Homeschool Advocate Answers Anti-Home Schooling Harvard Professor

Farris is president of Alliance Defending Freedom and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Should homeschooling be banned? Harvard Magazine and one of Harvard’s law professors, Elizabeth Bartholet, think so. This is despite the fact that Harvard University admits an appreciable number of homeschooled students to both its undergraduate and graduate programs every year. Bartholet argues that homeschooling denies children a meaningful education. In so doing, Bartholet fails to demonstrate any familiarity with valid social science research. The literature demonstrates that homeschooling works very well academically—including in some ways that many would find surprising. In public schools, family income is a strong predictor of a child’s academic success. In homeschooling, children from lower-income levels not only outscore their public school socio-economic counterparts, but they also score comparably to homeschool students from higher income levels. I personally know two homeschool students who are Harvard Law grads and clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court. Another Harvard alum is the current solicitor general of West Virginia. I taught constitutional law to all three at Patrick Henry College. And two more of my PHC students, who were also homeschooled, clerked for the Supreme Court after graduating from the University of Virginia Law School. Moreover, dozens of homeschooled students in my personal sphere of friends have been elected to state and local offices. Thousands of homeschooled students actively participate in the electoral process every cycle through a program called Generation Joshua. Perhaps the most troubling thing found in this article is a clear display of bigotry by Professor Bartholet. She argues that a chief evil at hand arises from the fact that as many as 90 percent of homeschooled children live with conservative Christian parents ‘who seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.’ Any form of bigotry coming from one of its professors should cause Harvard trustees to be concerned.”

Michael Farris, “Harvard Law Professor Attacks Homeschoolers, as She Envisions Them,” Townhall, Apr. 22, 2020.