'It is that government fear of theocrats that empowered Ohio Governor Kasich to force public schools to “partner with” churches to qualify for taxpayer dollars for public schools; or in Ohio’s case, corporate Christian madrassas'.
The second issue for today stems from this statement of FEAR AND INDOCTRINATION that comes with these strong words like MADRASSAS. Americans know this word MADRASSAS has been used in national media tied to Muslim religious studies and too often are tied to indoctrination to terrorism although that is NOT TRUE. When speaking of China's MAO I spoke often of RE-EDUCATION CAMPS and indoctrination so we are seeing a pattern of language forming in the US that has never been mainstream in speaking about conditions INSIDE THE US. So the second issue is this------authoritarian regimes, if they allow a religious sector use that religion as a tool to legitimize their regime. The corruption of our religion does not justify this partnership.
The dictator Hussein used the Sunnis to keep the majority Shiite at bay------the theocracy in Iran uses Shiites to keep Sunnis at bay------Hitler used Christian crusade ideology to war with Jewish citizens----THAT IS WHAT AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES DO WITH RELIGION.
It is common knowledge that Wall Street and global corporations are behind all this Middle-East unrest as they push neo-liberal capitalist markets on nations not wanting them. Bush manipulates reasons to invade Iraq under the guise of freeing Iraqi citizens from a tyrant while knowing these underlying factions would fight it out. Bush arms ISIS and now we call them terrorists.
RELIGION IS THE STRONGEST TOOL IN THE ASYMMETRIC POLITICAL WARFARE OF THE 1% AGAINST THE 99%.
Muslim and Hindu Conflict in India and the Partition of India and Pakistan
Religious Tension in India
India has a long tradition of religious tension. While there has been historic tension between Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Christians, and numerous other sects, one of the most significant, sustained religious conflicts has been between Hindus and Muslims. This struggle has raged since Islam spread into the Indian Peninsula in the early 700s. In the 20th century, this tension was a major factor in the partition of the British colony of India into the new states of India and Pakistan.
Conflict in Iraq Follows Centuries of Shiite-Sunni Mistrust
by Elizabeth Chuck
Iraqi civilians line up to they volunteer to join the fight against a major offensive by jihadists in northern Iraq, on June 12, 2014, in the central Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf. Fighters from the Sunni Muslim Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were, according to some accounts, advancing on Baghdad after over-running the cities of Mosul and Tikrit in recent days.
The Sunni insurgency raging through Shiite-ruled Iraq has added fresh fuel to a centuries-old feud.
This week, as al Qaeda-linked rebels known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) overran city after city, fears re-emerged that fighting between the two branches of Islam could send Iraq down the path of a sectarian civil war.
"The Iraq conflict plays out on several levels between Sunnis and Shiites. First and foremost, it's about how to share power in a 21st century state. The prime minister, a Shiite, has failed abysmally in creating a formula to share power with the Sunnis, the traditional political masters in Iraq," said Robin Wright, a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center, non-partisan institutions.
Tension between other countries in the region has also stoked the fighting, which revives suspicions that have existed between Shiites and Sunnis that date back 1,400 years, she said.
Is Baghdad about to fall to rebel troops? 3:30But experts caution that the ancient history between the two sects is only one element of the current conflict in Iraq.
"I don't necessarily think there's a one-to-one correlation between the historic doctrinal differences and what is happening in Iraq right now," said Haider Ala Hamoudi, an associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, who teaches on Islamic law. The fighting now, he said, arose more over a fight for power than the variations in beliefs held by Sunnis and Shiites.
What was the origin of the Sunni-Shiite split?
Just what are those variations? The divide is traced to 632 A.D., when the Islamic Prophet Muhammad died and a debate emerged about who should be his successor.
Both sides agreed that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad was his messenger, but one group (which eventually became the Shiites) felt Muhammad's successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other (which became the Sunnis) felt a pious individual who would follow the Prophet's customs was acceptable.
"The original schism between Islam's two largest sect was not over religious doctrine. It was over political leadership," Wright said.
Obama administration grappling with situation in Iraq 3:22Sunnis came to constitute the majority of Muslims worldwide, but in Iraq, they were a minority — a powerful one that subjugated the Shiite majority. When Saddam Hussein's Sunni regime collapsed during the U.S. invasion in 2003, it ended Sunni political dominance that had ruled Iraq since the end of World War I.
Later, when Shiite Nouri al-Maliki became prime minister in 2006, critics argued that he missed a crucial opportunity for peace by burning bridges with Sunnis instead of strengthening them.
