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Home Education and the Rise of Christianity in America

Do you hate clichés? Well, I have a few for you today. It has been said many times before, and I will say it again here, that ideas have consequences. Another common saying among students of history is that dedicated minorities, not majorities, have always played a major role in shaping human history.

A few Pilgrims looking for godly prosperity on far-away shores. A band of freedom-loving American Patriots pledging their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to a seemingly lost cause. Socialist ideologues of the 18th and 19th centuries and Nazi propagandists of the 20th. Radical homosexual activists and global warming fear-mongers. A small and passionate group of individuals can be found at the root of many a movement that has grown from a simple set of ideas to world-changing activities impacting countless people over many generations. My friend Kevin Swanson writes that history sometimes seems to play out in slow motion and that, in hindsight, we are able to study how the “powerful ideas of philosophers (…) shape the minds of the most brilliant writers, educators, musicians and artists,” which in turn form the course content of the liberal arts universities of the next generation, finally filtering into the mass culture. “It is a three step process,” he says, “and this is how the West was lost.”1

2020

Hindsight may very well be 20/20, but can we predict how current ideas and trends will affect our nation by the year 2020? Researchers, such as those at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, have been developing something they call Psychohistory, the study of the psychological motivations of historical events, or how ideas spread through a society. Using computer models of a variety of social networks they looked at factors that contribute to the successful spread of a minority opinion to a majority view. What they found was that once an idea is adopted by just 10% of the population it reaches a tipping point, catapulting the idea or trend into the mainstream. So if only one out of every ten people believe the new idea it will spread very slowly, but once two out of every ten adopt it, it spreads like wild fire.2

The late Russian Communist leader, Vladimir Lenin, once said: “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country. Therefore, there must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of citizens in general, and teenagers in particular. By making drugs of various kinds readily available, by creating the necessary attitude of chaos, idleness, and worthlessness, and by preparing him psychologically and politically, we can succeed.” Idleness, chaos and worthlessness: this is how our nation is being defeated, one child at a time.

The homeschooling movement is a very promising and encouraging trend and I am praying for an educational and discipleship tipping point to take place in the homes and churches of America in the next ten years. But right now the public schools are churning out droves of increasingly pagan, existentialist, nihilistic disciples of the anti-Christian philosophers of old and the Marxist professors and curriculum developers of today. (Have you researched how the Common Core Standards are coming to a homeschool near you?)3  I am convinced that if we are ever going to see real, lasting change for the better in America, Christians will have to repent from neglecting the training of their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and begin teaching them the Word of God—as they sit in their homes, walk by the way, rise up and lay down, day in and day out, every day, until their children go off to establish homes of their own and do it all over again.

If it Ain’t Broken…

But the public school system in America didn’t just come out of nowhere. It came from the humanistic and God-hating minds of social engineers like Robert Owen, Horace Mann, G. Stanley Hall, John Dewey, and others, whose ideas have indeed had devastating consequences in the life of countless people, indeed on our very way of life. John Taylor Gatto notes in his must-read book, The Underground History of American Education, that “forced schooling was the medicine to bring the whole continental population into conformity (…) so it might be regarded as a ‘human resource’ and managed as a ‘workforce.’ No more Ben Franklins or Tom Edisons could be allowed; they set a bad example. (…) School was looked upon from the first decade of the 20th century as a branch of industry and a tool of governance.” I agree. Our 28th President and a leader of the Progressive Movement, Woodrow Wilson, said this to businessmen: “We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”4

Again, Gatto: “By 1917, the major administrative jobs in American schooling were under control of a group referred to in the press of that day as ‘the Education Trust.’ The first meeting of this trust included representatives of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, and the National Education Association. The chief end, wrote Benjamin Kidd, the British evolutionist, in 1918, was to ‘impose on the young the ideal of subordination.’” These men had very clear objectives. They desired a workforce, they wanted conformists, they needed a dumbed-down population that would follow the rules imposed on them by the smarter, smaller club of trusted educational experts, who in turn were products of the ideas promoted by the social engineers of the prior century.

We don’t need to reform America’s public schools. They are not failing. The public schools in the United States are doing exactly what they were designed to do: they are producing a (somewhat) reliable working class, a class that can be easily manipulated into conformity. Technology will make this control increasingly comprehensive and inescapable. The radical “isms” of the day will grow more and more pervasive in this environment of false tolerance until there is nothing left of the original vision of the Christian men and women who brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this land.

A Dedicated Minority.

So how about some good news? God, in His sovereign wisdom, has also demonstrated a track record of bringing about history-altering and world-transforming changes through very humble and non-impressive means. Think Bethlehem. Think a handful of fishermen. Think the Upper Room.

