Polemics & Exchanges

On Home Schools

It was a great surprise to me to find something in the February issue of Chronicles with which I disagree.  (Normally, I find myself nodding vigorously in assent while reading each new issue.)  In his piece in Cultural Revolutions, R. Cort Kirkwood argued that the recent defeat of the intelligent-design crowd in Dover, Pennsylvania, should not surprise us.  He hits the nail on the head perfectly when he writes, “Public schools are uniformly atrocious.  They are blighted educationally and noxious morally.”  His later comments, however, raise some questions.  Mr. Kirkwood claims that private Christian parochial schools are numerous and that an even better choice is homeschooling.  “Indeed,” he says, “any serious Christian knows that putting a child in public school is a grave sin, given the crippling, lowbrow academics and anti-Christian cultural toxins to which such children are exposed.”

Perhaps the case is different in Mr. Kirkwood’s hometown, but the options are not that varied everywhere.  Private Christian academies are abundant, but they also cost thousands of dollars per year and are often not much better than public schools.  Christians have a tendency to take whatever courses the public schools offer and merely “Christianize” them,...

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