Talk:Public schools in the United States

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Please read sections below to ascertain that your point has not already been covered.

Atheistic Public Schools?

Public schools are not atheistic institutions. Just because they obey the constitution and don't promote prayer, it doesn't make them atheistic. In addition, they don't promote atheism at all, they merely don't promote religion. If no one minds, I'll remove the first section from the article.--Blinkadyblink 19:17, 7 December 2007 (EST)

I agree completely. Saying that because public schools do not preach christianity means that they are "atheistic" is ridiculous. Aren't conservatives the ones who say parents should educate their children about morals, not the government? Schools should teach math, science, history, writing, art, and foreign language and leave the rest for people to decide on their own. That is limited government. --Mars2035 21:21, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
My high school had agnostic students--thought they were atheist--with many Christian/Catholic teachers. +_+ always tired Kektk 14:03, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Religion is censored from public schools: there is no classroom prayer, no religious symbols, no emphasize on moral right and wrong, etc. Sure, students may be agnostic or religious, but they better not try to say a group prayer during class time or they risk being punished. That's an atheistic culture.--Aschlafly 14:50, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Mr Schlafly: It is one thing to assert something and another to actually provide a reference. Is there any chance you could provide a valid reference that states American public schools are atheistic? In my daughter's school, students are allowed to pray during class hours, moral values are taught and emphasized during civics and other classes, and she has never seen anyone punished for praying. The atheist tag you are placing on this article wouldn't be constantly challenged if you could provide a solid reference. --Jimmy 16:09, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
There is no classroom prayer in any public school in the United States. Does that really need a reference? No morals are taught either and no religious symbols are displayed. The Ten Commandments cannot be found either. References could be supplied for these obvious facts; indeed, you could add them yourself.--Aschlafly 16:45, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Mr. Schlafly: Please reference my last comment. There is obviously prayer allowed and morals taught at my daughter's PUBLIC SCHOOL which is in AMERICA so you are wrong about asserting, without evidence, that prayer in public schools is prohibited in America. And yes, your assertion needs a reference because it flies in the face of every statement issued by the Clinton and Bush administrations concerning prayer in public schools. This is even mentioned in the article. I even posted other evidence concerning the opinions of many civil liberties groups and their support of the constitutional right of students to pray in public school but you declared that edit was 'liberal' and deleted it. Now if you want to insist that both Clinton and Bush are completely wrong and the advice they got from their legal advisors is completely without merit, please post a valid reference that disputes the opinions of our country's leaders and legal experts. I don't have the slightest clue where I would find a reference that supports what you are claiming or I would gladly assist. Please provide the reference to your assertion so we can all lay this matter to rest. --Jimmy 17:50, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

This article states that public schools are "atheistic," and atheism is defined by this encyclopedia as the denial of the existence of God. I don't mean to get overly technical here, but it seems illogical that a broadly defined institution such as American public schools could be said to deny the existence of God, unless there has been some statement (or a rash of statements) that I am not aware of (and is not cited) on behalf of public schools specifically denying that God exists. The thrust of this article seems to be not that public schools are atheistic but that they are Godless institutions, lacking in the moral fundamentals of religion and defining themselves as expressly secular. Therefore, I am changing "atheistic" to "Godless" in the header. Kristkrispies 12:43, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

Public schools are not "secular", which means reflective of society as a whole. Rather, they are deliberately exclusive of faith, morality and religion. "Godless" is a pejorative term, and atheistic is better because it encompasses atheistic ideologies like evolution that are taught in schools.--Aschlafly 13:11, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
I suppose you're right, although "secular" is often used to mean "exclusive of religion." Yes, "Godless" is a pejorative, but so is "atheistic," as least as it is defined in this encyclopedia. I also contest that evolution is an (exclusively) atheistic ideology, as many scientists who believe in evolution are theists. Finally, do you have any citations to support the fact that public schools specifically deny the existence of God, or are you using "atheistic" more as a catch-all to describe the godless mindset in general (and, if so, I'd like a better definition of the term). Kristkrispies 13:34, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
There may or may not be theistic evolutionists, but evolution is predominantly an atheistic ideology. Ditto for other things taught in public school, such as materialism. Schools are not merely "godless", as they exclude teaching of "right" and "wrong". The term "secular" is misused to mean "exclusive of religion." That is not its actual meaning.--Aschlafly 13:42, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, just one more point here, regarding the definition of "secular:" according to, which may not be the best source, the first 3 definitions specifically mean "non-religious" and there is no definition given for "reflective of a society as a whole." Kristkrispies 14:13, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
I just checked Merriam-Webster and none of the definitions mean "non-religious." [1]--Aschlafly 16:02, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
As usual, I hate to differ with you, but 'I' just checked Merriam-Webster, and the first two definitions say "non-religious." Kristkrispies 20:01, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
My cite doesn't. One of the definitions does say not specifically religious, as in denominational.--Aschlafly 20:23, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
Not to beat a dead horse, BUT the definition I'm seeing on says this: "1 a: of or relating to the worldly or temporal <secular concerns> b: not overtly or specifically religious <secular music> c: not ecclesiastical or clerical <secular courts> <secular landowners>" thus clearly defining secular as equivalent to nonreligious or nonspiritual. The next definition gets at more of the nondenominational meaning, but I don't see how you can say that this does not mean nonreligious. Furthermore, a search on Merriam-Webster's Thesaurus defines "secular" to mean "not involving religion or religious matters <that's an issue for the secular authorities, not the church>". On the other hand, I have not seen a single dictionary support your definition of secular as "reflective of society as a whole." Kristkrispies 23:51, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

I think "non-religious" is a better term.JPohl 13:51, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

"Non-religious" does not capture the hostility, such as the affirmative censorship of prayer. A group may be non-religious and still allow, and even welcome, an occasional prayer. But an atheistic culture censors the occasional group prayer, as public schools do.--Aschlafly 13:54, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
I think this is a good point, but what I want to know is why you want to characterize hostility toward religion on the part of public schools (an unsourced pejorative), yet you won't use "godless" on the grounds that it is pejorative. Also, I was hoping for an answer to the other concerns I brought up, and if I may add one more to that: you say that "Schools are not merely godless, as they exclude teaching of right and wrong," but don't you think that being godless inherently suggests the lack of morality, in the same way that atheism does? Again, you need to cite some sources to describe this broader atheistic lifestyle you seem to be describing. Kristkrispies 14:06, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
As I've said before (I think, but I'm too lazy to check), I'd prefer "nontheistic" to "atheistic." Usual disclaimers apply. -CSGuy 22:16, 10 June 2008 (EDT)
Public schools are hostile to more than God, such as right and wrong, and promote (false) ideologies that lead students to atheism.--Aschlafly 00:37, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

There not so much Atheistic as they are anti-Christian. Ultimahero 23:40, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