Think homeschooling. Freedom-loving Americans like former Congressman Ron Paul are still hopeful. In a message entitled Homeschooling: The Future of Liberty, delivered shortly after his retirement from public service, Dr. Paul said that “homeschooled children are more likely to embrace the philosophy of freedom, and to join the efforts to restore liberty. In fact, I would not be surprised if the future leaders of the liberty movement where homeschooled.”5  Well, I am even more hopeful than Dr. Paul, for Jesus tells me that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church of Jesus Christ.6 The apostle John tells me that there are “great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”7 And Daniel tells me that the God of heaven shall “set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”8

Is there still hope for America? I believe there is. I believe our best years are ahead of us. I believe the homeschool movement is one of the most hopeful signs of God’s desire to use the American church to again spread His Gospel to those that are near and those far off. I believe we are on the way to becoming that City upon a Hill of Matthew 5:14 and echoed by Winthop, Kennedy and Reagan. This may require that we suffer persecution. It may cause many to fall away. But the Second Book of Chronicles 7:14 tells me that the Lord has made us an amazing promise, one that I am sure you’ve heard many times before: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

In case you’re keeping count, that is not a cliché. It’s a promise from Heaven.

This article first appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

Notes:

1. Kevin Swanson, Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West (Generations with Vision, Parker, CO, 2013) p. 2

2. I highly recommend “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell. While not a Christian book, it explains how ideas often behave much like epidemics do and what elements need to be present for critical mass to take place in the propagation of ideas and trend in society.

3. The Educational Freedom Foundation has created a database that provides information for homeschool parents relative to the Common Core Standards currently being implemented across the country. Their lists identify which homeschool-related companies and products have explicitly chosen to align with the Standards, which have some sort of coincidental connection, which are correlated, and which have pledged to remain independent. (www.theeducationalfreedomcoalition.org)

4. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/35754

5. http://www.ronpaul16.com/2013/04/10/homeschooling-the-future-of-liberty/

6. Matthew 16:18

7. Revelation 11:15

8. Daniel 2:44

If We Get Rid of Common Core State Standards…

All of the recent campaigns, conversations, and efforts to stop the Common Core State Standards (which I wholeheartedly support, by the way) have caused me to pause and consider what would happen if we did manage to get rid of it. This reflection brought to mind the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. In this book, one action leads to another action which leads to another, and so on.

What would happen if CCSS were eliminated? Would we have to do more to really solve the problem or would that be sufficient? To examine the answer to these questions, I’d like you to do some imagining with me. Ready? Great! Let’s go.

You have inherited a rather nice house with some great features. It has wonderful rooms with large windows and great views. The house is completely furnished and you can move in whenever you are ready and it won’t cost you a nickel. Sounds wonderful, right? A dream come true – free housing.

You move in the following week and revel in the fact that you have no housing payment to worry about. Life seems wonderful. However, a few days later, you notice some brown and black stains on some of the walls. Each day, those stains grow larger and larger. You soon realize that you are dealing with mold and decide to call in some mold-removal experts.

After inspecting the house, they inform you that the mold is in the walls and those walls should be removed immediately. Of course, you want to continue to have a free place to live, so you agree to the plan. But, more bad news awaits. Once the experts remove the drywall, they discover that the mold was not just in the drywall, but also all over the interior wood framing. Of course, you cannot simply put up new walls because the mold will just come right back. You must also completely remove all the interior wooden framing.

But even worse news is right around the corner. After all of this demolition, the experts examine the exterior walls and the foundation of the house and determine that they too are mold-infested. Apparently, the house was constructed badly from the beginning. They sadly inform you that the only way to completely get rid of the mold is to demolish the entire house and start from scratch. This free house has become a disaster and a nightmare.

What you may not realize is that our educational system is like that free house. When it was first constructed and offered to citizens around 200 years ago, it looked like a good deal. After all, it was FREE EDUCATION, right? However, there was a flaw in the construction process which would allow mold to grow – and that was the mold of government control.

In the beginning, this mold of government control was not very noticeable – just like the mold in the house. In fact, several generations lived in the house of free government education without noticing a problem. Of course, occasionally, a repair had to be made or a new piece of furniture had to be purchased, but those issues were dealt with and our predecessors considered the house of free government education just fine to keep living in. However, just like the mold in the physical house, the longer the house of government education existed, the more the mold of government control continued to spread.

This spread is easy to see if one examines the historical record. We went from individual states taking control of education away from parents beginning in 1820 to compulsory attendance laws enacted from 1852 to 1913. Government control continued to grow throughout the early 1900s. It then progressed to the National Defense Education Act in 1958 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965. The government gained even more control in 1980 when the Department of Education was made part of the president’s cabinet. From there, we moved on to Outcome Based Education, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top, and now the Common Core State Standards. All of these actions are simply the mold of government control spreading further and further.

After generations of Americans living in the house of free government education, the mold of government control is finally becoming so apparent that even the most non-observant among us cannot help but notice it. We quickly call in experts to help us rid our education system of this problem. To our dismay, we realize that the entire structure is infested to its core.

Some believe that if we can get rid of the CCSS, things will be fine, but that would be the equivalent of only removing the interior walls of the mold-infested house. The problem goes much deeper than just the CCSS. We have to deal with the fatal flaw of the mold of government control in our “free house of government education.” Just getting rid of the CCSS will not eliminate the agenda of government control nor the years of INDOCTRINATION that have gone on in this country.

