The first dissenters of America’s system of public education weren’t homeschoolers—so who were they? We’ll hear more from HSLDA president and his guest Dr. James Carper on today’s Home School Heartbeat.
Dr. Carper, last time, we looked at Catholic dissenters in the 19th century. Who came next and what were their objectives?
Mike, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there were several states (for example Illinois, Wisconsin, and Oregon) attempted to regulate dissenting schools, chiefly Catholic and Lutheran, into conformity with the public school model. Or, in some cases, they simply tried to abolish these schools. Those efforts, as you may know, were thwarted via political and judicial means. Responding to the United States Supreme Court decisions of the early 60’s, banning state-sponsored school prayer and devotional Bible reading and a perceived secular orthodoxy of public education, a minority of evangelical Protestants abandoned the public school, which they had strongly supported since the mid-19th century. As you know, they founded thousands of so-called Christian day schools in the 1970’s and 80’s as a means for communicating a Christian worldview to their children. Like their Catholic and Lutheran predecessors, however, these schools and their patrons and leaders often found themselves in court or in the state legislatures defending their freedom of religion and conscience against intrusive state regulation.
Well, thank you for that, Dr. Carper. Until next time, I’m Mike Smith.