It is very obvious that you and whoever wrote this article has never set foot in a public school with competent staff. I am a high school senior and we have a moment of silence every day. The majority of my teachers are Christians, and although they do not press their beliefs on anyone, they certainly make it known.
My biology teacher frequently emphasizes the fact that evolution can coexist with the teachings of the three mainstream religions. He presents evolution as a fact (because...I'm sorry, but it is one. We're in the 21st century now, guys) but does not discount panspermia (the belief that life came from another planet) or intelligent design. He is a Christian, but does not bias his information one way or the other.
In my Theory of Knowledge class, the liberals, conservatives, Christians, Hindus, and atheists openly debate the definition and roots of ethics, morality, and religion. Sometimes we reach a conclusion leaning towards atheism, sometimes we reach one leaning towards Christianity. But the point is, we are presented the facts and we debate, discuss, research, and discover the roots, impacts, and issues of many ethical paradoxes and religious issues. The teacher provides input, but only to clarify and guide us in the direction of the class standards. I've learned more about what is right and wrong through arguments in that class than I have in any religious service. I've won debates and been viciously proven wrong, but at the end of the day we're all classmates who joke about it later, because unlike so many people, we have an open enough mind to throw our opinions out there and see if they stand the tests of debate and scrutiny.
Not that anything on this site is remotely correct (I thought this site was a joke when I read the Obama "article" still could be for all I know), but public education is something I just gotta take a stand on. No one knows better than someone who's been through 11.5 years of it. And if anyone's wondering, I live in the conservative state of SC, smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. So don't tell me my surroundings influence my opinions, because they don't. I know this comment (or parts of it) will be deleted/altered shortly after it is posted (because I don't agree with you...very fair, I know), but I hope at least one diehard conservative reads this and realizes that not every issue can be defended from his upper-middle class white Christian Hummer-driving viewpoint. If anyone would like to discuss my contribution further on an unbiased, uncensored, free medium, my AIM name is kevh89 and my e-mail address is So much for access to Conservapedia, because like a dissenter in communist Russia, I will probably be exiled from the IP for disagreeing. I'll just have to log in on a friends' computer for my daily laughs. This "encyclopedia" is an insult to education. Frogmaster13 21:58, 15 December 2008 (EST)

I feel the need to point out that the reason prayer and whatnot are not used in public schools is because the United States Law ensures freedom of religion and separation of church and state, which is meant to advance this end. Not all public school students are Christian. Many are atheist, agnostic, or some other religion that does not have the same rituals (specifically, praying to God) as Christianity. Not only would prayer and whatnot in public schools be illegal, it would be unfair to all of the young Americans who are non-Christian. That is my interpretation. Luminite2 23:05, 9 April 2009 (EDT)

I'm a religious person, devout in my faith, but I don't think that prayer should be allowed. For my faith or any other, do you know why? No one is of the same religion. I had a buddy, an Atheist, go to a school. A public school. When people found out he wasn't Christian, they tried to beat him up int he name of Jesus Christ. My children will be raised in my faith, a pagan faith. We are small in number, and as your site suggests, very good people. But with people out there that would attack my future children for not being of the same faith, why would I want to bring that upon them? Also, I'm a moderate, I'd actually consider myself to be moderate-conservative, but I had outrageous conservative views *pushed* upon me at my school. Not liberal views. Conservative. I had a teacher tell the students not to vote for Kerry because he supported gay rights. And why do schools need to teach morals? Teach right and wrong? Isn't that why parents exist? I'll teach my kids morals. I'll teach them what I believe to be right and wrong. I don't need some teacher telling them right and wrong. That isn't their job. To me, this article makes it sound like conservatives want to be lazy and have schools do all of their parenting work for them. - JaffaLycosa
Liberals believe in free speech for their views, but not for conservative ones. Public schools have liberal speech ad nauseum. It's tyranny to censor prayer and other conservative speech in public schools.--Andy Schlafly 09:47, 9 December 2009 (EST)
I believe in free speech for everyone. My school, conservatives were beating up liberals for their liberal views. I was in a public school my whole life (fortunately, my parents weren't rich enough to put me in a private school). Liberals cut off conservatives and conservatives cut off liberals. Neither one of them are better than the other. But all of these comments are garbage. Because Jesus isn't pushed onto me at school is why I have a lower vocabulary? You really think religion has anything to do with lower grades? And why just Christianity? Do you really think that my children deserve to have a religion forced upon them at a public school? I thought this was a free country? Free of religion. You're acting like this country should be freedom of religion for Christians and nothing else. I don't want my kids learning from the Ten Commandments at school. So tell me, if Christianity should be allowed back in school, should teaching my religion be allowed as well? - JaffaLycosa
You don't believe in meaningful free speech if you insist on censoring classroom prayer. Your claims about people beating each other up is just a liberal way to justify censorship of conservative speech in school. Even if that were your criterion, there's a lot more "beating up" done in the absence of classroom prayer.--Andy Schlafly 10:35, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Oh, I believe in Freedom of Speech. And also, my 'claims' aren't a 'liberal way'. These aren't conservative views you're throwing here, they are hateful Christian views. I don't care if people pray in school, I'm talking about organized prayer. When you have "prayer time" and not everyone believes in praying, it makes those people outcasts. It's not a good thing. If a group of kids want to go pray to their god during lunch time, that's fine by me. Go right ahead and more power to you. It happened in my school and people didn't get into trouble. But I'm talking about when prayer time is set aside in the classroom in the school. It's a public school, prayer is a religious thing. Religion, mine or yours or in general, doesn't need to be forced on anyone. I'm sure you can agree to that. -JaffaLycosa
While I do not believe that teachers should influence students on any single religion (religion is a fascinating thing and I believe all major religions should be taught, and equally at that), I also don't see any problem with students praying in school, or even teachers (as long as they don't force a student to pray). Another thing is that sports coaches in high school should be allowed to lead their players in a prayer before going out to a game. If the player isn't religious, or not Christian, or whatever, no harm done. They don't have to participate. I'm new here and I don't mean to offend or anything, just sharing my opinion. I apologize if its been stated already. SarahH
I agree with that, Sarah. Prayer was allowed in my school, just not organized prayer. From what I can tell, that's how the law states. No one was in trouble when they prayed. It was when they forced their beliefs that the trouble came. That's why I don't understand this. In fact, my school, a public school, had a religious studies class. It studied religions. That would make it not an atheist school. Also, don't say major religions. There are minor religions out there too. Don't play favorites here. -JaffaLycosa
JaffaLycosa, I can't tell if you're unaware of how liberals censor prayer in public schools, or if you're aware but in denial. In public schools, there cannot be a classroom prayer ever, under any circumstance. A coach cannot participate in a prayer with players. Do you support this censorship, or not?--Andy Schlafly 12:41, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Andy, I don't support censorship much at all to be honest. If people want to pray, more power to them. Having an organized "prayer time" I don't agree is a good idea. If students want to pray, let them. Don't let them force their beliefs on others, however. Same with teachers. After 9/11, I took part in a prayer circle on my school grounds. Although it was Christian oriented, I still took part out of respect for those that died. No one got into trouble for it. I don't see this total attack against prayer. All I've seen is an attack against organized prayer. Now, if you want to have a time set aside during the day for "self reflection" and people want to pray during that time, that's fine. I don't even care if there are religious groups involved at school, as long as all religions are allowed to be represented and even non-theists and atheists are allowed to have groups. I pray to my gods, Andy, trust me. I don't think that praying is bad at all, but we have to go about it in an intelligent way. The last thing schools need is a religious war in their halls. And on that note, I think that teaching religion in schools is a good idea. A class enveloping all of the religions to teach respect for one another, which to me, is the American way. I may be "pagan" Andy, but I'm not hateful towards Christians in the slightest nor do I wish for their religious views and beliefs to be stamped out, even in schools. -- JaffaLycosa
JaffaLycosa, the students want to start the class with a prayer, and the teacher wants to participate. This is illegal in public schools. The football players want to say a prayer before taking the field, and the coach wants to join them. This is illegal in public schools. Do you support that ban, or not? Please state your position first, and only afterward is it productive to discuss your reasons. This isn't rocket science, and I'll move on to other discussions if your position still remains unclear.--Andy Schlafly 14:03, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Its pretty clear to me that Jaffa has already stated that he/she (not sure if male or female) agrees that teachers and high school sports team coaches should be allowed to pray if they want to, as Jaffa stated they agree with me when I said that. I am unclear as to whether there is an actual ban in place stating teachers/coaches can under no circumstances participate in prayers in public schools. Could you cite a specific law or policy which prevents teachers/coaches from participating in prayer organized by the students/players, Mr. Schlafly? I'd be very interested in seeing what is in place, exactly. Thank you. SarahH 14:33, 9 December 2009 (EST)
If it weren't rocket science, Andy, then you'd have came to the same conclusion Sarah just did. I don't care if students and teachers want to pray. As long as they don't shove their beliefs on others, as long as they don't act like someone is wrong because they don't participate in the same prayer, I don't care. But I want to know, Andy, would you mind if the teacher started a pagan prayer with the class? If you heard about a teacher that prayed a pagan prayer with some pagan students, how would you react? Please be honest, I'd like to know your stance on teachers and students taking part in organized non-Christian/Jewish/Islam prayers. But to answer your question clearly, I'm not against it. As I said, I took part in a Christian prayer with both students and teachers involved while a pagan. If people want to pray, let them. Just don't beat people up or treat them like crap if they don't. Also, I'm a guy. - JaffaLycosa
How'd I know you weren't going to answer that question? - JaffaLycosa
You probably knew because I already said "I'll move on to other discussions if your position still remains unclear." Also, 100% of your edits have been talk, talk, talk, in violation of our 90/10 Rule. Unlike Wikipedia, we help students and others here and nonstop talk doesn't advance that goal.--Andy Schlafly 20:25, 10 December 2009 (EST)

