Revisiting Humpty Dumpty

Old Mother Goose has been eulogized by generations of children and parents in many lands. Those familiar rhymes and riddles have been sung and repeated by nearly every child and adult in America . One of the most popular rhymes is the story of Humpty Dumpty, the egg who sat on a wall.
According to the story, Humpty was quite a popular egg. He sat balancing on top of the wall where everybody could see him. Nursery rhyme books show pictures of how even Humpty was pretty proud of himself for being so daring! But then, of course, we remember the fate of Humpty Dumpty. He had a great fall! Apparently, the whole countryside came running to him. The alarmed people even summoned all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put Humpty together again. But alas, the task could not be done, not even by the king’s most trusted stewards, mounted on his finest steeds.
This popular nursery rhyme has been used by many writers to illustrate various aspects of life. Few illustrations, however, show such a parallel to real life than when we use this simple yet understandable fantasy story to outline the plight of America ‘s public education system. This country’s educational system was once regarded as one of the finest schooling programs in the world. In fact, not too long ago, it was balancing on the wall for the world to see. So many people chose to come to America for their education, that newspapers and magazines around the world relayed the fear of some leaders that many of these other countries would suffer brain drain. That fear has vanished! Americans are now finding themselves grappling with the fact that our public education has not only bumbled from its high and lofty perch, but is presently considered to be a system of crumbling aspirations. People everywhere are seeking answers to what happened. What caused the fall and what can be done to put it together again? A closer look at the history of our Educational Humpty Dumpty reveals an interesting parallel to the rhyme of Mother Goose and the three major cycles of education in America.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN (The First Cycle of Education in America ) 
It is important to remember that it took the American Founders 180 years (1607 to 1787) to come up with their successful formula of government for freedom, prosperity, and peace. But once this formula was solidified it proved so successful that for the next 200 years it was the hope of the world. Experience had taught the Founders that the very underpinning of a free, happy, and prosperous America depended upon the development of an educated citizenry. Their goal was to have a universal education. As Thomas Jefferson stated, AIf a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. (See The Real Thomas Jefferson, by Andrew M. Allison, NCCS, p. 409.)

THE FIRST SCHOOLS
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 the family’s perception of the world. Their Acore curriculum included religious values, basic reading and writing, ciphering (math) skills, a little history, and farm skills which were pertinent to an agrarian society. As the country grew, communities combined their resources and hired teachers to educate their children in little red school houses. Their focus was on making sure the students had the ability to function effectively in the society where they would live. In those days, a child’s future was fairly predictable. By 1836, William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) considered by many today as being the greatest educator America has every produced, began publication of his famous McGuffey Readers. His books were indicative of the first cycle of American Education with a strong emphasis on basics. These included:

  1. Basics in reading, which embraced phonics and memorizing.
  2. Basics in writing, with extensive practice in penmanship. Script was taught in the first grade.
  3. Basics in arithmetic, as applied to bookkeeping and business.
  4. Basics in oral and written communication, with emphasis on vocabulary and spelling.
  5. Basics in literature, music, art forms and nature study.
  6. Basics in history, particularly American history, including geography.
  7. Basics in civics and the American system of Constitutional government.
  8. Basics in hygiene, physical and mental.
  9. Basics in community ethic with emphasis on respect for one’s elders.

During this first cycle, there was also strong significance placed on spiritual values, together with the mandates of morality and the qualities needed to develop sound character. There were frequent references to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and popular Bible stories. Parents and community leaders alike expected both the teachers and the texts to drill into the students the necessity of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. These principles not only became incorporated in the laws of the Boy Scouts of America, but likewise were included in the routine disciplines of every classroom. This formula for education propelled America into world leadership, not only in education, but in industry, science, medicine, and agriculture, which produced an enviable standard of living. It also generated the most charitable nation the world has ever known. By 1905, though a tiny nation with less than six per cent of the world’s population, America was producing more than 50% of the world’s developed wealth. Country after country has striven to emulate America ‘s educational and governmental system. The world looked to America for all the best and greatest opportunities. Students from countries everywhere came to America to learn the leading edge information that America had to offer. Immigration was indeed the sign of the times. Then two famous scholars arose in the educational arena whose ideologies changed everything. In next month’s article, we’ll find out who was responsible for the change in America ’s successful education, and the principles that led to its downward spiral. The Educational Humpty Dumpty was about to teeter on the wall. 

Today’s Public Schools, Part II: Institutionalizing Public Education

An excellent educational report called “A Shift in Focus,” was created by a Utah governor’s committee in the late 1980s. This report continues Part 1 of our “Humpty Dumpty” story about what gradually happened to education in America: From “Restoring the Educational Dream” by Glenn and Julianne Kimber) An excellent educational report called “A Shift in Focus,” was created by a Utah governor’s committee in the late 1980s. This report continues Part 1 of our “Humpty Dumpty” story about what gradually happened to education in America: “The Civil War and the Industrial Revolution changed everything. Americans started moving to cities and society demanded more education than families could provide, even when they got together. A wave of immigrants, primarily European, arrived on our shores in great numbers, generally settling in the cities. “Throughout the country around the end of the 19th century, schools began to be organized around the production practices used in the factories–the best model we had at that time for processing things in large numbers. Schools faced vastly increased demands–more English, more math, more geography, more social studies, more of everything. Learning took place in a formal classroom setting, for a set period of time, with a single subject being taught at a time. Students were assigned their places on the basis of age. “When a bell rang (like a factory whistle blowing?), the students reassembled themselves in a different set of rooms, or put aside the subject being addressed, and started over again–new topic, same conditions, same exact amount of time. “Industrial society required interchangeable parts, and the diversity of home schools meant chaos in the workplace, when graduates with varying skills and extents of knowledge came together to produce a product or perform a non-farm service. As a result, specialized academic textbooks, written by experts, became the basic tools teachers used in the classroom. As more students went to school, school districts became larger, more structured, and more uniform. Teachers, with more and more expected of them, received more formal training for their jobs. “Some students thrived in this environment; some did not. For a time, those who did not were allowed to drop out with no stigma attached, to find their own way in the work force. Job skills were rudimentary at best, and these dropouts created a convenient labor pool that helped fill the factories and build America into a world power. Society, in general, was in balance.” (Shift in Focus., pp. 6-7)

The Ultimate Disguise

This “balance of society” was beginning to fulfill a dream for some of the so-called “social scientists” of the day. Under the guise of modernizing education, they began pushing a system which shifted the focus of education away from the needs of the student. Instead, they concentrated their efforts to see that education would serve what they saw as the needs of society. Hence, the system became more important than the student. These social scientists also abandoned McGuffey and any God-centered concepts. Instead, they focused their attention on the philosophies of a scholar by the name of Horace Mann. In the 1840s, about the same time McGuffey was developing his primers, Horace Mann began a crusade against the McGuffey concepts of moral education. Mann espoused the idea that the authority and responsibility of education should be shifted from the parents to the state. His philosophies and concepts included:

  • Children should no longer be held responsible for their “natural instincts” of behavior, but are to be looked upon as “innately good.”
  • 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.
  • Children should be taught that there are “no absolute values” of right and wrong–and that one’s decisions are always based on particular situations at the time. (See Klicka, The Right Choice–Home Schooling, pp. 80-94)

Horace Mann further stated:

“What the 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 schools…shall create a more far-seeing intelligence and a pure morality than has ever existed among communities of men.” (Ibid., p. 32)

Horace Mann continued to promote his educational philosophies, and convinced many parents that their children had a right to education, and that the state ought to see that they got their rights. His goal was to create a nonsectarian school system, and his vision was that education would become the salvation of society. In fact it is incredulous to imagine Horace Mann’s arrogant thinking when he said he wanted “a new religion, with the state as its true church, and education as its Messiah.” (The Messianic Character of Education by Rousas J. Rushdoony, [Nutley, N.J., Craig Press, 1968], p. 21)

