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Departing parents give public schools a failing grade

The failure of public education means opportunity for other options to flourish


Departing parents give public schools a failing grade
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How woke can you go? Many parents aren’t sticking around to find out. As school begins this month, tens of thousands of students will newly do so outside of a traditional, public space. The combination of harmful COVID protocols tied with radical Leftist ideology seeping into classrooms has changed America’s education landscape. Enrollment in home and private schooling has increased at unprecedented rates since the spring of 2020, and there’s no guarantee that things will ever go back to pre-COVID days. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The exodus from public school may be the unpredicted catalyst Christians need to motivate us to retain and sustain our virtues and belief systems in a hostile culture racing towards destruction. The blinders are off, and parents are taking drastic action.

It’s happening everywhere. Public schools like New York City saw deep declines, losing over 50,000 students in the past two years. In South Florida, there are now 8,000 more students being homeschooled than before the pandemic. In Indiana, more than half of private schools have seen a large jump in enrollment.

Nationwide, private Christian schools specifically have also seen a massive uptick. The Association of Classical Christian Schools saw an increase of more than 9,000 students in the 2020-2021 school year. Moving to the suburbs “because the schools are good” is a dying trope for many families. Fewer Christian parents trust any public school system, as we watch even those in middle America succumb to the ways of secular insanity.

In Iowa, parents learned a public school district was allowing middle schoolers to bunk on overnight trips according to their gender identity rather than biological sex. In my son’s school district in Indiana, I learned of a new policy to punish and potentially expel students for repetitive “micro-aggressions.”

In more overtly secular cities, it’s even worse. K-5 students in Portland Public Schools are set to be taught that “gender is colonized.” Similarly, anatomy lessons feature graphic drawings of children’s genitalia and the abolishment of the words “boy” and “girl.”

Folks in charge of public education are religiously attached to progressive ideology, so much so that they are willing to bleed students and suffer an outpouring of resignations from teachers. My state had over 2,300 teacher openings as school began. So intent on affirming the confused “gender identity” of 14-year-olds, the teachers’ unions and liberal teachers often neglect their primary duty to educate through logic, curiosity, and rationale.

Folks in charge of public education are religiously attached to progressive ideology, so much so that they are willing to bleed students and suffer an outpouring of resignations from teachers.

Parents who never considered homeschooling or who can barely afford to pay for private tuition are doing so now because they dare not put their offsprings’ vulnerable minds at risk. Children, after all, may spend up to 8 hours a day or more inside the classroom, where their worldview and critical thinking skills are critically formed.

Some families are playing it by ear, sticking close to the curriculum, attending school board meetings—ready to jump at the first sign of derangement. Others have decided there’s no point in risking it, knowing that even other children in the classroom may plant destructive ideas. Extreme indoctrination has moved critics to cultivate alternatives, reviving options (like classical education) that breed positive developments for children to flourish otherwise.

Classical and other ideas of alternative education may come in the form of homeschooling, mini-school co-op pods, private schools, or even public charter schools. The larger the public- school flight, the better these other options will become for parents who want something different. When Christians choose an alternative route today, their children will experience a superior educational environment that will shape their minds and character with faith, virtue, and reason.

The nationwide shift will also contribute to a stronger fight for school choice privileges nationwide. For those who rely on public education for convenience and cost, school choice is necessary to escape public school depravity. Those with less time and money will continue to suffer at the hands of public school unions bending the ear of Democratic politicians and trapping kids in progressive ideology. The more families can rise up, speak out, and bolster classical and alternative forms of education, the more we can move the needle toward better options for all children.

Christians don’t have to sit back and watch the demise of our children’s education. Instead, get involved in the school board, join a homeschool co-op, rally for school choice, learn about classical Christian education, and make it a viable, enticing option. This necessary change will ultimately create better opportunities and begin to turn a nation away from its current path of corruption. What is more important than shaping the minds of our children?

Ericka Andersen

Ericka Andersen is a freelance writer and mother of two living in Indianapolis. She is the author of Leaving Cloud 9 and Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church & the Church Needs Women. Ericka hosts the Worth Your Time podcast. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Christianity Today, USA Today, and more.

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