Every Christian parent should send his/her young adult to a Christian high school (assuming they do not decide, and are unable, to homeschool them).
Allow me to present my own personal bias. I am a Bible teacher at a Christian High School. Some of you, I am quite sure, have already judged me as unable to be objective enough to make such a statement. And perhaps I am. But I don’t believe so.
I am a product of a public school system (K-12). I went to the best public school (according to test scores) in the entire state of California. I had a 4.25 GPA and was in the bottom half of my graduating class. Most of my friends scored at least a 1450 (out of 1600) on the old SAT. For most of my friends, UCLA was considered a fall-back school, the school you attended if you couldn’t make it into Stanford or Harvard. I say this not to brag; merely to make the point that by any ordinary standard, I should have received a quality education. And I can tell you very honestly, I learned hardly anything of value.
We were educated. We took tons of advanced classes. In fact, my classes in high school were much more difficult than those in college (including my master’s and doctoral programs). I had an average of five hours of homework per day. And I can tell you very honestly, I learned hardly anything of value.
Here is what I did learn: the only thing important in life is to be as successful as possible. And because education is the most accurate measure of income in America, we should strive to be as intellectually-prepared as possible. And my high school prepared me for this wonderfully.
Yet education, by itself, is meaningless if it is not accompanied by God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10) I received knowledge. I did not receive wisdom. And I couldn’t. For God was absent.
And history proves that education alone, without the fear of God, is a dangerous combination. Stalin. Mao. Hitler. The three worst mass-murderers in the history of the world. The first two denied God. The third defied him. There are examples within Christianity as well: did the educated priests who encouraged the massacring of innocents during the Crusades truly fear God? How could they have?
The year after graduation, one of my friends was arrested on the UCLA campus. He had barged into the dorm rooms of three different girls, and brutally raped them. Based solely upon the knowledge imparted by the best public high school in the state of California, what was wrong with what he did?
I honestly cannot think of a single lesson that would lead a person to believe that his action was hideous – with the sole exceptions that he had ruined any chance for being successful in his life and he might have contracted a STD.
Education without God leads to intelligent sinners. Why do we want that? Much better to have stupid sinners! They can do far less harm.
Does this mean that every student turned out by the public high school will rape girls? Of course not. Nor does it mean that no student who graduates from a Christian high school won’t rape girls. My argument against public education is based on a generalization. But this does not invalidate my argument. For generalizations are generally true. That is what a proverb is: a statement of wisdom that discusses what is usually the case. Could a child come to wisdom despite the dismissal of God? Sure. But what is more likely?
I recognize this argument is directly primarily at Christian parents. I find, however, that there are many non-Christian parents who accept this argument, some of whom have sent their children to the Christian high schools where I have taught. Why? Because they recognize that education without morality is largely useless. And public schools do not teach morality. These parents know that there is a much better chance that their students will turn out good if they have an education matched with a morality based on the principle of love.
Some may say: it is the responsibility of parents, not the school, to produce morally good adults. But let’s be honest: how many hours in a day does your child spend with you? How many hours does your child spend at school? Why fight a worldview that denies the centrality of faith in God as important in the education of your child? Why not place your child into an environment which agrees that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom?