Category archives: Education

South Carolina: Learning Their Lesson on School Choice

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

Despite the sagging test scores in South Carolina and disappointing graduation results, The Wall Street Journal tells an inspiring story about one school that is raising the grades—and hopes—of low-income kids. In Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy has gotten by on a measly $160,000 budget, holding school in rented office space with a total of 42 students. As the WSJ tells it, teachers are either volunteers or work for a humble $8 an hour. “Only five students come from two-parent homes, and most of the students are African-American. Each year, [the principal] is forced to dip into her retirement account to keep the school running.”

As the state debates whether or not to spend a small amount of government money on school choice, the Capers school makes a good case for why it should. Despite Capers’ modest budget, the students’ SAT scores are 164 points above the state average. Each graduate is expected to go on to college.

As the South Carolina lawmakers debate whether to create a tax credit for middle-class parents and a “scholarship” for poor students in failing schools, we urge them to look no further than Capers, where a small investment is paying dividends in the future of our next generation.

Federal Judge: No Room for Parents in the Classroom

by Tony Perkins

February 27, 2007

According to a federal judge, public schools—not parents—have the right to control the curriculum to which children are exposed. Joseph and Robin Wirthlin sued Lexington, Massachusetts schools for allowing their son’s second-grade teacher to read the homosexual fairy tale, King and King, to the class without prior notice to the Wirthlins. A couple FRC interviewed for Liberty Sunday, Tonia and David Parker, joined the suit when their son brought home a book about families that included two gay adults. Judge Mark Wolf sided with the school, saying, “…Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become productive citizens in our democracy.” Wolf continued by saying that if parents don’t agree with the curriculum, they are welcome to send their kids to a private school. “It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation.”

Clearly, this is not about diversity but a political agenda. Massachusetts law on homosexual marriages was imposed by judicial decree and is far from settled. The government seems bent on overpowering parents and dictating what’s in the best interest of children. At the very least, the Parkers, Wirthlins and others deserved to be informed about the content of the curriculum and to have their kids exempted from lessons that violate their moral beliefs. School administrators argued that the books did not focus on human sexuality but family structures. If they truly believe that, Lexington officials must be living in the very fairy tales their schools are promoting.

It’s no wonder America is failing miserably to keep up with international test scores. Public schools are consumed with teaching not the basics reading and writing but the chic and the radical. Both couples will appeal the case to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, where we can only hope that the inherent authority of parents will fare better.

Hint: They’re On Each Side of Iran…

by Family Research Council

February 23, 2007

Dr. Steven Taylor, associate professor of political science at Troy University, is depressed by his student’s lack of geographic knowledge:

Out of 16 students in my general studies World Politics class only 1 could identify Iraq and Afghanistan on a blank map on their exam. One other student found Iraq and another correctly located Afghanistan.

Pardon me while I go weep quietly in the corner.

Well, it’s not exactly as if those countries have been in the news lately. Perhaps we just need more globes in the classroom — or more military veterans.