News & Politics

NYT Reporter Fishing for Christian School Horror Stories to #ExposeChristianSchools

Hot on the heels of demonizing fourteen-year-old Catholic school students at the March for Life, the rabid press is hungry for more. New York Times reporter Dan Levin put out a call for survivors of Christian schooling to contact him with their tales of woe. “I’m a New York Times reporter writing about . Are you in your 20s or younger who went to a Christian school? I’d like to hear about your experience and its impact on your life. Please DM me.”

This was met with much skepticism and blowback from multiple sources.

Levin, sensing he had given away his punchline, pinned the following codicil to his timeline, insisting he intends to include positive stories too.

Forgive us if we don’t believe you, Dan. It’s just that the recent smear job of the students at Covington Catholic High School preceded by the smearing of Brett Kavanaugh’s Catholic high school have left us all a little edgy.

Levin also included a strange age limit, only wishing to hear from twenty-somethings. This, of course, skews the results quite dramatically since twenty-year-olds are notoriously left-wing and anti-religious. The Atlantic reported that beyond being left-wing, most people under thirty are downright socialists!

And if there’s one thing people are learning about this young generation, it’s that they are liberal. Even leftist. Flirting with socialist. In Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, more than 80 percent of voters under 30 years old voted for Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist so outside the mainstream of his party that he’s not even a member.

Levin’s desire to only speak to people under thirty couldn’t possibly have anything to do with getting the negative results he wants to print, could it? If he spoke with Generation X, I have a strong feeling he would get very different responses. But while we are on the subject of exposing Christian schools, why not go all the way? Let’s expose exactly what Christian schools have done to this country.

According to the last national study of public schools versus private schools in 2006, private Christian students outperformed public school students — by a lot. Perhaps that’s why the comparison survey hasn’t been repeated. According to the National Assessment of Educational Process:

In grades 4 and 8 for both reading and mathematics, students in private schools achieved at higher levels than students in public schools. The average difference in school means ranged from almost 8 points for grade 4 mathematics, to about 18 points for grade 8 reading.

The only private Christian schools that scored the same or lower than public schools were non-Catholic conservative Christian schools. Catholic and Lutheran schools outperformed public schools consistently and bigly.

This is not news to anyone. It’s why parents take second jobs to afford the high tuition. They want their kids to learn how to read and think — unlike public schools that consistently turn out illiterate children like in Chicago, where 79 percent of 8th graders can’t read and 80 percent are below grade level in math. If they can’t read, how do they pass any other class? When public school students get into colleges that take them based on “diversity quotas,” their professors genuinely can’t teach them anything but basic grammar, but even that is “racist.”

American University is hosting a seminar next month to teach faculty how to assess writing without judging its quality. In the seminar’s own words: “grading ain’t just grading.” They will learn how to engage students “with how judgements [sic] are formed and how those judgements [sic] use a set of White racial habits of language, no matter who the reader is.”

Sentence structure and grammatical rules are now a symbol of white supremacy. This is what parents who pay thousands of extra dollars to send their kids to Christian schools are paying to avoid. We are also paying to avoid the social programming, including teaching kindergarteners about anal sex and junior high-schoolers how to properly masturbate. Public schools waste so much time training children to learn an infinite number of pronouns to call the gender-confused that there is no time for learning basics like math and science. In Christian schools, learning about the 57 genders is not on the docket at all. It is a constant, non-stop drilling of reading, writing, and arithmetic (with PE, science, history, foreign language, technology, art, music, and religion squeezed in).

A 2002 congressional study of child sex abuse in public schools found that children were abused at a rate one hundred times higher than the Catholic Church scandal. CBS News reported

Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem, and the first thing that came to her mind when Education Week reported on the study were the daily headlines about the Catholic Church. “[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?” she said. “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”…[T]he federal report said 422,000 California public-school students would be victims before graduation — a number that dwarfs the state’s entire Catholic-school enrollment of 143,000.

Perhaps an effort to #ExposePublicSchools should be made.

I am a graduate of Christian schooling. I started in kindergarten and went all the way through the beginning of my junior year, when I transferred to a public school. When I got to public school, I was shocked to learn I needed to be placed in honors classes. I was an average student in the private school, but in public school, I was at the head of the class because I had already learned what my fellow juniors were studying.

My experience in private school can only be described as idyllic. It was a Dutch Christian Reformed school filled with sincere, underpaid, but loving faculty in the suburbs of Chicago. My fifth-grade teacher was one of the most influential people I ever encountered. I had troubles with mean girls for a few years, and Mrs. W was always there to let me stay inside at recess with her and work on writing or drawing. She is the one who told me I had a talent for writing. I kept my folder with all of my fifth-grade writing, decorated with her hopeful words, that I still look at from time to time. It is because of her encouragement that I believed I could write. I’ve been doing it professionally now for over a decade, including writing books. 

Christian schooling gave me an appreciation for life, freedom, charity, and volunteerism. I don’t remember what history we studied and I don’t remember much of the minutiae of the work (except one extremely detailed and extensive leaf identification project for science that took up an entire summer of riding all over town with my friends on our bikes to collect weird and different leaves). But I do remember the overwhelming lesson that we were taught every day. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. It’s why I don’t respond in kind when people rudely insult my beliefs to my face by assuming I have Trump Derangement Syndrome, just like they do. It’s why I don’t scream at strangers wearing Bernie shirts. I was taught to smile and say nothing, just like Nick Sandmann.

That’s what Christian schooling is all about. The academics are excellent, but they are secondary. The highest goal of Christian education is to know God and make Him known. To value children with character, kindness, and tolerance over test scores. And oddly enough, when you put God first and care for one another’s souls as the highest priority, the grades go up.

But the most important thing about Christian schools is the freedom they give parents to choose what kind of education their children are given. Our Constitution gives us the right to religious freedom and that includes having our children taught by Christians and not godless, secular government agents. We have the right to association, which by definition means the right to not associate with the kind of programming happening in the public school system. We have the right to pursue happiness, too, which does not come in a one-size-fits-all sardine can of educational standards that are seriously flawed and failing everywhere you look.

For my family, I chose homeschooling and then Catholic school, where they get to hear the beauty of God’s word every day and meditate on whatever is pure, lovely, praiseworthy, and excellent. If your happiness lies in public school, then by all means, pursue it. But let’s agree to leave each other alone to be free to choose what’s right for our individual families. Because if you start messing with our religious freedom, it’s going to get ugly.

By all means, let’s #ExposeChristianSchools. The public schools might learn something.