Sunni insurgencies, fearing that the Shiites would take revenge now that they had power, took hold, and the Iraqi army struggled to stop them with no outside support after the U.S. withdrew all troops in 2011.
Obama: 'We Can't Do It For Them' 4:15"With the lack of the United States there, you don't have anyone who can be a broker and work hard toward inclusion," Hamoudi said, adding that U.S. troops' time in Iraq wasn't able to resolve the Sunni-Shiite rift. "It was too short a time to overcome these decades of mistrust."
What do Sunnis and Shiites have in common?
Both Sunnis and Shiites read the Quran, the sayings of the Prophet. Both believe Prophet Muhammad was the messenger of Allah. And both follow the five tenets of Islam: They fast during Ramadan, pledge to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, practice ritual prayer (which includes five prayers each day), give charity to the poor, and pledge themselves to their faith.
Their prayer rituals are nearly identical, with slight variations: For example, Shiites will stand with their hands at their sides, Sunnis will put their hands on their stomachs.
They also both believe in Islamic law but have different applications for it.
Whereas Sunnis make up the majority of the Muslim world, from West Africa to Indonesia, the Shiites are centrally located, with a vast majority in Iran, predominance in Iraq and sizable populations in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
What are the differences between Sunnis and Shiites?
Their beliefs over who should have succeeded the Prophet Muhammad is the key theological difference between the two.
Sunnis also have a less elaborate religious hierarchy than Shiites have, and the two sects' interpretation of Islam's schools of law is different. Shiites give human beings the exalted status that is given only to prophets in the Quran, often venerating clerics as saints, whereas Sunnis do not.
But the fighting now boils down to a struggle for power, not theological doctrines. On Friday, Iraq's senior Shiite cleric urged all Iraqis to join the government's fight against the Sunni militants who have taken over large swathes of the country.
"People who are capable of carrying arms and fighting the terrorists in defense of their country ... should volunteer to join the security forces to achieve this sacred goal," Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai said.
Richard Engel: No Clear Military Options in Iraq 0:46Nonetheless, old wounds still linger.
"Sunnis have always held power in Iraq in significant quantities," Hamoudi said. "Over the course of decades, through a series of revolutions, the decision to exclude Shi'a became much more conscious. They were feared as a group that could somehow sell the country to Iran.
"The exclusion of the Shi'a was not something that was just a historical accident, but was viewed as something that was important to preserve the state in its current form."
As someone who believes strongly that our founding fathers knew best when they advanced the policy of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE from the beginning of American history as they understood the tensions stemming from an authoritarian control of government then tied to a religion willing to be authoritarian as well. I have never understood the vital importance of PRAYER IN SCHOOLS. This one issue often is the main driver by religious institutions in needing religious schools. All religions have for centuries built extensions to their place of worship for extended religious education AND ALL THAT WAS FINE. The need to EXPAND A BRAND-----this is evangelicalism----is behind this race to have the most schools in communities---in cities----across the nation---globally. Authoritarian regimes always chose the religions most able to create that authoritarian societal structure moving our religions further and further right in conservatism.
Notice this article is from Ohio---from where the commenter calling religious schools MADRASSAS.
Many people say our public school system is based on a protestant ethos----the only thing I see is the inclusion of arts and humanities instead of completely trades -----it was that trades emphasis that existed before the Protestant Revolution in Europe. If this is indeed the religion division it would explain the movement back towards K-12 being completely vocational and with that comes the need for a religion that promotes this.
This article states more and more US citizens are wanting to place their children in religious schools but is that true? In cities like Baltimore where all public schools are closing and those left are crumbling and without resources parents are FORCED TO CONSIDER A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL as the only choice. Are they choosing religious over public or are those the only option?
Also, there is a well-known statistic we have heard for centuries----
THE MOST SEGREGATED HOUR IN AMERICA IS THAT HOUR IN RELIGIOUS SERVICE.
At a time when we are trying to create tolerance we are seeing a move towards the very structure known most for SEGREGATING AND CREATING INTOLERANCE.
"It was a Protestant consensus -- they thought it was an American consensus," said Haynes.
World | Thu Jun 9, 2011 12:12pm EDT
Religion, and controversy, always part of U.S. education
CHICAGO | By Mary Wisniewski
Pastor Charles Hudson collects Bibles and hymnals left behind in the Madison School, where Hudson worked with the anti-violence organization Bondage Busters, in Youngstown, Ohio November 21, 2009.