The evidence is clear. Unless the government’s agenda is completely eradicated, their efforts to control will just surface again and again. We need to demolish the entire structure and start from scratch. So with the goal of removing the “mold of government control” in mind, let me tell you the story of “If We Get Rid of the CCSS…”

If We Get Rid of the CCSS…

  • If we get rid of CCSS, we must get rid of programs like RTTT, NLCB, Goals 2000, OBE, etc.
  • If we get rid of programs such as these, then we must remove federal control of education.
  • If we remove federal control of education, we must undo the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as well as the National Defense Education Act.
  • If we undo those two education acts, we must repeal the compulsory attendance laws.
  • If we repeal the compulsory attendance laws, we must re-examine the control the state has on the education of its citizens.
  • If we re-examine state control of education, we must take personal responsibility for the education of both our children and ourselves.

Then, and only then, can we be sure that we have eliminated the possibility for the mold of government control to grow again in our educational processes. You may not think that this is possible. Well, consider the fact that for over 200 years of this country’s history (c. 1610 to c. 1820), we had no government control of education and yet we managed to produce fine, upstanding, well-educated citizens who were able to think and care for themselves. Clearly, our forefathers have proved that it can be done if we are willing to rise to the challenge.

For further information about the early methods of education in this country and their levels of success, I recommend reading this essay by Robert A. Peterson from 1983: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/education-in-colonial-america#axzz2n6REyc5J

Lastly, if you are not familiar with the history of government schools, these two essays we have written that contain more information about that topic.

http://indoctrinationmovie.com/indoctrination-how-long-has-this-been-going-on-2-2/

http://indoctrinationmovie.com/the-origins-of-our-modern-educational-system/

 

Sources:

1) Peterson, Robert A. Education in Colonial America. The Freeman. 1983. Web 2014-02-15

2) A Brief History of Education in America – http://www.cblpi.org/ftp/School%20Choice/EdHistory.pdf

Homeschooling With Purpose Yields Great Rewards

The recent excitement of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has had a profound effect on American education. Some of it has been very good; most of it has been terribly bad. Among the positive things we’ve seen is a rise in the number of parents newly committed to homeschooling their kids. They come in two primary flavors:

  • Those who pull their kids out of institutionalized schools
  • Those whose kids aren’t yet in school but will be in the near future

As a former homeschooling dad (our kids are grown and gone) and leader within the homeschool community, I am thrilled to see so many parents making the decision to eschew public and private education in favor of exercising their own rights and responsibilities as parents. That said, I’d like to take a few moments to challenge everyone who homeschools, regardless of how long any one of us has been at it.

I will begin by asking a question: What is your vision for homeschooling as far as the results you want to achieve? As I see it, there are three things to consider:

  1. Spiritual development
  2. Practical development
  3. Cultural influence

Scripture says in Prov. 29:16-18:

“When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases: but the righteous shall see their fall. Correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes, he shall give delight unto your soul. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.”

The primary purpose of education is to correct the errors intrinsic to human nature. We can clearly see this truth by simply observing what would happen to a child if left to his own devices and with no education or training from infancy. Without outside intervention, that child would grow up to be a savage. Education is designed to prevent that by correcting human nature.

Having said that, education becomes very muddied without a vision for the future. When parents have no long-term vision for their children, there’s nothing concrete to guide decision-making, strategy, discipline, and so on. Scripture goes so far as to say we perish without vision. Can the current state of our country make that truth any more plain?

Spiritual Development

At the forefront of any profitable vision is the idea of spiritual development. After all, the spirit is eternal even as the body is mortal. When all is said and done God will not be impressed with the mortal and temporal. But he will hold us accountable for the spiritual.

What is your vision for the spiritual development of your kids? As a father, I wanted my children to be independent of my Christian faith as soon as possible, in the sense that they would believe the gospel message, come to Christ, and have their own, personal relationship with the Creator of their souls. In order to achieve that, every part of our education plan had to push the kids in that direction. That’s why my wife and I made sure that our kids:

  • Always toed the line – the road to salvation is narrow; wide is the path of destruction
  • Always did their best – Jesus gave it all; we are to be like him
  • Were provided structure and order – God is a god of order; he is not the author of confusion
  • Were taught to not separate the spiritual and secular – God is in all things; he does not separate
  • Learned the details of Scripture – without the details the truth is left incomplete

Before moving on to the next point it’s important to stress one very important thing: you do not teach young children to know and serve the Lord by having them read Bible stories and sing songs. Those things are important, but they mean nothing to young children who cannot possibly grasp the existence of a Being they cannot see, hear, or touch. No, you teach them how to know and serve God by teaching them to know and obey you as parents. In so doing, you lay the groundwork for them making the choice to know and serve God once they can understand the choice to be made.

Practical Development

The next part of the vision needs to deal with the practical. Why? Because God has placed us and our kids on this earth for a purpose. If we are to fulfill that purpose, we must be able to practically apply spiritual truth. That means our kids need to be able to:

  • Think independently
  • Solve problems
  • Seek and find wisdom
  • Make proper decisions
  • Withstand pain and suffering
  • Take responsibility for themselves

Education needs to deal with practical development so that our children are not swallowed up by a world increasingly more willing to surrender itself to the control of socialist, pagan governments. They need to be prepared to stand in the face of sin and not fall to it.

