Evangelicals and public education

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Evangelical Christians have in recent years manifested great dissatisfaction with public schooling. Because evangelicals represent a large segment of the American populace, their dissatisfaction has had a significant effect on the functioning of the public schools. More importantly, dissatisfaction on the part of evangelicals has led them to form private Christian schools which have drawn pupils from the public ones.

This study has analyzed the problems evangelicals face in public education, the historical framework of those problems, and the attempts currently being made to solve them. This has been done from an evangelical perspective. In addition to reviewing the literature available on the subject, the author utilized information gleaned from a study of 31 evangelical youth, and a survey of evangelical educators representing all evangelical colleges offering a degree in education. The study dealt with problems stemming from failure within evangelicalism as well as problems attributable to the public schools. Conclusions and proposals for change were stated based upon the information provided in the study. Proposals included the suggestion that preparations be made for the possibility of a complete evangelical break with public education should immediate and effective efforts not begin to regain evangelical confidence.