John Dewey Creates the System to Incorporate the Philosophy

Once Horace Mann’s ideas were in place, a man came along by the name of John Dewey. He too believed in the “messianic character of education”. However, Dewey took Horace Mann’s philosophies one step further and organized them into an “educational system.” John Dewey also incorporated into his system his own philosophies that he had developed over many years of selective study. In 1916, John Dewey published his book Democracy and Education, in which he advocated an entirely new, revolutionary approach to child training. The American schools have never been the same since. John Dewey called his brainchild progressive education, but even liberal educators such as Robert M. Hutchins called his whole conception regressive education. Here is a brief summary of his life and philosophies, written by W. Cleon Skousen in an article called “John Dewey: The Man Who Betrayed Education.” John Dewey received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins where G. Stanley Hall, a disciple of the German socialist philosopher, Wilhelm Wundt, indoctrinated him with the vision of a welfare state with the schools serving as the change agent to bring it about in a single generation. Democracy in Education turned out to be a planned pattern of anarchy in education. Something called “self-realization” became the goal instead of “learning.” Nothing but the most casual reference was made to English grammar, ancient history, U.S. history, geography, the classics of Western civilization, or even the basic sciences. School was to be just fun, with each student doing his own thing in a climate of permissive, unstructured confusion. Contemporary educators of national stature treated Dewey with respectful demeanor but expressed professional horror when they saw what Dewey was promoting as “progressive education.” Robert M. Hutchins declared: “His book is a noble, generous effort to solve…social problems through the education system. Unfortunately, the methods he proposed could not solve these problems; they would merely destroy the educational system” (Great Western Books, vol. 1, p. 15). In practice, Dewey practically threw traditional “book learning” out the window. Dr. Hutchins wrote: “The disappearance of great books from education and from the reading of adults constitutes a calamity. In this view, education in the West has been steadily deteriorating; 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” (Ibid., preface; pp. xii, xiii). Dewey looked upon the schools as a wonderful opportunity to indoctrinate the American youth in the virtues of a glorious age where private property, the free market, open competition and profits would all be eliminated. He visited the Soviet Union in the late 1920s and, instead of recognizing the wasteland of revolutionary desolation and the widespread destruction of human values, he blissfully described it all as “a popular culture impregnated with esthetic quality” (John Dewey, Impressions of Soviet Russia, [New York; 1932], p. 44). Long before, in 1904, he had joined the faculty of the Teachers College at Columbia University. He had then teamed up with James Earl Russell, the dean of the Teachers College, who was also a student of Wilhelm Wundt, and together they had worked for a quarter of a century diligently building this branch of Columbia University into the largest institution in the world for the training of teachers. By 1953, about one-third of all the presidents and deans of teacher training schools in America were graduates of Columbia’s Teachers College. “Today we are reaping the tragic results of the pedagogical misery that America inherited from Dewey’s misadventure in experimental education. At the same time we rejoice in the five recent surveys by top professional teachers that recognize the need to divorce Dewey and get back to excellence in American education.” (W. Cleon Skousen, editorial, The Freemen Digest, May 1984) John Dewey built his entire program on the educational concepts of Humanism. To understand the depths of these anti-God ideas, a closer look at what Humanism really is will be very beneficial. Here is a summary of the beliefs of secular humanism as described in the pamphlet “Weep For Your Children” by Dr. Murray Norris:

“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 sex perversions…. “Touchstone of the Humanist philosophy is the Humanist Manifesto II, written in 1973, to replace Humanist Manifesto I, written in 1933. This Manifesto affirms the beliefs of Humanists in suicide, abortion, euthanasia, sexual perversions, and divorce. It talks about freedom and world peace, but insists that there is no God, no life hereafter, that man can make his own morals, his own values, his own goals. “In practice, Humanists are adamant that Christians shall not teach anything that interferes with their promotion of the evolution theory (which many textbooks insist is fact) or that allows a child to learn about God in school…. “Typical of the attitude of Humanists, is this 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….’

“This is only part of the beliefs of Humanists who are now promoting their religion in our public schools–Humanism was twice declared to be a religion by the U.S. Supreme Court, once in 1964 and again in 1969.” (Dr. Murray Morris, “Weep For Your Children,” published by Christian Family Renewal & Valley Christian University, Clovis, CA, 1977, pp. 3-4)

The amiability of Dewey’s philosophies to these concepts can be borne out in the fact that:

  • John Dewey signed the Humanist Manifesto, consenting to the false principles it contained. These principles include atheism, evolution, society-based values, immorality, and the acceptability of euthanasia and suicide.
  • He was the first president of the American Humanist Association.
  • He applied the philosophies of the Humanist Manifesto to his system of public education.
  • He believed that humanism was actually a religion, and that the teachers were the prophets.
  • He emphasized “social unification” as the goal of the public schools in order to promote “state-consciousness.”

John Dewey himself admitted his atheistic beliefs when he 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)

What an amazing contrast these ideas are compared to the Bible-based ideals that were part of America’s beginnings!

How the Dewey/Mann Philosophies Were Received in America

At first, the philosophies of Horace Mann and the system proposed by John Dewey were resisted by many Americans. But a monumental transformation was soon to begin in America that would distract many of its citizens away from traditional education with its fundamental God-centered base.

Going to School vs Getting an Education

The Future’s Real World of Learning

A few years back, the Harvard School of Government issued some advice to its students on planning a career in the new international economy which it believes is arriving. It warned sharply that academic classes and professional credentials would count for less and less when measured against real world training. The writers found ten qualities essential to successfully adapting to the rapidly changing world of work. See how many of these you think are regularly taught in the schools of Utah. (Of course, any state could have filled that blank.)

The first thing Harvard said would be essential is the ability to define problems without a guide, not to solve problems, but to define them without a guide.

The second necessity was the ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions. I don’t know about Utah, but I have never been in a school that would have welcomed kids to ask hard questions that challenged assumption.

‘Third, was the ability to quickly assimilate needed data from masses of irrelevant information.

Fourth, the ability to work in teams without any guidance.

Fifth, the ability to work absolutely alone.

Sixth, the ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.

Seventh, the ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.

Eighth, The ability to discuss issues, problems, and techniques in public with an eye toreaching decisions about policy.

Ninth, the ability to think inductively and deductively, and

Tenth, the ability to think dialectically.

Now, in 1926, Bertrand Russell, who was asked to comment on the Russian revolution, which was a recent phenomenon at the time, said that in his opinion, the most radical social undertaking in human history was what was going on in the United States, because children were being deliberately denied practice in thinking dialectically. So, I don’t know if we have changed in the nearly 70 years that have intervened, but I don’t think so.

Our Current Educational Trend-A Dead End

From where I sit, and I have been sitting around schools for 30 years, I don’t think we teach any of these things as a matter of school policy, and for a good reason. Schools, as we know them, couldn’t function at all if we did. Furthermore, the price of teaching these things. the way they need to be taught would be so much less than we are currently spending, that our society would enter an economic crisis simply by displacing so many unnecessary occupational titles.

None of the schools I ever worked for were able to provide any important parts of this vital curriculum for children. All of the schools I worked for taught nonsense up front. And under the table, they taught young people how to be dumb, how to be slavish, how to be frightened, and how to be dependent. There is too much money locked up in teaching this way for the school establishment, and its invisible outriggers in the teacher-college business, the publishing business, the school bus business. the construction industry, and so on and on and on, to surrender the monopoly structure of government schools easily. And, of course, there’s more than money at stake.

It took me a decade of school teaching to realize that schooling and education are concepts at war with each other. The lessons that every public school I’ve seen in the past 30 years taught had little to do with reading, writing and arithmetic. Any good teacher will tell you, if they trust you, that those considerations are on the periphery of concern in schooling. They may not be on the periphery in an individual teacher’s agenda, but certainly in the school’s agenda, they are. Being a good teacher is a bad way to get ahead in pedagogy.

If you would like some examples of that, we have Jamie Escalante who was driven from his school, Garfield High, last year, even though he had attained some national prominence. And we have the phenomenal black woman, Marva Collins, who was teaching third graders in inner city schools in Chicago, Shakespeare and Plato, and was driven from her school and now has a fine private school with a world reputation.

Am I telling you something, though, that you really don’t know? Schools as we have arranged them are bad places for children to grow up.

I include the schools generally thought of as good schools in that indictment, and I would suggest to you that this is sufficient explanation by itself why 650,000 families nationwide have taken their children from public authorities and are educating them at home. That number is predicted to double in the next five years unless restrictive legislation stops it.

Home schooled kids are on the average both bright and impressively human, simply because they are allowed to learn free of bells, free of bogus experts, phoney sequences. constant intervention, and similar junk. Their pedagogy is real. Mine was that of a witch doctor. If journalists did regular comparisons between home schooling and government variety schooling, forced government schooling would slowly be exposed for the bizarre and unnatural growth on its host society that it really is.

At the Expense of Our Children’s Minds and Characters

Oddly enough, on the day before I came here, someone mailed me two essays by or about Brigham Young, and he apparently thought the very same thing at the beginning of School. Stay away from it.

I am not suggesting that most of the personnel involved in maintaining this dangerous institution really understand the complex nature of what it is they do wrong. Most are hard working, decent people. Many are talented, intelligent people. They are trying to make a living operating a social machine that was handed to them. They are tired at the end of the day, angry at what they consider unfair criticism, discouraged by the attitude of children. But the school institution is structured in such a way that their living can only be achieved at the expense of children’s minds and characters:

Teachers and principals did not make it that way, and they have very little power to change it either. It is, as I have said elsewhere, a political thing. The mechanism itself is a work of genius, far beyond the reach of little people, except those few willing to take risks to sabotage it, and, of course, the great army of home educators assembling silently which will destroy it in time if not driven from the field.

Poor Little Rich Kids?

Schools create most of the problems they then scream for money to solve. In my long experience, poor children are almost as easy to teach as prosperous children if you go about it the right way.

First. you need to assume that they want to learn to be their best selves just like every kid does before schools get hold of them. I learned that by actually teaching poor children. There was some difficulty, of course,-in fact, a lot of difficulty. But only an inconsequential part of it came from the children. The lion’s share was from superintendents, principals, assistant principals, school boards, testing authorities, State Department of Education representatives, teachers’ college personnel. etc.

As my kids began to achieve success, they were met–not with cheers on the part of school authorities and other teachers–but with anger and derision. Yo u see, instead of one kid floating up from the bottom, what was happening were dozens and dozens of people who had been identified as permanently peripheral, speaking before the United Nations, starting businesses, winning city-wide essay contests, and in competition with the elite of New York City. It wasn’t supposed to happen! So the reaction was anger and derision.

