Excerpt from
The Harsh Truth About Public Schools

Children attending government schools today bear a daily burden of anxiety, frustration, and alienation that few adults would be willing to tolerate.

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The Harsh Truth About Public Schools

by Bruce N. Shortt


•  Book Review
•  Excerpts
•  What others are saying
•  About the author
•  Notes
•  Why read it?
•  Worldview
•  Recommended ideas
•  Return to Store

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Samuel L. Blumenfeld says:

"Bruce Shortt has produced a devastating indictment of our public school system, which he believes is not only destroying the intelligence of our children, but is wreaking havoc with our moral and spiritual future.  The book is a veritable encyclopedia of edcuational failure, corruption, and malfeasance by those who run the system."

The Harsh Truth covers it all — the encouraged immorality, the drugging of children, doctored test scores, dumbed-down curriculum, the marginalization of parents, the frightening power of special interests, the fight against real reform, the endless web of deceit.  - Tammy Drennan, Alliance Senior Writer


    
Review of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools 

by Tammy Drennan


A lot of books have been written about the problem of state-run education. So what makes this one different?

 

For one, even though it’s long — over 450 pages — it’s a real page-turner. You find yourself enthralled (and appalled) and feel compelled to keep on reading.

 

Then you have the end notes — over 1000 of them, meticulously documenting the main text. They make fascinating reading in and of themselves.

 

Finally, while the book does devote a brief and very good chapter (six) to the history of public schooling, its main focus is the outcome of that history, as well as where it is clearly leading. The picture is disturbing, to say the least.

 

In chapters with titles such as: 

  • Why Are You Educating Your Child in a Pagan Seminary?
  • Do You Like Your Daughter’s Nose-ring and Tongue Stud?
  • School Reform: A Popular Delusion

Bruce Shortt introduces us to the forces and organizations that now run public schools — the ones that Christians keep trying to wrestle the schools away from. He challenges parents to face the truth about the schools and to rescue their children from them before it’s too late. For many Christian young people, he contends (with ample evidence), it already is too late.

 

Christian children, Mr. Shortt says, are embracing the humanist, relativist, immoral “values” of the public schools. Rather than acting as “salt and light,” introducing their faith to peers and teachers, and influencing the secular world of public schooling for the better, children of faith are abandoning their beliefs and joining the dark side.

 

Worse yet, parents and churches are aiding and abetting the exodus from the Christian community.

 

While the book is a page-turner, it’s not an emotionally easy book to read. Even the most informed reader will find his or her heart breaking anew for children in public schools.

 

If you’re struggling with the idea that public schools really are this bad, the book may make you feel angry or defensive. That’s no reason to avoid it, though. Mr. Shortt provides enough information in the main text and the end notes to arm any parent determined to learn the truth about his own children’s schools.

 

Mr. Shortt doesn’t spare his readers’ sensitivities, but his intensity is for a good cause. This is serious business and no time to bury heads in the sand — children are falling by the wayside in ever greater numbers, and the people in a position to rescue them are turning a deaf ear to their cries.

 

The Harsh Truth covers it all — the encouraged immorality, the drugging of children, doctored test scores, dumbed-down curriculum, the marginalization of parents, the frightening power of special interests, the fight against real reform, the endless web of deceit (in a recent interview we did with Mr. Shortt, he said that the thing that surprised him most in the course of his research was the extent of the deceit about public schools).

 

While the target audience for The Harsh Truth is Christians, it’s a book that all parents, as well as religious and community leaders, should read. When an author goes to such great lengths to offer something this well researched, it seems the least we should do is hear him out and consider his contentions with open and searching minds.


 



Tammy Drennan
works as a senior writer for the Alliance for the Separation of School & State.

 



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Excerpts from the Book

American education is now aggressively anti-Christian, both spiritually and morally. (p. 13)

[T]he child’s academic success in a government school is measured by how well he has mastered the non-Christian curriculum. Thus, not only does the child have the perception from his earliest years that education is something to be provided and controlled by the government, but he also believes that education and knowledge are separate from, perhaps even alien to, Christianity. (pp. 52-53)

Government schools are deforming our children spiritually, but what are they doing to them morally? The news is not good. (p. 57)

Those in control of government schools now tend to view themselves as having a mandate to remake school children in their own image. (p. 84)

[T]he data suggest that perhaps what we have created with our annual expenditures of hundreds of billions of dollars on government schools is not a system of education, but an institutionalized method of degrading the intellect of children. (p. 134)

Children attending government schools today bear a daily burden of anxiety, frustration, and alienation that few adults would be willing to tolerate. (p. 238)

I have often been amazed by the extraordinary effort that some Christian parents invest in fighting a futile guerilla war for “school reform” while their children languish in government schools. As parents, we only get one opportunity to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (p. 291)




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Worldview

Christian, but this is really a must-read for anyone concerned about children in public schools.

