Home Schooling Debate

Is the movement undermining public education?


The number of U.S. children educated at home has nearly tripled in the last 10 years, as mainstream parents have embraced a movement once considered the domain of aging hippies and religious fundamentalists. Advocates say home schooling is the best way to assure a high-quality education and want it exempted from federal and state accountability requirements. But critics warn that removing children from the public schools threatens an essential pillar of democracy while depriving students of vital contact with children and adults from other backgrounds. And school officials complain that when home schooling doesn't work, parents “dump” their children back in the public schools, which are then blamed for the home-schoolers' poor performance.

“We wanted high academics and a Bible-centered curriculum,” says Kathryn Unruh, who ...

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