“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
— Deuteronomy 6:6–7
Who has the primary responsibility for the education of our young? The state? Local schools? Principals and administrators? Teachers? The Bible tells us that parents have the primary responsibility for teaching their children how to survive and succeed in life. Unfortunately, in today’s anti-family milieu, a growing number of the social elite think that the state should regulate what children learn.
It wasn’t always this way. When the Pilgrims and Puritans came to America, they placed a high priority on education. In 1647, not long after their arrival, the Puritans passed the “Old Deluder Satan Act,” the first law in the English colonies to require education. The law’s title refers to the Devil, who gets his foothold into people’s lives by distracting them from learning Scripture.
But in the early nineteenth century, Horace Mann, who did not believe in Christ’s deity, established the modern public education system in order to take control from the Church, where virtually all the education had taken place, and put it into the hands of the state. Eventually, the schools became almost entirely secularized, and real learning has plummeted as revealed again and again in countless standardized tests.
Often what public schools teach contradicts what parents want their children to learn. This is tragic because in the long run, God holds parents responsible for their children’s education. We as a Church need to support the young families in our midst to provide and support educational alternatives for them such as Christian schools or home schools. We need to lobby and vote for ballot measures that support parents’ rights to determine what their children will learn in school. We must do all we can to help parents rear their children in the knowledge of God.