School

Back to School Tips

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With the new school year beginning, here are some tips to help parents and their children in the months ahead. . . .

1. Inform your children of their freedom of religious expression at school.

Your children can express their faith in their homework and share about their faith with classmates. For a list of their religious liberties, click here.

2. Teach your children discernment.

Help your children learn to think critically about what they are learning instead of merely absorbing it. Predict what they may learn and pre-teach your perspective on the topic. You can do this by reading their textbooks and talking to them about any questions you may have about the author's bias. This will help them become active listeners and discerning thinkers. Over dinner, ask them if they detected any bias in how the topic was taught that day.

3. Pray regularly for your children's teachers.

Praying for your children's teachers may sound like a standard piece of advice, but I recommend that you be very intentional in your prayers. Make a list of your children's teachers, school principals, and other adults in their lives. Put this list in a place where you will be reminded daily to pray for them. Here's the key: Ask God how He wants to use you to be a godly influence in their lives this school year. Then, watch for the doors He opens!

4. Bless the teacher with an encouraging note.

Even within the first few days or weeks of the school year you can find something the teachers are doing that you appreciate. It may be something your children enjoyed learning, it may be the way the teachers decorated their rooms, it may be a classroom activity that you think is a great idea. Let them know by writing a brief note of appreciation and encouragement.

5. Encourage your children to pray each morning at school.

In 34 states, schools can, and in about half are required to, start the day with a moment of silence. Even if your state doesn't have a moment of silence law, you can download a beautiful prayer and give it to your children to pray each day. Click here for a list of all the states with laws regarding moments of silence.

6. Be an encouragement to Christian teachers at school.

If you know a teacher at your children's school who is a Christian, get a map of the campus from the school office, and meet with that teacher. On the map, ask the teacher to circle the names of other Christian teachers he or she knows. During the school year look for opportunities to connect with those teachers and give them encouraging information about how they can address religious holidays, their students' religious liberties, and helpful articles from the Gateways to Better Education website.

May you and your children be used by God to bless others this year at school.

What to Do About a Problem Teacher

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At some point in your child's education you may have an insurmountable personality conflict with a teacher. What can you do then? 

Meeting with the Teacher

Meet with the teacher and express your concerns in a gracious and tactful way. Use "I" statements rather than "you" statements as you talk about the problem. Instead of saying, "You are causing Sally to hate school," say, "I sense that Sally doesn't like coming to school any more." Solicit suggestions from the teacher on what may be causing Sally's problem and discuss various solutions. This conveys that you are not attacking the teacher but are seeking her advice on how to solve the problem. It is also important that you help the teacher understand why your child is upset by something that is going on in the class. If the teacher suggests that your child needs to change in some way and it seems reasonable, acknowledge it. Then tactfully ask how the teacher will change in order to create a win-win situation. Guide the conversation and suggestions to a satisfactory conclusion. If you can't seem to resolve the problem with the teacher, it will be necessary to meet with the principal. 

Meeting with the Principal

Visit the principal to discuss your concerns. However, realize that the principal will not outwardly agree with your criticism of the teacher. It is important that the principal maintain a positive and supportive relationship with all the teachers in the school. He will not undermine that relationship by siding against one of his staff, at least not in front of a parent. Does this mean the administrator is indifferent to your concern? No, not at all. However, he is not going to appear to undermine the teacher's classroom authority. It would be unprofessional of him to criticize a member of his staff in a conversation with a parent. 

When talking with the principal, be gracious and positive about finding a solution. List your concerns on a note pad to refresh your memory as you talk. Your concerns need to focus on the problems that are causing a disruption of your child's education. Also, list a few suggestions for how you think the problem can be resolved. The principal will discuss your concerns with the teacher and seek a resolution. However, there are occasions when the best course of action is to transfer your child to another class. 

