Just last week at the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to speak to a small group of students who were on a field trip to the nation’s capital. What I experienced stunned and disheartened me momentarily. These charming, smart, and ambitious students repelled any connection between their rights and the existence and authority of God and His Word.
Even when I quoted the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED equal,” and that “they are ENDOWED by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights,” they were not convinced.
Worse still, the shallow logic in their assertions moved me from shock to dismay…Can this truly be the mentality of the average American student today? As a product of the 90’s public education system, I would never have imagined a chasm as large as this would separate me from students just 15 years later. How could this have possibly happened?
Well, I did what I always do when challenged—I went to prayer and research. Now, I would like to share what I have found.
Many people say that “Public Schools are a failure – a dismal failure” – “Kids can’t read, write, pray or think straight anymore!” But now, I respectfully disagree.
I think public education is a huge success, and I present this argument not because these shallow understandings on the part of today’s students do not exist, but precisely because they do exist. And these conditions were exactly what the public schools were designed to bring about.
At the time of the “reform” movements of the 1830s and 1840s, 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. Many fine schools existed prior to the government school movement where the authority of those who instituted them were answerable to the families who sent students there. All of this existed and thrived without government assistance. 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, 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, our opportunities to reach the younger generation with sane, moral thinking will continue to diminish.
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