Thursday, April 07, 2011

Government schools and the erosion of the American vision

I open with several Pre-Rant Disclaimers:
  1. My entire pre-Christian education was in government schools, and most of my educational deficiencies are wholly my fault, not on my teachers'.
  2. My parents were terrific people who did the very best by me that they knew to do, and I am grateful to them. I trusted my kids to state schools, too... at first. This has nothing to do with finding fault with my parents.
  3. I am not about to argue that there are no fine educators in the state education camp system. In fact, probably my best teacher anywhere ever was Earl Livingood at Glendale Community College.
  4. I am not about to argue that Christian parents sin if they send their children to government education schools; that is their decision — though it is my opinion that it should be the distant-last choice, if ever.
So the adults have finally arrived. Democrats have been in charge of legislation and budgetary matters for years, and they have ruined us. Bush, though far better than the current occupant of the WH, was no principled conservative, and the GOP under his leadership was no model of fiscal constraint or constitutional principles.

But the adults are here. Representative Paul Ryan has proposed a budget that would head America in the general direction of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers' vision of a limited government. Calling our current dilemma the "most predictable crisis in the history of our country," Ryan does what the Dem leaders have failed even to attempt: map a path forward that does not depend wholly on confiscatory taxation and deficit spending.

But that isn't really my point.

Dems responded predictably with the usual slanders of the GOP killing people and throwing seniors and The ChildrenTM into the streets to die slow deaths of starvation and disease. Particularly at the present moment, in the wake of President Obama and the Dems' unwillingness to engage seriously and the looming possibility of a (temporary!) Federal government "shutdown," apocalyptic nightmare visions are being invoked.

Now we're near my point. Just stop and think of that. It is the Dem/liberal premise that the government must confiscate the earnings of productive people and control the lives of all citizens. It has that right, and it has that responsibility. If the government does not do those things for us — control, decide, and provide — death and chaos and destruction are inevitable and invariable results.

In a healthier day, the nation would have rebelled in horror at such a suggestion. This is exactly what our forefathers fought and died to prevent. The role outlined above is a proper role — for God primarily, and for our parents in our childhoods secondarily. However, the innate urge of fallen man is not for freedom, as Bush2 imagined, but for power and control and godhood. It started in Genesis 3, and it is still our main problem.

So why don't people rebel today? I have no confidence that the Ryan plan will prevail, or that the principled leaders in Wisconsin will retain their offices, or that tomorrow in America will be any brighter than today. Why not?

Because citizens have been conditioned from childhood to accept statist paternalism.

I see the remnants in my own heart. You will sometimes read that this or that supplement, medicine or technology is "used by the government," or that it is "government-tested and approved." A dwindling part of my consciousness responds positively, as if government-approved means everything. It means that this item/procedure has gone through the most rigorous and omnicompetent testing in gleaming labs run by the very topmost minds in the world. And now it is being offered to my trembling, grateful hands.

Now I know that the precise opposite is likelier the case. But where did I ever get this notion?

I got it where most Americans get it. I started getting it when my mother first left me off (crying, scared) at some government-run institution, trusting me to their care. I started getting it in the kind, benevolent, caring faces of Miss This and Mrs. That and Mr. TheOtherThing, to whom my parents entrusted me for the greater part of every weekday. They told me what and how to think, and how to act. They watched out for me, They cared about my health and nutrition. They were my benevolent caretakers from my early single-digits to my seventeenth year.

So after all: our parents left us there. Our parents loved us. If our parents trusted them to care for us and tell us how and what to think, shouldn't we trust them too?

And so for most Americans, the first face of the State is not a power-mad bureaucrat crushing out all freedom and initiative and individuality. Well, it is, but they don't recognize it, because it is represented by the friendly, caring face of a teacher, assuring them (as state education bureaucrats assured my dear wife and me, in our last meeting with them) that theirs is a "holistic" approach, and that "everything that concerns the child, concerns Us."

That is why there is not an instant national revolution when an Obama or a Reid or a Pelosi rises up and intones dire warnings that, without the government's absolute iron-fisted control of everything, all will be lost, and outlines plans for more and more state control and dictation in yet more and more of our lives, including not only our actions but our thoughts and words.

We have been conditioned, from childhood, to think of the state as our friend and caretaker... basically, not to put too fine a point on it, as our god.

