Why America Needs Family-Controlled Education

When flying home from my recent travels where I had the opportunity to share at homeschool conventions in South Carolina and Nebraska, I was perusing the headlines where I saw a school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that recently issued 500 suspension notices (nearly ½ the student body) to students who had amassed too many unexcused absences from class.

Another article highlighted the potential lawsuit against the Department of Education to stop ‘indoctrinating’ kids into Islamic beliefs.

Reflecting on my recent presentation, “Four Centuries of American Education,” I shuddered again as I pondered how far we have digressed from America’s inception, when Puritan parents believed that the education of their children was their primary duty; when their children were schooled in the Scriptures by daily devotions at mealtimes and in sermons.

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We have moved from the philosophies of our founding fathers like Dr. Benjamin Rush, the Father of Public Schools, who made clear that “the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

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Then there were Universities like Yale, that admonished students, “Above all, have an eye to the great end of all your studies, which is to obtain the clearest conceptions of divine things and to lead you to a saving knowledge of God in His Son, Jesus Christ.”

To the detriment of America, we have migrated to the modern philosophies of education, like that of Horace Mann, who stated, “The State is the true parent of the child. Society in its collective capacity is a real not a nominal sponsor and god-father for all the children.”

This “modern” process was begun in the 1840s by men like Horace Mann and Robert Owen, and later continued by Robert Dale Owen and John Dewey.  At the time of this “reform” movement, which included a major push for state-supported (and state-controlled) school systems, the literacy rate was much higher in America than it is today without them.  So why did there exist a desire for state-controlled schools?

In his book, A Basic History of the United States, Clarence B. Carson concluded, “The public school movement was always more than simply an effort to have schools provided at taxpayer’s expense. It wasn’t simply an effort to have an educated electorate as the franchise (to vote) was extended to more people, as is sometimes alleged. The most zealous of the reformers were determined to use the power of the state by way of the schools to break the hold of religious tradition and the inherited culture and to change society through the child’s training.” 

The purpose and mission of the public schools, which were to be “free to everyone at the expense of everyone,” was to get rid of Christianity, and to compel parents to give their children over to the state so that they could be trained to disrespect their Christian republic and its moral culture without parental interference. For over one hundred and fifty years now, the government-run school system has become more and more entrenched and more and more expensive, all the while purporting to “care about the kids.”

Unless and until education is done God’s way, under the influence, control, and jurisdiction of the family, there is no hope for any improvement.

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