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Heads of Atlanta Public School’s Cheating Scandal Battling Cancer

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The Atlanta Public School’s cheating scandal is back in the news, but it is not for expected reasons. A recent bombshell has sent tremors that are far more devastating that what a jury could even begin to contemplate.

Beverly Hall

AJC online reports, “… that indicted ex APS superintendent Beverly Hall is ­battling breast cancer. Earlier this week, the death of  former APS principal Willie Davenport, one of 35 educators indicted on charges of cheating on standardized tests along with Hall,  was announced.

Davenport was 66 and facing criminal charges of racketeering and two counts of making false statements.  She was scheduled to go on trial with others accused of cheating next spring. The cause and date of her death had not been released.  Davenport was the principal at D.H. Stanton Elementary School in central Atlanta in 2009 when a state investigation into cheating said she falsified attendance records and failed to properly monitor standardized tests.

In a statement about  Hall to the AJC, Atlanta attorney Richard Deane said, ‘As has been reported to the court in connection with her bond determination, Dr. Hall has been diagnosed with breast cancer, a serious medical condition for which she is receiving treatment. As a matter of her personal privacy, Dr. Hall does not choose to say more.’ “

Throughout this whole judicial process, many have been skeptical about what kind of conviction might occur if any. After all, some of the best defense lawyers represent those indicted. However, the death of one and cancer for the other in the midst of this certainly makes us think twice about the justice of God. Even so, only God knows why He does what He does, and cancer can come upon anyone at any time: righteous or unrighteous.

Nevertheless, Scripture does reveal to us that certain people clearly received their punishment from the Lord’s hand directly. Jezebel was eaten by dogs for many abominations (2 Kings 9:30-37); Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to a beast because of his pride (Daniel 4:33); and Herod was eaten by worms when he did not give God the glory (Acts 12:20-23). God is serious about His holiness, and so should we be as well.

We must not be quick to say that theses particular women who are involved in the Atlanta cheating scandal received their maladies because of their respective involvements, but we must stand before a Holy God and tremble because we know that God can and has revealed his exact motives for such rebelliousness in the past.  We should tremble, for such could come upon as well when we take the grace of God for granted.

Let us therefore bow humbly before our God, who is Lord of lords and King of kings, and know that we are all unworthy of life because of our sin. God is gracious, and we ought to fall on our face every moment of every day and give thanks, lest we think little of God’s goodness and mercy.

Age Segregation vs. Content Segregation & Its Impact

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Many conversations about Homeschool tend to revolve around socialization, and responses against Homeschool can be met with sound responses. Most of the rebuttals usually focus on negative socialization (ie drugs, immorality, etc.), but a look at the false socialization that occurs is just as critical. The primary concern in this false socialization has to do with age instead of content segregation. We need to rethink how we approach education from the ground up.

Our classrooms today are age segregated, but it was not always so. In many of the old one-room classrooms, you might find varying ages present. Why? The teacher was there to teach content, so it didn’t matter how old you were as long as you could handle the material being taught. This allowed ambitious students and early bloomers to progress without being held back while also accounting for those who may have started their education later in life. For this reason, coursework was and still should be content segregated and not age segregated. In opposition to that, some say, “But won’t that child ‘feel’ out of place.” No. There will be many others like him. That’s why the old Homeschools and one-room classrooms worked. They were content based, and the ages were so varied that no one felt ‘alone’ or ‘isolated’. Remember, if that’s what you grew up with, then that was normal and expected.

Not only does content segregation provide a realistic environment for life because people from all ages are present (something covered extensively in the next section), but it also fosters maturity at a young age. How? Instead of delaying adulthood, students are put on a path to build a family much earlier in life while also reducing years of unnecessary sexual temptation. The girls develop into women who are ready to nurture, and boys become men who are equipped to provide and protect. Therefore, if we desire to raise our children Biblically, we must never place them in an environment that retards or purposely slows down development.

Even if you are not convinced to Homeschool at this point but are convinced to take your children out of government school, at least look for a private Christian school that is more content segregated and less age segregated. After all, this is what plays out in Universities and Community Colleges all the time. That’s odd. So why do we have K-12 age segregation to begin with? The answer is pretty simple. It often takes many years to cultivate and cement an irrational worldview like secular humanism, but, after 13 long years, all has come to fruition. At that point, content segregation is no longer a concern because anti-Biblical indoctrination has had plenty of time to sink deep into the heart and mind.

Study to Show Thyself Approved Unto God!

In contrast to this, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, ESV) This involves deliberate parental involvement in the education of children, and every child is different. Not only does parental responsibility take into account the ability, skills, and desires of each child, but it also recognizes the need to be steeped in Biblical thought and deed, which is centered upon an age desegregated society, whether that be at home, in the Church, work, or society at large.

For more insights into rethinking our approach to education, check out Take ‘Em Out & Stay Out: The Foundation and Finances of Homeschool by Jeramy and Meggan Anderson.