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Are American Kids Stupid?

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John Stossel’s indictment of public (government) education on January 13 was one of the most revealing exposes ever produced by a mainstream media outlet. It’s my regret that the show aired at 10 PM on a Friday evening when most people aren’t home watching television. This show needs wide distribution. If you missed it, clips of the show can be viewed at http://abcnews.go.com/2020 —Gary DeMar

“Are American Kids Stupid?” That’s the question ABC’s John Stossel asked on 20/20 Friday night, January 13, 2006, as he described the academic failure of America’s public schools when compared with schools in other industrialized nations.

For many years Exodus Mandate has been warning Christian parents and pastors that the government’s “public” schools are destroying our children spiritually, morally and academically. Over the last two years many Christian leaders have come to agree that the public schools are indeed cauldrons of spiritual and moral pathologies. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention’s leading theologian, Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in an article last summer, “It is now time for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools.” Just the week before Dr. Mohler’s article appeared, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries, Joel Belz, WORLD Magazine, and others co-sponsored a resolution at the Presbyterian Church in America’s General Assembly calling upon parents to remove their children from the public schools.

Now Stossel and 20/20 punctured the last myth of complacent suburban parents who delude themselves by thinking that, whatever problems there may be elsewhere, their schools are “different.” As Stossel and 20/20 point out, not only do our 12th graders do worse in math and science, for example, than students in almost all other industrialized countries, the longer our students are in public schools, the worse they do in relation to their international peers. In fact, our best 12th graders—the ones taking advanced science and math in our “good high schools”—do worse in relation to their international elite peers than the average 12th graders do in relation to their international peers.

Dr. Bruce Shortt, author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, co-sponsor of the Christian education resolutions that were submitted to the 2004 and 2005 Southern Baptist Annual Meetings, and member of the board of directors of Exodus Mandate, provided background and other information to the producers of the 20/20 program. According to Dr. Shortt: "Parents are beginning to understand that government schools are very dangerous spiritually and morally. Now, thanks to 20/20, they are going to find out that our obscenely expensive public school system is equipping their children academically to be the 21st Century’s ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water.’"

E. Ray Moore, Jr., Director of Exodus Mandate, notes that over the last two years prominent nationally syndicated writers such as Cal Thomas have been urging parents to remove their children from the public schools. Moore points out that in the last month alone Cal Thomas has written two columns urging parents to find religious alternatives to the public schools. As a result, Moore is optimistic: “The ABC 20/20 special, the emerging leadership by Christian leaders such as Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Mohler, and support by Cal Thomas and other national figures cause us to have renewed hope for 2006 and beyond. More than ever before, Christian families are finding their way to the promised land of Christian schools and home schooling. This is key to renewing our families, our churches and our culture.”

For information about “Exodus Mandate,” go to http://www.exodusmandate.org

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