We need to get the content of this Orlando Sentinel article out into the wider public view, so please share and blog and tweet about it as much as you can: Florida already funnels millions in tax dollars to religious schools. There are quite a few religious schools getting “voucher” money of one type or another here in Florida. But they’re not held to the same standards as public schools.
But the state has no control over the curriculum at private schools. Critics complain that the state is sending students to private religious schools at taxpayer expense without adequately assessing how students or schools perform.
The state requires that scholarship students in grades three to 10 take a standardized test each year but only takes a broad look at the results to see whether the scholarship students overall appear to be relatively on par with public-school students.
Some time ago I had attempted to research what tax-supported religious schools were using for the curriculum. I mainly looked at the schools’ websites. Whereas some schools freely admitted to using overtly religious materials, many schools don’t clearly mention what materials they use. Despite that, I still found quite a few schools that use books like this school does:
The school [Kingsway Christian Academy, in the Pine Hills section of Orange County] is operated by Faith Creation Fellowship church, and the school’s website promises “an education with a spiritual emphasis.” The school uses the A Beka Book series of Christian texts that are controversial for teaching strict biblical creationism in science classes and dismissing as heresy the evolution theory of man’s origin taught in public schools.
Maybe I’lll dig up my research and continue where I left off. For those of you unfamiliar with A Beka Book, take a look for yourself what this Pensacola company offers. Here’s a blurb about their 10th-grade Biology book:
Truly nonevolutionary in philosophy, spirit, and sequence of study. Begins with the familiar, tangible things of nature with special emphasis on the structure and function; and concludes with Godâ€™s amazing design at the cellular and chemical level.
This is being taught to children who are attending religious schools using Florida tax dollars (in one form or another). Help spread the word, folks. And if you want to help me with my research, please let me know and we’ll split up the work.