The segment on NBC’s Today show this morning had me flabbergasted. Watch it here:
Now, if I understand what is happening, schools across the nation are actually beginning to brainstorm ways to punish parents for poor student performance (some schools in Alaska fine parents for truancy among their children).
While parents surely can and should have the largest influence on their children’s attitudes towards education and their performance therein, it is sheer madness for the school system to think it has any right to “grade” parents or punish them if their children aren’t meeting a certain standard. This is fascism, totalitarianism, tyranny – not freedom.
So, how does this work, this idea of schools “grading” parents? Does a parent of a 6th grader now sit down to be scolded by the single, 22-year old just-out-of-college school teacher concerning parenting skills?
And who determines the parental grading scale? What measurements are taken? What factors are considered? Poverty? Dual-income households? Single-parenting? Night shifts? The list goes on, doesn’t it?
Our public education system is in centrifugal decay. It has not been doing very well at educating our children, even if parents do an otherwise decent job. The stats to substantiate this claim just keep pouring in. The system is bankrupt in more ways than one.
But on this one account I will give the state schools their due – they are recognizing, even in their misguided attempts at lording it over parents, that the solution to all our educational woes lies with the parents, not within the system itself.
[Now, if we could just get Sunday Schools and Youth Ministries to realize this same thing – but that’s another post.]
Dads and Moms can fix this mess. Principles and teachers, while able to make a local dent, simply cannot right the national ship. It’s too much to expect of anyone. But parents do have the power and God-given authority to right this ship. Of course, for Christian parents, I believe this demands a return to Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, and Ephesians 6. The time has never been riper for you, Christian parents, to reclaim the raising and teaching of your child(ren). For the glory of God I pray many of you do, and will do whatever it takes to reinstill a love of learning in your child(ren).
Education is about God, His glory, His orderly cosmos, His Son, His wisdom, His love. And, parents are God’s chosen vessells to deliver this education. This design simply cannot be improved upon.
But for those of you who truly need the state schools, or who choose to keep your children in it, please get into your children’s textbooks, into their cell phones, into their lives, and fight to imbue them with God’s Word and perspective on all things education. It will mean overtime hours for you, but God’s glory and your children are worth it.
And for all of us, we must remember what it means to live as free people. The Federal government’s track record in the matter of child-rearing is abysmal. They had no right, biblically or constitutionally to ever enter the arena of education. The U.S. Constitution never mentions education, and the 10th Amendment gives all “powers not delegated to the United States . . . nor prohibited by it [the Constitution] to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Interesting, isn’t it? But, the government of the United States has been on a decades long roll towards bigger influence and power over every area of our lives. They have become the “Savior-State” to which Americans look for everything. For crying out loud, the Governor of North Carolina does commercials on TV telling us all how to properly sneeze during flu season! Now the state schools are going to “grade” parents. Where will it all end?
Thankfully, whatever becomes of the United States, I do know with certainty the answer to that last question. It will all end up, one day, in an absolute monarcy. A perfect one, under the reign of King Jesus, the Lord of lords (Rev 21-22).
Until that day, Christian parents, my advice is if at all possible, bring your kids home and raise, teach, and disciple them yourselves. God’s way is still the best way.