Harvard researchers: Home-schooled kids are ‘healthier, happier and more virtuous than public-school graduates’

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CAMBRIDGE, MA – A recent article from two Harvard researchers suggests that home-schooled kids are “healthier, happier and more virtuous than public-school graduates.”

Homeschooling has long been associated with stereotypes.  Often, homeschooled children are viewed as socially awkward, lonely, and unable to enjoy themselves.

Homeschooling has also recently become much more popular in the era of COVID.  According to Harvard researchers Brendan Case and Ying Chen, during the 2019-2020 school year, 5.4% of U.S. students were homeschooled.  That figure more than doubled, to 11.1%, by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Chen and Case penned a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, entitled: “What Home-Schoolers Are Doing Right: A new study suggests their kids are healthier, happier and more virtuous than public-school graduates.”

In the piece, the pair took aim at a controversial article published in May 2020 by Harvard professor Elizabeth Bartholet, in which the professor expressly intended to “[describe] the rapidly growing homeschooling phenomenon and the threat it poses to children and society.”  

In her article, Bartholet also called for a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling.

Chen and Case pointed out that in that piece, Bartholet “criticized home schooling for both diminishing children’s educational attainment and undermining their physical and mental health.”

In response, Chen and Case referred to one of Chen’s studies, which reviewed 11 years of data, from 1999 to 2010, on 12,000 adolescent children of nurses.

Via surveys, this study collected information on long-term outcomes for adolescents experiencing various school types (private, public, and home-school) for “educational attainment, mental health and social integration.

Regarding educational attainment, Chen and Case agreed that there may be a “disadvantage for home schooling,” in that homeschoolers were found to be 23% less likely to go to college than students in public school.

However, they added:

“This may reflect lower attainment in learning or less interest in attending college, but it may also be a result of admissions policies at some U.S. universities that disadvantage home-schooled students.”

In terms of children being “healthy, happy, and virtuous,” on the other hand, Chen and Case asserted that homeschoolers are at a notable advantage over children in other types of schools.

They wrote:

“Among the students we examined, home-schoolers were 33% more likely to volunteer, 31% more forgiving and 51% more likely to attend religious services in young adulthood than those who attended public school.”

Attendance at religious services in and of itself is an advantage, they asserted, saying:

“The difference in religious participation has public-health implications, since those who attend services regularly have substantially lower risks of alcohol and drug abuse, depression and suicide. 

“They also have a lower risk of premature death for any reason than those who never attend.”

Addressing the stereotype of homeschooled children, Case and Chen also wrote:

“The picture of the home-schooled student that emerges from the data doesn’t resemble the socially awkward and ignorant stereotype to which Ms. Bartholet and others appeal. 

“Rather, home-schooled children generally develop into well-adjusted, responsible and socially engaged young adults.”

They added: 

“Educational attainment matters a great deal, but it would take a peculiarly myopic parent to be indifferent to the loss of these broader goods so long as his child earned a bachelor’s degree.”

Citing correlation of smartphone use with “huge spikes over the past decade in adolescent anxiety, depression and ‘school loneliness,’” Case and Chen also suggested that homeschooled children may have an additional advantage by avoiding “dysfunction” plaguing their peers in other educational formats.

They said:

“Since 2010, cyberbullying and sexting have become ordinary parts of children’s daily lives, especially in school settings. 

“Given that home-schooling parents consistently rate concerns with school environments—including ‘safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure’—as the most important factor in their decision to teach their kids at home, we might expect that these students will have suffered less from the prevailing dysfunctions of their generation than their public-school peers.”

Case and Chen concluded their op-ed with a sharp take on public education, writing:

“Family decisions about education involve trade-offs. The millions trying out home schooling for the first time should be clear-sighted about what they’re taking on, particularly for students who want to attend an elite college.”

They continued:

“But educators, policy makers and parents should consider why the thousands of public-school students in our sample (albeit one that skewed whiter and wealthier than America as a whole) were less forgiving and less apt to volunteer or attend religious services than their home-schooled peers. 

