Except the LORD shall build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD shall keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain. Psalm 127:1, Webster Bible
Dear Praying Friends,
Noah Webster (1758-1843) believed American children should read American history and learn from American, not British books. His grammar-speller-reader, popularly called the “blue-backed speller” was used to teach American children for over 100 years. The book was selling a million copies per year, 20 years after his death. Royalties from that book afforded Webster time for public service; to produce the first New English Bible translation in 250 years; and, over 27 years, to expand his first American Dictionary to over 70,000 words. Webster, known as the “Father of American Education,” helped create a common American language.
Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country; he should lisp the praise of liberty, and of those illustrious heroes and statesmen, who have wrought a revolution in her favor.
A selection of essays, respecting the settlement and geography of America; the history of the late revolution and of the most remarkable characters and events that distinguished it, and a compendium of the principles of the federal and provincial governments, should be the principal school book in the United States. These are interesting objects to every man; they call home the minds of youth and fix them upon the interests of their own country, and they assist in forming attachments to it, as well as in enlarging their understanding.
“Montesquieu observe, that the laws of education ought to be relative to the principles of the government.” In despotic governments, the people should have little or no education, except what tends to inspire them with a servile fear. Information is fatal to despotism…
In our American republics, where (government) is in the hands of the people, knowledge should be universally diffused by means of public schools. Of such consequence is it to society, that the people who make laws, should be well informed… I do not mean merely a knowledge of spelling books, and the New Testament. An acquaintance with ethics, and with the general principles of law, commerce, money and government, is necessary for the yeomanry of a republican state…
This school should be kept by the most reputable and well informed man in the district… The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head… (Noah Webster, “On the Education of Youth in America,” The Founders’ Constitution).
Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) contains six thousand Bible references. He wrote, “Education is useless without the Bible” (Webster’s Dictionary 1828)
With the exception of Ronald Reagan, every President since FDR has proposed sweeping federal reforms to fix public education, yet our children are farther behind and less prepared than any time in modern history. Morals, too, are at a low. Is it time, yet again, for new politically correct federally enforced standards and controls?