Friday, June 05, 2009

Harvard, Hillsdale, and Homeschoolers

In the comments, COD took issue with my hypothetical in the post Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction.
"Name one instance of a college or university in the US being somehow penalized by the Federal Govt for admitting a homeschooled student."
Federal funding is a powerul tool used to manipulate both state government and unsiversities. National standards are still being implemented; so, obviously there wouldn't be a federal instance government sanctions for admitting a student without a "respectable" diploma. But it is instructive to look at two respected universities, Harvard and Hillsdale, and see how federal money compromised Harvard's principles but not Hillsdale's.
The operative principle defining Harvard's relationship to the military is the university's non-discrimination policy. Specifically, Harvard's prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation conflicts with the military's prohibition on gays serving openly. So the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) remains banned from Harvard's campus. Military recruiters are grudgingly permitted only because the Solomon Amendment requires the university either to grant them access or to give up its government funding -- about 15% of its operating budget, according to the latest annual financial report.

Harvard, of course, is not the only campus that has faced such a conflict. Like Harvard, Hillsdale College does not like the strings attached to federal dollars. Like Harvard, Hillsdale does not permit ROTC on campus. Unlike Harvard, however, when it came to choosing between money and principle, Hillsdale chose principle.
So if Harvard is willing to compromise its princples on the military for the federal money, do you honestly think they'll stand on principle when it comes to refusing those without a credentialled diploma like homeschoolers? I have my doubts and perhaps that's one of the reasons why Hillsdale is increasingly becoming a very attractive option for many homeschoolers.

And if you need more proof of how Obama plans on using the treasury, he's set to appoint a "pay czar."
a "Special Master for Compensation" to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines,"
And if companies taking funds have to abide by pay guidelines, hiring practices are even easier to manipulate and control. My scenario doesn't sound so hypothetical anymore.

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