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I've known Bruce Shortt for several years. His critics, and there will be many in the education establishment when they catch wind of his book, will find the truth about Bruce hard to take: He is an excellent home schooling father; from what I can tell, an excellent husband; and he is certainly an honest researcher into the state of school-by-government in America today.
Unlike many who carp about "public schools," Bruce does not believe that if he and his pals could just get in charge that everything would be OK. He recognizes that the whole idea of having the government run schools makes as much sense as having government run factories, farms, insurance companies, etc.
His critique is not aimed at the PEOPLE in the system.
His critique is about the system itself---that "public schools" from the beginning were intended to reduce the role of the family and increase the role of government.
His purpose is not to advise on how to "fix the system."
His advice is to parents: Get your children out of the system! Home school them if you can. If that's not possible, find a private school where the textbooks, teachers, and other parents will be reinforcing what you and your spouse are teaching your children.
Shortt lauches a broadside at the government school system. Some may recall that Mr Shortt was one of the sponsors of a push to get Christians to pull their children en-masse from the public schools. Although the resoltuin never passed Shortt was added to the long list of enemies of the DOE and NEA.
Shortt fires his broadside with a number of weapons, some from the Christian perspective, but most should be of issue to nay parent concerned about the childrens future.
While you can go about whether schools should exclude religion from the curriculum or not - this argument has proponets on both the Christian and secular sides, Shortt's most powerful criticisms have nothing to do with religion.
In my view the points made by the author are very strong indeed and boil down to basically the schools are "dumbing down" the curriculum, children are bored silly and many have to be drugged ( Ritalin, etc ) in order to put up with the hours of stupifying boredom in the dumbed down classes.
Shortt makes a good case. He argues also that reform efforts are futile since the system is structed in a way that will resist any attempts to reform any thing other than cosmetic features.
There are many fine works on the history of public education, and we don't need to go into them extensively here, but Shortt points out that the current system was modeled after the old Prussian system, Prussian schools considered children to be the property of the state. The state treated them that way. They were taught to be obedient to the state and their main purpose is to advance the interests of the state.
For this goal, real education was unnecessary and even counter to the overall intention of public schools.Read more ›
First of all I am not a Christian so I don't have an axe to grind with regards to that point of view. I do have an M.Ed. and 4 children 3 of whom have graduated from college and another in his second year majoring in Chemical Engineering and doing quite well. That said after reading Shortt's book here are my brief perceptions since some excellent reviews have already been written.
The book is very well researched and annotated with an extensive bibliography. The Christian theme is not overbearing and does not detract from the information presented. The points that Shortt makes are cogent and significant and validated by ample research and anecdotal examples.
The fact that Shortt is not a teacher should not impact on one's decision to read the book. Teachers have been indoctrinated by the same educational system that they are now a part of and very naturally participate in supporting a $500 Billion system which provides them with their livlihood. How objective can we expect them to be? That's like asking a fish swimming in polluted water to evaluate the quality of the water he is living in. (Assuming, of course, that we are dealing with an educated fish who can converse intelligently with us as well.)
The fact is, teachers have a lot at stake and are not apt to rock the boat and make any kind of appreciable difference in the system that they help to support. And even if they did, controls from the top would probably suppress it in some way that maintained an even keel in the status quo and made sure that no meaningful or lasting change in direction would actually take place.
Rather than rehash other reviews let me just say this.Read more ›
When you begin reading The Harsh Truth About Public Schools four words will come to your mind: "Thank you Bruce Shortt!" The reason for this is that this courageous Texas attorney unmasks the deceptive veil of public schools and provides explicitly clear biblical reasons to end your association with them n-o-w!
There are eight chapters and nearly one thousand endnotes of information to share with your friends who have not yet decided to exit the government schools. In addition to "outing" the curriculum (and the unbiblical reasons behind it) Shortt takes apart the ten most common objections people voice about exiting their children, such as:
o Our school is different
o My child is "salt and light"
o Our school has some Christian teachers
o What about my child's social skills?
o I went to public schools and turned out fine
Perhaps no objection more epitomizes the reason to exit public schools than the one that states: "I turned out fine." Implicit in this rationalization is the idea that "there is nothing wrong with my worldview, since I think about today's issues the same as other Christians." Yet, research shows that less than one in ten adults has a Christian worldview. This means that if your view of the world and current events mirrors the views of "most everyone else," your worldview is in serious need of help
Shortt also includes valuable information to assist you make the decision on whether to home school or use Christian day schools.
If you haven't made the decision to exit your children (and maybe even yourself) from public schools, get a copy of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools today.
May we all say, "Thank you Bruce Shortt!" for providing this most excellent and timely resource.
Buddy Hanson, President, Christian Policy Network
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