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  • No credit for some courses from Christian high schools

    (08-12) 17:25 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge says the University of California can deny course credit to applicants from Christian high schools whose textbooks declare the Bible infallible and reject evolution.

    Rejecting claims of religious discrimination and stifling of free expression, U.S. District Judge James Otero of Los Angeles said UC's review committees cited legitimate reasons for rejecting the texts - not because they contained religious viewpoints, but because they omitted important topics in science and history and failed to teach critical thinking.

    Otero's ruling Friday, which focused on specific courses and texts, followed his decision in March that found no anti-religious bias in the university's system of reviewing high school classes. Now that the lawsuit has been dismissed, a group of Christian schools has appealed Otero's rulings to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

    "It appears the UC is attempting to secularize private religious schools," attorney Jennifer Monk of Advocates for Faith and Freedom said Tuesday. Her clients include the Association of Christian Schools International, two Southern California high schools and several students.

    Charles Robinson, the university's vice president for legal affairs, said the ruling "confirms that UC may apply the same admissions standards to all students and to all high schools without regard to their religious affiliations." What the plaintiffs seek, he said, is a "religious exemption from regular admissions standards."

    The suit, filed in 2005, challenged UC's review of high school courses taken by would-be applicants to the 10-campus system. Most students qualify by taking an approved set of college preparatory classes; students whose courses lack UC approval can remain eligible by scoring well in those subjects on the Scholastic Assessment Test.

    Christian schools in the suit accused the university of rejecting courses that include any religious viewpoint, "any instance of God's guidance of history, or any alternative ... to evolution."

    But Otero said in March that the university has approved many courses containing religious material and viewpoints, including some that use such texts as "Chemistry for Christian Schools" and "Biology: God's Living Creation," or that include scientific discussions of creationism as well as evolution.

    UC denies credit to courses that rely largely or entirely on material stressing supernatural over historic or scientific explanations, though it has approved such texts as supplemental reading, the judge said.

    For example, in Friday's ruling, he upheld the university's rejection of a history course called Christianity's Influence on America. According to a UC professor on the course review committee, the primary text, published by Bob Jones University, "instructs that the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events" and evaluates historical figures based on their religious motivations.

    Another rejected text, "Biology for Christian Schools," declares on the first page that "if (scientific) conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong," Otero said.

    He also said the Christian schools presented no evidence that the university's decisions were motivated by hostility to religion.

    UC attorney Christopher Patti said Tuesday that the judge assessed the review process accurately.

    "We evaluate the courses to see whether they prepare these kids to come to college at UC," he said. "There was no evidence that these students were in fact denied the ability to come to the university."

    But Monk, the plaintiffs' lawyer, said Otero had used the wrong legal standard and had given the university too much deference.

    "Science courses from a religious perspective are not approved," she said. "If it comes from certain publishers or from a religious perspective, UC simply denies them."

    E-mail Bob Egelko at [email protected].

    This article appeared on page B - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  • #2
    That's terrible, I mean really the students themselves are not to blame. The state of Kansas had a big issue with the teaching of evolution in schools, and this very issue was brought up, though I never actually believed it would happen.

    I just hope that those students who wish to study in scientific fields are not limited in their education by the decisions of their parents.
    What is Perseverance?
    -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


    BOP - BPA - ICE

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
      That's terrible, I mean really the students themselves are not to blame. The state of Kansas had a big issue with the teaching of evolution in schools, and this very issue was brought up, though I never actually believed it would happen.

      I just hope that those students who wish to study in scientific fields are not limited in their education by the decisions of their parents.
      +1 Wow. That does suck, but I mean the school can't let you in if you don't know what you need to know I guess. . . I mean what does one do.
      They will all look up to me and shout, "Save us!", and I will whisper back... "No."

      LAW is not JUSTICE

      Comment


      • #4
        Well it seems very simple to me. It wouldn't be right to accept a student into a college class when he/she hasn't taken the proper prerequisite class.

        If you want to take Biology at a public university, it's certainly fair to expect that student has taken a proper high school biology course (one which teaches the theory of evolution, for example) which will prepare them for the course material.

        If you want to attend private high schools who allow religion to flavor their teaching, then perhaps you need to go on and attend a private college which teaches the same version of history and science.

        It is obviously not fair for a college biology teacher to have to go back and teach Evolution 101 to a kid who was never taught it in high school...and it's also not fair to expect the student to jump ito a class he/she is not properly prepared for. It would be like saying "sure, you can take trig, it doesn't matter that you've never even taken Algebra I."
        Last edited by JMTX; 08-14-2008, 07:30 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JMTX View Post
          Well it seems very simple to me. It wouldn't be right to accept a student into a college class when he/she hasn't taken the proper prerequisite class.