Reuters/Brian SnyderReligious freedom has always been a given in American life, but religious education has had a different road -- a path rarely without controversy as it tries to find a place in a secular and worldly democracy.
While a rise in the number of Islamic schools in the United States is the latest new trend, religious education in general -- and controversy over which religion is more "American" -- goes back to the beginnings of the country, historians say.
In America's colonial days, all schools were religious, associated with different affiliations, like the Quakers and the Puritans.
WE WANT TO SAY THIS COLONIAL STATUS OF SCHOOLS TIED TO RELIGION WAS BEFORE THE CREATION OF A TAXPAYER-FUNDED PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
Even early state-funded public schools in Massachusetts had devotional Bible readings and prayers, according to Perry L. Glanzer, associate professor at the Baylor University School of Education and Institute of Church-State Studies.
But the United States even then was a uniquely diverse place, and there were pressures to educate people the bridge their differences and develop them into American citizens, said Charles Haynes, senior scholar for the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C.
A consensus in the early republic emerged that schools should have a common purpose.
"It was a Protestant consensus -- they thought it was an American consensus," said Haynes.
That Protestant-dominated cultural approach was challenged in the mid-19th century, with the arrival of waves of European Catholic and Jewish immigrants who weren't happy about readings from the King James Bible.
"Catholics complained extensively about the lack of funding for their schools and the Protestant nature of state-funded public schools," said Glanzer.
There were riots, sometimes deadly, over the use of the Catholic bible in public schools.
The Protestant domination of public schools and the prejudice against immigrants in the later 19th century led to the development of the Catholic school system, according to Dr. Lorraine Ozar, director of the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness at Loyola University in Chicago.
So-called "Blaine amendments" were passed in several states after the Civil War to ban religious schools from getting public funding.
Ironically, it was fear of Catholics, not court rulings on the separation of church and state, that did the most to secularize public schools, said Haynes.
"The Protestants were hoisted by their own petard," said Haynes. "They were so afraid of Papist teachings getting into the curriculum, there were no religious teachings left at all....These fights over prayer in the morning that seem so small were big because they were the last things left."
The division of church and state remains, even though the mix of religion and conservative politics that began with the rise of Ronald Regan in the 1980's has worked its way into government funding for schools.
Parents now routinely pay to send their children to religious or other alternative schools, or teach their children at home, because they don't feel public schools reflect their values, or they want to immerse their children in an atmosphere that reflects their faith, Haynes said. The recent growth of Islamic schools can be seen as a response to those desires.
"It would seem to me they would be in a similar position to where the immigrant Catholics were in the 19th century," said Ozar.
The Islamic School League of America, a nonprofit that links Muslim educators around the nation, estimates that there are 240 to 250 Islamic schools in the U.S., serving 40,000 students, a 25 percent increase from 2006.
Voucher programs, popular among political conservatives, tend to redirect tax dollars into religious schools. Charter schools are also popular among school choice advocates.
But Glanzer said there may be a pushback if vouchers fund Islamic schools, given anti-Islamic prejudices held by some Americans and fanned in the decade after September 11, 2001.
There have already been tensions over publicly funded charter schools which offer Arabic-language instruction.
Haynes said that while religious people should be able to choose their own schools, tax money shouldn't support them.
He said that, despite all their flaws, public schools have played a key role in building one nation out of many faiths and cultures, something that should be appreciated in any debate about choices.
Public schools also are more accommodating of student religious expression than they were 40 years ago, he said.
"There's really only one institution in the United States where we learn to live with our differences, and that's public schools," said Haynes. "The less we do that, the more challenging it's going to be."
I showed above where tensions between religions are intra-denominational ----not only between different religions. If Americans think funding religious schools will be friendly if kept to CHRISTIAN schools then the answer coming from above was Catholics are Christian----Mormons see themselves as Christian----there are tons of sects within the Christian religion all thinking their brand is the best as we see with Muslims.
The article above gave the impression that colonial and founding fathers embraced religious schools and they may have because there was no government with a public system of education at that time. It became immediately obvious when public schools were built that accommodating religion was prohibitive. The citizen writing the article above is making the case for ending public education CALLING THIS A PROTESTANT approach to education.
Again, when I talk with new immigrants coming to America about these issues of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE----and these are very religious people----they almost all understand the IMPORTANCE of keeping government separate from religion and want public schools to be unaffiliated. Even our Muslim citizens having to do prayer several times a day often say they will augment as they understand the RELIGIOUS TENSIONS TIED TO RELIGIOUS SCHOOL-ONLY SOCIETAL STRUCTURES.
