Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Stealing the Future

Posted by Adam Graham on March 28, 2005

As we look at changes Christians should advocate in solving our cultural problems, one of the chief priorities must be education.

Christian Conservatives, on average, have more children than liberals, many of whom have abortions and are also more likely to choose childlessness. However, the left makes their influence felt through the public schools, which in many cases, provide one sided perspectives on important issues of the day, in effect, brainwashing students, while fostering a libertine moral environment.

Choice is the Answer

Practically, public schools cannot be Chritstianized. Even the most mild affirmations of faith lead to lawsuits from the ACLU. One could work to restore some acknowledgement of God (such as reading the part of the Declaration of Independence that says we’re “endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights” at the beginning of the school day) and restore teaching of the true history of the United States, but the major flaws of public schools can’t be fixed. Spiritually and morally, they are bankrupt. Academically, public schools sag behind countries who spend less money on education than we do.

What is required is an educational revolution. Academically, our problem is that we have a 19th century school system. The answer for both moral and academic problems in public schools is to make school choice a reality for every parent.

This must be done at the State level, and the best way to do it is by expanding charter schools and granting tax credits to parents who send their kids to private or parochial schools. Tax credits are better than vouchers for two reason. First of all, many states constitutions prohibit giving funds directly to religious schools. Secondly, many Christian and private schools will not accept vouchers, because they fear state control will come with state tax dollars.

Combined with the expansion of charter schools, school tax credits will create a new educational system. We’ll see an end to one size fits all education as different alternatives emerge: Vocational Charter Schools set up by local businesses which gear high school curriculum towards a practical career like carpentry, mechanics, clerical work, financial services, or health care. You’ll see more schools geared towards art, science, math, and social sciences run by private individuals. We’ll also see single sex academies form. The end result will be that parents will be able to choose the type of education that’s right for their children.

Better results will come because parents will have more choices. Schools will have to compete for lower income students rather than taking them for granted.

The fight for school choice is not easy. The idea runs into opposition from the teacher’s unions and their supporters in the media and public office. While there are many dedicated teachers out there, the Teachers Unions are scared to death of any changes in our education system. The idea of fundamentally changing education and putting parents in the driver seat scares them. However, we spend billions upon billions of dollars not for the sake of having ennobled public school teachers who no one dare question, but rather to make sure children learn. If children aren’t learning and if we’re behind the rest of the world in education, we’re failing. We do not send children to school merely so teachers can have jobs. Public schools are taking billions of dollars and providing a substandard education while rotting the moral character of our nation’s children. As Americans and taxpayers, we must demand better for the sake of our future.

In the next article, we’ll discuss the current the state of our media and the appropriate response.

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