Florida spends $1 billion per year on miseducating kids

The Orlando Sentinel has an article on Christian homeschooling that had me banging my forehead on my desk. It’s a good article, but we’ve been saying this for decades: Abeka, Bob Jones University (BJU), and Accelerated Christian Education are fucking awful curricula. They are promoting Christian ignorance and lying to the kids, and this crap is getting subsidized by the state of Florida.

The social studies books downplay the horrors of slavery and the mistreatment of Native Americans, they said. One book, in its brief section on the civil rights movement, said that “most black and white southerners had long lived together in harmony” and that “power-hungry individuals stirred up the people.”

The books are rife with religious and political opinions on topics such as abortion, gay rights and the Endangered Species Act, which one labels a “radical social agenda.” They disparage religions other than Protestant Christianity and cultures other than those descended from white Europeans. Experts said that was particularly worrisome given that about 60 percent of scholarship students are black or Hispanic.

This is routine. What’s frustrating is that educators and scientists have been pointing out the deficiencies and dishonesty of these companies for years, and it feels like every year someone somewhere will gasp in dismay at the crap being taught, and wonder why no one has done anything about it. This is a different year, same old bullshit, and the state government just keeps on rubber stamping it through.

The Sentinel surveyed the 151 private schools newly approved by the education department to take scholarships for the 2017-18 school year. Seventy-five of the schools provided information about their curriculum either on their websites or when contacted by phone, and 30 of those, or about 40 percent, reported Abeka, BJU or ACE was a part of their academic offerings.

Only half were willing to disclose what they’re teaching? Makes you wonder what the silent, secretive half are doing.

Also, anybody qualifies as a teacher at these schools.

“Honestly, with our curriculum … a certified teacher is not required,” Natasha Griffin, district superintendent of Esther’s School, which has seven campuses in Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel last year.

At Esther’s School in Kissimmee, 11 of 18 teachers lacked college degrees last year, according to a document Griffin sent to the education department. For two of them, 11th grade was their highest educational level. Almost all of the school’s nearly 60 students are on state scholarships this year.

Would like to say that a responsible government would strip these schools of any subsidies and declare that they are no longer accredited in any way. But they won’t.

There’s be another article next year exposing the miserable teaching standards at Christian home schools. And there will be another the year after that. And the year after that. I ought to save them up and use them as kindling for my Viking funeral.

Don’t watch the video at the link unless you really like seeing dullards dully defending their bad curricula.


  1. says

    I’m surprised they blamed “power hungry individuals” instead of Communist agitators. Don’t want to risk the kids thinking something is wrong with the rich and big business.

  2. Onamission5 says

    I do wish the Sentinel article had been more specific about the type of Christianity on display in the curriculum and schools. The complaint here isn’t about Christianity as a whole, it’s about fundamentalists with a political agenda using propaganda to brainwash generations of students under the guise of providing Christian education. Failing to specify allows these sects to more easily claim persecution on basis of simply being Christian when it’s actually criticism of their specific agenda and campaign of disinformation against children using government funds to reach a broader audience, not the entirety of their religion.

    In as much as these folks like to LARP that their evangelical separatist sects own all of Christianity and claim that if a child learns about evolution or birth control then they are not getting a Christian education, I’d like to see some sort of collective effort to wrest control over that false narrative away from their grubby grasp. I propose we call them Radical Christianists.

  3. anthrosciguy says

    Honestly, with our curriculum … a certified teacher is a hindrance.

  4. pita says

    This shit doesn’t just go on in homeschool or private school though. It distresses me to think that even though I’m under 30 (meaning born after we were meant to have been “enlightened”) I have a very clear memory of learning about reconstruction in middle school and having to learn the word “Carpetbagger”(with the negative connotation) as an actual vocabulary word. It was a narrative where the Civil War was about state’s rights, slaves had it good actually, and then carpetbaggers from the north came in and wrecked the whole system and subjugated blacks as a plot to steal the land their old masters so generously gave them. And that was in a gifted program at a public school! It wasn’t until much, much later in life, when I used the word “carpetbagger” in a joke and no one knew what the hell i was talking about, that I learned this was not a universal experience.
    I can’t believe people are out there who would look at that as an accurate curriculum, but Christian homeschooling is as Christian homeschooling does.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Floridians (and friends) who’d like to get more details and find ways to fight back should join Florida Citizens for Science, whose longtime spokesperson & blogger, teacher and author Brandon Haught, is quoted in the linked Orlando Sentinel article.

  6. methuseus says

    @pita #5:
    I was confused about your negative connotations of carpetbaggers until I saw this:

    It was a narrative where the Civil War was about state’s rights, slaves had it good actually, and then carpetbaggers from the north came in and wrecked the whole system and subjugated blacks as a plot to steal the land their old masters so generously gave them.

    You had a very different education from me. We still had carpetbaggers as a vocab word, but they were more opportunists who were sometimes good and sometimes bad rather than all lumped together.

  7. F.O. says

    Finland abolished all non-public schools. All of the sudden, rich people started caring about the quality of public teaching.

  8. rietpluim says

    Hey, raising kids in ignorance and bigotry is a constitutional right, you know.

  9. gijoel says

    @8 The people who send their kids to these schools don’t care about the quality of their teaching. They care about them getting indoctrinated into bigoted world view. Sadly this isn’t only a Christian problem.

  10. Derek Vandivere says

    #7 / methuseus:

    Same here (southern Maryland, high school class of ’86). As I learned it, they were opportunists and it was mostly a negative connotation. Nothing about carpetbaggers ending Reconstruction or being responsible for Jim Crow…

  11. Oggie. says

    Metheseus @7:

    We still had carpetbaggers as a vocab word, but they were more opportunists who were sometimes good and sometimes bad rather than all lumped together.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I got. Some were predatory capitalists, some were actually there to do some good but, either way, the Southern reaction was, “How dare those damnYankees tell us how to treat n….rs!” And I think, looking back, that different kids got different messages — liberals got a feel for the reactionary and regressive South, the centrists got a message of good and bad, and the KKKers (we had lots) focused on the predatory capitalists and the do gooders who messed up the transition.

    Western Maryland, class of ’85.

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    You see, THIS is why I don’t have a lot of hope for civilization. The cancers of capitalism and Christianity have spread too far through this culture to purge it. Even our county’s so-called “liberals” love money and religion as much as the fucking right-wingers. If we want an atheist, socialist society, then we’re going to have to create our own.

    Too bad all the decent real estate on this rock is occupied.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    chigau @15

    And that’s the problem. Our culture is anything but civilized and I no longer have any hope of the shithole society becoming so.