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First-hand lessons in homeschooling

A famed philosopher, Paris Hilton, once said, “Math is hard.”

West Virginia parents are getting a first-hand lesson in home schooling during this so-called COVID-19 lockdown.

Like many issues today, public education is as edgy as it gets. Old guard school boards are now squeezed between radical activists and an exploding phalanx of fed-up parents.

A half-century ago, local school boards had a place with the public. Now they seem to have forgotten their place, going from protectors to enablers of greed and malfeasance.

Many West Virginians now see local school boards in a negative light. Yet they can’t stop poisoning that well of public opinion. Their promise of more aggressive activism has energized lots of resistance.

Local school boards have always gotten their juice from the moms and dads they were to serve. They earned that favor with their vision for improving public education. More arts classes and fewer standardized tests, more equitable funding, bigger and better facilities, their winning strategy.

Today, too many West Virginians now see school boards as a negative influence on public schools. What in the world happened?

They became political big-shots. They sold out to suspect reformers and protected seedy characters. They paid less and less attention to the classroom. Instead, they fell in with social justice hellions answering to radical factions rather than to the parents who owned the schools and paid the bills.

School boards across West Virginia listened more intently to social justice demagogues than to parents. They swore off measured reforms and reprioritized the ambitions and intentions of public education.

School boards beware, a huge chunk of those parents are likely to continue homeschooling. We all know that parents are overwhelmingly for school choice. All this should very well be sending a frisson of terror down the backs of local elected leaders across the state and for a very good reason.

Parents have been watching the reactions to the lockdowns. Right here in our little area the school board groused that virtual schooling is too hard and instructors need more money to teach in their PJs. Gee, I can’t imagine where parents could get the idea that schools are run on behalf of the adults and not the kids. Strange, really.

I believe that today’s parents are very receptive to taking their children’s education into their own hands, whether it be homeschooling or nontraditional education sources.

Most of the parents I speak to from all walks of social, economic, and political backgrounds support school choice and are more likely to homeschool.

What is school choice, you ask? School choice is when your educational tax dollars follow children to the educational venue of their choice, with Republicans favoring it more than Democrats and urbanites overwhelmingly favoring it more than people who live in suburbs.

Parents are learning a lot about homeschooling and distance learning.

Parents are learning that an entire day of school can be done in fewer than four hours instead of the 6-7 hours spent on campus. They’re learning math is hard, but can be done. They’re learning that there’s a lot of tertiary stuff taught in the classrooms that’s not necessary. And they’re probably learning that this is rightfully scaring the hell out of the educational establishment.

Robert Ware

French Creek

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