Whether you read the Bible or not, Proverbs 3:5 contains a powerful thought, and reminds us of our humanity. It states:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”
Today’s public education system leaves this essential bit of knowledge (only 15 words) out of the equation…probably because of the popular yet incorrect thought that church and state need to exist as separate entities. It reminds us we are imperfect. We keep searching for the perfect system, so that all students will achieve, so that students will once again have the best test scores in the world, and that all the problems experienced as an impediment to achieving a perfect educational experience for our children will be eliminated. Unfortunately, perfection will never happen within solely human constructs.
And then a pandemic comes along, and changes everything we’ve practiced about education instantly. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is finally dead, and we must either adapt or face irrelevance. But back to our nation’s Bill of Rights.
You may be thinking, “Did I just read ‘popular yet incorrect thought’ regarding separation of church and state?” If so, then two things happened. First, you didn’t focus on the real message, which is no matter what we do in education, nothing will be perfect. Second, there is nothing in the constitution regarding keeping church matters separate from state matters, other than what’s expressed in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It says the government can’t establish a national religion, nor stop someone from worshipping. That’s it. One of the big issues, however, is interpretation. Constitutional scholars may tell you that this is freedom of religion, just as the wording continues to define freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Yet, some have interpreted this amendment to support freedom from religion, which is what the “separation of church and state” mindset springs from.
So, perhaps, if we want perfection, we should look to where perfection comes from, and go from there.