When you think about it, much of education reform revolves around this notion of escaping. Those who advocate vouchers, or call for failing schools to be shut down, or - in this case - defend the right of parents to homeschool their children want to give students a means of escape from low-performing schools, poorly managed districts and all the rest. Those who resist such efforts have constructed all these elaborate arguments against reform efforts, but mainly what they want is to keep students from escaping in order to keep power concentrated in the public schools and the bureaucracies that run them.
Luckily homeschoolers have powerful allies.
And they have a heavyweight in their corner. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger immediately denounced the appeals court ruling and promised to change state law to guarantee that parents have the right to teach their children at home. Parents should decide what is best for their children, he said, and "not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education."
The governor is quite correct, and I'm glad to see him in this fight. Homeschooling isn't perfect. But look around. Neither is the public school system, which needs all the reform it can get. That's why we can't stop looking for viable alternatives that augment traditional teaching - and, just as importantly, challenge traditional thinking.
Read the whole column here.