Teaching kids to teach themselves, which is a principle which constituted about 95% of my success, and which has been practiced by good parents all through human history, is such a monumental threat to the school institution on all its levels, that many safeguards have been set up to see that it does not happen.

I’ve spent a number of years thinking about this problem. I’ve written a couple of books about it, and I intend to write a couple more. But the best service I can render you in the short time we have together, is to layout a blueprint of the invisible curriculum schools teach. It is this curriculum, expensively maintained by rivers of tax money that makes schools, in my opinion, the single greatest problem in American life. Not kids. Schools.

A Lesson in “Confusion”

The first lesson schools teach is confusion, because they have too many people, too much space, and too much money–which must be spent and then justified. Schools teach too much. They allow no time for learning. Virtually nothing selected by schools as basic really is basic. Virtually none of the school sequences are logically defensible. Schools teach the un-relating of everything.

Take mathematics, for instance, and you will be able to check on me with this next example. The very great mathematician, one of the greatest of this century, Alfred North.

Whitehead, said in the book he wrote in the 1920’s called The Aims of Education, that the way we teach math is crazy, disconnected, bewildering. Pick his book up at the library. It will be there, I promise you. Then ask yourself why your school officials haven’t read it-or if they’ve read it, why they haven’t acted on it. But don’t blame them too much .. Almost all the power they seem to have is imaginary. Schools teach confusion. Disconnected facts are not the way to a sane young mind. But just the opposite.

A Lesson in “Class Distinction”

The second thing schools teach is class position. Schools teach that the children are born into a class and must stay in a class to which they are assigned. This is an Egyptian view of life which strongly contradicts the natural genius of this nation’s history.

Grouping children by standardized test scores, or even grouping them by age, is an inherently stupid and vicious practice. It is difficult for me to contain my contempt for the very private agendas it serves. And I want you to know I speak as a registered conservative in New York City. It’s a party called the Conservative Party. and I run for office every two years in Harlem as a conservative, and naturally, I don’t get elected.

A Lesson in “Indifference”

The third lesson our schools teach is indifference. With bells and many other means, they teach that nothing is so important that it is worth finishing.

The gross error of this is monumental. If nothing is worth finishing. then by extension nothing is worth starting either, Few children are so thick-skulled that they miss the point. School is a liar’s world. where people like myself are constantly declaring the importance of learning. while our actions in the environment say something different. It is no wonder the children give up.

A Lesson in “Emotional Dependency”

The fourth lesson our schools teach is emotional dependency. By an animal trainer’s use of petty rewards and punishments, carrots and sticks. we condition children to subordinate their own learning patterns to the whim of some servant of the state.

We teach that human dignity. even in matters as basic as toilet habits, is at the disposal of others. Many people have remarked how degraded and dishonest children have become in the modem era. But they have failed to locate the cause in the daily training which we have arranged for them.

A Lesson in “Intellectual Dependency”

A fifth lesson schools teach is intellectual dependency. In schools, teachers tell you what to think about, how long to think about it, and what order to think about it, and what evaluation the authorities insist you place on ideas and their management If you cannot, yourself, imagine any other way to learn, I suggest you read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, or any biography of Andrew Carnegie, or a book called The Double Helix, published a few years ago about how DNA was discovered by two kids playing games with an oven.

School, as we have arranged it, does not develop the mind. It bends minds to fit pre-arranged patterns. After schooling, the mind of a child will never again be totally complete-a good way to treat people you don’t like much. or fear, — but a bad way to treat free citizens.

A Lesson in Fragmentation

The sixth lesson schools teach is self-alienation and fragmentation. From about 1890 until 1930, a period when a cult of “scientific management” took hold, and we got the towering edifice of school administration–school philosophers would proudly proclaim alienation, the suppression of self, to be one of the great social benefits of schooling.

In fact, like a good teacher, let me cite one reference that I’m sure you’d find in any local college library. The U.S. Commissioner of Education, from 1889 to 1906, was a man called William Torrey Harris. Mr. Harris was the leading Hegelian philosopher in the United States, a frequent house guest of John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. He was a man who assured Collis P. Huntington, a railroad magnate, that the schools had been scientifically designed not to over-educate, because Huntington was worried that if kids learned how to think, they wouldn’t fit into the jobs that were available for them.

Threats to the System

Harris said in a book he wrote in 1906 called The Philosophy of Education, that the purpose of schools was better achieved in dark, ugly corridors than in open grassy spots, and that schools would not work unless the children could be alienated from themselves. In school — families, cultures, and religions are anathema. You need only hang around school people for a long time, as I have, to realize quite how unwelcome parents are in schools. The actual work and traditions of a community are considered dangerous to the order and discipline of schooling.

Let me tell you the philosophical reason why these thing need to be kept at arm ‘s length by schools. Nineteenth century philosophers, who in fact created the institution we’re all a part of now in one way or another–men like Auguste Comte and Georg Hegel in Germany–considered any private source of power or meaning to be a detriment to the total control of life by the State. They taught that schooling should break children away from their families, their cultures, their religion, their neighborhoods, and any other private source of strength. They should teach children not to trust themselves, but to wait to be instructed, to be judged, to be numbered by authorities.

In the early 20th century, the great American efficiency engineer, Frederick Taylor (who is some distant relative of mine) taught the same lessons indirectly, and they were learned by the managers of schooling. It is better school business to pretend the children are blank tablets to be written upon, than to acknowledge the obvious truth that they are not.

The Next Generation-Incomplete and Undeveloped

As a result of the lessons our schools teach today -although these were not always the lessons we were taught-we’ re turning out incomplete and undeveloped young men and women who grow older, but are unable to grow into adults no matter how old they get We produce children who are at best indifferent to the dishonest world of schools, and at worst angry children who hit back at us, hurt each other and hurt themselves.

School is like a hospital where you go to get hurt We continue to grow crops of children who have trouble connecting the present to the future, and trouble connecting the present to the past. We turn out year after year a mass of children who are morally numb because we have taken the meaning out of growing up. A frightening percentage of these kids have a taste for cruelty as you might expect, from being confined in an ugly plastic chair, in an ugly square room, in an ugly cheese box building for twelve years with bells ringing in their ears.

We produced children who are obsessively materialistic and turn them loose into an economy which cannot conceivably satisfy those material wants. So they are perpetually dissatisfied, whining, envious and self-hating. And we demand that our graduates be passive, obedient, grateful for a hand-out, fearful of real work, and most of all, we demand that they be made too timid to solve problems for themselves. They must wait for a teacher, a social worker, a TV set, a computer program, or a government official to tell them what to do.

It’s All in the Game

The game the government schools engage in has little to do with teaching children to read. Bertrand Russell said in 1928, that the very act of schooling millions of children as if they were a large mass of fish, is the most radical act in human history. The reason we do it this way isn’t because it’s cheaper or better, but just the reverse; because it is more expensive, and it dumbs children down into a tractable mass. Mostly this happened because we have dies en to take the easy way out, decade after decade for most of this century.

Right now we are engaged in the most colossal self-deception in history. School is not a way to learn. It is a “jobs project, plain and simple. And it is a way to steer contracts to school service businesses, and it has been made into the single largest component in the American economy.

School is a bad place for children, because we over- teach. we over-buy and we over-administrate. By doing this we remove both the situation and the incentive through which all learning takes place.

Consider the irony. To change the way we do the school thing, so our children can be educated instead of schooled. could provoke an economic catastrophe that a planned economy has no way of handling. We have fashioned a disaster in our schools. and it is not subject to any swift remedy by tinkering with the structure we already have. We will live with its toxic by products for the foreseeable future, and this catastrophe. in my opinion, extends far beyond urban slums. It reaches into fme homes, and into private schools as well.

Ugly Evidence

Let me give you the ugliest piece of evidence for that. Our teen-age suicide rate has soared in recent years. The Center for Disease Control in A tlanta, which keeps these statistics, estimates that the real rate of teen-age suicide is 6 furies higher than the statistical tabulation-although that is certainly alarming enough. Parents and local authorities often hide the real cause of death out of compassion or shame. Keep in mind it is almost always sons and daughters of the prosperous who kill themselves=almost as if having experienced the best a materialistic life has to offer. these children are saying, “If that’s all there is, I’d rather be dead.”

Our type of schooling obscures the real issues that education is about-issues caught in questions like “Who am 1. and what sort of human being do I want to be. and does life have any greater meaning than what I can see around me?” Our type of schooling makes learning impossible, and without an education, young people go insane or just give up.

Confining a child with random strangers unknown to the family ~ost every day of his natural youth. denies him even the rudiments of privacy. Confining him in a classroom structure is like a nightmare of Karl Marx. conditioning him to beIl/buzzer responses at short intervals like a daydream of Pavlov. All these are bizarre perversions of reality. They destroy the ability to think independently. to value quality. to concentrate-even, I think, to love one another

Policing the Innocent

We have institutionalized the division of social classes in our school classes. We have used the police power of the State to create a virtual caste system, complete with millions and millions of untouchables. The crisis in the general community (by general community. I mean our entire country, ocean to ocean) is begun and nurtured by the school structures we maintain.

