New Voucher Schools Springing up Everywhere
Louisiana students will learn the Loch Ness monster is real according to Accelerated Christian Education lesson plans adopted for some teachers in Louisiana private schools to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. These schools seem to be growing rapidly now that public money will be available to pay for religious education using the ACE curriculum. 125 schools across the state have been approved to receive up to $8,800 per student in aid to accept students in non-traditional educational programs.
Privately operated Christian schools in Louisiana have adopted textbooks for this fall that teach that Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature. Recently passed by the legislature, schools accepting public vouchers will be able to follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.
The website Ministers-Best-Friend.com gives the public one view of the goals of the fundamentalist ACE program and how it adapts to take advantage of state laws that permit public funds to be channeled to private education.
The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) program teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism. Approved lessons indicate that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, Darwinism is fatally flawed. Critics have slammed the content of the religious course books. TO say they are bizarre is mild. Basically these programs are promoting radical religious and political ideas.
One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. The text goes on to say: “Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”
Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.
One former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE program as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as “evidence” that evolution could not have happened.
Saramanga says, “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived. If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”
Private religious schools, including the Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana, a school without even an occupational license, which follows the ACE curriculum, have already been cleared to receive the state voucher money transferred from public school funding, as the result of the bill pushed through by Republican state governor Bobby Jindal, a Hindu convert to Catholicism.
Another voucher-approved private school based in Ruston, New Living Word School, has adopted the same CAE curriculum and has problems explaining the lack of classrooms, teachers and even a building to start classes in the fall.
Additionally the BeauVer Christian Academy in DeRidder is being scrutinized due to the fact that last year they had a total of 60 students, but have been approved to accept 120 new voucher students in the fall.
Boston-based researcher and writer Bruce Wilson, who specializes in the American political religious right, said: “One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism.” Wilson believes that such fundamentalist Christian teaching is going on in at least 13 American states.
Bruce added: “There’s a lot of public funding going to private schools, probably around 200,000 pupils are receiving this education. The majority of parents now home schooling their kids are Christian fundamentalists too. I don’t believe they should be publicly funded, I don’t believe the schools who use these texts should be publicly funded.”