Posted July 27, 2011 by kwca
Categories: Uncategorized

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Written By: Daniel J. Smithwick

President of the Worldview Alliance

525 North Halstead, Ste. 216, Chicago, IL 60622


Copyright 2004   Reproduction Strictly Prohibited


 In Collaboration With:

King’s Way Classical Academy


Free Consultation:  1-(888)-714-5741

 For the past eighteen years our ministry has been conducting

a Christian worldview testing service used by Christian

schools, churches, home schoolers and various other

Christian ministries. The primary use of the test has been

with high school students but is also used at Elementary

grades, junior high and college level.

The test, known as the PEERS Test, measures worldview

understanding in Politics, Economics, Education, Religion,

and Social Issues (PEERS). Results from each category are

classified into one of four major worldview philosophies:

Christian Theism, Moderate Christian, Secular Humanism, or


In the mid nineteen eighties it was common to find Christian

youth both in Christian schools and public schools scoring

in the Moderate Christian worldview classification. Home

school students generally scored 15-20% higher than average

from day schools.

However, with nearly each subsequent year of testing, we

found the understanding of the Christian worldview by

students to be lower than the year before. This trend has

continued through year 2003, as illustrated here:

The only exceptions to the decline were Christian schools

that had adopted specific worldview materials in their

curriculum. These are primarily schools known as Principle

Approach or Classical Christian, and in some cases,

homeschool groups. I believe students from these schools

represent the true remnant and hope for the future, but

they represent less than 2% of total students tested.

From 1988 to 2003, average scores of Christian school

students dropped by 54.3%. Results of evangelical family

students in public schools dropped 80.3% in the same period.

Christian students attending public schools now regularly

score in the lower half of Secular Humanism with approximately

20% scoring in the Socialism category.  Over 50% of youth

from non-Christian homes score in the Socialism worldview

category. This is not a pretty picture and raises grave

concerns for the future of the Christian church in America.

Pastors should be highly concerned about this matter in

that it specifically addresses the posterity of the church.

How will this generation stand against New Age and Islamic

forces in our culture?


EXPOSE:  Your Children, The Victims of Public Education!

Corporate America and the Educrats purposely designed the public education system to mass produce a pliable, non-thinking workforce for global corporations!

Christian parents mistakenly assume that a Christian college gives their children a Christian education.   Dr. James Bartlett, former Prof. of Engineering at North Dakota State, is exposing this façade at his Biblical Concourse of Home Universities.

He’ll show you how to implement the Biblical alternative of low cost, dual-credit, parent-directed higher education.  Thumb your nose at the educational elite by building an economically impregnable, family dynasty.  Don’t be a helpless victim…..  Reserve your seat now for Webinar: August 1st, 7p.m., CST.

Email your reservation and any questions to


 Many Christians are acutely aware that something is amiss

with this generation of youth. Principled values of

morality seem non-existent. Cohabitation prior to marriage

is now the norm, even in many churches.  Tolerance for the

gay lifestyle is also widespread among Christian youth.

PEERS Testing simply quantifies this loss of morality and

lack of belief in biblical truth. Few are surprised that

this is happening in government schools, but it is shocking

to most Christians that the trend is nearly the same in

Christian schools. It appears that Christian education is

little more than baptized public secular education in the

majority of typical Christian schools.  The foundations ARE

being destroyed; what will the Christians do?

We have established -20.0 as a “Danger Zone” benchmark for

PEERS Testing. This is based on test results of individuals

responding to ads in the Humanist Magazine and the New Age

Magazine for our worldview test. As a group, they scored in

the range of -20.0 to -80.0 in all PEERS categories,

expressing strong anti-biblical views of life. It is my

opinion that a generation of youth from “Christian homes,”

scoring this low, will surely lead America into a dark age

in the subsequent generation.

