July 15, 2022 / By Dennis “Mike” Simpson
There has been a revolution in education developing the past two years. It was always bubbling under the surface, but Covid brought it to the forefront of discussion. The recent school shooting where police stood by for over an hour during an active shooter situation may have been the final straw. The quality of education has been in question for some time, but it is now obvious most public schools can’t even perform the most vital task when a child is in someone else’s care, keeping that child safe. It is time to take a serious look at our education program.
America is one of the richest countries in the world and should be able to have top notch education for all children enrolled in school, yet the United States does not rank in the top 20 national education systems for math or science. Our future global leaders are not being taught other languages with measurable success. The public education system was never set up to teach the masses how to be successful – it was established to indoctrinate your children from the beginning. Archibald Murphey, a North Carolina senator from 1812-1818 is credited as Father of Education for founding the N.C. public school system is quoted:
“It is important therefore that in these schools the precepts of morality and religion should be inculcated, and habits of subordination and obedience formed. One of the greatest blessings which the State can confer upon her children is to instill into their mindsets at an early period moral and religious truths. Thousands of unfortunate children are growing up in perfect ignorance of their moral and religious duties. Their parents, equally unfortunate, know not how to instruct them, and have not the opportunity or ability of placing them under the care of those who could give them instruction. The State, in the warmth of her affection and solicitude for their welfare, must take charge of those children and place them in schools where their minds can be enlightened and their hearts can be trained to virtue.”
Most parents are just now waking up to the idea that when you send your child to a school, selected simply on proximity, you may not get the values you wish passed on. You paid for the school, yet didn’t select the location, teacher, curriculum or even the hours convenient for your family. Education should not be a one size fits all method, and this factory style approach has not helped. Decades of parents grateful to have a “free daycare” so they could pursue their careers seemed like a good option at the time. There are other methods making strides in the right direction to undo this ideology and personalize education for the student, not the system.
Generally, you can send your child to public school, a private school, or you can home school. Most parents have not investigated the other options thoroughly to see if there is something more appealing than the main three options. Many can not afford a private school or may not have the resources to pursue a homeschool option. Home schooling however comes in many forms. You could keep your kids home and take on the responsibility of education yourself, but many parents are banding together to do a co-op school. A small group of like minded parents can hire a teacher of their choosing to be the primary educator. The teacher can be flexible on days, hours and locations if needed. This flexibility could significantly help single parents on a budget accomplish what they need by working within their means and restrictions. One can host at their house on Mondays, if another parent can do Wednesdays, or a public library, a park if the weather is nice that day. The options really open up to fit the families needs with the children’s well being the focus.
Another option would be a blend of the traditional school setting and the co-op model. A push for school choice is gaining momentum nationwide. The idea is that instead of your local school being assigned to you and paid via the state, you can elect to take that money to another location with values more aligned with the parents ideals. A Christian family can choose to send their child to a school where those morals are cherished and promoted. Another parent may not like the idea of prayer in school, and decide to send their child to a different school. Having several smaller schools with differing approaches would help children realize their best potential. I would be very interested in the data that would eventually come from the different approaches on median income, criminal records, etc. If nothing else the sports/ academic rivalries between the competing schools would be interesting to watch.
Libertarians run their platform off the idea that “No one can run your life better than you”, and that definitely extends to no one knows the values you want instilled in your children better than you. The public school system has been pushing their agendas since the beginning. From the separation of church and state to the new Parental Rights Act, the public schools have always been a battleground of politics that puts our children in the center. Politics is a very hot button issue, and with it becoming a culture war, it is time to step back and reexamine how to protect our culture, our views and most importantly our children.