The Harsh Truth about Public Schools

So what is this book about? It is about the many ways in which government schools are hazardous to children, and especially Christian children. Christian parents need to see government schools for what they really are, not for what they claim to be or for what they once were. This book is about why government schools are unreformable -- why they cannot and should not be expected to provide the Christian education that the Bible enjoins Christian parents to provide their children.

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Bruce Shortt attended public schools through 12th grade; his mother was public school nurse; and, both of his grandmothers were public school teachers. His is a graduate of Harvard Law School, has a Ph.D. from Stanford University, was a Fulbright Scholar, and serves on the boards of directors of the Houston Ebony Music Society and the Exodus Mandate. He is a member of the North Oaks Baptist Church and currently practices law in Houston, Texas, where he resides with his wife and homeschool their sons. Mr. Shortt and T.C. Pinckney were co-sponsors of the Christian Education Resolution that was submitted for consideration at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Harsh Truth About Government Schools

Bruce Shortt has written what may be this decade’s definitive critique of the government-sponsored school system in this country. Shortt is a member of the South Carolina-based Exodus Mandate network. Along with T. C. Pinckney (who penned the forward) he was one of the co-sponsors of the recent resolution put before the Southern Baptist Convention to remove Christian children from government schools. The resolution was not adopted, but drew nationwide attention to the issue of our rapidly deteriorating government schools. Shortt’s book is aimed primarily at Christian parents, but can be read and appreciated by non-Christians.

Addressing Christian parents, Shortt contends that they are out of excuses. He cites Nehemiah Institute results on how teenagers raised in Christian homes but graduating from government schools tend to abandon Christianity within a couple of years of starting college, many never to return. He has answers for parents who say they don’t have the time or money or other resources to homeschool, or who believe their children are "the salt of the earth" and need to remain in a government school. Parents can homeschool around work schedules. Shortt cites a case of a working single parent he knows personally from his church who has successfully homeschooled five children. If she can do it, he says, anyone can. No one, of course, says that homeschooling is necessarily easy. It is a major commitment. But there are now countless resources available for the homeschooler to draw upon. Most states have organizations to assist homeschooling parents. Finally, many churches are getting involved. Some are starting up private Christian schools – which makes perfect sense given that church buildings frequently stand empty during all five days of the regular workweek!

By Steve Yates