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Teach The Children Well

Many Christians have focused their energies on "taking back the public schools" while sending their children there. But what they got was children who had fallen from their faith and adopted the secular attitudes of their teachers. This is an interesting piece from R.S. McCain. I'm going to look into this myself because there's a part of me that says we shouldn't give up on public schools but there's no way I'd send my kids there. So go take a look.

For once, Kathleen Parker has a clue. She quotes Ray Moore of Exodus Mandate:
I was alerted to the Deace-Minnery interview by E. Ray Moore -- founder of the South Carolina-based Exodus Mandate, an initiative to encourage Christian education and home schooling. Moore, who considers himself a member of the Christian right, thinks the movement is imploding.
"It's hard to admit defeat, but this one was self-inflicted," he wrote in an e-mail. "Yes, Dr. Dobson and the pro-family or Christian right political movement is a failure; it would have made me sad to say this in the past, but they have done it to themselves."
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10 comments:

Mack said...

As America's greatest president said, "Well, there you go again."

STOP stereotyping. Stop it now. As you would not be stereotyped, don't stereotype others.

I am a Catholic who teaches in a public school in East Texas. Most of the faculty are perfectly ordinary Methodists and Baptists, hardly villains.

Catholics have been for over two hundred years the victims of stereotyping in this country; extra shame on us if we practice it ourselves.

And don't even think of dumping a bunch of hand-me-down Glenn Beckism on me; my wife and I raised our very Catholic child who is now a year away from her PhD, and taught her the faith at home and in CCD.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone here was talking about the individual teachers although you always want to feel attacked, I've noticed.
They're talking about whether overall parents are better off pulling their kids out of public school. I believe they are as I homeschool.
I think, try as individual teachers might, the system is not a great one and is failing our children.

Fred said...

Mack,
Thanks for clarifying. Since there are exceptions, there can't possibly be rules.

It is clear that Mr. Archbold, by excerpting this article, clearly intends to impugn ALL public school teachers as secularists and to state unequivocally that it is clearly impossible to emerge from public school with faith.

Or maybe he wasn't.

After reading your comment, I fear for more than my children emerging from a public school education faithless, now I also fear they will emerge stupid as well. Thanks for nothing.

Robert Stacy McCain said...

Mack, I don't want to start an argument with you, but if I did, I would explain to you my philosophy of maximum feasible non-cooperation with the government school system.

Understand that I am myself a product of public schools (and a state university); a dear aunt of mine was a public school teacher; two of my best childhood friends are married to school teacher.

My philosophical opposition to public schools is not a personal criticism of any individual. But the problems of our public education system are not episodic, they are chronic. These problems are not isolated, they are pervasive and systemic.

The system is the problem. This is why every effort at "reform" only makes things worse, because none of these changes address the fundamental flaws of the system:

1. The consumer (i.e., the parent) has no choice.
2. The consumer views the product as "free."
3. The providers of the product (the teachers) are employed by the school, not the parent, whom public school teachers tend to view with profound contempt.
4. The teachers' contempt for the parent is necessarily conveyed to the student.
5. Ergo, the one lesson taught 180 days a year, every year that the child is in public school is, "Your parents are too stupid to teach you anything."

Add into this the fact that education majors have the lowest SATs, on average, among all college students, and you begin to have some insight into why the public school system is a moral hazard. The system, by its very nature, undermines parental authority, is unresponsive to the real needs of students, and is oriented toward replicating in children the conformist mentality of bureaucratic mediocrity that pervades the administration and faculty.

Suppose that you are an exception to all this. What then? Your individual excellence is being exploited by the inferior drones in the system, who unfairly share credit for your hard work. A "good school" is good because of the overall quality of its administration, teachers and students. But usually there are a handful of really dedicated people who are shouldering the burden and who produce the excellence for which the school, in general, gains credit.

Therefore, nothing is more necessary to changing the system than this: The good teachers must leave the system, and the good parents must stop sending their children there. Maximum feasible non-cooperation -- and that includes never saying a good word about the public education system, as such.

Mack said...

