As I look around and see Christian schools with enrollment declines of 10 and 20 percent, or recruiting students overseas and gouging their tuition, or the ultimate failure closing their doors, I am saddened! At a time when a Christian education is most important, administrations and boards are dropping the ball. What's the problem?
Leaders without a plan leads to "gaping holes" in educational or institutional development or progress. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat, "Can you tell me how to get where I am going?" When she says she doesn't know where she wants to go, the Cat retorts, "Then it really doesn't matter in what direction you travel!"
Christian schools can and have lost their salvation. And while many still maintain a "vibrant" faith too many have stepped on the "slippery slope" toward faithlessness and still others have already "bottomed out."
Both my wife and I have worked at Christian schools and colleges at all levels of employment, so we can relate first hand to the subject of compensation with real-life experience. We can also relate to the physical, psychological, and emotional conditions which accompany a Christian school compensation package.
What had taken place at this university? It appears that nothing any different from that which had transformed most of the other universities established in early America by Christians, that is to say at: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, William & Mary, Rutgers, Brown, and Penn.
So, what are Christian schools doing, marketing or selling? For the most part they are doing "little to nothing." But, those that are provide the opportunity for an interesting study.
It often ends up in a dark desk drawer or a filing tray gathering dust. Rarely is the institutional organizational chart in a place for frequent reference.
Who doesn't want to get more for their money? Who doesn't want more "bang for their buck?" Who isn't interested in value in what they purchase? I'll bet you'd have to question a lot of people to find one who says, "I don't mind paying more and getting less."
There are two things I can remember from 20 to 25 years ago, about school choice, which appears to be more important now than then.
I should have mentioned something. I was in a position to, but I didn't!
The importance of educating and motivating someone to form working definitions of "mission" and "distinctives" is one thing and will bring a degree understanding, but to promote action, is more important.
There are two important things which provide the foundation of a fine Christian institution, an institution where Christians would be proud to send their children and of which these children would be proud to be an alumnus!
Would you ever think, in a million years, that honesty is absolute for Christian educators would need to be said? Isn't it obvious? Apparently not, at least in my mind!
Tuesday morning,September 11, 2001 at 7:20 AM I flew out of Newark Airport on United Airlines, just before United flight #93 left the same terminal at 8:01 with the hijackers.
Being honest with one another is paramount to a healthy professional relationship! Honesty is characteristic of a person of integrity and teachers should ooze integrity!
Two Bible verses and a statement on teaching have both guided and driven me during all of my years of teaching.
There are three Christian schools within a few miles of each other near to where I live. If I were to travel a few miles farther three or four more would be found.
Boundaries are established to separate one person from another, so that each can have their own identities and responsibilities.
Some time ago, in conversation with a Christian school administrator, I was told of his schools intention to adjust the numerical grade for each letter grade category.
For about one half of my professional life I was in the classroom teaching. For the other half it was administration which, by the way, involve quite a bit of teaching. While both of these experiences involved teaching the venues were light years apart. The result of all of this, "I'm tired!"
In some form or another, "Is your Christian school worth attending?" is being asked by parents. A second question, "Are you hiring the best?" is also being asked and should be a focus of your school leadership's inquiry.
It appears that not many in authority want to get involved. No one wants to reveal a problem that will "rock the boat." And certainly no one wants to be sued!
How many times have you heard someone say, "the more things change the more they stay the same?" Or, how about, "if we could only return to the good old days." It seems to me that in spite of "change," things really don't. Change often is only old or older things that are simply recycled. And no one really wants to go back to the "good old days" because they actually weren't that good.
Christian parents need to encourage and nurture the life and mind and carefully search for an appropriate venue for their children to mature in their faith.
"Folly" is a powerful word. Its meaning suggests a lack of good sense, understanding, or foresight. This sadly and characteristically communicates the costly undertaking resulting in the absurd and ruinous outcome of too many Christian schools.