Eric Hoffer described the trajectory this way. First you have a movement, which turns into a business, which then is transformed into a racket. This truth, and truth it is, should be constantly remembered by all those who are involved on the recovery of classical Christian education. We can do this in two ways.
First, we should be aware of the fact that if we are successful in our work, then the process is already under way. If our school, or college, or association of schools, is doing well, then this means the devil has switched from trying to make us fail to the equally fruitful tactic of trying to make succeed. And when we are going good, the temptation and pressure to move from movement to business to racket sets in. As we guard against this, we need to recognize that the the fatal decisions, all along the way, are made by good people. Nobody in positions of authority wakes up an orc one morning, hell bent on destroying the good work that he has given his life for. It doesn’t go like that. When trusted associates flake, when good men make bad alliances, and when responsible boards make irresponsible decisions, we should remember that Solomon taught us that every believing leader is a wind shepherd. All flesh is grass, and only grace can enable us to enjoy the kind of spiritual profit that God can establish here under the sun. We are shepherding the wind, and it is important to do this with our eyes open. When we do, we can rejoice because God has already accepted our work.
The second way we recognize the movement, business, racket fandango is by looking clearly at what the educrats ahead of us on the road are doing, and the desperate straits they are in. There are many examples of this, but classical Christian schools need to make sure they don’t consider it too big an honor when state universities start headhunting their grads with scholarship offers. It is a good testimony, surely, indicating that we are doing well in producing good students — but it should also indicate to us that the state universities are sucking wind and are desperate for such good students. Higher education in America is deep into the racket phase, and they are coming to the end of it. They are flailing — the college bubble in a few short years is going to look a lot like the Phoenix housing bubble looks now. So movement schools ought not to put too much into the fact that they are starting to get awards from racket schools.