 

     

Notes

If you’re struggling with the criticism of public schools, this book may make you angry.  But please be open-minded and read it anyway — you’ll be better armed to investigate for yourself.

 

     

Why read it?

  • Impeccably researched
  • 1000+ endnotes
  • Highly readable
  • Loaded with usable stats & facts
  • Special postscript to teachers and administrators

     

Recommended ideas

 

Why not use the whole book or even just key passages as a take-off for discussions in your small group or parent group? You could form a temporary discussion group for this very purpose. Other groups that might consider forming for discussion include pastors and church leaders and Christian school leaders. The introduction and first chapter are particularly suited to discussion for faith groups.



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About the author

 

Bruce N. Shortt is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He serves on the boards of Exodus Mandate and the Houston Ebony Music Society. He practices law in Houston, Texas, where he and his wife homeschool their children.



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What others are saying:


Harsh truths with enough humor to make it a fun read
.  Presenting this compelling book in discrete chunks made it easy to start anywhere.

 

- Marshall Fritz, President, Alliance for the Separation of School & State; Founder, GetTheKidsOut.org

 


 

This book presents an idea whose time has come.  Modern public education in America has too often degenerated into indoctrination in secular humanism.  This book presents the solution to the problem.

 

- D. James Kennedy, Senior Minister, Coral Ridge Ministries

 


 

Bruce Shortt shows why the public schools are increasingly no longer suitable for Christian children – and why they are not likely to be reformed, owing to the teachers’ unions and other secularist influences.  We should stop treating the public schools as ends in themselves that always have to be ‘preserved.’  They are means, not ends; and when we discover that they no longer work, we should try something else.  The book is quite readable and I hope it will find the audience it deserves.  The subject matter is vast; yet it covers much of the salient material in a way which should open some eyes.

 

Kenneth D. Whitehead, Assistant Secretary of Education for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush

 


 

Bruce Shortt has produced a devastating indictment of our public school system, which he believes is not only destroying the intelligence of our children, but is wreaking havoc with our moral and spiritual future.  The book is a veritable encyclopedia of educational failure, corruption, and malfeasance by those who run the system.

 

- Samuel L. Blumenfeld, Author of eight books on education, including: NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, How to Tutor, Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers, and Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children

 


 

The Harsh Truth about Public Schools by Bruce Shortt is a sad book.  It is sad that the condition documented in this book actually exists in a nation founded on the principles of religious liberty, but it is even more sorrowful to know that, short of a miracle, the very Christian parents and other Christian leaders who need to read this book the most will probably pass it by.  For those, however, with courage and a desire to know the truth this volume will be an incredible blessing.

 

- Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Forth Worth, Texas

 


 

All parents are ultimately responsible for how their children are educated.  This book not only shows forcefully why Christian parents must revolutionize education through homeschooling and Christian schools, it also helps guide parents on their journey into the adventure of Christian education.

 

- Eric and Joyce Burges, Co-founders of the National Black Home Educators Resource Association

 


 

Everyone truly interested in our children, our homes, and the future of our beloved America should read and study this book.

 

- Chaplain (Col.) E. H. Jim Ammerman, U.S. Army Retired, Endorser for over 500 Chaplains representative to the U.S. Military for over 15 million independent church members

 


 

Bruce Shortt clearly and forcefully sets forth overwhelming evidence of the anti-Christian bias in parts of our public school system.  This book is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of the United States.

 

- Judge Paul Pressler

 


 

Bruce Shortt’s new book, The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, is clear evidence that concern over the catastrophic meltdown of public education in the United States is being felt in every segment of American society.

 

- Dr. John C. Lundt, Professor of Education, The University of Montana, and coauthor of Leaving School: Finding Education, Matanzas Press, 2004

 


 

Anyone considering the possibility of placing their child in a government school should read this book first.  Anyone who has already made that choice should read this book and reconsider.  Bruce Shortt has exposed the proverbial elephant in the middle of the room and we can ignore it no longer.

 

- Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr., National Bible Teacher, Author of The Ever-Loving Truth

 


 

A graphic and well-documented reference source that provides a host of compelling arguments for taking Christian kids out of public schools.  Dr. Shortt casts no aspersion on the motives of most teachers, but his examples of destructive practices and curricula nevertheless illustrate that, indeed, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

 

- Dr. Arnold Burron, Professor Emeritus: University of Northern Colorado

 


  

In a readable and enjoyable fashion Bruce Shortt’s book combines the best Biblical, academic, and social arguments for Christians to abandon K-12 public schools.  The postscript addressed to our Christian public school teachers is a unique challenge.

 

- E. Ray Moore, Jr., Chaplain (Lt. Col.) US Army Reserve, Retired; Director and Founder, Exodusmandate.org






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