Lynchburg Gets Far Too Many Teachers From Liberty U.

Here’s a frightening statistic for you, especially if you have children in public schools in Lynchburg, Virginia: Liberty University supplies a full 30% of the new teachers hired in that school district. I can’t possibly see how this won’t undermine the ability to educate those students.

Nearly 30 percent of the certified teachers Lynchburg City Schools hired for the 2014-15 school year are Liberty University graduates, according to a report Marie Gee, director of personnel, presented to the school board recently.

There are more than twice as many Liberty graduates as any other single school — 29 percent to the 13 percent from Lynchburg College — and hires from Liberty also outnumber all out-of-state hires combined, at 28 percent.

University of Virginia and Longwood graduates are the two other single large sources of teachers for the city — making up 6 and 5 percent of new hires, respectively — while other Virginia school graduates make up 17 percent of new teachers.

Along with its mission “to develop competent professionals with a Christian worldview,” according to its website, Liberty University’s School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education as well as “approved” by the Virginia Department of Education and the Association of Christian Schools International.

Now bear in mind that the statement of faith that all teachers and students at Liberty are required to sign explicitly requires them to believe things that are contrary to the science curriculum taught in public schools by affirming that the earth and everything in it was created in “six historical days” a few thousand years ago. Creationists teaching science is a very, very bad idea. They frequently defy both the requirements of the curriculum and multiple Supreme Court precedents and teach creationism, or just badly teach evolution. If I were in Lynchburg, I’d keep a close eye on this.

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  • acroyear

    I stay overnight in Lynchburg at least twice a year (it is a convenient stop-off for getting from DC to Charlotte where I have family).

    There’s a PBS Kids program called Dinosaur Train that’s actually quite good. Yeah, the plots are sometimes contrived, but the science education in each is actually spot-on. Each segment is followed normally by a bit from “Dr. Scott the Paleontologist” explaining about the dinosaur that was highlighted in the show (where it was found, relatives, etc) and is perfectly willing to state that Birds are Dinosaurs and all that cool Evolution stuff including balance-of-nature ecology. (Dr. Scott is really Dr. Scott Sampson, University of Utah)

    Well, the PBS station in Lynchburg? They cut his bits out. You can show silly cartoon dinosaurs and anachronistic trains to kids down there, but you can never actually show them real science or facts of evolution.

    Rather sad, really.

  • sheikh mahandi

    Perhaps the teachers hired are teaching other subjects, after all creationism should (hopefully) have no impact on a persons ability to teach English, or Art.

  • acroyear

    Actually, while not ‘creationism’, per se, a limited education that interprets artistic works, or history itself, as something that has to be biblically relevant or it is worthless (or ‘satanic’) is still a concern. How many of these potential “History” teachers have been exposed to David Barton, for example?

    What is MacBeth when one looks at it not as a tale of greed, betrayal, and overreach but rather that of Garden of Eden metaphor, where Lady MacBeth is the real corrupt villain who brought the apple of the idea of murder to MacBeth rather than his own greed starting the process? How much more unnecessary misogyny is in that interpretation, yet it is one that can be achieved when you have to look for a biblical metaphor in everything…

  • Erp

    One of the classes in dispute in the Association of Christian Schools International against the University of California lawsuit back in 2008 was an English class (the others were history, government, and biology). In the English class a deliberate bias was taught and students rarely if ever read full texts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DukeOfOmnium michaelreap

    “competent professionals with a Christian worldview,”

    A bold new level in oxymorons!

  • sheikh mahandi

    So they can not only make the babble say what they want, but Shakespeare too, that’s just taking mental incoherence to a level I didn’t think anyone could reach and still dress themselves.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Did they check how many Lynchburg “educators” proudly claim as their alma mater Liberty’s competing citadel of superstition, Pat Robertson’s Regent U? (Or Oral Roberts U, or BeeJay U, or that upstart Patrick Henry place, or …?)

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    Creationists teaching science is a very, very bad idea.

    It’s child abuse.

    We need to stop soft shoeing around the fact that conservative Christians abuse children.

