5 Myths of Education
Myth Three

My Child Will Sacrifice Academics if He or She Attends a Christian School



Many Christian parents won’t consider Christian schooling as an option because they believe that Christian schools offer a substandard educational experience for their children that will not prepare them for top college choices. It would be wrong to debunk this myth with broad sweeping generalizations to the contrary. Within each subset of school types there are schools with weak academic reputations and others with strong academic reputations. Parents should exercise great discretion when looking at each individual school. Even so, just as it would be wrong to defend all Christian schools as bastions of academic excellence, it is not appropriate to characterize all Christian schools as weak academic institutions.


In 2011 Cardus, a Canadian think tank, conducted a massive educational survey known as the 2011 Cardus Educational Survey (CES). CES surveyed graduates of secular private, secular public, privateChristian schools, private Catholic schools, and home school. CES demonstrated that Protestant Christian schools, and specifically ACSI accredited schools like Plumstead Christian School, are excelling academically. In determining overall strength of schools, the Cardus Educational Survey measured the number of required courses in various disciplines, the number of Advanced Placement courses available, the percentage of graduates who attend top tier colleges and universities, and the graduates’ years of higher education and number of advanced degrees.


At Plumstead Christian School, 98 percent of our graduates matriculate to colleges and universities – many of them being accepted into top schools such as MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Lehigh University, Wheaton College, Grove City College, Villanova, Duke, Davidson, Wake Forest, and more. These colleges and universities recognize the strength of our programs and have taken notice of the fact that our students, on average, score well above national and state averages on standardized tests. Additionally, many of Plumstead Christian School’s recent graduates have been offered large academic scholarships to offset the cost of higher education, and because of enrollment in one or more of our nine Advanced Placement courses and six Dual Enrollment Courses many will enter college with college credit – a few with as much as forty five semester credit hours to their credit.


It is reasonable for parents to expect their child’s secondary school to prepare students for entrance into and success in college, but the educational objectives of a good school need to be much broader than this.


The Apostle Peter summarizes it well in 1 Peter 1:5, imploring us to “add to our faith virtue and to virtue knowledge.”


When this myth is articulated by some, it may be borne out of the assumption that an emphasis on the spiritual formation of our students and an emphasis on a rigorous academic experience are mutually exclusive. The argument may be stated as follows: Academics must be sacrificed if the school is going to spend time teaching the Bible, scheduling weekly chapel services, and integrating biblical truth.


At Plumstead Christian School we unapologetically emphasize the spiritual formation of the child. We also strive for excellence in design and execution of our rigorous and extensive curriculum. In addition to a proper response to national standards, we focus on such intangible “21st Century core skills” like public speaking, the art of collaboration, writing across the curriculum, biblical literacy, technology literacy, leadership, service, worship, creativity, empathy, and interpersonal communication. These life skills cannot be tested on a nationally standardized test, but, when mastered, they will lead to a fuller, richer life at home, in the church, and at work so that it can be said of our students that they “grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”



Many of our myths were inspired by and taken in part from Cherokee Christian School’s “10 Most Popular Myths Christian Parents Believe” Used with permission.

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