14 Wacky “Facts” Kids Will Learn in Louisiana’s Voucher Schools

Picture: Scott Kinmartin (CC)

Thanks to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall’s extensive voucher program (which many other Republicans want to establish on state and national levels), state funds will go towards indoctrinating youth with religious programming in privatized education centers. Taxpayers will dish out an anti-science message in texts and teaching materials, all under the guise of helping the poor and middle-income students. And they’ll be learning some pretty ridiculous nonsense, served up as facts (and not faith).

Won’t somebody please think of the children!?

via Deanna Pan at Mother Jones:

  1. Dinosaurs and humans probably hung out: “Bible-believing Christians cannot accept any evolutionary interpretation. Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007
  2. Dragons were totally real: “[Is] it possible that a fire-breathing animal really existed? Today some scientists are saying yes. They have found large chambers in certain dinosaur skulls…The large skull chambers could have contained special chemical-producing glands. When the animal forced the chemicals out of its mouth or nose, these substances may have combined and produced fire and smoke.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007
  3. “God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ.”America: Land That I Love, Teacher ed., A Beka Book, 1994
  4. Africa needs religion: “Africa is a continent with many needs. It is still in need of the gospel…Only about ten percent of Africans can read and write. In some areas the mission schools have been shut down by Communists who have taken over the government.”—Old World History and Geography in Christian Perspective, 3rd ed., A Beka Book, 2004
  5. Slave masters were nice guys: “A few slave holders were undeniably cruel. Examples of slaves beaten to death were not common, neither were they unknown. The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 2nd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 1991
  6. The KKK was A-OK: “[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001
  7. The Great Depression wasn’t as bad as the liberals made it sound: “Perhaps the best known work of propaganda to come from the Depression was John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath…Other forms of propaganda included rumors of mortgage foreclosures, mass evictions, and hunger riots and exaggerated statistics representing the number of unemployed and homeless people in America.”—United States History: Heritage of Freedom, 2nd ed., A Beka Book, 1996

 

Read the last seven at at Mother Jones

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1499091078 Jenni Watson

    And you know what wacky facts I was taught in public school? That in spite of the biology textbook god made everything and Columbus discovered America. The problem here is that the people seem to blame vouchers when what they really need to blame is standards. No school, public, homeschool, charter or private should have the right to teach such bullshit. Vouchers are not the issue.  

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

       I have to admit you have a strong point. Voucher programs are bad…because they provide yet another tool to channel money away from schools that have the legal responsibility to remain neutral (and can accordingly be pressured by law to be that way) and shift that money to schools who don’t even pretend to be about actual education…but are instead devoted first to grooming future church attendees and politically orthodox non-thinkers.

      In any case…you’re right about the bigger problem…our standards have dropped so low that we even tolerate public schools belching out complete hogwash. and until we tighten up those standards and stop accepting the slow erosion of fact based teaching…this country is doomed to be a last tier intellectual lightweight on the international scene.

  • oneletterword

    I think this is horrible that the government is letting this happen all the while using tax payers dollars, these children will grow up to be disillusioned and social pariahs.

  • S. Clemens

    In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.

  • cakeypig

    The American Taliban at work.

  • KeepItToYourself

    I don’t see what the big deal is, the classic history text Beowulf pretty much confirmed fire breathing dinosaurs.

    • oneletterword

       ya and 16 candles was a great movie too.

      • Jin The Ninja

        long duc dong wrecked the john hughes oeuvre for me

        • Matt Staggs

          Beowulf was in 16 Candles?

          • Jin The Ninja

             in a manner of speaking:P

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    OK it’s wacky, but not wacky to they Bible worshipers; they think it’s true.

    The real concern should be focused on the wacky propaganda taught in normal schools, like:
    the country was mostly empty when the settlers arrived;
    all men are created equal and will be so treated;
    the pledge of allegiance indoctrination ritual;
    the American Revolution was a popular revolution of the people;
    one man = one vote.

    There’s so much propaganda passed off as history in normal schools
    that most Americas have no real understanding of their own history,
    they only know the propaganda version.
     
     

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      Actually…at the time of northern settler arrival…we both know the country wasn’t empty…but, equally little known is how vastly populated the country was just a couple of hundred years before that. By comparison, the settlers of the early 1600s arrived upon a continent suddenly decimated…mostly by disease that slashed its way across the entire hemisphere after starting in latin america (naturally…because of initial contact by europeans.) So in truth…while the future US was more populated than some would like to admit, it was a veritable ghost town compared to the thriving cultures that had been firmly in place a century or so earlier. Had native peoples worked more in stone, we might have had the means to measure former population levels more accurately at the time. Sadly, the lack of formal European style stonework was anthropologically taken as an indication of absence. Great villages and cities alike vanished into the underbrush and rotted into nothing within decades. Only small tools and skeletal remains give us any window at all into the exact history of the Americas prior to the 1600s…altho…interestingly…the copper mines in the upper peninsula of michigan have been assayed for exact signature and the copper traded can be traced as far away as panama and ecuador in jewelry and such…so we can draw a few inferences about the level of economic activity and communication between peoples. Still…I’d love a country that dared to learn more…instead of desperately attempting to stifle inquiry.