Guess where this all plays out? Wherever you and your kids “do school.” It might be the kitchen table; it might be the family room. The point is that parents are to use the practical aspects of homeschooling to develop the practical skills needed to achieve whatever purpose God has designed. When I forced my kids to memorize poetry, I was training their minds to remember Scripture.

When I punished them for not doing their best I was training them to strive for excellence. When I allowed them to suffer discomfort and displeasure in their schooling I was training them to forsake sin in favor of righteousness.

Cultural Influence

Finally, what is your vision for your children regarding how they will eventually interact with the culture outside of your control? This is an important question, given that God has placed us here with purpose.

It is my belief that each of us should be a positive influence on the culture. That influence may not yield immediate and tangible results, but it is no less a requirement. Furthermore, if we fail to influence positively we will, by default, be influencing the culture negatively, thereby partaking in its demise.

By setting educational standards and forcing my children to adhere to them, I taught them that there is such a thing as right and wrong. By not allowing them to compromise and slack off, I taught them not to compromise with the world. And by instilling in them the confidence to achieve, I gave them the confidence to influence others positively. You can do the same.

I am thrilled to see so many parents waking up to the idea of homeschooling. Now I hope to see every one of do so with purpose. For where there is godly vision, the people are strong spiritually, practically, and culturally. Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Joseph, Moses, and Daniel all got a secular education, didn’t they?

Too often, Christian parents justify sending their child to a public school, public college, or some other secular educational program using the concept expressed in the title of this essay. The thinking goes that these men were educated in a secular environment and turned out just fine. What’s more, the parents say that God actually sent those men there on purpose and then used their educational knowledge to accomplish a spiritual goal. These same parents go on to say that perhaps God will do the same thing with their child who is currently in some secular educational situation.

Time and time again, I’ve heard parents say things like, “We Christians have to be salt and light in the world. So, it’s not wrong for my child to participate in such and such a program. In fact, my child plans to use his secular education to help God advance the kingdom.”

As best as I can tell, there seems to be three thresholds at which parents use this line of thinking:

  • Some parents choose to allow the government to educate their children for their entire educational experience.
  • Some parents choose to homeschool their children for K-8, but then justify sending them to public high school and then a secular college.
  • Still others homeschool their children for K-12, but then justify sending them to a secular college so they can “get a good job.”

They’re all using the same excuse for participating in the world’s system of education and none of them seem to realize how flawed this logic is for a Christian at any stage of education.

To begin with, none of them takes into account the fact that Joseph, Moses, and Daniel were the exceptions to the rule of how God intended for Israelite children to be educated. Can you imagine the following conversations?

Jacob (speaking to his older sons): “I just don’t know how we’re going to make sure that Joseph has a good future. I mean, he’s my favorite son and he’s stuck here taking care of the family business. I sure do wish I could find a way to help him make his mark in the world.”

Sons of Jacob: “Don’t worry, dad. We’ll help you find a way to accomplish that – even if we have to fake his death to do it. We’ve heard there are a lot of opportunities for promotions down in Egypt. Hey! Why don’t we sell him as a slave to get him there? Who knows, someday God may need Joseph’s assistance to help our family out!”

Amram (speaking to Jocabed): “Moses sure is a special baby. In fact, I think he could one day be Pharaoh. Why don’t we see if we can get the princess to adopt him so that he’ll get a good Egyptian education? That’ll really help his future career! Just think of the chances he’ll have to make things better for our people if he’s part of Pharaoh’s family!”

Daniel’s parents: “We’ve heard that there is this really great educational program in Babylon so we’ve signed Daniel up to be part of their program. We really want our son to go far in the Babylonian kingdom and this program is just the ticket to help him to do that. Besides, he can really be a good witness to the Babylonians while he’s there.”

I really hope you can see how ludicrous these conversations sound because that’s not what happened at all. As you know, Joseph was sold as a slave because his brothers were jealous of him. It was not his father’s choice to send him to Egypt. And Moses’ parents could either let an Egyptian soldier find and kill their son or put him a basket on the Nile River and allow God to decide his fate. Finally, Daniel was kidnapped from Israel and his parents had no say about where he went!

Do you see the pattern here? None of the parents in question chose to place their children in a secular educational environment. If they had been given the choice, they would have kept their children at home and away from the secular education environment. Throughout Israel’s history, God ordained that thousands upon thousands of Israelite parents teach their children at home in Israel. The only time that did not happen was when they had no choice and their children were taken from them.

There is no way that any American Christian is going to convince me that they have been forced to put their child into a secular educational environment. The fact is that we parents have the freedom to choose how our children will be educated. To compare our choice with the lack of choice given to the parents of Joseph, Moses, and Daniel is just ridiculous.

However, let’s look a little bit further at the claim that these men used their secular education to help accomplish God’s plans. We’ll start with Joseph. By the time he was sold as a slave, Joseph was a teenager and his education had been accomplished. We have no indication at all that he received any further education in Egypt other than perhaps some “on-the-job” training in the specifics of running Potiphar’s house and the prison. But, it was his religious principles and his reliance on God that saw him through the challenges he faced. It was his God-given abilities and his training at home, as his father’s business manager, that prepared him to lead Egypt through the famine.

