The move toward vouchers to send children to private schools is both foolish and dangerous.
First of all, when you take money out of the public school system, it weakens that system and its ability to teach the children who are left.
What’s worse is the stuff some of these schools are teaching children.
When I was in school in Massachusetts during the 1950s and ’60s, the children who went to Catholic schools learned science. They got an education that was at least as good as what we got in public schools, and I don’t remember any of their parents asking for their tax money back.
Today, parents want their children to get an education that denies science and suppresses any form of creativity, AND they want our tax money to pay for it.
Textbooks from Accelerated Christian Education, one of the biggest sellers of Christian curricula, tell students that humans lived with dinosaurs and that evolution is unproven and has been debunked by the existence of the Loch Ness Monster.
The curriculum, which is also popular among home-schoolers, also teaches that solar fusion is a myth, that a Japanese whaling boat caught a dinosaur, that there are no transitional fossils and that most scientists no longer believe in evolution.
ACE teaches that homosexuality is a learned behavior.
The curriculum’s tests are multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions so students won’t be encouraged to think for themselves.
But conservative Christians want your children to learn these lies as “facts.” Once children believe these things, they tend not to question them, even if you put evidence right in front of them.
I grew up in a very fundamentalist church that denied evolution and believed Jesus would return before the Earth’s resources are used up. They lived insular lives because they didn’t want their children exposed to the evils of society.
This curriculum is perfect for them because once their children get through it, there will be fewer thinkers in the world.
If you look at the history of the church, you’ll find a lot of similar behavior. Until the invention of the printing press and the vernacular Bible, Catholics were pretty much forbidden to read the Bible. The church would tell you what to believe, and if you didn’t agree, you could face being burned at the stake as a heretic.
Fundamentalist Christian churches still operate that way. No thinking required — or desired. Children go through their lives not learning to think for themselves and willing to accept whatever is told to them — as long as it’s from an approved source. You can’t argue with them because they’re not operating with real facts but with made-up crap fed to them by “good Christians.”
I don’t want my tax dollars paying for false science and scary religion, and that’s exactly what school vouchers will do.Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.