Harvard Law School appears to be coordinating an attack on home-education. A planned conference appears to be intended as a pile-on by critics of homeschooling. Harvard Magazine has published an approving summary of an 80-page article in the Harvard Law Review by Professor Elizabeth Bartholet about why home-education should be banned. The Harvard Magazine account cites no dissenting or alternative views.
Wags on social media have pointed out that the cartoon accompanying Harvard Magazine’s piece manages to misspell “Arithmetic” (“Arithmatic”). Matthew Peterson (@docMJP) definitely won Twitter with his observation, “If you replace ‘homeschooling’ with ‘attending Harvard’ a lot of the article makes sense.” He illustrated:
“We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of elite Ed,” @docMJP asserts. All 50 states have laws that make education compulsory, & state constitutions ensure a right to education, “but if you look at the legal regime governing elite colleges, there are very few requirements that professors teach anything of value.” Even apparent requirements such as submitting curricula, or providing evidence that teaching and learning are taking place, he says, aren’t necessarily enforced.
Since the article, like a great deal of elite education, is patently driven by ideological concerns, the point is well made.
What of the underlying academic article? My brief review of it suggests that it suffers from three fundamental flaws.
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