January 7, 2009 4:13PM

College Football Star Highlights the Poverty of a Public Education Monopoly

The Washington Post has an interesting profile on University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, the first sophomore to win the Heisman, and possible winner of the national championship.

Probably the most striking thing about the young man is his unusual background; he was home‐​schooled by missionary parents who expected a lot from him and provided him with a host of interesting educational opportunities.

Tebow learned things that are impossible to teach in a public school, and not just the religious content. There is a strong secular‐​left thread in the home‐​school movement as well.

From the Post:

The more Tebow talks, the more it becomes apparent that almost everything he knows about leading a football team he’s learned away from the field. Many important lessons came in his parents’ home near Jacksonville … Others came on the ground in the Philippines, where Tebow traveled from village to village, talked to thousands of students and visited the four dozen children at the orphanage his father helps run on the island of Mindanao.

Pam Tebow said she geared her home‐​school lessons to her children’s interests, with an emphasis on public speaking to ensure they could effectively communicate their beliefs when they were older. . . [Bob Tebow] insisted the children tend to a half‐​acre garden — which provided nearly all of the vegetables for family meals — and dispose of fallen trees in the back yard as measures designed to teach disciplineAll five children received college scholarships

No two families are exactly the same and neither are any two children. And what works for one might not work for another. What a tragedy it is to strangle that variety with a one‐​size‐​fits‐​all, government‐​run educational system.

Home‐​schooled kids are winning science fairs, spelling bees and Heisman trophies. School choice works because educating kids isn’t an assembly‐​line process.

We need to help recover and expand a diversity of educational environments and let parents decide what works best for their children.