Friday, July 3, 2009

An Open Letter to Parents with Children in Public School

The following was originally published at in January of this year. It is an essay that I wrote over 3 years ago after my college professor challenged me to write my final about Home School verses Public Government Education. It was this research that led me to start teaching my children from home using the Kimber Curriculum. Upon moving to Utah, I enrolled my children in the Glenn J. Kimber Academy.

"If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves."(National Commission of Excellence in Education report 1983)

The American educational system, once the envy of the world, central to many students' dreams has been displaced. Today America's public elementary and secondary students are falling short, "80% are failing nation-wide"; (Dr. Glenn Kimber, Analyzing the Results of The Experimental Years 2005). Something needs to change.

As citizens of the United States, parents realize that they are "The People"; they have the right to create a better education for their children. As parents realize the situation that their children are in, more students are being educated at home or in a private institution. In an article by D. Golden of the Wall Street Journal, it is estimated that in the year 2000, 1.5 million children nationwide were taught at home.

This is due to moral and ethical erosion, differentiating values, loss of parental influence, loss of safety and the diminishing value of public education.

Home school education is the optimal choice for parents who desire to instill values that are consistent with those of our founding fathers: academic excellence, individual worth and self-confidence, as well as security and balance.

The educational system of the United States of America was a byproduct of the constitution and was founded upon the same unalienable rights and personal responsibility of individuals; centered on God-given principles, manners, and moral character. From personal experience, the founding fathers knew of the pitfalls that would befall a nation given so much freedom. It would undoubtedly create future generations that would be unaware of these pitfalls, due to the fact that they were not subjected to tyranny previously. In a letter to James Warren dated February 12, 1779 Samuel Adams stated:

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

It is argued today, that there should be a separation of church and state in government; therefore God must be removed from all state or federally run institutions. This claim is made based on the assumption that the constitution supports it; in reality the fore fathers labored to keep government out of religion, not God out of government. James Wilson, representative for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress stated:

Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.

American law is designed to protect religious freedom. Keeping this in mind, the erosion of these God-centered morals and ethics in the public American Education System are blindingly obvious.

On June 25, l962, students were forbidden to pray at the beginning of each school day (Bergel, G. 1988). All that mentions the word God is being shunned, and attacked in the name of free speech and ironically, the freedom of religion.

On March 24, 2004, the ACLU released this statement, "The government should not be asking impressionable schoolchildren to affirm their allegiance to God at the same time that they are affirming their allegiance to the country," (ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro). When children recite the pledge of allegiance they are affirming allegiance to a country founded on God-given rights, to deny that these rights are rights that all men are equally given by God, literally is an attack on this country.

"Experience taught the founders that a free, happy, and prosperous America depended on the development of an educated citizenry." (Dr. Glenn Kimber 2005 Today's Public Schools: Humpty Dumpty Revisited.)

Dr. Kimber states that:

America's first schools existed mainly within family units. The home was the classroom, and the subjects taught, as well as the methods used, reinforced family's perception of the world. Their core curriculum included religious values, basic reading and writing, math skills, a little history and farm skills. There were frequent references to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and popular Bible stories.

Kimber goes on to say that, America arose into world leadership, not only in education, but in industry, science, medicine, and agriculture because of this educational foundation; by 1905, this tiny nation with less then 6% of the world's population, was producing 50% of the world's developed wealth (2005).

This prosperity would not last long. "Around the end of the 19th Century, schools began to be organized around the production practices used in the factories." (A Shift in Focus,Governor's Committee) During this time there was more demand put on educators to increase the amount of education given to students, and when students were assigned grade-level based on their age. (A shift in Focus).

Kimber states in Today's Public Schools Part II: Institutionalizing Public Education, that some social scientists began pushing a system of education that shifted the focus of education away from the needs of the student to the needs of society. This change of focus caused the system to become more important then the student.

The social scientists abandoned God-center concepts and focused their attention on the philosophies of Horace Mann. Mann taught that the authority and responsibility of education should be given to the state. This plan effectively removed parents as the captains of their childrens educational ships, and forced them into becoming hostages of the system; compelled to go wherever the current captain directed, regardless of how foreign or treacherous the territory.

In "The Right Choice-Home Schooling," Klicka lists some of Mann's philosophies and concepts:

  • Children should no longer be held responsible for their natural instincts of behavior;
  • an elite educational establishment should be organized to save our society and manipulate how education should be administered.
  • Man should be the measure of all things- not God,
  • and children should be taught that there are no absolute values of right or wrong, that one's decisions are always based on particular situations at the time.

Horace Mann himself stated,

What church has been for medieval man, the public school must become for democratic and rational man. God will be replaced by the concept of the public good. The common school shall create a more far-seeing intelligence and a pure morality that has ever existed among communities of men.

Mann's goal was to create a nonsectarian school system, and his vision was that education would become the salvation of society. In "The Messianic Character of Education", Rousas quotes Mann as saying that Mann wanted "a new religion, with the state as its true church, and education as its Messiah."

Now John Dewey enters the educational scene.

Dewey believed in the "messianic character of education", he developed these beliefs into an educational system. He called this system "progressive education." Robert M. Hutchins, considered a liberal educator of the time, is quoted as saying that Dewey's conception was "regressive education."

John Dewey: The Man Who Betrayed Education by W. Cleon Skousen lists some of Dewey's philosophies. "Create a welfare state with the schools serving as the change agent. Self-realization, rather then learning is the goal. School is to just be fun, with each student doing his own thing in a climate of permissive, unstructured confusion; to throw traditional book learning out the window, removing great books from education."