I just thought I would chime in here. I currently attend a public school, and they aren't atheistic. We have a world religions class, there is a religion diversity mural painted on one wall of the school, and lastly, in te library, there is a whole religion section with only one atheist book, which is only about 100 pages long.

Uncited Assertions

I would like to see evidence for the assertion that public schools are atheistic and spoken prayer is forbidden in the classroom. The idea that this should be present without a reference goes against the standards of this encyclopedia.--Jimmy 13:56, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Then go ahead and help find it. If I can find such references within the time it takes you to complain about the lack of them, then you can find them as well and help contribute to the building of this encyclopedia. Karajou 14:06, 1 January 2008 (EST)
It is my understanding that the person making the claim needs to provide the source documentation. For the record, I do not know of any reputable source that claims the American public school system is atheistic. Nor do I know of any law or court decision that prohibits all spoken prayer in the classroom, hence my request for a citation.
Just so you know, I am contributing to the building of this encyclopedia. In the time I have taken to voice my objection to the lack of sources, have you come up with your own references?--Jimmy 15:26, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Yes I have. I've known for years that school prayer was removed from the schools as a result of an atheistic loudmouth named Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who used her son to force her religious beliefs through the Supreme Court in 1962. The account was also written in the book "Let Us Pray", by William Murray, an evangelical pastor who was O'Hair's tool back then.
Whining about lack of references does not build up this encyclopedia; helping out to fill in the missing holes does, and I expect you to do so. You don't know because you never bothered to look; you sat there and expected everyone else to do it for you. Karajou 15:58, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Prayer has not been removed from public schools and anyone that thinks this is the case is seriously misinformed. O'Hair's lawsuit, Murray v. Curlett, (consolidated with Abington Township School District v. Schempp) declared school sponsored Bible reading in public schools in the United States to be unconstitutional. The key words here are 'school sponsored'. Students are allowed to pray as long as it is initiated by them and does not interfere with classes or instruction. Please reference this court ruling and the additional references I included in the article concerning the opinions of the Clinton and Bush administrations position on public school prayer.
You are referring to my requests for documentation as 'whining'. Yet all I am trying to do is follow the commandments and guidelines of this encyclopedia. This is Conservapedia, an organization where the article writers must provide documentation for their articles. This is not Wikipedia where everyone is entitled to their own opinion without providing references. What is wrong with insisting that everyone follow the rules and guidelines?
I'm sure that you noticed that the vast majority of this article has been written by me. Every word I have written is backed-up by references as required by the commandments. Yet this doesn't seem to satisfy you, why not? I've put a significant amount of time into this article and when someone makes an unreferenced assertion, I would like them to provide the same type of references that I am required to.
If you have an addition to this article or a source that can back-up what is already written, then please contribute your efforts. Where this article is concerned, all you have done is complain when someone is trying to make valid contributions. --Jimmy 16:28, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Jimmy, sources are readily available on the internet, or simply ask someone who goes to public school, or teaches there.--Aschlafly 16:36, 1 January 2008 (EST)
If the sources are readily available, then they should be listed with the article. A person reading the article shouldn't have to do their own research when the article writer is required to provide a reference.--Jimmy 16:53, 1 January 2008 (EST)
I think this represents one of the biggest problems I've identified with site in that it is built upside down. Most articles seem to start with conclusions (public schools are bad, atheism is bad, Obama is a Muslim) and then looks for evidence to support these conclusions. If no evidence is found, the statements are usually just left. An encylopedia should look at the evidence first, then see which conclusions can be drawn from it.--RonAbdul 10:24, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Provide your best specific example and let's look at it. The "biggest problem" with the detractors, with all due respect, is a lack of an open mind.--Andy Schlafly 10:31, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Well, I've been trying to draw your attention to the problems with the Tone Section in the Obama article, which I tried to address on the Obama talk page.--RonAbdul 15:33, 4 January 2009 (EST)

