Standardization Walks a Fine Line

On Denialism Blog, Mark Hoofnagle argues that unless homeschooling is better regulated, it should be banned altogether.  He writes "universal primary and secondary education is part of why our country has been so successful."  While Rick Santorum can teach his kids that global warming is a hoax and the earth was created in a day, other parents can withhold sexual education, or, in one example, forbid their daughters from getting a GED.  Hoofnagle concludes, "for parents to say it's a matter of religious freedom to deny their children education, or a future outside their home, can not be justified."  Meanwhile, in an actual classroom or lecture hall, too much regulation can drag the learning experience down.  Ethan Siegel writes "the most difficult course to teach is the one where you, the teacher, cannot control what or how you are teaching."  He calls such courses unreasonably standardized, and says they result in a shallow understanding of the curriculum, or the omission of important topics.  The most important thing, says Siegel, is to have a great teacher.  His post was inspired when Chad Orzel originally asked what course is most difficult for students on Uncertain Principles.  The answer—well, pick your poison.  Classical electromagnetism or literary theory?

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