Haley Taylor Schlitz is the epitome of excellence. The 16-year-old Texan and college senior who graduates in May from the Texas Woman’s University (she graduated high school at 13) is preparing to start law school at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law this fall. It is one of nine law schools that accepted the brilliant teen, according to the American Bar Association.
Law schools like Howard University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Texas Southern University were among the institutions who accepted Schlitz.
“I think the entire educational experience has really helped me grow and learn who I am better,” Haley said, in an interview. “A lot of people find that out about themselves a little bit later in life. My education has really helped me get to know who Haley is.”
Schlitz was home-schooled after her parents decided to withdraw her from public school in the fifth grade because they didn’t believe she was being taught properly.
“I was just being taught to pass the end-of-the-year test to get to the next grade,” she says. “I wasn’t being taught to learn.”
The humble teen is grateful to her parents for choosing to home-school her. Initially, Schlitz aspired to be a doctor like her mother but she changed her mind and decided to pursue a career in law instead. Her goal is to be an advocate for gifted students from traditionally neglected communities.
“Home-schooling helped me go at my own pace and thrive on my own terms,” Haley said. “I was able to skip what I knew and do what’s at my intellectual level.”
But don’t be fooled. The ambitious young lady just doesn’t constantly study. She loves to read, write, draw and play video games with her brother.
In the last 15 years, the number of Black children, who are being home-schooled, has doubled from 103,000 to about 220,000. Black parents cite a number of reasons for home-schooling children but racism in schools and subpar education lead the reasons for the shift to unconventional schooling.
Black families have now become one of the fastest-growing groups of home-schoolers with black students making up an estimated 10 percent of the home-schooling population. (For comparison’s sake, they make up 16 percent of all public-school students nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.)