Americans with strict religious beliefs are not the majority----in fact a small percentage of citizens consider themselves ORTHODOX so why would we break down a perfectly functioning public school structure for authoritarian ORTHODOXY? Well, it fits into far-right 1% Wall STreet global corporate authoritarianism where schooling is simply K-12 job training.
Louisiana Lawmakers Object To Funding Islamic School Under New Voucher Program
06/14/2012 03:06 pm ET
520Muslim and Christian schools under a new education bill, according to Think Progress.
Under the bill, called the Minimim Foundations Program and passed into law last week by the Louisiana legislature, students at failing public high schools can use government-paid vouchers to enroll in alternate schools — including those that are private or religiously affiliated. The program represents a bold endeavor by the state to privatize public education.
Stakes escalated last week when, to the frustration of some lawmakers, the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans applied for federal funds under the voucher program. Republican state Rep. Kenneth Havard objected to the Islamic School’s request for 38 government-paid student vouchers, saying he opposed any bill that “will fund Islamic teaching,” the Associated Press reports.
“I won’t go back home and explain to my people that I supported this,” he said.
“It’ll be the Church of Scientology next year,” Democratic state Rep. Sam Jones told AP.
The Islamic School of Greater New Orleans withdrew its request for vouchers before the bill went to vote.
Critics have pointed out that while the potential diversion of federal funds toward a Muslim school generated controversy among legislators, the state was already slotted under the new voucher program to provide millions of dollars to schools run by Christian churches.
The New Living Word School near Ruston, for example, is a church-run school that had been approved for $2.7 million of taxpayer money under the Minimum Foundations Program. The New Living Word School was granted permission to take 315 school vouchers — the largest number for any school — even though it has no library, and students reportedly spend most of their day watching Biblically-themed DVDs.
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is also facing scrutiny, as two groups have filed lawsuits that challenge the governor’s bold education package, which calls for using public school dollars to fund private and parochial school vouchers. If passed, Jindal’s program would fund tuition for poor and middle-class children at more than 120 Louisiana private schools, including small, Bible-based church schools. Public schools, however, would lose a portion of state funding every time a student moves from a public to private school under the program.
The controversy over the New Living Word School and the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans comes at a time in which religious and secular tensions are running high in the South.
In neighboring Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant recently advocated for non-denominational school prayer “at some point.” The Republican Methodist governor said in his speech to about 300 high school students that school prayer would “let people know there is a God.” He said that although he would not take legal action to pursue the issue, he hopes that one day school prayer would be common.
In South Carolina, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and one of its local members filed a lawsuit last week against School District Five of Lexington and Richland counties over a district policy that sets benediction and invocation practices for school events.
The plaintiff, Matthew Nielson, filed the lawsuit after an initial letter of complaint voicing constitutional concerns was rejected by the district. The legal complaint indicts the district for “excessive governmental entanglement with religion.”
This rebellion against the alleged intrusion of faith in schools raises the question of whether state funding for the New Ward School and other faith-based schools under Louisiana’s new program will stoke similar fears of mingling between church and state.
When we have data showing the American people have for decades been less religious across the board----with citizens attending services once a month on average---why the push for public funding for religious schools?
This is not driven by American citizens---it is driven by the 1% Wall Street and global pols like Kasich in Ohio ----a very small ORTHODOXY coming mostly from the Wall Street pols using religion as a tool to create factions and to deregulate our public school system in a step towards making the entire system a global corporate neo-liberal education system
THAT IS THE ONLY THING BEHIND THESE POLICIES AND THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS TYING THEMSELVES TO THESE USES OF PUBLIC FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS KNOW THIS.
Polling and Analysis
November 3, 2015
U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious
Modest Drop in Overall Rates of Belief and Practice, but Religiously Affiliated Americans Are as Observant as Before
Is the American public becoming less religious? Yes, at least by some key measures of what it means to be a religious person. An extensive new survey of more than 35,000 U.S. adults finds that the percentages who say they believe in God, pray daily and regularly go to church or other religious services all have declined modestly in recent years.
But the Pew Research Center study also finds a great deal of stability in the U.S. religious landscape. The recent decrease in religious beliefs and behaviors is largely attributable to the “nones” – the growing minority of Americans, particularly in the Millennial generation, who say they do not belong to any organized faith. Among the roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults who do claim a religion, there has been no discernible drop in most measures of religious commitment. Indeed, by some conventional measures, religiously affiliated Americans are, on average, even more devout than they were a few years ago.