All the dependency pathologies, drugs, television. helplessness. commercial entertainment, alcohol, violence, and more. grow directly from the massive dependency we force upon children from the flrst grade onwards. All the aimless quality of our culture is a mirror of the schoolroom where millions of children sit, unable to fill their own hours. unable to initiate lives of meaning in their own existence. The passive spirit imposed by television is only the illegitimate alter-ego of a passive spirit imposed by the ciassroom.

We have been doing this sort of thing for a remarkably short time in a historical sense.

It only, became obsessive, this need to remove children totally from their families and the working world. since the end of the First World War. It was the Red scare after the Communist revolution in Russia that was most proximate cause, I think.

It’s Time to Stop

But whatever ultimately started it, it’s time to stop. There are many wonderful and tested. wonderful and inexpensive ways to inspire children to provide a first-class education for themselves. We all know a few of them. In the past year. I have had a chance to meet and speak to groups of home schoolers … {from} Boston [to] Portland, … and in 42 states. Starting as a skeptic, I came away feeling like Ezekiel when he saw the wheel. But I’ll save that speech for another time.

Let me read to you a resolution. I spoke in Wichita, Kansas, two weeks ago. A resolution being debated by the Kansas House called “House Concurrent Resolution” (but I can’t see the number here-it’s obscured), called “The Role of Public Schools in Contemporary Society, ~ reads as follows:

“Whereas public schools are the primary institution for the rearing of children and the transmission of values, and whereas families, churches, and other social institutions are no longer able to successfully fulfill these responsibilities; therefore, public schools shall be the principle care-giving institution in this State.’?” * (See Note below)

I, fortunately, was with 2,000 people at the Wichita Home Educator’s Conference who said in one voice, “Over our dead body!”

I don’t want to leave you with visionary suggestions. I certainly have some of those. but think I have some vel)’ practical. inexpensive ways to immediately impact your schools.

I think the first thing we have to recognize is that we are going to have to deconstruct schooling–not education–but schooling. We have to minimize the school aspect. And that’s going to require the courage to challenge deeply rooted assumptions and the stamina for a long struggle as the school monster fights back. I want to leave you with a few practical suggestions, as I said.

The First Step-Decentralize

Shut down central school boards and district school boards. These entities serve no useful purpose, and they constantly interfere with local enterprise and mandates. They are grotesquely expensive.

Decentralize down to the neighborhood level and with this one bold move, families could be given control over the professionals in their children’s lives. Each school under this new government would have its own citizen managing board, elected from the school neighborhood and including representation for all groups, and referenda as a court of last resort …

School corruptions like the milk-price rigging scandal, or the textbook racket, or favored teacher deal, will virtually cease when the temptations inherent in remote central authority, personal empire-building. bulk-purchasing, and so on, are ended. And billions of dollars currently wasted in useless central administration can be returned to tax payers.


* Note: My information about this resolution was in error, but I did not know that at the time of my presentation. I had come across a satire on the direction the Kansas Department of Education was taking. and unaware of the dark humor it intended. took it for literal fact. Nevertheless, the “truth” the quotation carries is being brought about deliberately in state after state. — ]. T. Gatto


Lest you think that simply an insult, let me tell you that in New York State alone, there are more school administrators than in all 13 countries of the European Economic Community, I don’ t know how many are in New Jersey and Connecticut. but I have a funny feeling=there are a lot.

Let Everybody Teach

The second suggestion I have for you is a really simple one that is in use allover the world-not in every country of the world, but in many, many places. And it was in use in the United States from 1850 until about 1900. Make everybody teach!

There should be no such thing as a non-teaching principal. a coordinator, a specialist, an assistant principal or any other category of school employee who doesn’t actually spend time in face-to-face interaction with the kids. The talk-down administrative model is a form of robbery and even if it were free, it’s based on ignorance of how educational things get done, or indifference to it Besides wasting billions of dollars, talk-down administration demoralizes teachers, discourages parents from active participation, and it confuses students.

Real educational efficiency will never be available to schools as long as schools run on a factory model. And save yourselves a fortune when you decentralize this way, recognize that there is no proper shape or place for a school building. The construction industry would like you to think so, but there isn’t. Schools can be everywhere and anywhere.

In Wichita. Kansas, Bob Love of the Love Box Company–who was the founder of the first private school in the State of Kansas Wichita Collegiate, still listed in the reference book as one of the finest private schools in the country, has just opened a private school with his son inside the Love Box Company. And it works in and out of the boxes being constructed!

Measure Accomplishment on a Performance Basis

This is another suggestion, to measure accomplishment by performance, as well as against a personal standard. Standardized tests, like schools themselves, don’t work. And they have lost their moral legitimacy. They correlate with nothing of human value. Their very existence perverts curriculum into an advanced preparation for the extravagant ritual administration of more tests.

Why are we doing this? Nobody out there in the audience, whether they agree or disagree with what I’ m saying, would dream of hiring somebody on the basis of a test-unless they ran a government agency! If you run a newspaper, and somebody walks in and says “I want to be a reporter. I’ve gone to journalism school. Here are my A’s. Hire me,” you’d throw the nut out the door! Would you hire an auto mechanic because he scored well in his auto training school?

Everything that sensible people rank and evaluate is done by performance. So, tests are useless as predictors — unless the competition is rigged in advance — or unless you say as a legislature that only the people who score well on tests will be eligible for these licenses. The test of whether you can drive is driving. Whether you understand health or not is whether you’re healthy. And whether you can write a legal brief is the brief itself. Performance testing is where genuine evaluation is always found. Close down the testing racket.

Open the Schools

The fifth suggestion I have is to install permanent parent and community facilities in every school. We need to create a tidal movement of real life, in and out of the dead water of schools. Open these places on a daily basis to family and other community resource people, and rig these rooms with appropriate equipment to allow parent partnerships with their own kids, and others.

One of the greatest things I stumbled onto before I knew about home schooling, was that I would send a contract home to every kid that passed through my hands. I would say that at any time, you and your son or daughter together can write a piece of curriculum and use it in lieu of any piece of curriculum I have. And furthermore, if it takes several days to do that, I will cover that with the other teachers (not telling the principal of course).

End Certification

End the teacher certification monopoly. It makes colleges rich. It’s thirty cents out of every dollar in the United States College market [as of 1993]. It supports an army of unnecessary occupational titles. It deprives children and competent adults of valuable connections with each other.

The licensing monopoly is richly deserving of all the disgust we can pour on it. Let anyone who can demonstrate performance competency before a citizen board, or a school faculty, or a parent body, be licensed to teach. The legendary private schools of this nation — Exeter, Andover, Lawrenceville, Choate Hall, Groton, Culver Military, Hotchkiss, St. Paul’s, would not dream of hiring a certified teacher.

Certification itself, I was told at Lawrenceville, is in many cases the best evidence that a dependent, slavish and un-selective mind is present. Now, I think that is horrifying. If the elite children of the nation are spared certified teachers (and I’m certainly a certified teacher myself) then I think the certification mechanism is a bad way to protect children. It’s a good way to protect jobs, though.

Reestablish Stimulating Learning Experiences

Restore the primary experience base we have stolen from kids’ lives. Kids need to do things, not sit in chairs. The schools die of confinement to chairs, addiction to bells, worship of tests, and utter dependence on low grade secondary experience in the form of semi-literate text workbooks. And blackboard notes crack children away from their own innate understanding of how and why to learn. Let children engage in real tasks, not synthetic games and simulation.

Field curriculum, critical thinking, apprenticeships, team projects in the community, independent study, and other themes of primary experience must be restored to the lives of the young. That, of course, is what I did over the last twenty years.

Offer the Freedom to Read

Suggestion #8 is to dismiss the army of reading and arithmetic specialists, and similar armies of specialists and coordinators in other areas too.

The reading empire, with its insane methodologies and routines, has turned us from a nation of-readers that we were when Tom Paine wrote. and Alexis de Tocqueville visited. DuPont DeNemours wrote a book in 1812 called National Education in the United States. in which he said that less than four Americans out of every 1,000 cannot read, write and do numbers competently. (He was, of course, the founder of the DuPont fortune, a man who had a monopoly on gun powder in the War of 1812.) And these kids argued so well that he predicted in 1812 (in a book that will be available in a Salt Lake library, I’m sure) that America would inevitably end up with more lawyers than any other country in the world. And last year, “The Wall Street Journal” said that 10% of the lawyers in the world are right here in this country. He was a good predictor.

Children cannot learn to read the way reading experts teach reading. The apparatus of the reading teacher and the reading class is the best guarantee that multiple failures will ensue, The problems of reading instruction have been mostly artificially induced by the school setting and school procedure. Take away the profit from the reading business and the disease will begin to cure itself.

I visited in the last six weeks two schools that do better, which are certainly open campuses for any of you here to visit One is in Philadelphia. It teaches kids–all sorts of kids-to read fluently difficult material by the time they are four and five. I was in awe of what I saw. The school doesn’t teach at all! It takes the mothers in, gives them a week’s workshop, and shortly afterwards, their children are reading in such a way that–I mean, it would raise the hair on my head if I were a younger man. The name of this school. by the way, is the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. It’s on 8801 Stenton Avenue, exactly on the Pennsylvania line with Chestnut Hill, and it is just amazing to look at it.

