Taxpayers funding Christian anti-science private schools

  • Thread starter Evo
  • Start date
  • #1
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
This is wrong in so many ways. If you want to send your child to a private school, fine, but you should not be able to use public tax dollars. We have public schools paid for by tax dollars.

How the hell can this happen?

Loch Ness Monster used to debunk evolution in state-funded school

It sounds like a hoax, but it's apparently true: The Loch Ness Monster is on the science class syllabus for kids at Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana.
As reported by the Herald Scotland (which must track all Loch Ness-related news), a school that will receive tax-payer dollars, will teach kids that the mythological sea creature is real in order to debunk the theory of evolution. So pay attention: That will be on the test.

Eternity Christian Academy uses the fundamentalist A.C.E. Curriculum to teach students "to see life from God's point of view."

According to the Herald, one textbook, Biology 1099, reads, "Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. 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."

Starting in the fall, thousands of schoolchildren will receive publicly funded vouchers to attend private schools, some of which are religious. Religious schools in Louisiana will receive public funding as part of a push from Louisiana's governor, Bobby Jindal, to move millions of tax dollars to cover tuition for private schools, including small bible-based church schools. Money will fund schools that have "bible-based math books" and biology texts that refute evolution.

At Eternity Christian Academy, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier says that the her first through eighth-grade students learn at their own pace from Christian workbooks. The beginning science text explains "what God made" on each of the six days of creation. Evolution is not taught.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sidesho...-debunk-evolution-state-funded-190816504.html
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
turbo
Gold Member
3,228
55
So sad... How can people believe this crap and allow (require) it to be taught to children to perpetuate that ignorance?
 
  • #3
zoobyshoe
6,551
1,287
Basically it looks like someone or some group is trying hard to discredit this private school voucher system by holding up an extreme, or freak, as par for the course. I'd study the whole issue in much more depth rather than decide based on this one story.
 
  • #4
gmax137
Science Advisor
2,205
1,809
So sad... How can people believe this crap and allow (require) it to be taught to children to perpetuate that ignorance?

It's worse than that, people who *don't* believe it have to pay to have it taught...
 
  • #5
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
Basically it looks like someone or some group is trying hard to discredit this private school voucher system by holding up an extreme, or freak, as par for the course. I'd study the whole issue in much more depth rather than decide based on this one story.
There should not be a tax payer paid private school system that is religion based. If you want your kid to go to any private religious school, that's up to you and at your expense.
 
  • #6
rootX
465
4
This is so BS. Government is encouraging more science/math education in schools but at same time tax money is going for exactly the opposite causes.
 
  • #7
turbo
Gold Member
3,228
55
There should not be a tax payer paid private school system that is religion based. If you want your kid to go to any private religious school, that's up to you and at your expense.
That is a great rule, but in Jindall's little kingdom apparently anything goes. It would really tick me off to be a taxpayer down there and see my tax-money being used to mislead kids with religious-based nonsense. If parents want to have their kids "educated" with such foolishness, they should pay for it.
 
  • #8
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
It's really shocking that what constitutes education in this country is left up to the state and local level. That means that there is no minimum standard of education for this country's children.

Is there any wonder why America is so far behind academically?

How can we allow this country's children to not only be taught crackpottery, but they aren't even exposed to the truth?

What the hell are people thinking?
 
Last edited:
  • #9
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,423
2,823
What the hell are "bible-based math books"?

Never mind. Off topic and I'm afraid to find out.
 
  • #10
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
What the hell are "bible-based math books"?
I was wondering that also.
 
  • #11
rootX
465
4
What the hell are "bible-based math books"?

:rofl:
 
  • #12
turbo
Gold Member
3,228
55
I was wondering that also.
Maybe that involves equating millions of years of natural history with 6000 years... I really hope that's not the case, but I wouldn't put it past a fundamentalist christian school. Why are we paying for this?
 
  • #13
Number Nine
813
25
What the hell are "bible-based math books"?

Andy Schlafly (son of prominent conservative figure Phyllis Schlafly) is on record describing complex analysis as a "secular" and "liberal" invention, so I'm sure these institutions could politicize mathematics if they chose to.
 
  • #14
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
The thing is, the people that have been pushing for using tax payer money for private schools are mostly christian fundamentalists. How can tax payer funds be given to religious sects?
 
  • #15
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,423
2,823
The school voucher question in the United States has also received a considerable amount of judicial review in the early 2000s.