Mandatory / Teacher-lead / Spoken Prayers

I'm sorry if there was some sort of misunderstanding, but I wasn't aware that all spoken prayer is banned in public schools... would a student making a simple prayer (at a practical time) really be punished for doing so? Perhaps I'm missing another sort of prayer, other than teacher-led, that is also banned? I was just trying to clarify what is actually "forbidden" and where these lines are drawn in most public schools. Feebasfactor 16:06, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Yes, it is banned. Surely you know someone who goes to public school, or teaches there???? Anyone, teacher or student, who tries to lead a prayer in school is likely to be disciplined and have that go on his record.--Aschlafly 16:34, 1 January 2008 (EST)
I know people that go to and teach at public schools and prayer is allowed many times during the day, even during class time as long as it does not interfere with instruction. Yet the article states: 'Spoken prayer … are expressly forbidden in public schools classrooms during school hours, and teaching of morality is implicitly disfavored.' I would like to see a reference that supports that sentence, it seems to be at odds with what I observe and current legal reasoning.--Jimmy 16:50, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Ah, yes, I see what you mean Andy... sorry, I didn't mean to overemphasize who it was leading the prayer. In public schools, essentially any prayer beyond individual, inconspicuous prayer on one's own time is banned or strongly discouraged. Perhaps instead of "spoken prayer"... "group prayer" or "collective prayer" might more accurately denote this situation? I'm not sure, the current term seemed a bit confusing - but that might just be me. Anyway, clarify it if you like, thanks for explaining. Feebasfactor 20:34, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Why were my edits reverted? I've been asking for a reference for the school prayer comments at the top of the page for a while and none were provided. The comment about prominent Americans not attending public schools since 1962 was deleted because I felt it was a little odd to have that sentence there when it is obvious that it was not true.--Jimmy 13:21, 4 January 2008 (EST)
The list shows that the only prominent Americans were educated before 1962, and there is no disputing the observation about prayer being banned at public schools, along with the Ten Commandments. You can easily find cites for that if that were your goal. Deleting factual information for liberal reasons is allowed at Wikipedia, but not here.--Aschlafly 13:24, 4 January 2008 (EST)
There are two lists of prominent Americans educated in public schools. The second list provides the names of fifteen that were educated after 1962 so why are you insisting that there aren't any prominent Americans educated after 1962? I am disputing your observation concerning public school prayer because according to George W. Bush and the Department of Education, you are wrong, and Bush is far from being a liberal.
I can't find any cites to support your conclusions about public school prayer; that is why I want you to provide them. If they exist, please show me where, according to the commandments it is your responsibility to do so. Since Conservapedia is supposed to be "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia", I feel that references should be provided for every alleged fact presented in its pages. I don't see how that has a liberal stance, facts are facts.--Jimmy 13:40, 4 January 2008 (EST)
Um, last time I checked, only teacher led/mandatory prayer in schools was banned. Students/Teachers can pray, however, they can't be disruptive to the class or make others pray that don't want to. Anyways, then there is the matter of which religion's prayers/worship style should be used. That would show favoritism to one religion and annoy other people who get offended. This leads to either having the class do prayers, etc.. of every religion or not having any prayer mandatory. The first option is infeasible because it would detract from time that could be used to learn subject material. So that is why teacher led/mandatory prayer isn't allowed in public schools. Willing individuals can pray together, however it must not be a distraction to a class. This is my two cents.JudgeKing 13:00, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Unjustified Edits

Mr. Schlafly:

This is just getting worse. Your reference to the prohibition of the Ten Commandments in public schools is a reference to another Conservapedia article which itself doesn't have a reference. How is that suppose to work? And this reference has nothing to do with the alleged prohibition of spoken prayer or teaching of morality. I'll ask again, can you provide valid references for the following opinions you have made; spoken prayer is prohibited in public schools, school prayer was banned in 1962, and the teaching of morality is disfavored? According to the commandments of this encyclopedia, you are not providing the proper documentation for most of your opinions expressed in this article and yet I get the feeling you wouldn't tolerate unreferenced edits from me.

Changing the heading of the second list of Americans that attended public schools doesn't make sense. Of the fifteen people listed, only three can be considered 'celebrities'. The rest are prominent business men, astronauts, politicians, an aviator and a soldier. Since only 20% of the people listed are celebrities, how does that add up to 'mostly celebrity'?

I get the feeling that I am going to be blocked soon. I was warned once before about not insisting on people following the rules of this encyclopedia and that I should be expected to look up the references for other people's opinions even if I didn't think they were valid. I hope I'll be able to make contributions to this website.--Jimmy 20:38, 4 January 2008 (EST)

Not quite yet, but I reverted your last edit here. If you feel that schools are teaching morality, reversing the wording of one sentence isn't helping the article.
Can you write a few sentences on Morality in public schools, please? --Ed Poor Talk 23:22, 5 January 2008 (EST)
I would like to write a section about morality in public schools, but what good would it do. The second sentence of this article claims, without providing any evidence whatsoever, that student prayer in public schools is prohibited and morality implicitly disfavored. It doesn't matter that I provided plenty of evidence that this assertion is completely without basis. Unless the second sentence is changed to reflect reality, this article will always look goofy. The latest reference that Aschlafly supplied actually shows prayer is allowed at public schools. I quote from the reference, "It ended in the spring of 2006 when the Knox County School Board promised in writing to allow students "religious expression" during "discretionary time." Far from demonstrating that public schools are forbidding prayer, this reference makes it clear that if students are denied the right to pray during non-instructional times, they always have someone that will fight for them and restore their rights.
Look at the edits I made earlier that were reverted. Notice how many times 'atheistic' was replaced with 'secular' before it wasn't reverted. A list showing a broad coalition of civil liberties groups supporting public school prayer was removed for being 'liberal'. I've had no luck removing the 'disclaimer' about prominent Americans being educated in public schools. It still states prayer is banned and no 'prominent Americans' have been educated in public schools even though I have demonstrated otherwise. I've made continuous requests for references to support the opinions expressed in the second sentence of this article only to be ignored and threatened. Will you offer any assurance that what I write will not be summarily dismissed? I'd hate to waste my time.--Jimmy 00:07, 6 January 2008 (EST)

Political Correctness as a Hindering Factor

It's frequently noted that private schools tend to do better than public schools, and that other countries (India, China, and so forth) are turning out more and better-equipped scientists and engineers than America at present.

I would suggest that there's a common factor: none of those educational environments are guided by the notion that every student has equal ability, and that if we just try really hard, every student can achieve at the same level.

Bluntly: that notion is political correctness, and it's a tremendous handicap for several reasons.

First, it makes it all but impossible to hold students accountable for their own education. Social promotion ensures that students who make no effort continue to be passed on to higher grades. While in school, they face essentially no consequences for lack of effort; the consequences only catch up with them when they get out into the real world and discover that they're woefully unqualified for any job.

Second, the one-size-fits-all approach to education hurts both gifted and non-gifted students in the name of "not labeling." Modern educational theory insists that students at all levels of ability need to be taught in the same classroom at the same time, resulting in a Catch-22. Either the teacher can teach at the level of the lowest students in the class--ensuring that the rest of the class will be bored stiff and receive little useful information--or at a higher level, ensuring that the struggling students will be lost.

This is hand-waved with bland optimism and buzzwords like "differentiated instruction." There's only so much differentiation you can do in forty minutes, though.

Why is it wrong to suggest that working with a group of students who are at roughly the same level will enable lessons to be tailored to that level? Why is it wrong to suggest that students who excel in English, in science, or in mathematics be given the chance to excel and to push beyond the baseline curriculum? That is how other countries produce better-educated engineers and scientists: they don't try to educate everyone to the same level.

Apologies for the rant, but as a teacher in a public school myself, I'm frequently frustrated by having my hands tied. --Benp 20:30, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

Atheistic and secular

The secularism of the US public schools promotes atheism. Let's not pretend otherwise. User:Human, you do indeed risk your editing rights to assert otherwise.

If you can find support for religion in any public school, you may add that to the counterexamples section (or start such a section). But the trend is clearly toward Atheism, a positive denial of the existence of God, along with Materialism, an explicit denial of the reality of the supernatural.

