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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Advent - 26 days to Christmas   Monday, November 29 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Voucher education

I'm sure there are still many excellent schools in the nationwide network of public elementary and secondary education, hundreds if not thousands of excellent dedicated teachers who serve as role models to their children and who also impart much knowledge and even wisdom. In any institution as large as our public school system there are bound to be thousands of such exceptions. I like to think (though I have no hard evidence either way), that Blacklick Valley schools are among the most stellar of the exceptions, and I behave according to that wish every chance I get.

But by and large, I've long since given up on the institution. On two consecutive days last week I reported via my Xnmp website two more of an endless stream of anti-Christian moves by two additional so-called public schools. In Cupertino, Calif., a suburb of San Jose where I managed an educational enterprise for several years, an elementary school's administration was sued by one of its own teachers for prohibiting him from using passages from the Declaration of Independence and other documents from our nation's history that mention God and therefore are considered subversive of the secularist education of our young—no, not "our" young, the state's young—in this post-Christian philosophical purview. And in Maryland, we read, elementary schoolchildren are taught that the Pilgrims on the first Thanksgiving gave thanks to the Indians for being peaceful, but no mention of God related to the holiday or the study of the Pilgrims is allowed, for the same reason as the Cupertino school has resorted to historical revisionism.

It's past time to put an end to this totalitarian, anti-God, anti-history, anti-human travesty of education.

And though the problem is highly complicated by a myriad factors ranging from teacher unions to the dominance of those unions at Democratic Party conventions, there is a solution that's so simple that one day I expect the general population will sigh an "aha" of recognition and take it to its heart. It's educational vouchers. In a sentence, educational vouchers would fund the children being educated rather the school and the children (under parental guidance, of course) would fund the school or, more aptly, the education, of their choice. Educational justice through the voucher system would keep the state's nose out of the philosophy or "religion" of the school and its teachers, and such arcane matters as whether the students or their teachers or teaching aides are wearing crosses, yarmulkes, burkas or any other free-expression-of-religion item of clothing or symbols.

In short, the vouchers would redefine the "public" in public education. There could be a variety of schools within single school buildings, with Christians in some classrooms for some subjects and Jewish, Muslim, and secularist children in rooms of their choosing down the hall, and all coming together for lunchtime and gym and sports programs...the possibilities are endless. And of course most churches in the United States have underused educational facilities available on weekdays, which could be pressed into use to provide more and less expensive classrooms than redundant new ones. It's a matter of recognizing that all education is in the social interest of the general public, regardless of whatever philosophical base it's standing on, so long as foundational literacy standards are achieved.

The US Supreme Court has already approved vouchers when they are directly administered by the family rather than by any religious institution, for use even in religious schools, so the main hurdle to their legality has already been cleared. The remaining "main hurdle" is public acceptance. But schools like those in Maryland and Cupertino with their anti-Christian policies and legal maneuvers are hastening that breakthrough, too. It's just a matter of time.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Signs of our times

On a taxidermist's window: "We really know our stuff."

Sent by Trudy Myers  

Advent thought for today

Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christmas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.

Charles Dickens  

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