Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In response to the piloting of a no zero program in two of our county schools, I submitted the following letterr to the editor of the Chillicothe (OH) Gazette, in October:
Dear Editor,

During my 30-year teaching career I have witnessed more educational trends come and go than I care to count. Each and every one was touted as the cure for low-performing students, or the surest way to build self-esteem, or the miracle that would help all children achieve to their potential.
The latest of these ‘fads’ seems to have hit Ross County. It is the “no zero policy”. Under this policy the lowest score a student can receive is a 50%. This means that when your child who struggles in a certain course, gives his or her all to prepare for a test or other assignment and earns a 60 or 70% (depending on what is considered a D in your school), they only marginally score better that the student who comes to class, signs his name on the test paper and turns it in with no effort, and is GIVEN a 50%. Through teacher internet websites I have communicated to teachers across the country with this policy and that is the frustration they are expressing.
What has happened to our desire to build strong character in our children? Are we so conscious of state required graduation rates and other dry statistics that we will sacrifice these students’ concept of “doing the right thing” for some institutional rating?
The Gazette article correctly illustrated that three 80% grades and one zero averages to a 60%. For one thing I do not know any teachers who base a quarter’s grade on only four assessments, although there are probably some.
The point is that yes, a zero hurts your grade. But why did the zero occur? School suspension? Truancy? Vacation? The lesson needs to be that there is a price for disobedience and that schools are not here for everyone’s convenience. If we would “do the right thing” as parents and instill strong character traits of hard work and respect for getting a good education into our children, and if the schools will “do the right thing” and build on that demand for excellence and not give in to mediocre efforts, maybe, just maybe we will produce a next generation who know that “doing the right thing” pays off.


Dennis Ray, retired CHS teacher

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let God in

Psalm 127:1
"Unless the Lord builds a house, they labor in vain who build it."

Shouldn't we be allowing God into the 'building' of America?
(ie. the molding of our future leaders)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Headlines on the CNN webpage this past week:

"American students cannot name the first president of the US"


"Teen scores over 1 million on Guitar Hero"

Where are our priorities?????

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tate Publishing and Enterprises
The Lord gave the Word; great was the company of those that published it.”
-Psalm 68:11

Dennis Ray Book Signing Event

You are invited to attend a book signing for author Dennis Ray:

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
AAUW Book Sale,
Trinity United Methodist Church
Corner of Main & Mulberry StreetsChillicothe, OH 45601
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Please join Dennis for this special event
and invite a friend!
If you already have a copy of The Stakes Are High,
buy one for a friend – this book makes a great gift!

We hope to see you there!

For more information, please email author Dennis at

Can’t make the event? Click here to visit our online bookstore to get a copy!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cookie cutter education is not the answer

No Child Left Behind, while good-intentioned, created a system in which every student is forced to comply with the same set of expectations. Individual needs and abilities are not considered. As C.S. Lewis put it in his classic Mere Christianity:

"When you find yourself wanting to turn your children, or your pupils, or even your neighbors into people exactly like yourself, remember that God probably never intended for them to be that. You and they are different organs, intended to do different things."

We are all part of the 'body' of Christ, yet we are not all toes, or kneecaps, or little fingers. That would certainly make for a weird looking body. No one part is more important or valuable than another. We all have different talents and gifts and have different roles in God's will for our lives and in contributing to the kingdom of God.

Monday, July 13, 2009

William Wilberforce championed the decades-long battle to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire in the late 1700's and early 1800's. He wrote a book on the society of his day called "Real Christianity". The following quotation from that book was describing France during the time of the French Revolution.

It sounds eerily like America today, don't you think?

"Christianity has been attacked and marginalized by groups because those who profess belief are unable to defend the faith from attacks, even though the attackers' arguments are deeply flawed." --William Wilberforce

Thursday, July 2, 2009

“…for the sake of our commission to ‘go and make disciples,’ I hope Christians will not surrender the public schools. Instead, let us take them back. Let’s consider them a mission field.”

--- Franklin Graham, Decision magazine, September 2004

The Stakes Are High Table of Contents


Author’s note: Why this book? Why now? Why me?
Introduction: The Stakes ARE High
Part 1: God’s Wisdom is “the Principal Thing”
Chapter 1: Gaining God’s Wisdom
Chapter 2: Ears to Hear
Part 2: What Students Need from God’s Wisdom
Chapter 3: The Big “C” – Character
Chapter 4: The New “Three R’s” of Education
Chapter 5: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – The “Three D’s”
Part 3: This is for Teachers (and not just those in the classrooms)
Chapter 6: Now It’s Our Turn
Part 4: One Nation....UNDER GOD....once again !
Chapter 7: The United States - a ‘Schizophrenic Personality’
Part 5: Conclusion: How Can I Make a Difference?

The Stakes Are High indeed!!

Many people today would agree with the statement:
America’s public school system is in crisis!
Rarely does a week go by without a news story about low test scores, violence in schools, teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, guns and gang activities, or alcohol and drug problems.

It is no wonder that more and more Christian parents are removing their children from our nations public schools and placing them into Christian schools, or home-schooling them. Is this the correct move for us as Christians? Should we run from the fight with evil influences and let worldly wisdom direct the education of Americas youth? The future of all young people is at stake. Our nations future is at stake! This is not the time to turn our backs or throw in the towel! This is the time to get Godly wisdom and attack the issues at hand. In The Stakes Are High, veteran teacher Dennis Ray examines what Godly wisdom means and how to get it, providing practical applications for use in the lives of students and adults alike.