When I first read the article “5 Reasons We Don’t Send Our Kids to Christian Schools (but you might, and should),” I thought it might be satire.
I contacted the author and he informed me that it wasn’t. So here goes.
For what it’s worth, the first thing I noted is that his wife “is the Principal of a public elementary school in [their] area.”
Let me move on to reasons 1 and 2: Quality of Teachers and Poor Funding Base. I agree that Government Schools1 have some high quality teachers and are well funded and generally speaking, private Christian schools may not have as many quality teachers and some schools are poorly funded. In many cases, the one has something to do with the other.
Funding is a big point with Government School advocates. Parents teach their kids at home and they do just fine. Millions of dollars in funding and state-of-the art equipment are not guarantees that every child will get a good education.
If Christian schools could force property owners to pay their schools hundreds of millions of dollars every year, I can almost guarantee that their schools would attract more quality teachers and have better facilities.
Let me add that some of the best teachers in America are teaching in Christian schools and some of the worse teachers in America are teaching in Government Schools, and the schools can’t get rid of them. See John Stossel’s “Stupid in America” if you don’t believe me.
But back to funding. Government Schools work by coercion and theft. The majority of voters who send their children to Government Schools put representatives in power to tax property so their children can get an education at a discount.
Property owners who don’t have any children or have never sent their children to a Government School are forced to pay for the education of other children. Parents who do not send their children to a Government School have to pay twice. They are forced to pay for the education of other children while still having to pay for the education of their own children. If property owners refuse to pay the school tax, they will lose their property.
It’s a nifty system if you’re into coercion.
Christian schools could do better if they could steal money from their neighbors and get away with it, but that would violate the eighth commandment: “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15), even if you get people to vote for it.
The author’s third reason is that “Both Have ‘Problem Kids’ and ‘Negative Influences.’” I agree. My wife and I taught in Christian schools before we had children and while our children were in school. My wife served on two Christian school boards. We’ve seen it all.
The author claims that Government Schools are better equipped to handle problem children:
Another poorly kept secret is that Christian schools are a niche for rehabilitating kids with behavioral problems, but they are tasked with doing so without the massive academic, psychological, and pedagogical teams of people in your local public school. That’s a recipe for unhealthy classroom dynamics in some small Christian schools.
My wife and I have seen many troubled kids turned around by their experiences in a Christian school.
The author’s fourth reason is “certain Christian schools . . . are run by really creepy fundamentalist Christians who believe the world is 6,000 years old and won’t allow their kids to listen to satanic music like the Jonas Brothers.”
There are a lot of creepy secularist fundamentalists in Government Schools who hate God and anything religious. Since he brought up creepy teachers, what about the “the national epidemic of teacher-student sex stories”? “Any given week is likely to include several stories, and some are more intriguing than others. . . . [I]n Reading, Pa., middle school science teacher Jessica Saienni was arrested on Friday on charges of sexually abusing a 14-year-old student, reports Philly.com.”
Anybody can pull out an incident here or there about Christian Schools. I can do the same about Government Schools. Consider this crime report from 2012:
“The Department of Education and the Department of Justice say that 1,183,700 violent crimes were committed at American public schools during the 2009-2010 school year, but that only 303,900 of these violent crimes were reported to the police. . . . As defined by the report, ‘violent crimes’ included rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with or without a weapon, threat of physical attack with or without a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.”
Our children went to Christian schools where we didn’t always agree with everything that was taught. Our two sons engaged in debate with their fellow students and their teachers on a number of topics. They learned a great deal by these friendly debates.
Try debating creation and evolution in a Government School or offering a section in a science class outlining the weaknesses of evolution. Can anybody say ACLU?
The author would rather send his children to a Government School that makes no reference to God as the Creator than have to deal with a couple of interpretive issues at a local Christian School. Being taught that God created the earth 6000 years ago is certainly better than being taught there is no God. As a parent, you can engage in counter arguments at home.
He goes on to write, “Simply put, you don’t want your children educated by fundamentalist Christians who use [a] dumbed-down curriculum riddled with false science and legalistic babbling.” This is hardly the case. I know hundreds of Christian school graduates who have gone on to some of the finest colleges in the nation. The textbooks available today are far superior to those found in Government Schools. There’s a great deal to choose from.
He mentions “legalistic babbling,” but says nothing about the moral relativism that’s taught in Government Schools. I could cite hundreds of examples. Here’s a recent one: “Middle School Girls Forced to Ask Classmates for ‘Lesbian Kiss’ During Anti-Bullying Presentation.”
To cover himself from his over generalization, the author concludes his fourth reason with this: “Of course not all Christian schools are like this, but you have to be very careful and ask the right questions.”
The nice thing about non-Government Schools is that you don’t have to send your children to any particular one. If you send your child to a Government School, you are required to send him or her to the school in the district where you pay your taxes. I realize there are exceptions, but they are few and far between.
The author’s fifth reason not to send your children to a Christian school has to do with “discipleship.”
“Cloistering kids into an evangelical subculture where they are taught by Christian teachers and surrounded by other Christian kids doesn’t force them to live brave, evangelistically passionate lives. . . . But I want my kids to grow up reaching their friends for Christ. If we remove all the Christian kids from the schools, who will influence those kids for Christ? And their families?”
If this man’s children are evangelizing at school, they’re probably breaking the law. All it takes is one parent to object and you’ll have the ACLU down on you quicker than you can say Clarence Darrow.
I wonder how much witnessing actually takes place in public schools. Most of the time children are sitting at their desks listening to a teacher lecturing on a secularized curriculum. From the time I entered public school in the sixth grade, no one ever presented the gospel to me. It’s the friendships that are developed after school that lead to witnessing opportunities.
Witnessing can take place anywhere. Jesus met people at work and in their homes. He even went into the temple.
What do you think Jesus would have said if Jewish parents were voluntarily sending their children to the local Roman schools to be indoctrinated in the ways of Caesar? Please don’t try to use the story of Daniel in support of Government Education. They were captives of the Babylonians. They didn’t have a choice where they went to school. We do.
The bottom line is public schools are Government Schools. They operate by force, using confiscated property to function. They are anti-freedom and Statist.
- John Stossel writes: “People say public schools are ‘one of the best parts of America.’ I believed that. Then I started reporting on them. Now I know that public school — government school is a better name — is one of the worst parts of America. It’s a stultified government monopoly. It never improves. Most services improve. They get faster, better, cheaper. But not government monopolies. Government schools are rigid, boring, expensive and more segregated than private schools. By contrast, supermarkets are “private” yet open to everyone. You can stroll in 24 hours a day. Just try that with your kid’s public school. You might be arrested. I call them ‘government’ instead of ‘public’ schools because not much is ‘public’ about them. Members of the public don’t get to pick their kids’ schools, teachers, curriculum or cost.” [↩]