Asking for a Transfer

The principal can transfer your child if he thinks it is best. When talking to the principal, emphasize that you are not attacking the teacher's competency – you are concerned that your child isn't doing as well as he could because of the problems between the teacher and the student. Reassignment may not be easy for an administrator to do. He may be concerned about setting a precedent; he may have no room in other classes; he may be concerned that such a move would undermine staff morale. 

It is important that you use your best "people skills" to persuade the administrator that moving your child is the right thing to do. The principal most likely will not transfer a student simply because the parent doesn't like the teacher or the teacher is unpopular with students. The principal will need to see legitimate academic or social concerns that warrant such an action. 

He may also want to wait a little while for space to open up in another classroom. In most schools there is a constant stream of students moving in and out of classes due to families moving in and out of the community. The principal will most likely wait for this to create an opening for your child. 

Sometimes the problem is not the teacher, but a specific book the class is reading or a subject they are studying. In this case, you don't need to transfer your child to another class, but you may want to temporarily remove him from the classroom. 

Removing your Child from a Lesson

If the problem is over a particular book or curriculum being used by the teacher, you may wonder whether you should remove your child from the classroom. I suggest to parents that they should seek to remove their child from a program when they can no longer influence their child's learning. That means that either they cannot influence their partner – the teacher – to choose another educational strategy, or they cannot sufficiently undo what the child is learning in class. 

You don't need to remove your child from an activity if you can influence the teacher to choose a better alternative. The mother of an eighth-grader told me how she was able to influence her child's teacher to alter the lesson plan. This not only saved her from having to remove her child from the activity, but it improved the lesson plan for the other children, too. 

The teacher announced she would be showing an R-rated movie (Blade Runner) as part of a science fiction unit. "I called her, expressed appreciation for her hard work, and told her I felt R-rated movies were not appropriate for the classroom. I suggested some positive alternatives. She considered my suggestions and changed the movie." 

© Eric Buehrer

When to Remove Your Child from an Activity

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A very upset mother once called me concerning what her daughter was being told to read in class. The book was on Indian spiritualism. The mother had already gone to the superintendent of the school district and told him to have the book removed or she'd see to his dismissal.

To get a better handle on the situation, I asked her three questions. First, in what course was the book used? Second, how old was her daughter? Third, had the mother read the book? To my astonishment, she answered that the book was used in an elective course on mythology; her daughter was a senior in high school; and, no, the mother had never read the book, but she felt the cover looked spooky. Obviously, she was overreacting. I explained how, since the daughter was certainly old enough, she could use the book as a teaching tool to discuss their family's religious faith with her in comparison to Indian spiritism. I pointed out that this could actually be an opportunity from God to strengthen the girl's faith, not an invitation from Satan to abandon it.

Knowing when to remove your child from a classroom activity is subjective. Only you will be able to gauge when your child should not participate in something. In many situations you may be able to reach a compromise with the teacher, such as an alternative reading assignment. However, at times, you may have to decide to temporarily remove your child from the class. 

You need to consider the five factors listed below when deciding whether to remove your child from a classroom activity. Try to be as objective as possible when considering these factors. Trust your sense of what is right for your child while at the same time considering whether you may be overreacting. It is best not to rush into a decision to remove your child because it can cause a disruption in his education in other subjects as well as in his social community at school. Here are the factors to consider in prayer as you decide whether or not to remove your child from an activity. 

1. How truly bad is the activity? 

Establishing an activity's suitability requires discernment and objectivity. A case could be made for claiming that almost every subject is being taught improperly. The teacher could slant the subject too much to one political viewpoint, or emphasize student self-reliance too much, causing you to fear that it borders on promoting rebellion. He may encourage world interdependence just a shade more than you feel is patriotic. You have to weigh how truly wrong the teacher is and how important the perceived error is.  

On the other hand, teachers or counselors can handle some subjects, such as sexuality, so poorly that it is not good to have any exposure to their ideas at a young and impressionable age. This is a subjective and difficult decision for you to make. My advice is to not make it without complete information. If your child is young, be sure to verify what he tells you happened in class by talking directly with the teacher. If you confront the teacher based on what you think happened in the class, you might be embarrassed to find out that you reacted to false information. 

