Vive la différence

Back to School | Despite pressures from the top to conform, American education is developing a healthy diversity

Issue: "School choice," Aug. 25, 2012

While Washington pushes for more centralization in schooling as in other areas, the exciting education story is that American education is becoming more of a kaleidoscope. Stories in this issue show how:

School choice, via state-level vouchers and tax credits, is finally breaking through after years of smashing up against brick walls.

• Christians teaching poor children in Nashville public schools are responding to their students' hunger for meaning amid misery.

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• An elementary school and a business school in Austin teach young and older students that they can creatively learn from failure.

We also look at changes affecting some of the spidery corners of American education:

• With charter schools getting good press, some standard California public schools are getting more money by merely adding "charter" to their names (and meanwhile, innovative charters continue to spring up).

• Some Christian colleges have followed the money, selected presidents who did not hold to biblical inerrancy, and devolved into Darwinism.

Vanderbilt University has forced most Christian organizations to move off-campus.

Earlier in this issue we featured Dr. Ben Carson's memories of how he went from worst to first in his class (see "Most likely to succeed"). On our last page my column tells of a superb Christian professor who failed in his bid for tenure, received 107 No's and one Maybe from American colleges, and found a haven only in ... Singapore.

Next month we'll look at how homeschools are pooling parental talents by setting up cooperatives, and how the National Education Association has lost 100,000 members since 2010, with bleeding continuing.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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