Virtual Voices

Whom do you trust?

Education

So did everyone survive this week? Obama's school speech debate over now? OK, moving on . . . kind of.

One thing that really struck me in this week's hubbub over the President's speech to schoolchildren was how many parents were so volatile about their kids hearing it. It seemed many did not trust their schools (public or private) to adequately handle the speech and any potential discussion.

Here's what I don't understand: If you don't trust an institution to do a good job of handling discussion in response to a 15-minute speech, what makes you trust them with the whole of your kids' education the rest of the day/week/year? Especially if those teacher-led discussions are on the origin of the species or the great classics of literature?

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My husband, Craig (yes, he of this previous WorldMagBlog post and this Terry Mattingly syndicated column), and I have always said we aren't opposed to putting our homeschooled kids in public school. We believe that, with parental involvement, they could get a decent education at the ones in our area. But what will motivate me to put our kids in a Christian school if or when the time (and money) comes can be summed up in one word: trust---in the teachers, in the curriculum, and in the leadership.

If my kids are going to spend entire days with other adults in these formative years, I want them to be with teachers who have freedom to interact openly in spiritual discourse . . . with curriculum that doesn't avoid hard questions and the accompanying hairy answers . . . with leaders who will challenge and mold my kids into leaders as well.

If trust isn't firmly in place at the institution you've given authority and responsibility to teach your children, I'm genuinely curious: Why are your children there? Is it for financial reasons? Convenience reasons? Other reasons for a season? What is it?

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