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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: lanajae ()
Date: June 18, 2006 11:04AM

I just found a few funny things in a search..

this was in a blog:

[i:92d72bc742]One of my TV locations was a London school that follows the (American) Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) syllabus. The day after watching my show, three colleagues told me they had interviewed, for a place at university, a young woman who had been taught (not at the same school) using ACE. She turned out to be the worst candidate they had ever encountered. She had no idea that thinking was even an option: her job was either to know or guess the "right" answer. Worse, she had no clue how bad she was, having always scored at least 95 per cent in exams - the National Christian Schools Certificate (NCSC).[/i:92d72bc742]

this was on a definition-type site where individuals can post:

[i:92d72bc742]Step back guys, I feel a rant bubbling up...
Ah, Accelerated Christian Education. They now call themselves by the fifties-ish appellation "School of Tomorrow," apparently without even a sliver of irony. Faugh.

This is a hideously condescending system of private-school education that consisted, in my day at least, of having students work "at their own pace," but really struggling almost unaided through 60 workbooks a year, in little partitioned desks whose primary resemblance is to office cubicles. These workbooks, called PACEs (standing for "Packet of Accelerated Christian Education") are liberally sprinkled with the most inane, poorly-drawn cartoons you will ever see, most of which featuring simplistic morals and cookie-cutter characters in self-righteous situations. Therein we are introduced to Ace ("Ace-ee") and his friends Christi, Reginald and, representing all the ugly people of this great world, Happy, with his buck teeth and cross-eyed expression, who, if memory serves, is assured has a place on this Earth in blue-collar employment. All the characters, both the "good" (e.g. Christians) and "evil" (e.g. not-yet-Christians) have descriptive last names, as in that overrated religious path-straightener Pilgrim's Progress, all of which I have graciously forgotten.

I will not lie, I attended one of these schools for a few years. The curriculum was rarely effective because it was all administered on the honor system, that is, students worked on their own, then put up an American Flag (out of the set of two each had in their individual wooden boxes, an American and a "Christian" flag that consisted, in parallel, of a white field with a red cross on a blue corner ) on top of their cubicle to get permission to rise and walk to the checking tables in order to score one's own work. (The Christian flag, it must be said, was used to gain permission to go to the bathroom, so that one could worship his holy excrement upon the porcelain altar.) Because the system was rife with opportunity to cheat, most people who emerged from our institution went on to plummet out of college, and even I, who am honest almost to the point of idiocy and didn't cheat, had to unlearn some really stupid habits picked up in that place. Though the use of self-initiated work theoretically taught initiative and self-reliance, it seemed more often to teach the fine art of waiting half an hour for someone to answer the damn flag so one could get up and walk the three feet to the answer keys, and thus taught dependence, stall tactics (since I have seen no other place which provided so many excuses not to do work), and either mindless obedience to authority (if one waited for an answered flag) or rebellion (if one did not). The school seemed primarily to be about rolling over and letting authority rub your belly than anything else.[/i:92d72bc742]

this at wikipedia:

[i:92d72bc742]"If parents want their children to obtain a very limited and sometimes inaccurate view of the world - one that ignores thinking above the level of rote recall - then the ACE materials do the job very well. The world of the ACE materials is quite a different one from that of scholarship and critical thinking" (p 523) Fleming, D. & Hunt, T. (1987). The world as seen by students in accelerated Christian education. Phi Delta Kappan, 68, 518-523[/i:92d72bc742]

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: Laura29927 ()
Date: July 08, 2006 05:38AM

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:eb5d6025b8]"ACCELERATED CHRISTIAN EDUCATION" SUCKS ASS [/b:eb5d6025b8] 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.

--Laura

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: dwest ()
Date: July 09, 2006 01:56AM

Wow, this brings back memories. My family was one in which religion was taught in the home, and education was very important. If I went to a school that was not my religion but the education was excellent, then we would discuss the religion portion after dinner. I was exposed to many wonderful religions this way, and a couple weird ones as well.

In the early 1980s I was exposed to PACE.

