Friday, December 28, 2012

Tell Diane Ravitch that bashing homeschooling & online learning is not a gift

Diane Ravitch has a gift this holiday season that I hope innovative educators and parents will reject.  

Here it is:

"This article is a Christmas gift from me to you.
Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic has written one of the most eloquent explanations of why we need teachers, schools, and universities.
At a time when we hear hosannas to online learning, home-schooling, inexperienced teachers, the business model of schooling, for-profit schools, and the commodification of education, this is bracing reading." 

The article that has the "eloquent explanation" Diane Ravitch's is praising calls homeschooling "the demented idea that children can be competently taught by people whose only qualifications for teaching them are love and a desire to keep them from the world—constitutes another insult to the great profession of pedagogy." 

While there are those that agree that the business model of schooling, for-profit schools, and the commodification of education are not the best for our children, lumping online learning and homeschooling into this bucket throws an unnecessarily divisive wedge as our society should be coming together to do what is best for children. Ignoring the research that says those who are home educated generally out-perform their public schooled peers undermines the credibility of both Ravitch and Wieseltier and will make knowledgeable parents and educators think twice before following their advice.  

When it comes to hearing those hosannas to online learning Ravitch should read up and learn about the amazing options that such learning brings to our children and take the time to find out why many students say they prefer it. People around the world now have free access to classes at places like MIT. Students who could not take classes in traditional schools now have the chance, and students who live in places were options were limited now have many more courses they can choose from.

Ravitch's ignorant and bold attack masked as a gift, has alienated a large segment of the population that knows better. The real gift Ravitch gave this holiday season was revealing her true colors for all to see.

I invite you to comment with your thoughts below and join the conversation on Facebook where innovative educators have left more than 100 comments on this topic here.