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Can adding "God" into the public school improve our international academic standing?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 941 times Debate No: 43940
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Living in the "Bible Belt", I hear all too often about the correlation between our literacy levels in the 1950's and our consistent decline with the idea that "God" is no longer allowed in the classroom. This is all too often stated not as a correlation but as a cause and effect.
I would pose that there is no cause and effect relationship in the manner used by the groups that desires more religion in our schools and that there is more likely a cause and effect relationship in attempting to restrict educational content to the limits of knowledge in the 1950's and to subjects that do not provide evidence against the belief in a god or gods has hindered our growth as compared to other countries.
I believe the starting point should be to show that despite current law interpretations by the federal and supreme courts, religious beliefs are still rampant in our schools. Many times they are not noticed by parents and therefore not reported as the specific violations may be shared by the parents core belief system. Regardless of the specific number of unrelated instances, we only have to recall the media coverage on the "War on Christmas" to realize that there are still numerous accounts where religious ideology is creeping into our public schools. As I have been involved in this arena, most of the cases prefer to file after the holidays so as to avoid the emotional dramas and have the cases upheld by merit alone. As of October 2013, there were 6 cases involving the first amendment that had been heard by the Supreme Court during the 2013 calendar year. These were just the finalist that one party or the other couldn't accept the prior judgements. Many more were denied merit to be heard as the previous verdict was considered on solid legal ground. The actual number of cases filed in each federal district is incredible and most of these cases are settled rather quickly and quietly by the local State Dept of Education's insurance providers. Obviously, despite the law and hypocrisy of violating the law to promote religious morality, religion is still where it doesn't belong.

In tying this to our current standings and trending in those standings, our 15 year old children participate in the PISA and our current score values are consistent to what they have been since 2000. Yet in comparing those values to other countries, we are consistently in decline as to our ranking. We fall behind Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, Russia and many more countries that only 20 years ago would have seemed impossible.

Use science to explore and understand, math to validate and quantify, and literacy to communicate and share with others.


Yes, learning about GOD in school would be a very good idea. Actually It should be mandatory. Firstly, it used to be mandatory. Secondly, kids would not want to sin. In fact they would be less likely to lie, they would be less likely to go around killing, they would be more likely to listen to their parents, they would also be less likely to steal and kids would be more grateful because of Jesus Christ saving them. It would make them have better school performance and better every day life performance. The bible teaches good morals that some kids aren't brought up with from their parents. If the child does not believe, they can sit out and learn something else with a different teacher. Also they would have more of an understanding on how they got here and how the universe was really created.
Debate Round No. 1


I get the sense that you perceive morality as being a Christian process and while I can perceive some positive morals that are included in the Christian belief system, I see a serious flaw in the"not lying," "not cheating" and "not stealing." Currently there are any number of public school science teachers that teach creation instead of or along side of evolution. As it is against the law in the United States to teach creation in a public school and those teachers are accepting payment and violating their de facto contract with their states and the federal Departments of Education. Each year, the teachers and schools are required to file with the Federal DOE and include statements of compliance. These violations are teaching our children to lie, cheat and steal. Obviously that is counter to your proposition of what Christianity teaches.

As to one of my original arguments, and I write about a specific ideal of god and religion when I point out that teaching a belief system's ideal of creation as opposed to evolution, we do not teach current knowledge but a popular belief. If in teaching creationism we limit our scientific classroom lessons to a time before the human genome mapping, to a time before atomic theory or to a time of limited geologic knowledge in order to avoid discrediting a belief, we will never improve our PISA scores and rankings. My own kids have come home from school confused because their teacher told them evolution was wrong because carbon 14 dating doesn't work. This they learned from their science teacher. When even teachers ignore scientific evidence in order to insulate their beliefs from knowledge, how can they not pass that ignorance on to our children.


JJaka99 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


In closing I want to recap.
1. A religion that endorses a closed view on society limits a students ability to be open to new information and views. If taught, religions should be taught side by side as valuable and important in social offerings yet as individuals tend to be bias toward one or the other, a truly unbiased class is probably impossible and therefore damaging.
2. A religion that would endorse unethical, immoral and illegal actions in the name of promoting ethics and morals behavior would set examples that the end justifies the means and would promote cheating in class and ultimately leave the student lacking in the knowledge.
3. A religion that refuses to accept and teach information and knowledge that contradicts core religious beliefs will ultimately limit the knowledge bases and exposure of critical information to the students.
4. A religion that teaches pseudoscience as science endangers students to misunderstand scientific processes and definitions of scientific terms.
Any one of the criteria should stand on its own as being ultimately detrimental to a student becoming proficient in academics as compared on a international standard.


JJaka99 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Wylted 6 years ago
I have to go with there is a causation effect on this. If you take a serious look at the extremely high literacy rate among orthodox Jews, I'm sure you'll see their religion encourages literacy. So why not push religion on children to increase the literacy rate. You think if school pushed the God hypotheses then it would encourage kids to do all kinds of extra curricular reading. On top of that kids would get exposure to all types of religions and be more aware of cultural differences.
Posted by sabineparish 6 years ago
Thank you, Gordontrek, for your critique. I do not believe I made the statement "that there's really no direct correlation between the removal of God from schools and a drop in student aptitude compared to the rest of the world." as there are obvious sources showing that there is a correlational relationship during the time span from the 50's to current times where our national "advanced status" has been denigrated. What I argue is that the common misconception that a correlation equals cause and effect. I believe that these assumptions can be used either way depending on the bias of the observer and by putting forth the opposite view as an opinion of possibility I intended to show that either argument can appear valid and that by the elimination of subject material due to its incompatible nature with religion we do not teach our children current scientific information.
I very much agree with the ideal of teaching tolerance but I cannot accept lying or withholding essential factual information in the name of tolerance.
In your citation of a biased website promoting home schooling I noticed that it did not include the disclaimer that the information and statistics reported had a larger than acceptable margin of error due to the lack of qualitative data from home schooled children. While I believe that there are some very good programs that assist home education, not all are created equal and not all teach current knowledge.
I would like to point out some of the key experimenter bias issues with the data sets used.
1. Home schooled kids are not required to be monitored or academically tested in most states. This leaves a large amount of data from failing children that could be withheld to bias results.
2. Data used to create persuasive charts for college entrance, only include students that apply for college and cannot create a valid correlation to overall home schooled value.
Posted by Gordontrek 6 years ago
Your premise, I believe, is correct up to the point where you say that there's really no direct correlation between the removal of God from schools and a drop in student aptitude compared to the rest of the world. But, if I read correctly, I disagree with the assumption that schools are failing because material is being restricted to "subjects that do not provide evidence against the belief in a god or gods." I believe that this is just as much of a post hoc assumption as the premise you are debating against. Besides, the media always kisses the feet of people who cry out that public education should not only be secularized, but teach tolerance; as in, your religious views do not have anything to do with your aptitude in school.
One could offer, for one, the example of homeschoolers. I guarantee that you would have to search for a long time to find a homeschooled family that is not religious. They almost always teach Biblical values and material inside the home, yet their average math, science and literary skills are off the charts. It is possible to come up with a good case for or against the relation of religion to academic performance, but any conclusion, in my opinion, would be largely indecisive.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and argument go to con for forfeit. Pro didn't even make an attempt to show causation as opposed to correlation.

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