Twenty miles west of Boston, is another school, called the Sudbury ~.chooL It has been open 26 years and was founded by one of the youngestPhYsics professors in Columbia University’s 20th century history. The man was a professor in his early 20’s. His wife is a professor of bio-chemistry. This school takes kids from kindergarten through 12th grade, and utterly refuses to teach them reading or arithmetic,

They will not teach it unless the kids come up and negotiate for lessons. They’ve never had a kid that didn’t learn to read fluently, but as the proprietor told me, some of them learn to read at 4 and some of them learn to read at 8, like his son did. And some learn to read at 9, 10, or even 11 as Woodrow ‘Nilson leamed–and he was president of Princeton before he became President of the United States.

In regards to reading ,we all kick into this very, very easy and natural, “on-our-own” schedule. The best way to corrupt that is to sit people down and tell them. “You ‘Will read ‘A’ for length ‘B’, and answer question ‘C’….”

Now, I only have two more suggestions.

The Right to Privacy

Understand that total schooling-total schooling-is psychologically and procedurally unsound. Give children some private time and private space–perhaps on a collegiate model, some choice of subjects, some choice of methods. and even some choice of the company they keep. And if that sounds like a college, it was meant to. Give them freedom from constant surveillance and record-keeping.

Keep from numbering children and ranking them and labeling them so the human being can’t he seen under the weight of tags he carries. To what useful end do we do this? It is a stupid and a cynical use of authority.

The Right of Free Choice

And, finally, what we’re going to have to do, and what I predict to you we will do-whether we are allowed to or not-we have to provide legitimate choices.

A strong element of choice and anti-compulsion is essential to education. There is no one right way to grow up successfully. That emperor has no clothes. One system-schooling has had a century and a half to prove itself. Right from the beginning it was making excuses why it couldn’t get the job done. The first large scale school panic took place in 1854, two years after the compulsion schools were opened in the state of Massachusetts. Tax: credits, vouchers. or some more sophisticated means, are necessary to encourage a diverse mix of plans for the different logic of growing up.

Unscrambling the Egg

Only sharp competition can reform this mess. The people who gave us the mess cannot do it. Providing this competition should be the overriding goal of public policy.

I thank you very much.

Building Your Educational Dream House – Summary

Summary

In parts 1 and 2 we discuss some basic principles of the philosophy which makes the Kimber Curriculum unique from any other. These principles can be summarized as follows:

  • Family-oriented
  • God-centered
  • Principle-based

We are finding a great upswing in the educational circles where these basic principles of sound curriculum are being used. You may want to refer to John Taylor Gatto’s speech about where education has been and where it must go. All the above ideas will be part of the wave of America’s educational future.

Building Your Educational Dream House – Part 2

HOW WE DEVELOPED THE KIMBER CURRICULUM

After following these five steps of educational planning for our children in the 1980s, and before starting our private schools, we determined that there was no curriculum on the market that could assist us as parents in achieving all five of those goals. In fact, at the time there were five basic reasons why it seemed the normal textbooks used in public and private schools would not work for us:

1. Faith and moral values never came first. Some of the curriculum resources were excellent for teaching the mechanics of a subject, and most were very good for teaching things of the world. However, nowhere could we find materials that were designed to increase testimony and faith first—while at the same time incorporating the academics. We did not want our children to spend long hours of study in academics that did not also teach them moral lessons and spiritual values that would be important in their lives and in their futures.

2. The curriculum divided our family. We noticed that the curriculum on the market seemed to divide our family. Every age level had a different textbook. We found it to be almost impossible to teach each of our six children from six different textbooks on six different levels. Total “mother burn-out” loomed ahead!

3. Learning was detached. Each subject was so detached from all of the others, that there was no cohesiveness in the learning process. The children all had to learn separately.

4. Assignments often became chores of meaningless busy work. The texts required so much busy work that the children would feel pressured to study for so many hours that they could not enjoy their childhood. Hours of busywork also taught them to be self-serving. The motivation and desire to help the family and serve others was smothered by mandated “homework.”

5. Knowledge was limited. We noticed, in fact, that usually only two main tools for learning were emphasized—sight and hearing. Our children were geared so tightly to learning by sight and hearing that we felt they were being robbed. We wanted them to experience other valuable learning tools, such as touch and movement, music and nature. Since our family was quite active–especially the boys–we knew that these additional ways to learn were definitely as important as seeing and hearing.

As a result of these experiences with curriculum, in 1991 we formed a corporation called The Center for Educational Restoration, and began an extensive project to create a curriculum that would incorporate testimony and a love of learning. The result was some 75 texts and materials are under the name of Kimber Curriculum and have become the base curricula for thousands of students. (You may wish to view the individual guide-books, online at www.kimbercurriculum.com).

We are pleased that our children –now all grown with families of their own—have become good, well-rounded citizens who love God and serve Him. While we, of course, had ups and downs as we taught them, we are beginning to see the fruits of God-centered curriculum as our children teach their children.

Now let us consider each of the five topics of why other textbooks did not work for us. As you will see, through the years we have attempted to find solutions to the challenges we faced as we tried to teach our children testimony and a love of learning. 

#1—Faith and Moral Values First, Not Last

We have previously mentioned that Benjamin Franklin said, “Learning to Serve God, family and community should be the aim and end of all true learning.” Serving God and learning to keep His commandments should be foremost in a student’s learning as he or she goes through life.

We took a different approach to all the academics and made them God-centered and service-oriented. Briefly, here is how we have attempted to accomplish this: (Note: A more detailed discussion on how to use the Kimber Curriculum is found in the next section.)

History. History is simply a record of God’s dealings with mankind, and man’s dealings with each other. Instead of teaching godless theories of how mankind evolved, the Kimber History is taken directly from the viewpoint of the scriptures. Each student–no matter what denomination he or she belongs to–can refer to their preferred set of scriptures—the Bible (any version), the Book of Mormon, the Torah, the Koran, or the writings of Confucius. All these are considered to be sacred writings. When young people see how God works with mankind, and how mankind works with one another on the earth, they begin to know their own worth and thus develop a personal relationship with their Creator. This grows into a desire to serve Him and keep His laws and commandments.

MathInstead of repetitiously manipulating numbers on pages and pages of pre-written math problems, the Kimber Math program presents the fundamentals of how God used mathematics to pattern of the entire universe. Students are taught that He is the Great Mathematician who organized everything, for he said: “ … all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.” (Moses 1:35) Also, the Savior told his Apostles, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). As students begin to see the magic of what they too can do with numbers and correlate the concepts of how God organized everything in existence with numbers and formulas, His majesty becomes more clear. It is hoped that students may begin to ask questions such as, “How can I use mathematic knowledge to help my fellow man, and to help build God’s kingdom?” The Kimber math texts are designed to help them answer this question.

Language ArtsLanguage arts is the “art of communication.” When students learn proper grammar, spelling, and language skills, they are better prepared to communicate. The plan of this curriculum is to teach the student the beauty of communicating their thoughts and words, so they can help others gain an appreciation for the Creator. Using their Language arts skills, the Kimber Language arts program teaches students to share the beauty of language with all kinds of service projects. Students begin to use self-expression on a higher plane because they use the “art of language” from the scriptures and the classics. They show how they feel about life and God through stories, poetry and thought.

ScienceScience is perhaps the greatest testator of the existence of God. In the Kimber six science guidebooks, students are given major vocabulary words to research, analyze, memorize, and illustrate. As they write their own textbooks on the subjects of physiology, zoology, botany, chemistry, geology, and astronomy, their knowledge and testimony of God’s existence builds and strengthens. Their finished books are an impressive portfolio for any college or job.

#2—A Family Divided Can Become a Family United

One of the warning signals that our family was not united glared bright and clear when we took them on vacation one summer. All the children were excited to go, and each begged to invite one of their friends to come along so they could have “fun”. We began to wonder why they needed outsiders to provide the fun they were looking for. Because we wanted this to be a family outing, we told them, “This time, no friends.” During our so-called vacation there was much sulking, arguing and contention among the children. We realized something had to change in our family relationships.

Not long after this experience we began home tutoring. At first, we were surprised by their behavior towards each other even in the home. It was anything but positive. It was during learning time that we discovered that they didn’t really know each other! They had always been separated in different grades or schools, and had various social activities that rarely allowed them to associate together. As a family unit, we had a lot of growing times while they learned how to get along 24 hours a day!

After a few weeks, we started noticing gradual changes in relationships. The children slowly but surely began to develop a certain loyalty to one another. Because we were spending so much time together, there were more opportunities to “bond” at home.

After several months, we also noticed that teaching became much easier, and learning became a lot more fun because there was a general spirit of cooperation and unity in the home that we had not experienced before. Of course there were days when relationships and learning times would back-slide, but we noticed that it was much easier to solve those problems when we were together on a continuing basis. We decided that serving each other was one of the main keys to this harmony.

As the spirit of service grew, the children really began to enjoy being home together in a learning atmosphere. Our children started to become friends. They were learning to help each other and were more interested in doing things together. Outside influences didn’t have as much of an impact on their relationships. Today those growing years bring happy memories to us as parents, and – hopefully – to our children as well.

As families become more unified in their learning together, contention will leave the home.