With Moses, the contrast is even more revealing. Moses spent the first few years of his life at home with his parents. They had the chance to teach Moses about God during those early years. Of course, he spent many more years learning about Egypt in the palace. In fact, for 37 years, Moses seemed to be just fine with living like an Egyptian and did not seem to be concerned about delivering his people – despite his “excellent education.” Of course, we know that he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave, then ran away to hide in the desert. It was the 40 years he spent with God on the backside of the wilderness that taught him how to free and lead God’s people, not his royal education.

Lastly, Daniel was a young man by the time he was taken to Babylon. We don’t know his exact age, but he was old enough to know about God and how to worship him. He stood up for what was right and avoided worshiping idols. We can infer from his principled stand that his religious training was fairly strong. And while Daniel did receive a secular education just like Moses, was it the knowledge gleaned from Babylon that guided Daniel through the trials of life? No. Once again, it was his faith and his knowledge of God that did the trick.

One last thing to consider: neither Joseph, Moses, nor Daniel had any choice about their jobs. All three were property of pagan rulers; a circumstance God specifically created – for that time and purpose – and one that was completely out of the control of their parents.

The fact is that Joseph, Moses, and Daniel were all exceptions to the rule laid out in Exodus 18 and Deuteronomy 6. Using such exceptions to justify our pursuit of a secular education is akin to thumbing our noses at God’s educational mandate. What’s more, if every Christian parent utilizing a secular education were truly exceptions to God’s rule, they should be in the minority. The fact that they are the majority means, by definition, they are not really exceptions at all.

When we go further, to proclaim that our secular education will allow us to better serve and worship God, we are discounting God’s power and authority and word. To think that God needs the assistance of our human knowledge to accomplish his will in this world is, quite frankly, the epitome of arrogance.

Education is just one tool in the hands of the Creator who ultimately decides the direction every life will take. Parents who voluntarily choose to allow Egypt or Babylon to educate their children when they still have the freedom to educate them according to God’s mandate are without excuse.

You Shall Not Steal

Government schooling forcibly takes money from property owners (who may not even have children) to pay for the education of other people’s children. This is legal plunder (socialism—taking from the “rich” to educate the poor) and it is immoral. Legal plunder is legalized theft and is a violation of the 8th Commandment.

It is hypocritical that schools expect Johnny not to cheat on a test (taking answers from Billy-i.e. Billy’s intellectual property), but they see nothing wrong with taking money from Billy’s dad (i.e. his physical property), to pay for Johnny’s education.

Government schools do not operate upon the Biblical ethics that insist that all charity or giving to the poor should be voluntary (See Matthew 6:1-4). ” Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

While taxation is not Biblically immoral, confiscatory taxation for things that are outside of the proper jurisdiction of the civil government (i.e. abortions, education, etc.) is immoral.

Source: Israel Wayne, edited by Paul Michael Raymond

The Problem with Inflation

I tell on my age when I admit that when I first started driving, you could get three gallons of gas for a dollar.  Inflation (and speculation) has caused the price of gas to go up a little since then.  Well, okay.  It’s gone up a lot.

In fact, I suppose it’s 10 times what it was in 1971.

The same sort of thing has happened to grades. My book, Legally STUPiD: Why Johnny Doesn’t Have to Read, was published in 2007.  Seven years ago, I was talking about bullying efforts by school administrators to get teachers not to record a grade below 60.

I never liked bullies and reacted to their intimidation with resolve.  Giving, and I do mean giving a grade of 60 granted administrators the lee-way to stretch that 60 to 69.5, which, even public school kids know can be rounded up to a passing grade of 70.  I refused to be a part of their inflationary fraud.

By the time my wife left the public school system in 2010, they were no longer asking teachers to inflate grades.  They were telling them to do it.  There was no need to hide what they were doing.  It was part of the program, and teachers like my wife who refused to follow the program did not get a new contract.

It’s not just the failing kids’ grades that are inflated.  Teachers feel compelled to inflate other students’ grades.  Therefore, since kids who deserve an F are getting a minimum passing grade of D, those who actually make a D are bumped up to a C.  Those who earn a C now get Bs.  And those who earn a B are now A students.

Those students who work hard and study for a real A can’t get anything higher than the grade they really earned.  The one thing that distinguishes them from the fake A students is their SAT score.

Even though Legally STUPiD talks about how SAT scores are also inflated, it is easy enough to tell the real A student from the B student, whose parents won’t understand why their child can’t get into that Ivey League School.

“I don’t understand,” they’ll say.  “She’s an A student.”

The grade-inflated B Student’s parents won’t be able to understand why their child can’t get into the state university or why he or she has to take bonehead math or English. The C student (who is really a D student) will flunk out of the local community college or trade school before the end of the first semester.

And the kid who was pushed over the top so his school’s graduation rates will look good on paper and receive lots of tax payer dollars will be the one trying to figure out how to give you the correct change for that burger and fries you ordered.

You don’t get good basketball players by lowering the goal.  Inflating the dollar invariably leads to higher prices then even more inflation.  So if there are laws that require truth in lending, it makes sense to me to require the truth in grading.  Kids should get the grade they earned by what they did or didn’t do in the classroom or studying at home.

