Who Are These People?

Honest question…who are these people who really believe that America is in the grasp of socialism? Who honestly looks at a society that is more nakedly pro-capitalist since anytime before World War I, a society whose president doesn’t believe in evolution, a society whose members believe that Christianity’s central thesis is “Every man for himself,” and says to him/herself, “Gee, this here now sure is socialistic?”

Nathan Tabor
offers one such take, in his stunningly inept comparison of public and home schools. He quite reasonably asserts

today Americans are threatened by a government-sponsored and taxpayer-funded monopoly, one that is potentially more powerful and dangerous than the old Standard Oil and Carnegie Steel operations. Like a giant octopus with long, deadly tentacles, the socialistic “Official Public Education Trust” has established a virtual stranglehold on the impressionable minds of our nation’s youth.

There are a number of problems with public schools, but socialism isn’t one of them…and home schooling certainly isn’t the panacea that Tabor and others on the Right would have us believe. He claims, without naming the test, that

the average score for all public school students is 50 in all areas. For all home schooled students taking the same tests, the average score for the complete battery of tests was 87, a whopping difference of 37 percentile points. For example: Total Reading, 87; Total Math, 82; Social Studies, 85.

Even if we assume that his calculations are accurate–and the test is real, the conclusion that home schooling is better is an absurd one to draw from the numbers. I’d hazard a guess that not all home schooled students are taking these tests–only those who anticipate doing well. Otherwise, why bother taking the tests of the Socialist Anti-Christ anyway?

Additonally, I would love to give these home school educators a taste of the experience that many of our teachers face every day. Are there a lot of severly emotionally distubed students being taught in these environments? Cognitively delayed? Learning disabled? It turns out that public schools don’t get to exclude those students from the testing–and that’s a good thing. Public schools are accountable for–and entrusted with improving the lives of all students, no matter the dificulties they face.

Offering tax breaks to allow well-off individuals to teach without these difficulties, not to mention certification :), will only impoverish us all.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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