Monday, August 29, 2005

Religious Groups Sue to Lower Academic Standards

There is an anti-education movement in this country, opposing the teaching of accurate science-based knowledge and honestly expressive culture. An active cell here in Montgomery County has been campaigning tirelessly against our public school district; on the other hand, our group, TeachTheFacts.org, exists to support knowledge-based education in our public schools.

When you apply to enter a university, they rate you according to what high-school classes you have taken. You can imagine why this is. If you have one kid taking physics and calculus, and another one taking PE and band, even if they both got A's, you'd expect the kid with the math and science to get preference over the other one -- they appear to be a better and more serious student.

Some schools are substituting religion for history, science, math, literature, and guess what -- the universities don't want to give students credit for that.

So now some religious groups are suing, hoping that activist judges will force universities to lower their academic admission standards.
Amid the growing national debate over the mixing of religion and science in America's classrooms, University of California admissions officials have been accused in a federal civil rights lawsuit of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles federal court Thursday by the Assn. of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 religious schools in the state, and by the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, which has an enrollment of more than 1,000.

Under a policy implemented with little fanfare a year ago, UC admissions authorities have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin's theory of evolution, the suit says.

Other courses rejected by UC officials include "Christianity's Influence in American History," "Christianity and Morality in American Literature" and "Special Providence: American Government."

The 10-campus UC system requires applicants to complete a variety of courses, including science, mathematics, history, literature and the arts. But in letters to Calvary Chapel, university officials said some of the school's Christian-oriented courses were too narrow to be acceptable. Christian Schools Bring Suit Against UC

American education is already a national embarrassment. American students already lag behind much of the civilized world in almost every subject.

It is a truism to say that knowledge is power -- everybody says it, everybody knows it's true. The saying means that the person who possesses knowledge has the ability to make good, self-empowering decisions. But there is another side to it: we could say, ignorance feeds power. An ignorant population is easier to manipulate. For instance, if every decision is depicted as a choice between good and evil, and a leader can insinuate that God Himself takes one position on an issue, then those who have been taught not to reason will take that position without question or consideration. It leads to a very pliable populace, and even though they may as individuals feel that they are making their own choices, this hardly meets the criterion of a "free" society. It is crucial to us as patriotic Americans to promote education that teaches students to reason with facts.

Our local fight takes place in the middle and high schools. Many of these young students, admittedly, will go into the workplace right after twelfth grade. It is arguable then that the schools should be training them to cope with the low-skill, low-paying jobs they will be going into. But according to the Census Bureau, about 38 per cent of Marylanders will end up with Bachelors degrees or higher -- ours is one of the top states for attaining a college education. The universties should be devoted to scholarship, they should be the focus of research and culture and serious thought -- university erudition should be the pinnacle of the American education process, not something that gets pushed around by political and religious interests; the university should not be an institution, like network TV, say, that panders to the preferences of the majority. This California lawsuit is a direct attack on the centers of higher learning -- it is not enough that these people undereducate their own children in the private schools, now they intend to create lower standards for everyone.

4 Comments:

Blogger andrear said...

I am sure these kids can go to Liberty University, Regent University or Grove City College with no problem. These parents chose to educate their children a certain way with classes that do not meet the standard of the state university. Maybe these kids can go to public school for a year to take the classes they need to bring them up to the expected standard.

Andrea

August 29, 2005 1:54 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 29, 2005 1:54 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

I find it very encouraging that the University of California is taking a stand on admissions criteria. If this reasonableness were to sweep across the country so that all quality colleges and universities took the same stand then the boards of education would have to back down from promoting nonsense. Or be sued by the students denied admission because of their poor quality education. And Liberty can spend its money defending school boards for a change, rather than attacking them.

August 29, 2005 5:30 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

We'll see if they actually have the backbone to "take a stand." It's a good system, with a lot of prestigious campuses, and a good reputation, so perhaps they will.

My concern in general is with the whole trend of Americans thinking it's cool, or funny, or morally superior, to be dumb. People in other countries don't feel that way, they value intelligence and knowledge, but sometimes it seems to me that education itself is under attack in the US. We've always been skeptical of ten-cent words and ivory-tower theories, but now it seems that people get defensive if you use a common vocabulary and use it well, or if you try to reason with valid logic.

It's like the American intellectual ideal these days is the Miller Lite commercial.

Jim

August 29, 2005 7:42 PM  

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