An article last week about UC Riverside recruiting homeschooled graduates prompted pickup articles about it around the country, and generated pleased responses from many homeschoolers.
UC Riverside a leader in courting home-schooled students, 24 November 2007, The Press Enterprise,
Not a problem at UC Riverside, the first UC campus and one of the first public research universities in the nation to recruit students who were home-schooled at the kitchen table or on the road instead of inside a classroom.
The pleasure about the article was not universal as it reminded some people of the lawsuit against the University of California concerning textbooks written from a Christian viewpoint.
- University of California and Christian curriculum, HEM NewsComm, 29 December 2005
- University of California non-acceptance of classes may go to trial, HEM NewsComm, 30 June 2006
On the HSWatch email group, list members discussed the current article and the lawsuit by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Calvary Chapel School, and students of the school.
The discussion ranged over the same ground as the lawsuit, mainly whether a college/university can specify which materials it will accept, or if disqualifying certain religious materials is a restriction of freedoms. Some people questioned whether all of this has anything to do with homeschooling freedoms. To the proposal that the case does not affect homeschooling freedoms, Kay Brooks, the list owner and site owner of TnHomeEd, pointed out that in Tennessee, church related schools have to be accredited, and that one of the plaintiffs against the University of California, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), is one of the few organizations that does so.
A little ways across the cyber-sphere on HEM-Networking, Mary Nix commented, after the UC Riverside article was posted, that she’s seen increased requirements for public school students to enter colleges, plus new public school minimums for “Ohio core” classes. The combination of these trends makes me wonder, slightly tongue in cheek, how people managed to make any progress before standardized tests and core curriculae.
Other links about the case, or the underlying presumptions, are:
— Association of Christian Schools International, Calvary Chapel Christian School, & students v. Board of Admissions & Relations with Schools, the Regents of the University of California, persons employed at the university, August 2005
“Complaint for abridgment of freedom of speech, freedom from viewpoint discrimination, freedom of religion and association, freedom from arbitrary discreation, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from hositility toward religion”
— University of California system sued over creationism, 8 September 2005
“A spokesperson for the University of California system would not comment on the specific allegations leveled in the complaint, but told the Los Angeles Times that the university was entitled to set course requirements for incoming students, …”
— University Is Accused of Bias Against Christian Schools, 20 November 2005, New York Times
“The suit is being closely watched by free speech advocates, other public universities and Christian education leaders. All see it as a possible harbinger for admissions policies at state universities nationally.”
— Creationism: It’s not just in Kansas anymore, 23 November 2005, Sacramento Bee
“UC officials also point out that the university has accepted many of the school’s science courses and that UC also allows students who haven’t taken all the required courses to be admitted by exam alone.”
— Here’s the Problem with Emily Dickenson, 27 November 2005, The New York Times
“The plaintiffs, …, contend that their students are being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. The university system counters that it has the right to set its own standards. Here are excerpts from the disputed texts.” [at the site].
— Should Some Students Be Denied College Entrance Because They Used These Textbooks?, 2005, Association of Christian Schools International
“A history course entitled “Christianity’s Influence on America”, using the Bob Jones University Press (BJU) text United States History for Christian Schools as well as a college history textbook, was also turned down because it truthfully explored our nation’s Christian roots.”
— A Church-State Clash Over College Requirements, 3 February 2006, The Chronicle of Higher Education (mirrored at Jews On First)
“The first-of-its-kind lawsuit could have far-reaching implications for both religious high schools and public colleges: What constitutes an acceptable academic course? At what point does a high-school curriculum become too infused with religion? To what extent should public colleges be free to decide which high-school courses they will certify?”
— War of worldviews: Christian schools vs. University of California, 5 February 2006, First Amendment Center
“This high-profile fight over courses taught in Christian schools has already sent a chilling message to other religious schools. They worry that if these courses can be rejected, whatâ€™s next?”
— Order granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & 12(b)(6), August 2006
Lawsuit will continue, but individuals cannot be sued
— UC Loses Bid to Stop Christian School Suit, 9 August 2006, Los Angeles Times [mirrored at Jews on First]
“In a 25-page ruling, Otero granted limited relief to the university, dismissing the lawsuit’s allegations against several UC administrators in their individual capacities, among others. But he said he would allow Calvary Christian and the other plaintiffs to pursue their key claims against the public university system on the basis of constitutional protections to freedom of speech, association and religion.”
— UC Discrimination Lawsuit Put on Hold, 5 November 2007, The Guardian, University of California at San Diego
“One month after a lawsuit accusing the University of California of religious discrimination was supposed to begin trial proceedings, the case remains on hold while the judge continues to pore over the high volume of material.”
— Humanities’ truths reveal their own intelligent designs, 28 November 2007, Courier Press
“I taught intelligent design in a state-supported college for 36 years without raising an eyebrow. I did so with the respect and approval, so far as I can tell, of my colleagues in the College of Science and Engineering. But the big difference is, I did not teach it as science. I taught it as part of the humanities curriculum, where it would be conspicuous by its absence.”
Despite my own scientific outlook, the idea that the passing on of religiously influenced viewpoints could be curtailed disturbs me. I may see certain viewpoints as erroneous, but I do not want them suppressed. That type of trend has too much of a ‘thought police’ feel to it.
Regulating homeschooling, June 2007, Talk 2 Action
Questioner: My challenge to progressive homeschoolers is this: how do you propose to deal with the problems posed by those who indocrinate children in theocratic Christian nationalism, or crackpot views of evolution and denial of global warming (as seen in the film Jesus Camp, for one famous example)?
This is not a problem that in the view of many of us that can be ignored. And there will be growing discussions of how best to address it.
Me: Then, looking at nose counts of American teens in high schools, it appears from this NCES chart that roughly 1/14th of all American high school kids are in private schools, which leaves 13/14ths in public schools. Roughly. In any case the public schools educate a clear majority of American teens, and have done for over a century.
Now, if the approximately (12 years) x (180 days) x (6 hours per day) schooling of 13/14ths of Americans has not been enough to convince a larger proportion of them that the scientific method works for evolution as well as it does for nuclear fission, electricity and jets, what could you possibly do to keep a family from passing down erroneous beliefs?
Given that only 2% – 4% of the population are assumed to be homeschoolers (there is speculation that the numbers are inflated in order to create unease), shouldn’t the focus perhaps be on the 13/14ths of American teens instead of the sliver of a pie-slice of homeschoolers?
posted by Valerie