But folks, YOU are the public school system. The people elect the various government entities, from the presidency to the local school board. Whether it's good or bad, is YOURS.

Yes, I am defensive -- and locally I defend the Faith from those who stereotype priests and the ordinary faithful a child-molesting, satan-worshipping cretins. Jack Chick lives; he shouldn't live in Catholicism.

But, hey, about that Notre Dame, eh?

Dave said...

Mack:

I'm sort of halfway between you and Mr. McCain on this. Are there public school systems which respect the parent? Certainly. But also understand that a lot of other school systems hold parents in contempt.

Also, we've had a wasted opportunity. In the six years of a GOP Congress and President, did any congressman propose safeguards for parents, and tying them to reception of Federal funds? What would have happened if schools were required to let parents opt into sex education, or give parents full access to all materials? One wonders what might have been...

Chris said...

But folks, YOU are the public school system. The people elect the various government entities, from the presidency to the local school board. Whether it's good or bad, is YOURS.

Are you sure? Let's take a look at a few examples:

1. The school district (let's say +90% of the population) wants to have a Christmas musical that includes religious and secular songs. All it will take is one person to complain, a lawsuit threatened, and the Christmas musical becomes a Winter Festival with all secular music.

2. I want my child taught that evolution is a reasonable explanation for certain features of life but not a valid explanation for life itself. Let's say again that +90% of the community agrees. It will last about one day until lawyers are shutting that down as well.

3. How about states where parents wouldn't know if their daughter had an abortion because the state gives the school the right to facilitate the procedure.

I can go on. The point is that the system is not neutral. It picks which "rights" are valid based on liberal principles. Right now, the whole edifice is controlled by leftists. You can't beat it because the courts will back it, the press will praise it, and the politicians will support it or snivel like cowards in a corner.

In response to the claim that "my kid came out fine," then why don't secularists send kids to schools that teach Christianity or Islam as true? The reason is that people know that such an environment influences the beliefs of children. Some may come out unfazed, but a lot will be affected to one degree or another. And since public schools are not neutral, I agree with RSM it's time to pull out completely.

Dirtdartwife said...

I struggled with homeschooling for three years before finally sending my two older kids to public school. Unfortunately, the very first day my children attended school, they were handed a bunch of pro-Obama pamphlets and all the discussion was about Obama. My oldest was instantly ridiculed for voicing an anti-Obama opinion.

I come from three generations of public school teachers and I can't support the school system. And yes, I have heard the line of sending kids to school to be "the light of Christ to others." My only question is "at what cost to my children?" Not all children are strong enough to defend their faith, that inner courage just doesn't come easy for some people. And how do my children defend themselves against the rabid insanity of the liberal-atheistic ideologies that are being spit at them? You can't have a reasonable discussion with people that are screaming and pitching a fit because you don't agree with them.

I'm going back to homeschooling next school year because I'm watching my children's shining stars just starting to dull. And no matter what I've taught my children at home about morals, ethics and our religion, EVERYDAY they are being mocked... and i don't want them to have to put up with that for the next 10 years.

Dave said...

Chris:

Your examples are why I considered the six years of a GOP President and GOP Congress to have been wasted. They could have stipulated that any public school receiving federal funds not discriminate on basis of religion, get parental permission before teaching "diversity ed", and so forth.

OTOH, this is what might have happened anyway:

1) A school district egregiously breaks the law by teaching kindergarteners about homosexuality without consulting parents.

2) Same school district, upon being informed of this, says "Yeah? What are you going to do about it?"

3) Lawsuit ends up with Carter or Clinton-appointed judge, who rules that Congress has no right to hamper diversity, or some other positivist nonsense.

4) Rehnquist Court refuses to review, or
4A) Roberts court upholds parents' rights, but ruling is now unenforceable.

Mack said...

We-ell, yes, I did vote Republican.

I agree that many -- NOT ALL -- of our elected officials, who then choose many of our judges, could be doing much better. I also regret that some -- NOT ALL -- districts cave in immediately to any bullying, but then, apparently so does our president. I hope and believe most of us are doing what we should as citizens and workers.


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