, recently asserted that when America is at war, political parties do not act like Republicans or Democrats. Evans asserts that all Americans should take a similar attitude toward that of educating America’s children. Evans maintains that partisan politics is not and cannot be the only answer to America’s educational problem (Center for Education Reform, 2003).
It is because of such partisan politics that individual families from all walks of life are taking control of their children’s education. They are no longer complaining about a failed public educational system. Parents from all ethnic groups are homeschooling their children and teaching them their own values, not those of an institution based on class racism (Hegener, 2000; Littlepage, 2003; Richman, 2003; Seelhoff, 2000).
A cultural war is being fought across America that is invading family values and assaulting traditional freedoms. These assaults are weakening our self-assurance of who we are and what we stand for. These attacks are coming from many different areas, the media, educators, entertainers as well as politicians. It is only the belief in our heritage that will allow this country to continue, because if we do not resist, America could very well end like many powerful nations from the past (Heston, 1997). We see that a cultural divide between political parties continue to determine national educational policies. Understanding this educational cultural war that is raging between the liberal left and the conservative right allows for a better perspective about how each side is using ethnicity (Grobman, 1990).
In the meantime, those involved in the homeschooling movement seem to have gone mainstream (Colson, 2000; McElroy, 2001). Parents have decided to steward the education of America’s children, rather than letting public educators. Yet, public educators want to displace parental teachings with those of national policies (Grigg, 1997).
Educators have traditionally been the stewards of our cultural values, however, this is no longer the case. We are now witnessing educators and intellectuals manipulating social and cultural values (Gur-Ze’ev, 2000; Kjos, 2002).
The hope of American education depends on the family, not on political leaders or the public school system. In spite of their motivations, public school educators continue to stumble. Teachers should instead start reclaiming their individual right to educate their own children at home. There is nothing more important then erecting barriers between homeschooling and the power of public education, thereby restoring a families right to educate free individuals (Grigg, 1997).
Heston (1999) characterizes the anguish many homeschoolers have felt, due to their position against state-sponsored public education. Heston maintains that Americans should renounce cultural correctness with enormous defiance of rogue organizations, social directives and burdensome law that deteriorate personal freedom; but be cautious, because it hurts. Heston maintains that defiance demands that you put yourself in danger. Heston referred to Dr. Martin Luther King as a person of who put himself in harms way for doing the right thing, in spite of what the establishment said; and look what happened to him.
Minority interest and abilities
Ethnic minorities in America are just as concerned as white Americans with the quality of education their children are receiving (Stames, 2003; Thomas, 2002; Watson, 2002). As more Americans continue to hear about homeschool successes in the United States, and as many of these same Americans begin to feel a sense of betrayal on the part of public education, we can see why so many Americans are willing to turn to this alternative form of education (Albert, 2003; Arsen, 2003; Haberman, 2003).
Any falsehood regarding minority abilities compared to their white counterparts is nothing more then political propaganda (Cardiff, 1996; Cardiff, 1998; Schlafly, 2000). As long as they are free of institutionally supported racism, minority students perform as well as white students; they are able to fully meet their true potential in a loving parentally supported homeschool environment. Children given the proper atmosphere and opportunity will prosper and do well in life. It has been determined that minority and white students test out at equivalent levels when they are homeschooled (Gillespie, 1997).
However, when minority students are compared to white students in a public school setting, significant academic differences appear. White students test at substantially higher levels then their ethnic counterparts in public school environments. The issue of class distinctions should be immediately dispelled, unless a student attends a public school (Gillespie, 1997; Ray, 1997; Wall Street Journal, 1997).
