by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Since lockdowns showed American parents what public schools teach kids, a competing method of human formation called classical education has seen a massive jump in enrollment, the leaders of multiple K-12 networks told The Federalist.
The number of new school startups within the Association of Christian Classical Schools nearly tripled in 2022 and 2023 from previous years, said ACCS President David Goodwin in a phone interview. Their typical number of school startups per year is 20-30, he said, but in 2022 and 2023 startups respectively numbered 83 and likely near 100 by the end of this year, he said.
From 2020 to 2023, the large classical homeschooling network Classical Conversations has seen student enrollment grow approximately 20 percent, from 110,000 students to a projected 130,000 this fall, CEO Robert Bortins told The Federalist in an email.
“Jesus Christ is at the core of everything they study, so they’re talking about their faith throughout the day and in all aspects of the curriculum,” says Emily de Rotstein, executive director of the Chesterton Schools Network of Christian classical high schools. “Our goal is that students are articulate, clear-thinking, well-rounded, and very joyful individuals.”
Classical education aims to introduce children to their cultural heritage through seeing and imitating the greatest works in their civilization’s history, from the arts to the sciences. Most conventional public schools actively damage children’s souls with racial and sexual falsehoods, even in states with proactive conservative lawmakers such as Florida, as a recent Claremont Institute report shows.
By contrast, classical schools forthrightly teach philosophical virtues such as prudence, courage, temperance, and justice. Christian classical schools add the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. …
… Classical education’s enrollment jump is even bigger when counting further than 2020. In 2010, Bortins said, Classical Conversations enrolled approximately 25,000 students. That means the organization has grown 500 percent in approximately one decade.