Quite a few members of the Coram Deo community are educators: teachers and administrators and such. So any debate about education is bound to be… well… interesting. Honoring the faithful, Christ-glorifying efforts of our teachers while condemning the systematic weaknesses of American public education is a daunting challenge. But hey, what are blogs for?
In a recent editorial in World Magazine, Joel Belz asks the question: “What other institution can fail one-third of the time and survive?” That’s the failure rate of American high schools. Only two out of three students who enter high school in America graduate. A recent Time magazine cover story called that statistic “astonishing.” And it begs the question: what is our role as Christians in bringing reform? Certainly we need teachers and administrators who care to improve the state of education in America. But at some point, in a free-market system, shouldn’t we also be pushing for vouchers and tax incentives to allow parents to vote with their dollars for better educational options? My wife and I have chosen to homeschool our kids, not out of some isolationist desire to “protect them from the world,” but simply from a conviction that we can provide a better education than our local public school.
In no way do I wish to denigrate the excellent work of teachers. I simply wish to raise the question: with many of the young families in Coram Deo facing school decisions, what do our public schools have to offer? In a system with a one-third failure rate, can we really hope that our kids will be trained to read and write and think so they can make an impact in the world?
Educators, read the World article and then weigh in. I’d love to hear your thoughts.