Friday, July 10, 2015

A Real Education on The Founding of Schools in America.



I began yesterday's post about the foundation of our great nation and in discussing it's Christian principles, I alluded to the fact that today I would be talking about public schools and how they were first formed and found myself getting an education but also an enlightenment on where things began to go wrong, and trust me history doesn't lie. The moment we began to question removing God and the Bible from our schools, our children and society have suffered. But don't take my word on it, see for yourself. 

As far back as 1680, the basis for teaching students and what would become the standards for public school was a little known called The New England Primer. It was the number one text book used for early America. (You can still pick up a copy by the way on Amazon.)

The mode of education at that time until you went to college for children was home schooling. There was no public schools back then, but there was a home school standard used in all homes. The New England Primer. One of the most interesting things is that the alphabet was taught using simple memories verses derived from the Bible. Children were learning the Bible by learning the alphabet in early America in homes.

A - In Adam's Fall we sinned all.
B - They life demand, God's book attend.
P - Peter denies His Lord and cries.
S - Samuel anoints whom God appoints.

By 1780's, most American's could read and write more than those in Europe. In Europe, only the high class or wealthy could be educated. It was illegal in Europe and American to teach your slave to read and write, because they were afraid that if they learned, they would be educated and want their freedom.

Most of our founding fathers by the way, refused to have slaves. Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, we just a few. Most simply inherited them from their families and this began the disruption of the slave trade. Thomas Jefferson taught his slaves anyways, despite the law, because he believed that one day, they would be set free.

Before schools could be built, however, church buildings were used during the mid week to allow children to come together and for a more standardized instruction to be facilitated in the early `800's. The Puritans believed that learning to read was critical for understanding and being able to read the Bible. They felt it was not only a religious duty but an obligation.  However since most one room school houses couldn't address all families especially those living on the outlying areas that children were needed to help provide for their families on the farms, Thomas Jefferson addressed this need in the Constitution, putting the schools in the hands of local cities and states to help provide an equal education for all, even though at this time, education for all would still be evolving. Those laws wouldn't come until the 19th century.

It wasn't until the Second Great Awakening that people like Horace Mann pushed for a traditional education system that would be the birth for what we have today, creating grade levels, common standards and mandatory attendance so everyone had the right to an education. It is interesting to note that in 1844 there was an argument to remove the Bibles from the classrooms but the Supreme Court overturned that verdict and order that Americans be taught Christianity using the Bible (Videl v. Girard).

In 1890- The Supreme Court also ruled that America is a "religious people...this is a Christian nation" as such as it is fitting that its people would teach their children the Christian faith.(The Trinity Case). In 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was written for children to recite in school. The American Teachers Union declared that teachers should continue to teach morals from the Bible and many state Constitutions mandated the teaching of religion, morals and knowledge.

Of the first 108 colleges and universities in America, 106 were Christian schools. Of the first 126 colleges, 123 were Christian with ones like Yale, Harvard, Princeton being based on their Christian principles which sadly they have long since died away. In 1925, Florida legislators passed a law requiring the daily reading of the Bible in school. But the tide began to change and soon public school and religion were under attack from those that felt it should be removed.

It is interesting to note that in 2008, a study was conducted and found that Christian schools and home schools produce students with higher academic test results than those over secular public schools. Just goes to show you how far we as a once blessed nation have truly fallen in our moral values and the education we place on our children. Something that is missing from teaching our children the history of this great country.

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