2. How emphatically is it taught? 

You need to measure how strongly the teacher pushes a particular value or philosophy. The book in the above illustration was not taught as true but as one culture's mythology. A good education will include the views of others. However, sometimes the teacher's opinion is taught as the proper way to think when, in fact, it is seriously in conflict with your family's beliefs. This is when action might need to be taken. 

3. How long will the lesson last? 

Sometimes a subject that you object to is covered very briefly and its long-term effects are small or nonexistent. It is hard to believe that a two-week drug abuse course that uses nondirective decision-making techniques (a poor approach for young people) will wipe out the years of moral character development you have built in your child. However, if a value-neutral approach to decision-making is emphasized week after week for several months, you may need to take action. 

4. What demonstrated effects is it having on your child? 

Do you see your child exhibiting behavior that concerns you because of the program in question? Does your child seem upset when he comes home from school? Is he withdrawn? Does he act out with defiance? Is he more aggressive? Is he lethargic toward homework? Has he changed his thinking about a subject that you feel is a core value of your family? Try to list actual behaviors or actions you think might be linked to a particular program. This will help you see if a negative impact is being made. 

Again, are there specifics you can point to, or are you being too sensitive to what you fear may happen due to the program? This may depend on the age of the child. Young children may be affected more by a program than older, more independent children. A teenager should be able to separate himself from the teacher's lesson and realize that the teacher is not always right. 

5. Can you teach your child to be discerning about what is taught? 

Webster's dictionary defines the word discern as meaning to perceive something hidden or obscure. Ask yourself if the activity in question could be used as an opportunity for you to teach your child discernment. In college, I took an astronomy course that met in a planetarium. The instructor would display the stars on the ceiling and point out various constellations. Only by knowing what to look for could we see a pattern of stars emerge from the night sky filled with dots of light. Once I knew what to look for, spotting constellations became easier.

With your help, your child may actually demonstrate greater character and conviction of thought because his beliefs are being tested in the classroom and you are helping him think it through. Only you can judge whether he is ready for this. 

In order to answer these five questions accurately, I suggest you obtain a copy of the material in question. Be sure you have examined all the information related to the lesson, and then you can make the best decision. 

If you want to talk to the teacher about your concerns, I suggest you read my online article, "Talking to Educators about a Concern."

© Eric Buehrer

Breaking Through Educational Jargon

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Breaking Through Educational Jargon

The school is to your child what a foreign country is to a tourist:  exciting, scary, interesting, or boring, and almost always different from his home culture. The values expressed at school, by the teachers and your child's peers, may be quite different from yours. The language they use can be unique, too. To be a strong advocate for your child's best interest in the school, you need to understand the terms educators use to describe their craft. 

Questions

The best way to understand the educational language of your child's school is to ask questions. When you hear the teacher use an unfamiliar term during a conference, ask what it means. When you see a new term used in a school bulletin, ask about it. It is also a good idea to read an article or book about the term in order for you to gain a perspective on the subject from outside the district. An excellent resource for this is E. D. Hirsch, Jr.'s book, The Schools We Need. Hirsch includes a glossary that, alone, is worth the cost of the book. 

Each teacher will apply a particular teaching term differently. So, it is important to ask the teacher how he or she uses it. Here are four key questions to ask your child's teacher about terminology that is new to you:

  1. What does it mean?
  2. How is it being applied to my child's education?
  3. How does it improve my child's education?
  4. What are some possible problems or abuses that may arise from improperly implementing it?

Don't be too embarrassed or too intimidated to ask what something means and how it is used with your child. Question four will require the teacher to think objectively about problems that, obviously, some other teacher may have. 