“All government originates in families, and if neglected there,

it will hardly exist in society…The foundation of all free

government and of all social order must be laid in families and

in the discipline of youth….The education of youth, [is] an

employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching

the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both the

law and gospel rest for success.” Noah Webster

Based on projections using the decline rate for Christian

students, the church will have lost her posterity to hard-core

Humanism between 2014 and 2018. This is approximately one

school generation of youth, 12-16 years. If these projections

hold true, it won’t be the end of the world, but it will be

the end of America as we have known it for over 200 years.

One could argue with projections of worldview scores, but

the historical data is indisputable. The real question is,

What will the church do to reverse this downward trend in

Biblical worldview understanding?  Unless we are dealing

with the problem of losing our youth to Humanism and

Socialism, does it really matter what else we are fighting?

Parents and pastors need to realize that their children in

public schools are being trained up into another world- a

world hostile to the Christian faith.  Not only will this

produce a culture that will not be blessed by God, but also

one that His own faithfulness may require Him to destroy.

“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and

a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore

you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD shall send

against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the

lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your

neck until He has destroyed you.” (Deuteronomy 28:47,48)

Such was the plight of Israel over and over.

In church after church one finds horror stories of how

children from good Christian families have gone astray.

We are personally aware of several situations where parents

had faithfully served their church, kept their children in

Sunday school and made sure they were active in youth groups.

And yet, upon graduating from public schools, the children

would leave home and turn against church/family values.

Often times the children were living in a manner bringing

much shame and hurt to their parents.  We have prayed and

cried with close friends finding themselves in this

situation.  The question asked is, Where did we go wrong?

It sounds cruel, but the real answer is that we have allowed

pagans to be substantially involved with the training up of

our children.  With 2-3 hours per week of Christian training

at home and church, it is simply no match against 35 hours

per week of humanism found in most courses in public school.

Yet we are not without hope.  God has always been in the

business of making something out of nothing.  The Lord is a

master at redemption and restoration.  If we will cooperate

and pick up our responsibility as parents, and as the Church

of Jesus Christ, education will be redeemed.  But we are

going to have to make some hard decisions and walk away from

some bad situations.

If your family is actively involved in a Christian church

and your children are in public schools, I encourage you

to utilize PEERS Testing to begin the process of evaluating

where your children rank in worldview understanding (get

free Info Packet by calling 1-800-948-3101).

Martin Luther once said, “If we are correct and right in

our Christian life at every point, but refuse to stand for

the truth at a particular point where the battle rages–then

we are traitors to Christ.”   I believe PEERS testing is

uncovering a ‘particular point’ for our age.  Our youth are

being taken captive, especially at the junior high and senior

high grade levels in government schools, and the church is

being robbed of her future.  Dear Reader, this is a battle in

which you must enter!

I am well aware that speaking against public schools from

the pulpit is difficult, if not ‘political suicide.’  But it

can and must be done.  One of our dearest pastor friends is

senior pastor of a large Southern Baptist Church in Kentucky.

There are many public school teachers in his church and his

wife taught in a public school.  Yet I’ve heard him speak

often about the battle that is raging in schools.  A few

years ago this church opened their doors to a large Christian

school and now the transition from public to private education

is under way.  Pastors need to educate their flock about

humanism and socialism, and about the church’s responsibility

to confront error wherever it is found.

Parents and grandparents must be told that ‘their school’

(the public school that didn’t hurt them?) doesn’t exist

any longer.  They must be told that it was ‘their school’

which produced the seed that now has blossomed into a humanist

fruit-bearing tree.  The history of what happened to education

in America must be taught and now the war must be fought.

Government-run education is bankrupt.  It has exhausted

whatever spiritual/moral capital it once had.  Government-run

education is living (and dying!) proof of Jesus’ claim-

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on

every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’.”

Matthew 4:4  No Word, no life.

Teachers, curriculum and control of education make all the

difference in the world- they make a worldview.  Every

student is going to come out of school with some worldview.

It appears that a primary goal of the government school

(perhaps even from the beginning) has been to make sure

that it wasn’t a Biblical worldview.  Each new kindergarten

class that enters into the government, humanist system of

education is being trained to go against the Christian faith.

If they stay through high school, most of them will live

their lives as trained.  They will side with relativism and

shun absolutes.  The Bible will be gone from their lives.

If at all possible, Christian families and Christian pastors

must make the decision to walk away from government-run

schools and place their children in an environment of

instruction in the Word of God by the people of God.

Only this will “train them up in the way they should go.”




Dan Smithwick received a B.S. degree in mathematics/education

in 1972 from North Dakota State University. He subsequently

entered into business management with AT&T for 20 years and

then with several small business firms in upper management

positions. In addition to his business career, Dan has been

active in Christian education work for over 20 years. He

served as board member of several Christian schools and taught

in a private school one year. Dan also worked for Dr. Pat

Robertson’s Freedom Council doing grassroots training on

Christian worldview principles. In 1986 Dan founded the

Nehemiah Institute and authored the first version of the


To take the PEERS test go to



Posted July 26, 2011 by kwca
Categories: Uncategorized



Portland Oregonian, April 1, 2007

In A Review By Dennis Oliver Woods, Headmaster

King’s Way Classical Academy


Free Consultation:  1-(888)-714-5741


Susan Nielsen’s fascinating analysis of what’s missing from the high school curriculum concluded, “Please teach students how to think, communicate and run a household.”  The results of her informal research study appeared in the April 1, 2007 edition of the Portland, Oregonian.

Reader responses were a plaintive cry for the classical approach to education that existed in this country before John Dewey introduced his progressive model over a century ago.  The words “logic” and “rhetoric” did not appear in the comments.  However, readers were clearly describing these basic building blocks of the ancient classical trivium.

We were treated to remarks like, “…”this class would be called, maybe Critical Thinking.  It would show how people make fallacious arguments…to advance their points and manipulate the individual into a certain line of thinking.”  And, “The class would have them defend several viewpoints on controversial issues.”


The Joke’s On You America

Ironically, the report appeared on April Fool’s Day.  Ironic because Americans have surely been fooled by John Dewey into substituting a pale imitation of education for the real McCoy.  Progressive education remains the dominant model in the pubic schools to this day.

Under the older classical model, students were not only taught isolated subjects and technical skills, they were steeped in what Dorothy Sayers called “the lost tools of learning.”  Mastering the tools of the trivium prepared them for a lifetime of learning.  Beyond just learning to make a living, they were taught to live.  Instead of asking “what can I do with this information” they asked “what can this information do with me.”

These were the tools that produced the intellectual giants of a bygone era.  Virtually all of America’s founding generation were educated classically.  These were men and women who could think critically and communicate their thinking to others.  In those days it was called a “liberal arts” education – liberal as in “liberty.”  What was this mysterious trivium?


The Classical Trivium

According to Miss Sayers famous 1947 essay, “The Lost Tools of Learning”, the trivium “consisted of three parts:  Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric, in that order.”  Bear in mind, that Dorothy Sayers was the intellectual sparring partner of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein at Oxford before World War II.  She was a scholar and an expert on the Middle Ages.  Her essay may be read in its entirely at

She went on to explain that “modern education concentrates on ‘teaching subjects,’ leaving the method of thinking, arguing, and expressing one’s conclusions to be picked up by the scholar as he goes along.”  By contrast, medieval education concentrated on first forging and learning to handle the tools of learning, using whatever subject came handy as a piece of material on which to doodle until the use of the tool became second nature.”



EXPOSE:  Your Children, The Victims of Public Education!

Corporate America and the Educrats purposely designed the public education system to mass produce a pliable, non-thinking workforce for global corporations!

Christian parents mistakenly assume that a Christian college gives their children a Christian education.   Dr. James Bartlett, former Prof. of Engineering at North Dakota State, is exposing this façade at his Biblical Concourse of Home Universities.