The 2014 Religious Landscape Study is a follow-up to an equally extensive survey on religion in America, conducted in 2007. An initial report on the findings from the 2014 study, released in May 2015, described the changing size and demographic characteristics of the nation’s major religious groups. This report focuses on Americans’ religious beliefs and practices and assesses how they have changed in recent years.
The share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God, while still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries, has declined modestly, from approximately 92% to 89%, since Pew Research Center conducted its first Landscape Study in 2007.1 The share of Americans who say they are “absolutely certain” God exists has dropped more sharply, from 71% in 2007 to 63% in 2014. And the percentages who say they pray every day, attend religious services regularly and consider religion to be very important in their lives also have ticked down by small but statistically significant margins.
The falloff in traditional religious beliefs and practices coincides with changes in the religious composition of the U.S. public. A growing share of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, including some who self-identify as atheists or agnostics as well as many who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” Altogether, the religiously unaffiliated (also called the “nones”) now account for 23% of the adult population, up from 16% in 2007.
Pew Research Center surveys consistently show that not all religious “nones” are nonbelievers. In fact, the majority of Americans without a religious affiliation say they believe in God. As a group, however, the “nones” are far less religiously observant than Americans who identify with a specific faith. And, as the “nones” have grown in size, they also have become even less observant than they were when the original Religious Landscape Study was conducted in 2007. The growth of the “nones” as a share of the population, coupled with their declining levels of religious observance, is tugging down the nation’s overall rates of religious belief and practice.
At the same time, the vast majority of Americans (77% of all adults) continue to identify with some religious faith. And this religiously affiliated population – comprising a wide variety of Protestants as well as Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and adherents of other faith traditions – is, on the whole, just as religiously committed today as when the study was first conducted in 2007. Fully two-thirds of religiously affiliated adults say they pray every day and that religion is very important to them, and roughly six-in-ten say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month; those numbers have changed little, if at all, in recent years. And nearly all religiously affiliated people in the survey (97%) continue to believe in God, though a declining share express this belief with absolute certainty (74% in 2014, down from 79% in 2007).
Indeed, by some measures, religiously affiliated people appear to have grown more religiously observant in recent years. The portion of religiously affiliated adults who say they regularly read scripture, share their faith with others and participate in small prayer groups or scripture study groups all have increased modestly since 2007. And roughly four-in-ten religiously affiliated adults (41%) now say they rely mainly on their religious beliefs for guidance on questions about right and wrong, up 7 percentage points in seven years.
The study also suggests that in some ways Americans are becoming more spiritual. About six-in-ten adults now say they regularly feel a deep sense of “spiritual peace and well-being,” up 7 percentage points since 2007. And 46% of Americans say they experience a deep sense of “wonder about the universe” at least once a week, also up 7 points over the same period.
These are among the key findings of Pew Research Center’s 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study. The latest survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 35,071 adults interviewed by telephone, on both cellphones and landlines, from June 4-Sept. 30, 2014. Findings based on the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 0.6 percentage points. (For a table of margins of error for sub-groups, as well as other methodological details, see Appendix A.)
As noted above, this is the second report on the results of the 2014 Religious Landscape Study. The first report, published in May 2015, focused on the changing religious composition of the U.S. public. It documented the continued, rapid growth of the religiously unaffiliated population and described the importance of generational replacement in driving the rise of the “nones.” As older cohorts of adults (comprised mainly of self-identified Christians) pass away, they are being replaced by a new cohort of young adults who display far lower levels of attachment to organized religion than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations did when they were the same age.
The same dynamic helps explain the declines in traditional measures of religious belief and practice. Millennials – especially the youngest Millennials, who have entered adulthood since the first Landscape Study was conducted – are far less religious than their elders. For example, only 27% of Millennials say they attend religious services on a weekly basis, compared with 51% of adults in the Silent generation. Four-in-ten of the youngest Millennials say they pray every day, compared with six-in-ten Baby Boomers and two-thirds of members of the Silent generation. Only about half of Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty, compared with seven-in-ten Americans in the Silent and Baby Boom cohorts. And only about four-in-ten Millennials say religion is very important in their lives, compared with more than half in the older generational cohorts.
