Extremists at Harvard Law School are planning a summit about the allegedly “controversial practice” of homeschooling, sparking alarm and ridicule among home-education experts and advocates. The controversial gathering comes amid escalating attacks on educational freedom, many of them funded by tax money.
The goal of the Harvard event is simple: Advance the ongoing war on parental rights and educational liberty. Unsurprisingly, the summit at the overpriced and increasingly radical university is inviting only anti-homeschooling-freedom activists, while excluding proponents and even neutral experts familiar with the mountains of data supporting the benefits of home education.
One of the organizers of the event is Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet, the founder of the “Child Advocacy Program.” In her recent article in the Arizona Law Review headlined “Homeschooling: Parent Rights Absolutism vs. Child Rights to Education & Protection,” the totalitarian anti-family extremist promotes “a presumptive ban on homeschooling, with the burden on parents to demonstrate justification for permission to homeschool.”
Another chief organizer of the confab is Law Professor James Dwyer of William and Mary College, a fringe activist who believes government gives parents authority over their children. “The reason that parent-child relationship exists is because the state confers legal parenthood on people through its paternity and maternity laws,” he claimed, apparently seriously. In an article “debunking” parental rights, he even argues that there are no parental rights, just permission from government to perform certain “parental duties.”
Some of the other leading luminaries behind the scheme come from the so-called “Coalition for Responsible Home Education.” Despite the innocent-sounding name, this fringe organization, widely ridiculed and ostracized among actual homeschoolers, literally exists to promote increased regulation and government attacks against families that choose homeschooling. The summit, first exposed publicly by the non-profit Home School Legal Defense Association, also plans to attack HSLDA.
Decades of data on home education have painted a clear picture: Not only is homeschooling superior, it is better for children by orders of magnitude on every front. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, home-educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school victims on standardized academic achievement tests. Homeschoolers are also better socialized, research shows.
The event, titled “Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform,” will take place on June 18 and 19 this year at Harvard, assuming coronavirus hysteria does not cancel it. And while it would be easy to dismiss the gathering as a bunch of kooks in a clown car, the reality is that these fringe activists have powerful backers and access to policymakers. At least one of the sponsoring organizations is funded by Goldman Sachs.
Despite its growing reputation for extremism and unhinged hard-left politics, Harvard alumni continue to dominate the levers of power in the United States. Consider that most of the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court went to Harvard, with the rest going to Yale. The totalitarianism emanating from these once-great institutions, originally founded to train ministers of the Gospel before being hijacked, is a growing threat to liberty in America.
Homeschoolers, beware: The education establishment and its allies in the Ivory Tower are only just getting started with their attacks on you and your family. Because home-educated children on average do massively better than victims of government schools on every measurable metric, the war on home education and private schools will accelerate in the years ahead. The home-education community must be prepared to resist and strike back.
These attacks on the God-given rights of parents to raise their children in peace are a bridge too far. It is past time for American taxpayers to demand an end to public funding for the sort of anti-freedom, anti-faith, and anti-family extremism that masquerades as “academia.” If fringe left-wing professors want to wage war on fundamental human rights, they should do it at their own expense.