Texas state Representative Joe Deshotel wants to use taxpayer money to pay kids who make good grades in school. Not every kid, of course. Just the ones attending low-performing schools. He proposed to use stimulus money to shell out $50 per kid per A for the “core” subjects — English, math, science and social studies. Students who make Bs would get $35 per grade and those who make Cs would get a mere $20. (see story here). Hmm. Maybe I should go back to high school! What ever happened to earning an education?
It’s just another case of the ABCs and greenbacks flying out the window. Our intrepid leaders continue to believe that throwing more money at the dragon will somehow magically induce kids to perform well in school.
What they are forgetting is that a person’s success has more to do with internal motivations than external ones. Why do I personally strive to do my best in everything I set my hand to? Granted, I have “Type-A” personality characteristics, but the motivation goes deeper than that. It goes back to what I am learning on my faith journey, and it is what I am struggling to teach my ten year old from Colossians 3:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
Also in education news today is another mark of a disturbing trend among school districts to effectively nullify the importance of homework — and honesty. Plano ISD is considering two separate rules that would prohibit a teacher from assigning a grade of “zero” to middle school students who do not complete their homework. Homework will be accepted at any time in the school year, and homework grades will no longer be applied to final grades on report cards. A second rule applies to students who are caught cheating. Currently, students who cheat are automatically given a “zero” for the assignment. The new rules require teachers to give these cheating kids another chance.
And how, exactly, is this “real-life?” How is this godly? In the words of Jesus from Luke 16:
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
we find that children who are essentially rewarded for being dishonest with “just a little cheating” will learn to become dishonest with the things that matter. I wonder if the biggest Ponzi-scheme cheater Bernard Madoff had teachers who let him off the hook when he cheated in class? Now he does get a second chance…if he lives another 150 years.
All this woeful education news makes me happy that I homeschool — but for how long will I be allowed that freedom? A state judge in North Carolina is in the process of ruling that a woman’s homeschooled children must be put in public school. Why? It seems her husband, who initiated a divorce with marital unfaithfulness, wants his children to learn science from a worldly point of view. His wife, who has been successfully homeschooling (her kids are 2 years ahead of their peers) for four years uses the Bible as her ultimate teacher’s guide. The judge stated in an oral ruling that the kids must be placed in public schools in order to satisfy the father’s desire for them to learn evolution rather than creation science. As Spunky Homeschool reported yesterday, why not let the father teach his kids science and let his ex-wife continue to homeschool them? Haven’t they been through enough upheaval through the misery of a divorce without forcing them into classrooms where they will be bored stiff (assuming the public schools will do what they usually do and stick them in classes with their same-age-group rather than on their ability levels)?
Another article in today’s paper makes me feel that I’m living in Nazi Germany rather than Texas. Several school districts in my area have begun aggressively filing truancy charges against parents and students when students have what they deem are too many absences. Some parents whose children have special health needs have kept them home at times — and the district decided to file charges against them for doing so. (see story here). The moral of this story for me is to avoid public schools like the plague. Parents who send their kids to state schools are freely giving away their rights to direct their own children’s education, and, in some cases, their health management. The bottom line is: if you don’t want the state to tell you how to raise your kids, school them at home or in a private school. We are becoming more Orwellian every day.
Be alert for the enemy in these days. He’s on the prowl, slowing turning what is biblically right into secular wrong, and what is biblically wrong into secular right. As we learn in 2 Timothy 4:
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
Today’s itching ears want to hear that morality is a matter of opinion. The fact that state legislators are resorting to bribery to keep kids on the right track is a big clue that as a society, we are utterly lost. We need the Savior more than ever.