  • Andrew

    Read #8 and then read #5.

  • lifobryan

    The majority of this nonsense comes from textbooks published by Bob Jones University Press, a curriculum widely distributed to conservative Christian schools – including many such institutions available in the voucher program. 

    I am well familiar with Bob Jones U, and grew up in one of the church schools it spawned. Now many years later, from the vantage point of an occulty, neopagan art hippy, I think I can look back on my fundamentalist upbringing with some healthy distance. (As opposed to the unhealthy and very, very angry proximity of my early 20s). There is an important cultural context to consider. These people are FRIGHTENED. They look at every advance in modernity as one more step away from a mythic post-war “golden age” when God ruled from on high,  through his WASPish caucasian regents in the God-blessed, victorious land of the USA. A functional & suitable patriarchic hierarchy was in place, and God Shed His Grace on We. But then the 1960s happened. The prevailing order was upset, and A-mar-ica slid down the slippery slope of progressivism & tolerance into the chaotic abyss where women wore pants, gays fought back, and “the coloreds” didn’t know their proper place in the order of thangs.This period was not much different than the mid-to-late 1800s when Bob Jones Sr. became a powerful evangelical voice in the southern US. It was a time when Naturalists were studying species on the Galapagos, and postulated an alternative story to Genesis chapter 1. It was a time when German theologians were dissecting Biblical texts an subjected Sola Scriptura to the same secular historical criticism of any other literature. It was the time when British archeologists were digging up the holy Land and discovered that the Bible was not a history book, and when paleontologists first figured out that dinosaurs were an incredibly ancient extinct species, and not dragons or demons. In short, it was in this world that Bob Jones U, and other fundamentalist bastions were founded – to preserve Tradition (with a capital T) in an ever-accelerating world of “new learning.” The rapid change of the world around them was perplexing and bewildering and frightening – because with their very fundamentals in question, society and reality as they understood them to be, were not “eternal” but ephemeral. I think this is why BJU and their offspring ensconced their social culture and beliefs in a pre-1960s American mythology. It’s the closest thing they have to a mythic golden age. Our world today is spinning wildly in yet another era of rapid change. The absurdity published in the BJU textbooks is hardly different than the bizarre social fiction embraced by frightened Republicans and Tea Partyers. To them, the past makes sense (even if it is a fictive, mythic past), but the future is unknown and fearful. And I don’t think this is a trivial point. (While acknowledging I do indeed have my own axe to grind with fundy-evangelical culture). This is not a trivial point because America is a divided country, with powerful & wealthy forces playing to our most base fears and instincts. BJU elevates faith above reason – as does a substantial portion of our population, although less faithfully or extremely. Faith-based fear of the future is a historic blueprint for fear-based reactionary disaster. While seemingly quaint and ridiculous, these textbooks represent a kind-of ominous psychic undercurrent of a large portion of our population – which is manifest in “belief,” and it should not be taken lightly. 

    • Anarchy Pony

      Thank you. 

    • Matt Staggs

      It’s not about BJU, but you might enjoy Kevin Roose’s “The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University”. Roose spent a semester at Jerry Falwell’s ironically-named Liberty University. Funny and enlightening stuff. 
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Unlikely-Disciple-Semester-University/dp/044617842X

      • lifobryan

        Thanks! I’ll definitely check that out.

  • oneletterword

    i just dont understand how children can be intentionally undermined, its a disgrace, there has to be some sort of control put in place, these kids dont have a choice in the matter their going to be force fed this”ideology” and then expected to live with it, its a wonder there is not a larger amount of radical fundementilists in north america, This sort of force fed knowlege is very dangerous.

    • Gergith

      I’m amazed there aren’t MORE crazy people as a result of this crazy logical cognitive dissonance this must create for a child attempting to absorb it into his/her world view.

      • oneletterword

         nazis man fuckin nazis

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3Q3JZYMD2F7YGQS6GNUWPKYK5E Turbulent_red

    I should start publishing textbooks Discordian style. Kids need to learn about X-Day, and Bob Dobbs, and other important discordian tradition. I don’t want kids to learn creationist garbage… I want them to learn that the only order is disorder and everything else is a illusion. 

  • Apathesis

    “Fourteen More Fun Ways to Abuse Your Kids!”