This serves the Dems well. We expect The State to care for us, provide for us, guide us, control us. They're happy to oblige. When conservatives speak of freedom, liberty, and responsibility, those concepts are lost on us. It feels like they are simply abdicating their responsibility. If they don't care for us, people will die. If they don't tell us what to do and how to live, there will be chaos.

And here's the real irony: liberals utterly fail at the more Biblically-rational, Constitutionally/Declaration-defined responsibilities, laid out by men whose worldview was at least framed by a broadly Biblical understanding of man and society. They don't protect the borders, and they don't assure rule-of-law justice in the courts; they don't stand for life, liberty, or the pursuit of (not state-defined-and-provided) happiness.

That's why I'm hopeful and determined, but not entirely optimistic. When I hear leaders and talkers say, as they must, that the American people are smart and all that, I can't agree. If they were that smart, there would have been no Clinton 1, and certainly no Clinton 2, and certainly no Obama; let alone Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Shumer, Snowe, Chaffee, and the like. The fleebaggers in Wisconsin would be on their way out of office. And on and on.

But I don't see signs that Americans at large really get it.

And for that, in part, I blame the state-government conditioning we underwent for the most formative years of our lives. Machen saw it with crystal-clarity, more than 80 years ago:
Place the lives of children in their formative years, despite convictions of their parents, under the intimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out, and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist. Such a tyrrany, supported as it is by a perverse technique used as the instrument in destroying human souls, is certainly far more dangerous than the crude tyrannies of the past....
Do offer your thoughts, but do me a favor and review the Disclaimers at the top, just one more time.


John said...

So well said - I mean just excellent on so many fronts. Not being raised in a Christian home I can relate to some of the background.

We're living in difficult days and getting more difficult. I am so grateful we have God's Word through which to analyze and interpret what is going on around us.

I am convinced absolutely that this has to be the place where we begin and end the praying through process parents should subject themselves to in making education choices.

Alas: I believe that the world (government included) has so tainted the church to the point that we tend "think" like them without even knowing it.

Robert said...

I worry about these things myself as I currently have both of my sons in public school. My wife and I are considering pulling our youngest son out because he is autistic and his discernment isn't the greatest right now. Our oldest son has no problem with knowing the truth and standing up for it, regardless of who he has to stand up to. I credit that to the grace of God...even with whatever we teach him, God has opened his heart and mind to the truth and keeps him faithful.

I will admit that we have to take up much time with keeping up with what he is learning and preparing him for what we know is coming inevitably. That is the takes a lot of time to bring up your children in the ways of truth. And that applies for kids in public school, private school, or homeschool. It is just a matter of how much you have to prepare them to filter out some trash. I guess for the homsechool parents, you still have to do that, but you get more time to prepare them for it. I say this knowing that I may well be bringing our sons home eventually as well.

DJP said...

Amen, brother John, preach it.

My own conversion from public-school defender to rabid homeschooler was slow and painful. Dear wife was there long, long ahead of me.

What converted me was the wholly-incompetent yet all-encroaching paternalism of the public school system itself, in large measure. My dear wife's patient input didn't hurt, of course.

Arthur Sido said...

Outstanding. Like John I was not raised in a Christian home and my wife and I came to faith later in life after we had several kids. I am of the belief that the public school system is not at its core about education in any sense of the word but rather about creating a pliable citizenry and workforce.

DJP said...

Yes, Art, I must be getting soft. I usually call them "government indoctrination camps," or "government re-education camps."


Al said...

Dan, I feel ya, but I have a question about your disclaimer point 4.

Is education neutral? It seems to me that something as fundamental to our charge as parents, "train up a child...", would be a "with me or against me" type of thing.
You mention the conditioning our children receive and I would say that at its core such conditioning is one of idolatry... If God is irrelevant to 2+2=4 he is just as irrelevant in biology, government and logic classes.

Should our children never attend a State school? Well, as my friend David Goetsch says, "if your children can't to more gospel harm to the godless institution they are attending than the institution is doing to them, they should not be there."

al sends

Kris N. said...

We are trying to move from our little town to a bigger town for this erason. Although, our school district still does religion "release" (one of the few in MN that still do that - use school time for religious purposes), and the protestant one is taught by a God-fearing woman of the Lord, whom I am very thankful. Like Robert, we closely monitor what they are teaching at school. In Sep 09, when Obama gave that big national speech that all the school kids were supposed to hear, our school didn't show it. Guess some people still have a little sense. :)

I'm also thankful for my Bible-believing and teaching church and for Awana, which both provide a buffer for the thoughts and opinions of those not basing values per Biblical standard.

