Iowa state bill to allow unaccredited fundamentalist curriculum

The Iowa House is to vote on a bill that would allow a school for troubled teens to use an unaccredited curriculum. House Study Bill 186 would allow Anchor Character Training Center in Fort Dodge to use the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. This curriculum would be provided by nonlicensed teachers.The Des Moines Register reports that an unnamed Iowa legislator (possibly Rep. Matt Windschitl) has claimed that ACE is accredited "in several states". No evidence is supplied f … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Out among the stars: Defeating the legacy of religious indoctrination

Guest post by James Ridgers. It’s the nature of revelations, I suppose, to come at unexpected times and in unexpected places. Mine came about four years ago at a Planetary Society event hosted by Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. When Tyson spoke about his oft-quoted position on humankind being composed of stardust, something suddenly made sense to me that I’d been wrestling and grappling with for several years by that point.I should lend some context to this, so you can understand why m … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Christian teacher on ACE training: “I was being indoctrinated”

 Here, as far as I know, is the only first-person account of what it is like to 'qualify' as an Accelerated Christian Education supervisor anywhere in the academic literature. ACE supervisor training is much like ACE schooling: The staff complete workbooks at desks facing the wall, separated by vertical screens. They obtain permission to leave their seats by raising a flag, and they mark their own work from answer booklets (score keys). The process takes five days, and then you can run … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Rebirth of Our Nation review: introduction

I have decided to review Donald R. Howard's 1979 classic Rebirth of Our Nation. You have almost certainly never heard of this book, but if you're interested in this blog, you'll want to know about it.Donald Howard was the founder of Accelerated Christian Education, and Rebirth of Our Nation is his manifesto, not just for education (although there's a lot about that), but also for the way the world should be. It's actually his second book, after the earlier To Save a Nation, but ROON contains … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

How to indoctrinate your kids: A Christian curriculum guide

In yesterday's post, I wrote about a conversation with Cindy, a supervisor in an Accelerated Christian Education school who joined the ACE Exposed Facebook group. We saw how much of the ACE science curriculum in the early grades consists of memorising what God did on each of the six days of creation. Cindy had said that all the information in the early grades of the curriculum was accurate. I dispute this.But actually, I suspect that Cindy is more right than wrong. I think the majority of … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Two meaningless creationist ‘science’ lessons

This week, a woman who works in an ACE school in Canada joined the Facebook group Accelerated Christian Education Exposed (which you're welcome to join). To her credit, she was genuinely interested to learn why the group's members dislike ACE. Less to her credit, this was because she could not fathom anyone not loving ACE. The group is public, so I'll use her real name, Cindy.The thread she started ended up with more than 100 posts, with dozens of ex-ACE students explaining why they felt … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Like it or not, we need Christian allies

Last year, a friend of mine received a cry for help email from a home schooled child (let's call them Frankie). It was the kind of thing you read over and over again at Homeschoolers Anonymous. Frankie had a physically abusive drunk for a father. They were frequently left alone to study their PACEs (Accelerated Christian Education workbooks), and they were bored out of their mind. They couldn't understand the maths PACEs and had no one to help them. Although an inspector from ACE had visited the … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

The terrifying entry conditions for abusive Christian reform homes

If you've read this blog, you'll be aware of abuses at Christian 'troubled teen' reform homes. These places call themselves educational facilities but are more like prison camps. Some are surrounded by barbed wire.Despite all the evidence that has come forward, despite the dozens of independent testimonies from former detainees, all of which describe similar situations and similar abuses, and despite successful prosecutions for abuse in some of these homes, there are still people who … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

New Christian school whistleblowers speak out about creationism and sexism (UK)

Two former Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) students who have never before spoken publicly have made new allegations about sexist and creationist teaching in the schools.In an article titled "Christian fundamentalist schools teaching girls they must obey men", one of the new whistle-blowers, Cheryl Povey, says: I came across a lot of sexism. I remember as a girl finding it quite shocking. We were taught that if you’re a woman, you should be subservient to men; your husband, your pastor … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

When halloween is the enemy

Why do parents choose conservative Christian schools for their children?If you read their own literature on the subject, it turns out that Halloween is a big deal. Obviously parents don't take their kids out of state school just because the schools talk about trick-or-treating in October. But it is a serious concern to the kind of Christian parents who choose ACE or other kinds of evangelical private school.One of my research participants kindly lent me two books by Monica Stringer, … [Read more...]

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Leaving Fundamentalism and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!