Monday, August 29, 2005


Christian Schools Sue UC Over Admissions Policy

David Rosenzweig, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, reports that the Association of Christian Schools International has brought suit against University of California admissions officials claiming that they discriminate against students who've graduated from high schools that teach creationism.

Last year, University of California admissions officials adopted a policy that denies certification to high school science courses that use textbooks, from the well-known science textbook publishers Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books, that challenge Darwin's theory of evolution.
"It appears that the UC system is attempting to secularize Christian schools and prevent them from teaching from a world Christian view," Patrick H. Tyler, a lawyer with Advocates for Faith and Freedom, which is assisting the plaintiffs, told the LA Times.

The Questionable Authority has a post up there [also cross posted to Panda's Thumb] on the contents of the Bob Jones University biology text that the University of California finds less than scholarly. I strongly urge RSR readers to visit there to see what science textbooks will look like after the creationists and intelligent design activists have their way with us. I assure you that even the most cynical among you will not believe what is in the textbook.

The A Beka Books website says its 10th Grade biology text, Biology God's Living Creation is "[t]horoughly Christian in perspective and tone. Truly nonevolutionary in philosophy, spirit, and sequence of study."

Truly nonevolutionary in sequence of study? We truly love that one.

Is the University of California attempting to "secularize Christian schools and prevent them from teaching from a world Christian view"? Is it discriminating against Christians?

Of course not.

First, the Christian schools that teach biblical literalism, are a minority among all Christian schools. For example, UC officials have no problem accepting students -- provided they meet admissions criteria -- from Catholic schools or from schools of other Christian sects that teach real science.

Christian fundamentalists -- who, more often than not, claim to be the only real Christians -- don't really speak for all Christians. They can't legitimately complain that the UC admissions policy discriminates against Christians -- it just requires students who attend schools that dispense with all that "teach the controversy" nonsense and go straight to that good old time religion to meet the same requirements demanded of all incoming freshmen.

Likewise, if these schools taught their students that they might believe what they want about Genesis -- even what their biblical literalist teachers tell them they must believe to be good Christians -- but that they also need to understand what science is all about, they would have no problem with UC admissions officials, either.

All universities have an admissions policy that requires students to master a number of disciplines -- algebra, biology, English, a foreign language, and so on. If a student attends a school that fails to meet the entrance requirements, they do so at their own risk.

The UC admissions policy does offer these students two options -- they may be admitted if they first complete required course work at a community college, or if their SAT scores are high enough. The lawsuit suggest that this last option is "heavily stacked against students seeking admission through that route." A telling admission about the overall quality of education at these schools.

For our part, we applaud the policy adopted by the University of California. Will they apply the same standard to Kansas schools after the board approves the antiscience revisions to the science curriculum this fall? Certainly that would be a first step at putting a stop to this nonsense.


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