American homeschoolers come from all walks of life
Homeschoolers come from different races, socioeconomic environments and religions. American homeschoolers do have a proclivity for association. There are currently homeschool support organizations for every race, religion, disability and political affiliation in the United States today (Lyman, 2002; Homeschool Support Association of Japan, 2002; Mocha Moms, 2002; National Association of Hispanic-American Homeschoolers, 2002; Native American Home School Association, 2002; & Scoots, 2002). Homeschool parents should be free to direct the multicultural needs of their children (Limbaugh, 2002). Concerned homeschool parents of all ethnic groups should be able to make educational decisions free of any governmental control (Human Liberation Alliance, 2001).
True Reasons for Homeschooling
Despite what the National Education Association would have the public believe, homeschoolers have countless reasons for choosing to educate their children at home.
An individual choice
America can be proud of its free market economy, where people are allowed to seek out better opportunities for themselves and their families (Pore and Plainsman, 2002). This can be seen in today’s contemporary homeschool movement as well (Rudner, 1999). There is no central mechanism that controls America’s homeschoolers, unlike that of America’s public schools (Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman, 1999). On the contrary, homeschoolers make an individual choice to teach their children, and enjoy the independence of teaching their children in the way they see fit.
Usually, it would seem that groups based on either political, racial, religious or geographic locations often determine who and what type of organization a family might choose to participate in. There are also many families who do not participate or align themselves with an organization (Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999; Colson, 2000; McElroy, 2001; Sealhoff, 2000). This fractional separation gives the homeschool movement its strength to survive and succeed well into the future (Drennan, 2000).
The homeschool movement is not collective with a singular mode of thinking, unlike that of the public schools today (Taylor, and Hughes, 2003; Mintz, 2003). Each family determines their own reasons for homeschooling, they might very well be religious, but more often the motivation for homeschooling appears to be the failure of public school education (Rado, 1999; Rudner, 1999). With each family making singular decisions, independent of any central control mechanism, success is actually deemed a triumph for each family over America’s educational monopoly (Cardiff, 1998; Colson, 2000; Ellis, 2003). Homeschool parents are finding their American heritage, and concluding that it does not take a governmental autocracy to educate a nation (Grigg, 1997; Heston, 1997; Kang, 2001; Krueger, 2000; Lieberman, 2000).
A supportive community
This division within homeschooling does lead to some problems. Due to a lack of central command, many homeschool organizations often make claims for all homeschoolers. In fact, many people have claimed to be homeschool experts, but are nothing more than opportunists. Since homeschooling is made up of varying groups with different ideals, there can be no single claimant that speaks for all homeschoolers; there are no homeschool experts in America today (Sealhoff, 2000).
There are, however, support associations that aid parents in learning more about racism and related issues. These support organizations often share information with its membership in an effort to enhance and produce informative curriculums (The National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools, 2003). It is not uncommon for homeschool parents to start their own support organization based on their individual goals and desires. Ethnic diversity is only one of many related desires parents can choose to incorporate into their children’s education. Cloud and Morse (2001) reported that homeschool parents Tim and Lisa Dean created their own homeschool support group that incorporated parents who were gay and straight, black, white, Asian-American, biracial, Democrat as well as Republican.
Homeschool support organizations play a vital role with regard to informing parents, legislators, the media, and researchers. Many of these homeschool support organizations provide information, which have become beneficial in understanding the movement’s success. Specific minority homeschool support groups have also enhanced minority participation through the sharing of information (Hegener, 2000). Hardenbergh (2000) and Sealhoff (2000) assert that the Home School Legal Defense Association is probably the best-known advocacy organization, but this organization only represents the legal interest of homeschoolers.
Intimacy of homeschooling
Another reason parents choose homeschooling is to enjoy an enhanced intimacy with their children. Homeschooling augments the family relationship. Most homeschooling parents demonstrate their own passion for learning through that of their children. When concerned parents are presented with the opportunity to homeschool their children, many give it due consideration. After all, parents are the first teachers of their children’s social values. Societal values are enhanced in a homeschool environment (Broadhurst, 1999). It is the love of teaching one’s children that has enabled all ethnic groups to benefit from homeschooling (Colson, 2000; Lyman, 2002; McElroy, 2001).
