24 November 2018

Your tax money at work

Consider for a moment the content of textbooks used by many tax-funded charter schools:
... students who learn from these texts are taught that God wanted Protestantism to flourish in North America and that Catholicism is not a true faith; that it was better Africans to be enslaved and come to "know Christ" than to be free but not Christian; that evolution is untrue; that humans and dinosaurs lived together (and that Noah brought baby dinosaurs on the ark); that the Loch Ness monster is real; that "abortion, gay rights and the Endangered Species Act" are part of a "radical social agenda"; that nonwhites are inferior (60% of the tax-funded scholarship students at charter schools come from racialized minorities and are thus taught that they are racially inferior to their white schoolmates).
More at BoingBoing, with a link to the source article.


  1. We seem to be going backwards at an alarming rate!

  2. Stan, your intro sentence could be interpreted to mean that *all* charter schools in the U.S. use these "textbooks." I read the source article, and the closest it comes to a statistic is "many of about 2,000 campuses." How many? It's bad enough that *any* use the books, but we shouldn't make it sound worse than it actually is.

    1. Interesting.. there were about 7000 charter schools in the US in 2016-2017 (Ref: http://www.publiccharters.org/sites/default/files/migrated/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/EER_Report_V5.pdf).

      The specific article says these horrid textbooks are used in about 2000 schools -- not separating them between private schools (which include those sponsored by religious organizations) and charter schools (which is defined as a legally and financially autonomous public school, but chartered through a local or state educational district).

      I suspect that the out of the 2000 "schools" the number of charter schools is a smaller number, but the percentage is unknown

      I would also note that while charter schools operate as autonomous public schools through waivers from many of the procedural requirements of district public schools -- these waivers do not mean a school is exempt from the same educational standards set by the state or district. Particularly in the current environment where all state-funded students must take state-approved exams each year to measure their progress against state standards, a school which does not meet standards will be flagged and eliminated very quickly.

      I would note it is somewhat unfair to paint all charter schools with the paint brush of this article. Some charter schools focus on STEM education or other facets and do it very well. Others provide things like an education primarily through on-line methods, to allow students to avoid having to attend a specific brick & mortar school -- such as needed by young actors/ actresses/ performers, or high level athletes.

      Purely private schools, which reject state funding however can teach in many other ways. And I suspect these horrid textbooks may be used in some of them. But students graduating from those schools will not find their graduation records recognized by higher education (such as universities or colleges).

  3. This may explain a lot about American ignorance.

  4. The only reason Americans do not notice they're falling behind is that they travel so little out of their country.


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