Here we have the overwhelming drive towards the deregulation of our public schools----the moving of middle-class to urban schools largely underserved and what to do about sending children to schools struggling with behaviors tied to poverty. In Baltimore the poor students are the ones being schooled more and more in religious schools which often tie to vocational K-12. The solution to repopulating our US cities with middle/affluent was to BUILD MORE PUBLIC SCHOOLS so people had more choices but what 1% Wall Street is doing is ending public education by closing city public schools and then having this tension between middle-class and poor opening the door to pushing the poor into SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
This is what is playing out in US cities deemed International Economic Zones like Baltimore and I think middle-class parents are smart enough to understand they are being PLAYED BY WALL STREET in deregulating our public schools with all these corporate and religious charters. The goal for Wall Street is ALL K-12 BEING TIED TO GLOBAL COMMON CORE, TESTING AND EVALUATION, HYPER-COMPETITION for their global education schools so please stop allowing all these RACE AND CLASS divisions be used against ALL INVOLVED.
'Their presence can bring long-needed material resources to such schools, but, as Linn Posey-Maddox shows in this study, it can also introduce new class and race tensions, and even exacerbate inequalities'.
When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools
Class, Race, and the Challenge of Equity in Public Education
In recent decades a growing number of middle-class parents have considered sending their children to—and often end up becoming active in—urban public schools. Their presence can bring long-needed material resources to such schools, but, as Linn Posey-Maddox shows in this study, it can also introduce new class and race tensions, and even exacerbate inequalities. Sensitively navigating the pros and cons of middle-class transformation, When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools asks whether it is possible for our urban public schools to have both financial security and equitable diversity.
Drawing on in-depth research at an urban elementary school, Posey-Maddox examines parents’ efforts to support the school through their outreach, marketing, and volunteerism. She shows that when middle-class parents engage in urban school communities, they can bring a host of positive benefits, including new educational opportunities and greater diversity. But their involvement can also unintentionally marginalize less-affluent parents and diminish low-income students’ access to the improving schools. In response, Posey-Maddox argues that school reform efforts, which usually equate improvement with rising test scores and increased enrollment, need to have more equity-focused policies in place to ensure that low-income families also benefit from—and participate in—school change.
I don't like using words like creepy fundamentalists----but this article does a good job expressing how valuable it is for all religions to meet and talk within the boundries of our public schools. He is saying just what our history has shown-----integrating religions and not segregating creates opportunity to educate and build tolerance.
When a Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan breaks this public funding precedent by expanding private school and religious school funding with taxpayer revenue he is not doing it because he wants to give Maryland religious citizens choice---Hogan's first issue in office was creating pathways for Wall Street national charter chains in Maryland by building that platform in Baltimore---and this requires DEREGULATION and dismantling of all public structures around equal opportunity and access.
5 Reasons We Don’t Send Our Kids To Christian Schools (but you might, and should)
Recently a friend asked why we’ve never sent our children to Christian schools. She and her husband are weighing whether or not to send their daughter to a Christian elementary school, and since I’m asked this question a lot I thought I would share my response.
Thank you for asking my advice on this extremely important question.
Before we sent our oldest to Kindergarten my wife and I made the decision that we would send our daughters to K-12 public schools, and then upon high school graduation send them to private Christian colleges.
I’ll share why we made that decision, but I first want to say that when we talk with parents at CCV (we get asked this a lot since I’m a pastor and my wife is the Principal of a public elementary school in our area), we always say that we encourage parents to do what is best for their child. Each child is unique, just as the schools in which a family lives are unique, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to making this decision. We are for whatever works best for your daughter – whether it’s a Christian school or a public school.
That said, if all options seem equal, we have always been strong advocates for Christians to send their children to their local public school.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Quality of Teachers
A school, when it is boiled down, is a teacher teaching a student. And it’s not a well-kept secret that many Christian schools hire teachers who couldn’t get jobs in public schools. Of course, there are many, many exceptions, such as the incredible Christian school that my niece and nephew attended, and at which my sister still teaches. That school is a premier academic institution. But that’s the outlier. The teaching staff there could get jobs at the finest schools anywhere, but they teach in a Christian school because of a deep sense of mission. While the average teacher at a Christian school will also say they teach out of a sense mission, the fact is that they ended up there because (a) they couldn’t pass the state certification tests required to teach in a public school and/or (b) they didn’t have the interview chops to pass through the rounds and rounds of interviews to land a job.