Homeschooling for religious reasons
Another big reason for homeschooling is religion (Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999). This means homeschooled children are directed by their parents to interact with children of the same religion, not necessarily the same color (Anderson, 2000; Basham, 2001). Most religions today do not advocate ethnic segregation. The hallmark of the Christian faith today is the love of thy neighbor. It is the contention of this argument that most Christian faiths today allow interracial congregations. This means that church activities allow all church children an opportunity to play and interact together, regardless of race (Potapov, 1987; Robinson, 2003). Another facet of this argument would be if a homeschooled family did not go to church, availability to interact is obtainable through homeschool support organizations, whereby all children have an opportunity to participate together (Shemitz, J. 2002).
Better education at home
Available data proves that homeschooled children do well with parental guidance (Bauman. 2001; Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, 1999). The top three finishers at the 2000 national spelling bee were all homeschooled by their parents. Four of the top ten finalists in the national geography bee were also homeschooled by their parents (Scott, 2000). Homeschool success results are often overlooked in an effort to discredit this movement (Anderson, 2000).
So why would the National Education Association not deem parents qualified to teach (Schlafly, 1995; Schlafly, 2000; Sowell, 2000)? Available data proves that homeschooled children are not affected by a lack of socialization (Bauman. 2001; Boswell, 2002; Butz. 2001; Clery, 1998). Yet again, all too often many public school advocates consider homeschoolers either racist or fanatics (Clowes, 1995; Danehy, 1999; Goldfarb, 1999). This smear campaign is based on an attack in order to deflect actual blame for the failures of America’s public schools (Johnson, Piana, and Burlingame, 2000; Johnson, Boyden, and Pittz, 2001; Limbaugh, 2002).
Failure of the public schools
Public school troubles don’t end with financial problems. Teachers are questioning many public school policies. It has been determined that public school administrative pressures are driving teachers away. It was asserted that fourth grade teachers were being held accountable for the failure of their students. Many of the skills the children did not know should have been taught in kindergarten. (The Learning Machine, Inc., 2001).
Ron Paige the Secretary of Education under the Bush administration came under fire from civil liberty groups as well as the National Education Association. Education Secretary Paige made a comment about a parent’s right to select a school that meets a child’s needs. Education Secretary Page asserted that this could mean a private school, a homeschool or a public school. Education Secretary Page, an African American, said that the United States education system is under performing, leaving many minority children behind (Stames, 2003). Shortly after Education Secretary Paige made his comment civil liberties and education groups called for his apology or resignation (Cooperman, 2003).
Homeschooling is not to blame for the many failures of public education (Freund, 1997). Homeschooling cost less then public education (Wall Street Journal, 1997). Many students are being passed ahead to the next grade level even though they are not qualified to do so (McAvoy, 1998). Racism claims have been made evident in public schools as well as with homeschooling (Danehy, 1999; Boyden, Johnson, and Pittz, 2001). With all this said, opponents of homeschooling still contend that public education is the only avenue for true racial integration and learning (Schlafly, 2000). The path of differences seems to be widening between homeschoolers and those of public educators (Marshal and Valle, 1996).
There appears to be a concern that public support for public education is crumbling. Many public schools, unions, and educational bureaucrats, have done a lot to hurt American education today. Many local communities consider their public schools to be a waist of taxpayer money. This view is making it increasing harder to pass local tax increases for public education (Cloud and Morse, 2001).
Furthermore, administrators and teachers are not held accountable for the failure of public schools today. The National Education Association is not held accountable to local school boards or parents. The National Education Association only answers to its membership. The National Education Association opposes everything and everyone in a continued quest to maintain its power base and influence with American education (Roberts, 2003).
The NEA is also a formidable force behind the Democratic Party. Public education is a monopoly that does not want to loose control. The National Education Association’s down fall will only come when teachers and parents abandon the public school system. Homeschooling has served to discredit public schools through its usage of less money, and better test scores (Roberts, 2003).