          If you want to take Biology at a public university, it's certainly fair to expect that student has taken a proper high school biology course (one which teaches the theory of evolution, for example) which will prepare them for the course material.

          If you want to attend private high schools who allow religion to flavor their teaching, then perhaps you need to go on and attend a private college which teaches the same version of history and science.

          It is obviously not fair for a college biology teacher to have to go back and teach Evolution 101 to a kid who was never taught it in high school...and it's also not fair to expect the student to jump ito a class he/she is not properly prepared for. It would be like saying "sure, you can take trig, it doesn't matter that you've never even taken Algebra I."
          Im glad for people like you that type out my opinion for me
          "Friendly Fire, isn't"

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe UC offers a remedial science course to cover the material omitted from the education these students received. UC probably does that for English and maybe math.
            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
            Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe UC offers a remedial science course to cover the material omitted from the education these students received. UC probably does that for English and maybe math.
              I think that would be a fair compromise.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                If you want to attend private high schools who allow religion to flavor their teaching, then perhaps you need to go on and attend a private college which teaches the same version of history and science.
                Believe me, I completely agree with your opinion, however I just want to maintain that this is not the fault of the student's themselves. Their parents after all are the ones who made the educational decisions in their early lives. I think a remedial course for those that are interested would be sufficient.
                What is Perseverance?
                -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                BOP - BPA - ICE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh I agree. Not the students fault at all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                    Oh I agree. Not the students fault at all.
                    Yes. Who would want to attend one of those schools?

                    A lot of parents in Los Angeles send their children to Catholic schools, but I believe the church accepts evolution and does not accept the literal truth of Genesis.
                    Last edited by DAL; 08-14-2008, 08:52 PM.
                    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The courts made the right decision on this one. It is a matter of admission standards, and unfortunately those students of those schools did not meet them. It is definitely unfortunate for those students that their parents enrolled them in schools that did not teach them science or history. What parent would want to enroll their child in a school that chooses religious i ndoctrination over teaching science and history?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't have a problem with religious schools...as long as they leave religion in religion class and teach science and history in academic classes.

                        Honestly, had I chosen to have children, I might very well have chosen to send them to parochial school simply because the public school system is often such a joke...but I would expect that religious teachings would be kept separate from academic teachings.

                        At the very least, the teachers could say, "Here is what modern science claims...we know from the bible that this isn't true, but we're going to teach you the THEORY anyway because you may need it if you ever transfer to a public school or attend a public college."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                          I don't have a problem with religious schools...as long as they leave religion in religion class and teach science and history in academic classes.

                          Honestly, had I chosen to have children, I might very well have chosen to send them to parochial school simply because the public school system is often such a joke...but I would expect that religious teachings would be kept separate from academic teachings.

                          At the very least, the teachers could say, "Here is what modern science claims...we know from the bible that this isn't true, but we're going to teach you the THEORY anyway because you may need it if you ever transfer to a public school or attend a public college."
                          The only problem with that is Religion has branches that reach into every aspect of education.

                          If one goes to a private (religious) school. one will find the long reaching hands of that particular church. Biology class in Junior high (went to public high schools) Evolution, dinosaurs, "Cave Men" as my biology teacher explained, and genetics were all altered to conform to the teaching of the Catholic Church. Evolution was taught as a theory that has many errors and can not be trusted. Dinosaurs was explained as a pre bible event that was not told to the biblical writers. However, I did have a priest once mention dinosaurs were around when Adam and eve were around. Genetics was explained as a tool however, an evil tool and information can't be trusted. Basically they lied to us, filling us with error filled information and not explaining the evidence in a scientific way but in a way that conforms to the teaching of the church.

                          bible study had more weight in it then any other class in our curriculum. Getting lower grades in Bible study class could drop your overall grades by a whole letter if not high enough.

                          Many other classes had influences of the church in them. History was lined with catholic view of things. Many things the church did not want to teach was omitted or spun to make the church look like hero's. Such as the crusades.

                          I feel UC did what they had to do to set standards for high school curriculum's all over the country. Just like colleges may not except all credits from a previous college. The curriculum may be off or the field is not offered at that college. No matter what the reason is the college is in the right to allow them to get the type of student that can go forward in their education. Not to reteach what the student should already know. This is a wake up call for parents thinking they are getting a better education for the kids by sending them to private(religious) schools. They maybe setting there kids up for failure when they enter into a college that does not teach the false ideas of a moral guide to life in the bible.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The case, ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL, et al., v. ROMAN STEARNS, et al., is available online.

                            Looks like the school didn't have much of a case.


                            Faith-based mathematics?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is just something I grabbed from UC at Berkely:

                              http://bigideas2.berkeley.edu/2008%2...ano_Khanal.pdf

                              I'm sorry. I didn't see anything about that in Mark's gospel. But that's OK. I'm not trying to use Mark for a biology credit. I think Jesus will understand.

                              Comment

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