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Humans May Have Lived With Fire Breathing Dinosaurs? Romney Ed. Plan Would Fund This "Science" Lesson

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"...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... Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years" --- from Bob Jones University Press biology textbook Life Science 3rd. Edition (2007). Used widely in Christian schools that would receive dramatically increased funding under Mitt Romney's education plan, BJU's biology, history, English, and religion textbooks have been rejected by the University of California for course credit.

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has declared, "Here we are in the most prosperous nation, but millions of kids are getting a third-world education." As ABC reports, Romney's proposed K-12 education plan for America would redirect $26 billion in federal funding for low income and special needs students, that currently goes to public schools, to pay for students to attend private schools; some of those would be religious schools that use Bob Jones University Press curriculum -- which speculates that humans may have lived with fire-breathing dinosaurs and teaches that Romney's own Mormon Church is a "cult".

(images, right, are from page 237 of Bob Jones University Press 11th grade textbook "United States History For Christian Schools", 3rd Edition, 2001, currently for sale from BJU press but rejected by the University of California for course credit. )

According to Former US Undersecretary of Education Diane Ravitch, a fierce critic of "school choice" and voucher schemes, Romney's scheme amounts to a broad-based attack on public education, and as researcher Rachel Tabachnick describes, "Right-wing think tanks have determined that school vouchers are key to eradicating public education" - but could privatization improve K-12 education nonetheless ?

If Florida is any indication, possibly a third of schools funded under Romney's plan would be Christian private schools that use politically slanted, factually dubious, and bigoted fundamentalist curriculum, from publishers whose textbooks have been rejected by the University of California for failing to meet standards for high school college prep credit courses.

The textbooks(image, right: A Beka Books text "Science: Order & Reality", 2nd Edition (2006) mocks "godless evolutionist" who "came out of the ooze and slime". )

These textbooks label the Mormon Church a "cult", denigrate a wide range of faiths, including Catholicism, reject the theory of evolution, and teach Young Earth creationism - even suggesting that only a few thousand years ago humans may have lived alongside fire breathing dinosaurs.

The texts are typically anti-gay and have been criticized by leading academics for ignoring and disparaging the roles that African-Americans, women, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, working-class Americans, and religious minorities have played in American history.

In the economic realm, as researcher Rachel Tabachnick describes, the texts "teach a radical laissez-faire capitalism. Government safety nets, regulation, minimum wage, and progressive taxes are described as contrary to the Bible."

One of the textbooks, United States History For Christian Schools , has qualified praise for some of the Ku Klux Klan's activities and blandly states that the organization "resorted to violence and intimidation" without mentioning the Klan's extensive pattern of savage lynchings ( see footnote ); another text, from A Beka Books, suggests that, prior to their conversion to Christianity, Africans brought to America to be slaves were not yet spiritually ready for freedom.

(image, right: A Beka Book textbook "United States History: Heritage of Freedom", 2nd Edition (1996) superseded in 2009 by a 3rd Edition but still used in some Christian schools, identifies Mormonism as a "cult" ( see attached video ) and also suggests that without Christianity, African slaves were not yet ready for freedom)

On the A Beka Books website, the popular fundamentalist textbook publisher is quite candid about the politically slanted nature of its texts: