Wow, talk about a blast from the past.
Your guys' descriptions of what it was like to be in an ACE school match mine just the same - - and what an awful way that was to spend my grades 3 through 10.
It is sad that this educational tragedy is allowed to persist through loopholes in local laws regarding education. In Maryland, where I suffered as a child under this inferior school system, I believe that ACE schools got to exist because of something like this: the church-schools were officially exempted from having to meet the requirements that real schools had to follow.
I will try not to duplicate what everyone else wrote about the ridiculous things ACE makes you live through, day in and day out, such as basically sitting in a corner all day staring into your awful PACEs and at your goal chart and star chart. The way you guys described it is exactly how it works, and yeah you sure do become an expert at memorization, both the 60 to 120 second kind and the rote memorization kind (60 to 120 seconds is about how long it takes you to score your work and get back to your desk). Being forced to memorize all of those Bible verses too, on top of it.. you really learned your place in those schools, which was to sit down, shut up, and do no more or less than you are told.
I will, however, discuss the physical child abuse that occurred in both of the ACE schools I attended. The child abuse took the form of extremely severe paddlings. The schools would experience shifts in their disciplinary severity based on who the "supervisors" were that year, and also, what direction the associated church was going.
The worst year when I was attending the first school (Annapolis Christian Academy, no longer in operation as of the last time I checked) was when most of the staff had quit, leaving just one supervisor. At the same time, there was this possibly hyperactive child aged about 10 who developed some kind of social problem, she was usually unable to obey and would even antagonize the supervisor. The most severe paddling she received lasted 40 blows (I counted), while she was physicallly being restrained by the supervisor. She had large bruises on her backside that were visible for days afterward (she pulled her skirt up to show us).
The worst years when I was attending the second school (Antioch Christian School, still in operation) were a few years after they moved to their new building in Arnold, Maryland. Antioch Christian School was, and still is, associated with a pentecostal apostolic church. The church seemed to be in the middle of some kind of "revival", and somebody got the bright idea that clamping down on the students in the school would be a great part of that. The high school, under the supervision of a Naval Academy graduate named Jason Wharton, became like a military academy for christ. We had to act much like soldiers, such as how we would have to stand perfectly upright at our desks each morning as he walked around and examined each of us closely for any uniform problems. There was tons of stuff involved with this, such as forced fasting on Wednesdays (no lunch allowed), forced kneeling at the altar in the sanctuary, and on and on. I don't think they did all of the same things to the elementary school.
So at the same time this was going on, a physical child abuse problem developed in the elementary school. We in the high school were living under the edict that we too could be paddled at any time, but that only happened once to someone in the high school.
In the elementary school room, there were two small, probably hyperactive boys, "C" and "R". I am going to guess they were 10 to 12 years old (at the oldest 12, they acted pretty young but they might have just been immature). I don't know if it means anything, but both of these small boys were african-american. C seemed to just behave in a hyperactive way and was occasionally mean, but R had an additional, independent streak and was especially mean-spirited to the other children. My little sister was in the elementary school, so I got to know about these boys partly through her and her own difficulties with them.
Paddling of either of these boys was pretty much always done by two men, Brother Humphrey and Brother Wharton (our own supervisor). It was done in the room across the hall from the high school room, and all of us could clearly hear what was going on. The child who was about to be paddled was always screaming and begging not to be paddled beforehand. There was some kind of either ACE rule or local law imposed on the the men (I don't know which) that stipulated that they were not allowed to hit the child more than 5 blows, but if that was meant to prevent child abuse, it didn't work. There would always be 5 extremely loud blows inflicted with the paddle, and then there would be silence. The silence would last for 6 to 8 seconds. Then, there would be an agonized and short scream from the child. I happen to know exactly why it happened that way - - the child had been hit so hard that it knocked the wind out of him. Then there would be silence again for a bit less than the original time, and then another scream would come. The child would incrementally gain the ability to breathe again, and was crying and screaming hysterically for a while after the abuse. I always felt sure that one of the men was restraining the child and one was administering powerful blows, maybe even hitting the child with maximum force, although I could never observe what was happening directly.
"C" had this happen to him a relatively small number of times, and then he ceased the behavior that was getting him beaten. "R" was another story, and it almost seemed like a common thing to have happen to him for a while. R could be antagonistic with other children and seemed mean-spirited, and he persisted with the behaviors. Even we in the high school knew R was like this, and most of the high school kids would laugh and not seem to feel sorry for him when the severe paddlings would occur.
A little ritual developed in the high school after a while. R would be taken into the room across the hall for a paddling. Everyone knew what was happening due to the sound of R begging and crying as he was moved into the room. The supervisor in the high school would close the high school room's door to the hallway before it got fully underway. The abuse would happen, and the two sets of closed doors was never enough to stop the sound from being heard. The high school kids would laugh at R, despite the ceremonial closing of the door.
Eventually, R's behavior changed, and he became more compliant and able to avoid the beatings. Either he matured or the torture had an affect on him, I don't have a way to know which.
So, in summary, point being:
I second the motion that ACE is a bad and nasty educational system for the reasons stated by the other people in this thread. Additionally, the whole system has been seen to allow unqualified people to operate the schools, resulting in psychological and physical child abuse being perpetuated against children.
[b:d31021d4e3]"ACCELERATED CHRISTIAN EDUCATION" SUCKS ASS [/b:d31021d4e3] and I wish local governments would stop playing paddy-cake with the church-schools and seriously require all kids, without exception, to receive a real education with qualified teachers.
Where do I begin? Let me explain first how I got here. Last night on Heartland (FOXNews) I saw an interview wiht this Ross guy. They were talking about the wackjob in Florida that claimed to be Christ - sorta. So, I thought I'd see more on this subject at culteducation.com.
First, I saw several accusations of "cult" to be wrong. At the same time, I saw more accusations that I agree with. Cult is anything remotely like the koolaide drinkers from Jim Jones, ok? Scientology, in my opinion, is a cult too. So, in seeing the list of "cults" I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Ross defines any religion/church/denomination as a cult. Any and all of them, but that is simply incorrect. Scripture memory, and fellowship with like minded people are not a bad thing, and it certainly does not make it a cult activity. It's like seeing the boogy man under every bed and in every closet.
Regarding this thread - I went to a ACE school for one year. I hated it. I was not abused physically or mentally or emotionally. I just hated the cubbie holes. I needed hands on learning.
Now, if you go to a Christian school one would expect to learn about Christianity. It WILL be part of the curriculum. There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing. I must note that you guys should not generalize so much. Not every ACE school or any Christian school is the same, and thank goodness, from what I've read. In the public schools I learned about sex and drugs, got in fights and found out in a very heartbreaking way that kids are so cruel. IMO, my public school experience was no better than that year at the ACE school.
As for the comment with regards to wanting the government to insist kids are taught by "qualified" teachers. I have a HUGE problem with that. I am in my 6th year home schooling my kids. We have a blast! My oldest daughter (7th grade) just tested high school level in all subjects. 10th grade level to be exact. They are on the swim team, go to book club and have more activities than I can keep up with!
The minute the government puts their nose in private Christian schools (abuse cases should be investigated, by the way) that will be the day that they will try to impose on my right to home school my children.