Joseph Holloman said...

Well, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool conservative going into public education. You think it's bad for the kids? It's going to be really difficult for me to "fight the system" from within. A dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

I had a heck of a time getting out of my college's education program with both my degree and my views intact. They seemed determined to stamp out one or the other.

CGrim said...

I'm a few years away from making these decisions myself.

I think the most important factor is that parents are active in their children's lives, as well as active on their spiritual behalf.

After all, our biggest focus should not be raising morally-upright quasi-theists, but rather, followers of Christ.

I went to public school K through 12, then a Christian college. There are things I'm not proud of in my past that came from that environment. But the sad truth is that I was probably just as arrogant, selfish, lustful, and generally sin-ridden in college as I ever was when I was younger in public school.

Can public schools be spiritually hazardous? Certainly. But the opposite notion can be just as deadly - to get a false sense of security from the fact that one's children are in a Christian school or homeschooled.

I also think we need to be cautious about segregating ourselves off from the secular culture at large, but still, our engagement with the culture should not compromise our parental duties to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Mrs. Bones said...

Thanks for this post, Dan.

My husband and I went to small, rural public schools, and at the time, there was still some educating happening. By the time our first child was born, the agenda of government schools had changed (and that, in just 5 years). I had determined that our children would be educated at home. Neither of our children has set foot in a government-run school, and God willing, it'll stay that way.

I could go on and on (but I won't).

Come, Lord Jesus!

LeeC said...

Homeschooling should not be about cutting your children off from the world CGrim. But instead equipping them to deal with taht world, and exposing them suitably as they are equipped.

You do not send raw recruits into the frontlines of a battle. You train them first. I do not shelter my children, I strive to equip them.

This is one of the few articles on the public schoolsystem and homeschooling/private schooling that I 100% agree with.

Eric said...

The corollary to Proverbs 22:6 is "Fill a child's mind with worldly wisdom and when he is old he will faithfully regurgitate it."

While also disclaiming Dan's #4, I tend to refer to our local public school system as "the devil's workshop". Satan loves nothing better than to have access to the minds of our children at young ages where he can shape their worldview and indoctrinate them with any number of destructive philosophies. The regimes of Hitler and Stalin knew this tactic well, and the liberals (political and religious) are also well aware of the impact that can be made by having access to children. I'll add that it is tough to "undo" 7-8 hours per day of immersion in destructive philosophies.

CGrim's warnings are also appropriate and duly noted.

LeeC said...

As for #4 I have often said that I would go to jail before my children went to public school.

That said, be very careful those of you that take issue with #4 lest you fall into sinfull attitudes yourselves.

There is no verse in the Bible that says "You shall not send you kids to public school" and if a parent chooses to delegate the teaching of thier children that is not the same as abdicating.

mikeb said...

"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side.' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already…What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community." (Adolph Hitler) Speech November 1933, quoted in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

“Keep your children as much as may be from ill company, especially of ungodly playfellows. It is one of the greatest dangers for the undoing of children in the world; especially when they are sent to common schools: for there is scarce any of those schools so good, but hath many rude and ungodly ill-taught children in it.” - Richard Baxter, Christian Directory, Part II, Ch. X, Direct. XV.

mikeb said...

I tend to agree on #4 above, Dan, but here's the rub:

If you knowingly send your kid to a place where you are certain they will attempt to indoctrinate him with idolatrous and evil beliefs, is that sin? Is it wrong to send an 8 yr. old to the front lines of battle in war?

Gilbert said...

Since I work for a secular college, I have mixed feelings: I obviously do not like our University teaching a course on "Defending Darwinism". But at the same time, as a safety person, they do need an alerting system for severe weather and other warnings, which is the government's job as part of our defense system in our country. But youa re right, Dan, some people expect me to coddle them, or worse, ignore me until something happens, and then blame me for not warning them. It's quite frustrating sometimes.

Angie said...

While I do not have any children, this is something I've thought about. I just don't like the idea of letting the state spend more time with my kids than I do. I'm not a fan of day care, either, for the same reason.

I personally didn't feel like my faith or morals were compromised in public school, but I also spent K-4 in homeschool and 5th grade in a Christian school. The only time I felt like I had a political agenda crammed down my throat constantly was in the state university I attended for one year of graduate school.

