Public School Issues
Many parents are basing part of their decision to homeschool on issues with public schooling, from bullying to poor academic performance to problems with governmental control.
Links and Items
The Exhausted School: Bending the Bars of Traditional Education
These 13 essays, presented at the 1993 National Grassroots Speakout on the Right to School Choice, illustrate how education reform actually works. Written by award-winning teachers and their students, these essays present successful teaching methods that work in both traditional and nontraditional classroom settings. “Gatto’s voice is strong and unique.” — Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
Exploring Single Black Mothers' Resistance Through Homeschooling

This work looks at contemporary Black homeschooling as a form of resistance among single Black mothers, exploring each mother's experience and perspective in deciding to homeschool and developing their practice. It faces the many issues that plague the education of Black children in America, including discipline disproportionality, frequent special education referrals, low expectations in the classroom, and the marginalization of Black parents. Most importantly, this work challenges stereotypical characterizations of who homeschools and why.

A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
In 1991, shortly after receiving both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards, John Gatto resigned to begin a new career as an education reform advocate. In this collection of 16 essays, Gatto analyzes the problems of American education and suggests solutions for revitalizing the system — prescriptions that run counter to current trends.
They're Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate

For many people, their schooling was uncomfortable, tedious, and sometimes a waste of time and energy. This book offers the idea that the public school system is tragically flawed and that we are able to do better for our own children. Sam Sorbo, mom of three and wife of actor Kevin Sorbo, took the leap into homeschooling and found the joy and success she was seeking. Included are strategies for working parents, those who are scared to take the leap, and anyone who wants the best for their children. 

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
Concerns About Public Schools
Universal Preschool
There is a national campaign to institutionalize all preschoolers through government funded and/or mandated "universal preschool." This group seeks to redefine universal preschool as an unheralded worldwide community of loving, functional parents who exercise their right and authority to nurture and teach their young children at home.
The Perfect Crime: How Psychology and High-Tech Marketing Have "Deformed" Education
Beverly K. Eakman explains how, as a teacher, she saw that public schools are places where bad ideas are legitimized. She discusses the evolution of educational policy thought and the psychologizing of the educating process. This is a fascinating look at the state of the educational system today.
The Case for Homeschooling
The public schools are beyond repair. If it is not practical to replace the current system, then at least let those alone who wish to homeschool. Hassle them not. Instead, encourage them and help them. Parents who homeschool their children have three basic complaints against public schools: the lack of academic rigor, the number of maladjusted graduates, and the anti-religious atmosphere. Homeschool advocates claim that homeschooling overcomes these problems. They argue that no matter whether the educational philosophy one holds is that schooling prepares for life or schooling is life, the homeschooled do better. Proponents also claim that private schools are nearly always similar to public schools, so the fundamental criticisms of public schools apply to private schools also, although to a lesser degree.
Parents, Are You Ready To Teach Your Kids Arithmetic?
Parents are starting to realize that "fuzzy" math courses (variously called "whole math," "new math" or "new new math") are producing kids who can't do arithmetic, much less algebra. The U.S. Department of Education responded last October by officially endorsing ten new math courses for grades K-12, calling them "exemplary" or "promising" and urging local school districts to "seriously consider" adopting one of them. The recommended programs were approved by an "expert" panel commissioned by the Department of Education. But many parents believe that the "experts" are subtracting rather than adding to the skills of schoolchildren.
Lessons from Homeschooling
Americans are increasingly aware that government education specialists in charge of K-12 government schools are lousy educators. This awareness is prompting parents to act rationally in a way that provides the best evidence yet that education bureaucrats cannot educate namely, more and more parents are homeschooling their children.
State Education Fails The Test
Children naturally love to learn. They want to know everything. "Daddy, why is the sky blue?" "Why can't I see my back?" "Why are those dogs doing that?" "Are we there yet?" And so on and so on. Then we send them to school. And all desire to learn is methodically destroyed. Many of today's citizens are products of the schools of the last twenty years, during which time the trend has been to adopt a more and more socialistic posture. Most teachers have never spent their lives anywhere except in classrooms, and their vision of the world is so much at odds with the real world of business and industry as to be virtually a different society.
Government Schooling Comes to America: The Origins of Government Schooling in the United States
The first step in understanding the state of education today is to review how government came to be the dominant force behind schooling in the United States. From the outset of the first settlements in the New World, Americans founded and successfully maintained a decentralized network of schools through the 1850s. Then, beginning in New England, a wave of change swept across the country, which soon saw states quickly abandoning the original American model of decentralized, private education in favor of government-funded and operated schools.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes. For the last several years, homeschooling has been the fastest growing educational alternative in the country. The sheer number of homeschoolers represent a distinct threat to the hegemony of the government school monopoly. Qualitatively, the academic success of homeschoolers, measured by standardized test scores and recruitment by colleges, debunk the myth that parents need to hire credentialed experts to force children to learn.
How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education
More than 1.2 million students are now being taught at home, more students than are enrolled in the entire New York City public school system. Paul T. Hill reports on the pros and cons of learning at home—and the effects home schooling will have on public schools.
Against School
This essay was written for the Harper's Magazine forum, "School on a Hill." John Taylor Gatto discusses how public education cripples our kids and why.
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Featured Resources

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Smart Mouth
Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more playersSmart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.
Perrine's Sound & Sense: An Introduction to Poetry
Perrine's Sound and Sense is a fantastic book for studying poetry with your children. It is a great resource for high school students. It includes clear and thorough explanations of devices, forms, how to analyze poetry, and more, as well as a huge variety of poems, both classic and contemporary.
Cuisenaire Rods Multi-Pack
Grades Pre K & up. An economical way to bring rods into the classroom. Pack contains six sets of 74 rods, six trays with, and Teacher's Guide. For use with 12-18 students.
A Charlotte Mason Education
The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportuni...
Montessori International
Montessori International is the magazine for all parents and teachers. Montessori International magazine is a high quality colour education magazine with a Montessori focus and a truly child-centred approach. The magazine is for Montessori parents, nursery owners, teachers, and students with an interest in Montessori education.