Another Reason Private School Vouchers Are a Really, Really Bad Idea

Because private school vouchers will force taxpayers to fund this kind of nonsense:

Thousands of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature.

Thousands of children are to receive publicly-funded vouchers enabling them to attend the schools – which follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.

The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.

Youngsters will be told that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, then Darwinism is fatally flawed.

We have already reported about Louisiana’s radical new voucher scheme, which will drain millions of dollars from public schools to pay for tuition at private and religious schools throughout the state. Most of the openings for voucher students will be at small religious schools, not respected but exclusive private schools.

Here’s some of what Louisiana students will be learning — at taxpayers’ expensive:

One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc 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.”

Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.

One former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as “evidence” that evolution could not have happened.

He added: “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived.

“If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”

More about the looming disaster in Louisiana here. The Texas Freedom Network expects voucher advocates to make another major push in the Texas Legislature next year to force taxpayers to subsidize tuition at private and religious schools in this state.

7 thoughts on “Another Reason Private School Vouchers Are a Really, Really Bad Idea

  1. Tennessee elected Republicans—nearly all of which are right wing extremists—are also pushing for a school voucher scheme, but those doing the pushing are playing word games to make it sound palatable.

    I read a description of it in the newspaper the other day. There is no way that it is anything else except a voucher scheme, only the word “scholarship” has been substituted for “voucher.” You are no doubt familiar with the similar trick where the words “intelligent design” are substituted for “creationism.”

    This bill is almost sure to pass, and the weak-spined Republican “rich boy” governor is a real risk to sign off on it.

    In our time, we are seeing a truly incredible resurgence of ignorance and stupidity. The stupid people are saying, “We stupid people are part of this democratic republic too, and we insist that our stupid stuff be made into law so we can force other people who are not stupid to become stupid just like us.”

    Then there is my version of the same statement:

    “The world is changing so fast and is becoming so complex that I no longer understand it—and it scares me. I just want to put some people in office that can stop this and make life simple again. You know. I want a simple life for a simple man. Is that too much to ask?”

    Charles says: “Yes, it is. The superorganic nature of human culture makes it take on a life of its own that is largely divorced from what an individual or group wants it to be or can make it be. People become powerless before it. It is like a giant wave in the ocean. Man does not have the power to move a wave that size. His only choice is to jump on top of the wave and let it carry him wherever the wave decides. Human resistance and attempts to change the course of the wave are futile.”

    That’s simple Anthropology 101

    Put another way:

  2. The Wedgwood Company has been making first pottery and then fine china in England since about 1760. The company was founded by Josiah Wedgwood, who was both a potter and scientific experimenter. One of his sons was also heavily involved in scientific experimentation. His daughter Susannah likely had some of the same scientific genetic material. She married Robert Darwin, a medical doctor and yet another amateur scientist. Robert and Susannah had 6 children, one of whom was Charles Darwin.

    Charles Darwin may not be public enemy #1 with the religious right but he’s certainly in the top 5, perhaps even the top 3. Given the Wedgwood-Darwin connection I must say I’m surprised the GOP hasn’t pushed legislation to ban all imports of Wedgwood china for all-time. That would be consistent with their irrational and anti-intellectual approach.

  3. Don’t suggest it, Breckinridge–they just might do it. The reason they haven’t so far is that they’re ignorant of the family connection.

  4. My daughter goes to private school but only because of the STAAR and TAKS testing which wipes out about 30-40 instructional days during the school year. As far as the evolution stuff thst isn’t a hang up since all evolution means is change.

    More impotant thanall that creation vs. evolution nonsense is the fact that public school do not teach abstract thinking and make students responsible for learning.

    They talk about high standards then want noone to fail. Well, students have a right to fail and to excercise their choices in life.

  5. > “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.”

    Yes! And Barney (we have eyewitnesses) appears to be a raptor with a vicious appetite for creationists, birthers, teapartiers, Texas SBOE members, wallbuilders, etc.

    “Jesus loves me, but He can’t stand you.”
    -Austin Lounge Lizards