As families who are used to other public or private school schedules become involved with Kimber Academy, they may experience this same process that we went through. It may take time, but they will notice that their children will begin to have more in common as they are placed in the same class and/or learning the same curriculum. Just the fact that the children are all learning with the same scripturally-based guidebooks with provide them with a unifying source.

Outside of the 12 hours spent at Kimber Academy, many families enjoy learning at the kitchen table where they can hear the stories of history altogether, and enjoy read-aloud time with Mom. Here the children have opportunities to teach each other while they do their individual work.

The scriptures contain many words of wisdom to help parents know how to teach their children at home. There are several scriptures that would make excellent posters to remind us of the Lord’s counsel regarding families and education.

For example, Paul wrote:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ….” (Ephesians 6: 1-4)

Solomon wrote:

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

“For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

“For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

“He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

“Forsake her [ie, wisdom] not, and she shall preserve thee: love her; and she shall keep thee.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:1-7)

#3—Avoiding Detached Learning by Applying Knowledge to Life

You will recall that one of our concerns was the “detached learning” our children were getting in their educational experiences away from home. Students who are unable to associate knowledge from one area of learning to another have detached learning.

One way to tell if a child has detached learning is through diagnostic exams. We discovered this years later when we developed our curriculum. There needs to be a way to check the academic knowledge of our children and students, and at the same time see if their knowledge is being internalized.

For example, when we first started our private schools and began testing the students, we found that many of them had memorized the fifty states and their capitals. This was good, of course. However, when they were asked to fill in a map of the United States, they did not know where most of the states were located. In addition, we found that most students did not understand why they were learning particular subjects. They seemed to think that the main reason to learn was to pass an exam and get a good grade. They had detached their knowledge from living life.

When the mind is able to grasp the whole picture of a subject, and attach particular information to other subjects, learning begins to make sense in every area of life. So we decided to incorporate into the Kimber curriculum learning exercises that correlated with many subjects. In history, for example, we gave some assignments to figure particular math equations. In language arts, we had the students perfect their reading and writing skills right along with history and science. In science, we involved creativity, geography, and Language arts skills.

An Associated Press article, written April 22, 1996, demonstrates the efficiency of this method of teaching. The foremost subject during one term at Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, was the study of the life of Leonardo da Vinci (who, incidentally, wrote these inspiring words: “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”).

The article reports:

“Teachers weave the work of the painter, inventor, scientist into lessons about science, English, math, history and art–a teaching style that’s gaining popularity nationwide.

“‘It’s a way of organizing curriculum without putting everything in boxes, or saying –OK, now it’s time to take out our science book,’ says Fran Simms, language arts teacher [Barcroft Elementary School]. ‘It connects the day, connects learning.’

“ … Integrating subjects isn’t new, but the number of schools trying it has grown steadily since the mid-1980s, and more rapidly in the past five years.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of schools exploring it,’ says Sally Chapman with the Association For Supervision and Curriculum Development, which conducts workshops on the concept.

“At Brown-Barge Middle School in Pensacola, Fla., students learn lessons under themes. In the ‘Global Awareness’ section, for example, students research and write about different countries, study ratio and proportion by comparing the size of continents and learn science by studying climate, rainfall and ocean currents.

“‘The kids love it because it makes sense to them,’ says assistant principal Sandy Ames. ‘There’s nothing more frustrating than learning things in isolation.’

“… Teachers enthusiastic about integrated curriculum say their students don’t just march from class to class in blocks of time. They learn classic course work and skills, like writing, while exploring a larger issue.

“ …. At Barcroft, students are urged to be inquisitive, like da Vinci. They are taught to think like historians or investigators. Like da Vinci, the students draw from live models and keep notebooks.”

(The Daily Spectrum, Monday, April 22, 1996, Page B2)

#4—Self-Serving Homework Assignments Can Transform into Service Projects

People all over the nation are becoming alarmed by the low self-esteem among our children. Why don’t they like themselves? Often parents and teachers turn to excessive praise and adoration to help the children think well of themselves. But we found that this usually has the opposite effect on the child’s growing personality. Here is what we discovered and integrated into the Kimber language arts curriculum, and what is now being recognized in many parts of society:

Community service is a great builder of self-esteem for children of all ages. In recent years, student self-esteem seems to have had almost too much emphasis. Yet, parents and teachers watch with increasing alarm as the children get more and more depressed, turn to drugs, contemplate suicide, and fall into the abyss of immorality. Today we even read of children murdering each other at school. What is happening?

Many feel that the cause for this low self-esteem — or as we like to put it –low self worth, is because most learning methods direct children to think inwardly. They are encouraged to satisfy their every immediate desire–and “self” is Number One.

In contrast, we all know there is a better way. Teaching the child to think outwardly towards serving others–becoming concerned about the welfare of the other person–helps keep the child’s focus away from himself and his own problems. As Jesus said: “He that findeth his life [in self-service] shall lose it; but he that loseth his life for my sake [by serving ‘even the least of these’] shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

An article from USA Today displayed this headline: “Giving to Others to Give Kids Compassion.” The January 29, 1996 article reads in part as follows:

“Deborah Spaide of New Canaan, Conn., is still glowing from a holiday success story. Children from her area stuffed more than 1,000 shoe boxes with little goodies for homeless and needy children in three states …. ‘The kids were creative with what they put in the boxes,’ Spaide said. ‘It’s a simple project and they really got into it. It made them feel empowered to touch somebody else’s life.

“From this experience, she says the children learned an important lesson: Caring for others makes you feel better about yourself. But many kids today aren’t learning simple lessons of caring and charity. And one reason is there aren’t that many opportunities out there for them, says Spaide, 36 …. Spaide has written a new book, Teaching Your Kids to Care: How to Discover and Develop the Spirit of Charity in Your Children, … which lists lots of creative ideas for charitable opportunities for kids.

“ .. .It all started because she wanted to make sure her own children developed compassion for others …. So she started looking for activities for her children. The first thing they did as a family was go into a disabled woman’s home and paint the walls and clean the apartment. Her kids started telling their friends what they were doing, and the friends wanted to come along to the next activity. Spaide found that kids were ‘starving for these kinds of opportunities.’

“ …. Spaide and her husband, Jim, say that they’ll know they’ve succeeded if their kids grow up and measure success in terms of the people they touch and help, instead of in terms of money or material gain. …We have nothing against money, but it’s an empty value,’ she says. ‘No matter how much you have, you never quite feel content. While charity, even in small doses, leaves you feeling satisfied and whole.’“

Parents can give their children “free reign” to think of ways that will help their neighborhood, community, city, state and country. As families go through the Kimber language arts curriculum, they will find the weekly service projects will develop a habit of service to last a lifetime.

#5—Using All the Tools – Not Just Seeing and Hearing—to Educate

In recent years, teachers have pleaded with parents to help the school by getting involved in their child’s education. Since the present public education system does not allow parents or uncertified adults to regularly participate in the classroom, parents are asked by the teachers to help at home. This usually requires that the textbooks come home with the students so the parents can help their child with their written assignments. Even little kindergarten children were being sent home with “homework”! It seems that childhood has been swallowed up by giant the bookworm of textbook learning.

This was one of the first things we noticed as we tried to sort out the problems with traditional public education. Our children seemed to be “married” to the textbooks. They were being required to get through a textbook, but they were not really learning and mastering the subject, or applying to their lives. Wasn’t there more to learning than just sitting at a desk?

After we began to home tutor, we slowly discovered that textbooks weren’t the answer to everything. To get away from the kitchen table for a little while and play, dance, sing, and have a little learning fun outside – away from the books – actually came as a great relief.

Later on as we completed our research on the tools of learning, we discovered a shocking reality. John Dewey’s public school system was designed to replace mothers with textbooks. The result of this philosophy was that students were denied two major learning ingredients: 1) a love of learning and 2) the opportunity to think freely. Dewey’s textbook-driven philosophy eventually created a whole generation of couch potatoes.

Having gone through the very same type of learning processes all through high school and even in college, we too had been trained that every subject had to be tied to a single textbook. However, when we attended graduate school, we were not tied to just one textbook, but were assigned to do intense study on our own with a whole series of reference books. And we were not required to sit at a desk all day in front of an instructor. We were free to work on our own time to accomplish the goal. We felt a sense of liberty with our learning.

We decided to experiment with this “post-graduate” philosophy. Instead of requiring students to be bookworms in a textbook, we created simplified educational guide-books. The guide-books we eventually developed allow students to be drawn into the subject, and then they are free to use any type of reference book to complete their work.

In each of our guide-books we include a number of suggested learning exercises and projects, so that students who desire to go into greater depth into each subject can do so. The learning exercises are all designed to help the student learn how to think, reason, and serve.

Another aspect we found to be especially beneficial was to encourage the students to write their own workbooks for math, science, and language arts. As we developed the Kimber guidebooks, we put “service” on a pedestal in nearly every subject. Students learned, created and wrote to benefit others.

The students are encouraged to set a goal to — not only to write their own workbooks — but to keep adding new information to them through the years. We noticed how much our children and other students enjoyed seeing their individual progress as time went on.

When students catch the vision of knowing how to think, reason and serve, they begin to love learning. They will become knowledgeable, active citizens – and most certainly the “fruits” of their education will be more productive than potatoes growing roots on a couch.

