|Photo Credits: Diario Judicial|
The main textbook publishers used in private fundamentalist Christian schools around the country are certainly Abeka, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education. As BJU Press states on the website, they use the biblical themes of Creation, Fall, and Redemption as lenses through which to view academic disciplines. Accelerated Christian Education offers a non-traditional approach to education with solid, Christian values based on the Bible. Abeka shapes not just what children know, but who they become with character-building content that reinforces biblical values. This means that anything that is incompatible with evangelical beliefs and Bible, including evolution, climate change, anything-but-abstinence-only sex education, etc. must be pushed back against.
HuffPost education reporter Rebecca Klein notes that many of the schools that use these textbooks aren’t private at all. The problem is that those schools use government funding and teach children from religion textbooks. Nearly 8,000 schools across the 25 of 27 states participate in private school choice programs around the country along with the District of Columbia.
President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made school choice to become something that many states want to embrace because ‘voucher programs give parents an alternative to low-performing public schools.’ But the prospect of giving kids more access to these schools with public money is deeply upsetting to Bishop, who was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of bullying and corporal punishment she experienced as a child. Bishop fell into depression as soon as she faced the real world. When she went to job interviews, she had no idea what to say about the education she had received.
Some say these curriculum sources left them woefully ill-equipped to thrive in a diverse society while instilling in them racist, sexist and intolerant views of the world. [Ashley] Bishop said her fundamentalist education made her wary of people from other religious groups whom her teachers and textbooks had demonized.
“Anything that wasn’t Christianity was a strange religion,” said Bishop, who made it a priority to study other religious practices after high school and even spent time with the Hare Krishna. “But even other denominations were evil. Catholicism especially.”
An Accelerated Christian Education textbook has interesting definition of slaves – The slaves were mostly blacks from Africa and were the only group of immigrants who never freely chose to come to America. Not only that those textbooks do children disservice by not preparing them for the real world, they also use racist and intolerant terms and lessons. For instance, a Bob Jones high school world history textbook portrays Islam as a violent religion and contains a title “Islam and Murder.”