Political Editors / May 14, 2021

In Brief: Leave Homeschooling Alone

Just say no to one Harvard professor’s recent call to put it under government scrutiny.

James Mason is the vice president of litigation for the Home School Legal Defense Association, and he has some advice for opponents of homeschooling: Back off. Last year, he noted, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet demanded a “presumptive ban” of homeschooling. Our Louis DeBroux tackled it at the time. “Well,” Mason says, “now she’s b-a-a-a-ck.”

In 2020, homeschooling became an educational safe harbor for millions of children and parents who suddenly found themselves home together. Indeed, this past pandemic year may have permanently changed the educational landscape in America, as many of those who sought the refuge of homeschooling during a distressing time discovered the joys of seeing their child’s “eureka” learning moments as they happened.

Unfortunately, the education establishment doesn’t want competition, so Bartholet wants “meaningful regulation” of that competition.

As part of a recent interview grading the first 100 days of the Biden administration vis-à-vis children and families, Harvard Law Today asked her what President Biden should do “going forward.” Staying true to pre-pandemic form, Bartholet said, “I would like to see the Biden administration’s educational agenda expand to include reform of the current homeschooling regime.”

To be clear, by “reform,” she means that the federal government should crack down on homeschooling. “There is now no meaningful regulation of homeschooling in the United States, by contrast to the rest of the world,” she said. If by “the rest of the world” she means countries such as Germany, then she’s clearly advocating the presumptive ban that she first proposed last year: Germany, like many other nations, “regulates” homeschooling by banning it.

Professor Bartholet would ban homeschooling because she does not trust parents. “They are free to subject [their children] to the most vicious forms of abuse, away from the eyes of teachers who are required to report suspected abuse to child protective services.”

Mason continues:

There simply is no evidence to support Professor Bartholet’s stereotype that homeschooled children fare worse than their public-school counterparts. And as the United States Supreme Court has written, “the statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.”

Professor Bartholet’s cynical view of homeschoolers is only exceeded by her incorrect view of the federal government’s power to supersede the states’ role in education. Every state requires homeschooling parents to educate their children; some do so by statute, while others do so via administrative regulation. States as culturally diverse as California and Texas treat homeschools as small private schools and regulate them accordingly. Calling on the federal government to step in to change this 50-state approach to private educational policy is wrongheaded, dangerous, and unconstitutional.

Homeschooling is a great option for many American families, and that, Mason says, is as it should be. “Many millions of children and parents have discovered that the homeschooling alternative to the public-school norm can not only provide for a child’s education during a crisis but strengthen families, too,” he concludes. “Perhaps it’s time for Professor Bartholet to set aside her negative stereotype of homeschoolers and embrace the diversity, complexity, and liberating qualities of the movement as it actually is today.”

Read the whole thing here.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.