With coronavirus keeping children home from public schools around the world, a growing coalition of Christians and conservatives is working to make sure that once the crisis is over, millions of children never go back. Instead, the coalition, known as Public School Exit (PSE), hopes to facilitate a massive exodus into the safe sanctuary of homeschooling and high-quality private schools.
Founded by a team of Christian and conservative leaders including this writer, PSE is working on two fronts during this crisis. On the one hand, the group is encouraging parents to try out true homeschooling — not government school at home — during the coronavirus shutdown. At the same time, the group is urging parents to closely examine the material public schools are using. Most parents would be appalled.
There are many compelling reasons for parents to protect their children from government schools, according to PSE and its leadership. That is especially true in Illinois. Consider that state law now mandates LGBT indoctrination of all children in government school. Radical “sex education” with roots in absolute evil, meanwhile, begins in Kindergarten. And that is just the start.
As this writer reported in February for the Illinois Family Institute, the government itself admits that government schools are failing children academically — with devastating results. College professors in the state, for instance, expressed shock that many of their students lack even basic literacy skills. Over two thirds of new students in Chicago community colleges needed remedial education even on basics.
Standardized tests, meanwhile, reveal a disaster of unprecedented proportions across the Prairie State. In Illinois, 2018-2019 test scores showed that just 38 percent of students met or exceeded basic proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA). In math, less than a third were proficient or better. And keep in mind, these standards are hardly difficult or advanced.
Former Superintendent of Public Instruction for Arizona Diane Douglas, one of the experts who serves on the advisory board of Public School Exit, highlighted the irony of Illinois requiring homeschoolers to provide adequate instruction in a broad range of subjects, even as the state is incapable of providing anything close to “adequate instruction” in even the two most basic subjects.
“God gave children to parents, not to government bureaucracies, no matter how well-intended the bureaucracy professes to be,” Douglas told the Illinois Family Institute, adding that the system cannot be reformed. “The government education system does not and cannot have the best interests of an individual child first and foremost. Only a parent can.”
Government schools, by contrast, are more concerned with “social change on the left” and making children into “human capital” for industry, she explained. Unfortunately, government schools do not care “about education for the acquisition of knowledge and the discernment of truth,” added Douglas, whose term as education chief for the state of Arizona ended last year.
Another key reason for Christians, at least, to consider removing their children from public schools, is what the Bible says on these issues. According to Lt. Col. E. Ray Moore, a pastor and retired military chaplain, God in the Bible assigns the education of children to the family primarily, with assistance from the church — not government.
Among other key verses, Moore pointed to Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Psalm 78:4-7, Proverbs 22:6, and Matthew 19:14, to name a few.
He also blasted the idea that Christian children should be put in government school to serve as “salt and light” there. “This is not a command to put children in the pagan and godless public school system,” he said. “To use Matthew 5:13-14 in this way is an abuse of Scripture.”
While some parents and pastors try to argue that children could serve as missionaries in government schools, Moore says that is absurd. “While there are some exceptions, the greatest missionary work is being practiced on Christian children in public schools by the secularists, evolutionists and humanists,” he said, adding that Christians should not be unequally yoked with an anti-Christian system. “They are winning over Christian children to humanism in most cases.”
Another founding director of PSE, Dr. Duke Pesta, is a tenured university professor and academic director at FreedomProject Academy, an online K-12 school rooted in biblical values and truth. All day every day, the prominent academic and educator with a powerful media presence sees firsthand the fruit of government schools and the damage it does to children.
Consider that in surveys of his incoming college students, he found that the majority believe America invented slavery. This despite the fact that slavery was ubiquitous throughout the world all across human history — at least until America’s Founding Fathers laid the foundation for it to be abolished not just in America, but worldwide. This misconception is a direct result of indoctrination at school.
Salt & Light Council President Dran Reese, also a founding director of PSE, is working with a national network of churches and pastors across a wide range of issues. But like other PSE leaders, Reese realized that if Christian parents continue sending their children to public schools — where God cannot even be mentioned, much less worshiped or glorified — the future is bleak for the church in America.
Indeed, one of PSE’s advisory board members, Dan Smithwick of the Nehemiah Institute, has studied worldview for decades. What he found through his research is that the overwhelming majority of Christian children from Christian homes who attend public school will end up leaving the church. The numbers are getting worse, too.
As this writer has documented extensively in a series on the history of public schools for The Epoch Times, that was the plan all along by the architects of the government takeover of education. Men such as Robert Owen, Horace Mann, and John Dewey — each of whom played a key role in the establishment of government control over education in America — hoped the system would crush Christianity. It is doing a good job on that front, data show.
In addition to encouraging and helping parents to ditch government schools for good, PSE is working to break down barriers that prevent families from making the right choice. One service offered by the group, for instance, is a list of vetted and recommended private schools across the nation, including several in Illinois. That list is growing quickly.
Of course, PSE leaders recognize that choosing homeschooling or private schools can require a significant financial sacrifice. But it is worth it, and with enough effort, most families in America can find a way to do it. In the months ahead, PSE will also be establishing a scholarship fund to help truly needy families protect their children, too.
The shutdown brought about by coronavirus has created millions of new temporary homeschool families around the world. Now is the time to strike. If you think children deserve better than the godless and poor quality “education” offered by government schools, PSE leaders hope you will help spread the word. Visit Public School Exit online here to learn more.
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