Can Public Education Be Saved?

Protests at Springfield school board meeting over diversity training

My answer is, “Why bother?”

A reader has challenged my assertion that public education is deeply and irreparably tainted by anti-Christian leftism and that our only meaningful, effective recourse is to pull our children out of it. He has suggested that many more Christians should run for school board seats and, when elected, clean up the mess.

If only.

Let’s say you had a Christian school board. What would you be up against? State and federal Title This and Title That–and if you don’t comply, they’ll pull your funding… for starters. Teachers’ unions–for all practical purposes, communists. The courts: any atheist who sues you for mentioning Christmas can easily find an anti-Christian judge to lay some hurt on you. The ACLU is always just around the corner, waiting to pounce.

Forget about hiring Christian teachers: there aren’t that many of them, the teachers’ colleges weed them out.

In the long run, if you keep bucking the system, some government agency or other will abolish your board and take over the operation of your school district.

Well, then–shouldn’t we elect Christians to replace this army of government functionaries who make “education” what it is today?

Electing Christians–what about the millions of Americans who say they’re Christians but have no idea what they’re talking about? I mean Christians who have been “educated” by public schools and universities and have not grown out of it (in my case, that took 30 years).

“Saving” public education would require herculean efforts going on for years and years, fights wiith the teachers’ unions that would make the Trojan War look like a food fight in a cafeteria, fights with everybody else–and again, why bother?

There are more and more ways to get a quality education at home, more and more resources that grow more affordable, and better, every year.

How could any parents, educating their own children whom they love, possibly do a worse job than public school wackos committed to teaching Critical Race Theory, transgender, and anti-American pseudo-history?

Unless, of course, you want your kids to “learn” that schiff…

9 comments on “Can Public Education Be Saved?

  1. Why bother, indeed. We could save a truck load of money, to say nothing of the really important thing; saving the kids.

  2. Sometimes a building is so eaten up by termites and rot that it’s best to pull the building down and start from scratch.

    1. We’ve got to do better than the travesty that is our current public education system. All it does anymore is generate useful idiots for the Far Left Crazy.

  3. I’m all for education, but the education system we have today doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. The problem has been with us for a long time, but it’s gotten a lot worse lately.

    The basics, the Three Rs, are fine; I’m all for it, but public education hasn’t been about teaching the basics for years. I remember my first day of kindergarten, and my first assignment. It was a coloring assignment, I can still remember the scent of the mimeograph fluid. I also still remember that, perhaps 30 minutes into my career in public education, I was told that I could use any color of crayon except black, because black was an “unhappy color” and the teacher didn’t like black. My education started in earnest, that moment and the lesson was clear: your sentiments don’t matter, but OUR (the educational “authorities”) opinions are what count. By the end of my first day, my enthusiasm for school had vanished and I realized that I wouldn’t have the learning experience I had expected in that place. (I may not have thought of it in those exact words, but by the end of my first day in kindergarten I definitely was disappointed in school. That feeling of disappointment never left me, BTW.)

    I have a mental picture of 19th century one-room schoolhouses out in the frontier, staffed by a young woman that worked to pass along basic literacy and mathematics to the children of the area. It was probably challenging, because children don’t like being cooped up any more than any other living creature, but I can believe that the motive for these schools was well intended. The problem is, it doesn’t work. The system does not work, because, in my humble opinion, it is based upon a faulty premise. Let me elaborate.

    I would estimate the the useful learning of my public education was somewhere between 2 to 3 years worth of material. In first grade, I learned to read, helped by my mother’s use of phonics to prepare me ahead of time. I became a voracious reader from day one and soon exhausted the school library’s inventory of books which interested me. There was no small amount of alarm that I was reading 4th grade books, almost immediately. I was causing some problems for them, because I was learning too fast. The result was that school became an exercise in staring out the window, bored as can be.

    Math came easy, so I sat bored while i was expected to do busywork exercises of math problems that I had already mastered. I lost hope and literally put down my pencil, in exasperation, refusing to waste my time. I remember that moment vividly; the day that I functionally quit school, in 2nd grade. There were high points. My third grade teacher was great and she allowed me some flexibility. By the time they started teaching us division, I had already shown the kids at neighboring desks how it worked. Another vivid memory, from when I was about 8 years old.

