This last detail, though, brings me to Goldstein’s fundamental problem with progressive homeschoolers. She argues that by keeping their kids at home, parents passively reinforce social segregation, allowing students at low-income schools to fall even further behind due to the absence of positive “peer effects.” I have sympathy for this view. But, truth be told, the minuscule number of secular home learners nationwide is dwarfed by the huge population of liberal parents who do everything in their power to get their kids into the best public schools possible, moving their families to more competitive districts, those desirable zip codes, and perpetuating inequity in the process. According to Goldstein’s logic, real progressives should, instead, be enrolling their offspring in the worst possible public institutions in order to improve them, and while that sounds good in theory, I’ve never met a single parent doing such a thing. Instead most liberal parents are desperate to help their children climb to the top of the meritocracy—to the top of an exclusionary pyramid that, as I discuss in my essay, has largely been rigged in their favor all along. How liberal is that? One of the virtues of unschooling, of the radical philosophy that underpins it, is that it calls the entire hierarchy into question.
n+1: Learning in Freedom. Bingo.