The Protestant Neglect of K-12 Education
Advancing the Goal of Ending Education as We Know It

Rescuing Sectarian K-12 Education


David V. Anderson
June 26, 2008

Most Protestant and other non-Catholic Christian denominations have placed their trust in public schools rather than take those responsibilities on themselves. Given the historical fact that public education was established by and significantly controlled by Protestant churches in its early European development and to a lesser extent in its 19th century American evolution, Protestants and others have felt a traditional affiliation with public schools. That sentiment seems to remain despite a widening divergence concerning values and academic standards.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, public schools are overwhelmingly separate from sectarian influences which have been largely replaced by the politics of teachers' unions and other lobbies dependent on the school revenues. In consequence, one might ask if such schools still provide the kind of academic, social, and moral education espoused by Protestant churches and other sects?

If public schools are no longer providing the kind of education being sought by sectarian groups, is it not their obligation to choose appropriate alternative schools for these pupils? We at Stellar Schools, whether under our non-profit version or the for-profit, are ready to work with sectarian reformers to help provide alternatives more suitable to their values.

The features envisaged for
Asora® Education Enterprises' Stellar Schools networks may be a good fit for many of the needs of religious or values based K-12 school systems. Using the Stellar Schools model within such system(s) or schools is not an “all or none” proposition because the features/offerings of Stellar Schools can be introduced and evaluated one component at a time. Stellar Schools are intended to simultaneously improve student outcomes, lower operating costs and prevent social promotion. These benefits are presumed to be of interest to sectarian educators. Of particular interest and concern is the promise of lower costs, which could help save financially strapped schools.

Unlike the Catholic schools, that are already organized into networks, many sectarian schools operate in very small networks or often as stand alone entities. However, sectarian schools could band together in special purpose associations that would accommodate the networks and economies of scale needed to make the Stellar Schools cost effective. The provision of course content can be of a "mix or match" format to accommodate client schools that might want to choose among several courseware alternatives or simply opt out of subjects they didn't want.

Asora and its "sister" non-profit effort, Stellar Schools Development Corporation, are available to help sectarian educators implement these proposals. For those who prefer to work purely in a non-profit environment we are ready to operate in that "world" too. We even have a (dormant) website devoted to the non-profit version of Stellar Schools at

Here now follows a recent essay we wrote suggesting a better way to operate Catholic schools, many aspects of which would apply to any religious or values based school systems:

A New Model For Catholic K-12 Education


David V. Anderson May 23, 2008

Schools in the United States and other developed countries are nearly all operated in an age-based group instructional format. We believe that grouping children by age groups is largely responsible for the poor average performance of these students when they are tested for proficiency. Typically, less than half of the children are found to be proficient. These problems not only affect public schools but also Catholic schools.

Under the label, Stellar Schools, we have designed a model school, which uses online self-paced instruction for the core curriculum. Children learn in a tutoring format but within traditional schoolrooms. It is made affordable by employing computers and the Internet to create an on-demand (asynchronous) learning environment which is both higher quality and less expensive than contemporary group instructional arrangements. Age based group instruction is eliminated from the core curricular areas. To minimize their costs we envisage organizing these schools into networks that would have economies of scale.

The networks of schools could be organized under a non-profit service organization or under a for-profit franchising company. We can work with interested parties in either format. Our for-profit arm is the company, Asora® Education Enterprises, while our non-profit effort will be organized under the Stellar Schools Development Corporation. Regardless of the profit nature of the service organization, non-profit schools, such as Catholic parish schools, could operate under its umbrella.

Stellar Schools networks may be a good fit for many of the needs of Catholic K-12 education. In terms of getting costs down, consider that:

    A number of other features, potentially of interest in Catholic education, include:

      We imagine that the twin benefits of improved student outcomes and lower operating costs are surely of interest to Catholic educators. Of particular interest and concern is the promise of lower costs, which could help save financially strapped schools.

      Beyond those considerations, and unlike so many other private schools, which are not organized into large networks, Catholic schools often exist in sufficiently large systems where the economies of scale available from Stellar Schools may provide additional advantages.

We are available to help Catholic educators and others implement these proposals.