April 28, 2014

Schools in Crisis {Book Review}

I was in the middle of my first field experience/practicum in a low-income district, with a large Bosnian refugee population: There were literally children in the room who were getting their meals from the school primarly, and I nearly broke down the first time a seven year old told me that up until recently he had been living in a car with his family. I knew then, that this was a massive mission field and opportunity to do a whole lot of good.

That's what Nicole Baker Fulgam argues with new research backed by the Barna Group, in the book Schools in Crisis: They Need You Help [Whether You Have Kids or Not]. I'm not currently technically in the field yet, and already I receive an onslaught of peoples opinions and thoughts and stories regarding our country's public education sector. Sadly, too many fellow Christian are apathetic when it comes to this domain in our society at large: "Why should I care about children in public education anyway? Especially when I don't have children yet, or my own attend private schools or I homeschool?" 

My answer has always been simple: First, because these children, the majority, will be running the country in the future, a future you and I will live in. Second, education is one of THE best gifts you can give to anybody. And third, regardless of whether or not they share our same beliefs, God calls us to love them, and recognize that every single child in the system was made in His image, and therefore has value. I honestly don't see how a Christian could argue against that last point in particular.

Just because as a Christin in this sector I cannot explicitly share my faith, God does not give me (or you) any excuses to not do so implicitly. And this is something that I, along with fellow Christian educators are very, very, very passionate about. You do not have to travel halfway across the globe to find poor, in-need children, I promise you, they exist in the schools just blocks away from you.

Schools in Crisis is a compact look at how Christians need to start stepping up to the plate in this sector. The roots of public education in America actually started with Christian men and women who were passionate about serving the young. ALL of them. You and I need to help revive that. Recent statistics show us that...
  • 95% of Pastors agree that Christians should get involved in helping public schools improve
  • 66% of All Americans think that churches and faith-based groups should be given more opportunities to support local public schools

The majority still believe that Christians have work and a role to play in public education. That should encourage a great deal of us. Not going to lie, the book is not earth shattering in it's content, at least not from my perspective as someone in the field, but the book does give us an important look at how Christians can start doing more for this issue in small, practical, but impactful ways.

To Learn More...
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

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