I know times have changed (I'm only 30, but I also remember being told to lay on the horn if there was trouble when my mom left my sister and me in the car while she ran into the grocery store as a kid, and that was okay back then), however. If I have children and they must go to public school out of financial necessity, I will be very active in their education, to counter the lies and to supplement truth (and other wonderful things like classic literature, art, music, etc. that the schools may not teach well).

Even if I can't teach them myself at home (which I think is ideal, at least until I know they have the foundation I want them to have), I know that God is in control, and He is the one whose light shines in the darkness. If they are taught the truth, I have to trust God to give them the discernment they need. When I was homeschooled, I heard my mother pray daily to give my sister discernment. She was in public high school at the time. That prayer has stuck with me as much as anything else from those years, and I'm thankful for that legacy in parenting through prayer.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

We had our older two in public school until the 4th and 2nd grade, and then pulled them out. My husband had not been favorable to home educating before that, but now... the longer we are out of 'the system' the more and stronger reasons we have to continue. (I won't even go into the actual academics.)

Whose are our kids? Who do they belong to? And what ought they to be prepared for?

If they belong to the State, they should serve the State. Public schools will prepare them for that very 'nicely'. Just put them on the Yellow Prison Bus (a Voddie Baucham euphemism) every morning and voila.

If they live to serve their own interests, then education is valuable as a marketable asset.

But if they belong, ultimately, to God, and ought to prepared and fitted for His service, then we need to rethink the whole thing.


And let me tell you, if you have a kid with a disability (and Robert, I sympathize with you here), you will face a LOT more pressure to keep him in The System. 1. Most of them genuinely believe that they know better than you what your child needs, and you are reckless and irresponsible not to leave him with The Experts. 2. Schools get a LOT more money when they have kids with 'labels' on their rolls. LOTS.

Just my two cents.


Chris H said...

This post speaks deeply to me, as my wife and I are expecting our first child. I'm no fan of public education even in Canada.

My struggle is perhaps only earthly: In my current job, I have not the financial wherewithal to send my child to a private school, nor can I or my wife teach the children at home at the expense of the paycheque.

So, it's fortunate that this decision is a number of years away. Still, that weighs on me a little.

Anonymous said...

There are some (of us?) who support revolution.

Secession now!!!

Gabby said...

Amen, amen and amen!

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The progressives know this and they know it well. I remember a long time ago I heard one of the gay activists saying, "Get them by eight or it's too late."

Pierre Saikaley said...

Hi, Pierre from Canada up here...everything you wrote but to the power of 3 up here.

A well known Canadian brodcaster and conservative voice up here, hehe, yeah I know...there's actually conservative voices here...once related in a book of his how a caller into one of his shows declared how people would be "dying in the streets" if we got rid of welfare.

Being Canadian I grew up in a largely Liberal run country, and "A MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA/ONTARIO" on every every commercial break on TV.

I have two small girls...2y.o and 4y.o. My 4yo is in kindergarten, public school. Ontario governemt is planning all day kindergarden with not only a teacher but a "Early Childhood Educator" in each class, and "play based learning".

Still have to see what that entails. But here too, in our current election time, the Liberals have promised all day Kindergarden, and the Conservatives have not...b/c the Conservatives know there's no money in the system for it.

JackW said...

After listening to Harry Reid at a press conference just a little while ago, I have come to the conclusion that Dan is just an extreme tea-bagger with an extreme agenda.

I like it … extremely so.

Too bad that, for the Life of him, Harry wouldn’t know the Truth if it stood in his Way.

Lynda O said...

I agree with all the points, at least in theory. We don't have children, but have seen several examples of very poor homeschooling (though a few very good cases), where the childrens' academic skills are seriously lacking -- thoughts and writing at the level of a 5th grader when they're finishing up high school, for instance. Most of these home-schooled children do not continue with college or other education, but end up staying at home well after high school and working low-end, unskilled labor jobs. I would fault the parents for not raising their children to become productive adults capable of functioning on their own.

On a recent Christian radio show, I heard it pointed out from scripture -- Paul's reference to tutors and such -- that it is perfectly proper (and according to the model of ancient times) for the parents to delegate the responsibility for teaching, to those best able to do it.

