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Archive for the ‘Politics of homeschooling’ Category

Record: Linda Renzulli, “Educational Transformations and Why Sociology Should Care” in Social Currents 1, no. 2 (2014): 149-156. [Available Here]

Summary:  Renzulli, a professor of sociology at the University of Georgia, here lays out two claims.  First, she believes that public education in the United States is experiencing two contradictory trends at once—centralization and standardization of curriculum, assessment, and accountability in public schools on one hand and growing local control and autonomy among alternative forms of public education like charter schools and vouchers on the other.  Second, she is concerned that sociologists of education have not dealt sufficiently with these trends.  Homeschooling comes into play in this analysis as an example of privatizing trends and as a pool of customers for virtual charter schools.  (more…)

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Record: Andrea Vieux, “The Politics of Homeschools: Religious Conservatives and Regulation Requirements” in The Social Science Journal (9 July, 2014).  [Abstract Here]

Summary: Vieux, a Political Science professor at the University of Central Florida, here provides quantitative data to try to determine the degree to which a state’s percentage of religious conservatives correlates with its level of homeschooling regulation. (more…)

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Record: Rachana Bhatt, “Home is Where the School Is: The Impact of Homeschool Legislation on School Choice” in Journal of School Choice 8, no. 2 (2014): 192-212. [Abstract Here]

Summary:  Bhatt, an economics professor at Georgia State University, here presents a sophisticated statistical model to try to determine the degree to which a State’s passage of an explicit law granting homeschooling rights to parents increases the tendency for parents to choose homeschooling. (more…)

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Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: This report is the second in a projected annual series of reports published by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC).  The first report was published in 2013 and can be read here.

The 2013 report chronicled the 311 full-time virtual schools enrolling around 200,000 students, 67% of whom were being taught in schools run by Education Managament Organizations, or EMOs.  The largest such organization is K12.  The report also found that despite serving a student population that has fewer Black, Latin@, poor, or special needs children than attend conventional public schools, academic achievement at virtual schools lagged significantly behind brick-and-mortars.  (more…)

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Record: Linda Wang, “Who Knows Best? The Appropriate Level of Judicial Scrutiny on Compulsory Education Laws Regarding Home Schooling” in Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, 25 (Winter 2011); 413-448.

Summary: Wang, who earned her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, here seeks to make sense of the conflicting and hazy Constitutional principles at play in cases regarding homeschooling law and liberty.

There are two basic issues.  First is the 14th Amendment, which says that no state can deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law.”  This is the due process clause, which has been used in the ensuing decades to do all sorts of things, from extending the bill of rights to the states to protecting rights that are not explicitly mentioned in the Amendment itself, most notably the “right to privacy.”  It is this right to privacy jurisprudence that is most important for homeschooling law.  Interestingly, it was the cases on birth control and abortion (both of which many homeschoolers renounce) that secured the right to privacy on which constitutional claims for homeschooling rights rests.  Cases like Meyer v. Nebraska, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, and Troxel v. Granville have made it clear that the right of a biological parent to direct the education of his or her child is fundamental, meaning that if a state is going to abridge that right it needs to have a compelling interest for doing so and must do so in the least invasive means possible.  This is called strict scrutiny, and it is the highest threshold possible for government infringement of individual rights.

The problem is that many, many lower court decisions have validated compulsory education laws, which infringe on parental homeschooling freedoms, at lower levels of scrutiny (often called “rational basis” or “intermediate scrutiny”).  Why?  Because the same Supreme Court that declared parenting a fundamental right has also declared on many occasions that public school laws are valid forms of “reasonable relation.”  The Supreme Court ITSELF has not applied strict scrutiny to compulsory school laws despite its own holding that parental rights are fundamental. (more…)

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Record: Marcia Clemmitt, “Home Schooling: Do Parents Give their Children A Good Education?” CQ Researcher 24, no. 10 (7 March 2014), pp. 217-240. [Available Here]

Summary:

The CQ Researcher has long been an influential publication, especially among politicians and others connected to the United States Congress.  Clemmitt is a veteran journalist who has provided in-depth analysis of several educational issues in the past.  She brings her wide experience and the publication’s resources together here on the topic of homeschooling. (more…)

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Record: Albert Cheng, “Does Homeschooling or Private Schooling Promote Political Intolerance? Evidence from a Christian University” in Journal of School Choice 8, no. 1 (2014): 49-68. [Abstract Here]

Summary and Critique: Cheng, a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas, here reports the results of a quantitative study comparing college students who were homeschooled with those who attended public and private schools on a measure of political tolerance. (more…)

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