Monday, November 11, 2013

Charter Schools and Religious Entanglement

Although certainly not a new topic (witness last year's Loch Ness Monster reports), the problem of the funding of religious charter schools by state money is becoming a more visible problem.  John Turley tackles this controversy.  The article is as much as anything just a run-down of different cases that have spawned across the country but it is interesting for showing that the charter school/fundamentalist ties are strong in many different areas across the country.  Among them, he writes:
In November 2010, Jessica Meyers wrote a newspaper article about Advantage Academy in Duncanville, Texas. She said the students at this school “follow biblical principles, talk openly about faith and receive guidance from a gregarious former pastor who still preaches when he speaks.” She said Advantage Academy is typical of the “latest breed of charter schools”—those “born from faith-based principles and taxpayer funds.” She added, “Advantage markets its teaching of creationism and intelligent design. It offers a Bible class as an elective and encourages personal growth through hard work and ‘faith in God and country.’”

The academy’s founder Allen Beck is a former pastor for Assemblies of God who “hopes to instill morals and ethics in students as they learn to count and read.” Beck was quoted as saying, “America is in a battle between secularity and biblical thinking. I want to fuse the two together in a legal way.”
The more open these charter schools get in proclaiming their ID/creationism, the more scrutiny they will get to the point where the whole program will be examined and investigated. Given that the organized Texas educational system does not have a good track record for the teaching of "hard science," this will be a battleground state.

No comments:

Post a Comment