A program launched in the city of Cleveland in 1995 and authorized by the state of Ohio was challenged in court on the grounds that it violated both the federal constitutional principle of separation of church and state and the guarantee of religious liberty in the Ohio Constitution. These claims were rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court, but the federal claims were upheld by the local federal district court and by the Sixth Circuit appeals court.[67] The fact that nearly all of the families using vouchers attended Catholic schools in the Cleveland area was cited in the decisions.[68]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_voucher#United_States
 
  • #17
AlephZero
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,025
297
What the hell are "bible-based math books"?

Never mind. Off topic and I'm afraid to find out.

The "fact" that pi = 3 exactly springs to mind, but I can't quote you the exact chapter and verse.
 
  • #18
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,423
2,823
The "fact" that pi = 3 exactly springs to mind, but I can't quote you the exact chapter and verse.
Oh. I was thinking it might be something like:

A volume of 1 seah = 7.33 liters or 7.33dm3

and areas are determined by how many seah of barley seed is needed to sow that area.
 
  • #19
Bipolarity
775
2
When I heard Bible-based math book, this came to my mind:

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/hell.htm

Let alone for the fact the "Bible-based science" teaching is probably incorrect, what they are doing there in Louisiana is also a violation of the 1st amendment, since it uses public funds for religious education.

In 1968, a Supreme Court case in Flast vs. Cohen outlawed the allocation of public funds to religious non-secular teaching. I wonder what has happened since then?

BiP
 
  • #20
edward
119
166
Bible based math.

If you need to set up a rate-time-distance problem, instead of
talking about trains leaving Chicago and New York, you could ask how
long it would take for a King in a caravan to overtake three wise men
walking by foot.

http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52381.html

They should encounter a problem with 0 since it didn't exist in the bible.:rolleyes:
 
  • #21
LadyStardust
4
0
This is awful...yet not surprising. We're headed in the Idiocracy direction.
 
  • #22
Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
5,956
720
There should not be a tax payer paid private school system that is religion based. If you want your kid to go to any private religious school, that's up to you and at your expense.
This is just my personal opinion but even though it is private that's no excuse for teaching rubbish to children. Parents and guardians have a duty of care to children that should include providing them with a certain level of education. Private schools should still have their curriculum regulated to ensure a minimum standard. I'm not sure about the US but we do have legislation for this in the UK though I've heard of many stories in recent years of private faith schools using loopholes like teaching the bare minimum of biology and then maxing out on their "religious studies" so that creationism is presented to children as the dominant theory regarding the origin of life and biological diversity. Dawkins did a documentary about it to highlight how either the rules weren't being enforced or needed to be stricter, there was a clip of him going into a science class in a private muslim school and finding that the teacher didn't (and in some cases couldn't) answer the children's criticisms of evolution.
 
  • #23
leroyjenkens
610
49
That is a great rule, but in Jindall's little kingdom apparently anything goes. It would really tick me off to be a taxpayer down there and see my tax-money being used to mislead kids with religious-based nonsense. If parents want to have their kids "educated" with such foolishness, they should pay for it.
Actually, it shouldn't even be allowed regardless if the parents pay for it. Children are required by law to be educated. That's a good law. Well, children who go to these schools are not being educated.
 
  • #24
John Creighto
495
2
Given the poor results of public schools I can’t help but wonder if the issue is a red-herring. If the schools don’t produce good results then I can’t see why parents would be lining up to send their kids to these schools. In Canada we have an alternative Catholic school system in some provinces and many non-Catholics try to get their kids into these schools. I also think that the phrase, “tax payer funded” is a bit “incendiary” as parents who send their kids to private schools still are taxed for kids that go to public schools. Do these voucher’s provide enough to compensate for these cost? I suspect for someone in a high tax bracket they wouldn’t.
 
  • #25
Number Nine
813
25
Given the poor results of public schools I can’t help but wonder if the issue is a red-herring. If the schools don’t produce good results then I can’t see why parents would be lining up to send their kids to these schools. In Canada we have an alternative Catholic school system in some provinces and many non-Catholics try to get their kids into these schools.

Parents who enrol their children in religious schools (particularly schools with a more protestant and evangelical bent) tend to do so for ideological reasons; their objections to public schools centre largely around "secularism" and the lack of a Godly education. Catholic schools, by and large, are very good, with many of them being better than their public counterparts, but they also tend not to teach the nonsense described in this thread.

Do these voucher’s provide enough to compensate for these cost? I suspect for someone in a high tax bracket they wouldn’t.

Honestly, I'm really not all that concerned that people who make lots of money are paying taxes so that other people's children can go to school.
 
