Updated: Jan 24
Photo by Josh Hemsley
This is one of those blogs written for my benefit. You, of course, may read it. Sometimes it is good for me to read different people’s opinions and then put my thoughts on paper.
In a commentary piece recently written in the Wall Street Journal by Habi Zhang titled "The Coddling of America Children Is a Boon to Beijing", she talks about the focus of Chinese schools and how different from the typical American school.
Zhang writes, "Chinese education pushes the young in directions that serve the party and the state. Youth are trained to be skilled laborers ready to endure hard work and brutal competition. Such political indoctrination is taught side by side with math and science. American education is supposed to be about opening minds but appears not to fill them with much. Worse, young Americans are not prepared for the demands of being an adult."
Ms. Zhang warned about political indoctrination in China. From the Discovery Institute in an article titled "The Radical Reshaping of K-12 Education" by Keri D. Ingraham, he expands on this idea about the political indoctrination in American schools. He writes, "Scroll through the 1619 Project home page and you’ll find something other than straightforward historical content. Rather, in support of a radical reinterpretation of America’s founding and history, it outlines what Princeton historian Sean Wilentz describes as “falsehoods, distortions, and significant omissions.” Teachers are encouraged on the website to utilize the content in their classrooms, and a link is provided to access free resources, including curriculum, guides, and activities.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) wasted no time adopting the1619 Project as official district curriculum in September 2019, a mere month after its publication. The CEO of the district, Dr. Janice Jackson, provided each CPS high school with 200-400 copies in what she describes as a “resource to help reframe the institution of slavery, and how we’re still influenced by it today.”
At least in Chinese education the students learn to work hard and to exceed in school. These stats from US News. "In Chicago Public Schools, 25% of elementary students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 21% tested at or above that level for math. Also, 24% of middle school students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 21% tested at or above that level for math. And 18% of high school students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 19% tested at or above that level for math."
And yet, 75.9% of those Chicago students, 80% of who graduated from high school, did not pass the math and reading expectations for Illinois, still graduated from high school. Locally, here in Maricopa, the education results are similar.
US News reports Maricopa has a graduation rate from high school of 80.4%, yet 70% of those graduates have not met state expectations for math or reading.
I started Maricopa Christian Academy with the focus of supporting Christian parents in the training of their children. Daily Bible instruction focused on a loving God who sent his son to die for our sins is part of that support. Learning to serve in our community as a way of living out a Christian's faith is included as part of our Christian instruction.
A well-rounded academic education is the other part of our support. Our students enjoy an education in the areas of literature, writing, mathematics, sciences, history, economics, and physical education. All expectations are individualized daily for each student attending Maricopa Christian Academy based on the student’s previous days accomplishments and sometime failures.
From Ms. Zhang again, she writes, "It is a core belief in Chinese society that talent can be trained, so schools should be tough on children. Chinese students score at the top of international math and science tests." And she adds, "In China students tend to receive twice as much homework on the weekend, given the two days to complete it. How will America compete with a China determined to train the best mathematicians, scientists and engineers?"
The Chinese may work their students hard and may produce a lot of mathematicians, scientists and engineers. But so do my schools, without the brutal competition, but instead in a kinder, gentler and God-honoring way and with no homework.
Everyday my students work hard in class towards meeting their personal daily learning goals.
Many families have come to my schools because of our success with educating our students. More arrive at our door because of the solid Bible teaching.
A great education in one’s youth goes a long way in supporting our parents in the training of their children.