Child-Centered Classrooms

Here's an example of how the four questions might help you understand the term "child-centered classrooms." Your first question should be, "What does it mean?" The answer is, it means educators focus on the emotional and social needs of the child, as well as his individuality, not merely the academic learning (also known as "subject-centered" education). A favorite phrase of those who adhere to this approach is, "Teaching the child, not the subject." 

In answer to the second question, child-centered classrooms tend to employ more interactive lessons, hands-on projects, and feelings-oriented activities. 

How does it improve your child's education (question three)? When used properly – and sparingly – "child-centered" activities enrich a lesson. It can also mean the teacher paces the lessons to better fit the child's pace of learning and takes into account more carefully the child's previous learning. 

However, question four may bring out a few red flags. By definition, child-centered classrooms have an opposite emphasis than do subject-centered classrooms (which is a completely unnecessary polarization). But shouldn't a teacher emphasize content more than merely a child-centered process? Does the shift away from content mean a decreased emphasis on knowledge acquisition and skills development? Will a less skillful teacher use the term "child-centered" to mask the fact that he is not challenging the students academically? 

By using the four questions, after you've done a little homework of your own, you will have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your child's classroom. This will better equip you to manage your child's learning despite the jungle of educational jargon growing around him. 

© 2012, Eric Buehrer 

How To Evaluate Your Child's Textbooks

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Textbooks are important classroom tools. Thus, it is important for parents to be familiar with what their children are being exposed to in their textbooks. 

This report will focus on how to evaluate your child's textbooks so you can accomplish four things: (1) you can have better discussions with your child about what he is learning; (2) you can add to what may be missing in the textbook; (3) you can teach your child discernment by recognizing bias; (4) you can, if necessary, bring a textbook's shortcomings to the attention of the teacher, administration, or school board for replacement with a better book. 

This report primarily focuses on helping you with your own child's education. There is a difference between evaluating a textbook to better discuss it with your child (concerning your Christianity), and using that exact same analysis for a critique to be presented to school officials. For your own child, you will want to add more explicitly Christian themes, doctrine, examples, and heroes. However, many - but not all - shortcomings you detect in a textbook (using your Christian perspective) can be translated into a conservative critique of the book for school officials. 

The Problem

The concerns you may face with your child's textbook will generally fall into two broad categories: what is in the book, and what is left out of the book. Let's first look at problems you may encounter with what is in your child's textbook. 

According to Educational Research Analysts, many textbooks seek to change students' beliefs about society rather than merely give factual knowledge, basic skills, and cultural heritage. There are several indicators of the bias toward liberal social change. A few of the indicators are:

  • Analysis of the personal and familial problems of the child.
  • Presenting life as a problem in sociology to be solved by government bureaucrats and social science experts.
  • Treating all moral questions as open, relative, and debatable.
  • Portraying total equality as an absolute value.
  • Consistently one-sided presentations of current political controversies.
  • An overemphasis on the importance of internationalism at the expense of nationalism.
  • The inevitability of change and the cliché that all change is good.
  • The inevitability of individual and community dependence on government in all aspects of life.
  • Society's collective guilt for human problems.
  • Evolution taught as fact.
  • Stories of violence and immorality presented as common experiences of the typical person.
  • Unfair portrayals of Christians and church-goers as authoritarian, cruel, and intolerant.
  • Portraying tolerance (meaning the absence of judgment) as the highest virtue.(1)

You will find these, and other biases in a poorly written textbook, falling into three main categories: 

(1) Liberal assumptions made by the authors. 

(2) Bias favoring liberal views, people, and activities. 

(3) Presenting opinion as fact. 

Liberal Assumptions

Everyone has biases. It is very difficult to write about a topic without projecting a bias. Bias is reflected both in what you choose to write about and how you write about it. For instance, in one elementary U.S. history textbook the authors write: 

"George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson had seen government as a noble calling. John F. Kennedy made outstanding people eager to work in Washington. But both Presidents Carter and Reagan talked about government as if it were a bad thing, and that made some people reluctant to work for the government. Which [sic] was harmful, because, like it or not, we need big government. We are a big nation. But we need big government that is efficient and considerate of our needs."(2) 

While this paragraph reflects all three major categories of bias, it is a good example of liberal assumptions made by the authors. For instance, they assume that outstanding people were not eager to work for Presidents Carter or Reagan. The authors assume that only Kennedy made outstanding people eager to work in government. 

