Christian Education Awareness Network (CEANet)

Presents a Book:

The Harsh Truth About Public Schools

by Bruce N. Shortt

ISBN 1-891375-23-7

Chalcedon Foundation
Vallecito, California

Table of Contents




Chapter One: Why Are You Educating Your Children at a Pagan Seminary?

Chapter Two: Do You Like Your Daughterís Nose-ring and Tongue Stud?

Chapter Three: My Child Is On the Honor Roll

Chapter Four: A Blackboard Jungle

Chapter Five: School Reform: A Popular Delusion

Chapter Six: Government Schools: The Wages of Christian Sin

Chapter Seven: Are Your Children Unequally Yoked?

Chapter Eight: Leading Your Children into the Promised Land of Homeschooling 
and Christian Schools


A Note on Endnotes and Finding Web Pages




T.C. Pinckney

Bruce Shorttís book, The Harsh Truth about Public Schools, combines a sound Biblical basis, rigorous research, straightforward, easily read language, and eminently sound reasoning. Whether one is a parent or parent-to-be, pastor, church staff member, or educator, this book has much to offer. It is based, first of all, upon a clear understanding of Godís educational mandate to parents. Its second foundation is a thoroughly documented description of the inescapably anti-Christian thrust of any governmental school system and the inevitable results: moral relativism (no fixed standards), academic dumbing down, far-left programs, near absence of discipline, and the persistent but pitiable rationalizations offered by government education  professionals.

Chapter 6 may prove to be especially enlightening, for it provides a brief review of education in America from Pilgrim days, through founding of the first governmental school system in Massachusetts in the 1830s, up to more recent court decisions, and ends with a demonstration of the hopelessness of even well-meant governmental "school reform" programs.

Chapter 7 effectively explodes the excuses so often given for leaving Christian children in the governmentís "spiritually, morally, and academically corrosive" schools. It would be helpful to read this chapter at least twice. Odds are you will want to discuss its points with more than one family member and other Christians.

The last chapter discusses the advantages and effectiveness of truly Christian schools and homeschooling, and provides numerous sources of further information, many as convenient as the Internet. By this point Shortt will have piqued your interest in alternatives to government schools, so you will really appreciate this help.

Let me close with a quote from Chapter 6: "A Christian education must impart a Christian worldview in which the sovereignty of God and the central role of Jesus Christ in human history and affairs are understood by every Christian child." Do you really think it is possible for a child to receive such an education in a governmental school?

T. C. Pinckney was raised in Charleston, SC, and graduated from The Citadel. Entering the Air Force in 1951, during his career he flew the F-94b, F-86d, F and RF-4. In Viet Nam he flew 189 combat missions. He rose to the rank of Brigadier General. After receiving an MA in International Relations, he taught Political Science at the Air Force Academy, attended the National War College, and had assignments in the Air Staff, State Department, National Security Council staff, and the staff of the Secretary of Defense.  T. C. has, since retirement, been active in Southern Baptist life having served on the SBC Executive Committee, chaired the Committee on Nominations and the Order of Business Committee, and as Second Vice President. Since 1988 he has been editor of The Baptist Banner, a newsletter for conservative Southern Baptists.


"The end result of all education is a worldview&ldots;. That worldview is either man-centered or God-centered." Glen Schultz [1] 
Like the mountains of ice that yearly find their way into our northern and southern seas, the chapters of this book reveal only a small part of the reality that underlies each of them. The evidence of the destructive effects of government schools on our children is all around us. That evidence, which is indeed mountainous, has been developed and chronicled over many years by innumerable journalists and scholars.

What is novel in these pages are not the facts. They have been very ably reported by a host of others. Instead, this book synthesizes and condenses their vast labors to reveal what I would delicately term our "government school problem."

You will notice that I have included many endnotes. They are there to point you in the direction of sources that can provide a deeper understanding of how profoundly damaging government schools are to children, and especially Christian children. While you are free to ignore the notes, I hope that you will at least look at a few of them. Even a cursory acquaintance with the work of John Ankerberg, George Barna, Samuel Blumenfeld, Craig Branch, Peter Breggin, Peter Brimelow, Andrew J. Coulson, John Taylor Gatto, Charles Leslie Glenn, Jr., Martin Gross, Philip Hamburger, Lloyd Jorgenson, Myron Lieberman, Joyce Milton, E. Ray Moore, Jr., Judith A. Reisman, Rousas J. Rushdoony, Glen Schultz, Christina Hoff-Sommers, Thomas Sowell, Charles Sykes, John Weldon, and Martin Morse Wooster (to name a few) will show you that in every area the problems are far deeper and more entrenched than space, or a readerís patience, will allow me to present. Of course, the fact that I am deeply grateful for the efforts of the scholars and journalists I cite should not be construed as suggesting that any of them would approve of this book in any respect.

You should also know that this book doesn'tít have to be read chapter by chapter from beginning to end. Each chapter can be read on its own. Donít worry that you will lose the continuity of the argument if you choose to begin somewhere other than the beginning. The story can start at almost any point.

As a final word, I should mention that government schools, like all institutions, involve a complex interaction between people, institutional culture, and legal rules. To avoid giving offense, many Christian critics of government schools are reluctant to criticize the "people" side of the problem. I am not. Otherwise, a major part of what is wrong would be withheld from scrutiny. Consequently, within these pages government schoolteachers and administrators, in general, come in for some much deserved criticism. Needless to say, however, what is true in general is never true in every particular case. There is still a sizeable remnant of wonderful teachers and administrators, Christian and otherwise, who struggle daily with the strange and toxic places government schools have become. Their special burdens and frustrations could be the subject of several books. Moreover, this remnant often provides some of the most trenchant criticism of government schools. For that remnant I have added a brief postscript, but this book throughout remains about our children and what we must do.


1. As quoted in Tammi Reed Ledbetter, "Christian Schools, Homeschooling Make Gains Among Southern Baptists," BPNews, March 12, 2003.

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