The Tea Party-backed frontrunner in a California congressional race has some unorthodox views on education: he wants to abolish public schools entirely, Mother Jones reports. In past articles, Republican David Harmer—currently leading in California's 11th Congressional District—writes that "government should exit the business of running and funding schools” and refers to public education as "socialism in education."
Harmer says he wants to return to "the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood,” when, he claims, free-market schools resulted in literacy levels equal to or higher than today’s. That’s just false, experts insist. "We're talking about going back to times when very, very limited numbers of people in the society had access to education,” one says, while another calls Harmer’s position “very extreme.”