Do not use edit summaries as a debate forum. You know better than this. --Ed Poor Talk 11:11, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

The secularism of the US public schools promotes atheism. This, I think may be true. But that's a different thing from saying the schools ARE atheist. If you take a look at the US Dept of Ed's Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools US Dept of Ed's Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools:[2], which is the government's official word on the subject, you get a pretty good idea of the governing principals and where the line is supposed to be drawn. (Of course, there are always school districts here and there who step over the line one way or another, usually with much fanfare in the press. This doesn't, however, change the fact that schools are supposed to follow the guidelines set forth by the Dept of Ed.) Some highlights:

  • The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the First Amendment requires public school officials to be neutral in their treatment of religion, showing neither favoritism toward nor hostility against religious expression such as prayer. This, I would argue, is pretty much the definition of "secular". It's certainly not atheist.
  • Accordingly, the First Amendment forbids religious activity that is sponsored by the government but protects religious activity that is initiated by private individuals, and the line between government-sponsored and privately initiated religious expression is vital to a proper understanding of the First Amendment's scope. As the Court has explained in several cases, "there is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect."
  • Although the Constitution forbids public school officials from directing or favoring prayer, students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate," and the Supreme Court has made clear that "private religious speech, far from being a First Amendment orphan, is as fully protected under the Free Speech Clause as secular private expression."
  • "nothing in the Constitution ... prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the school day," and students may pray with fellow students during the school day on the same terms and conditions that they may engage in other conversation or speech.

  • Prayer During Noninstructional Time - Students may pray when not engaged in school activities or instruction, subject to the same rules designed to prevent material disruption of the educational program that are applied to other privately initiated expressive activities. Among other things, students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other noninstructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities.
  • Organized Prayer Groups and Activities - Students may organize prayer groups, religious clubs, and "see you at the pole" gatherings before school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other non-curricular student activities groups. Such groups must be given the same access to school facilities for assembling as is given to other non-curricular groups, without discrimination because of the religious content of their expression.
  • Teachers, Administrators, and other School Employees - Teachers may take part in religious activities where the overall context makes clear that they are not participating in their official capacities. Before school or during lunch, for example, teachers may meet with other teachers for prayer or Bible study to the same extent that they may engage in other conversation or nonreligious activities. Similarly, teachers may participate in their personal capacities in privately sponsored baccalaureate ceremonies.
  • Moments of Silence - If a school has a "minute of silence" or other quiet periods during the school day, students are free to pray silently, or not to pray, during these periods of time.
  • Religious Expression and Prayer in Class Assignments - Students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions.

I think "secular" is the more accurate term, despite a few examples of schools which mistakenly restricted students' rights to prayer. Trends away from secularism, and so on, can be described in a paragraph later in the entry. --Hsmom 17:12, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

"Secular" means: "1 a: of or relating to the worldly or temporal <secular concerns> b: not overtly or specifically religious <secular music> c: not ecclesiastical or clerical <secular courts> <secular landowners>"[3]
None of those definitions describes the overwhelmingly atheistic leadership and culture of public schools. Students are more likely to hear God mentioned or worshiped in an atheistic country than in a public school.--Aschlafly 18:50, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Nitpick: My Circular Reasoning sense is tingling: You look at a definition for "secular", realize that it doesn't meet your assumption that the public schools are atheistic (and not secular) and then conclude that "secular" is not the right word. --DirkB 18:57, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Late comment: I'd prefer the term "nontheistic." "Atheistic" implies explicit denial of the existence of a higher being; "nontheistic" implies that the schools just don't address the concept. -CSGuy 14:59, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Removal of Section on Famous Americans

There are so many things wrong with the section on famous Americans who have attended public school. How do you define "attended": is it graduates only, or those who have spent even a day in a public institution? How do you define "prominent American"? Politicians, musicians, artists, owners of large corporations, athletes, who counts? Also, note that the list would probably require several hundred pages, considering that virtually ever American who has a graduate-level education (GED-worthy) attended a public school, including a vast, vast majority of Americans that would be considered "prominent." And what's up with that statistic that claims that fewer prominent Americans have come out of the public school system since prayer was banned? There is absolutely no way that a claim like that can be tested, measured, or even looked at in a serious light. I vote to delete the section entirely. And mind you I have many, many friends who graduated from the public school system who are doing just fine, which is remarkable considering that I live in Los Angeles, which has one of the highest dropout rates in the country. I remember my mother still works at a particularly prominent school in Hollywood, and at the end of each year she takes several students who graduated out to lunch to congratulate them because it's such an achievement at some schools in the city. I don't think that has anything to do with prayer though (religious children fail to graduate just as often as secular ones). -Ilikecake 17:04, 11 November 2008 (EST)

This is the worst section on an even worse page. The list of post and pre 1962 section should be thousands of pages long! I'm going to delete it. I know it's going to be put back in a couple minutes though.
If you already believe something will be reverted when you begin to edit, that is a good indicator not to do so. Also please remember to sign your posts. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 21:59, 25 February 2010 (EST)


  • A few comments on the recently-added statistics:
  • Illegal drugs: The survey that statistic comes from includes both public and private schools. (See [4])
  • Teen pregnancy: The number is for one city in Virginia, and makes no distinction between public school, private school, and homeschooled teens.
  • Obesity: A similar comment. The number is for one school district.
  • Mental health: According to this government website, an estimated 20% of people 9-17 years old have some sort of mental disorder. Since the source for the "almost 10%" statistic (I think it would be better just to say 8%, by the way) doesn't say what exactly it means by "mental health issues," there's really no way to determine what the significance of the number is. Also, that number is for one school district. It's not enough data to say the number applies to public school students in general.
Usual disclaimers apply. -CSGuy 20:34, 21 December 2008 (EST)
Any study that includes public and private schools is going to be 90% public school, so the private school distinction is insignificant. If anything, private schools are better, which makes the real public school statistic even worse than reported. The teen pregnancy statistic is for public and private schools, not homeschoolers (where teen pregnancy rates are virtually 0). The government estimate on mental health is interesting but does not change the school statistic.--aschlafly 20:57, 21 December 2008 (EST)
  • The teen pregnancy statistic is for all teens in the relevant area - which includes homeschoolers. (You can find the data from this page on the VA department of health's website. Under "Data Tables," pick either 2007 table from the Teenage Pregnancies drop-down box.)
  • No, the estimate doesn't change the school statistic; however, it does change its significance.
  • You have failed to address my comments regarding the samples. Except for the illegal drugs statistic and the government mental health statistic, all the numbers I mentioned come from samples that were relatively small and not particularly diverse; you can't just assume those statistics are equal to those for the general public school population. -CSGuy 21:06, 21 December 2008 (EST)
You only challenge 4 out of the 11 points, and one of your 4 (the obesity statistic) can hardly be disputed. Just look at how fat public school kids are. Maybe the statistic is slightly off, but I could find 5 stories in 60 seconds decrying the obesity in public school kids.
And that illustrates the problem with your comments. You're not showing a genuine interest in the crisis when you deny facts that you could easily confirm yourself and improve the entry with additional references. I'm not here to persuade someone determined not to be persuaded. I already suggest to parents that they get their kids out of public school, and yet still try to help those stuck in the system and still look for ways to improve the system for the kids. You, however, seem determined not to help.--aschlafly 21:15, 21 December 2008 (EST)
Because I don't challenge all of the statistics, my criticisms can't be taken seriously? Also, note that all I deny is that you are correctly interpreting the statistics. Finally, you still haven't responded to my comments regarding the samples. -CSGuy 21:34, 21 December 2008 (EST)

Where is your proof?

