The Founder’s Bible referenced Noah Webster, who is called the schoolmaster to America and who is famous for the American Dictionary of the English Language. This well-respected Founder of our nation wrote, “Any system of education…which limits instruction to the arts and sciences and rejects the aids of religion in forming the characters of citizens, is essentially defective. In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed.” How far have we come from this?
Our nation continually tries to get a grasp on why our kids fall behind. We grapple with violence in schools, teachers’ sexual abuse of the students, the bullying among the students, and the disrespect and classroom misbehavior toward our teachers. The problems are evident, and the culprit is universally declared to be lack of funding. The result? We add more money each year hoping this will solve the problem along with catchy new slogans. Has this worked? No.
We have amazing teachers in our educational system and visionaries in administration. The American spirit is at work but it has been handicapped by the true problem which lies in the heart of each child and adult involved. One of the reasons people are leaving public schools is because of the prohibition to let students open a Bible, learn a verse, say a prayer, or repeat the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Let’s regain these Biblical values and teach them to our children. The longing for utopia may not be realized, but we will be moving in that direction.
With regard to funding, the United States is 4th in the world on what we spend on education. Do you know who the top three are? You’d be surprised – Norway, Switzerland, and Austria. What do they have to show for it? The issue isn’t spending, the average teacher pay in Texas is $57,000. Some are making $90,000. We hear that we need to pay them more because they are having to work extra jobs to make ends meet. Some truly are, but most are not. We need to pay teachers, give them deserved pay raises, and reward them; but money to teachers isn’t the problem in our educational system. The majority have great buildings, resources, and teachers, so why are the kids struggling? Could it be the student? If the student doesn’t want to learn or isn’t motivated to learn, and if the student doesn’t have the parental support and encouragement at home, what good are we doing? The Asian cultures do so well because there is the motivation and push at home for their children to do well.
When the kids at the Church I pastor were struggling with their grades, I asked them to stand. I offered them $2 for every A and $20 for all A’s. Do you know what happened? Their grades increased greatly. Why? Because they were motivated. We need to find better ways to fix our educational system. It is a comprehensive approach – one is return the hearts of these kids to the Lord, accountability to Him. Two – we need to instill in them respect for their parents, their teachers, and their elders. Three – we need to find better ways to motivate them to excel. Four – we need to encourage parents to work with their kids. Five – we should give them homework. Homework? Yes, many schools quit sending homework home because they said the kids wouldn’t do it. Since when did the kids dictate what they will do and what they won’t. When we give in to what the child desires, we give them authority that they are not ready to possess. Learning requires repetition, repetition comes through homework and tests.
Biblical support – Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Pastor Johnny Teague is running for Congress in the 9th Congressional District of Texas. For more see Johnny Teague On The Issues.