U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King said that he has concerns about children who are homeschooled according to a story published in Politico Pro (paywall) today.
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said today that he’s concerned that homeschooled students aren’t “getting the range of options that are good for all kids.”
But King also said he’s aware of homeschooling families “doing it incredibly well” and he knew of students in college who had “very tremendous academic success.”
“Obviously, it’s up to families if they want to take a homeschool approach,” King said, when asked about the topic during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters.
King noted that research shows homeschooling is growing in popularity.
But King said he worries that “students who are homeschooled are not getting kind of the rapid instructional experience they would get in school” – unless parents are “very intentional about it.”
King said the school experience includes building relationships with peers, teachers and mentors – elements which are difficult to achieve in homeschooling, he said, unless parents focus on it.
The Christian Science Monitor didn’t include this in their coverage of their own breakfast which I find odd considering how controversial those remarks are.
Considering many home schooled children take college classes while in high school I find Secretary King’s remarks completely asinine. He doesn’t demonstrate any data to back up his concerns. Studies have shown homeschooling students are out-performing their public school counterparts. He must not also be aware that homeschooling students also led their public school counterparts in SAT results.
Considering his remarks center around a socialization argument leads me to believe he knows very little about homeschooling.
In my opinion his remarks demonstrate frustration over an educational option that is outside of federal control. Considering the mess he made up in New York I don’t think he’s qualified to comment on homeschooling.
Will Estrada, director of federal relations at the Home School Legal Defense Association, made the following remarks on Facebook, “Government bureaucracies always seek more power at the expense of individual liberty. Education policy should be left to the states and localities.”
“The success of homeschooling shows that freedom works. Secretary King would replace that God-given freedom of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children with more government regulation,’ Estrada added.
The fact that the Obama administration has a low opinion of homeschooling should hardly come as a surprise. Back in 2013 former Attorney General Eric Holder when trying to boot the Romeike family out of the United States argued that Germany’s banning homeschooling doesn’t violate fundamental rights.
Homeschooling parents need to be ever vigilant to protect their educational freedom.
Update: Be sure to read Lindsey Burke’s piece about Secretary King’s concerns at The Daily Signal. She made some points that I kick myself for not making.