Why did you insert that 77% statistic into the public school article? The article provided did not say that statistic. Where is your proof? --Metzky 20:42, 2 January 2009 (EST)

Note: when stating "article" I mean the conservapedia article, but when I say "source", I mean the source that is cited.
After reading the sources from the statistics, I have a major problems with what the article is claiming to have evidence of:

1.One source says "In 1991, 62 percent had used illicit drugs. In 2007, the number jumped to 77 percent." (it is the link with the number "6"). However, this does not mean "77% do illegal drugs", as stated in the article. It simply means that, at one point in their life, 77% have done drugs. The difference in verb tense makes a huge difference. Note that "have done" can be anything as small as having one drink in their entire life or smoking marijuana once.
2.I was unable to find where the pregnancy rate of 10% came from. I read the entire article sourced for the statistic twice and was unable to find it. The only thing close to it was "In a school of 2,211 students, there are at least 70 girls who are soon-to-be or already mothers." This indicates a pregnancy rate of 3%, not 10%. Also, the statistic of about half getting abortions is not representative of the population, as there was only a sample size of 200 from Alexandria in Virginia.
3.Also, the article sourced for "nearly 10% have mental health problems" specifically states in the second paragraph: "8 percent had mental health issues." 10% and 8% are huge differences in the world of statistics. There is no problem with stating "8%". Also, the study was on students in a Memphis school district. This means that the statistic is unable to be extrapolated to all of American public school students. Memphis students are not representative of the entire population of students, so no such claim is possible.
4.The same goes for the 35% said to be obese. (Added in after originally posted William Beasontalk 21:23, 2 January 2009 (EST))
5.The same error just mentioned is committed when stating "20% go on dangerous "binge drinking," and 50% drink illegally". The statistic cited is for Ottowa County in Michigan. (not representative of the entire population)
6.An even more egregious error is committed concerning the number of students who watch more than 3 hours of television. The national average that the source refers to is public school students. The 60% statistic is for Memphis students. The 35% is the national average for public school students.
7.On bullying, the source states "Nationally, about 160,000 students miss school daily because they fear being bullied". When checking this, the source is completely wrong:
If you want a source that is not CNN, then:
In reality, it is "Every year more than 160,000 students report missing some school because they are afraid." (added after originally posted William Beasontalk 21:32, 2 January 2009 (EST)) It is not every day, but at least some every year. This includes simply being late in one day the entire year.

Overall, the sources seem to be taken from where public schools are doing the worst rather than average public schools. The sample sizes are extremely small and are taken specifically from the regions where public schools are doing the worst. These are not representative of how the entire public school system is doing. The statistics have either been gravely misinterpreted or are being misconstrued on purpose by the person who wrote that part of the article. The article is very misleading.
I hope this is fixed soon. William Beasontalk 21:19, 2 January 2009 (EST)
In response to point 1 above, drugs are addictive. Very few people do drugs only once. In response to point 2 above, please realize that boys don't get pregnant, and half of pregnant high school girls get an abortion.
Guys, I stopped there. Raise the quality of your criticisms, please, if you want a response. And pick your best criticism rather than pretending that quantity is a substitute for quality. It isn't.--aschlafly 21:47, 2 January 2009 (EST)
That's too bad. Numbers six and seven seem valid, if not the others. LiamG 22:00, 2 January 2009 (EST)

If you want to help paint a clear statistical picture of US public schools, I'm ready to help. I know enough math (and logic) to keep both sides honest. But I'll tell you from the start, liberals are much more likely to make math errors and to believe what they want - than conservatives. The way they treat John Lott is a case in point. Another example is how many children "go to bed hungry each night".

Remember, the figures do not lie, but "liars figure". --Ed Poor Talk 22:45, 2 January 2009 (EST)

I'm guessing a good place to start would be to read the points that Andy won't. LiamG 22:52, 2 January 2009 (EST)
No, Liam, a good place to start is to admit the basic errors in the criticism and take steps to prevent recurrence of more errors like them.--aschlafly 22:54, 2 January 2009 (EST)
You already said you didn't read the whole thing. You say the first two are flawed, ok. But you literally can't know if there are errors in the rest. LiamG 22:56, 2 January 2009 (EST)
I see your point in that my second point was flawed (I can't believe I forgot to take that into account), but that still only raises the pregnancy rate to 6%. This does not allow us to make the conclusion that there is a 10% pregnancy rate in all public schools. The statistic specifically applies to the school it was taken from because data was only taken from that particular school.
Let me elaborate. In statistics, there is a rule that before making a statement about a population (every person the statistic is about) that "the sample must be representative of the population". This means that samples for the statistic have to come from many locations. If data is not taken from many locations (that are relevant to the statistic), then the statistics develop bias, or when the result given is not what is true in real life.
In context of my point about the 6% pregnancy rate, this means that it is O.K. for the result to be applied to where it came from: the Memphis school. There is no bias when taking it in that specific context. However, when applying it to the entire country, there is bias. Well, where does it come from? There wasn't bias when applying it to the school, so what is the problem with applying it to the entire country? Let me respond to those questions by giving an example:
  • "A recent statistic showed that 1900 of 2000 randomly polled people in Washington D.C. are liberal. This means that 95% of the entire country is liberal."
This is obviously completely incorrect. The only thing that the statisticians can deduce from that is that 95% of people who live in Washington D.C. are liberals. No information was taken from Texas, Kentucky, New York, Maine, California, Alaska, Florida, Oklahoma, etc.. Data can only be said to represent our country if it is taken from a variety of locations.
That is why I have a problem with a variety of the statistics: these were a local studies rather than national studies (except for bullying and drugs).
Thank you for taking the time to read this. William Beasontalk 07:36, 3 January 2009 (EST)

You've got the cart before the horse, William. How about helping us with a series of articles on statistics? The elementary rules you mentioned should be outlined so clearly that all you'd have to do is refer readers to the article in question. (Absent that, your comments might take on a "lecturing" tone here.) --Ed Poor Talk 07:48, 3 January 2009 (EST)

Being a teacher yourself, you may know of the "lecture reflex". I'll take you up on your offer. William Beasontalk 08:00, 3 January 2009 (EST)

Good. In the mean time (no pun intended), the teen pregnancy rate would seem to be 30 to 35 percent - not 10 percent. This is calculating pregnancies per girl (up to age 19) - not some annualized rate.

But advocates on both sides of a social issue have been known to magnify or minimize a problem. Read Darrell Huff's "How to Lie with Statistics" for some tips on how to fight back. --Ed Poor Talk 08:04, 3 January 2009 (EST)

Cutting in here for a moment to address Andy's point that 77% admitting to trying it once equates to 77% doing drugs routinely because drugs are addictive. It's not that black and white. Marijuana is not addictive. MDMA is not addictive. LSD is not addictive. And I can guarantee these three make up most of a student's drug intake.--RonAbdul 16:03, 4 January 2009 (EST)

Textbook CBN story

This might fit in here or some other article as an external link.

