“Illiberal Education”- Give me the old timey education

I picked up a library book for the husband to read on his business trip to an angry, bitter, and racist  piece of our country.  (It's ok, Pennsylvanians, ignorance doesn't make it so and many say the same about any Illinoisans outside of Chicago.  Let's not forget "rednecks".)

Pat enjoyed Dinesh D'Souza's other books and I find much of D'Souza's ideas and research intriguing.  I especially relished the debate D'Souza had with Christopher Hitchens.  Hitchens always makes me think (and laugh), even as I don't agree with a lot of his stands. 
The book I picked up for Pat's hotel time was D'Souza's
ILLIBERAL EDUCATION: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus.  Along those lines, we are also fans of the Documentary Channel and caught Indoctrinate U which validates many of my feelings about the Feminist Movement and the results of Title 9.  Having 4 boys might have affected my opinion too.

I hated school and was always looking for diversions.   Being out and about our farm and playing sports were a couple of my outlets.  (It was usually my little brother and me against the Big Brother in football and the clothesline was one goal while an old and very stout tree served as the other endline.)  Other than that, in school and elsewhere during my teen years, I practiced being a ninny. 

Fortunately, my sister and I (and many others) had a wonderful teacher/coach/mentor in high school.  She built up a fantastic girls sports program with the use of the private Girls Athletic Association (GAA).  (A pleasant surprise to me that it still exists is an example in this Edina, MN link.)
During my 1st year of high school, I was the freshman GAA Rep on our council.  There were good lessons taught while being a leader in a group such as this.  In our central Illinois farmtown, we girls had field hockey, golf, tennis, badminton, volleyball, basketball, track….I'm probably forgetting something.
   We did have to fight continuously for the field hockey field, as it was designated the football practice field by the football coach.  He didn't want his territory infringed on by a bunch of girls.  But we wielded the sticks (literally) and had a harder play ball than those boys.  Our sticks and practice shots aimed……won out.

Title 9 also came into effect my freshman year. We thought this Equal Opportunity in Education Act would fix all our problems.  It didn't.  Instead, we lost the variety of sports offered through this private organization and our extra-curricular sports activities were filtered through the school while losing control of that variety and power of independence. 
I've seen this happen again and again when people/special interests and legislators push to have programs inserted into the public schools rather than maintaining the power of extensive community support and effective innovativeness and most importantly satisfaction without the bureaucracy.

When not reviewing history, a new idea and new program with hopes for solving a problem can make for decades of complicated quagmires that provide just the opposite of the goal.  The community that used to abound in a remarkable variety of girls' athletics now gives the girls volleyball, golf, basketball, softball and track offered in the lllinois High School Association stranglehold.  Boys have soccer (which is 'co-ed' in the high school), golf, basketball, baseball and track. 
The soccer program up through 8th grade is a community program separate from the schools (and governmental interventions).  It's a thriving program where our family had the opportunity to coach here and there as our kids grew up.  We're not interested in attending public school so that our kids can play soccer.  So we're done with organized sports until the kids get into college intra-murals at their pleasure.

Here's the second take on Illiberal Education. Northwestern University law professor Kimberly Yuracko is concerned about the subject and is aiming at homeschoolers.  Yuracko's perceptions  are that homeschoolers shield our children too much. 

Illiberal Education: Constitutional Constraints on Homeschooling

If a harmful weapon of words or fists or stolen lunch money is coming my kids' direction, personally, I like to protect my children with defenses.  Strange but true.  One reason that we finally took on homeschooling was explained somewhat in The Right Balance post about our experiences with the school bus bully and a principal. 

 I think overall political pressures from all parties and allegiances have made for a government that ignores our founding document.  A prestigious NW University law professor is one of those people looking for constitutional restraints of homeschooling.  And looking and looking and looking…
Our Constitution might not be perfect, but it seemed suitable enough. It was fought for and approved by successful and independent minded men. (Their wives tended the family and livelihood at home.  There's a real 'feminist' for you.) 


