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  • OTOH

    Filed at 6:35 am under by dcobranchi

    This one on “Black homeschooling” is generally pretty good. The one bit that caught my attention linked homeschooling to racism:

    Homeschooling is often thought of as a white phenomenon. It first emerged as a white, left-wing, hippie way of life, said Ronald Butchart, an education historian at the University of Georgia. When desegregation came, it became an excuse for white parents to pull their children out of school to keep them away from black children, he added.

    I don’t believe this is accurate. The schools were desegregated in the ’50s and ’60s with the busing wars ending in the ’70s. Homeschooling really accelerated in the ’80s, pushed by the evangelicals “escaping” the secular schools. I don’t believe race had much if anything to do with it. And, in my experience, the only current segregation in the homeschooling community is that exhibited by the exclusive groups.

    10 Responses to “OTOH”


    Comment by
    Myrtle
    April 19th, 2007
    at 9:03 am

    I haven’t heard anyrthing about ” left-wing, hippies staring the homeschooling movement. Unless he can provide some references to how he came to this conclusion I will dismiss it as more Ed School propoganda.

    Is he basing this on anecdote or did these anti-black hippy homeschoolers officially register as homeschoolers? Where’s the data?

    I have heard about evangelicals going to jail over homeschooling their children…resulting in the states interpreting laws in such a way that has given the rest of us the right to homeschool.

    At any rate, ed school explanations of homeschooling are interesting. They take it neither as a serious threat, nor as a serious educational alternative. They either dismiss it altogether or pull some explanation out of their butt that resembles propoganda more than an honest opinion….

    “Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean in the School of Education at the University of Michigan, said confidence might be dipping because parents know schools face declining state resources.”

    detnew.../rss06

    See if we’d just give schools more money then homeschoolers would flock back to the fold..or wait, maybe if we just get rid of non-whites, or maybe putting religion back into the schools is the answer at getting them back. But since it’s hippy driven, perhaps making Birkenstocks part of the school uniform will do the trick.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    April 19th, 2007
    at 9:36 am

    I haven’t heard anyrthing about ” left-wing, hippies staring the homeschooling movement.

    That part is mostly correct. I can’t pull the refs right now, but it’s pretty-well established that in the ’60s homeschooling was a strictly “back-to-nature” exercise.


    Comment by
    Valerie
    April 19th, 2007
    at 10:03 am

    I think the hippie connection is valid, even though it doesn’t get much press. The organized branch of homeschooling has done more to document its history than has the looser group. The hippie-homeschooler connection is mentioned in a (cached) 2004 article about Grace Llwellyn from Teacher Magazine.

    Grace Under Pressure

    A 41-year-old psychotherapist based in San Rafael, California, Shadburne is familiar with homeschooling. “I was a hippie child raised by hippie parents,” he told me earlier.

    I have a good friend in northern California (she was the one who took the picture of me in the redwoods, off to the left) who was already well-acquainted with homeschooling when I started in 1990. She told me many stories about working in the library and issuing library cards to kids with names such as “Sunny Day on the Mattole,” Sunny for short. ;>

    As for the racism, it wasn’t the hippies. In the wake of desegretation, many people put their children in private schools. Some of these private schools were Protestant Christian (Catholic parochial schools were already long-established), and were tax-exempt because of the connection to a religion. The IRS removed that exemption.

    The Supreme Court History: The Burger Court

    When the Internal Revenue Service declared in 1970 that private schools discriminating against blacks could no longer claim tax-exempt status, the action went largely unnoticed by the public. In 1983, it became prime-time news when two religious schools having admission policies based on race sought to regain tax-favored status and the case reached the Supreme Court.

    Counsel for Bob Jones University and Goldsboro Christian School argued that their policies were based on sincerely held religious beliefs. But the Court ruled that the First Amendment did not prevent denial of tax-favored status. Eliminating racial discrimination in education substantially outweighed any burden placed on the free exercise of religion, according to the eight-to-one majority.

    The schools raised their tuitions to offset the loss of exemption from paying taxes, and this priced many families out of the market. Many of the parents did not want to return their children to public schools, and so they turned to schooling them at home, with the result being a surge in “Christian” homeschoolers. That segment of homeschoolers grew once the idea caught on, probably helped along by the existing well-organized network of churches. Throw in a little Protestant work ethic and missionary zeal and you’ve got yourself a phenomenon.


    Comment by
    Jane
    April 19th, 2007
    at 10:42 am

    I second the leftwing/hippy origins of homeschooling. The first article I ever read about homeschooling was about the secular Colfaxes of California. John Holt and John Taylor Gatto also strike me as coming from left field.


    Comment by
    COD
    April 19th, 2007
    at 1:04 pm

    IIRC, the hippie origins of homeschooling are documented in


    Comment by
    COD
    April 19th, 2007
    at 1:06 pm

    Let’s try this again, with proper syntax.

    IIRC, the hippie origins of homeschooling are documented in Kingdom of Children


    Comment by
    Myrtle
    April 19th, 2007
    at 1:27 pm

    Neat reference, Chris. That’ll work.


    Comment by
    NMcV
    April 19th, 2007
    at 5:40 pm

    It wasn’t called “homeschooling” back then, but yeah, hippiedom was a large segment of the home ed population. The other large segments were people who traveled a lot (missionaries, military, sailing families), and families with kids not served by schools until IDEA — kids with disabilities or extremely gifted.

    I recall a photo from Life or Look magazine that showed a hippie mom and two tousle-haired kids reading, in their teepee. It would be interesting to find that photo again.


    Comment by
    stargirl
    April 20th, 2007
    at 9:17 am

    Just to clarify, I think these two sentences are describing separate things –

    1) It first emerged as a white, left-wing, hippie way of life, said Ronald Butchart, an education historian at the University of Georgia.

    Then

    2) When desegregation came, it became an excuse for white parents to pull their children out of school to keep them away from black children, he added.

    I don’t think he was implying that the hippies were the anti-desegregationists.

    I know the hippies were well-established when I came on the scene circa 1990. See GWS, Mothering Magazine, etc. Plus secular Calvert has been around for over 100 years, catering to all kinds of families (travelling, sailing, kids of diplomats and missionaries).


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    April 20th, 2007
    at 9:40 am

    To Daryl’s point — in the South the full brunt of school desegregation was indeed concurrent with hippie times and VietNam war protests, when I was in high school. OTOH Boston had school busing riots while FL was passing its home education law in the 80s and I was working in school administration. And from school district news like this, it seems Vermont and Connecticut schools e.g. have just noticed race? . . .