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I read an article this summer about parents, education, and the government. Larry Donaldson, of the Carolina Conservative, really seemed to hit the nail on the head. Although this article addresses the public school sector, are there some aspects that are also true in Christian education? Do our children really need to have all those games and the very best of everything? This article seemed to reaffirm to me just exactly what my job as a teacher is supposed to be. But parents are the real role models for their child/ren, and they need to take that task very seriously.

Parents Need to Hit the Books
By Larry Donaldson

With the continued deterioration of public schools, why is the federal government so involved in the education of our children? What part of society has the government ever tried to fix that actually got fixed? Each year we review the test scores of students across the nation and each year South Carolina is near the bottom of the list in terms of scholastic aptitude. Does this mean the kids here are any less educated than the kids in California? I don't think so.

I, like a lot of others, believe the problem is not entirely with the kids. We tend to send our boys and girls off to the public education system, and then wonder why they are not learning. The teachers of today do not seem to have the same abilities as those of my generation but the teachers of my generation had no teachers union, which probably had a lot to do with that. On the other hand, we as parents may be just as guilty since we are usually both working outside of the home. We want our kids to have the very best education but when it comes down to it, what do we do to encourage them?

The school system in Petersburg Virginia recently was in the news with their school boards decision to drop reading from their curriculum. Now I wonder what planet do these people live on? If our child is inattentive, the schools want him/her tested for Attention Deficit Disorder. Perhaps the child is bored because the teacher does not make learning fun. It is my contention; the more fun in the classroom you have the more you learn.

We spend millions of dollars each year playing the lottery so our kids can go to college, but I would venture to guess that fifty percent of these kids are not college material. Shouldn't the money from the lottery go to the schools that prepare the kids for college? The government has standards for the schools to follow and in turn the schools get money from the government, meaning, "you and I." Are these standards helping our kids or hurting them? We all know it takes a village to raise a child, which is the gospel according to Hillary Clinton. President Bush wants no child left behind. These are cute phrases but are we as parents doing our part? We buy them the newest styles to dress in. We want them to fit in with the cool kids. When they get home, we make sure they have their afternoon snack while they play their video games but do we check to make sure their homework is done? Are we sure they know how to read their books? Alternatively, are we too busy cooking dinner and worrying about how our day went to be bothered with their life?

I certainly donít have all of the answers to these questions, and I know how hectic life is, but perhaps we need to take stock in our own lifestyles to insure our kids will prosper in their life. Education is one of the most important things in life and I do not believe the government knows any better than we do on how to educate our children.

Mr. Donaldson is a contributing columnist for and resides in Darlington, SC. He can be reached at
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