By Oredola Taylor
Under the control of the radical teacher and administrative unions, public education is now waging open war against the values Christians seek to promote in our homes. They diminish our parental rights and implement destructive ideologies and psychologically abusive policies. They teach racism through Critical Race Theory (CRT), sexualize children, and dumb down education through revised history, pseudo-science, and lowered standards. The damage this does to our children has become obvious with the rise in physical violence, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, gender dysphoria, and sexual confusion.
Many Christian families rely on public schools to educate their kids and are now awakening to the fact that we’ve placed our children under the tutelage of non-believers for far too long, some openly hostile to our faith.
As followers of Christ, we are required to nourish our children in their physical, mental, and spiritual development. The spiritual “food” we serve to our children should nurture their walk with Christ. For many parents, it can be an uncomfortable feeling when first realizing that education is, in fact, discipleship.
My Journey Out of Public School
My journey of realization started ten years ago with my oldest entering kindergarten at L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion (LNFI) elementary. It was one of the top schools in the Saint Paul Public School (SPPS) District in Minnesota. Despite instruction exclusively in French from kindergarten through fourth grade, with limited English brought in during fifth and sixth grades, the school consistently had the highest standardized test scores for math and science in the district. LNFI’s academic rigor featured Saxon math, cursive, music, and orchestra taught by a Ph.D. teacher, an excellent art program, a science specialist, and international French-speaking interns funded and hosted by parents to serve as teaching assistants.
The school’s creator and principal and over a third of the teachers were immigrants from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, etc. The student body was also ethnically and economically diverse. As a Black parent, I was particularly attracted to the school’s relatively low achievement gap: Test scores of minority children were dramatically better than other elementary schools and gradually approached the scores of White students. LNFI had a waitlist of students from both in and out-of-district.
Fast forward to now, SPPS identified LNFI as a school with less than 70 percent capacity placing it in danger of closure. I contend what happened to LNFI is not a story of mismanagement but is the type of outcome desired by institutions controlling public education. The overarching goal is to prop up the narrative that America is racist, and the problems in America’s educational system come from systemic racism. By having Black and minority kids excel, LNFI ran afoul of this narrative and had to be brought in line. Upholding the narrative is money; failure pays. There is more money in remedial and special education than in honors. The worse the education outcome, the more the shouts of inequity and racism, and the more dollars flow into the system.
In 2013, I witnessed the then SPPS superintendent showering attention on the school, complementing LNFI, and suggesting she might add even more grades to capitalize on our success. However, her actions told a different story than her words. She eliminated sixth grade; split kindergarten through fifth grade into two campuses; eliminated cursive, art, and music; downgraded math instruction; required the introduction of English instruction in the second grade (instead of fifth); and insisted children spell words as they sound, ensuring maximum confusion for kids trying to navigate phonics in two languages. She also lowered behavioral expectations and integrated students with learning disabilities into classrooms without extra assistance.
Anticipating the impending disaster, parents accused the district of dismantling what was working instead of extending successful strategies to other campuses. For this, we were called “privileged” and told that preserving our programs was “not equitable” for kids at other campuses. I was struck by the language, recognizing them years later as part of the Critical Race Theory lexicon. As it turns out, SPPS had secretly hired and paid upwards of $350,000 to Pacific Education Group, a private consultancy with ties to the Obama Administration and a Marxist agenda of pitting minorities against Whites.
Changes at LNFI and district-wide resulted in a marked decline in academic performance, and violence and assaults increased in SPPS classrooms. Like other Black and Hispanic parents that fled the district, I moved my three kids to charter schools in 2016. By 2017, the Star Tribune reported nearly 30 percent of Saint Paul’s school-aged children were attending charter schools or using open enrollment to go to other districts. But my family did not find relief. Charters are under the thumb of the same corrupt political and union-influenced system. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights insisted charter schools abandon behavioral expectations and ushered in sex-ed instruction akin to public schools. Physical altercations spiked in charter schools.
Open enrollment was also not an option. Critical Race Theory was becoming engrained in nearby districts. Not only is CRT racist against Whites, but it also characterizes Blacks as stupid, uninformed, and impotent without the help of our White, liberal benefactors. CRT is now in revised standards for social studies, science, and math, courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Education. In addition, the radical sex education curriculum is also mandated for all schools accepting public funds. Hence, the insidious trap to capture and corrupt Minnesota kids is ubiquitous, with one exception: private education.
The Unexpected Blessing of Covid
COVID finally got me to enroll one child in private education in 2020. I had previously rejected this option thinking I could not afford it. I was divorced in 2013 and working full time but had hoped to counter the influence of publicly funded schools at home. Thankfully, God intervened. I had no choice but to consider private school since I could not supervise an academically struggling ten-year-old through an online school.
I received a scholarship and saw spiritual and academic gains as my son undertook challenges like Latin, cursive, and rigorous math curriculum. By taking an extra job, I will be able to enroll a second child. He received only four weeks of in-person schooling at his charter this past year and fell off the cliff academically. I will work with the school to repair the gaps in his academic foundation.
In closing, parents should not ignore evidence or a hunch that our children are being miseducated through propaganda or lowered standards. Because education is part of discipleship, and we are instructed to disciple our children, those we trust to help us in this endeavor must agree with our Christian values. Don’t waste time and energy bouncing between schools or appealing to public schools to change their values. We should be about finding and creating alternatives. Money should not cause us to leave children in psychologically abusive schools or under substandard instruction. In addition to establishing Christian schools, parents are creating alternatives that truly nourish our kids, including low-cost micro-schools (one-room schools with multiple grades), homeschools, co-ops, online schools, and teaching pods. Don’t rely on a secular curriculum to feed your kids: “You give them something to eat.”
Oredola Taylor works as an engineer and project manager in the Twin Cities. The divorced mom of three sons became increasingly frustrated by Saint Paul Public School mandates to lower academic and behavioral standards leading her to finally take on additional employment to send her two youngest to private school. She helped form TheExodusMN to promote excellence in education and assist parents in finding alternatives to public schools.