PHILADELPHIA, February 10, 2017 – According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the percentage of homeschooled students in kindergarten through grade 12 has increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 3.4 percent in 2012. Homeschooling is more expensive than public school and may limit a family to one income making its increasing popularity interesting.
The NCES reports that parents choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons, with the most common being concerns surrounding safety, drugs or negative peer pressure in the school environment. Other popular reasons parents noted on surveys were, “a desire to provide moral instruction” and “a dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools.”
Sam Sorbo, conservative media personality and author of, “They’re YOUR Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Homeschool Advocate” provided insight as to why she chose homeschooling for her children. As the title of her book alludes, she made an enlightening journey from feeling powerless to empowered as she transitioned her children back home.
Q: The book lays the groundwork for the current state of our schools in Bill Clinton’s presidency and the plan for education mapped out by Marc Tucker, then president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). You note that Marc Tucker went on to advise the Obama Administration’s U. S. Department of Education on implementing the Common Core Standards and Race to the Top programs. Tucker’s initial outreach to first lady Hillary Clinton states the need to “remold the entire American system” into a “seamless web that extends from cradle to grave and involves job matching from a database.”
A: Yes, we’re looking at a modern educational system created by people interested in population control. The issue is really only your point of view. If you think the American population is there to simply serve the government, to hold jobs and make the economy tick, and that the individual only serves the community, which, really, is a very jaded, selfish view, then you would be on board with moving the government education system further in that direction.
Right now, we have moved so far along in that direction that it is almost unthinkable for parents to home educate – to do anything of which their prior educators themselves would not have approved. I think it was Aristotle who said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Well, we have a LOT of minds today that accept nearly anything offered, without any consideration except for the source. That is uneducated, sheepish, blind obedience. The problem we face today is not that our education system is failing – it is. The problem is that we have been educated to the point of being unable to address that fact with a viable solution because we are unable to go against the system that raised us. We are conditioned, or groomed might be another word for this phenomenon.
Q: In your view, how do these motivations for shaping the public education system harm our children, our families, and our basic American way of life (especially our liberties)?
A: You’re kidding, right? Did you realize that most Americans are not able to define “rule of law?” Most Americans are unable to describe the function or purpose of our government. That’s basic civics, something no longer truly taught in our (government) schools. Foreigners who take the citizenship exams do better on civics than home-grown, government educated citizens.
Think about that for just a moment. The government is not teaching the citizenry the basic structure and workings of the government, and yet, we are to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Sure, why would the government want the people to understand just why and HOW “the people” retain the power? You see, ultimately, government education is a conflict of interests. Not to mention that after nine overhauls of the system in twenty-seven years, they still haven’t gotten it right – in fact, it’s only gotten worse.
How many failures must you experience or witness before you pull your trust and turn somewhere else, American Public?
Q: Can we further discuss your view of Common Core and how it is shaping American citizenry as servants of government, rather than the reverse.
A: The failure to teach civics, of course, is the start of this. The idea that we are teaching eight weeks of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDoHR) and only three weeks of our own Constitution, which stands in direct contrast to (and contradiction of) the UDoHR, going so far as to ask students to sign a pledge form to support the UDoHR… Heck, “career readiness and college prep” is a clanging alarm bell.
When did we decide that the very best we could hope for our children was a JOB? Aside from the fact that a college degree no longer guarantees a job, because college education has been degraded because students entering college are not prepared for college-level work.
The values have all gone askew. We used to hope for greatness, for exceptional personhood, and wonderful values for our children. Now, we just want them to make money, and, not a lot, apparently. Based on the newest directive, we desire for our children to be common! Common Core, by the way, was never tested. That’s why they can only argue how great it is, as an idea. There is absolutely no proof that it will achieve all or even half of what they claim. It’s like if your mechanic fixed the brakes on your car, charged you a whole lot of money, but never tested them.
I go into it in depth in my book. It is amazing what they are trying to do to our children through CCSI, and I explain some of these examples in my book, to astound the reader! If you haven’t seen the new math they are now teaching, you must read my book. And allow me to clarify my position. I stand with teachers, who are overworked and who struggle within an over burdensome bureaucracy. This is not the teacher’s fault. But neither can they solve this alone.
