NEWS AND OPINION:
The appeal of authentic and productive homegrown learning has staying power. The Associated Press has noticed.
“The coronavirus pandemic ushered in what may be the most rapid rise in homeschooling the U.S. has ever seen. Two years later, even after schools reopened and vaccines became widely available, many parents have chosen to continue directing their children’s educations themselves,” the AP noted in a report released Monday.
“Homeschooling numbers this year dipped from last year’s all-time high, but are still significantly above pre-pandemic levels,” the news service noted.
This “surge” has continued despite the reopening of public and private schools around the nation, the report said.
“Families that may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans have stuck with it — reasons include health concerns, disagreement with school policies and a desire to keep what has worked for their children,” the analysis said.
“In 18 states that shared data through the current school year, the number of homeschooling students increased by 63% in the 2020-2021 school year, then fell by only 17% in the 2021-2022 school year,” the AP noted.
SCHOOLING THE SCHOOLS
One observer has some overall advice for the nation’s educators.
“Education should always be done locally, as far from Washington bureaucrats as humanly possible. This local control should avail itself of charter schools, and school choice (obviously), homeschooling, and every other form of education that people — largely parents — can devise for the better education of their children to prepare them and the country for the future,” writes Roger Simon, a columnist for the Epoch Times, and co-founder of PJ Media.
“The results of federal control, any federal control, including the egregious Common Core, of our children’s education, have been nothing short of horrendous. The U.S. public educational system, once the envy of the world, is a disgrace, run from above by people who would never think of sending their children to public schools but are certain exactly how we should run them,” Mr. Simon later noted.
“In classrooms today, teachers no longer teach. They read from pre-planned syllabi as if they were robots. These syllabi, often filled with carefully crafted left-wing gibberish, are intended to make sure our children get a ‘proper’ education but actually do just the opposite: cut off communication between student and teacher,” he advised.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is looking ahead. The Massachusetts Democrat has penned an op-ed in The New York Times that tells her party “Democrats can avoid disaster in November.”
Recent public opinion polls suggest otherwise; findings consistently place Democratic hopefuls behind their GOP challengers in the midterm elections.
“Republicans are betting that a stalled Biden agenda won’t give Democrats enough to run on in the midterm elections — and they might be right,” said Ms. Warren, who accused Republicans of peddling “lies, fear and division.”
“Democrats win elections when we show we understand the painful economic realities facing American families and convince voters we will deliver meaningful change. To put it bluntly: if we fail to use the months remaining before the elections to deliver on more of our agenda, Democrats are headed toward big losses in the midterms,” the senator warned.
“Time is running short,” she said, cautioning Democrats not to “bow to the wisdom of out-of-touch consultants.”
The federal tax deadline has come and gone, but not without a reality check from the Republican Party — which has released some noteworthy facts about the state of U.S. taxes at the moment.
“President Biden’s latest budget proposal includes 36 tax hikes totaling $2.5 trillion in new or increased taxes. Not only will Biden’s outright tax hikes hurt American families, but Biden’s hidden tax of inflation has already cost families an additional $3,500 in 2021 and will cost families an extra $5,200 this year,” the Republican National Committee reports in an analysis which cited facts and trends supplied by the Texas Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, the Heritage Foundation and other sources.
“Biden’s proposed tax increases would give the U.S. the highest individual and business tax rates in the developed world. Biden has even proposed letting the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expire, which would cut the standard deduction for Americans in half,” the research said.
“Every American is paying significantly more this year because of Bidenflation. Biden and Democrats’ reckless spending has crushed American families, shuttered small businesses, and skyrocketed costs for everything from gas to groceries,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
IVY COVERED HALLS
The John F. Kennedy School of Government — a public policy college at Harvard University — has received a $5 million grant from the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Family Foundation to further some specific new research, according to the College Fix.
The student-written news organization is tracking the trajectory of this windfall.
The new center will be called the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Program in Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Social Policy.
Researchers still seek to “understand and address the causes and consequences of wealth inequalities in different populations around the world,” according to a news release from the university.
The size of Harvard University’s overall financial endowment in the 2021 fiscal year was $53.2 billion, by the way. Find the details at Harvard.edu/about/endowment.
POLL DU JOUR
• 52% of U.S. adults think America should offer more support to Ukraine, but not if it means the risk of the “U.S. getting into a war with Russia”; 52% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 58% of Democrats agree.
• 22% overall say the U.S. is “already doing enough to support Ukraine”; 19% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree.
• 19% overall say the U.S. should offer more support, “even if there is risk of war”; 23% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.
• 7% overall don’t know or have no answer; 6% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,412 U.S. adults conducted April 7-11.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.