Tag Archives: Public Education

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about parents and schools

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

This is a must-listen lecture from famous pastor Wayne Grudem.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Note: public schools = government-run schools.

Topics:

  • Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
  • Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
  • Should government promote bearing children?
  • What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
  • What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
  • Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
  • What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
  • Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
  • What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
  • What do school boards think of parents training children?
  • Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
  • Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
  • How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
  • How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
  • How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
  • How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
  • How is parental authority respected in the United States?
  • Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
  • What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
  • How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
  • Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
  • How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
  • Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
  • Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
  • How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
  • Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
  • What else should parents demand on education policy?
  • Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?

This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.

Good news: more parents pulling their kids out of schools to homeschool them

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

Homeschooling is definitely NOT an easy thing to do. First, parents still have to pay taxes for the failing schools they don’t want to use. Second, one parents has to give up a salary to stay home, although this is offset by not having to pay for daycare. But more parents are starting to choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons. This news article from Washington Times lays out one that I had never heard of before.

Excerpt:

After a gunman opened fire on students in Parkland, Florida, the phones started ringing at the Texas Home School Coalition, and they haven’t stopped yet.

The Lubbock-based organization has been swamped with inquiries for months from parents seeking safer options for their kids in the aftermath of this year’s deadly school massacres, first in Parkland and then in Santa Fe, Texas.

“When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded,” said coalition president Tim Lambert. “In the last couple of months, our numbers have doubled. We’re dealing with probably between 1,200 and 1,400 calls and emails per month, and prior to that it was 600 to 700.”

[…]Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Oregon, who has conducted homeschool research for 33 years, said school safety has increasingly become an issue for parents looking at teaching their kids at home.

It’s definitely true that homeschooling is a better choice for parents seeking to pass on their worldview to their children. And I think it’s a real question whether public school administrators are doing everything possible to make schools safe. Although metal detectors and armed guards are sure ways to prevent violence, public school teachers and administrators simply don’t want to do what works. And there’s no question about what works. I recently had to renew my plates in a new county and accidentally wandered into the City Hall building. The nice armed guard standing in front of the metal detector was nice enough to point me in the right direction. That was good security.

The trouble with the schools is that, under the Obama administration, schools lost a lot of their power to remove dangerous students from the schools. This article by David French at National Review explains.

Excerpt:

Yesterday Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations published a comprehensive report that reached an explosive conclusion:

Despite committing a string of arrestable offenses on campus before the Florida school shooting, Nikolas Cruz was able to escape the attention of law enforcement, pass a background check and purchase the weapon he used to slaughter three staff members and 14 fellow students because of Obama administration efforts to make school discipline more lenient.

[…]In 2013, the Broward County school board entered into an agreement with multiple law-enforcement agencies — including the Broward County sheriff — designed to limit the number of on-campus arrests.

Obama education secretary Arne Duncan even highlighted Broward County’s efforts to reduce out-of-school suspensions and try alternative forms of discipline. Broward County was reportedly “one of 53 major school districts” to adopt Obama-administration guidelines designed in part to limit law-enforcement involvement in school discipline.

Sperry quoted Peter Kirsanow, a conservative member of the Commission on Civil Rights:

Broward County adopted a lenient disciplinary policy similar to those adopted by many other districts under pressure from the Obama administration to reduce racial “disparities” in suspensions and expulsions. . . . In many of these districts, the drive to “get our numbers right” has produced disastrous results, with startling increases in both the number and severity of disciplinary offenses, including assaults and beatings of teachers and students.
Sperry also wrote a comprehensive essay for the New York Post in December outlining how lax discipline policies where enabling a wave of violence against teachers and students. He detailed incidents across the country, including mass resignations of teachers after escalating assaults.

In local news reports at least one former Broward school-resource officer has spoken bluntly about the pressure not to arrest students and said that the number of resource officers was cut in half.

The point is that it’s not by accident that schools have suddenly become unsafe. It’s a result of Democrat policies which favor law-breakers over student’s safety. Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s the same leniency that Democrats show to illegal aliens who commit crimes. Remember how Nancy Pelosi defended the violent criminals in the MS-13 gang? This is normal Democrat behavior. They try to feel good about themselves and show everyone how “compassionate” they are by defending criminals while endangering the taxpayers who pay their salaries. Don’t ask me why, it makes no sense to me.

Anyway, I have a cute homeschooling story about an Alabama family to from the Christian Post, which shows how good homeschooling can work.

Excerpt:

An impressive seven of 10 homeschooled children from a Christian family in Montgomery, Alabama, which now boasts a doctor and New York City architect among them, all started college by the time they were 12; and now their parents have written a book about how they managed to pull off such staggering academic success.

The parents of the 10 children, Mona Lisa and Kip Harding, are described as high school sweethearts on a website dedicated to The Brainy Bunch Book.

