Public education, which I define as taxpayer funded, government controlled, and compulsory, is a very recent development in Canadian history. What is also clear, that given the backdrop of human civilization, taking education from the home, church, or synagogue and placing it in the hands of the government has a very short history. As an experiment, we may see that it has largely failed.
I believe that public education, as presently defined and practised, is an experiment that must end. It has not produced the fruits that parents desire, and all too often has produced children who are more indoctrinated in the will of governments rather than educated for critical thinking and moral knowledge.
Anyone who calls to end the present system will be met with charges that he is anti-education. It must be kept in mind, however, that education and school are not the same thing. Public school and church academy are not the same thing. There are a variety of means to educate, but the family is primarily responsible. So insofar as public education now seeks to pit child against parent, it is time for the parents to once again take full control of their children’s education. Those who doubt this is true should remember that in 2001, parents were given a tax break in Ontario if they paid tuition to a private school, whether or not that school was religious or not. The Liberal Government does not believe in competition in forming young minds, however, and quickly cancelled the tax deduction when they came to power.
The problems we face today have been very long in coming. Public education has, from its beginning, been against a Christian worldview, and therefore set against Christian families. The moralistic lessons that were once taught in public schools gave false sense of security to religious parents. That day is past, and the mask is off.
Homeschool or private school: your children are your responsibility.
Please read this quote, then be sure to make note of when it was written. Could it be that we’ve been in this struggle much longer than we first thought?
“The whole development of modern society has tended mightily toward the limitation of the realm of freedom for the individual man. The tendency is most clearly seen in socialism; a socialistic state would mean the reduction to a minimum of the sphere of individual choice. Labor and recreation, under a socialistic government, would both be prescribed, and individual liberty would be gone. But the same tendency exhibits itself to-day even in those communities where the name of socialism is most abhorred. When once the majority has determined that a certain régime is beneficial, that régime without further hesitation is forced ruthlessly upon the individual man. It never seems to occur to modern legislatures that although “welfare” is good, forced welfare may be bad. In other words, utilitarianism is being carried out to its logical conclusions; in the interests of physical well-being the great principles of liberty are being thrown ruthlessly to the winds.
The result is an unparalleled impoverishment of human life. Personality can only be developed in the realm of individual choice. And that realm, in the modern state, is being slowly but steadily contracted. The tendency is making itself felt especially in the sphere of education. The object of education, it is now assumed, is the production of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. But the greatest happiness for the greatest number, it is assumed further, can be defined only by the will of the majority. Idiosyncrasies in education, therefore, it is said, must be avoided, and the choice of schools must be taken away from the individual parent and placed in the hands of the state. The state then exercises its authority through the instruments that are ready to hand, and at once, therefore, the child is placed under the control of psychological experts, themselves without the slightest acquaintance with the higher realms of human life, who proceed to prevent any such acquaintance being gained by those who come under their care.
J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, New Edition. First published: 1923. (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 8–10.