Louisiana Voucher Students Headed to Schools using A Beka, Bob Jones, and ACE Curricula [Video]
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 10:25:21 AM EST
Students will be taught that humans and dinosaurs walked on earth together, and this instruction will be paid for with public funds.  How do we know this?

Photobucket Some Louisiana students receiving publicly funded vouchers and attending private schools in 2012-2013 will be taught from educational media promoting young earth creationism, global warming denial, history that is not factual, and bigotry toward Catholicism, Mormonism, other Protestants, and non-Christian religions.  This is predictable because some of the schools that are on the approved list to receive voucher students use curriculum from  A Beka Books, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). Public funding of the teaching of creationism is already happening in Pennsylvania, Florida, and other states with "private school choice" programs.  The following 8-minute video provides a window into what these students are being taught. [Graphic above right is title of a chapter on creationism from an A Beka Science textbook.]

This video below is an 8-minute excerpt on the content of A Beka and Bob Jones University Press textbooks. The excerpt is from a 35-minute video about the corporate tax credit program funding students to attend private schools in Pennsylvania (preview and full length video embedded in this article).

This is the "better education" that many students using school vouchers and corporate tax credit program dollars are receiving.  

The latest quarterly report on Florida's Tax Credit program shows that 83.5% of the students in the program attend religious schools.  Many of these schools use A Beka, Bob Jones, and other fundamentalist curricula, as proudly indicated in the promotional media of  Step Up for Students, the nonprofit which handles the disbursement of the funds in the state program.  The nonprofit was founded by John Kirtley, the vice chairman of the Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children.  

The Louisiana Department of Education's current list of approved private schools for the state's new voucher program has seven (or less) secular schools and over 110 religious schools.  No doubt some of these private schools are excellent, but an overview of the Louisiana list demonstrates that most of the prestigious and established schools are not interested in taking many or any voucher students, while some of the schools willing to take the most students lack physical facilities and are acting "on faith" that they will be able to handle the increased numbers of students.  

In Louisiana, the three of the schools  offering the largest number of voucher slots are the New Living Word School in Ruston (315), The Upperroom Bible Church Academy in New Orleans (214), and Eternity Christian Academy (135).

"The school willing to accept the most voucher students -- 314 -- is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition. - Reuters"

The New Living Word School has  not yet built the facility that would house these students. The school is a part of the Rev. Jerry Baldwin's New Living Word church and Baldwin says the school is moving forward "on faith." The school currently uses the church's Sunday School classrooms. If the school gets the 315 voucher students, it would receive $2.7 million dollars in funding.  The decision was made to give New Living Word School (and the other private schools) the voucher slots without a site visit from the state.  

The church established the school in 2007 as a "Catch-up School" for students who fall behind.  From the website,

"In the Fall of 2007 the New Living Word Catch-Up School opened to help students who are a year or more behind in school get caught up to their correct grade.  Students who attend the school are able to complete two grades in a year."

The church website indicates that these students use the A Beka Homeschooling program.  Eternity Christian Academy uses Accelerated Christian Education (ACE).  In a very brief and limited search I found other schools on the approved school voucher list using A Beka curriculum including: Jehovah-Jireh Christian Academy in Baton Rouge (30 voucher slots), Riverdale Christian Academy in Baton Rouge (30), Lafayette Christian Academy (4),  Northeast Baptist School in West Monroe (40), Cenia Christian Academy in Pineville (72), Family Worship Christian Academy in Opelousas (66), and Northlake Christian Highschool in Covington (30).

The Louisiana vouchers would be available to about 5,000  students for the 2012-2013 school year, but private school choice options are to be dramatically expanded to cover approximately 380,000 students in the state in 2013-2014.  

See Part One of this series on the Louisiana voucher program. Also see a previous article titled Vouchers/Tax Credit Funding Creationism, Revisionist History, Hostility Towards Other Religions that includes footnotes for some of the quotes and describes the corporate tax credit program in Florida. 




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Rachel, what is the prognosis/timeline for this same thing happening in other states? In Texas, San Antonio is a hotbed of dominionists,such as Vision Forum. They are venturing out into all areas in accordance with their agenda. What I foresee is that unless Americans wake up to the fact that these groups have a stealth agenda, we will see empty school buildings and resources going unused because these extremists don't really care about the childrens' education or that school rooms are not funded enough to have books and other learning resources due to their quest for raw power. It's a shame that what we've worked for all these generations has a chance of being destroyed at the hands of dominionists. I'm looking forward to seeing your other research and I hope Americans WAKE UP and VOTE in local elections since the dominionists win using the same strategy.

by aliciapienza on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:35:02 PM EST
including vouchers and tax credit programs.  These are described in yearbook by the Alliance for School Choice, which is affiliated with the American Federation for Children led by Betsy DeVos.  The yearbook tracks their progress each year in transitioning public education to "private school choice" programs.

http://www.allianceforschoolchoice.org/yearbook

The privatization juggernaut is also hard at work in other states.  

by Rachel Tabachnick on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:06:42 PM EST
Parent



George Orwell caught the essence perfectly: "He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past."

by pcolsen on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:46:59 AM EST


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