Great point. Please add to this entry where you think best. Thanks and Godspeed.--Andy Schlafly 14:08, 22 August 2009 (EDT)

Statistics, Sampling and The Truth

Generally the statistics given are a good picture of public schools all over America. What is to be gained by parsing the language to weaken the statement, obfuscate it, to make it appear they have better results than they do? Oh, wait, I forgot that liberals want to hide from obvious truths! Public schools are mostly cesspools. That a precious few excel doesn't alter reality. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 17:13, 1 June 2010 (EDT)

Source for 10% pregnancy rate?

If the statistic that 10% of public school girls get pregnant is true, it's a very powerful statement about public schools. The source given doesn't include this fact, though. Pregnancy rates are deplorably high in public schools, but I can't find any sources that put the number as high as 10%. I need help finding a source on this. ChrisGT90 21:56, 10 June 2010 (EDT)

I'm getting some conflicting data on this as well. This (PDF file) states that in 2006, the teen pregnancy rate for ALL women was 71.5 in 1,000 (~7.2%). However, This article states that 1/3 of girls get pregnant before the age of 20. If the latter is the case, I would say that 10% pregnancy rate is an under-estimation given that most children are in the public school system. I'm still searching, though ... -- Jeff W. LauttamusDiscussion 22:09, 10 June 2010 (EDT)
I found a source that puts the pregnancy rate at about 14.375% among the girls at one high school, but we need something better before we can make a statement about public schools in general, as this school is hardly a typical example. I imagine that the distribution of pregnancy rates among public schools would resemble something of an inverse bell curve: a number of public schools (primarily urban ones) would have extremely high pregnancy rates while many others (mostly suburban/rural schools) would have very low pregnancy rates. There are probably relatively few schools that fall in the middle because there are very few schools that have an equal mix of students from the cultures, environments, etc. that lead to teen pregnancy.
I bet a large number of the supposed 1/3 pregnancies comes from girls that are 19, and hence out of school. Also, that statistic for all women is actually for "all women between 15 and 19." They slid that detail in at the top of the chart where it's not very noticeable. I don't know where the CDC gets its number, but there's a huge difference between 7% of girls between 15 and 19 getting pregnant and 33% of girls being pregnant before 20. I'm more inclined to believe the 7%; that number sounds much more reasonable and other data from the study makes sense as well. The CDC, on the other hand, is the same agency that continually warned us of the dangers of the imminent swine flu pandemic... that everyone with sense knew wasn't going to happen. ChrisGT90 22:54, 10 June 2010 (EDT)
The source given in the article says that birth/abortion rates among teens in Alexandria was about 50/50. The first source that JLauttamus provided gives data for the whole nation, and puts abortion rates at 32%. Neither source mentioned public schools, so we don't have any data on that. I'm going to add a citation needed tag to the article about the pregnancy rates, and research further into abortion rates. ChrisGT90 15:39, 14 June 2010 (EDT)
All the evidence seems to point to a percentage even higher than 10%, so I don't see why the 10% estimate would be considered unacceptable for somehow being too high. I wouldn't expect public schools to admit to this problem or for precise data to be available.--Andy Schlafly 23:35, 14 June 2010 (EDT)
We don't really have any evidence to point to a particular number. We have a number from a single school (and an atypical one, at that) giving us about 14%. The only piece of data that evaluates the whole nation gives us about 7%, but that's just pregnancy rates among 15-19 year olds in general, and doesn't mention schooling at all. We could technically say that "One public school has a pregnancy rate of over 14% among its female students," but that would be kind of weaselly. We don't have any evidence from which to draw conclusions about a typical public school or public schools as a whole. ChrisGT90 13:34, 16 June 2010 (EDT)
If no source has been provided to back up this statistic, I'll remove it on June 24th. (Two weeks after this issue was raised.) ChrisGT90 22:55, 19 June 2010 (EDT)

30% of public schools fail to graduate from high school?

I found a rather major and embarrassing error in the opening lines. The list of statistics are said to be "characteristics of public schools" when they are in fact describing their students. I edited the heading sentence before the list to reflect this, but my edits were reversed, because "the public schools create the students." I agree that we do need to find a way to emphasize this, but the error still needs removal. Any suggestions on how to accomplish both goals while keeping everyone happy? JimAB 21:19, 27 March 2011 (EDT)

Jim, the schools teach and train the students. That's what the schools are paid to do, at astronomical costs. When someone refers to "public schools," it does not mean merely the bricks in the buildings.--Andy Schlafly 22:49, 27 March 2011 (EDT)
To me "public schools" refers to the lessons, the students, the teachers and the rubbish that is being taught. MaxFletcher 23:00, 27 March 2011 (EDT)
As 'schools' it doesn't make logical sense. I'll try and fix it. --AlaskanEconomy 17:05, 9 April 2011 (EDT)
Thanks, AE. JimAB 22:19, 9 April 2011 (EDT)

Claim of dubious worth

60% of students in one region watch more than 3 hours of TV vs. 35% nation wide. Since that national population with 35% over the line is 90% public school students I think that it's safe to say the 60% number has a lot more to do with the region than public schools. --AlaskanEconomy 17:36, 9 April 2011 (EDT)

George Orwell's account of Public Schools in England

  • These are not public 'national schools', but something quite the opposite: exclusive and expensive residential secondary schools, scattered far apart. Until recently they admitted almost no one but the sons of rich aristocratic families. It was the dream of nouveau riche bankers of the nineteenth century to push their sons into a Public School. At such schools the greatest stress is laid on sport, which forms, so to speak, a lordly, tough and gentlemanly outlook. Among these schools, Eton is particularly famous. Wellington is reported to have said that the victory of Waterloo was decided on the playing fields of Eton. It is not so very long ago that an overwhelming majority of the people who in one way or another ruled England came from the Public School. [5]

If we are to rely on Orwell's account, we'll have to revise the article somewhat. In fact, we may need to rewrite the article a good deal, and expand it.

We need to write about education in the English-speaking West, for that is the topic of which "Public schools" or Public schools in the United States is only a part. Also, we should write a bit more about the strengths, for schools in North America have had many good aspects or elements. Let's take the good with the bad, and write a balanced article (or series of articles). --Ed Poor Talk 17:40, 16 August 2011 (EDT)

Picture of school with security cameras

I have a bit of an issue with the picture at the top of the article. It is of Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, FL. I happened to graduate from this high school two years ago. The original school was destroyed by Hurricane Charley and the new school was rebuilt with all of the cameras. There were hardly any problems with violence or vandalism (unless you consider leaving lunch trays on the table vandalism). In fact, the school's academic team consistently defeated the area's best private schools' teams. Not only is the school a bad example of the bad things about public schools, it is a terrific example of some of the best accomplishments of public schools.--BubbaRomney 21:50, 18 June 2012 (EDT)

I have no idea who you are, but that's not how I remember the kids at that school; I graduated from Punta Gorda Middle School in 2006 (probably the same year you did, whoever you are) and school choiced into the Port Charlotte school because of the violence and drama at the Punta Gorda one. Of course, no one ever said that CHS is the worst school in the world or anything, just saying that public schools are becoming more and more violent every year. Welcome to Conservapedia! DMorris 15:36, 19 June 2012 (EDT)

4-day week

(moved from entry re: 4-day week) This above paragraph is not completely true, as, at least in Missouri, there are classes taught by teachers five days a week, and between 7 and 8 hours a day. unsigned

The entry does not say that all schools in Missouri use a 4-day week, but apparently it is allowed for some to shorten their week.--Andy Schlafly 18:32, 12 April 2013 (EDT)

Please do clarify that in the real article, because it is obvious to anyone who has stopped out of homeschool that you are trying to distort the truth.