    Thereafter, school was a mix of rapid fire learning, boredom and a refusal to do busywork, including homework. I scraped through with passing grades, because it was obvious to the teachers that I was learning and knew what needed to be known, but I was always at the bottom of the class, grade-wise. I was also insulted and called lazy along the way by people that made their living supposedly helping children to learn, but I would venture that about half of them were only interested in building a retirement for themselves.

    Simply put, they wasted my time, and they are wasting the time of countless others, to this day. I could have ducked into school for a couple of hours per week, tested out of the subjects and perhaps asked for help with a few questions, and spent the rest of my time applying what I was learning. My Erector Set taught me how to build things. My model cars taught me how automobiles worked. Model planes fueled my imagination and gave me reasons to want to learn about math and physics. I never needed any help in motivating myself to read. There was a whole world to learn about and books were the way to go about learning.

    The students that did well in the school system were the ones whom complied with every requirement. The school system’s real purpose was to produce docile, compliant people to do the bidding of their employers. They didn’t want to produce an Edison or a Henry Ford; they wanted to produce loyal employees. A person with ideas is not what many employers are looking for.

    As I write this, I am directly involved in helping two people to become competent and effective network administrators. One person is retraining after work injuries forced him out of his chosen trade, while the other actually holds a bachelor’s degree in the field, but needs help in applying his knowledge. My help to these people is given freely, because these are two worthwhile individuals that can benefit from my experiences.

    The person in retraining at a local community college is given videos in which rapid fire instructions are blurted out, and I’ve have to expend considerable time in trying to discern just what the instructor wanted. An hour spent teaching some networking basics to this fellow out him far ahead of anything that the video learning had provided. What a shame! Two days ago, he actually was considering dropping out, because he was learning much more from a 45 minute per day phone conversation we were having than he was in his classes. I reminded him that I can’t issue a degree, and suggested that he go through the motions required in his classes, assuring him that I could help him to fill in the gaps, make that chasms, of his formal educational program.

    Am I being arrogant? Let’s just say that I can, and that I do, actually perform this work in a day-in and day-out basis. I’m sure that the instructor means well and is knowledgeable, but the system is broken. They aren’t teaching people how to plan, analyze, troubleshoot (effectively) or most importantly, how to dig themselves out from a real-world problem. They try, but the system doesn’t work. Lock the student up with a room full of network equipment to have them setup something that actually functions and the student will learn. Chances are that they will also crash and burn a few times along the way, but picking up the pieces and starting afresh is a great way to learn. I speak from personal experience and from having burned the midnight oil in order to have things working by the time my coworkers got back to the office the next morning.

    IIMO, we need to learn didactics in a self-paced manner, allowing people to test out of subjects they already have mastered and providing meaningful help over learning obstacles. For practical application, mentorship and apprenticeship strike me as the answer. I would love to have an apprentice. Imagine having someone that I can train on the simple tasks and delegate said tasks as they become competent, which frees me to concentrate on things which cannot be delegated. Also, in our time of video conferencing, it’s a simple matter to allow an apprentice to “ride along” if I’m working at something which would be useful for them to observe. The apprentice, in this situation, would be trading work for trading and experience. In the case of both the people I am helping, I wish that I could just include them in my daily work activities, because it’s the best training they could receive, and it’s good for me, because I am refreshing my knowledge, every time I explain the basics to someone else.

    1. Along with public education’s natural deficiencies, which have been with it from the beginning and which you have so tellingly analyzed… now they’re teaching out-and-out crapola. It was bad enough already; now it’s worse.

      I remember my first day in kindergarten. I couldn’t believe my mother left me there! But there was no homeschooling in those days.

    2. It was always based upon a flawed premise, but now it’s much worse because it is used for all sorts of indoctrination.

      I would say that about half of my teachers were well intended people, and I appreciate their efforts. But even the good teachers were prisoners of a system that wasn’t so good.

  4. “A reader has challenged my assertion that public education is deeply and irreparably tainted by anti-Christian leftism and that our only meaningful, effective recourse is to pull our children out of it.”

    No, I did not challenge, that all Christians should pull their children out of that government education system. I believe this should be done immediately, and place them in home schools, Christian schools, private schools, etc. Nevertheless, is it “irreparably tainted”? If it is, then the whole world is irreparably tainted. The evil didn’t happen overnight. And yes, it would take considerable effort to get it back on a godly path, as accurately pointed out by brother Lee.

