Education in America has come a long way. A few hundred years ago, schooling was limited to what a child learned at home about the family business or taking care of the family’s farm land. Specialization was rare, and limited to a few paths like metal-working or exporting. A college education, one we almost take for granted today, was limited to the extreme elite.
As the economy became more specialized, public schools for children opened up across the nation. Laws were written so that education is a right of all citizens. From a right, education would become mandatory – but at least children and parents had choices and options as to how they wanted to pursue it.
A recent court ruling in California might suggest the next legal evolution of mandatory education. Home schooling may be a thing of the past – and parents found guilty of this “crime” could face fines or criminal prosecution. The judge found that “parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children” and has forbidden home schooling to count toward a student’s mandatory education requirement unless the parent is also certified as a teacher in the state of California.
In America, this is radical news, but in some places in Europe this has been the standard for a while now. A German family lost custody of their daughter due to homeschooling her after repeated warnings by the court, and the rationale is that this is somehow “good” for society.
A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.
– Judge’s ruling
Unfortunately, this ruling seems to have more to do with preserving the power & interest of the state. From what I’m reading in this publicly released ruling, the motivation of the court has more to do with advancning patriotism and civic obedience. Students taught at home may not learn what the state deems important – particularly in controversial political topics.
Certain studies plainly essential to good citizenship must be taught, and that nothing be taught which is manifestly inimical to the public welfare.
There you go. You’re allowed to teach your own children – so long as you teach them exactly what they would have learned anywhere else. Not just in math and science, but in subjective topics like politics and government too.