The widespread closure of American schools during the COVID-19 pandemic gave many parents their first glimpse into a failing education system. Many were surprised and alarmed by what they observed. They assumed their children were being educated—and that they were being educated according to a neutral worldview, or at least a worldview similar to their own local school district’s political demographics. Instead, they found less of an education and more of an ideological system promoted through mass social experimentation on America’s youth. “Social-Emotional Learning” (SEL) and “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) retrained students to interpret life’s problems through a progressive worldview. In truth, however, these reforms are not new. We are simply experiencing the fruit of the experiment en masse for the first time.
One of the most widely recognized influencers of modern education in the West is the failed educator turned education-theorist, John Dewey. Enthralled with the ideas of progressivism and socialism, Dewey dedicated his life to a social reform he believed could be proselytized through America’s public schools. Until this point, American education was governed by Christian Puritan ideals. Their chief objective in education was to protect biblical literacy to ensure that the public would not be deceived through ignorance. That is why the Old Deluder Satan Act of 1647 became the very first education law in North America. A secondary purpose of education came later in the 18th century—to preserve the delicate republic of the American Experiment. These ideals protected the integrity of sound education. Dewey, however, was a self-acclaimed humanist who openly detested any ideas of transcendent truth or morality. Then, in 1963, The United States Supreme Court ruled that transcendent truth (the Bible) was not to be allowed in schools in Abington v. Schempp; the lone dissenting judge wrote that America now officially recognized secular humanism as the religion of public education. This monumental decision set America on a permanent trajectory toward Dewey’s subjective progressivism and ensured public education's decline.
Many Americans became front row witnesses of this decline when their children's schools were closed, but that was not the end of the story. Politicians and school boards quickly discovered that the lack of transparency caused by shut-down orders made the completion of Dewey's educational reform achievable. The “American Rescue Plan” could be used for “COVID-19 mitigation,” except not in reference to the disease, but rather what the disease revealed—the need to rectify "disparities" and social reform by requiring every child receive SEL and DEI in the classroom. In Pennsylvania, this includes clubs, safe spaces, and freedom of expression spaces for "oppressed" people groups, and educators that "mirror" their behavior as the "High Priority Needs for the 2021-2022 School Year." It was then that the pastors and elders of High Point Baptist Church recognized the need to recover education for our community that values biblical, objective truth.
The meaning of knowledge must be defined according to Scripture, and the training and discipleship of children must be returned to its proper spheres of authority—to the family and the local church. A Founding School Board was then organized in January 2022 and it was realized that today's students need much more than an education. Any school that wishes to recover education must be dedicated to train students with the convictions to live courageously and virtuously in an "out of season" world (2 Timothy 4:2). To do that, students must also be guardians of the truth.
These are the principles that define High Point Classical Academy: veritas (truth), animo (courage), and virtus (virtue). Lord willing, through the generosity of individuals across America, we will be able to provide the highest quality education at the most affordable price possible to families to preserve truth and essential liberty.