Our public schools are actually highly successful in social engineering, turning out little minds and hearts with great precision with worldviews which are right on their desired target. The only problem – as a Christian, I am not in agreement with the worldview being taught.
Sometimes I hear people talking about our public schools as if they are very poor at what they do. I have heard discussions on US school rankings comparing them against other industrialized nations in a disparaging way. After having spent 30 years in the American education system I have come away with a few understandings.
- Our Public Schools are Outstanding at what they aim to do. After working with and understanding the agenda of most schools and teacher’s unions, our schools are very good at turning out passive, socialist leaning children. Seriously. They are really, really good at it. Even in the most recent presidential election when President Obama won by less of a margin than his earlier victory, the youth vote supported Obama by more than 2 to 1. According to the Pew Research, the net total of voters over 30, Romney took 50% with Obama taking 48%. To me it looks like it takes about 10 or more years to “reverse” what is taught to our kids, a clear victory for our public school education. When it comes to beliefs on gay marriage, the truth (or accuracy) of the first 11 chapters of the Bible, and salvation through Christ as the only way to God, the vast majority of individuals leaving our public schools and colleges appear to have serious doubts about the Christian worldview. (Tulsa World Article) And, by the way most suburban schools are good at reading, writing and arithmetic too.
- Most parents simply don’t understand the worldview (belief system) that is being propagated day in and day out in our public schools, until it is too late. Anytime I try to explain what is going on in the public schools I get an earful about how “it is not that bad,” “I grew up in the public schools and I am just fine,” (which in my experience is almost never true, but I digress) “I can’t afford Christian school,” “I have no other options.” On and on the excuses go. Some have even turned it around and said how irresponsible Christians are for not allowing their children to be the “light and salt” of the earth and believe the real problem is with those who have take their children out of Christian schools. (This argument basically states that because Christians have “abandoned” the public square, non-christians have been allowed to take it over, thereby placing the blame on Christians. However, history has shown the opposite to be true. Christian education has been instrumental in helping to improve and prosper nations, often leading the way for changing and improving public education.)
For years I have encouraged parents to answer the calling to “train” their children in the ways of God. (see Deuteronomy 6 and Colossians 2) And no matter how one chooses to educate their children this component must still be done. I continue to believe that the best, most efficient way, with the most support and least confusion is to homeschool or place your child in a Christian school. Can parents also train a child while in the public schools? Yes, it just takes much more effort and more vigilance.
No matter where your child attends school, you need to:
- Study the Bible together
- Be an example of living God’s Word
- Teach the Precepts of God
- Discuss worldview and point out Biblical worldviews from Scripture
- Discuss the worldviews your children are coming in contact with from school, media, etc. and discuss them, compare them to the Biblical worldviews you are learning together
- Regularly attend Church
Raising children has never been easy. With the media and popular opinion often running square against our beliefs, it is already hard enough to raise a child with Christian worldviews. Adding into the mix our government run schools which are not supporting or even accepting of our Biblical worldviews and a Christian parent’s job is outright hard. It takes vigilance and great effort.
In the end, my wife and I decided to place our children in Christian school. We were thankful for the opportunity and grateful for the help and support.
“These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.” Deuteronomy 6 1-2
“I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
Colossians 2 1-10
May God’s grace and peace be with you,