Q: There are an increasing number of parents choosing to homeschool. This development seems to have coincided with the evolution of the public school system since Mark Tucker’s introductory letter to first lady Hillary Clinton. The dissatisfaction is contagious. What would you tell parents on the fence about bringing their children home to school them?
A: I like to tell parents that they are already homeschooling. If you have ever helped your child with their schoolwork after school, you have home educated! Please ask yourselves, why, after seven and a half hours in class, does your child return home with homework? And don’t forget that this means not playtime with Mommy or Daddy, but boring school time. Suddenly, spending time with parents is drudgery, not fun! An attack on the family.
Think about it. The youngster doesn’t see the parent all day long, then goes home, where the parent has to be taskmaster for a bunch of work that should have been done in the classroom, but the teachers were too overworked, or whatever.
Public school forms a wedge between the parent and the child – the second attack on the family unit. So, the parent is still the responsible party, just without the authority. You can see it’s coming full circle because now the schools send home checklists and parent monitoring journals, for parents to prove their involvement. Wait, what? Parents are now indispensable to the child’s education? I thought the schools could handle it all? This brand new idea is sweeping the country in new legislation
This brand new idea is sweeping the country in new legislation over the parents. It’s called “grading the parents,” and it’s a vicious cycle. If only we could go back to the time when parents assumed it was their responsibility, and took that seriously, and commanded authority. As a parent, you can still do that in this great bastion of freedom.
After all, They’re YOUR kids!
Q: Being that we discussed the impact of past administrations on the educational system, it would be interesting to garner your views on the recently elected President, Donald J. Trump and his nominee for Secretary of Education, Besty DeVos.
A: I cannot predict, of course, but with the appointment of DeVos, I’m hopeful we will see some change. But true change cannot come from the top, it can only be inspired. Perhaps it can be shaped by the Trump presidency, as an approach or perspective, or at best an attitude shift. We need American citizens to recognize that the educational bureaucracy is not serving them and that they are better able to do the job themselves.
DeVos is a fan of charter schools, as in school choice. While I like school choice as an improvement on what we have today (i.e. union stranglehold of our schools), I also believe the government has a conflict of interest being in the school business.
Charter schools can be great, but they can also have unelected boards, which means tax dollars going to an entity that does not represent the people, and that would be a corruption of the obligations of our government, and even of our foundational values. I believe parents need to figure out that they do not relieve themselves of their responsibility to their children when they drop them at the school entrance.
Also, it is a dangerous assumption, to think that the schools will accomplish their stated goals. They have continuously failed! Incidentally, I challenge anyone reading this to look up the mission statement for the Department of Education, and decipher it for me. It’s an embarrassment. I included it in my book because it’s so astounding.
Now consider that if a parent sues the school for not teaching his child to read, the court will find the parent guilty, not the school. The responsibility always rests with the parent, but authority can be transferred, and usually is, when the parent ostensibly says to the child, “I am incapable. The teacher knows best. Off you go.”
This is, then, the first step to the destruction of the family unit. The parent’s authority necessarily deteriorates, although he probably cannot imagine why this should be. He is only doing as he was taught to do when he went to school, something he has never questioned. But the child understands, if only subconsciously. And when the child starts to question authority, as is normal for children and a necessary part of growing up, the authority that the parent wields is so greatly diminished by the school being the ultimate authority, the parent cannot possibly win.
This is the third breakdown of the family as a social structure.
As a post-script to this interview, It should be noted that according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), homeschoolers typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.
The NHERI also reports that in 2014 homeschoolers scored significantly higher on the SAT than the national average for all college-bound seniors.
About Sam Sorbo and where to get the book:
Until recently, Sam Sorbo hosted nationally syndicated The Sam Sorbo Show. An accomplished actress, author, and international model, in 2015 Sam performed in Just Let Go, winning “Best Supporting Actress” from the Utah Film Awards. Her third book is They’re YOUR Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate. Sam co-wrote, produced, and co-starred in the feature, Let There Be Light, due out Christmas, 2017. (Executive producer, Sean Hannity; director, Kevin Sorbo.)