Yuracko is offended that "children [are] being raised in illiberal subgroups". She wants more scholarly looks at the "legal and philosophical issues raised by homeschooling".
She wants more studies and people like Yuracko are why I've been very leery of surveys and 'research' of homeschoolers.  Plus it's no one else's business.  Her "novel constitutional argument"  states that she is relying on "federal state action doctrine and state constitution education clauses to argue that states must—not may or should—regulate homeschooling to ensure that parents provide their children with a basic minimum education and check rampant forms of sexism".

They must regulate homeschooling to keep Johnny from calling his brother a sissy.  (How's that workin' in the schools?)

My argument is that government will not solve these problems.  My experiences have shown that K. Yuracko's concerns don't seem to be a problem in the homeschooling world because the homeschooling community values diversity.  Her ignorance, as a non-homeschooler, is of one who desires a standardized agenda for all in 'education'. 

In the school world, over 2 generations of Title 9 enactment, I find the prohibitions against discrimination of girls and women to be turned upside down with federal regulations and the eternal quest for more funding. Little regard is paid to what is given up. 

Girls, you don't know what you missed.  I'm glad I had the Girls Athletic Association and Miss Richter through my high school years.  Kept me saner in an insane world.


“Illiberal Education”- Give me the old timey education — 8 Comments

  1. Oh, this Yuracko person is wack. Where on earth do you find such nuts, comparing insular homeschooling with religious radicals ripping out the clitorises of young girls?? GOOD GRIEF. And that was just at the beginning of the paper.

    She also says that homeschooling was ILLEGAL until the 1990’s. Surely she’s getting her facts from the NEA or a cereal box or something.

    And because some families teach their girls sewing and their boys trigonometry, they’re BOTH going to have to go under the state microscope because it isn’t fair that the boys get better education than the girls? Um, I thought liberals were all into not judging which ideas are better than others? Who says that sewing and housekeeping can’t be part of an excellent education for a farm wife?? She has to mend clothes, make meals and tend hogs… right??

    People like this are more than ignorant. They’re DANGEROUS.

    And I keep wondering where the state needs to provide every child with a “liberal” viewpoint in education and where the state owns the children and grants permission to the parents to educate them…?

    Where on earth do these people come from, and have they thought their ideas through to what the logical conclusions would be if the government were not to their liking??

  2. Where do these people like Professor Yuracko come from? I dunno, but they do seem to be prevalent in the universities.
    It was really annoying that she’s in Illinois. We don’t need a law professor like that here, until she chooses to get herself educated about homeschoolers. I’m not sure she’s willing to do that.

  3. I am going to see if our library has a copy of D’Souza’s new book.

    I remember Yuracko’s attack on homeschooling, but I did not realize that she was from Illinois.
    There may indeed be a few homeschooled girls who are given a less-than-equal education than their brothers receive.
    But there are far more children sitting in public schools who are receiving no education at all!

    Interesting take on Title 9, by the way.
    Not being an athlete, I never thought much about it one way or the other back when we were kids growing up in the same part of the country!

  4. Here’s some of her bio information on this link.
    She graduated from Stanford U and has been at NW since 2002. Apparently, she fears there is sex discrimination everywhere and demands oversight just in case.
    I listened to some of D’Souza’s book-The Enemy at Home while we were driving here and there. I thought he was a bit harsh, but I guess sometimes the truth is? I’m burnt out on politics and whose fault is whose and this presidential election is a big reason why. My husband mentioned to our son that he should read Illiberal Education. He said he would, but the dedication to Laura Ingraham was a big turnoff. 🙂
    On a lighter note, I’ll never forget when our principal was driving a bunch of giggly girls from our tennis matches at Bloomington HS and ran the stop sign by the school hitting a car. Looking back, I feel for him, but we had a great story to tell.

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