As Kimber Academy families incorporate these concepts into their lives through the curriculum, learning becomes a whole new and exciting experience for children. They can now have the best of both worlds—where they are free to think, serve others, and where they actually enjoy learning.

And we would add one more facet to building our educational dream house:

#6–Principles–Not Grade Levels

Another unique facet of Kimber Academy is that there are fewer grade levels of study. Instead of 12 grades, we divide students into only three age groups: (1) Ages 5 – 8; (2) ages 9 – 11; and (3) ages 12 and older. While each age-group has its own level of math, science, language arts, history, and religion, the curriculum has one major difference: Principles.

Basing our curriculum on principles is one of the most exciting breakthroughs we discovered. This idea is based on how most of us study the Bible. No matter how many times we read the Bible, we discover and understand it in more depth each time, because the scriptures are based on God-given principles. When we incorporated this principle-based learning in our curriculum, we found that students are able to study the same subject over and over, like they do with the scriptures, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subject each time they go through it.

All the Kimber guidebooks are based on principles rather than grade-levels because not every third grader is on that level of learning; nor is every twelfth grader ready to launch into a much bigger world of learning. A student can be age 8 but advanced enough in math, for example, to be able to do the principles of geometry. On the other hand, a 12-year-old may be struggling with numeration and multiplication facts. When the guidebooks are principle-based, it doesn’t matter which level a student is on, the children can progress at their own levels and at their own speed.

When students learn with a purpose in mind, rather than just passing an exam and getting a grade, learning has meaning in their lives. The purpose of their education is to enable them to use that knowledge to serve.

Building Your Educational Dream House – Part 1

Each step a builder takes to create the home of someone’s dreams is necessary and deliberate, just as the steps a parent must take as they create their children’s so-called “educational dream house.” Parents who take their divine calling seriously know how important it is to seek out and create a unique, inspired education for each child. As we discovered how to construct this educational dream house for our children, we found the following five steps to be invaluable:

Step #1 -Visualizing the Educational Dream

One of the best methods of getting started on this educational journey is for parents to list the characteristics they want their children to have acquired by the time they are adults. By visualizing what they want their family members to be like, they will be better prepared to select the curriculum, educational guides, and types of education that will help them achieve those characteristics.

When we interview parents pertaining to this subject, they normally list qualities such as honesty, integrity, virtue, being a good husband or a good wife, and showing good citizenship, etc., as the characteristics they want their children to own.

Almost every parent has memorized this well-known scripture: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). But notice that parents are not to simply “train up” the child, but they should train them in the way they should go. This indicates that children’s education ought to be highly moral and well-principled.

As you can see, the skills themselves are secondary–not the main focus–in helping children prepare for adulthood. How family members usetheir education appears to be more important than how skilled they are in various subjects. Of course, parents also want their children to have good academic skills so they can enjoy lives of achievement and growth. But becoming well-rounded honest adults is the primary focus in raising children.

The basic academic skills that most parents desire (the “core curriculum”) usually consists of history, math, language arts, science, and religious studies. Goals for teaching and learning each of these core subjects should be included in the family’s educational blueprint.

Once this first step of creating a blueprint has been completed, and the desired end has been identified, parents are then in a better position to select the best education that will aim their family members towards each of their goals. This conversion of the blueprint to reality can be exciting and very rewarding.

Step #1, then, is for parents to discuss with their children some educational goals, and have each child write down their goals and future dreams – or have the parents write these down for them as they are discussed in the family setting.

Step #2 -Determining the Starting Point

Before a “dream house” is begun, the plot of ground where it will be built must be tested, evaluated and diagnosed. Not only is the quality of top-soil and bedrock evaluated, but the purchased lot must be squared off and surveyed to the specified parameters.

Likewise, parents will first need to evaluate their children’s skills — academic and otherwise. This includes their physical, spiritual and emotional needs and talents.

A good battery of diagnostic tests can be of benefit in determining where students are academically. There are many ways that parents can have their children evaluated academically. Kimber Academy offers diagnostic testing in the first few weeks of school. This allows parents to see “holes” and also areas of strength in order to help their child focus on the subjects which will most benefit them. (See Appendix I for more information on KA testing)

Step #2, then, is to discover through diagnostic exams the levels of learning for each child.

Step #3–Selecting the Educational Environment

Now that the “groundwork” has been examined and diagnosed, our educational dream-house can be built on that foundation of knowledge. After the “footings” are poured (with “reinforcement bars” for added strength), the shape of the house can be seen.

Selecting an educational environment is like preparing the dream-house’s foundation. Once parents know what they want, they simply look at the entire community as a possible provider of each educational need. Most families find success by combining a number of forms of education. This is especially true for Kimber Academy families who have many hours during the week to take advantage of dual-enrollment at, community colleges, educational businesses, public schools, libraries, and university correspondence courses. Local on-site learning is valuable as well, such as visiting zoos, observatories, or getting involved in community orchestras, choirs, sports, etc. Modern technology has made knowledge available in every subject on every level of learning. This has greatly simplified the education process of almost all students.

When parents are active in the education of their children, they can rapidly see opportunities for learning everywhere.

Step #3, then, is to determine the educational resources, in addition to the Kimber Academy, that are available in your area.

Step #4–Selecting the Core Curriculum

The walls and roof of our dream house must be sturdy and well-built. When finished, they must provide sure protection against heat, cold, storms, and wind. The windows should allow adequate light into the rooms and provide a pleasant view.

Likewise, a good core curriculum will give children the strength of knowledge and spirituality, to overcome adversity and provide sound principles for a good “outlook” on life.

At Kimber Academy, our curriculum is based on the above principles as it emphasizes “Intrinsic Values” and scripturally-based learning (see following section for more details).

Step #4, then, is selecting the curriculum that fits the needs of your family academically and spiritually.

Step #5–Setting Goals for Subject Mastery

The crowning objective to our educational dream-house is doing the landscaping. The yard should be filled with lovely flowers, shrubbery and trees—the walkways laid in. Maybe there is a decorative fence around the lot, and a garden spot out back.

All these things must be planned in advance, and organized according to the ideas on the blueprint.

Similarly, young people want to be organized, but they resist being over-structured. (We do not want to mow the lawn with manicure scissors, after all.) When students are organized and meeting self-imposed goals and deadlines, they are more able to keep focused and progressing in a comfortable pattern. When their goals have been met, they have a feeling of completion–a feeling that they really can achieve.

Setting goals also keeps the students from wandering from one subject to another without purpose, and helps them organize their thinking. At the same time their confidence is built.

At Kimber Academy, our Dean of Students works with parents to assist students in setting and reaching these goals.

When parents keep the end result of the blueprint in mind, remembering what they want their children to be, to do, and to know by the time they are adults, the resulting educational dream-house they have built within each of their children will undoubtedly be the most useful and admirable structures ever imagined!

No Bigotry, No Sanction

‘It is one thing to show a man that he is in error,

and another to put him in possession of the truth.”

–John Locke

“No Bigotry, No Sanction”

by

Rev. Donald N. Sills

INTRODUCTION

The writer is a born again Christian, whose roots sink deep in mainline Evangelical theology. I am a Baptist Minister and have been for almost 40 years. Academically I hold two Doctoral degrees, Divinity and Humanities. In the field of education I currently (1994) serve as the President of George Wythe College and I am the Executive Vice President of the Center for Educational Restoration, with 62 schools in the United States.  I am also on the Board of the Coral Ridge Baptist University, Jacksonville, Florida.   Like most who may read this article I accepted Christ, and grew up during the 1950′s, 60’s, and early 70’s. The prevailing view during those years regarding our educational system was, “It’s working and we are producing the best educated students in the world.”   True, there were a few who started sounding the alarm that there was something wrong in the system. When the words and views of John Dewey, the reputed “Father of Modern-day Education”, were closely analyzed, stirrings that something was amiss began to arise. Dewey once said that if the public (government) schools could keep the children occupied from 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning, throughout the day, with sports after school, and homework in the evening, that the parents would have less than an hour a day with their children, and that the family’s and Christian church’s influence over them could be broken in about a generation.   (In the late 80’s a colleague of mine, Dr. Robert Grant, founder and chairman of the board of Christian Voice and founder and board chairman of The American Freedom Coalition, spoke on a number or occasions regarding the subject in question. I have asked for and received his permission to include many of his comments.)   The prevailing view regarding political activism by Evangelicals, was still non-involvement, although, as early as1947, Dr. Carl F. Henry’s book, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism, had signaled the early stirring of a shift back to a more Biblical view.

