Among the initial opposition to Betsy DeVos’ confirmation this week as education secretary were calls on social media by parents, including liberals, to start homeschooling their children.
That reaction to DeVos — a billionaire school-choice advocate who has never worked, attended or sent her kids to a public school — reflects how polarizing her nomination was.
It also comes layered with paradox.
That’s because DeVos, whom the Senate confirmed Tuesday to head the Education Department, is herself a big proponent of homeschooling.
In a 2013 interview with Philanthropy magazine, DeVos, who has invested in private and charter schools and is an advocate for their expansion, said homeschooling was “another perfectly valid educational option.”
We’ve seen more and more people opt for homeschooling, including in urban areas. What you’re seeing is parents who are fed up with their lack of power to do anything about where their kids are assigned to go to school. To the extent that homeschooling puts parents back in charge of their kids’ education, more power to them.
DeVos’ emphasis on school choice is a natural fit for the homeschool movement, whose members span the political spectrum but are largely conservative Christians who resist government oversight. That group has helped fuel remarkable growth in recent years, carrying the movement from the fringe and closer to the mainstream.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Jon Schuppe