As I’ve said in an early blog entry, grade inflation is also a serious problem in many so-called Christian schools, and probably even more home schools.  The last seven years has taught me that I can do almost nothing to change the public schools.  They’ll crash from their own weight some day.

Speaking of weights though, God requires us to keep accurate and honest weights and measures.  He will one day judge the humanists who’ve stolen the minds of a generation of kids.  Do you think he will spare his own when they do the same?

I encourage, no I plead with Christian school teachers and administrators as well as home schooling parents to teach kids every bit of knowledge the Lord would have them to know and never inflate their grades.

Our Educational Welfare System

“Why not let the government do it?” That seems to be the motto of some people nowadays. We see evidence of this in both our welfare program and in the new health care program commonly called Obamacare. We forget the principle in the Bible that teaches “if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (II Thessalonians 3:10). Instead, we have allowed the creation of systems that guarantee citizens who will become more and more dependent on the government to take care of their every need.

A good many of us are not happy with either of these government programs because we feel strongly that they take from those who work hard and give to those who do not. We can see that they do nothing but continue to create generations of increasingly lazy people who believe in entitlements.

We look at our history and see a time when the family, the church, and the community were the ones who helped the poor. We boldly proclaim that the church abdicated its responsibility of caring for the poor and allowed the government to take over. We complain that those who work hard should not be forced to pay for the health care of those who do nothing. We say that the government has too much power and that we should not rely on it to provide for us. We declare that people should be responsible for themselves and rightfully so.

So, why do those same people who so adamantly condemn welfare and Obamacare choose to rely on the government’s educational welfare program to educate their children?

Wait! What? An educational welfare program? Yes, that is what I said. I know. You’re probably thinking, “No way. Public education is NOT the same as welfare or Obamacare!”  That’s okay, I was expecting you to say that.

However, if you’ll stay with me, I’ll show you how they are the same. Ready?

Both welfare and the health care programs work on the premise that everyone is entitled to benefits even if they do not put forth any effort themselves.  The idea goes something like this: “Well, there are those in our society who are not working or who do not have health insurance. Rather than place the burden of care on that person himself, his family, or his church, we’ll just tax everyone so that they can help provide a living for this person who is not working.” This creates a cycle of dependence on the government which can be seen in our society today. Statistics show that currently almost 50% of Americans receive some sort of government assistance. That’s up from only 18% in 1940. Clearly, the welfare system is not solving the problem of poverty, but rather growing it.

The public educational system was founded on much the same premise. The government was concerned that some parents would not teach their children what the government wanted them to learn. Rather than leaving the burden of education on the parents (or the extended family or the church), the government assumed that responsibility.

In a similar manner to those who have figured out it is much easier to just sit home and collect welfare than it is to work, parents have quickly realized that it is much less work and money to send their child to a government school than it is to provide for their education themselves.

You do realize that for hundreds of years in our country (from the days of the first settlers in the 1600s until the middle of the 1800s), parents were the ones who provided their children’s education. Some taught their own children directly, others hired private tutors, while still others collaborated with other parents to form small, private classes. Parents highly prized their freedom to educate their children as they saw fit. Then came the 1800s and Progressivism. The 1800s was a time of massive immigration to the United States. Thousands of non-English speaking, non-Protestants filled the country. The government and the Progressives began to propagate the idea that if these immigrants’ children were not required to attend a government school, the country would soon be destroyed. Capitalizing on this fear, the government decided that it would create compulsory attendance laws which would force parents to send their children to school to be “educated”. The mainstream Protestant parents were convinced to abdicate their personal responsibility and freedom in educating their children with promises that the government schools would teach the Protestant faith. We all know how well that worked out, don’t we? Just try praying in a public school today.

But, even if we ignore the fact that the government failed to keep its promise to teach the Protestant faith, we can see that it has also failed in its promise to educate children adequately.

In his book, The Underground History of American Education, John Taylor Gatto cites literacy statistics for U.S. citizens in 1840, 1940 and 2000. You may be surprised to know that in 1840 the average literacy rate for all citizens was between 93% and 100%. By 1940, 96% of whites and 80% of blacks were considered literate.  Fast forward to the year 2000, and the literacy rate for whites was 73% and was only 40% for blacks.

And lest you think that these lower rates are because our daily reading material is more challenging, consider this list of books read by Benjamin Franklin before age 12. How many of your children have read these? How many of you (as adults) have read these?

“From my infancy I was passionately fond of reading, and all the money that came into my hands was laid out in the purchasing of books. I was very fond of voyages. My first acquisition was Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes; I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy Burton’s Historical Collections. They were small chapmen’s books, and cheap; forty volumes in all. My father’s little library consisted chiefly of books in polemic divinity, most of which I read. I have often regretted that, at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper books had not fallen in my way, since it was resolved I should not be bred to divinity. There was among them Plutarch’s Lives, which I read abundantly, and I still think that time spent to great advantage. There was also a book of Defoe’s, called An Essay on Projects, and another of  Dr. Mather’s called An Essay to do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking, that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life.” – Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography.