This article is badly out-of-date and does not reflect the fact that Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have taken over leadership of the federal role in US public education. I have started to reorganize the article. Does anyone have objections to making it more aligned with current developments? I will add more about special education and pre-K. JDano (talk) 20:08, 30 July 2017 (EDT)

The fact that DeVos is the SoE does not change the fact that public schools still promote left-wing, anti-Christian beliefs. Much more is needed than a Republican administration to change public schools -- if they can even be changed at all at this point. Besides, your edit takes away the fact that public schools promote left-wing views from the intro. Having a GOP administration does not make that change OK. If that is the main part of your proposal, then I oppose such an edit. --1990'sguy (talk) 20:23, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
I will wait another day to see what other people think, but the current article is very out-of-date and does not explain what public education in the US is, before it is criticised. I did not remove any of the criticisms. JDano (talk) 21:09, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
I know you did not remove the criticisms, but you diluted the article by moving them further down. Most readers don't look that far down. They only read the intro. The fact that public schools promote secular and left-wing views is probably the most important and most overlooked fact about public schools. Why state the obvious in the intro when this is more important? --1990'sguy (talk) 21:17, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
It is true that the lede paragraph should provide an overall summary of the topic covered by the encyclopedia article. It is also true that Commandment #5 is "Do not post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry." and a lot of the current article is personal opinion and should probably be deleted. Conservapedia:Writing a Good Article says, "The intro paragraph is meant to be a short paragraph which introduces the subject to the reader, generally about four to five sentences long." I believe that the introductory paragraph that I wrote better fit our long-standing policy than what is there now. With a conservative President, a conservative Secretary of Education, many conservative Governors, thousands of conservative members of local Boards of Education, why do you believe that public schools "promote secular and left-wing views?" If you have recent sources, please add them to the article, because I am not impressed by studies of students who graduated high school in 2001. Thanks, JDano (talk) 21:33, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
First off, it is way too premature to change the article to make it seem that public schools are all of a sudden bastions of conservatism when the new administration just started. Second, once again, having conservatives in power is not automatically going to lead to a more conservative education system. Public schools became more left-wing during the presidencies of Reagan and both Bushes, and the bureaucracy continued to grow. This isn't Eastern Europe, where conservative governments can easily institute what could almost easily be called propaganda in schools. Teachers and teachers unions remain powerful forces, and they are overwhelmingly liberal. The federal deep state bureaucracy remains very liberal even with a conservative president (and besides, states still have most of the say).
This is a major CP article. If you want to make major changes like this, I strongly recommend asking Andy. It's his website, after all. --1990'sguy (talk) 21:44, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
How do you define a "major article"? I welcome every editor to comment, and please do not misrepresent my views. I am not saying that public schools are "bastions of conservatism". I am saying that many conservatives have become active in school policy over the last two decades and things keep changing. I don't know whether your claim that "public schools still promote left-wing, anti-Christian beliefs" is true or false today, but I know that that debate needs more than being squeezed into the lede paragraph. So, the logical organization is a lede to explain the scope of public schools, a brief history, and then the various issues and controversies. The reader can better follow the discussion of the issues and controversies after reading the introduction and history. Finally, Conservapedia is a team effort, and we are all working hard to make the best possible articles. This is a group effort refecting "the best of the public" and not a personal blog. Thanks, JDano (talk) 22:04, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
I graduated from a public school a relatively short time ago. I still know people who attend my public school (which is in a relatively red county where Republicans hold office in nearly every position). My old school was and is still very left-wing. Trump's election is not changing that. From experience, my claim is definitely true. Also just because conservatives are active in school policy does not mean they are reversing changes made by liberals. There is a general trend of liberals making many changes while in office, but when conservatives take control, they merely act as seat warmers and keep the status quo until liberals take their positions back and enact more left-wing policies. Also, this article does not need to be "a personal blog" in order to notify people about the important state of public schools. It must be at the top for people to see. --1990'sguy (talk) 22:16, 30 July 2017 (EDT)

[undent]]I would think that 1990sguy meant that either you were born in the 1990s (and were 27-30 years old) or that you left school in the 1990s and were 40-50 years old.

For sometime, the article has a section titled "Suppression and intolerance of alternative views" which claimed that the teaching of Islam as a religion was excluded from public school teaching. I added some sentences and a reference to You then move the material to "Views on morals" section but kept back one uncited opinion sentence. I then tried to work everything in to the "Views on morals" section, but you just reverted me, resulting in a strange split of this idea into two different places. Please pick one place for the discussion of Islam: "Views on morals" or "Suppression and intolerance of alternative views"? Since you are talking about teaching kids not to hate all muslims, it might better fit in the latter, because by definition nobody is advocating adoption of Islamic views on morals.

Finally, 1990sguy has a very odd understanding of judicial activism and legal precedent. Once the Supreme Court decides a Constitutional question, all other judges assume that cases should be decided consistent with that decision. Perhaps policy activists bring new lawsuits to court, but the judges that decide those new cases consist with the earlier Supreme Court case are not "activist judges". The local school board in the intelligent design case ended up costing the school district over a million dollars in legal fees. Many parents felt this was a waste of time and money. JDano (talk) 22:33, 30 July 2017 (EDT)

As for my user name, the former, and I'm a bit younger than that. As for the info, it is much more appropriate in the "Teaching of Islam in the public schools" section, not the "Suppression and intolerance of alternative views" section. This info has to do with the teaching of Islam in public schools. Seems easy to me. Also, I did not change what you added, other than removing a snippet that stated that Islam classes did not present religious indoctrination.
Regarding the courts, the Constitution remains the same regardless of what the Court says. It can technically say whatever it wants. We see this in decisions on issues such as civil rights and labor unions, which had changed precedents. Just because the Supreme Court says something does not mean the judges are not influenced by the "living constitution" view, nor that they are trying to improve society through their decisions (which should not be a factor in court cases -- only the Constitution). --1990'sguy (talk) 22:44, 30 July 2017 (EDT)
Perhaps you should read more about the legal system and also go back and read the arguments in these cases. Getting back to this article, the subtitle on the paragraph begs the question of whether it belongs in the "Views on morals" or "Suppression and intolerance of alternative views" section. Please explain your preference, because it seems that the point has nothing to do with how morals are included in the curriculum. I have been reading all of the concerns on this talk page, and there are many editors' concerns which are not addressed by the current version, which as I noted above is badly out of date. JDano (talk) 11:55, 1 August 2017 (EDT)
I have studied many Supreme Court cases. You are making the mistake of viewing the Court as the infallible interpreter of the Constitution that is never wrong. As for the Islam stuff, the info clearly belongs in the section entitled "Teaching of Islam in the public schools," because it is about the teaching of Islam in public schools. Maybe the parent header ("Views on morals") could be renamed for clarity? --1990'sguy (talk) 12:12, 1 August 2017 (EDT)