I don't think that government schools (which cater to the lowest-common-denom) are the answer, and would be all in favor of abolishing public schools all-together. Forget the mediocre system and taxation of it, and do what worked historically (at least for all but the very poorest): parents provide the appropriate education, whether high academics or skilled-trade apprenticeships, etc.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"When I hear leaders and talkers say, as they must, that the American people are smart and all that, I can't agree. If they were that smart, there would have been no Clinton 1, and certainly no Clinton 2, and certainly no Obama; let alone Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Shumer, Snowe, Chaffee, and the like. ... And for that, in part, I blame the state-government conditioning we underwent for the most formative years of our lives."

Some other culpable parts are:

o The influence of the liberal meanstream media.

o The waning of Christianity and the rise of aggressive liberal secularism.

o The waning of Christianity is also largely attributable to Liberal Protestantism. And weak-spined conservative Christians.

o Liberals capturing higher education, kinder-secondary education, the media, Hollywood, the judiciary system, and political power.

Kurt K said...

The State giveth and the state taketh away. Blessed be the name of the State.

DJP said...

If I told you what my instant thought was, when these educrats basically patted us on the head and told us that our kids were their concern, I'd have to ban myself... or at least delete my comment give myself a stern warning.

Anonymous said...

Dan...all net, no rim, three pointer. Expect linkage soon :)

Not Ashamed said...

So well said.
I am 56 and I too was sent off brown bag in hand skipping into the future of humanism. Indoctrinated by Darwinian evolution by people I trusted believing they knew what they were talking about then off to church on sunday.
Our intellectual elite have an agenda and that agenda is SELF/MAN..the ultimate in free willism (is that a word?).
As you so well said-

"They were my benevolent caretakers from my early single-digits to my seventeenth year."

We believed and why not this is where Mom and Dad send me every day, my friends are here and we play kickball, and from this what did I learn?......
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
To think I, except by the grace of God was steering that ship into eternal outer darkness.

Never do I cease to thank God for His divine election of myself and family.
Great article right between the eyes!

Rachael Starke said...

I went to a bunch of different schools growing up - mainly public, but also a quasi-Christian girls' boarding school, a super Christian college, and now I've circled back and am experiencing a state junior college as a grad student. My kids are currently in a fairly expensive Christian (of the squirmingly evanjellyfish,Arminian variety) school.

The consistent theme I remember from my own experience, and now as a mom, is the importance of ongoing, intentional engagement of parents. The more the "outsourcing" mentality rules,the poorer the outcome. The more the "loving engagement" mentality rules, the better the outcome. And by "loving", I don't just mean my child. I mean my child's teacher, her friends, their parents, the administrators. It takes a tremendous amount of love and careful diplomacy to remind both your children, and their school, that you are in charge of your child's education, and they are your trusted, loved, supported, prayed for helpers. We've already gotten a few opportunities to have to redirect our kids thinking about a particular chapel, lesson, kid drama, away from their teachers. So far, it's been a valuable exercise in measuring every argument against Scripture, even at a "Christian" school.

I totally agree that, for the most part, in California, public schooling is a choice fraught with peril. I know people who do it, and who have even built credible ministries in it. But it's been built on a willingness to suffer ridicule and harm for the cause of Christ. I'm willing to do that for myself, but when my kids are at risk of suffering for my sake, instead of on their own for Christs', that's not a strategy I'm willing to subject them to.

Thanks for the careful words Dan. You aimed your fire at the right targets, and were careful not to leave any collateral damage in civilian quarters. Mission very well accomplished.

Sir Aaron said...

I think I have an interesting point of view. I was homeschooled during my 6th through 9th grades. The company my father worked for went bankrupt and so we wound up moving when I was in 4th grade. The public school system where we moved to was so poor that I found myself horribly bored in class. The public school tested me for the advanced classes but decided that I was so far ahead I would need to start going to high school. As the cliche goes, idle hands are the devil's workshop, and so I got into a lot of trouble at school. My parents, not having the money for private or military school, decided to homeschool me. I hated it and developed serious rebellion againt my parents. Eventually I progressed scholastically to a level that my parents couldn't really homeschool me. My parents moved so they could send me to a very good public high school. Scholastics were good and I don't recall any anti-religious bent (in fact, my biology teacher said we had to learn about evolution but we didn't have to believe it). However, as is always the case, I fell in with a crowd whom I most wanted to emulate. Bad company corrupts good morals...and I was for sure corrupted. But then again, I wanted to be corrupted. I went to college...a private one that was once associated and founded by a Protestant religious denomination. I majored in Accounting so there wasn't much talk about religion there one way of another.