He’ll show you how to implement the Biblical alternative of low cost, dual-credit, parent-directed higher education.  Thumb your nose at the educational elite by building an economically impregnable, family dynasty.  Don’t be a helpless victim…..  Reserve your seat now for Webinar: August 1st, 7p.m., CST.

Email your reservation and any questions to


 In practice, we can think of the Trivium from two perspectives.  As presented above, it is a tool for dissecting a particular subject.  First, we master the “grammar” of the subject, its basic facts, definitions and guiding principles.  Second, we apply the tool of dialectic interaction, or logic, to interpret and understand the basic facts.  This includes propaganda analysis as well as formal logic.  Finally, we apply the interpreted facts and share them with others in written and spoken communication.  This encompasses the skills of declamation and debate.

The trivium also provides a paradigm for three stages of child development.  Miss Sayers called these “the Poll-Parrot, the Pert, and the Poetic – the latter coinciding, approximately, with the onset of puberty.”   During the primary or Poll-Parrot years, children love to memorize.  They soak up grammar, languages, and other miscellaneous facts like a sponge.  In middle school the child has arrived at the Pert stage of contradicting, answering back and questioning everything.  The wise instructor will channel these natural tendencies into formal training in logic or dialectic.  At last we reach the Poetic stage where self-expression comes naturally and may be groomed by the rhetorical arts.


The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

The story of how and why American education discarded the classical trivium is long and somewhat complex – but fascinating nonetheless.  Curiously, it began in Europe with the devastating defeat of Germany at the hands of Napoleon at the Battle of Jena in 1806.  Jena was a university town and the intellectual counterattack from the nearby University of Jena proved to be overwhelming.  Its effects are still being felt in American education halfway around the globe.

According to John Taylor Gatto, New York Teacher of the Year in 1989, it was a professor of Kantian philosophy at Jena who shook the world with his famous “Address to the German Nation”.  In this address, Johann Gottleibe Fichte called for a system of compulsory schooling in which everyone would learn to take orders – no more battlefield routs.  The goal was obedient soldiers, and citizens who thought alike about major issues.

The method recommended by Fichte would divide larger ideas up into school subjects and short class periods punctuated by a horn.  True learning, critical thinking, and motivation would thus be constantly interrupted and fragmented.  Students would simply parrot back what they had been told in objective tests.  Such students might sound educated, but their ability to think for themselves and communicate was severely retarded.

It was this system that produced the German propaganda and war machines of the 20th century.  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque tells the story.  That is why Dietrich Bonhoeffer once commented that the second world war was the inevitable product of good schooling.  The goal of the German or Prussian system was not to provide intellectual training, but to condition children to obedience and life in collective society.

The system was transplanted to America by a cadre of young, impressionable, idealists who traveled to Germany for doctoral studies in the first half of the 19th Century.  One of their number, Horace Mann finally persuaded Massachusetts notorious “Know-Nothing” legislature to adopt the system in 1852.  Over the next 50 years all 50 states followed the lead of the New Englanders.  That was the remarkable result of the visionary John Dewey operating from his Educational Laboratory School at the University of Chicago.  Over the years Dewey flooded the American school system with disciples of what he had renamed “progressive education.”


When Will We Ever Learn?

And that brief history brings us full-circle to today.  What is the likelihood that the classical method will be returned to our public school system, you ask?  The odds are approximately zero.  As Dorothy Sayers noted over 60 years ago in her 1947 essay:  “…it is in the highest degree improbable that the reforms I propose will ever be carried into effect.  Neither the parents, nor the training colleges, nor the examination boards, nor the boards of governors, nor the ministries of education, would countenance them for a moment.”

For they amount to this:  that if we are to produce a society of educated people, fitted to preserve their intellectual freedom…we must turn back the wheel of progress some four or five hundred years, to the point at which education began to lose sight of its true object, towards the end of the Middle Ages.”

Dennis Oliver Woods (M.Ed.) is headmaster of King’s Way Classical Academy, a 100% web-based school for grades 7-12.  The campus address is  He is the author of Keys to the Classics.