During this same era Conservative Bible-believing Christian preachers correctly taught that we must pray for those who are in authority over us. They bolstered the need for evangelism to win people to Christ and preparation for eternity in anticipation of Jesus’ imminent return. Also believers were exhorted to maintain separation from the world (II Cor. 6:l4ff) . “Separation” had two common applications during those days.   First, it was interpreted to establish restrictions against participation in “worldly” entertainments. Believers were forbidden from attending the theater, playing cards, dancing or the use of tobacco and alcohol.   Second, it was interpreted to place a stricture against getting involved in politics. The argument against political activism was largely based on the premise that politics was dirty, was “of this world” and therefore would end up soiling those Christians who got involved. This argument was based upon a failure to understand that politics is neither intrinsically dirty or clean. It is neutral. Actually it is the moral or immoral use of politics (the science or governing) which makes it either good or bad.   The result of this shoddy theology was that churches became spiritually ghetto-ized, and a society that rotted from within.  Hence came about many of the abuses and social ills that now eat away at the innards of this great country, a country that initially prospered as a result of a historic compact between involved men or faith, and God.   A brief historical review of America’s national spiritual decline documents that during the 60’s religious exercises were removed from the public schools. During the 70’s the abortion holocaust began. It has been followed by an escalated assault on religious freedom. The bounds of decency have been relentlessly pushed back so that now magazines and television, not to mention the theaters, have virtually no limits on what can be depicted. More recently the “mining” of the bodies of the unborn for spare parts (as though they were discarded wrecks in some auto grave yard) also has become socially acceptable. Given the premises of humanism… if they be true.., then why not?   The ultimate responsibility for the destruction of America’s moral values, (which includes our dismal failure in the field of education) , during recent generations, in my judgement, will be laid by God at the front steps of America’s churches. Biblical Christians clearly abandoned the battlefield and allowed evil to occupy it by default. The resulting massive spiritual/civic defeat is in my judgement directly traceable to the apathy which pervaded the hearts of millions of individual believers in America. Judgement is indeed come to the Church in America.   Fortunately, a great and much welcomed reawakening occurred in the late 70’s and has continued on into our day. It may well be that the intrusion of the humanist state in the affairs and domain of the kingdom precipitated this renaissance. As a result many Christians have begun to get their theology straightened out. They have rediscovered what has been lost. . .what our Christian forefathers knew well.. .what was accepted as Gospel at the time of the largely minister-led abolitionist movement, and even earlier at the time of the Great Awakening.

  The abortion holocaust shook the neutralized Christian community to its roots. In the process they rediscovered the principle that being “salt” and “light”, and “occupying”, demands Christian involvement, in the affairs of our land. At the same time, Americans at large also began to rediscover that their political roots were, surprisingly, imbedded in the spiritual commitment of those Founders who gave birth to this land. And formerly inactive Christians began to get actively involved in large numbers.   I believe this has led parents to, once again, take control over the lives and education of their children. Currently there are upwards of 3,000,000 (three million) American youth being taught at home, or as they are called, Home Schooled. The fastest growing movement in the field of educatson today is the opening of private, Biblical directed, Constitutionally-based schools, where students of like mind are coming together, in essence, to recapture the quality of education that was orchestrated by the Founding Fathers of this country.   This army of new Christian activists suddenly, and perhaps uneasily, now find themselves in the trenches” often times with other morally-motivated, as Dr. Francis Schaerer cosned, “cobelligerants of other faiths. This takes some getting used to…and some maturing as well. In many communities the first moral activists were often, in fact, not from either evangelical or fundamentalist ranks. Evangelicals have often had to play “catch up’ to Roman Catholics, Mormons, and other value-oriented activists.

What Was Accomplished?

  As we look back and evaluate the strides that have been taken we must ask the question -WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED? Sad to say we have won a few battles across the country but we are still losing the war. Why? Perhaps it is because we are more interested in building our own empires and little kingdoms than in truly discovering the mind of Christ and what, as Christians, He would have us do.   Directed by strong-willed, entrepreneur minded determined leaders, single-issue groups have sprung up all around America.   These are more often than not led by people of deep religious convictions. Collectively they represent an enormous reservoir of fragmented activism, with individual memberships of dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of participants. They often become possessed by the ill- gotten idea that they, in isolation, can have great impact. Their tendency toward isolation from others of like concerns has contributed to the fragmentation process which has clearly marked this movement and which has left it nearly impotent.   Prejudices springing out of religious exclusiveness, racial prejudice, and ethnic background, have too often stood as walls preventing needed cooperative efforts. Even the urge to “be the boss”, to build an “Empire”, has greatly restricted the overall effectiveness of God’s calling. Too often the New Testament admonition concerning the servant role has given way to the overriding desire for power and control.

What Emotion Now Prevails?

  What is the result of splintering? An enormous feeling of frustration that now reaches into every community in America. It springs out of the realization that, despite massive, courageous, and spiritual motivated effort we are still losing the war. We have failed thus far on a national level to establish a system whereby our children are taught the fundamentals of right and wrong. Situation ethics has gained the high ground. Because the Christian community has been waiting for somebody to fix things we have virtually lost an entire generation of our  youth. Is it hopeless? Only if we determine to live in a vacuum of prejudice and spiritual bigotry.   In our churches, which number close to 400,000 in the United States, we are individually convinced that beyond doubt “we” are right and the rest of the so called spiritual community is wrong. We have developed many convenient excuses for our failures, none more convenient than, “we live in the last days and therefore it is just a fulfillment of prophecy.”   When In God’s name are we going to face the truth that as long as we spend our time in fighting with each other the Devil and His crowd will continue to march forward and keep destroying the children that God has placed in our care and responsibility?   I often wonder if He is really as concerned with our spiritual “correctness” as we are?   Perhaps the time has come when we must realize that if we are going to see our prayers answered regarding the educational morass in which we find ourselves, we will indeed have to combine our mutual talents and suppress our individual differences.   The time is long past due when we must seek common ground upon which we can build an educational system that will undergird our children from both a moral and spiritual standpoint.   (Some of the following key points are taken from The Making of America, by W. Cleon Skousen.)

The Role of Religion in the Founding Fathers’

Constitutional Formula

  Americans of the twentieth century often fail to realize the supreme importance which the Founding Fathers originally attached to the role of religion in the unique experiment which they hoped would emerge as the first civilization of a free people in modern times. Many Americans also fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own day as it was in theirs.

In 1787, the very year the Constitution was written by the Convention and approved by Congress, that same body of Congress passed the famous Northwest Ordinance. In it they enunciated the basic rights of citizens in language similar to that which was later incorporated. in the Bill of Rights. And they emphasized the essential need to teach religion and morality in the schools.  Here is the way they said it:   1.  Religion, which might he defined as “a fundamental system or beliefs concerning mans origin and. relationship to the Creator, the cosmic universe, and his relationship with his fellowmen.”   2.  Morality, which may be described as “a standard of behavior distinguishing right from wrong.”   3.  Knowledge, which is “an intellectual awareness and understanding of established facts relating to an field of human experience or inquiry, i.e., history, geography, science, etc.”   Please note that “religion and morality” were not required by the Founders as merely an intellectual exercise, but they positively declared their conviction that these were essential ingredients needed for “good government and the happiness of mankind.”   Rather than following the example of the Founders, wherein they labored to exclude the creeds and biases or dissensions or individual denominations so as to make the teaching of religion a unifying cultural adhesive rather than a divisive apparatus, many today have added mortar arid stone to the walls that separate us, thereby fueling the fires of distrust and religious bigotry.   Jefferson wrote a bill for the “Establishing of Elementary Schools” in Virginia and made this point clear by stating:   “No religious reading, instruction or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.”

A Plan for the Future

  Since ‘government schools” have now gone far astray from America’s roots it behooves us to recapture, in the private sector, the right and responsibility of controlling our children’s education. Realizing that 95% of America’s children attend the public schools I do not advocate abandoning the public system.   But, under its present form and determination of leadership to diminish the quality of education, I am convinced that we must counter this godless control by establishing schools where the student can once again be taught the fundamentals of their faith.   This will not happen unless there is a real “Educational Revolution.”  In the public sector this will only happen when those teachers, caught in the system, who do not agree with the rules and curriculum under which they are forced to teach, are willing to take control of education and teach that which they know is right and openly defy the laws under which they are required to teach. Even to the loss of their jobs. They must ask themselves which is more important, their current job or the future of the children they teach.   There has never been a greater opportunity for the development of schools where right is taught than there is now. If enough teachers, nation-wide, would move out of the current system and establish their own schools, based on biblical principles, and right morals, it would not take long until the government’s educational system did an about-face, or it would collapse internally. Then those teachers could rebuild it anew.   Not only must our private and home schools return to a Biblical based, Constitutionally grounded form of education, we must also face the responsibility of teaching our youth how to live together in the twenty-first century.   The role of education is to educate. To teach our youth how they can live in a world of diversity without losing their individuality. When a parent places their child in the care of a teacher they must know that teacher will help build a stronger child. One who can be more in tune with their families beliefs and to stand firm on their faith. The teacher’s role is to help the child be better in their home church, rather than trying to bring that child into their own church.   We must counter what John Dewey set in motion. The parent must be actively involved in their child’s education. The church must be at the heart of education. It is time to return the child to the parent and move away from any activity that will weaken the family structure. The rebuilding of the family is the most notable goal we can have as we approach the twenty-first century.   IN CONCLUSION:  Please allow me to say, We need to develop an alternative educational system (where the welfare or the child is paramount).  We need to build a non-sectarian inter-denominational concept or learning. A place where bigotry is given no sanction and the rights of all are upheld without any religious rancor.  The goal would be not to proselytize nor to give special preference to any particular church.   Students need to be guided with the Word of God and to be instilled with a love for learning and a love for country, thus making them a better member wherever they choose to worship.