According to Dr. Hutchins, "the rising generation has been deprived of its birthright; the mess of pottage it has received in exchange has not been nutritious; adults have come to lead lives comparatively rich in material comforts and very poor in moral, intellectual, and spiritual tone."

Dr. Kimber states, Dewey built his entire program on concepts centered in Humanism. In a pamphlet by Dr. Murray Norris it states,

"To most people, Humanism sounds almost nice. After all, if you are 'human', it means you are kind and thoughtful and possess the many other qualities that make you 'human". But if you are a Humanist, you do not believe in God; you attack the moral values taught by parents and church; you believe in suicide, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, and complete sexual freedom to commit adultery, fornication, and all types of sexual perversion."

Norris also mentions the Humanist Manifest II written in 1973, and that it affirms the previous statements, and that "in practice, Humanists are adamant that Christians shall not teach anything that interferes with their promotion of the evolution theory or that allows children to learn about God in school…"

In "Today's Public Schools Part II: Institutionalizing Public education" by Dr. Glenn Kimber, is the creed from The British Humanist Association:

I believe in no God and no hereafter. It is immoral to indoctrinate children with such beliefs. Schools have no right to do so, nor indeed have parents. I believe that religious education and prayers in school should be eliminated. I believe that denominational schools should be abolished…I believe that children should be taught religion as a matter of historical interest, but should be taught about all religions including Humanism, Marxism, Maoism, Communism, and other attitudes of life. They must also be taught the objections to religion. I believe in a non-religious social morality…….unborn babies are not people; I am as yet unsure whether the grossly handicapped are people in the real sense….I believe there is no such thing as sin to be forgiven and no life beyond the grave but death everlasting…..

Why is this British creed important to Americans regarding their educational system?

John Dewey signed the Humanist Manifesto, he was the first president of the American Humanist Association, and he used these philosophies when he created his educational system. John Dewey declared, "Faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and outmoded faith. There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, the immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes." (John Dewey, Soul Searching, Teacher Magazine, September 1933, p. 33)

A side-effect of this system is increased violence in public schools. An article in The Deseret News on August 29, 1994, gave the following statistics: "Every school day, 160,000 students stay home from school because they are afraid. One in 11 teachers has been attacked at school. Everyday, 135,000 juveniles carry guns to school." Due to increases in violent occurrences in public schools today, it is highly probable that these numbers are significantly higher. The children of America are the future of America. They are America's most cherished treasure. They have an unalienable right to safety and security. There is no better way to ensure safety then through education at home.

Parents know their children. They are more likely to individualize and differentiate their childrens' curriculum, focusing on their strengths and interests, and help their children learn to compensate and apply tools that will strengthen their weaknesses. There are no concerns in home education about parent-student ratios; a relationship of trust is already established, and it is more cost-effective. The bottom line speaks for itself. The median amount spent on a home educated child is $450.00 annually. (Home Schooling Statistics) The median amount annually spent on a public educated child is $8,044.00. (U.S. Department of Education 2002-2003) When considering Value vs. Cost, we can evaluate the average outcome. Upon comparing the performance of both whites and minorities within home education and public education institutions it becomes clear that those educated at home are receiving more of a return for their financial investment.

Home School –average reading score: White 87%, Minority 87%; Public School-average reading score: White 61%, Minority 49%.

Home School-average math score: White 82%, Minority 77%; Public school-average math score: White 60%, Minority 50%.

"The average home school 8th grade student performs four grade levels above the national average" (Rudner Study). According to Brain D. Ray PhD., Students who have been home schooled their entire lives have the highest scholastic achievement. In every subject and at every grade level of the ITBA and TAP batteries, home educated students scored significantly higher than their counterparts in public and private schools. (Home School Statistics).

The American Educational System was great, and like the constitution that created America, it has been broken by those wanting to "improve" upon an already perfectly authored system. American citizens have been robbed of prosperity due to the immoral and unethical principles in public school. They now believe that they are incapable, not educated enough, are unmotivated and cling to a deteriorating state and federal government to lead and guide their children.

America's youth stand on the very edge of a precipice staring down at the possibility of utter destruction, denied of their unalienable rights, their only hope is that their parents wake up and rise to the challenge of returning this nation to its former values through education at home.

"ACLU urges Supreme Court to Uphold Ruling Removing the Phrase "under God" from Pledge of Allegiance Recited in Public Schools."

Bergel, G. Banning Prayer in Public Schools May 1988

Deseret News August 29, 1994

Dewey, John Soul-Searching, Teacher Magazine, September 1933, p. 33

Home School Statistics

Kimber, Glenn Dr. Analyzing The results of The Experimental Years August 2005

Kimber, Glenn Dr. Today's Public Schools: Humpty Dumpty Revisited May 2005

Kimber, Glenn Dr, Kimber, Julianne Today's Public Schools Part II: Institutionalizing Public Education June 2005

Klicka The Right Choice-Home Schooling, pp80-94

Missouri Public School Accountability report

Norris, Murray Dr. Weep for your Children 1977

Utah Governor's Committee A Shift in Focus late 1980's

Rushdoony, Rousas J. The Messianic Character of Education 1968

U.S. Department of Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics. (2005)

Utah Governor's Committee A Shift in Focus late 1980's Charity Angel's Thoughts

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