How to Take Back the Classroom
I can think of many ways to describe my daughters: smart, talented, beautiful, funny, athletic, and at times, shockingly insightful. But I've never exactly thought of my girls as "The only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." But according to Thomas Jefferson, they are.
Jefferson believed that education for the many -- not the few -- should be our nation's first priority because our freedom and liberty are a direct result of our collective choices. It takes a lot of people to run a country. But it takes a lot of wise and educated people to run a free country.
That's why, when we hear about the national debt, we roll our eyes and gripe about the boys in Washington and Wall Street. But when we hear about increasing drop out rates and plummeting test scores, we are up in arms looking for the culprit. And if we believe our Founding Father's claim that the state of our nation depends on the education of our citizens, then we can logically follow that our nation's state of disorder is a result of the lack of education.
We question the effectiveness of our children's teachers, the motives of teaching unions, and the legislators who decide what makes it into the classroom. And while all of these institutions need close examining, Christian parents need to take a step back and examine our role in ensuring that our children become discerning citizens.
Just as every citizen must play a role in running our nation, every parent needs to play a role in educating these little citizens. We can't just place the responsibility and the blame on our public servants. Like Ronald Reagan said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
We can't be naïve when it comes to what our children learn at school. We know that our faith in Christ shapes what and how we teach our children and what our children's teachers believe will shape how and what they teach in the classroom. Unfortunately, not all public school teachers are Christians, which means our children are constantly exposed to beliefs and ideas that may contradict our faith. It is our job as parents to teach our kids about God's Word before they walk into the classroom, ensuring that their education is being built on a solid foundation.
But our influence over our children's education doesn't stop when they step on the school bus. We need to defend our spot in the classroom. The government requires schools to follow the new Common Core curriculum in the name of quality education for all. They claim a standardized curriculum will ensure education equality and prepare children to compete in the global marketplace. In reality, all the Common Core does is push parents out of the classroom. With the Common Core, there's no room for moral training in the classroom, just facts and standardized tests.
We need to stop looking at education as if it's not a faith issue. When an educational system limits the exchange of beliefs, ideas, and knowledge amongst students, teachers, and parents, it is acting as a direct attack on our right to practice our faith as well as our right to contribute to the political process through the important mechanism of public education.
Christ calls us to live out our faith daily and raise our children in the way they should go. We need to take responsibility as parents and act in defense of our faith and the future of our children. I take pride and comfort in the knowledge that I'm equipping my girls the faith and knowledge necessary to defend liberty.
Can you say the same for you and your kids?