Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald

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Kerry McDonald is a Senior Contributor for Intellectual Takeout. She has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and a Master’s degree in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and writes about education choice, parental empowerment, homeschooling, and self-directed learning. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her blog, Whole Family Learning.

Recent blog posts by this author

The Rosy—and False—Narrative of American Public Schooling

Humans tend to romanticize the past. In many ways it helps us see the good in what has been and what is now, but in other ways it disguises the truth. The history of American public schooling is a notable example of viewing history through rose-...

A Theory on Why Teen Depression and Anxiety Are Skyrocketing

Dovetailing with World Mental Health Day earlier this week, The New York Times published an article about the skyrocketing rates of teenage anxiety, depression, and suicide. It highlights recent data revealing that hospital admissions for suicidal...

Schooling Was for the Industrial Era, Unschooling Is for the Future

Our current compulsory schooling model was created at the dawn of the Industrial Age. As factories replaced farm work and production moved swiftly outside of homes and into the larger marketplace, 19th century American schooling mirrored the...

Homeschool Slow-Down? Not So Fast

The Washington Post reported last week that after years of rapid growth, homeschooling rates seem to be leveling off.  Between 1999 and 2012, the homeschooling population surged from 1.7 percent of the overall K-12 school-age population, to 3.4...

China’s Education System: A Case Against Importing It

I remember a story my college economics professor told my class many years ago about the differences she saw between her American economics students and the Chinese ones she taught during frequent sabbaticals to Beijing. She said that the Chinese...

Black and Latino Millennials Overwhelmingly Support School Choice, Academic Survey Finds

As the largest demographic group in America right now, millennials drive much public policy. Spanning the ages of roughly 18-34, this generation is young, diverse, opinionated, and increasingly powerful. This is good news for those involved in...

Solitary Confinement is Quite Common In Public Schools

If parents were to lock their children in a confined space for a lengthy period of time, it is highly likely that those parents would be arrested for child abuse and their parental rights threatened. (In fact, this just happened in Arizona recently...

At Back-To-School Time, the Childhood Suicide Rate Rises

At this time of year our social media feeds light up with back-to-school photos. Tidy children in new fall clothes pose for their parents’ camera, marking an annual ritual commemorating the steady passage of childhood. But beyond those smiling...

What if School Was More Like Summer Camp?

For many children, summer camp is transformational. Working collaboratively, mostly through play and hands-on experimentation, campers try new things, encounter new challenges, and meet new mentors and friends. They are often outside, exploring the...

The Quiet Exodus From Mass Schooling

Parents are fed up. As mass schooling becomes more restrictive, more standardized and more far-reaching into a child’s young life, many parents are choosing alternatives. Increasingly, these parents are reclaiming their child’s education and are...

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