Teachers are leaving public school education due to a lack of professionalism, and collapsing educational standards. Due to this continued shortage many school districts are forced to import teachers from overseas under the H-1B visa program (Roberts, 2003). Many school districts have had to offer signing bonuses, reduced housing costs, and restaurant discounts. School districts are also forced into hiring retired military personnel and educated immigrants from foreign countries (Learning Machines, Inc., 2001).
While concerned parents have decided to leave public education for the betterment of their children, public educators continue to espouse a failed system (Malkin, 2002). Teacher shortages are only one of many growing complaints of public education (Sappenfield, 2002). Homeschool parents have witnessed this failure first hand, and have decided to exit public schools for the development of their children (Kang, 2001).
Public schools that teach in high ethnic population centers have almost two times as many teachers who have no qualifications for the subjects in which they are teaching.
Public schools that frequently serve minority students have teachers without qualifications in 29 percent of classes. Public schools are often overflowing with inferior math teachers who never specialized in math during college; French teachers teaching biology; art teachers teaching history; many have no education about the topics they have been assigned to teach. The public school systems main concern is the self-preservation of its tax-subsidized teachers, not educational enlightenment. Public education today may be bordering on malpractice (Malkin, 2002).
Public schools are insensitive and sometimes even harmful to children. Many families look for other educational options due to public school violence, and because of negative peer pressures; and many others leave public education because of a lack of support from teachers, administrators, and staff. Just as often parents expressed the opinion that their children became bored, and unmotivated in public school classrooms (Holland, 2001).
Educational bureaucracies may also be at the center of many dysfunctional public schools. These bureaucracies continue to endure, while children of color become entrapped in a failed public school system. Children of color must attend public schools in 120 of the worst schools districts in the United States. Yet many urban teachers are able to circumvent personal tragedy by not sending their own children to the schools in which they teach (Haberman, 2003). There is a central effort to maintain control of public education in the United States, which has led to its falter (Baxter, 2001; Grocke, 2003; Maxcy, 2002; Peterson, 1999; Schlafly, 2000).
NEA’s Political Antics
The National Education Association’s actions have proven that politics, not necessarily ethnic backgrounds, determine a person’s opinion on homeschooling (Hardenbergh, 2000). The NEA has been implicated in political activities that involve federal, state and local elections. The National Education Association engages in the passage and defeat of legislation beneficial to its membership (Archabald, 2003).
Directed efforts to oust successful advocates of alternative education have also been made by the NEA. John Gardner, a liberal union organizer turned school reformer, asserts that the National Education Association spent $2 million to gain control of the local school board in Milwaukee. The objective was to get rid of Milwaukee’s successful school choice voucher program (Archabald, 2003). The Milwaukee teachers union paid a $5,000 civil penalty for failing to report more than $1 million in campaign expenses from the NEA. Furthermore, the Milwaukee teachers union supported local school board candidates who were in favor of National Education Association positions (Archabald, 2003).
The National Education Association is also politically allied with the Democratic Party. It has been determined that since 1988 the National Education Association had given $21 million in campaign assistance. 95 percent of that money had gone to Democrats in favor of the Associations positions (Archabald, 2003).
This new growth appears to be coming from disaffected public school families seeking a better opportunity for their children (Freund, 1997). With this new growth come different reasons, ideals and diversity into the homeschool movement (Holland, 2001; Miller, 2003; Sarver, 2003). This can be observed through the explosion of minority participation in homeschooling (Snyder, and Hoffman, 2002).
NEA’s attempted control. As hard as the National Education Association struggles to sustain the status quo of public school education in America, more and more parents are deciding to leave in order to seek out better educational opportunities for their children (Lines, 1999; Marshal, and Valle, 1996; McDowell, Sanchez, and Jones, 2000; Rudner, 1999). Public school teaching in America has become unionized, and with this central view has come autocratic thinking with regard to its own power and survival (Cardiff, 1996; Cardiff, 1998; Robinson, 2000; Schlafly, 2000). Like many great unions of the past, the National Education Association is finding its influence being continually undermined; and in the end may find its power and control diminished by the success of America’s homeschool movement (Cardiff, 1996; Johnson, Boyden, and Pittz, 2001; Krueger, 2000; Zysk, 2000).
