(Disclaimer: I don't watch Dr. Phil and don't intend to watch the Great School Debate.)
FYI: The Dr. Phil show is airing an episode called The Great School Debate on November 24. From their website:
"Parents want the best for their children, but what’s the best way to educate them? Dr. Phil’s guests face off in a debate about whether to school, homeschool or unschool. Dana and her husband, Joe, call themselves radical unschoolers. They say education happens as a side effect of life, and they don’t believe in tests, curriculums or grades. Are their three kids learning what they need to know? Then, RaeAnn says public schools are death traps and wants to homeschool her children. Her husband, Steve, says their kids are safer at school than they are at home. Can this couple reach a compromise? Plus, Nicole feels like an outcast at 26. She says she hated being homeschooled, and couldn’t relate to other kids."
Just from this summary, you can tell Dr. Phil is against homeschooling. The deck has been stacked. Otherwise they'd have comments about how well the unschooling kids are doing and a former homeschooled student who thought it was the best way to learn, not that she hated being homeschooled.
You can read more about how the actual taping went from a homeschooling advocate who was a guest on the show. She writes:
"After the lady who chewed homeschoolers out as the future of her government had spoken, Dr. Phil then did something that clearly indicated why the homeschoolers had been brought to be part of an audience of an episode in which hundreds of high school students had been bussed in: Dr. Phil then asked the audience, "How many of you support Homeschooling and how many of you support sending children to school?"
Well, of course the 10% to 15% of the sparsely spread audience that were passionate homeschoolers proudly raised their hands in support of homeschooling. And when Dr. Phil said, "How many people do not support homeschooling," all those young high school students that had been unwittingly bussed in specifically for that question in this episode, raised their hands -- A forest of "No's," against homeschooling.
Although, that was just one brief question in Dr. Phil's episode, he took no chances. He deliberately rigged that audience to be a few sparsely spread homeschoolers, and an imposing majority of those who were currently in traditional schools."
Frankly, I think this was a huge chance for the show's producers to take. All the high school students I know think homeschooling, especially unschooling, is an awesome idea. However, it seemed to work out all right for Dr. Phil.