The authors' assumption about big government is evidenced by the interchanging of the term "big government" as a noun with the idea that we need a big government. "Big government" generally describes the reach of government more than its mere size. Certainly the United States, with over 250 million people, has to have a government that is large. But that is different from what the authors imply with the term big government. They also assume that the problem with government is not its reach but its efficiency and consideration. Many conservatives, however, would argue that the size (or reach) of the government is the problem. For instance, members of the National Rifle Association would argue that we don't need more efficient administration of gun control. They would argue against gun control. Many conservative landowners would argue that we don't need more efficient application of laws regarding wetlands; they would argue that we don't need government intruding on their land at all. 

The textbook, Rise of the American Nation, gives us an example of liberal assumptions leading to the omission of important information. The book contains a chronological listing of 450 important events in American history. However, the authors list only three events (less than one percent) related to religion: The Pilgrims' arrival in 1620; Maryland's Toleration Act of 1649; and, the Mormons moving to Salt Lake City in 1847. There is no inclusion of the Second Great Awakening of the 1830's and 1840's; the Pentecostal movement from 1880-1910; the rise of the fundamentalist and evangelical movement in the 20th century; the black church's importance in the civil rights movement; the Jesus movement of the 1960's and the Born-Again fervor of the 1970's. 

We can only conclude that the authors assumed the rich and vibrant religious activity throughout our nation's history was not all that important. It is fair to say that they did not regard it as important as the establishment of the Department of Transportation in 1966 which did make their list of important events in America's history. 

Evaluation Tip: An assumption is something taken for granted. When reading your child's textbook, ask yourself: What is the author taking for granted when he makes this statement? 

Bias Favoring Liberal Views, People, and Activities 

Bias simply means an inclination or preference for something. When it comes to textbooks, you may find ample examples for a bias toward such things as feminism and liberal environmentalism, and a bias against business, religion, and patriotism. 

The bias is often seen in the lack of emphasis or balance in a book. For instance, in Dr. Vitz's study of textbooks containing short stories for elementary reading, he found a lack of patriotic stories, a lack of support for business, and a pro-feminist bent. 

For instance, out of 670 stories contained in twenty-two textbooks, he found only five stories with any patriotic theme. Of those five stories, three were about the same event - the ride of Sybil Ludington in 1777 when she dressed as a man and warned farmers of a British threat. Vitz comments, "This story is in many respects a feminist piece and it has little of a specifically patriotic theme."(4) None of the books contained any stories about Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, Daniel Boone, or Paul Revere's ride. 

Science lessons are plagued with environmental propaganda. Propagandizing lessons sometimes end with a political action activity suggested in the name of applying the learning. Sometimes the children are urged to write to a government official or the head of a corporation to express their concern on an environmental issue. 

"There's a lot of junk that works itself into the curriculum," admits John Padalino, head of the National Science Teachers Association's task force on environmental education. According to Education Week, common errors found in environmental lessons include: 

* Condemnation of internal-combustion engines as having worsened the environment. But just in the area of cultivation, the engine has allowed for more efficient farming and contributed to the reforestation of many farmlands. 

* School environmental texts routinely scare students with misinformation about "global warming." What is often not taught to children is that atmospheric temperatures are cyclical and that water vapor is a bigger cause of the "greenhouse" effect than is man-produced carbon dioxide. 

* Students are often led by environmental propaganda to believe that air quality poses greater risks today than ever before. The fact is, air quality has significantly improved over past decades. 

* Some materials still teach students that the aerosol deodorant, hair spray, and paint they use contain chlorofluorocarbons that damage the ozone layer. The fact is, CFCs have not been used in the United States since 1978.(5) 

Evaluation Tip: While reading the textbook, look carefully to see if the values "message" (not just the factual message) favors a liberal perspective. Also, be aware that while having a balance of viewpoints on moral issues may be "fair" in giving equal time, there are certain moral messages that students should not give equal time to. For instance, listing a variety of sexual lifestyles may send the unspoken message that heterosexuality is no better than any other, even though the text did not say that explicitly. 

Presenting Opinion as Fact

An opinion is a belief held with confidence but not substantiated by direct proof or knowledge. 

Opinions can make writing interesting to read and can probably never (and probably should never) be eradicated from textbooks. But to teach your child discernment you will need to teach him to distinguish between opinion and fact. 

For instance, in A History of US the authors write: 

"At Jimmy Carter's inaugural, almost all the events were open to the public, and most of them were free. Reagan's inauguration was by invitation only, and the invitations were expensive. One inauguration planner said it was all about 'class and dignity.' Harry Truman would have been horrified, but many Americans seemed awed by the glitter and glamour."(6) 

The authors simply don't know how Harry Truman would have felt. 

Evaluation Tip: To distinguish between opinion and fact as you read a textbook, ask yourself: Is what the author is saying verifiable by objective facts? 

Guilty of Omission 

When reading your child's textbook, you should also ask yourself what the authors could have included from a conservative or Christian perspective that they did not include. You may find the following list helpful for seeing what may be conspicuously absent:(7)

  • Themes of loyalty, faith, sacrifice, and unselfishness.
  • Examples of self-reliance, individuality, and pride in achievement.
  • Themes of freedom and liberty.
  • Attachment to home, family, and country.
  • Limits to the power of government.
  • Religious and cultural traditions.
  • Individual responsibility.
  • Scientific evidence for creation (or a mention of the flaws in the theory of evolution).
  • A strong stance on moral behavior.
  • Examples of motherhood and homemaking.

What You Can Do With Your Child

1. Read the textbook yourself. Read your child's or get an extra copy from the teacher. If the teacher doesn't have an extra copy, try the school district warehouse of materials. You may even want to buy a copy from the publisher. As you read the book, keep in mind the problems listed on pages one and two of this report and ask yourself the following:

  • What is omitted from the text that you think should be there?
  • What assumptions is the author making about a given topic?
  • Do you detect a bias in the language used and/or in what is emphasized?
  • Is opinion presented as fact?

Remember to keep passages in context. Context can give rise to greater concern or it can explain a sentence or passage that otherwise would be objectionable. This doesn't mean you can't discuss it with your child. It means you maintain integrity in your evaluation. 

2. Discuss regularly with your child what he is reading. There is no substitute for creating an on-going dialog with your child about what he is exposed to. It helps you understand how he is perceiving what he reads and it gives you opportunity to teach him discerning skills. 

3. Find other sources for conservative or Christian perspectives on issues. See the last page of this report for a few references to get you started. 

4. Identify any "instructional gaps" that need to be filled. This has to do with the sequence of academic learning (as opposed to values). If a textbook assumes the student has already learned a certain fact, term, or concept, but your child has not learned it, you will need to fill in the gap. You can identify any learning gaps your child may have by simply discussing the passage in question. Ask him if he understands it, if there are any key vocabulary words he doesn't understand, and if he can explain the learning to you in his own words. 

Bringing Your Concerns to School Officials

1. Learn the textbook adoption policy in your school district and state. It is easier to challenge a book before it is adopted than after it is already purchased and in use. Call the superintendent's office and ask what books are being considered for adoption, when the decision is being made, and how you can examine the books. 

2. Get the help and perspective of like-minded friends. It helps to bounce your concerns off of others. Sometimes they may even find other objectionable passages you overlooked. Educational Research Analysts suggest the following when you set up a review "team": 

A. Draw up clear review standards everyone can use to evaluate the textbook. 

B. Double check all information to which you object. You cannot afford to make embarrassing mistakes in the facts. 

C. If you are reviewing several texts under consideration, use the same criteria for each. Develop an evaluation scale based on the number of pages devoted to a topic or balance of viewpoints on a controversial topic, or number of times a controversial topic appears.You can also create a list of topics that should be included in a good treatment of a given subject. Then, compare the degree to which each textbook (or the one textbook you are challenging) measures up to the list. 

D. Don't object to a passage that could reasonably be construed in another, less objectionable way. You can't afford to look petty or appear to take passages out of context. 

E. Look for patterns of liberal bias or other concerns as well as individual incidents. Establishing a pattern of bias helps build your case. 

F. Put your main points on one page. Make the page visually engaging so it will attract the attention of busy school board members. Save your lengthy documentation for backup. 

3. When presenting your case to school officials, keep the following points in mind: 

A. If you are accused of being an overly protective parent, ask your accuser if he has read the book in question. Then begin asking him about specific passages. In many cases, you will find the school official has not actually read the book. Educational Research Analysts recommend that after exposing the school official's lack of familiarity with the book, you close with this question: "Is it your position with the school district that obligates you to defend this book rather than its merits?" 

B. Meet with school officials privately. Two parents/reviewers should meet with each school board member over coffee or in his or her office. This helps break down preconceived notions that you are some kind of a wild-eyed fanatic. Outside the public spotlight, you may get the school official to give you his true feelings about the issue. Ask for his or her support in backing your concern. 

C. Avoid making charges of communism, Satanism, and one-world conspiracies. This will generally cause people to stop looking at your objections seriously. 

D. Don't let education jargon distract or intimidate you. Ask educators to fully explain their use of a term that is unfamiliar to you. 

E. Be sure to offer your criticisms in context. Don't leave the door open for your opponents to accuse you of taking a passage out of context and distorting its meaning. 

F. Offer alternative textbooks when possible. 

G. Remain calm, dignified, and pleasant throughout the process - even when you get frustrated. It is often easy to react with anger to those who oppose you. Your anger will too often work against you. You may appear mean-spirited and overly emotional. Remember the example of Jesus in Matthew 9:36, "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd." Remind yourself that ultimately your actions may lead them to the Good Shepherd and that, at the very least, your conduct and attitude should not drive them away from Him. 

Helpful Resources

Educational Research Analysts
PO Box 7518
Longview, TX 75607
(903) 753-5993
FAX: (903) 753-7788
Web site: www.textbookreviews.org 

This conservative, Christian organization has reviewed many textbooks for over 30 years and may have a review of your child's textbook on file. To find out, give ERA the title, author, publisher, and copyright date of the book in question. They do not review books of fiction. 

Probe Ministries
1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 480-0240
FAX: (972) 644-9664
Web site: www.probe.org 

This ministry provides an intellectual defense of Christian beliefs and values in the marketplace of ideas. 

Summit Ministries
928 Osage Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
(719) 685-9103
FAX: (719) 685-9330
Web site: www.summit.org
This group prepares high school students to counter the liberal bias in college. 

Endnotes

1. Based on an article written by Mel and Norma Gabler, "A Parent's Guide to Textbook Review and Reform," The Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C., 1978). Some additions made to update data. 

2. A History of US, vol. 10 (Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1995) p. 184

3. Rise of the American Nation (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982) as cited by Dr. Paul Vitz, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children's Textbooks; (Servant Books; Ann Arbor, MI 1986) p. 50-51

4. Dr. Paul Vitz, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children's Textbooks; (Servant Books; Ann Arbor, MI 1986) p. 70

5. Peter West, "Skeptics Questioning the Accuracy, Bias of Environmental Education," Education Week, 16 June 1993, p. 1

6. A History of US, vol. 10 (Oxford University Press: New York, NY 1995) p. 181

7. Based on an article written by Mel and Norma Gabler, "A Parent's Guide to Textbook Review and Reform," The Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C., 1978) Some additions made to update data.