The National Education Association knows it has a predicament with regard to racism in their advocated public educational system (Berlak, 2001; Buac, 2003; Cooper, 2000). Their publicly chartered views clearly express their universal expression against any form of racism by their membership (Schlafly, 2000; White, 1998). The issue of public school racism was clearly defined within the embodiment of this position paper (Arsen, 2003; Berlak, 2001; Duffy, 2003). Public school racism would not have to be addressed unless it was a prevalent problem in public school education (Goldfarb, 1999; Gorski, 2000; Johnson, Piana, and Burlingame, 2000; Johnson, Boyden, and Pittz, 2001; Marshal, and Valle, 1996; Orfield, 2001). Many of America’s public schools continue to harbor discriminatory policies and actions by the very same teachers and administrators who are entrusted to eliminate its existence (Quade, 1998; Robinson, 2000; Schlafly, 1995; Schlafly, 2000; Star, 200; Thompson, 1994).
Abuse of power
The National Education Association’s resolutions are not without merit (Varis, 1996; Watson, 2002; Weiss, 2002; Wrench, 2001). What must be pointed out is the fact that the National Education Association uses their positions to direct a campaign against America’s homeschool movement (Archabald, 2003; Cardiff, 1996; Clowes, 1995; Cooperman, 2003; Cuthbert, 2002; Limbaugh, 2002). The National Education Association speaks with national authority when it comes to educational issues in the United States (Quade, 1998; Roberts, 2003; Robinson, 2000; Schlafly, 2000; Sowell, 2000). So when the National Education Association speaks out against America’s homeschool movement, all its members and associates line up and signal their allegiance by attacking homeschoolers (Danehy, 1999; Hardenbergh, 2000; Limbaugh, 2002). The question must be asked, why would the National Education Association really want the homeschool movement stopped (Schlafly, 1995; Schlafly, 2000). Many homeschool organizations seem to think that it is about money, jobs and power (Grigg, 1997; Gumbel, 2003; Home School Legal Defense Association, 2003). Any movement or organization that threatens the power and influence of the National Education Association will be targeted for obliteration (Archabald, 2003; Chaddock, 1999; Cooperman, 2003). Little interest or mercy will be given to the successes of a movement or organization; all that matters is the National Education Associations supremacy and survival (Galloway, and Sutton, 2000; Grocke, 2003; Littlepage, 2003; Quade, 1998; Roberts, 2003; Schlafly, 2000; Scott, 2000; Sowell, 2000).
Of course, the National Education Association has good reason to feel threatened. The state of Florida currently has 41,128 students being educated at home, up from 10,039 in the 1991. This amounts to a loss of nearly $130 million (Cloud and Morse, 2001). Whatever the reason for the public school failure, it does not involve a lack of financial backing. It has been determined that each homeschool child’s education cost is approximately $546 per year, compared to the yearly public school student’s costs of $5,325 (Wall Street Journal, 1997).
As public schools continue to erode, greater pressure will be placed on the National Education Association and their proponents to discontinue alternative approaches to America’s educational problems (Kang, 2001).
Organizational control is a common theme used to explain why an organization does what it does to stay in power. The National Education Association worries about loosing students, financial support, employment, status, and control over the education of American students (Kasman, 2000). California notified 25,000 public school teachers that they would be out of work in September 2003 (Gumbel, 2003). Homeschooled students could considerably increase the amount of state aid to public schools if only they were counted. Homeschoolers do not add revenue under the current system of allotment per student (Tresnak, 2003).
