Removing our children from Public Schools : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Should we pass a proposal that encourages AME'sto take their children out of public schools and provide them with a Christian education?

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004


I read the same article you did about another denomination encouraging their members to do the same thing.

I attended a Christian school when I was growing up. Although the Bible was taught, the kids were still full of Hell. I learned how to pull more pranks in one year of Christian school than I did in 5 years of a secular school.

A Christian education can be had at home and in the church. A Christian education does not guarantee that your child will be prepared to enter a Christian University. A Christian education may financially be out of reach of most our our members.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

Public schools in the US suffer not from a shortage of money but a "deficit" of parental commitment, absence of student manners and a shortage of skilled teachers. Personally, I would like to see the AMEC fully fund and support a private boarding school comparable to Phillips Exeter, Andover, etc. where academically gifted high school students from around the country can study. Much like the above prestigous boarding schools the students upon graduation will transition to the top 25 elite colleges in the US and abroad. QED

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

I agree with all the above, but disagree with Bill that certain school districts do not receive the same funding as others. If I had young children I would not hesitate to take them out of the public school system.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

Unfortunately, he is correct; Districts do not receive the same funding. Here are two examples:

In Western Pennsylvania, the property tax funds the schools. You, as the homeowner/parent can allot your portion to whatever district you choose. Guess what? The distrcits must now compete for your "business".

In the Compton Unified School District (out here in Califonia, yes the same Compton as in "Straight Outta Compton"), they are using textbooks from the 1970's and 80's. They have 30-37 students per class. 15 miles east, in the ABC (Artesia Bellflower Cerritos) Unified School District, they have computer labs, modern textbooks, and a better student/teacher ratio.

They both receive funding from the State of California. They both receive funding from the California Lottery Commission. But they offer two different levels of education. Why? Two things: The lottery money is based on attendance. Guess who's cutting class? In CUSD, they have to pay more for things like metal detectors, security, and maintenance for vandalism, which takes away from necesary things like, say, textbooks.

So as sad as it is to admit, there are from district to district, different funding and educational levels.

Now, consider a private school. The cost is about $5,000 per year (your private schools, especially if they are faith-based, aren't getting grants or subsidies from the state).

Some of my co-workers have children in private school, and they are always asking for money (raffles and fundraisers). I asked why. It's to keep their tuition down. The parents/kids are forced to raise money to keep the cost of their education down.

I like the idea of creating a private A.M.E.-based private school that rivals Exeter and Choate. I would, for the correct sum of money, love to teach there. I'm sure many of the other educators/instructors on the board would as well. Here is the problem in three words:

Morris Brown College.

'Nuff said?

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

Rev. Harper:

My wording was wrong. I meant to say that school districts do not receive the same funding. I know because of where I live. My daughter's school district receives considerably less funding than neighboring school districts. It is reflected in the buildings themselves. The schools are overcrowded and the children do not have up-to-date libraries, computer labs, books, etc. It is sad.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

The question cannot really be answered so simplistically as "yes" or "no"; there are too many variables. To wit, what type education does the local school district provide? How much will it cost to provide the "Christian education"? Is the church going to pony up some of the funds for the tuition?

As noted, not all school districts are the same. In some states, there are county districts. In others, like Ohio, there are local districts. My county (Franklin) has about 8 local school districts and because they are primarily financed by property taxes, are far from being "equal". I think they all receive approx. the same state dollars, but there is a great inequity in the amount of local school district dollars.

A partial alternative to the traditional public schools that is available in some states is a "charter" school, which in Ohio are privately run public schools which are free from some of the regulations of the local school systems. Usually these schools have a special focus, such as science, arts, etc. Here in Columbus, the number of such charter schools is growing, causing some concern with the local school board because the state dollars follow the student; so, for every student leaving the local schools system, they lose the state dollars to the charter school.

Of course, none of these can be religiously based schools, but it does provide alternatives for parents to choose.

And of course,the biggest difference, regardless whether the kids are in public, parochial, or charter schools, begin with the home environment.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

Home Schooling is an option for those who perhaps cannot afford a private school. My daughter and son attended a Luthran School until they were in the 5th and 3rd grades respectively. We took them out of the private school to keep their heads from getting too high, and sent them to a public school; HUGE MISTAKE. Now my daughter (11th Grade, #1 in her class) is in a Selected Public School which is not in our District @ approximately $300.00/Month and my son (9th Grade, A/B Honors) is in a Private Christian School [Arm & Leg+ Firstborn]. The scholarships they will earn can make it all worthwhile I hope. If not it will be Texas A&M. If I had more children my choice would be private school, Christian or otherwise regardless of cost.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2004

Having taught for more than thirty years in Public Schools--both in a major metropolitan city as well as a rural school district; having also worked in both parochial (Roman Catholic) and private (independently owned) schools; and still serving as a substitute teacher in as metropolitan public school district;thus having seen education from all angles sand sides, my answer is absolutely and unequivocally NO!

