Wednesday, April 2, 2008

California's illegal homeschooling (revisited)

Another article on the California homeschooling court ruling-- this one by John Stossel...

His intro:

A California appellate court, ruling that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their children, pinned its decision on this ominous quotation from a 47-year-old case, "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train schoolchildren in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."

I had blogged on this earlier-- both the ruling itself and its adherence to existing state laws (a point I haven't heard elsewhere). It struck me the other day that the timing of the CA laws is crucial and interesting: the 1950s.

What was happening in the 1950s?

It was just after a successful war, the start of the Cold War, the height of anti-communism, and perhaps an apex for patriotism. Some of the more notable and public fruit: "Under God" goes into the Pledge and "In God We Trust" goes onto the money.

Another anecdote: when I saw the Ten Commandments about a decade ago, I was surprised about the opening of the film. A man walks out from behind a large curtain (think Johnny Carson without the energy and humor) to a mic on the front of a stage. He then gives a five-minute monologue on the horrors of slavery under the Soviet regime, equating it with the Israelite plight under Pharaoh.

In that context, the means and ends of California's homeschooling laws-- their push for strong citizens, their suspicion of those who would not conform, and their belief in government as means to an end-- point (not too surprisingly) to a set of goals that were completely consistent with that era.


At April 2, 2008 at 9:02 PM , Blogger Darrell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At April 2, 2008 at 9:06 PM , Blogger Darrell said...


I blogged about this a while back. It is interesting that private schools were banned in California in the 19th century. Read the remarks of California's leading educrat of the era and you will know that the collectivists have been with us for a while. Oh yeah, and ignore my rhetorical punchiness toward the end.

At April 2, 2008 at 9:29 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Here's the link to Darrell's post:


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