Guest post by Dr. Tom Korcok
In the Province of Ontario, the government has committed itself to increasing the high school graduation rate to 85%. It is a noble sounding goal and, as the Premier boasted in the last election, the government is well on its way to achieving it. Since Mr. McGuinty took office, graduation rates have risen from 68% to 77%. Who could argue with that?
In fact, much of that progress has been achieved by making it more difficult for educators to fail students. There are scores of “Credit Recovery Programs” that ensure that as long as a student is physically present they will pass the course. (See Globe and Mail article High-schooldaze: In Ontario, failure is not an option.) But do higher graduation rates equal well educated students? Does a document from the Ministry of Education stating that you have successfully “earned” the required 30 high school credits mean you have received a good education?
If you peruse the history of Lutheran education, you cannot avoid an educational model that has prevailed in Christian schools for over fifteen centuries – the liberal arts. The ideas upon which the arts are based are very old, but it is that quality which should make them attractive to parents and educators alike. They are educational truths which transcend time and popular trends. They have been tested and they have endured. They have proven themselves indispensible allies to the Church as it seeks to be faithful in its calling to teach.
For more about why confessional Lutherans should care about education, we recommend Dr. Korcok’s book Lutheran Education: From Wittenberg to the Future.