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Evangelicals Push for Mass Exit at Public Schools

 
 
Reply Sun 17 Sep, 2006 03:02 pm
Quote:
Losing faith in schools
Evangelical Christians push for education at home


By David Crary, Associated Press
September 17, 2006

NEW YORK -- Public schools take a lot of criticism, but a growing, loosely organized movement is now moving from harsh words to action -- with parents taking their children out of public schools and exhorting other families to do the same.

Led mainly by evangelical Christians, the movement depicts public education as hostile to religious faith and claims to be behind a surge in the number of students being schooled at home.

"The courts say no creationism, no prayer in public schools," said Roger Moran, a Winfield, Mo., businessman and member of the Southern Baptist Convention executive committee. "Humanism and evolution can be taught, but everything I believe is disallowed."

Moran, the father of nine home-schooled children, co-sponsored a resolution at the Southern Baptists' annual meeting in June that urged the denomination to endorse a public school pullout. It failed, as did a similar proposal before the conservative Presbyterian Church in America for members to shift their children into home schooling or private Christian schools.

Still, the movement is very much alive, led by such groups as Exodus Mandate and the Alliance for Separation of School and State. One new campaign aims to monitor public schools for what conservatives see as pro-gay curriculum and programs; another initiative seeks to draw an additional 1 million children into home schooling by encouraging parents already experienced at it to mentor families wanting to try it.

"Home-schoolers avoid harmful school environments where God is mocked, where destructive peer influence is the norm, where drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and homosexuality are promoted," says the California-based Considering Home schooling Ministry.

Though the movement's rhetoric strikes public school supporters as extreme, some of its leaders are influential. They include R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who last year said the denomination needed an "exit strategy" from public schools, and the Rev. D. James Kennedy, pastor of 10,000-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and host of a nationally broadcast religious program.

"The infusion of an atheistic, amoral, evolutionary, socialistic, one-world, anti-American system of education in our public schools has indeed become such that if it had been done by an enemy, it would be considered an act of war," Kennedy said in a recent commentary.

Overall, public schools are in no danger of withering away. The latest federal figures, from 2005, show their total K-12 enrollment at 48.4 million, compared with 6.3 million in private schools -- most of them religious.

However, the National Center for Education Statistics said private school enrollment has grown at a faster rate than public schools since 1989, and it expects that trend to continue through 2014. Moreover, the private school figures don't include the growing ranks of home-schoolers -- there were at least 1.1 million of them in 2003, according to federal figures, and perhaps more than 2 million now, according to home-school advocates.

According to a federal survey, 72 percent of home-schooling parents say one of their primary motivations is to provide stronger moral and religious instruction.

The president of the largest teachers' union, Reg Weaver of the National Education Association, says public school critics use increasingly harsh language, "but they're not as successful as they'd like to pretend."

"The overwhelming majority of our folks," Weaver said of his union members, "are not being pulled off the agenda of great public schools for all children."

Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center, a nonpartisan civil liberties group, said public education leaders should work harder to convince parents they aren't against religion by encouraging nonsectarian teaching about the Bible and the formation of student religious clubs.

"School leaders know they're facing the perception that public education has somehow become hostile to religion," Haynes said. "They understand there's no time to be lost."

Some districts have moved proactively to address parents' concerns, he said, "but many more have put their heads in the sand over this, afraid of controversy or litigation."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 780 • Replies: 9
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Sep, 2006 03:02 pm
Graphics from today's Albuquerque Tribune, page B 7 (same report):

http://i10.tinypic.com/4d6z6s8.jpg
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Nov, 2006 03:39 pm
It's not an ideal situation, but it probably is the best solution.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Nov, 2006 03:53 pm
I believe that home schooled children still have to meet certain requirements and take standardized tests. It depends on the state, but in some places the curriculum still must be approved by the local school superintendant or someone else in charge. So it's not like just anyone can home school any old way they want to. Which leaves me to ask, why bother? You have all weekend and after school to indoctrinate your children in your own beliefs.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Nov, 2006 04:45 pm
That's one way to improve the quality of education children receive in public schools.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Nov, 2006 06:01 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
I believe that home schooled children still have to meet certain requirements and take standardized tests. It depends on the state, but in some places the curriculum still must be approved by the local school superintendant or someone else in charge. So it's not like just anyone can home school any old way they want to. Which leaves me to ask, why bother? You have all weekend and after school to indoctrinate your children in your own beliefs.



Perhaps they are afraid to let their children hear a differing viewpoint. . It may interfere with their brainwashing.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Nov, 2006 06:12 pm
au1929 wrote:
FreeDuck wrote:
I believe that home schooled children still have to meet certain requirements and take standardized tests. It depends on the state, but in some places the curriculum still must be approved by the local school superintendant or someone else in charge. So it's not like just anyone can home school any old way they want to. Which leaves me to ask, why bother? You have all weekend and after school to indoctrinate your children in your own beliefs.



Perhaps they are afraid to let their children hear a differing viewpoint. . It may interfere with their brainwashing.


Amen. Because that's all it is. Brainwashing.
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2006 06:27 pm
From today's New York Times:

No School, and the Child Chooses What to Learn
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2006 06:43 pm
Hah, I was just about to go find the article and post a link, Shapeless. Thanks for that.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 07:34 pm
Ever heard of the anti-school movement?

That's one for the books.

Met a homeschooler a year ago. A conceited idiot. Was certain you could teach history through musical theatre. Like most homeschoolers, she was a deeply prejudiced person. We were at a ceramics school, which she had never visited before and which is two blocks from another ceramics school. She asked about the other one and I said that I had a lovely experience there. I mentioned that my class concentrated on throwing cylanders. She then decided that school was against freedom and that she hated it. A-hole.
0 Replies
 
 

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