Monday, December 7, 2009

Reforming Christian Education

This is a site birthed out of frustration, as a way of trying to practice hope--a virtue that does not always come easily.

It is our attempt--at least for a time--to resist spiraling into either cynicism or despair. It is animated by a vision of what Christian education could be, and the distance between that dreamed-of vision and the current realities we experience.

It is a space for the voices of parents and educators who are concerned about the practices, policies, and values of the administration of the Grand Rapids Christian Schools. It is a venue for celebrating those teachers and coaches and staff in GRCS who embody the kingdom of God, even while it is an arena for a critique of the systemic assimilation of GRCS administration to the values and ideals of corporate "excellence," cultural "success," and the privileged distortions of a "private" education. (Compromise nothing? Or take up your cross?)

This is a conversation nourished by both memory and hope, lament and longing. Lacking the space for a wider critical conversation within the GRCS system (and having seen how critique is "managed" in recent years), we have carved out this space as a forum for discussion, news, and new perspectives.

Our interest, we would emphasize, is reform. Indeed, our feeble little initiative here is (we hope) a signal that we're not (yet) willing to give up on the Grand Rapids Christian Schools. We value the Reformed heritage of Christian education and only hope to remember the resources and radicality of what Nicholas Wolterstorff has described as "educating for shalom."

So, what to expect? We will be (hopefully) recruiting a cadre of authors to regularly post on various facets of GRCS policies, practices and developments--from elementary school consolidation to nurtrition to atheletics programs, and much more. We will also make room for comments, critical feedback, and ongoing discussion. Watch for developments, and in the meantime, subscribe to our feed, share the site with friends, and encourage all relevant stakeholders (parents, grandparents, pastors, educators) to join the conversation.

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