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Santorum bashes public schools, says they're stuck in factory era

February 18, 2012|By Mitchell Landsberg
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addresses the Ohio Christian Alliance conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum… (AP Photo/Eric Gay )

Reporting from Columbus, Ohio — Republican GOP hopeful Rick Santorum may be the most prominent homeschooler in America. So it might not have been surprising that, on Saturday, he told a conservative Christian audience that he intended to homeschool his children in the White House.

In his remarks to the Ohio Christian Alliance, however, Santorum went further, seeming to attack the very idea of public education.

In the nation’s past, he said, “Most presidents homeschooled their children in the White House.… Parents educated their children because it was their responsibility.”

“Yes, the government can help,” he continued, “but the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic.”

He said it is an artifact of the Industrial Revolution, “when people came off the farms where they did homeschool or had a little neighborhood school, and into these big factories … called public schools.”

While industry has evolved, public schools remain stuck in the factory era, he said, “back in the age of Henry Ford. You get what we give you. One color, two models. It wouldn’t work for Henry Ford today, and it won’t work for America today.“

As a U.S. senator, Santorum came under fire for charging taxpayers for homeschooling five of his children through an online charter school.

mitchell.landsberg@latimes.com

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