Who is this Expert?

I must find him.  Christopher Lubienski – University of Illinois Associate Professor – Education Policy, Educational Organization and Leadership.  From an AFP ( L’Agence France-Presse) Sept 6 article:

Christopher Lubienski, an expert in alternative education at the University of Illinois, said there have always been Americans unhappy with public education for theological or cultural reasons.

And he estimated that two-thirds of children are homeschooled for religious or moral reasons.

"Some of the families I know, they see it like a mandate from God that they need to take control of their own children's education," he said.

Other motivating factors, according to a Department of Education report, include fear of drugs, violence or sub-standard teaching in public schools, and more practical considerations such as travel time, distance and cost.

The majority of homeschooled students belong to families of three or more children, with both parents — white, educated and middle class — living with them under the same roof.

While advocates of homeschooling insist their children benefit, Lubienski said that's impossible to know, given how other variables associated with successful learning — such as growing up in a household with two parents interested in education — are equally important.

Only 30 minutes away from me, on the same campus as our always home educated boys and we have this common interest – homeschooling.  His base is in the education building(s) and the boys are in the agriculture science building.  

Lubienski is published in the Peabody Journal of Education (Whither the Common Good? A Critique of Home Schooling) and here's a 2000 synopsis of his homeschooling analysis:

This analysis shows home schooling to be part of a general trend of elevating private goods over public goods. The discourse around home schooling centers on issues of individual rights and private benefits, rather than the public good. Yet, the public has an interest in education because there are unavoidable aspects of education that make it a public good. However, home schooling denies this public interest. It undermines the common good in two ways. First, it withdraws not only children but also social capital from public schools, to the detriment of the students remaining behind. Second, as an exit strategy, home schooling undermines the ability of public education to improve and become more responsive as a democratic institution. Thus, home schooling is not only a reaction to, but also a cause of, declining public schools. Therefore, it diminishes the potential of public education to serve the common good in a vibrant democracy.

C. Lubienski's also wrote A Critical View of Home Education in 2003.  The thought process seems to be along the same lines as Northwestern Law Professor K. Yuracko's piece – Illiberal Education; Constitutional Constraints on Homeschooling.  

I'd like to meet Mr. Lubienski.  Maybe he knows the same homeschoolers I know? It seems not as I read what he wrote about the homeschoolers he knows and all our "variables".  There must always be variables in the Study of Whichever.  But studies always require a number count which always seems to demand accountability to a bureaucrat rather than determination of personal welfare by loved ones.

The Champaign-Urbana U of I campus was and is our hangout and we met up with an incredibly diverse homeschool community.  Wonder if he knows about this special University of IL webpage? I have so many questions…

“Illiberal Education”- Give me the old timey education 

Undoing The Harms of Homeschooling From Reaction to Prevention Kate Brunner at Home Education Magazine


Comments

Who is this Expert? — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: The 350th Carnival of Homeschooling: Ideas You Can Use | Janice Campbell

  2. "The discourse around home schooling centers on issues of individual rights and private benefits, rather than the public good."
    Yes, in a capitalist system like we have in the US, almost all individual decisions are based on a cost/benefit analysis. This produces a dynamic that promotes creativity and innovation in the marketplace. Government monopolies are the opposite of innovative and therefore do not benefit the private or public good.
    "However, home schooling denies this public interest. It undermines the common good in two ways. First, it withdraws not only children but also social capital from public schools, to the detriment of the students remaining behind."
    My children's education is my responsibility, it determines their future possibilities. I am not responsible for other people's children in the same way, just as I am not responsible for their house payment.
    "Second, as an exit strategy, home schooling undermines the ability of public education to improve and become more responsive as a democratic institution."
    The public school model cannot be reformed by a small percentage of well intentioned parents. This has been proven time and time again in both the public as well as private schools. Catholic schools began to shift in the 1960's toward less religiously strict teaching and no amount of parental outcry did any good. The only thing that saved Catholic education was the increase in homeschooling, which has in recent years, provided enough competition that Catholic schools have had to improve to stay alive.
    Thus, home schooling is not only a reaction to, but also a cause of, declining public schools.

    The idea that public schools are terrible because of homeschooling is just intellectually lazy. If Apple produces a new product every year and upgrades its software to compete with upstarts in the market, then educational competition from private and homeschooling is likely to improve public school's standards because otherwise they would lose even more share in the educational market. It is only because choosing one of the other options results in parents paying double for their children's education that more people don't opt out of the public school system.

  3. Excellent comments and comparisons, Katherine.  

    Thanks for the background on Catholic schools.  It vaguely remember reading about the move of private school (brick and mortar) families to homeschooling because of a law passed in the 70s.  Short search didn't reveal much, but I'll keep looking because it'll haunt me until I find that information. 🙂

     My husband served on the school board when our middle kids were in public school and we were homeschooling our youngest.  We became much more adamant about keeping homeschooling rights intact after that experience.  It can be a very ugly world in many public schools with all the school administrators' machinations and of course, The Union.  The Chicago Teachers Union is a classic example that it's NOT about the kids.  Our youngest knew there was no how and no way we would tolerate them attending that public school, for their sake and ours.  

    Seems like the public school system is broken and public school advocates (those profiting) must find a scapegoat somewhere that should be silenced.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *