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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: jonsco ()
Date: July 21, 2011 10:50PM

Interesting thread. Didn't you have the rule 'Griping is not tolerated'? I think it must have been part of the training from ACE, seems to be in place at lots of ACE shools, and it certainly was at the one I went to for 3 years. Basically the way it worked is that you were required to do lots of stupid stuff, or to follow a whole host of rules, and if you complained about them you wre breaking the rules and got punished. All part of the total control system. I googled griping not tolerated and ACE and you can see its still there at lots of schools.

I was there for two years, started when i was 9. Thank goodness it wasn't any longer. It ws part of the church. Everyone who went there went to the church. The Principal was the Pastor's wife. The church was traditional Southern Baptist, strong views on lots of things, including 'child training'. My Mom soaked all this up. Life rotated around church.

There were 2 supervisors. None of them were teachers. If you asked them something you didn't understand in the PACEs they probably wouldn't know. They were just there to make sure you followed the learning process and importantly followed all the rules.

I remember starting there, and the way it had been explained it sounded pretty good, we were new to the area, and new to the church and my mom was so impressed she enrolled us (me and sisters). Once we got there though the principal started explaining all the rules - sit in your office, don't lean back, don't speak, put your flags up, different charts, how to do PACEs, score them etc etc, lots of rules. She also said we would be following the rules, showed us the spanking paddle, and told us what would happen if we didn't.

So my main memory isn't the curriculum, but all the rules and the discipline, and then the way they involved parents so basically you had to follow the rules, you couldn't complain about them at school, and you couldn't go home and complain because the church and school sucked in parents.

If you broke a minor rule you got a demerit - lean back, talk, anything like that. If you got 5 demerits in the week you went to the Principal. She lectured us, spanked us and made us pray.

More major things and we went straight into the principal, for lecturing, spanking and prayers.

Spankings ranged from a couple of swats to 6 or 8 hard swats, and were given regularly - probably every couple of weeks for me. Quite ofetn te principal would talk to my mom about stuff, so then I'd go home at get the belt too.

The whole place was cleverly designed to ensure compliance. Parents knew what was happening, but probably knew that if they complained we would be out of the school, and they would be out of the church. Anyway the church was busy promoting Christain child traing and christian discipline - spare the rod, spoil the child.

Griping over!!


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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: SPG900 ()
Date: July 22, 2011 01:01AM

I was talking with someone about this the other day -- the whole "control" thing. I don't remember anything about not griping, but it was VERY clear that questioning anything was not to be tolerated. The way they did things was the way things were done, and that's it. Raising questions was not allowed, and that came right from the preaching every morning on down.

I also found it interesting that the school was supposedly non-denominational, yet we began every school day with a half hour or hour meeting up in the church area where we were subject to a fire-and-brimstone sermon. Then we'd all file down to our "stations" and begin our studying in solitude.

I only got the paddle once -- for calling someone a fag, a word that I had heard other kids call each other at recess. I had no idea it was a slur (I was ten years old or so), but when a much older kid (in high school) told the principal on me, I admitted I said it and got paddled.

The sounds of paddling went through the whole school, and there was always someone getting paddled.

And you're right -- I barely remember anything I was "taught" by those PACE booklets, but I certainly remember the whole environment of oppression and the feeling that I was being punished because I was too overactive and "bright" for the Catholic school I had attended previously. My folks thought I needed some "discipline," and that this school would provide it.

It didn't so much discipline as control.

A couple months ago this all came up when my wife, child and I were visiting my folks (I'm 42 now). For the first time I was able to describe just how terrible that place had been for me, and some of the stuff that went on there -- some of the things the "monitors" told me (like I was going to hell for being a Catholic, the Catholic bible was a "fake" bible, etc.) and they were pretty shocked and upset. I mean, I was ten years old... My dad said if he had known what was going on there, he would've pulled me out of there sooner.

But it was all about control. I guess at the time I didn't feel like I could talk about it with my parents, or maybe I felt they implicitly condoned everything that went on there because they sent me there.

I don't know. A lot of it is foggy now, but enough remains that I know I was forever damaged by my time there.

Looks like a lot of us were.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: jonsco ()
Date: July 22, 2011 03:08PM

You are right about the control not discipline bit. And when I think back I think how cleverly designed it was to make sure we were 'compliant'. If some stupidly minor rule was broken the supervisor gave a demerit, and we just had to stick it up on the chart. If we tried to argue that we shouldn't have the demerit the supervisors just took us into the Principal to be spanked. If we questioned the Principal it was considered dis-respect. Not only would she spank us, but she'd tell our parents and have them discipline us too.

As for discussing things with parents - that wasn't an option either. The Principal would let my mom know what was going on, so she always had her side of the story. I think they controlled parents too, with the threat of expelling us! If I got punished at school my best option was to tell my Mom I had learned my lesson, otherwise I'd get disciplined at home.

I left when we moved. If there had been an ACE school where we went I'm sure i would have gone to it. As it was I went to a larger christian school with proper teachers & proper lessons. I think being a teenager in a controlling ACE school would have really screwed me up.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: reioshbu ()
Date: October 04, 2011 06:09AM

I went to a church school from K5-12th that was run by the church my parents attended and they did A.C.E. for a while. The church was a strange mish mash of Christian fundamentalism and spirit-filled Pentecostalism. I can remember class being canceled quite a few times because "the spirit was moving" and we would spend all day (except lunch) in the church sanctuary. Younger children were often supervised by older children at recess, instead of by teachers, and the children who were dropped off super early in the morning (myself included) were allowed to run around in the field out behind the school. I actually had some of my best playtime out there but I shudder to think why we were left alone for so long.

Until I was in third grade we did A.C.E. and third grade is the first time I remember having fun and not being bored out of my mind. We also got demerits for acting up or not completing our work, but we were never paddled as so many people on here have mentioned. I hated Christi and Ace who were the most cookie-cutter, dull role models imaginable. I remember being called into the principal's office and having a note sent home because I pretended to smoke a twig on the playground. Children with behavioral problems were considered by some to have demons, or critters, as my mom called them.

I was pretty bright and I usually got through my paces at an alarming rate, so that my teacher had no choice but to let me read at my desk, run errands for her, or type on the word processor just to keep me entertained. However, I always had a ton of leftover work in "Social Studies" because I didn't like it, and I struggled terribly with math. I strongly believe that A.C.E and lack of proper instruction fueled my life-long problems with math. I was left alone with a textbook for so many years, struggling and failing to learn, that in ninth grade I was at sixth grade level in math. I excelled in everything else in college, but had to take introductory and intermediate algebra at community college, and needed tutoring just to pass the most basic required math courses. It definitely ruled out any career involving mathematics for me.

Very few of our supervisors were actually certified teachers. Most were just moms, or girls right out of high school who, coincidentally, had been educated with A.C.E. Finally, they scrapped A.C.E and replaced it with ABeka, Alpha Omega, and Saxon Math, none of which were much better. I didn't learn anything about actual science, it was all vague Creationist theory, and our history classes consisted of extremely biased right-wing views on the founding of America and politics in general. Bible was a subject for every student, but it was basically whatever book our teacher wanted to talk on (i.e. Purpose Driven Life), or what video they felt like showing that day. Somewhere around seventh grade we did a book called Character Quest for Bible, which was, of course, mind-numbingly boring. Our school was not even accredited until right before I graduated, and I missed out on Bright Futures while my younger classmates did not. I don't know what my parents were thinking. It's like they suffered from the delusion that a public school education would turn me into a corrupt, violent, drug addicted sexual deviant, so it was better to give me a pathetically lacking education.

Anyway, all I can really say about A.C.E, and really any Christian curriculum, is that it is no way to educate children. We were made to feel that memorizing our KJV scripture verses, or speaking in tongues was just as important as learning to add, subtract, and multiply. I didn't learn how to write an essay until my freshman year of college, and you can forget all the novels I should have read in high school English. None of that worldly stuff for us, oh nooo. If it were not for my innate voracious reading habits I would probably be illiterate. People in our small town who struggled to learn in a public school setting were often sent to our school as if it were a place for special needs or gifted students, but most of them only ended up left behind or rebellious. I know that the strict religious setting bred tons of pent up rebellion in me that came bursting out for years after I graduated.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: databass2001 ()
Date: October 13, 2011 08:29AM

I had nine years of this shit. It still affects me today. I found a safe place I could talk to people about my experiences in a 12-step program known as ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics.) It's given me a sense of sanity. But to this day, I still look back and ask, "WTF?"

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: bchungdmd ()
Date: December 26, 2011 06:15AM

I suffered 4 years under this extremely poorly written experimental American system. I don't have friends or good memory from this. I barely survived and at least 4 years of ACE taught me to never place my children in this worst form of education...that is something I learnt by using this ACE.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: bchungdmd ()
Date: December 26, 2011 06:33AM

My name is Benjamin, and I have been a student of this ACE from grades 1-9, and 10-11 during the period 1980-1984 in Vancouver BC, at the Temple Academy. My cultural background is Taiwanese, but we went to Canada in the 1980, now I reside in MA.

I must admit that I am a survivor using this particular type of "Christian" school material. As I said I am a transculture kid from Taiwan to Canada. The ACE curriculum in my humble opinion, is an inferior way of learning, and I am still suffering from this ill-conceived material. Let me begin:

There is basically no lecture because they do not believe in class room instruction. This extreme view deters one's learning from a teacher in the usual lecture format. I think there is a lot missing especially the curriculum explicitly discourage this usual lecture format, paving the way to a life long disability in learning.

There are no accredited teachers. My school, Temple Academy is a second rated private Christian school that did not have the provincial accreditation. They did not learn how to teach, nor are they familiar with the materials. My science lab blew up literally on my face, and scarred my face for life. This lack of accreditation is evident in the sloppy work that is done o=among my friends. I am sure none of them excelled in life or hold a regular degree. This is perhaps my church is basically a blue collar and low socioeconomic class church...

