SGBC Modesto

Does a Credential Mean We Have Credibility?

April 30, 2024 by

Johnnie Sloan

I don’t usually get involved in the political and social issues related to Christians.  Not a lack of interest necessarily, but rather I leave that to those who are more adept at handling such things.  I try and stick to my area of preaching and teaching.  But, as a shepherd it is a responsibility of mine to comment on these things I suppose.

Recently legislation is being pushed in California to make it a requirement that anyone who does not have a teaching credential from the state cannot teach children.  There are so many fundamental problems with this notion that it borders on silliness.  I can’t imagine how these would-be leaders would handle this in history class for example.  Considering just about every great American icon prior to the twentieth century was not formally educated by anyone with a credential.  I guess old Abe Lincoln was a second class student.  Maybe we should check his grammar and punctuation in the Gettysburg Address and see if he passes the credential test.

You can sense the sarcasm I’m sure, but this is not the main reason for the writing.  I feel it necessary to point out a rudimentary contradiction in this threat from the ever increasing juggernaut of government.  No, it is not the infringement on the rights of Christians… that is too obvious.  What I see as a glaring contradiction is the idea that most of those who have chosen to homeschool their children, have themselves gone through the public (state) education system.  Homeschooling as a movement in our time is relatively young.  So, I’d venture to say that a good 95% of moms and dads who homeschool were not homeschooled themselves, but taught by those with credentials.

You may ask why this is important to the discussion.  If homeschoolers are somehow inept and unable to educate their own kids because of a lack of a credential or ability on their part, whose fault is this?  If the danger is a generation of kids being taught by people who are poorly equipped to teach without credentials, what does this imply about our public school system with credentials?  So, we ask, “Which is it anti-homeschool people?  Is it that homeschool parents have been failed by your system with its credentials so they are unable to pass along a good education, or is it that we homeschoolers understand that credentials do not guarantee quality and choose to deliver a real education to our kids?”   I suggest the latter.  If my wife and I are inept because of a lack of credential, it is because those with credentials failed us.  This is according to the logic of this legislation, not mine.  Having gone through the public school system with its credentials and seen the lack of quality not only in education, but in sheer apathy for the safety and nurturing of children, I for one will not subject my children to those credentials.  I would just as soon go to school to get my own credential than throw my kids to those lions.

Oh, and for the sake of argument you can add to this discussion, the ridiculous negatives of the system as a whole.  History revisionism, relativistic grading, lack of caring of teachers and staff, the rampant immorality on school campuses, the unhindered abuse of children who may be different, the all out attack on people of faith, the agendas of textbooks and teachers to undermine parents… I suppose I could go on and on.  I recognize there are good people involved in this school system who ally themselves to parents, but they are most definitely the exception and not the rule in this day.  So it is clear, I do not blame the individual teachers, but the liberal system as a whole.  People my age (35) and older can come up very quickly with names of teachers who made a positive impact on our lives.  Just for experiment, ask a teen in our day and they will pause a lot longer than you or I to come up with a few.  Then follow that up with a question of what the impact is.

If you are the praying type,  pray for two things.  That these wonderful exceptions in the public school system are rewarded and more like them come into it.  Also, pray for those who dare to take the responsibility to teach their kids at home with the aid of the many wonderful organizations who come along side to help them.  I had Coach Carl.  Hopefully I can do for my kids what he did for me.