Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Quality of Religious Based Schools

One of the arguments of giving students “School Vouchers” so they will be able to attend a school of their (or really their parents) choice has given inaccurate reasons for doing so. The argument is that the public schools are not teaching our children properly.

In truth, it is a means for the ultra religious to have this tax money funneled into their “Faith Based” schools. They base their argument and spread the inaccurate information that these types of schools are producing better students. Well this is not an accurate statement at all simply because that it is based on a generalized statement.

I will give some examples below where the “Faith Based” schools have failed the students.

There is a “Baptist Faith Based” school located in Seaford, DE. Many parents send their children to school there; it goes from pre-K to 12, because they don’t want their children to attend a school where they will be exposed to those whom they find undesirable. There are no black children in this school not because of they openly refuse to allow them to attend, but more by cost inhibitive means or when the few black children do sign up and attend, they are shunned plus ostracized and soon leave. Some of the teachers don’t even have college degrees much less have degrees in the subjects they are teaching. The students are not passing the Advanced Math’s or the Science subjects, but so long as the students can repeat memorized Bible verses they are passed onto the next grade.

Unfortunately, these students end up so sheltered that when they graduate the Baptist faith based high school, they have not learned to cope and function in society of the real world. After graduating, many of the girls just work at part time jobs like greeting card shops hoping to find someone to marry so they can stay home, have children, and not have to face the stress of the real world. Those who go onto college mostly attend more “Faith Based” schools like Gerry Farwell’s “Liberty” college which perpetuates and postpones their short comings of assimilating into real society. It has also come to light in recent “Nationalized Testing,” the majority of these students are not passing which is jeopardizing the State of Delaware recognizing their diplomas and even the possibility of this schools accreditation to be revoked.

Another example I like to pass on is the story told to me by a member of the book discussion group that I attend at the local Seaford Library. This person has her Doctorate in Philosophy and is a professor at Salisbury University. This person also tutors English writing skills at other colleges to help students who are having trouble. This one particular story she passed on was a student who went through fundamentalist religious schools her whole life. This student then went to a fundamentalist college for two years before transferring into Wilmington University located in Georgetown, DE. The student was failing miserably in “Critical Writing” where you are supposed to develop your own thoughts on a subject given and argue your points through “logical argumentation.” This student would start off with a poor opening statement and then just start writing non-coherently quoting biblical passages that were not even tangible to the subject being discussed.

The professor said that this student had no concept of developing an original thought for herself. It was so pathetic that it was to the point that even the concept was totally alien to her. Even with the extra tutoring help, this student failed the required English class and was dropped from being able to attend the University because she could not reach the academic level required by the school. The failing was not only with this English class, but with some of her other class too.

To bring this article to a conclusion, I want to make everyone’s attention to Patrick Henry College. Patrick Henry College is a private, independent Protestant college that focuses on teaching classical liberal arts and government, located in Purcellville, Virginia. Patrick Henry is the first college in the United States founded specifically for Christian home-schooled students, and is known for its conservative evangelical Christian focus. As of April 17, 2007, the college was nationally accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, an accrediting organization recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The school was founded with the help of the Home School Legal Defense Association, and now serves as the headquarters for the organization, with which it is still closely connected.

The college has gained much publicity because of its ties with the Republican Party and at the time with the Bush administration. The school has been criticized for the religious interpretations of science that all students and faculty must agree to and continually uphold.

The main purpose of this college is to give degrees to students for the sole purpose to obtain Federal Government jobs and to embed their views throughout all government agencies. Students who have been taught not to think for themselves, follow blindly the fanatical religious viewpoints that they have been brainwashed with their whole lives unquestioning its validity, are to become the majority and decision makers for all government agencies in the future. It does not matter if they can perform math calculations or have learned science facts, so long as they can quote Biblical scriptures and believe religious myths, they can lead the country.