So while I agree that most public schools are inherently anti-Christian, I don't think that homeschooling is a cure-all.In fact, I see a lot of homsechooled kids now that are well on their way to outright rebellion.

So (A) Nothing you do can insure that a person will not develop a selfish, sinful view of life and politics. With my daughters, I hope to send them to private institutions or failing to afford that, I'll homeschool as the last resort (public school is just not an option for now). But that's not enough. I hope to take them around the world to show them first hand where sin leads and the ill effects of liberal policies. So (B) seeing is believing. It's easy to deny the truth from our relative safety of our small suburban neighborhoods. and lastly (C) best friends of the same gender are probably as influential as a spouse or parents. I pray that my daughters will find best friends that are strong Christians themselves.

DJP said...

Which form of education is the best is (A) an interesting question, and (B) not the focus of this post. Just to be clear.

Sir Aaron said...

I also wanted to say that American churches are as much the problem as Government schools. In fact, if it weren't for the deficiencies of the churches, we probably wouldn't have the schools we have. We've totally abdicated teachings such as "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" and "do not show favortism to a poor man in his lawsuit." If you don't stand on the Bible, you'll come to liberal social teachings everytime.

Sir Aaron said...

Ok, last point:

"Why don't people rebel today?"
Part of this has to do with christian complacency and an attitude that says we shouldn't be involved in politics, government, or do anything to force our religious views on anybody else.

Scooter said...

I do agree in alrge part with you Dan. How did it get this bad? I have a friend in the system who has students that believe Obama was alive in the 19th century.

I don't want to give on my government. There are good men fighting a lot of really bad mistakes made by their predecessors.

I honestly equate the liberal politicals to Emergents: they don't respect anything sacred. It only exists for launching their own agenda.

Tom Chantry said...

"The Grownups have arrived."

And they're from Wisconsin! Who woulda thunk it?

Mike Westfall said...

Economic security is a basic human right, and The State has to give it to me.

Imperium Eleison

(It's kind of like when I was a kid and I wanted my parents to buy me something. They could just go to the bank and get some money -- there's lots of money there after all -- to buy it with. Good thing my parents weren't elected by their constituency.)

Fred Butler said...

Angie writes,
(I'm only 30, but I also remember being told to lay on the horn if there was trouble when my mom left my sister and me in the car while she ran into the grocery store as a kid, and that was okay back then)

You ain't kiddin.
I can remember when I was a 8 year old kid and could go down to JJs Market in Salado, AR, and buy my aunt a couple of packs of Virgina Slims no questions asked.

A tad off topic, but she got me reminiscing.

Sir Aaron said...


That's Arkansas...a whole other country. ;)

trogdor said...

A few years ago I saw this article about the purpose of public schooling, how it's basically designed to produce unthinking mediocre childish adults who won't question their overlords. It sure made my public school experience make a lot more sense in retrospect. I doubt all (or even most) in public education are aware of what they're doin, of course, but the design of the system is clear enough if you pull back and look.

Paula said...

I'm reading a fascinating book called A Brief History of Education byt Ellwood Cubberley, copyright 1922. It is striking that over and over again this man (jubilantly) equates progress in education (both theory and practice) with the transition from religious schools to secular schools:

"The first half-century of the national life may be regarded as a period of transition from the church-control idea of education over to the idea of education under the control of and support by the State...Up to the period of the beginnings of our national development education had almost everywhere been regarded as an affair of the Church, somewhat akin to baptism, marriage, the administration of the sacraments, and the burial of the dead...In the meantime, the demand for education grew rather rapidly, and the task soon became too big for the churches to handle. For long the churches made an effort to keep up, as they were loath to relinquish in any way their former hold on the training of the young. The churches, however, were not interested in the problem except in the old way, and this was not what the new democracy wanted. The result was that, with the coming of nationality and the slow but gradual growth of a national consciousness, national pride, national needs, and the gradual development of national resources in the shape of taxable property - all alike combined to make secular instead of religious schools seem both desirable and possible to a constantly increasing number of citizens."

Anonymous said...

We're struggling with a 14 year old who has a small man complex and 1/2 who will not let his mom help with Algebra. So, my hubs is wanting him to go to the local public high school next year. Big little man is also a problem in other ways disrupting my homeschool day. Sigh. I don't want to send him and yet, we don't have money for private. I am praying we can find a way to keep him home and get the homeschool back on track next year.