The Loch Ness Monster Is Real; The KKK Is Good: The Shocking Content of Publicly Paid for Christian School Textbooks
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This 2012-2013 school year, thanks to a bill pushed through by governor Bobby Jindal, thousands of students in Louisiana will receive state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools, some of which teach from a Christian curriculum that suggests the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution and states that the alleged creature, which has never been demonstrated to even exist, has been tracked by submarine and is probably a plesiosaur. The curriculum also claims that a Japanese fishing boat caught a dinosaur.
On the list of schools approved to receive funding through the new voucher funding, that critics warn could eventually cut public school funding in half, are schools that teach from the Christian fundamentalist A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education curriculum.
What's in that curriculum? Last year, researcher Rachel Tabachnick and I co-produced a 35-minute documentary on the spread of a similar voucher program in Pennsylvania and other US states, titled "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias". Embedded at the end of this post is an eight-minute video segment from that documentary with scans from material in currently used A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press texts (in this May 25, 2011 story Tabachnick provides quotes from those textbooks.)
One of the schools cleared to receive substantial new funding through LA governor Bobby Jindal's voucher program is Eternity Christian Academy, in Westlake, LA, which according to Independent Weekly writer Walter Pierce,
...has been approved to accept 135 new students. That's a considerable uptick in enrollment, which at the end of this school year stood at 38 -- a more than 300 percent increase. Talk about buttressing the budget; $1 million in tax dollars will be diverted from the public school system to Eternity Christian, a school that, according to its mission statement, offers "a quality faith-based curriculum that is soley [sic] based on principles from the Bible ...
According to the Eternity Christian Academy website, the school uses the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum. So, what's in the ACE curriculum?
An August 29, 2009 story in the Times Educational Supplement, a British publication for teachers, provides an excerpt from an Accelerated Christian Education science textbook:
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.
Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."
Extract from Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc. (1995)
Is the text still in use today? The answer is yes, according to U.K. critic Jonny Scaramanga, who was raised on the ACE curriculum and now runs a blog titled "Leaving Fundamentalism: Examining Christian Fundamentalism in The UK".
In a popular post titled Top 5 Lies Taught By Accelerated Christian Education, Scaramanga states, "I called ACE [Accelerated Christian Education] on May 3rd, 2012, and was told that all of these PACEs are still in print and the content has not changed. These lies are still being taught in over fifty British schools today."