USA (MNN) ― The urban public school setting in the United States is deteriorating. Minority children are failing in large numbers. Poverty holds many in its grip. What has been happening in schools in the US? Perhaps a more appropriate question would be: what hasn't been happening?
For one, some teachers are giving up on their students. Morale amongst teachers in urban public schools tends to be low, partly because of the messy backgrounds and seemingly hopeless situations of poverty that many of their students come from. Teachers have been placing students in categories labeled un-educable or learning impaired. But how can this be true of two out of three kids in the urban public school system?
In fact, it isn't. A small movement of urban Christian schools is beginning to offer families an option besides public schooling, and a few minority students are even receiving vouchers to attend Christian schools. And, in that setting, Worldwide Christian Schools' Dale Dieleman says that Christian schools are making a difference. The aim is to: "Provide affordable Christian education in urban centers-urban areas, as well as an alternative Christian education for students and for their families."
The urban Christian schools are offering a radically different view than public schools, not only in Christian worldview education, but also in simple excellence education. And they're finding that the kids who were given little chance of excelling in the classroom are actually succeeding academically in the private school setting.
Christian schools are making a difference in urban centers because they are connected to the faith-based community, which can help families who are having difficulty affording private schooling. One thing that helps students excel is that class sizes are smaller allowing for each child to receive more individual attention.
Worldwide Christian Schools operates behind the scenes to provide encouragement and financial support to help experienced administrators of successful urban Christian schools mentor communities, parent groups, and churches who want to launch their own schools.
Dieleman says, "As a lot of churches have left urban areas, so too have some schools. And yet, some schools have seen their mission to stay within the community. We also want to be supportive of those schools too."
"This is an emerging issue and I'm really happy we're moving into this," said Dieleman. "We should not only be concerned with the developing world, but on challenges here in the U-S also."
"It is my belief that alternative Christian education will become increasingly important and valued in (the USA)," Dieleman continued. "Christian education based on biblical values is already highly sought after by many parents. Also there is an increasing dissatisfaction with the performance of urban public schools. There is a need to do our part with Christian education to offer alternatives for urban families who want options."
Pray that God will work through these schools to impact their urban neighborhoods.