  • #26
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
Given the poor results of public schools I can’t help but wonder if the issue is a red-herring. If the schools don’t produce good results then I can’t see why parents would be lining up to send their kids to these schools. In Canada we have an alternative Catholic school system in some provinces and many non-Catholics try to get their kids into these schools. I also think that the phrase, “tax payer funded” is a bit “incendiary” as parents who send their kids to private schools still are taxed for kids that go to public schools. Do these voucher’s provide enough to compensate for these cost? I suspect for someone in a high tax bracket they wouldn’t.
People that have no children also have to pay these taxes. The taxes are to ensure that every child has access to an education. The problems with the quality of the education is being discussed in another thread.

The main issue in this thead, IMO, is WHAT is being taught and what isn't. If a public tax voucher is used for a school, then there should be educational requirements that the school should meet. Unfortunately in the US we allow children to not be taught even the basics. We seem to have no guidelines for what suffices as education.
 
  • #27
Jack21222
204
1
The "fact" that pi = 3 exactly springs to mind, but I can't quote you the exact chapter and verse.

I'm a fairly "militant" atheist, but even I have to defend the bible on this one. I don't think the bible gave numbers to many significant figures. To one sig fig, pi DOES equal 3. In some of my astronomy classes, when dealing with 4/3*pi (as in the volume of a sphere), we canceled the pi and the 3 to get just 4.

The bible does not say that pi equals 3.000. I'd say that it is no more wrong to claim that pi = 3 than it is to say pi = 3.1 or pi = 3.14, or... you get the picture. All of the above are saying the same thing.

I'm not even certain decimal points existed at the time of writing of the bible.
 
  • #28
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,838
255
The "fact" that pi = 3 exactly springs to mind, but I can't quote you the exact chapter and verse.

1 Kings 7:23

And he made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and the height thereof was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
וַיַּעַשׂ אֶת-הַיָּם, מוּצָק: עֶשֶׂר בָּאַמָּה מִשְּׂפָתוֹ עַד-שְׂפָתוֹ עָגֹל סָבִיב, וְחָמֵשׁ בָּאַמָּה קוֹמָתוֹ, וקוה (וְקָו) שְׁלֹשִׁים בָּאַמָּה, יָסֹב אֹתוֹ סָבִיב

so if the height is the radius, then π = 30/5*2 = 3 o:)

(but the "sea" is described only as round, not hemi-spherical, so is the height the same as the radius?)
 
Last edited:
  • #29
turbo
Gold Member
3,228
55
People that have no children also have to pay these taxes. The taxes are to ensure that every child has access to an education.
Yep! My wife and I have no children and Maine's property taxes are quite high. 50% of the property tax goes straight to public education in one's local school district.
 
  • #30
skeptic2
1,772
59
The thing is, the people that have been pushing for using tax payer money for private schools are mostly christian fundamentalists. How can tax payer funds be given to religious sects?

Evo, I wonder to what extent these private schools are allowed to discriminate. Can they accept only the students with the top grades? If so, they would be able to compare the performance of their students to those of the public schools and declare how much better they are. Public schools could be left with a majority of under performers.

Are they, as a private religious school, allowed to refuse admittance to students not of the same denomination as the school? Are they allowed to expel students who don't uphold the school's religious values, e.g. homosexual students or who hold conflicting religious beliefs, e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses who don't salute the flag?
 
Last edited:
  • #31
Evo
Mentor
23,924
3,261
Evo, I wonder to what extent these private schools are allowed to discriminate. Can they accept only the students with the top grades? If so, they would be able to compare the performance of their students to those of the public schools and declare how much better they are. Public schools could be left with a majority of under performers.

Are they, as a private religious school, allowed to refuse admittance to students not of the same denomination as the school? Are they allowed to expel students who don't uphold the school's religious values, e.g. homosexual students or who hold conflicting religious beliefs, e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses who don't salute the flag?
That's the problem, there is no education standard for private schools. Each state handles things differently. As far as to what they can get away with, I don't know if there is any tracking.

As far as educational standards, here's an article on New York.

Private and parochial schools -- from small church-run academies to prestigious Manhattan prep schools -- educate about 15 percent of all school-age children in New York State, or 485,453 in 1997. While state law requires these schools to provide an education at least equal in quality to that of public schools, they are largely free to establish their own curriculums and methods and do not have to administer state assessment tests.

Public schools, too, are pressing the state to include the nonpublic schools in the new requirements, saying students will otherwise leave the public schools for less demanding private ones.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/12/26/n...dards-for-diplomas.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 

Suggested for: Taxpayers funding Christian anti-science private schools

Replies
1
Views
249
Replies
14
Views
206
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
574
Replies
86
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
782
Replies
5
Views
384
Replies
21
Views
792
  • Last Post
6
Replies
201
Views
15K
Top