Home Schooling: Learning From Dissent

May 19, 2003

As in other public service sectors, the words diversity and choice have moved to the centre of discussions about system reform. The many educational options that have been created to address diverse needs provide answers for everyone who cares to enter the debate but may prevent us from clearly articulating our expectations of the publicly-funded system or making the more fundamental changes that may be needed. By definition, a publicly-funded system — such as our education, health, or social service system — is based on principles of universality and aimed at providing common services at a common level. It is indeed a conundrum to provide this common service to a population that we know to be wildly heterogeneous; but does the answer lie in simply creating a multiplicity of systems until we reach some sort of diversity saturation point where everyone can find his or her individuality served in one or another of its forms?

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