  • D. C. Sessions

    So they can not only make the babble say what they want, but Shakespeare too

    Don’t forget the Constitution. Which matters more than the others because although a Liberty U grad can screw up a classroom full of kids, one on the Supreme Court can screw us all.

    And you know that LU is where Republican judicial nominees are going to be coming from next chance they get.

  • Michael Heath

    sheikh mahandi writes:

    Perhaps the teachers hired are teaching other subjects, after all creationism should (hopefully) have no impact on a persons ability to teach English, or Art.

    I doubt that. Conservative Christians must rely on denialism, avoidance, dishonesty, and other fallacious arguments in order to defend their beliefs, even from themselves. This requires both a significant inability to think critically and demonstrates a failure in intellectual honesty (integrity). Even a mildly proficient teacher should have and practice critical thinking skills in order to develop that skill in their students, regardless of the subject matter.

    We’d be far better off if public schools recruited teachers from credible universities and required them to pass a battery of tests to insure those teachers are: cognizant of reality, can think critically, are experts on the subject matter they’re being considered to teach, and demonstrate proficiency in teaching at the grade level for which they’re being considered.

  • colnago80

    Re Pierce Butler @ #7

    Patrick Henry “University” is designed to provide employees to the federal government. During the administration of Bush fils, a number of such miscreants were hired by various federal agencies, in many cases bypassing the federal personnel hiring rules.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    @Michael Heath #10:

    We’d be far better off if public schools recruited teachers from credible universities and required them to pass a battery of tests to insure those teachers are: cognizant of reality, can think critically, are experts on the subject matter they’re being considered to teach, and demonstrate proficiency in teaching at the grade level for which they’re being considered.

    I have three endorsements for teaching middle/secondary in Oregon: language arts, social studies and special education. For each I had to take at least one standardized test (there were 4 for my initial LA endorsement, including the CBEST if anyone knows what that is, two for SPED, and one LONG one for SS). That was on top of two 4-term graduate programs which were also required to be allowed to apply for a license. Additionally, a few years ago I had to take yet another test that established me as “highly qualified” in a variety of subjects to teach in a middle school, not that I ever will if I can help it. On top of all THAT, we are required to accumulate “professional development units” and renew our licenses every three years. Personally, I take refresher courses in my core areas every summer, costing me about $1000 every year.

    I wonder whether other states are less rigorous than this? Sounds like they might be.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    colnago80 @ # 11: Patrick Henry “University” is designed to provide employees to the federal government.

    So where do PHU grads go during Democratic administrations?

  • sheikh mahandi

    How low is the bar if these places of mis-education can be accepted by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education?

  • Erp

    Pretty low. I’ll note that back in October a conservative Christian military chaplain endorsing group (The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches) decided that Liberty U. chaplaincy grads (on the short course and possibly not in the long course) didn’t make the mark. Even their own tribe isn’t always happy with them. http://forumonthemilitarychaplaincy.org/2014/11/liberty-university-graduates-ineligible-endorsement-military-chaplains/

  • raven

    Utah has a similar problems. Mormons are a breeder cult and are always pushing large families. The average is IIRC 4 but one sees 10 or 15 often.

    This means they own the public school systems. It’s LDS all thoughout.

    In SLC at least, it is understood that nonMormons send their kids to private schools if at all possible. Even atheists send their kids to Protestant and Catholic private schools.

  • howardhershey

    Remember that in the elementary grades (accounting for about half of the years in the local school system) that science is being taught by whatever grade school teacher you have. There already is a frequent lack of enthusiasm for science among grade school teachers. Now add in actual antipathy to science.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Lynchburg, Virginia:

    I always have to wonder if the town lives up/down to the name in a historical context.

    Liberty University supplies a full 30% of the new teachers hired in that school district.

    Maybe this is a sign that no other school district will give them jobs. They can only get hired locally, and only with a stacked schoolboard, LU and the local churches putting pressure on to hire them.

    The anagram of the “school’s” acronym is telling: The Liberty Christian University = TLCU = cult.

  • abb3w

    Hell, I’m an hour’s drive away, and I think I want to start keeping a closer eye on this.

  • colnago80

    Re Pierce Butler @ #13

    Many of them get jobs with Rethuglican members of Congress. There are also right wing think tanks who will hire them.