    “He has suggested that many more Christians should run for school board seats and, when elected, clean up the mess.”

    I think you missed my point of what Christians need to do, as you lamented “If only.” NO, I did not suggest, an army of Christians elected to school board seats would fix the problem. Your assessment of the corruption of the whole education system, what we would be up against is spot on. But your assessment, can not only apply to the school system, but most everything else, starting with the scamdemic and useless lockdowns, fraudulent science, Hollywood, Big Pharma with its genocide program, the CDC, the FBI, FDA, big Tech, most large corporations, and on and on… for its all been tainted by anti-Christian leftism and numerous other isms! Yes, it will take considerable effort to get everything back on a godly path. Nevertheless, what we face today is a whole lot better than what lay in store for the early Church! Don’t forget, any ground the enemy has taken can be retaken. And there was a time, when it seems most of the earth, was in the hands of the enemy. A bit from my book:

    “If we could go back in time, what was the world like on the day of Pentecost? Before that day there was no Christian Church. That day, when Peter preached, there were no teachers, pastors, missionaries, or ministers of the Gospel. There were no evangelists or even a New Testament to read. The churches, to whom many of the epistles addressed, had not yet come into existence. The Apostle Paul, who at first persecuted the Christian Church, did not even know what a Christian was. The field was white unto harvest, but had no laborers to bring it in, and no barns to store such bounty.
    What lay before those in one accord, when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit? What did the 3,000 who were added to the Church on Pentecost see in their future? As “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship … And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:42, 47), what did tomorrow hold for them?
    For the early Church, the entire world lay barren. It was like a desert—windswept, hot, and dry. No oasis awaited the weary traveler to cool his perspiring brow. The Gospel, however, would make this parched land come alive, as the Church labored with joy and hope…”

    “Saving” public education would require herculean efforts going on for years and years, fights with the teachers’ unions…and again, why bother?

    My comments were not just directed at public education. Over the years I have read many true stories of the perseverance of just one man or woman (not always Christian) who almost single-handedly, did things like, save a neighborhood from crime, got cigarette commercials banned from TV, carved a road through a mountain (using just hand tools) to help his village, grew a 440-hectare forest on a sandbar, planted hundreds of acres of mountain terrain with tens of thousands of wild flowers (what a wonderful thing to behold), converted whole island tribes to the Lord, whole nations, and on and on. Many of the tasks, took years, sometimes twenty to thirty years or more to accomplish. Yeah, why did they bother, many where mocked when they first started. Is what we face dealing with the school system (or any system) as bad as what John Paton and his wife faced in the New Hebrides islands in 1866 (cannibals)? The decadence and debauchery of the native culture on most of the islands were horrendous and unsettling. Their entire way of life needed to be transformed, had to be leavened with the Word, so it would conform to the dictates and principles of the Gospel of Christ. The task before them was truly formidable…The Paton’s had God on their side, but not much help from others. There are millions and millions of Christians in the US, and around the world today…we can’t retake the ground evil has gotten a hold of?

    The task I am suggesting, is not just for the school system, it’s what Christ commanded, make disciples or Christians of all nations. Christians involved in every aspect of life. In my book I gave real life examples of Christians facing daunting tasks, how they demonstrated how the kingdom of God should operate in the life of a Christian. How about the Book of Acts, Paul and Silas with help from others, “turned the world upside down.” Millions of Christian today cannot contend with the school system and win, or with any of the other evils I mentioned? God gave His people His indwelling Holy Spirit, He promised His people victory…need I say more? Lots of hard work ahead.

    1. My point is this: all the bad stuff in our culture STARTS with public education and would not be possible without it. And “entertainment” comes in second as a source of culture rot.

      Yes, of course I want to regain ground for Christ. My own small task is to reclaim fantasy fiction.

      Meanwhile… Kill public education, and Far Left crazy dies.

      I have to admit your comment is inspiring!

  5. “I have to admit your comment is inspiring!” Thank you.

    Additionally, if you want to read something really inspiring, read the article by Dr. Peter Hammond in Appendix 3 “What Difference Can One Person Make?” found in my book “Israel, Rapture, Tribulation.” It’s about the life of William Carey and his mission to India.

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