Dollar for dollar Public Schools still provide the best educational experience anywhere to be found. In addition Public Schools provide social skills and produce well-rounded individuals which most private /parochial schools and home schools do not—skills necessary for coping with the real world situations and the society at large.

If religious/Christian Education is what we seek, the place to provide this is in our churches, mosques, synagogues and homes (not meaning home schools).

The A.M.E. Church or any other should focus on expanding and strengthening its Christian Education Departments and teaching at home what we say we believe. Thus, our youths can take these skills with them wherever they go including their matriculation in the Public Schools.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2004

I would be derelict in my duty as a researcher to not look at the data to test the statistical validity of the opinions proffered in this thread. Please go to the following link to see a comparative analysis of revenues and expenditures for public schools in the US. I apologize for it is not in hypertext so you have to point to your browser to view the results. Go to: format=2&SearchType=1&CurrentDistrict=4218990

I have also developed a table which uses a "pair-wise" analysis that groups an urban school district with another school district in the state which is less poor and majority white. Six districts are compared. This table also provides data on the 12th grade dropout rate for each of the "paired" school districts. In each case expenditure per pupil is higher in the urban inner city district yet the 12th grade dropout rate in the urban district is higher as well. Why would school districts which spend more per pupil also have have dropout rates 5-6 sometimes 10 times higher than a less funded district? Further evidence that money is not the key for achieving public educational reform. This table is available upon request if you send me a private email message. QED

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2004

At almost every Annual Conference, the Literary Reports give us volumes os statistics regarding the number of black men and boys that have been or are currently in prison system. It is a fact that black men are over-represented in the system. I contend that the problems within the public school system is at least partially responsible. I am not placing blame on the teachers but the rules they have to operate with. For example, our teachers should be able to discipline our children including coporal punishment. Most of the teachers I know are afraid to do what they know should be done. The Public School System takes all the authority away from the teachers, preventing them from doing the job we expect and they want to do.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2004

A professor of mine once told us of how he encouraged his church to leave the private church softball league they participated in and to move to the local softball league. This way the church was able to invite non members to join the team and also it had an entrance to minister and evangelize to others that were non christian. We must not withdraw from the culture, but engage the culture with the Gospel. He also mentioned how his children were sent to public schools for a similar reason. Many times we get stuck within the walls of our Christian culture and are unable to relate to the world outside in order to reach them.

Now I also realize that the state of our public schools do not make it that simple. A young man in our church actually dropped out of school and is taking his GED because the school he attends is not safe. I think that as Christians we cannot abandon the public schools, but we also must not leave it up to the public schools to be the major source of education for our children. We must be a presence in the schools and hold them accountable for how they shape the minds of our childen. It amazes me how other faiths are quick to object to how the school is insensitive to their faith, but we are not.

Also, I would love to see Christian Ed. departments produce afterschool programs which provided tutroing and Christian classes as am add on to the normal school day education.I remember as a child how those in my class that were Roman Catholic would go to CCD after school. We should be doing the same thing. In this way we could focus on using the existing system for what it is worth and then adding the spiritual component in a structured classroom format daily for our children. Public Schools provide both positive and negative lessons that our children need to digest, but it would be good at the end of the day for them to learn how to see what they are experiencing in school through a Christian worldview.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2004

During the tenure of Bishop Bryant and Rev. Cee in the Tenth Episcopal District, and excellent Private School was established on the campus of Paul Quinn College using the facilities of the Richard Allen Chapel, and the skills of retired DISD Administors and Teachers. The school operated for at least four years with many students from AME and Non-AME parents. Any AME Church with as many as 100 children should be able to establish a local private school. If the church starts with pre-school and add one grade per year, in 12 years you would have High School Graduates. By providing Pre- school and day-care open to all members of the community will make the Church elgible for the Faith Based Initative of President Bush's administration. At least one AME church in Tyler Texas now operates a Day Care Center. Parents with young children are paying more than the fees for a private school for Day Care alone. By operating a private school, you can go to a Quarter system and our kids would graduate 16 and be in college at 17. One of the problems with the Public School system is the fact that many of the students are no longer children but adults when they complete high school.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2004

My sons have attended Christian schools since pre-school. They are now 15 and 20 y.o. It was a sacrifice but the money was well spent in terms of the quality of the education and the values re-inforcement. There was discipline..something that seems to be severly lacking in some public schools. I'm definitely for parents putting there kids in quality Christian schools that set a high academic standard.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

Moderation questions? read the FAQ