The whole is about the bible. I know that bible is important, but if you need to learn modern sciences, you need a better text book than a 2000 year old plus book. It cosmology is outdated, and the morals in this bible is outdated regards to slavery, women or gays. It incites violence to the gay community and is to be blamed for rejections of gays which someone of them during their formative years have lad to suicides. Yes, I memorize a lot of King James Version verses and passages. But ACE is primarily responsible for my unlearning in the biological sciences, especially concerning evolution. They used a Bob Jones biology text book which has two paragraphs discussing the second coming of Christ. This is entirely out of place in the teaching of Biology.

Over all, my poor rating is evident, if you want your child to grow up in the subculture I was in, without a true or modern view of the world, and confine their views to a book more than 2000 years old, holding it as it that book is relevant for modernity, maybe this book is for you.

Let me tell you why I think this way. I was lucky enough to go to another boarding Christian high school that has a higher standard. I graduated and went on to normal universities (both at UCalgary, and UToronto, and finally finished my dental degree at Harvard). So if you could see the rage I have toward the lack of education after these many years, that should make sense to anyone who is finding a way to help their kids to learn. Send them to regular schools, avoid to subjugate them to these untested and second rated second class you are subjecting your kids to. All my kids are in the regular schools today, and as far as I can see, they are happy, in the main stream, and good students with good grades. They do not hang out with kids for no reason, and they all participate with our family farmer's market projects. If any suggestions I can make for the leary folks out there, is to start a small organic farm and raise some chickens, and let your kid participate in it fully, and avoid sports at all cost (waste of time and money), rather spend money on things that matter, eg. computers, piano, chickens, and a proper woodstove. thanks.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: Draw! ()
Date: April 12, 2012 01:02AM

Thank you for your knowledge on this matter. Is there a study on the graduation rate at ACE schools? What percentage of graduates go to college? What percentage receive college degrees? How do these stats compare to public schools?

ACT scores in the linked study tended to be lower among ACE students, which doesn't surprise me in the least.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: jonnyscaramanga ()
Date: June 16, 2012 12:35AM

Hi everyone,

I am an ACE alumnus, and I want to do something about the abuse that goes on there. My own story is similar to those here. I went to a school where theere was ruthless discipline, a lot of it needless. In a drama class (a rare break from PACEs), on one occasion a supervisor made all the student snap their fingers until some of the students had blisters. Another time she made everyone hold their arms out, fully extended, at face height, and made everyone hold it there until some of the children were crying from the pain.

The PACEs themselves were oppressive. I tried to graduate early by doing them as fast as possible. I managed 101 in a year, but I was suicidal by the end. Academically, they are useless. It's possible to learn everything by rote, so what evidence do the tests provide that learning, by which I mean understanding, has actually taken place?

Important bit: I run a blog about ACE at

I would love to hear from other ACE survivors, whatever their views. I want to get the word out about what is happening. If you would like to share your story on my blog, consider this an open invitation to write anything you like. If you have copies of your old PACEs that I can use to expose what's taught in the curriculum, that would be useful too. I don't just want to complain. I want to stop other children going through what we went through.

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Re: Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: Freethinker1964 ()
Date: February 16, 2013 11:29AM

Hmmmm, Accerated Christian Education, a.k.a. ACE, first off let me say, it's a joke, I attended an Accelerated Christian Education based school, Rothesay Baptist Christian School as it was known back in the day, in Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada, after my parents were told I could get tutoring for difficulty in math I was having, from 1979 through 1981 before I was expelled for what, having a mind of my own, I endured detentions, paddlings & ridicule for the most minor of things, half of the staff there had the IQs of a discarded banana peel, when I was expelled in March 1981 I was told I was worthless & would never amount to anything, I then tried to get back into public school but left after a week because I was so far behind my peers thanks to that wonderful PACE & I mean that sarcasticaly system that I had to use while attandending that school, but in 1990 after several years of seeing the world so to speak I attended night school & got my high school diploma & am now doing well in life, I regret ever having to have attended this school, Rothesay Baptist Christian School that is, many a time I had to wait to have permission to use the rest room, or get help with a problem in a particular subject, tolerate ridicule from fellow students & even staff, I kid you not!, I've never seen so much insulting or put downs in any school I attended as I saw at R.B.C.S., they don't teach you about the real world for one thing, then I wonder why so many that attended that school have had disfunctional marriages that have ended up in divorce ect., I'm now 49 years old & have no faith or belief in a "God", in fact I'm more than proud to say I'm an Atheist, that school did nothing but teach thier students to be narrow minded, to hate those not like them ie: gays, lesbians, non-believers, freethinkers ect, I never did get the tutoring my parents hoped I would get and yea they were PISSED off!, my dad basicaly said after I was expelled, he got taken for the monthly tuition which at the time was $100.00 per month, so in my parents eyes at the time, the A.C.E. format was just a money making racket using religion as a front.

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