“After four kids, they decided to turn to homeschooling, and their success paved the way for their children to start college by the age of 12, and go on to great careers in medicine, engineering, architecture and more,” explaines the website.

Hannah, 26, is the oldest Harding child. She earned her bachelor of science in mathematics from Auburn University Montgomery and a master’s degree in mathematics by the time she was 19. She is now working on a PhD in material science.

Rosanna, 24, is now an architect in New York City and became the youngest member in the American Institute of Architects at age 23. Serena, 22, earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Huntingdon College at 17, and became one of America’s youngest female doctors at 22. She is now a resident at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda.

Their brother Heath, 17, has an master’s in computer science. He earned a BA in English at 15, and he is currently working at building his tutoring and online computer business. Keith, who is 15, is pursuing a bachelor’s in music at Faulkner University. Seth, just 13, is a history major at Huntingdon College, while Katrinnah, 10, is a student at Faulkner University. Their other siblings, Mariannah, 8; Lorennah, 5, and Thunder, 3, are still being homeschooled.

In an interview with KSL Kip and Mona Lisa noted that their children aren’t geniuses. They simply found a way to accelerate their learning by making it fun. One-on-one sessions with the mother who is working on her bachelor’s degree at home also helped immensely.

“One teacher has 30 students on average,” said Kip. “We can do better than that. Kids get left behind in a classroom. … This is where homeschooling really takes off because those kids are getting extra attention. And who’s more loving than a mom and dad teaching them things?”

I think you would certainly detect problems much faster in your children’s educations if you are the one teaching them.

Black family sues school for refusing to protect their daughter from abuse by peers

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

I just thought the following story was astonishing. My heart really goes out to this little girl, who is just trying to work hard and make a life for herself.

This is from The State.

Excerpt:

Parents of an African-American girl at Columbia’s Hand Middle School have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Richland School District 1, alleging school officials did little for two years while their academically advanced daughter was physically and verbally abused for “acting white.”

“Hand Middle School students called (the girl) racial slurs and physically assaulted her on numerous occasions,” says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia by Alex Young, a soldier at Fort Jackson, and his wife, Toschia Moffett, a consultant.

“Although approximately 50 percent of the students at Hand Middle School identify as African American, (the girl) was one of the few African Americans in her honors and advanced classes during the 2015-2016 and 2016-17 school years,” the lawsuit says.

“Hand Middle School students called (the girl) racial slurs like ‘Oreo,’ ‘white girl,’ ‘wannabe white girl’ … and generally maligned her for ‘acting white,’ ” the lawsuit alleges. Both boys and girls were involved in the bullying, the lawsuit says.

During those years, she also was “repeatedly pushed, shoved and tripped in hallways and other locations around Hand Middle School … (and) suffered several notable physical assaults,” the lawsuit says.

Although the parents reported the harassment to school officials, district-level officials and school board members, little was done and the bullying continued, the lawsuit says. The parents tried numerous times to meet with Richland 1 Superintendent Craig Witherspoon, but Witherspoon told people “he was avoiding them,” the lawsuit says.

I took a quick look at the web page and found out that the Superintendent is black! Not white! Yet he still refused to have any compassion on the little girl and punish the people who were intimidating her.

The most interesting thing about this story to me, is that the racism is being committed by other black students. Why would they make life harder for someone who they ought to more empathy for?

There were some more details in a local news story from WISTV:

  • On or about February 10, 2017, a group of approximately 12 students surrounded India while she was beaten with a bottle.

  • On March 17, 2017, the same male student who shoved India in November 2016 hit her in the face with a backpack. The blow from the backpack “chip[ed] two teeth and caus[ed] her nose to gush blood. The incident was caught on video and the school promised to keep [the male student] away from India.”

  • On the same day India returned, the male student who hit her in the face with the backpack followed India to the auditorium and intimidated her during theater rehearsal.

  • The lawsuit says that India developed stress, anxiety, and self-esteem issues that affected her education and caused her to miss several days of school. So much so, India began eating her lunch over a toilet in a bathroom stall to avoid other children.

I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that this school system is a PUBLIC school system. This is a government-run school with unionized teachers and unionized administrators. The parents of the little girl were stuck with this failing school. The money they might have used to pay for a better school, or for homeschooling, was ripped away from the parents in the form of mandatory taxation. They were forced to pay for failure, because the Democrat Party doesn’t believe that parents should have the right to choose where their children go to school. And believe me, this kind of failure by the public schools affects a lot of minority children.

We need to have a policy that allows parents to opt out of paying taxes for failing schools, and then get a refund that they can use to buy the education they want for their children. Public schools teachers and administrators are not the “customers” of the education system – they are the service providers. Children are the customers, and they ought to be able to go where the teachers and administrators serve them.