“We shouldn’t accept a public education system that offers academic achievement at the expense of a flourishing life.”

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California high school teacher under investigation after calling conservatives ‘complete idiots’ in history quiz

Originally published November 11, 2021

ROCKLIN, CA – Parents reached out to a local high school when they learned that one of their teachers had allegedly authored a quiz in which seemingly mocked those with Republican and/or conservative values.

Once the school learned of this issue, they opened an investigation into the claim.

Parents of students at Whitney High School were floored when they saw what appears to be a quiz that was allegedly authored by a social science teacher that, at the very least, made fun of Republicans and conservatives.

The quiz asked a simple question, to identify a “group of idiots.”

The choices? The KKK, all of Florida, Fox News, or Texans.

One of the parents, Jessa Krissovich, allegedly shared a copy of that quiz on social media. Krissovich told Fox40 that she thought the quiz “sounded unbelievable”. She said:

“We all have different beliefs. This is the United States and we all come from different backgrounds and everybody should be okay with who they are. These stories have gone in one ear and out the other. It sounded unbelievable.”

Another parent who took issue with the quiz, who is unnamed, claimed that the teacher in question has had issues in the past with pushing his political beliefs onto the students.

She said that his beliefs are often against the Republican party, which is evident if he is the person who authored the quiz.

She said:

“The question on the test is really blatant obviously and that’s out there. This has been the first time it has been looked at of him crossing the line.”

The principal of Whitney High, Justin Cutts, sent a letter home to parents, which in part read:

“The purpose of this message is to alert you to a class assignment that has caused concern among the WHS community…On Thursday, November 4, 2021, a quiz was assigned to students by a social science teacher. However, students, families, and the Rocklin community have raised concern about the class assignment…

“Whitney High and Rockline Unified is committed to providing each student, family, and staff with a safe and welcoming environment. While personnel matters will remain confidential, appropriate disciplinary steps will be taken.”

While some people allege that the unnamed teacher who allegedly created this quiz did so to push his political beliefs onto his students, others choose to believe that it was done only as a joke. One person, a former student of the accused teacher, Joel Alquicira, said:

“I understand he’s just trying to make a joke, but that kind of stuff shouldn’t be on a test. He was always like a funny kind of teacher. He would always make jokes.”

While the school refuses to name the teacher, a change.org petition calling for his firing wasn’t afraid to.

The petition reads:

Mr. Daniel Parker should be removed from his teaching position at Whitney High School in Rocklin, CA. Mr. Parker has polarized his classroom, by bringing in personal politics into the academic environment.

He has worked to polarize his students, alienating his “Conservative” students in what should be a politically neutral, safe space. As an alumni of Whitney High School, I only want to see the best for the students, staff, and school as a whole.

It frustrates me seeing someone in leadership abuse their power. I do not wish any ill-will towards Mr. Parker and his family, but actions like this should not be tolerated on campus.

If the situation was inverse, and the teacher was alienating his liberal leaning students, I would still condone the behavior. 

A commenter on the petition left behind an interesting note calling out what appears to be the school’s hypocrisy:

What a double standard when Julianne Benzel was placed on administrative leave for standing up for free speech and here this teacher only needs to send an “apology”! Set the bar higher RUSD

Regardless of the reason behind the creation of the question, it certainly was not a wise move in any political atmosphere.

Thankfully for the teacher, in this case, the question was, again, at best a jab at Republicans which does not make the mainstream news cycles.

However, if the jab was at Democrats or all of California, would there be outrage that be plastered across all social media and news outlets across the country? Would there be questions as to how intolerant the Republican party is or would there be silence?

Maybe the story was buried underneath other articles of varying importance. Maybe, somehow the mainstream media missed the quiz on social media or reported on other news sites.

Or maybe it is because the mainstream media finds it acceptable to, at the very least, poke fun at members of the Republican party. After all, they find those people to be a group of, well, idiots.

Regardless of the reason, thankfully for you, Law Enforcement Today keeps the pulse of all news accounts to keep you informed of all the news.

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Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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