33 jaw-droppingly bad multiple-choice questions from Accelerated Christian Education

“It’s the crapness!” yelled my mother, who almost never says anything more offensive than ‘oh blow’.

“It’s not the doctrine or the terrible science or the politics. It’s the… CRAPNESS!

In hindsight, leaving three boxes of Packets of Accelerated Christian Education (PACEs) at her house was perhaps not the kindest thing I could have done.

“It’s a bubble!” she continued, warming to her rant. “It’s stuck in a 1950s timewarp and it’s all so twee. Do you know what I read in a science PACE earlier? There was a lesson about the first heart transplant, and then it said have you had your heart transplanted by Jesus?

Seeing my mum rant about ACE might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen; if I could capture her on a podcast I’d blast the Pod Delusion into next week. But she’s got a point. What is staggering about ACE  is not the creationism or the conservatism – everyone knows fundamentalists believe that. It’s the fact that it’s just so obviously rubbish, and yet, in the UK at least, school inspectors seem to let this pass without comment.

The most obvious way ACE is crap is in its multiple choice questions (of which there are thousands). Here, for your general amusement, are some I found yesterday. I make no claim that these are the best (or worst) of it. They’re just a few I dug up in a cursory jaunt through the PACEs I have. I could go on much, much longer.

This is what happens when you leave education to people for whom religious conversion is everything and learning is a distant afterthought.

ACE students work through the PACEs at their own speed, so theoretically these questions could be for any age. Still, I’ve marked these with the grade and age that ACE thinks the average student will be. Prepare to utter the words for fuck’s sake! more than you ever have before.

There are only four grades represented here. That’s not because they are especially bad, just because I had them to hand. 

4th grade (9-10 years old)

Science 1045 4th ed tasty milk


Science 1047 fish skin


Science 1047 celsius bible


Science 1045 a brown car


Science 1048 cookies

But no special women, obviously.


They’re particularly strong when it comes to people…

Science 1048 Franceso Redi


Science 1048 Louis Pasteur


Social Studies 1046 4th ed 4


SS 1047 counsel


Social Studies 1045 4th Ed Dry ducks

Two. Dry. Ducks.


Social Studies 1046 4th ed 3


There’s a bloody picture!

Social Studies 1046 donkey supplies

7th grade (12-13 years old)SS 1073 4th ed Journalism


SS 1074 worship leaders


SS 1075 touch lives piano tutor

IMPORTANT: The correct answer, for those puzzled, is piano tutors. It’s not that ACE doesn’t believe that sports coaches or librarians can touch students’ lives. The point is that the exact sentence “Piano tutors can touch the lives of their students” has previously appeared in the PACE, and the student is expected to remember this. Verbatim regurgitation of previously seen material is the entire point of the ACE system.


SS1077 4th ed coast guard


SS 1076 homemaker

ACE never uses female pronouns in PACEs. Everyone is male… until they start talking about homemakers.


SS 1076 doctor


9th grade (14-15 years old)

SS106 Darwin's book

The title is actually On the Origin of Species…


From a history PACE on the discovery and colonisation of America:

SS 104 Lief Eriksen


SS 103 man or god


SS 99 alphabet FUCK


SS 105 Bloody Mary


SS99 Socrates


SS 107 Jimmy Carter


SS 107 Mohammed Ali


Biology 1107 hitler

Ah, the old Darwin-caused-Hitler implication again.


12th grade (17-18 years old)English 1135 soliloquy


English 1135 Macbeth

Um, I might have been getting a bit irritated by the time I got to that last one.

I found plenty more 12th grade questions with no plausible distractors, but none of them made me laugh. Stuff like this:

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.13.00

Mind you, by this point, it’s all starting to seem less funny.


Since he is so famously obsessed with ‘rigour‘, perhaps the secretary of state for education would like to pay some of these schools a visit.

Think this doesn’t affect you? 

In the United Kingdom, UK NARIC has deemed qualifications based on ACE to be comparable to A-level. Ofsted routinely whitewashes ACE schools in reports, and ACE nurseries teaching creationism receive government funding.

In New Zealand, ACE qualifications are accepted for university entrance.

In the USA, ACE’s Lighthouse Christian Academy is accredited by MSA-CESS. The curriculum is used in government-funded creationist voucher programs in eleven states.

In South Africa, based on HESA’s recommendation, a number of universities have signed up to accept ACE graduates.

ACE says its curriculum is used in 192 countries and 6000 schools worldwide. This is happening nearer than you think.

All this means that parents are more likely to choose this academically third-rate and theologically fourth-rate education for their children. This has got to stop.

Lists of ACE badness:

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About Jonny Scaramanga

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