Lilla cites an interesting example of what he means:
A million and a half students in the United States are now being taught by their parents at home, nearly double the number a decade ago, and representing about fifteen students for every public school in the country.11 There is nothing remarkable about wanting to escape unsafe schools and incompetent teachers, or to make sure your children are raised within your religious tradition. What’s remarkable is American parents’ confidence that they can do better themselves.
Remarkable, perhaps, but not mistaken. What almost every beginning home-schooling parent quickly discovers — by accident — is how much that goes on in the modern public education system is simply wasted time. Mom at the kitchen table can generally accomplish more with three hours of direct instruction as a public elementary school does in an entire day.
What few critics (or even advocates) of home-schooling fail to grasp is the extent to which its popularity reflects the democratization of education. More Americans are college-educated than ever before. Why should a mother with an Ivy League MBA suppose that she is less capable of teaching her children arithmetic than a state-school graduate with a BS Ed.? (As a proud alumnus of Jacksonville State University, I don’t intend this as a put-down of state-school graduates.)
Studies indicate that home-schooling parents generally have higher-than-average levels of education, and might therefore presumably are qualified to judge the adequacy of the education provided by public schools. If these parents reject the public system as inferior to what they can provide their own children at home, why should Lilla presume them incompetent to make that decision?
[Y]ou sense the source of liberal Lilla’s frustration. What was the point of the Left’s “long march through the institutions” if, having captured those institutions, they can’t use them to tell everybody else what to do?
And more on Lilla's piece here:
Left Wing Media Continues Struggle to Define the Tea Party Movement
It’s like watching a 3 year old struggle with a jigsaw puzzle for AGES 14 AND UP.
The 3 year old thinks he’s grown up enough to do the puzzle, but after hours of frustration, throws the box of pieces at the wall in anger and screams “RACISTS!”