2. Poor Funding Base
The second aspect of what makes up a school is funding. Simply put, public schools tax the area’s residents for their funding. Christian schools charge tuition and barrage the parents of the students for extra money through annual fundraisers. Christian schools always struggle for funding, and as a result have lower paid teachers (which affects their ability to attract the best talent), poorer quality buildings, as well as fewer labs, computers, excursions, clubs and sports teams. Some Christian schools make up for poor facilities by forging partnerships with local mega-churches, but most often they’re relegated to taking over substandard buildings that were sold years ago by their local public school system. The old saying, “First we build our buildings, then our buildings build us” is applicable here. Mediocre school facilities and programs precipitated by poor funding affects everything about a school. Fortunately some Christian schools find a way to escape this trap.
3. Both Have “Problem Kids” and “Negative Influences”
The third aspect of what makes up a school is your student’s peer group. A key part of the argument for sending your child to a Christian school is that you’ll help them avoid sex, drugs, alcohol, country music, and atheism by surrounding them with Christian teachers and Christian peers. That seems like a strong argument, but my experience has been that if your kids are actively involved in a strong church, and you as his or her parents are committed followers of Jesus, your child has as much a chance of avoiding these traps in a public school as a Christian one. Another poorly kept secret is that Christian schools are a niche for rehabilitating kids with behavioral problems, but they are tasked with doing so without the massive academic, psychological, and pedagogical teams of people in your local public school. That’s a recipe for unhealthy classroom dynamics in some small Christian schools.
4. Creepy Fundamentalists
One important reason not to send your child to certain Christian schools is because many are run by really creepy fundamentalist Christians who believe the world is 6,000 years old and won’t allow their kids to listen to satanic music like the Jonas Brothers. For instance, there’s a large church down the street that has a Christian school where parents have to sign a document that states they will allow their children to be spanked, because, according to their manual (which a former parent shared with me), “To spare the rod is to spoil the child (Proverbs 13:24).” Simply put, you don’t want your children educated by fundamentalist Christians who use dumbed-down curriculum riddled with false science and legalistic babbling. They produce cult-like, fear-based school cultures that do so much long-term harm to the children under their care that their existence should be illegal. Of course not all Christian schools are like this, but you have to be very careful and ask the right questions.
As I stated earlier, the path we’ve agreed upon as parents is to send our kids to public K-12 schools and then to send them to Christian colleges. That’s because we want our children’s worldviews to be shaped for evangelism, and our experience is that happens before they turn 18, not afterward. Cloistering kids into an evangelical subculture where they are taught by Christian teachers and surrounded by other Christian kids doesn’t force them to live brave, evangelistically passionate lives. Of course that can happen in a Christian school in a limited way. It’s not impossible. But I want my kids to grow up reaching their friends for Christ. If we remove all the Christian kids from the schools, who will influence those kids for Christ? And their families? For example, my middle daughter just graduated from high school. She attended public school her entire life. There are at least a dozen families that attend our church because of my daughter’s influence. She led many of her peers to Christ, many of which are now attending Christian colleges. The long-term impact of my daughter’s light in public school is having eternal consequences. It’s been our privilege as parents to watch this unfold, year after year, starting in Kindergarten. She now attends a fantastic Christian college where she is being mentored by some of the finest hearts and minds in the Christian community.
Do What’s Best For Your Child
Now, to be honest, we live in an affluent suburban area. The school buildings are new, the tax base is strong, and everything about the school district is done with excellence. If we lived in the kind of area where a few of my friends live – places where they worry about their children’s safety and there are drug pushers on every corner – I think we’d seriously rethink our strategy.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of what led us to make the decisions that we did. Like I said, every child is unique, and we want you to do what’s best for your children, period. A Christian school may be your best option. I just hope that I’ve shed a little light on why public school may also be a really good option as well.
Keep in touch and I’ll be praying for your decision.
P.S. – If you had stayed in the area I would have pointed you to West-Mont Christian Academy. They’ve wrestled through the struggles that I’ve mentioned above and have emerged as an outstanding Christ-centered, academically challenging school that’s second to none in our area. Most important, the leadership of the school is exemplary.
For any citizen thinking Wall Street global corporate pols are really interested in creating religious space think about how this article shows the current drive to HEIGHTEN THE EDUCATION ON A RELIGIOUS BRAND all while Race to the Top and Wall STreet global corporate K-12 policies including Common Core plan to standardize to an inch of our lives the information in lessons in all corporate schools so when will this added religious study be included in the school day? This is why I say religious schools are being PLAYED BY WALL STREET wanting to deregulate our public school structures and VOILA----away goes all those small business schools as global education corporations take all.
' “Often the activities provided for pupils, while enjoyable, lacked a clear purpose and failed to extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding,” it said. “The connection between the purpose of the lessons and the tasks given to the pupils was unclear.”