By attempting to eliminate racism through its various positions, many people believe that this organization is without fault (Cooperman, 2003; Danehy, 1999; Schlafly, 1995; Schlafly, 2000). When in fact, we have learned that the National Education Association is actually perpetuating the same issues it is trying to eliminate (Arsen, 2003; Berlak, 2001; Buac, 2003; Civil Rights Project, 2002; Cothron, and Ennis, 2000). Political leaders, columnist and various educational organizations can see this through test scores, and by statements from influential leaders (Archabald, 2003; Baxter, 2001; Berlak, 2001; Buac, 2003; Closson, 2002; Cooperman, 2003). By the National Education Association coming out against the homeschooling movement they may in fact be granting the homeschooling movement immediate credibility (Duffy, 2003; Littlepage, 2003; Malkin, 2002; McCain, 2001; Roberts, 2003).
The National Education Association may actually be perpetuating class racism in order to maintain its current status as America’s premier educational organization (Archabald, Arsen, 2003; Baxter, 2001; 2003; Schlafly, 2000; Sowell, 2000; Varis, 1996; Weiss, 2002; Wrench, 2001; Zysk, 2000). The National Education Association is blindly attacking the homeschool movement, while harboring institutional racism in America’s public schools (Berlak, 2001; Blair, 1998; Buac, 2003; Cardiff, 1996; Clowes, 1995; Cooperman, 2003; Cuthbert, 2002; Danehy, 1999; Goldfarb, 1999; Haberman, 2003).
A losing position. The National Education Association should consider a truce with regard to its position against homeschoolers. Their position is established on a loosing stance that cannot even be upheld within their own organization (Littlepage, 2003; Montenegro, 1994; Orfield, 2001; Quade, 1998; Roberts, 2003; Richman, 2003; Schlafly, 2000; Schoales, and Stanton, 2003; Stames, 2003; Thomas, 2002; Thompson, 1994). Teachers are teaching subject matter, which they are not educated in, and teachers and administrators allow institutional racism to exist within America’s public schools (Learning Machines, Inc, 2001; Malkin, 2002). At the same time the National Education Association maintains a position against America’s homeschoolers based on a lack of cultural awareness and unqualified parents teaching their own children. The National Education Associations position is hypocritical and biased beyond any reasonable sustainable standpoint (Schlafly, 1995; Schlafly, 2000).
Final Thoughts on Cultural Interaction
The Wrench (2001) report is helpful in understanding the concept of racism and how it relates to the homeschool racism claim. Opponents contend that homeschooling does not allow intercultural exchanges, which is racism by segregation (Blair, 1998; Buac, 2003; Danehy, 1999; Holland, 2001; Jensen, 1999; Littlepage, 2003; Malkin, 2002). Social interaction between the races is a common theme held in high regard by many in America today (Butz. 2001; Cooper, 2000; Goldfarb, 1999; Gorski, 2000; Hovey, Rojas, Kain, and Magaña, 2000; Jensen, 1999; Kaseman, and Kaseman, 2002; McCulloch, 2003; McDowell, Sanchez, and Jones, 2000). This may be partly due to the civil rights struggle for equality during the late 1950’s and 1960’s in America (Bucchanan, 1997; Duffy, 2003; Gorski, 2000; Grobman, 1990). Studies show that social development does not influence homeschooled children when they become adults (Knowles, and Muchmore, 1995). Just because a child does not come into daily contact with children of another race does not make for a racism accusation (Littlepage, 2003; Mc Avoy, 1998; McCulloch, 2003). Yet that issue emerges as the foremost argument by opponents of the homeschool movement (Danehy, 1999; Schlafly, 2000). What is not taken into consideration is that many homeschool children are not only of different ethnic backgrounds, many parents make sure that their children have opportunities to interact with other children (Basham, 2001; Bauman, 2001; Boswell, 2002; Scott, 2000; Wall Street Journal, 1997).
Comments about this paper should be sent to Hank Kraychir at[email protected]
© 2003 Hank Kraychir