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Author Topic:   Homeschooling
Posts: 5471
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 34 of 51 (550082)
03-12-2010 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Rahvin
03-12-2010 1:33 PM

Re: Reasons why US schools can be lousy.
The No Child Left Behind Act was an attempt to bring the glory of the Free Market to education, with schools competing for resources and having funding cut if they didn't pass the tests.
Actually, I had a different take on it. In the mid-80's, through Bill Moyers on PBS I became aware of the Christian Reconstructionist movement (see also "Democracy as Heresy". Christianity Today 31 (3), 20 February 1987, pp. 17—23) and I have kept a wary eye open since then. Around the mid-90's, our church's magazine printed an article/interview with former fundamentalist minister Skipp Porteous, a private investigator who regularly infiltrated and reported on Religious Right conventions and meetings. In that article, he presented documents showing that one of the Religious Right's goals was to destroy the public school system and replace it with Christian schools -- they had a 5-year plan which obviously didn't work -- and that school vouchers were presented to Christian Coalition followers as being a key tool towards that goal.
So when Bush unveiled his plan, I didn't see it as being the Free Market to education, but rather I saw it as an under-handed attempt to destroy public education. Punishing under-performing schools with starvation of funding is counter-productive to improving the system; it is exactly what you would want to do in order to destroy the system.
My younger son was in high school when that went into effect. And, yes, his big complaint was that the teachers had to spend most of the time teaching to the tests, which left them practically no time to learn anything. At the time I was also on talk.origins newsgroup and one member reported that his daughter's school was punished by NCLB because, unlike the other schools in the area, they provided special education programs those special ed kids' scores had brought the school's overall scores down. "No Child Left Behind"? Bullshit!

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 Message 31 by Rahvin, posted 03-12-2010 1:33 PM Rahvin has not replied

Posts: 5471
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8

Message 50 of 51 (551060)
03-20-2010 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Taz
03-20-2010 11:40 AM

That link is to one of the two stories that Glenn R. Morton had posted of his own experience in which "creation science" had driven him to the verge of atheism. As eye-opening and thought-provoking as it is {*} and as much as I personally have recommended it many times in the past and still do, it does not have anything to do with homeschooling.
Morton also posts other "Personal Stories of the Creation/Evolution Struggle" at No webpage found at provided URL: http://home.entouch.net/dmd/person.htm, including the other version of his story. Among them is "Testimony of a Home Schooling Mother" at No webpage found at provided URL: http://home.entouch.net/dmd/mom.htm, in which she expresses her concerns that while giving the children faith, churches are failing to give them the intellectuctual tools to hold onto that faith:
(from Glenn's intro)
We talked for a long time about how Christians who home school act scared to let their children be exposed to ideas they don't like. They have a spirit of timidity when Christians are supposed to go out and take the world rather than huddle shivering together.
(from her letter)
Thanks for the info about your web site. ... , but the part that interested me most was the "testimonies" of people who either lost their faith or came to near to doing so. It seems in most cases the biggest factor was the shock of hearing evidence that contradicted their views--and hearing it for the first time! I think this is an area that churches need to address. Even if they want to hang on to young earth creationist views, they at least need to prepare their youth for the very effective assault by "facts" that they will encounter at college. (I suppose part of their reluctance to do so hinges on the fact that should they themselves examine the facts, they may find their own "faith" shaken. Of course, I believe that basing your whole faith in Jesus Christ upon a presumption about the age of the earth is a poor foundation for faith.
Even churches that don't support one view over another don't bother to address the faith-shaking issues that college kids will face: I can imagine many of those professors we heard at the conference skinning alive the believers in their classes. Churches do a good job of giving kids the spiritual tools they need for a fulfilling relationship with Jesus, helping them to steer their spiritual boat, so to speak, but they don't give them any intellectual tools. Steering the boat becomes moot if the the believer's boat is on the verge of sinking.
I am not sure why youth directors don't perceive this need except that perhaps the kids themselves don't perceive it. In the warm embrace of their youth group, they aren't facing many intellectual challenges and so don't even know about the minefields that await them. Perhaps the majority of youth don't plan to do much thinking at college anyway. I don't know, but from your website and my own anecdotal experience, I think this is an issue that churches need to address.
{* Footnote: Part of my development in studying "creation science" was in trying to figure out how creationists think -- I had actually started out thinking that once they learned that their claims were false, they would deal with that fact instead of the reactions of deep and vicious denial that I got. When I first heard about Morton was also when I first learned of the dangers that "creation science" poses for its followers' faith.
From the intro I had written on my old web site:
Morton's story was the first real indication I had that creation science destroys faith. At the 1986 International Conference on Creationism, after he delivered his paper critical of Flood Geology, John Morris of the Institute for Creation Research challenged him. Morton chopped Morris off at the ankles with two questions, the second of which was "How old is the earth?" To which Morris responded, "If the earth is more than 10,000 years old then Scripture has no meaning." Morton then said that he had hired several geology graduates of Christian Heritage College {which formerly housed the ICR}, and that all of them suffered severe crises of faith. They were utterly unprepared to face the geological facts every petroleum geologist deals with on a daily basis.
What I did not know at the time was that Morton was himself fast approaching his own crisis of faith, because the hard facts of geology kept showing him that the teachings of creation science were utterly false, teachings that creation science had taught him had to be true if Christianity were to have any meaning. Out of that crisis of faith was born Morton's attempt at harmonization.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Taz, posted 03-20-2010 11:40 AM Taz has not replied

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