The mission of the Imago Dei Leadership Forum (IDLF) is to glorify God by equipping schools in the essential areas of faith, virtue and knowledge, as we share the Gospel of Jesus and encourage our students to view themselves and others as image-bearers of God.


Vision

As we learn from reports by McKinsey and Co, Amplify, Education Week, and other educational experts, millions of students have lost close to an entire year of academics during the pandemic. Furthermore, “Black and Hispanic students, who had lower average reading scores compared to white students before the pandemic, fell even further behind on average during school disruptions.”

Take for example, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School end-of-grade reading scores–only 14.8% of 3rd through 8th grade Hispanic students were at or above grade level, while only 16.2% of 3rd through 8th Grade African-American students were at or above grade level. This is heartbreaking.

Research has shown that “A student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is 4 times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer…89 percent of students in poverty who did read on level by 3rd grade graduated on time, statistically no different from the students who never experienced poverty but did struggle with reading early on.”

Regarding CMS end-of-grade math scores, only 12.9% of 3rd-8th grade Hispanic students were at or above grade level, while 10.7% of 3rd-8th Grade African American students were at or above grade level. Again, we are putting another generation of minority students at a great disadvantage with these low scores.


I believe it is going to take all of us working together to truly address arguably the greatest civil rights issue of our time—restoring a quality, Christ-centered education for those among us who have experienced the impact of living with limited resources for many generations.

The Apostle Paul reminded the Church of Corinth of the importance of joining together as brothers and sisters in Christ–especially when we see others suffering: “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (I Corinthians 12: 24-26) That is why we exist (read again)

With this kind of vision and God’s grace and blessing, I pray that IDLF will reflect Jesus’ vision of unity among believers and the amazing witness it bears to the world (John 17:21), as well as the beautiful diversity of his people described in Jesus’ vision of heaven revealed to the Apostle John in Revelation 7:9—”a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

Please prayerfully considering joining us in God’s work to prepare the next generation of His image-bearers in faith, virtue, and knowledge for future lives of leadership and service.