The State of American Education
How did America education get in this mess? America spends more than all but a 4 or 5 countries and is at the bottom half in results. Then we have mass murders at school, teachers having sex with students. 19% of graduating high school students can’t read and 20% of high school students drop out of school.
If you take the average of $12,000 per student and put 25 kids in a classroom that is $300,000 a classroom per year to educate the 25 children.
Parents have given the responsibility to the government to educate their children. Adults can’t even feed their children without help from the government. The schools now feed them breakfast and lunch.
Parents wake up and take responsibility for your children. If you can’t read make sure your children can. Ask them questions, get them help where they lack skills.
Enough of my rant. Let’s look at education from the beginning of time and in America from the colonies to the present.
Education in The Bible
God was educating Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We can see from the beginning that a world view with God at the center was the intention of the Creator.
It continued through the Old Testament
Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and rebuke bestow wisdom, but an undisciplined child brings shame to his mother.
And into the New Testament.
Timothy 4:10-11 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
Ephesians 6:4 Parents, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.
Education in The Early Colonies
Education was in the home and church. As people left Europe for American colonies, many settlers educated their children with apprenticeships and private tutors. The Mennonites, Baptists, Quakers, and Presbyterians eventually formed schools of their own. The education was based on a Biblical world view. The Puritans had “public schools” which were based on religious beliefs.
In the 1640s Massachusetts passed laws requiring children to attend school. The teachers where held in high regard since they were one of the most educated people of the community. Only preachers where held in higher regard.
The idea was for children to learn how to read The Bible and how to reason what was right and wrong. These early grammar schools taught Latin and Greek primarily. They also taught calculation.
The Boston Grammar School, which became known as Boston Latin School, educated Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams and Josiah Quincy.
98% of the first 108 colleges were founded on the Christian faith. Some of these colleges included Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
The Founding Fathers
Thomas Jefferson said “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
They knew that education was needed to keep people of a nation free. It wasn’t just any ole education they wanted. The founding fathers believed in a useful education based on the foundations of Christianity. This education would lead to liberty.
Benjamin Franklin said “A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
With the revolution the founding fathers knew that morality could not exist without religion. They believed that a unchanging standard was needed. This standard was God and The Bible.
George Washington said “And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion… reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”
Where We Are Today
Fewer of our children go to a Christian school today then one or two decades ago. The reasons can be many from economic, from fewer people claiming to be Christians or the stigma of going to a Christian school.
The projection is for 10% of students attending private school to drop to 9% in the next 5 years.
With such a large portion of children in public schools learning about the world without a view towards Jesus Christ or an unchanging moral standard is detrimental to that generation and to the nation. You may ask why it is important to have God at the center of education?
Every education system is based on a world view. The best unchanging world view is one based on Biblical precepts. A Classical Christian education is not common. It has not been common for over a century. Education in both the public and private sector has been dumbing down education for generations.
What To Do
Most of the time my blog posts are not political. However, as Christians we are called to be salt and light in the world. This includes politics, economics, government and education.
Just a brief history. I ran for public office a few years ago and came out for every student getting a guaranteed amount for their elementary and high school education just like we do for colleges.
I heard all the arguments of how do we know if they will receive a proper education? So I looked at the statistics and saw that we spend more than most countries and have less to show for it. We have a high percentage of high school drop outs. Only 80% of students graduate from high school. Those numbers can be lower or higher depending on geography and on ethnicity.
I was not at the top of my class when I graduated and I wasn’t at the bottom of my class. But now I look at children and look at my grandchildren and see how the education system works.
I continue to call for vouchers for all students. I like the idea of competition and being able to send your child to the school of your choice secular or non-secular.
The Education System Needs Fixed
I believe the fix is in choice. Parents can raise the children with a world view that complies with their beliefs or let the government define their world view.
Every education system is based on a world view. If you don’t believe in evolution then you probably believe in creation. When fossils are found and other clues to the past they will be interrupted on the basis of the world view.
There is also a heavy emphasis placed on going to college. Is it the best thing for our children. Do we need to spend 4 years in college to learn how to run a fast food restaurant? I think not.
As a society we have given our power and authority away to the government. Yes schools are government institutions that have government’s best interest in mind. They will do what they can to preserve what power they have, to shape and influence society.
This is not the way our country was set-up. We are to influence government and to check their power. An uneducated citizenry can not check on the government and will not be able to discern the truth. Without a Biblical worldview the citizens will fall for whatever thought is in fashion. “Classical Christian education is not designed to fit the student for our times. It is designed to transform the student to God's times “