  1. And people wonder why american kids come in behind european and asian kids in math and science.

    Interestingly, Patrick henry was one of those very few founding fathers who believed people should be taxed to support churchs. Fortunately, people with greater sense of freedom and understanding of the dangers of govt intermingling with religion prevailed.
    Jefferson being his primary opponent on this.

    No wonder that college picked him as their name sake.

  2. Very good comment Hump. I nerver knew, or gave it a thought, about the Patrick Henry connection but I could see how this would be correct. Passing on this kind of information is what I hope this blog is about.

    I knew how important that Jefferson felt about separation of Church and State and as we see, there are still those who would overturn this.

    Good Job Hump!

  3. Excellent post, Engineer. Here in Ohio the story is much the same. The so-called 'community schools' [charter schools] hire incompetent persons who cannot get a job in public schools or who have no degree at all. They suck public money away from the Toledo
    Public School system and entice kids to attend 'schools' held in warehouses, store fronts, or church basements. None score well on the state achievement tests and are given 2-3 years to 'raise' their results, but often go out of business at the end of that cycle, leaving the children to find yet another charter school to screw around in.

    Interesting story in Ohio- one of the state senators [from Toledo] pushed a bill through the Ohio legislature about 10 years ago to allow charter schools to operate in the state. Two years later, she resigned and now is one of the business officials in a charter school foundation, run by her daughter, who operates 14 charter schools. The daughter's salary is six figures and I would imagine that the mother's is too.

    Nice scam of the public trust, eh?

  4. Hello Muddy,
    You bring up a very good point too. The parents who pulled their children out of the Baptist Faith Based school when they were falling behind in their education…then sent them to one of two charter schools in the area. Both have recently closed leaving the children to find yet another school.

    One school had taken the state allotted money that was supposed to last for the full physical year for the education of the students, but had spent it all within five months on remodeling the building. The charter school board administrators went to the state to ask for more and they were told that they knew the money was supposed to last the whole year. Just because the administrators choose to miss-spend their budget, it did not mean the state would bail them out. The charter school closed after 6 months. Now again the parents were in panic mode to try to get their children into another school. Many, out of necessity, started home schooling programs as a group. More like baby sitting with some "Dick and Jane" thrown in. Of course, of those teaching the children in this home schooling, none had any advance education past high school but all were very religious.

    The SAD part is that these children are the true losers in this whole deal. The DANGEROUS part is that many will ONLY be able to attend Patrick Henry College making the rest of us exposed to their short comings through the government jobs they will obtain in the future.

  5. I was the product of a catholic grade school.
    In retrospect and in cponversation with my siblings, we all agree that the education we recieved there was sub standard, in fact, I would say that I was repressed and not allowed to excel.
    Much of the structuring of the classes was based on class and economic status of the kids.

    I have always asserted that I was basically self educated. I don't think I ever encountered a challenging educational environment until I decided to go to Night School to attain my GED after dropping out of High School.
    Committed teachers who were out of the loop so to speak and motivated students.
    After that, I wanted to go to College!

    You would be astounded to see the educational system here in France and the level of work the kids sustain.
    But education doesn't stop at the school doors.
    One of the biggest facets of the french publishing industry is books and texts meant to be used outside of school. There is a tradition of Vacation textbooks for kids and adults alike.

    It's very interesting to see the coverage of the bacalaureates in early Summer. It's national news to see the kids reading the public posting of their grades.

  6. P.S. I see an even more insidious type of schooling gaining a foot hold in America.
    Home Schooling...
    In some cases it can be a good thing, but the majority of cases I have seen including one in my own family circle have resulted in totally inferior and incompetent instruction.
    Home Schooling is more than often the product of religious isolationism taken to a psychotic extreme, an attempt at total control.

  7. I went K - 12 to a local Toledo Baptist school. I feel I was heavily indoctrinated, something I am still struggling against to this day, but I feel I did receive a quality education where the important disciplines are concerned.. reading/writing/math/science.. believe it or not…/history. I think what is lacking at religious based schools is the process of instilling critical thinking skills in the students.