The similarity should be obvious by now. In all three cases (welfare, health care, and education), citizens have either been convinced or forced to give up personal responsibility to provide for themselves and instead rely on the government to do it for them.

This, of course, gives the government great power and great control over our lives. They decide how much money we’re going to get, what health care we receive, and what our children are taught. We are no longer responsible for our own care. Instead, we rely on our “nanny” to take care of us from cradle to grave.

It is high time that we stop participating in this system of educational welfare which only serves to give the government more and more power and to render the citizens dumber and dumber. Instead, we need to take back control and provide for our children’s education independently of the government. This may be accomplished via homeschooling (my recommendation), private schools, or private tutors as long as none of those options receives government monies or assistance.

 

Sources:

1) Gatto, John Taylor. The Underground History of American Education. Odysseus Group. November 2000.

2) Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. John Bigelow. 1868.

The Religion of Public Schools

[E]veryone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. (Luke 6:40b) NIV

I read an article recently that should not be news, but sadly for most Christians today it still is news. It was about another local public school stripping away “any reference to what [Silent Night] was about — the birth of Christ, ’round young virgin mother and child’ — all of those things were omitted from [the song].”1

Let me ask a question here: Would it have been news if this happened in a Hindu temple? Or a Buddhist, or an Islamic school? Or some other religious school that based its teachings on principles antithetical to Christianity? Probably not.

What if this local public school was only being consistent with its own religion by keeping Christ out of Silent Night? And what if the religion being taught to children was secular-humanism? Nonsense, you think? Not so fast, let’s take a quick minute to explore this topic a little deeper.

Before getting into the religious aspect of secular-humanism, let’s first agree on the definition:

The Bing dictionary defines secular-humanism as a ”nonreligious world view: a philosophy or world view that stresses human values without reference to religion or spirituality.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says it is: ”humanism viewed as a system of values and beliefs that are opposed to the values and beliefs of traditional religions.”

Those definitions are very clear. Secular-humanism is at its core a godless world-view that is opposed to traditional values, beliefs, and religions.

How can a godless worldview be considered a religion in America’s public schools today? We can thank the Supreme Court for that.

In the Torcaso vs Watkins decision in 1961, secular-humanism was deemed, among a number of other godless belief systems, a religion. The decision reads, “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.”2

Although you may disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, it does not change the fact that secular humanism is by law considered a religion in America, just like Buddhism.

Is secular-humanism the only religion taught in our public schools today? I think it is easy to make that case. The next article will look at how the God of Christianity has been stripped out of the public school day and curriculum to be replaced by this new godless religion of secular-humanism.

Stay tuned…

1. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/12/19/some-parents-upset-after-l-i-school-removes-religious-references-from-silent-night/

2. http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/367/488/case.html

The Origins of our Modern Educational System

In my last post, I talked about the agenda behind the educational system in the United States and how it has been implemented in the last 100+ years.

We know that the goal of the educational system is socialism. But, where did it come from? And, how did it get here? Let us start with the question of where it came from. To answer that, we need to travel back to Germany in the early 1800s. Known as Prussia, this country implemented a new form of education which would eventually influence the whole world.

Before we look at the description of the Prussian educational system, let’s take a  moment to review the educational system we currently have here in America. For now, I’m going to focus on the colleges or universities, but remember that we are told that our elementary and high schools exist simply to prepare children to enter these institutions. College students have three basic choices available to them in today’s society.

  • The first option is a private university. This option is often one that costs a great deal of money and requires a great deal of academic ability from its students. These conditions create an environment that only a few students are able to experience. Students who attend private universities are considered the cream of the crop and are often revered for their intellectual capabilities. These universities provide society with many of our academic and think tank experts.
  • Just below these private universities, we have public universities that are not as expensive, but still require students to have a certain level of academic achievement. A larger percentage of students attend these schools as compared to the private universities. These universities produce many of the degreed professionals in our society.
  • Finally, we have community colleges. In our modern society, this is where the many students attend college and earn certification or a degree – often over two or three years. They may move on to a four year school after that. The cost of the community college is kept rather low and the requirements to enter these colleges are minimal at best.

I am sure that the system is quite familiar to you as it has been in place in our country for the past 100 years in one form or another. What might surprise you however is how similar it is to the Prussian system of education. In his book, the underground history of American education, John Taylor Gatto gives us a description of this system. See if you can find similarities. (I’ve placed the three types of schools in bold to make them a bit easier to pick out.)

“The familiar three-tier system of education emerged in the Napoleonic era, one private tier, two government ones. At the top, one-half of 1 percent of the students attended Akadamiensschulen, where, as future policy makers, they learned to think strategically, contextually, in wholes; they learned complex processes, and useful knowledge, studied history, wrote copiously, argued often, read deeply, and mastered tasks of command. The next level, Realsschulen, was intended mostly as a manufactory for the professional proletariat of engineers, architects, doctors, lawyers, career civil servants, and such other assistants as policy thinkers at times would require. From 5 to 7.5 percent of all students attended these “real schools,” learning in a superficial fashion how to think in context, but mostly learning how to manage materials, men, and situations—to be problem solvers. This group would also staff the various policing functions of the state, bringing order to the domain. Finally, at the bottom of the pile, a group between 92 and 94 percent of the population attended “people’s schools” where they learned obedience, cooperation and correct attitudes, along with rudiments of literacy and official state myths of history. “

Were you as astounded as I was when I first read this description? Remember, that NEA president George Fischer said in 1970 that they had been working for 113 years to reach the point where they could control who practiced which profession.

