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Resolution On Outcome-based Education

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists historically have recognized that God has given parents the primary responsibility and right to educate their children; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists historically have been involved in and supportive of public education as students, parents, and educators; and

WHEREAS, Current educational reform theory commonly called Outcome-Based Education (OBE) is being aggressively promoted by some policy makers at the federal, state, and local level; and

WHEREAS, OBE is a theoretical system of instruction and management that claims to focus on student outcomes and is known by many different names, such as: performance-based accreditation, exit outcomes, lifelong learning, mastery learning, restructuring, results-based education, and turning points curriculum; and

WHEREAS, While not all OBE components are harmful, the philosophical underpinnings and goals of most OBE programs are more concerned about promoting multiculturalism, “politically correct” social values, and New Age philosophy to the exclusion of traditional Judeo-Christian values rather than measuring academic outcomes; and

WHEREAS, Many parents are concerned that OBE de-emphasizes traditional academic instruction and reliance on basic academic skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic in favor of the promotion of “affective outcomes,” which emphasize the importance of what students believe and how students feel about things; and

WHEREAS, Many OBE programs promote relativistic “higher order thinking skills” and so called “critical thinking” in order to encourage students to question traditional moral values; and

WHEREAS, Most OBE programs change traditional grading to a system of “affective criteria” such as: attitudes, values, feelings, and emotions as opposed to cognitive content; and

WHEREAS, OBE is part of educational reform proposals which tend to place more power in the hands of governments and less power in the hands of parents; and

WHEREAS, The expansion of the sphere of governmental influence over education has disturbing implications for parents who choose to educate their children in Christian or home schools; and

WHEREAS, OBE programs which have been implemented have not resulted in objectively verifiable improvement in academic skills of the students who participated.

Therefore, Be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 14-16, 1994, oppose educational reform experiments including those labeled “Outcome-Based Education,” which risks the undermining of Judeo-Christian values, local control, and traditional academic standards of excellence; and

Be if further RESOLVED, That we commend those educators who have maintained a faithful witness for biblical morality in our public schools and that we reaffirm our conviction that parents have the right and duty to educate their children and that government policies should support, rather than undermine this right; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in the education of their children, whether in public or private schooling, and to be involved with their state and local public school boards in order to influence the formulation of educational objectives and to insist that educational reform does not abandon traditional academic standards or community values in local schools.