Dana Goldstein Homeschooling Piece Misses the Real Emergency

I just want to  remind everyone of one thing in the midst of the whole debate over homeschooling: Public schooling sucks the most for the families who are able to escape it least. Generally speaking, a low-income, public-school student will get a lower-quality education (if he or she graduates at all) than a high-income student (source).
In most places, homeschooling and private schooling are the only legal ways to avoid the public school to which you are zoned. Both routes cost money, above and beyond what you’re already paying in taxes.

It’s really important to keep homeschooling and private schooling options available for those who can afford it. Not least because competition from those two sources actually improves public schools, benefiting the kids left behind (source, source, source).

But it’s even more important to open up options for the kids whose families can’t afford or manage homeschooling or private schools. It just seems a little silly to hate on homeschooling when, for example in Florida, less than half of all African-American students graduate from high school (source).

Photo by Bruno Girin.

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