Educational beef jerky: The John White-Bobby Jindal voucher program

self made beef jerky made from solid strips of...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Louisiana Education Superintendent John White published a spirited defense of his department’s so-called teacher “development tool,” otherwise known as “Compass,” in Sunday’s New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The essence of White’s op-ed is his stated belief that improving teacher quality is the beginning and end of education reform. “In education,” White wrote, “it’s all about the teacher.”

Well. Perhaps teachers contribute a good 60 percent or more to the proper education of students. But what about the curriculum and text books? What about the actual information being dispensed in class? Does that matter, or is it all about the qualifications and instructional skills of the teacher?

Is it really, as White asserts, all about the teacher?

If I were White, that’s what I would argue. For to suggest that curriculum is equally as important would expose him to charges of dereliction for shoveling millions of state dollars into a state voucher program designed to support substandard private schools that teach what many would describe as junk.

Thanks to Louisiana high school Rice University student Zack Kopplin, we know that White and Gov. Bobby Jindal are sending thousands of Louisiana children to private schools where they are indoctrinated in creationism and other wacky, quasi-religious subjects.

These schools are to sound education what beef jerky is to filet mignon.

I quote here an abbreviated and slightly edit summary from Kopplin’s website, which lists some Louisiana private schools receiving state voucher money from White and Jindal:

  • The handbook of the Claiborne Christian School, in West Monroe, LA, says that students are taught to “discern and refute lies commonly found in [secular] textbooks, college classrooms, and in the media.” In the January 2010 school newsletter, the principal promotes young-earth creationist talking points from Answers in Genesis, saying, “Our position at CCS on the age of the Earth and other issues is that any theory that goes against God’s Word is in error.” She also claims that scientists are “sinful men” trying to explain the world “without God” so they don’t have to be “morally accountable to Him.”
  • The student handbook of Faith Academy, in Gonzalez, LA, says that as a Household of Faith school, students must “defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible verses [sic] traditional scientific theory.”
  • Northlake Christian Elementary School, in Covington, LA, teaches science using bothASCI’s “Purposeful Design Series” and ABeka materials. One Purposeful Design science notebook requires students to “discuss your thoughts about how the complexity of a cell shows that it must be purposefully designed.” NCES . . . specifies that “all curricular content is filtered through and presented within a Christian worldview.”
  • Northlake Christian High School in Covington uses a secular science textbook but also “integrate[s]” material from “biblical-young-earth, Christian/Creationists,” according to Northlake’s high school biology teacher. He uses sources from Creation Ministries International, Answers in Genesis, and the Institute for Creation Research. This teacher also quotes a creationist book that says, “No coherent, cohesive theology has yet been offered that would allow Christians to embrace evolution with integrity.” Disturbingly, NCHS’s student handbook includes a discrimination policy against prospective students and staff who do not meet “Biblical standards.”
  • New Orleans Adventist Academy teaches a creationist curriculum, according to the New Orleans newspaper, Gambit. A science curriculum guide from the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, to which NOAA belongs, shows that Adventist schools teach children that “God, in six literal days, made the heavens and the earth.” The guide contains references both to young-earth and intelligent design creationist sources.
  • Victory Christian Academy, in Metairie, LA, uses ABeka and Bob Jones curricula. Its philosophy of science education is “to develop students in principles of science. . . teaching them to observe relationships and laws as established by God’s creative hand” and that “any teaching of man that is contrary to the clear understanding of scripture is in error.”
  • Trinity Christian Academy, in Zachary, LA, explained via e-mail that it uses ABeka to teach high school science.
  • Old Bethel Christian Academy, in Clarks, uses ABeka, [it] explained in an email.

Yep, as White says, it’s all about the teacher.

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3 Responses to Educational beef jerky: The John White-Bobby Jindal voucher program

  1. Vicky says:

    It’s also about the new Common Core that Louisiana’s teachers have to begin using this year with NO resources provided by the LDOE. We have to look at other state’s DOEs to find information and guidance. Our evaluations are occurring at a time when the curriculum is changing and adjustments are being made. Jindal and White are trying their best to destroy public education.

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  2. Youra says:

    Yeah, you’re right. Let’s send these kids back to the failing schools just because the private schools teach Christianity. What a loser you are.

    If the gubmint wasn’t so involved in everything, there would be private schools that were non-secular, but because of arcane rules, that’s almost impossible. Again, nobody is forcing these parents to send thier klds to these schools, they are choosing to do so.

    Got a problem with that? Loser…

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  3. Pingback: In the News – December 4, 2012 | Educate Now!

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