Religious education 'too weak' in Anglican primary schools
A study by the Church of England finds that RE is poorly taught in the majority of Anglican primary schools, even though most devote an hour a week to the subject
A study by the Church of England found that its own primary schools struggled to teach religious education.
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor
11:53AM BST 19 Sep 2014
More than half of Church of England primary schools are delivering poor quality religious education lessons that give pupils little more than a “superficial” grounding in the subject, according to official Anglican research.
A study by the Church’s education division found that under-11s were being fed a “narrow diet of Bible stories” rather than in-depth classes designed to boost their understanding of Christianity.
Researchers found that RE was “not good enough” in 60 per cent of primary schools and officially “inadequate” in one-in-six of those inspected.
It was revealed that Anglican primaries performed no better in the delivery of RE than schools without any religious character at all.
The study found that standards were considerably higher in secondary schools, where children “generally enjoyed their RE lessons and valued the subject”. In all, 70 per cent of secondaries delivered the subject to a high standard.
But a failure to promote the subject to large numbers of the youngest pupils will alarm faith leaders who have repeatedly called for RE to be given greater prominence as a core discipline in all schools.
It came as Prof A.C. Grayling, master of the New College of the Humanities, London, called for RE to be abolished altogether – alongside collective worship in schools – in favour of philosophy lessons.
Writing in the Times Educational Supplement, he said worship in schools was “insidious”, adding: “I would be loath to treat theology as a serious subject of study any more than I would so treat astrology or the divinatory tarot.”
The latest Anglican study – Making a Difference? – said the “key weakness” of RE in the majority of primary schools “was the superficial nature of the pupils’ learning”.
“Too often teaching failed to challenge pupils,” it said. “As a result, the depth of pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religion and belief was not good enough. Specifically pupils were not developing a coherent understanding of the key beliefs, practices and ways of life of Christianity.”
It said the Christian ethos of Anglican primaries appeared to create a culture that “sometimes restricted the breadth of learning about Christianity to a narrow diet of Bible stories”.
The research, which was based on an analysis of 60 schools, found that primaries did give RE a “high status” in the timetable, with almost all schools devoting an hour a week to the subject.
But it said individual teachers often “lacked confidence in teaching RE and did not have the subject expertise needed to be effective”.
“Often the activities provided for pupils, while enjoyable, lacked a clear purpose and failed to extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding,” it said. “The connection between the purpose of the lessons and the tasks given to the pupils was unclear.”
The report made a series of recommendations, including telling schools to review their RE curriculum and widen access to staff training.
You can believe a social Democrat in a southern, conservative city like Baltimore having tons of religious schools both K-12 and university REALLY sounds a lone voice in this talk against privatized and religious schools receiving public funding. I am sure that the billion and more Federal funding for Baltimore's public schools over these few decades missing in action often ended in the hands of religious K-12 as public schools in Baltimore began closing a few decades ago but this has soared these several years. Soon the only choices for public university will be gone as this economic crash will be used as an excuse to stop Federal, state, and local funding of our Historically Black Colleges and our University of Baltimore system. Then we have the Ivy League University campus of Johns Hopkins with MICA and Peabody ----and our religious universities. THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
This is the dynamic sought by 1% Wall Street global pols and without coincidence this was the structure before the Protestant revolution when extreme wealth and power were the only ones receiving the quality higher education WE THE PEOPLE FOR CENTURIES have received. I had a friend talking about these religious universities in Baltimore----as with all private schools they were filled with the upper-middle and affluent from across the nation and now going global as well.
What happens with all that valuable and beautiful real estate Baltimore's religious institutions own in a US city deemed International Economic Zone under Trans Pacific Trade Pact with a 1% Wall Street moving towards FAR-RIGHT LIBERTARIAN MARXISM? Well, with Baltimore City center slated to be filled with the global 1% and 2% uber rich -----we will need rolling estates for our billionaire global corporate campus owners.
It is amazing the presence of each religions' schools compared to the percentage of citizens in Baltimore tied to those religions. We do not want to assign this kind of lopsided power to what is not a mainstream public policy issue.
47.33% of the people in Baltimore, Maryland are religious, meaning they affiliate with a religion. 11.85% are Catholic; 0.30% are LDS; 11.42% are another Christian faith; 4.33% in Baltimore, Maryland are Jewish; 0.10% are an eastern faith; 0.55% affilitates with Islam.
RELIGIONBaltimore, MarylandUnited States
Percent Religious 47.33%48.78%
Other Christian 11.42%5.51%