Why Not Send Your Kids to Government Schools?

E. Calvin Beisner

I often ask people, “Who in his right mind ever thought it made any sense whatever to entrust to the government the shaping of the minds of the people by whose consent it is supposed to govern?”

Rarely have they entertained that question before, but usually they get the point immediately: Government-run schooling is a sure path, however long or short, straight or winding, to tyranny. Let the government determine curriculum, and ultimately it will determine what citizens think and how they vote.

No wonder Marx and Engels included “free education for all children in public schools” as the capstone of the Ten Planks of their Communist Manifesto.

The implication of the obvious answer to my question is clear: We shouldn’t subject our children to government schooling but should shoulder the responsibility ourselves — whether directly, through home schooling, or indirectly, by choosing the private school at which they study.

The justification for this should be clear to anyone who values liberty, but especially to those whose beliefs are at odds with the official stance of the government. In our day, in stark contrast to the situation at the founding of our country, this certainly includes all Christians who take their faith seriously and want to pass it on to their children.

As the late Dr. Robert L. Reymond, an outstanding theologian with whom I once taught in seminary and later served on pastoral staff, put it in a sermon one day, “Please, please! Don’t send your children to Pharaoh’s Academy!”

Yet even when my Christian friends grasp this, they almost invariably respond by defending government (“public”) schooling anyway. Their reasons are pretty predictable.

1. “I was a Christian and attended public school and came through with my faith intact.”

One who said this to me is a Christian apologist.

I replied, “There are exceptional people, and you’re one of them: a Christian who attended a Secular Humanist school without serious damage to her faith. But good policy rests not on exceptions but on generalities. The evidence is strong that Christian students’ attending schools in which anti-Christian worldviews dominate the curriculum are far more likely to have their faith undermined than strengthened.”

2. “But I’ve met a bunch of Christian homeschooled kids up to all kinds of no good stuff, sexting other kids, etc. Is that a result of their education done by very devout and godly parents?”

True enough, some Christian home-schooled students are not significantly different from their public-schooled peers. But this again is a matter of comparing exceptions with routines. Would anyone really suggest that the public school environment is no more likely to generate degenerate (I like that coupling of terms!) behavior than home schooling?

3. “But my kids attend a Christian school, yet based on behavior they’re positive that half their classmates aren’t Christians.”

Usually those who raise this objection think it’s bad that non-Christian students attend Christian schools. Others would disagree. But in the end educational freedom makes that a moot point.

The wonderful thing about educational freedom — in which parents decide where they’ll send their children and spend their dollars — is that this will result in variety on all kinds of measures, including this one.

Some Christian parents will prefer for their children to be educated at schools that try to ensure that only students with solid testimonies of personal Christian faith attend. (Good luck with that, especially with young children!) Others will prefer that they be educated in schools that evangelistically welcome non-believing students. Some will prefer that their children attend non-Christian schools. Some will prefer to educate their children themselves.

The one thing that won’t be happening is for 90 percent to be funneled into government-run schools that are now overwhelmingly anti-Christian in curriculum, in educational philosophy, and in behavior.

4. “Home schooling isn’t the solution for everyone, as if one-size-fits-all education works for every child.”
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/government-schools-christian-homeschool-154871/#UBq23jKExfkuXc1A.99

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