Childhood is supposed to be a time of discovery, of learning, of fun. In Louisiana, however, things are different.
Here’s what Alternet had to say:
“This 2012-2013 school year, thanks to a bill pushed through by governor Bobby Jindal, thousands of students in Louisiana will receive state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools, some of which teach from a Christian curriculum that suggests the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution and states that the alleged creature, which has never been demonstrated to even exist, has been tracked by submarine and is probably a plesiosaur. The curriculum also claims that a Japanese fishing boat caught a dinosaur.”
Also being taught:
– Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior
– The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution
– No Transitional Fossils Exist
– Humans and Dinosaurs Co-Existed
– Evolution Has Been Disproved
– A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur
– Solar Fusion is a Myth
What these schools are doing is trying to undo everything public education has taught for years. These Christian “Schools” are receiving vouchers which come from taxpayer dollars. Since these schools are not PUBLIC schools in the sense they are regulated by the Board of education, they can teach what they want. These schools are also funded by major corporations. The main textbook used are from A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press. The textbooks in these series teach that dinosaurs lived on earth with humans; deny global warming; promote hostility toward other religions and other sectors of Christianity (particularly Roman Catholicism); provide a biased and often factually incorrect version of history; and teach extreme laissez-faire economics, claimed to be Biblical-based.
Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) tests almost exclusively consist of multiple choice, matching, or fill-in-the-blank questions. These means only test factual recall, not understanding. Even if the students are trying to take a deep learning approach, they are not given the opportunity. ACE prescribes a system of rewards and punishments for students. Those who achieve academic and behavioural goals are awarded privileges such as extended break times and the freedom to move without permission. All the rewards offered are forms of extrinsic motivation, emphasizing that learning itself is not the thing of value. ACE assessments do not provide evidence that deep learning has taken place. Options on the multiple choice tests are frequently meaningless, such as “Jesus died on the (cross, toss, chrome)”.
This is the troubling part. Children are taught to memorize what they are being told, but are not given the opportunity to develop critical thinking. They are told this is how things are and there is no room for argument. The people who run this program, I think, will take 100 Children and out of those 100 children, 95 will memorize and not question. The other 5 will be bullied and traumatized until their will is broken and they fit in.
The SOL’s were the same way. I railed against the SOL for I knew the teachers taught to the test and left no room for discussion or exchange of thoughts and ideas. I was told time and time again the teachers were told they HAD to teach what might appear on the test. So there were no questions outside of the subject at hand.
What we are witnessing is people wanting to change things to their way of thinking. Yes, there will be adults who will believe what ever is told to them. However, there will be others who will question whatever they bring forth. For now, the ones who speak out are ridiculed and called names.
The children are a different story. Their brains have not yet fully developed. Reasoning and logic are still being formed along with their critical thinking skills. They will believe what is taught to them for they do not know of any other way. They are told the people we are intrusting them with know what is best. So they go.
Also the parents are afraid if they learn anything different, then they will not fit in and become productive members of society. The parents are also afraid of what the talking heads have said about the way the world is. They get the impression if they do not lock-step with society, then they will be labeled as out casts and non conformists. Perhaps those born in the 80’s and 90’s, grew up watching T.V. which showed parents as bumbling buffoons. In the 1980’s, the Berlin Wall came down and in school it was taught the former U.S.S.R. was a socialist nation where the government ran businesses and took away peoples rights. They were taught America was a great Christian nation.
By now, schools were having problems with budgets even then. Whenever new budgets were brought forward, education would find itself losing much needed funds. Parents, those born in the 60’s and 70’s, were unlike their parents. Most likely both parents had to work in order to keep a roof over their heads. In addition to raising kids, parents had to find the right pre-school or day care. For the older kids, arrangements had to be made for them as well. The great babysitter for all of these kids was the television. The parents were more than happy for this electronic helper. They would also sit in front of the T.V. and watch the world fly apart. One thing they kept hearing was “Jesus will save you!” over and over again. At the end of their ropes, overwhelmed and anxious about a world they felt was going insane, they turned to religion. Religion was more than happy to capitalize on their fears. As time moved on, these people, whose children were now parents themselves, are now believing the Government is too big, taxes are too high, and Muslims are the enemy.
Now, private Christian schools, are busy turning out children with no critical thinking skills who believe Christ rode a dinosaur and the earth is only 6,000 years old. They have not been taught otherwise.
In an upcoming article, I will explore how this came to be even if children never went to private school.