With just a week to go before school begins, I am busy getting my room ready, making copies of class materials, organizing lab supplies, and planning, plannning, planning. I am particularly looking forward to using a number of new lesson series that I developed over the summer to teach geological time and evolution, this year.
While I've been busy doing this, it seems that quite a few LA new, charter schools have been doing the same, except they will be teaching lies.
According to Mother Jones,
Under Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help ... 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools ... teach or champion creationist nonscience and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.
Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensacola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based "facts," such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience
Zach Kopplin is a college sophmore who has identified a number of the lies contained in these materials and has posted a petition on Change.org to try to Halt the implementation of Louisiana's creationist voucher program.
Continue beyond the squiggle for some of the lies that will be taught to LA school children thanks to Bobbie Jindal, the GOP, and taxpayer money in public schools, this year.
1. Dinosaurs and humans probably hung out: "Bible-believing Christians cannot accept any evolutionary interpretation. Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years."—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007I am particularly struck by the may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years. Few. Few? I generally take a few to mean 3, or thereabouts. So, dinosaurs living 3000 years ago? How in the world do they get that?
2. Dragons were totally real: "[Is] it possible that a fire-breathing animal really existed? Today some scientists are saying yes. They have found large chambers in certain dinosaur skulls…The large skull chambers could have contained special chemical-producing glands. When the animal forced the chemicals out of its mouth or nose, these substances may have combined and produced fire and smoke."—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007Oh. Dragons. And fire breathing ones, at that! The "some scientists" is most probably "Dr." Kent Hovind who has written a book called Levaithon.
In 1971 he graduated from East Peoria Community High School in East Peoria, Illinois. From 1972 to 1974, Hovind attended the non-accredited Midwestern Baptist College and received a Bachelor of Religious Education.my emphasis (Do I really need to list out the actual, real scientists who question "Dr." Hovind's credentials?)
In 1988 and 1991 respectively, Hovind was awarded a master's degree and doctorate in Christian Education through correspondence from the non-accredited Patriot University in Colorado Springs, Colorado (now Patriot Bible University in Del Norte, Colorado, which no longer offers this program).
Moving on from psuedoscience lies, children in these public schools will also be learning some disgusting, racist historical revisionist lies.
3. "God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ."—America: Land That I Love, Teacher ed., A Beka Book, 1994Yeah, a loving God arranged this genocide for the benefit of those on the death march and human greed for land and gold in the Black Hills had nothing to do with it. (The link provides a timeline of events from the period. I leave it to all of you to decide if the former or latter is what happened.)
5. Slave masters were nice guys: "A few slave holders were undeniably cruel. Examples of slaves beaten to death were not common, neither were they unknown. The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well."—United States History for Christian Schools, 2nd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 1991And, these are the folks who are screaming about the horrible tyranny of being enslaved by being required to purchase health insurance? But, maybe I'm just misunderstanding them ...
6. The KKK was A-OK: "[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians."—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001Wow. I never knew that the KKK were the original champions of women against violent misogynists, so I guess the Jim Crow and lynching and anti-semitic stuff should just get a pass? Like hell.
Of course, the anti-choice position is covered:
8. SCOTUS enslaved fetuses: "Ignoring 3,500 years of Judeo-Christian civilization, religion, morality, and law, the Burger Court held that an unborn child was not a living person but rather the "property" of the mother (much like slaves were considered property in the 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford)."—American Government in Christian Perspective, 2nd ed., A Beka Book, 1997Interesting twist here. Slavery wasn't bad for black people (see #5, but it is a bad thing for fetuses.
And, be afraid, be very afraid ...
9. The Red Scare isn't over yet: "It is no wonder that Satan hates the family and has hurled his venom against it in the form of Communism."— American Government in Christian Perspective, 2nd ed., A Beka Book, 1997
13. "Global environmentalists have said and written enough to leave no doubt that their goal is to destroy the prosperous economies of the world's richest nations."—Economics: Work and Prosperity in Christian Perspective, 2nd ed., A Beka Book, 1999
14. Globalization is a precursor to rapture: "But instead of this world unification ushering in an age of prosperity and peace, as most globalists believe it will, it will be a time of unimaginable human suffering as recorded in God's Word. The Anti-christ will tightly regulate who may buy and sell."—Economics: Work and Prosperity in Christian Perspective, 2nd ed., A Beka Book, 1999Wait a minute, though. If 9, 13, and 14 are correct, why aren't they pushing for these things to occur if it would lead to the rapture? Why aren't they donating to socialist President Obama like they are supporting sending Jews to Isreal? With this load of crap, they'd better stay far away from teaching any kind of critical thinking skills.
Last, but certainly not least ...
12. Gay people "have no more claims to special rights than child molesters or rapists."—Teacher's Resource Guide to Current Events for Christian Schools, 1998-1999, Bob Jones University Press, 1998I wonder if Chik-Fil-A will get the cafeteria out-sourcing contract?
I actually found the entire listing particularly instructive in that it clearly encapsulates the worldview that the far right base wants to inculcate in their childrens' minds. THIS is who they are, and who they want their children to grow up to be. If you live in a state and school district with teachers who are struggling with no budgets (I have 80 cents per student per year to run a science program) and no textbooks (I have a classroom set of 11 year old science books), please remember to give the teachers you know a smile ... maybe a hug as they start the school year. Many of us are doing our best to serve as the frontlines against the kind of ignorance above.
And, once again, here's the link to the petition. Halt the implementation of Louisiana's creationist voucher program.