Scripps News carried an op-ed type of feature from a Texas English professor named John Crisp, that questions whether public education is as bad as some crack it up to be, and whether homeschooling is the noble answer to the over-stated problem that homeschooling is cracked up to be. The entire piece is worth reading, but his closing paragraphs deserve emphasis:
Abandonment rather than improvement of our public schools would be an unfortunate choice. I’m attracted to the ideas of the late Neil Postman, who argues in his book “The End of Education” that to the extent that our nation enjoys a common shared culture, that culture has been developed and is passed on from generation to generation at least partly by means of the shared knowledge and ideas that we acquire during our common experience in the public schools.
In other words, because our public schools are a place where we develop a set of common stories, myths and experiences _ George Washington crossing the Delaware, Betsy Ross sewing the first flag, even the fear of being sent to the principal _ they encourage a sense of a shared heritage that helps pull our country together.
Homeschooling and vouchers for private schools _ places that allow the teaching of the things that Roger Moran believes _ tend to pull us apart. All in all, our public-school system has served us well; it would be better to repair its faults than to abandon it.