A good deal of work has been done to begin to bring about uniform certification controlled by the unified profession in each state … With these new laws, we will finally realize our 113-year-old dream of controlling who enters, who stays and who leaves the profession. Once this is done, we can also control the teacher training institutions.

This was the same goal that Prussia had during the 1800s. The Prussians wanted a completely managed society that could be used to bring both material and military prosperity to the country. They set about to do this using the educational system. Of course, when you have a completely managed society, that means that someone must do the managing. It also means that there must be people to manage. It is not surprising to learn that those who wished to do the managing were strong proponents of socialism.

Where did this new form of education take Prussia? That is an easy question to answer. One only needs to look at World War I and World War II to see the results. It was not enough for the Germans to control their own citizens. Why? Because power and control are insatiable desires. That desire to create a perfectly managed society quickly spread to the desire to create a perfectly managed world. This is what Hitler wanted – a utopia made up of only Aryan people. In other words, Nazism. And the German people went along with it. How? Well first, they voted Hitler into power. Secondly, they did not stand up and stop him when they realized what was going on. Thirdly, many of them chose to remain ignorant and stay uninvolved. As a result, millions of Jews and other people lost their lives.

You may be thinking that we don’t really have that type of educational system here. you may be thinking that it is just a coincidence that the two systems are so similar. But that is not so. The Prussian (German) form of education was brought to this country during the late 1800s and early 1900s by American citizens who went to Germany to attend the universities.

Throughout nineteenth-century Prussia, its new form of education seemed to make that warlike nation prosper materially and militarily. While German science, philosophy, and military success seduced the whole world, thousands of prominent young Americans made the pilgrimage to Germany to study in its network of research universities, places where teaching and learning were always subordinate to investigations done on behalf of business and the state. Returning home with the coveted German Ph.D., those so degreed became university presidents and department heads, took over private industrial research bureaus, government offices, and the administrative professions. The men they subsequently hired for responsibility were those who found it morally agreeable to offer obeisance to the Prussian outlook, too; in this leveraged fashion the gradual takeover of American mental life managed itself.

— John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education 

These American citizens were educated according to the Prussian worldview and brought their indoctrination home with them to the United States. From there, it spread to our universities, government, and businesses. Just as socialism spread throughout Prussia to create the Nazi movement, it has been spreading throughout our country for the past 100 years to eliminate liberty.

And guess what? We Americans have wholeheartedly embraced it. American Christians in the early 1900s agreed to send their children to compulsory government schools. From there, they began to teach their children that the epitome of being educated was getting a college degree. One can see the transformation happen during the lives of our grandparents and great grandparents. We went from being a society in which only a few careers required advanced education to a society in which everyone required a degree in order to get a job. The reason? If everyone requires an education in order to get a job, everyone will be exposed to the government’s indoctrination.

Of course, you may say that you homeschool and that your children are not being indoctrinated. But, have you noticed how often homeschoolers measure their success by using the world’s measuring stick? Homeschoolers fret about doing well on the SAT and getting into college so that they can be successful. Homeschoolers often use the materials that are “approved” by the public schools so that their children will be educated “properly”. We look to professional educators (whom are are certain must have the answers because of their degree) for advice in teaching our children. In that sense, homeschoolers are just as indoctrinated as the rest of society.

We homeschoolers thought we were radical by pulling her children out of school and in many ways we were. But, I’m beginning to discover, that we were not nearly radical enough. We are still helping to bring socialism to this country by our very attitudes, goals, and actions. In future posts, we will discuss these attitudes, goals and actions and what we can do about them.

Faith, Hope and Love.

Bill Walstrom wrote the following reflection. I pray it blesses you as it did me.

We believe that the most outstanding Christian character qualities are faith, hope and charity. But, the greatest of these three qualities is charity (I Cor. 13:13). God loves our children with an everlasting and infinite love. He has placed each child in our care. God instructs me, the parent, to win the hearts of my children to Him and to diligently teach them to love God with all of their hearts (Deut. 6:5-7). He also wants me to bring my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

Once our hearts are gripped with these truths, then we need faith and hope.  Why would I allow another individual to win and disciple my child’s heart away from the infinite love of God? God wants me to take back the responsibility to win and disciple my own children’s hearts. This takes faith. If I say in my heart that there is no way that I can take my child out of public school, I can’t possibly do it! I do not have the time, patience, or finances to do it. Ask yourself, “Is God asking me to do the impossible?” Yes, He is! He states clearly, “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). This is when the Christian life becomes exciting!

I now see God’s hand moving in my life and in the life of my family. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Then God gives me hope that He can do through me what He has mandated for me, the educational mandate given in Deut. 6:5-7. “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom 15:13). “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” (Jer. 32:17). “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).

We are the instruments that God has chosen as channels to demonstrate faith, hope, and love, to my very own children.

Bill Walstrom