My private montessori school had to drop my scholarship so my parents went looking for a good, small, private school. One of the nearby foursquare churches offered just that, we all three of us went in to view the presentation. They pitched the school, and we saw a video of chiidren in red white and blue uniforms with their flags and notebooks. Once my parents asked about accreditation, we were out of there. :D

I ended up in a really neat seventh-day adventist two room school, with a submarine captain as a teacher. I learned more in those two years than deskfuls of notebooks would have ever taught me.

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: Laura29927 ()
Date: July 09, 2006 03:31AM

Quote
dwest
They pitched the school, and we saw a video of chiidren in red white and blue uniforms with their flags and notebooks. Once my parents asked about accreditation, we were out of there. :D

Man, I wish my parents had had the common sense to ask about important stuff too!

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: lanajae ()
Date: July 13, 2006 11:39PM

Laura and dwest, thanks for writing - Laura's account of the physical abuse at her school is horrendous.

The really sad thing is that you can be certain that whatever happened at the school was minor compared to what was happening to those same children at home.

I've written and erased so many things on this post - I guess it's just hard for me to write about the physical abuse aspect, so just know that I really appreciated your posts, Laura.

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: thunderbyrd ()
Date: August 24, 2006 11:01AM

a thought about paddling: when i was a kid in school, i got paddled fairly frequently. most of the time, it wasn't much more than an inconveinance and an embarrassment. did it modify my behavior? only a little, it did nothing good for my attitude. the principle of my middle school was the only one i remember ever really hurting me with the paddle, he was a past master of the swat. and here is my point: if i were to run into that old man today (i have no idea if he's still alive), i intend to get in his face about it and chew him out. anti-social? damn right. so is beating a child who is begging you to quit.

so you judge if you think paddling had a good effect on me.

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: pixie ()
Date: September 04, 2006 02:59AM

Quote
Laura29927
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.

--Laura

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.

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: maraschino5 ()
Date: September 25, 2006 04:51AM

I just had to join in with my opinion of ACE.
Short version, it is not a good system. And I was a student who excelled in it.

I went to public school for K - 3, I was offered a chance to go to a "gifted" school, when my parents converted into an insane religious sect who believed that any contact with the outside world was bad. Be "in" the world, not "of" it. So I transferred into our church's ACE school, and boy was it a shock. You sit in the same desk every day of the year. You are not segregated by grades, I sat next to a 8th grader my first year. You do not have anyone teach you, you read your "PACE" and if you have questions, you wait for someone's mom (who got roped into being a "monitor") to come and answer your question. You don't learn, you memorize. You start off every day wtih "devotions", you learn a chapter from the Bible every week. You have to quote this chapter in front of the whole school and get graded on it.

Uniforms were a must, and of course, our church was pretty strict with what they called "standards". So basically, you wore a butt-ugly skirt with a blue oxford shirt year round. Long sleeve blue oxford shirt.

You had to define for yourself how much work you would get done every day. If you didn't do it, you had to take it home, if you still didn't get it done (now , remember, it wasn't like you had a "teacher", if you didn't understand it, you were instructed to re-read the material. Not a big help.) So then you'd come in already a day behind, and just drown from there. There was no flexibility at all. 4 pages of math were expected, and let me tell you, 4 pages of addition is not the equivalent of 4 pages of 5 digit multiplication, or 4 pages of factoring equations.

The "PACES" basically were all formatted to present a Biblical standpoint. The Death of Caligula - and how it ties into the Bible. Cross-pollinating flowers-and what Leviticus has to say about it. It was crazy how EVERYTHING had to be related to the Bible - even math! Now, each kid works at his or her own pace. I was a motivated kid that loved to learn. I did 2 years of work in 1 year (several times)and ended up finishing high school at 15. My sister, had a slight learning disability, and of course never got the help she needed. (Prayer is supposed to fix EVERYTHING!)
So she never got past fractions, and no one ever knew how to help her. But somehow, she got a high school diploma (they let her redo 4th grade English instead of 10th grade) and has real problems adapting to the real world.

I went on to a denominational college at 16, had panic attacks every day for 3 months, I was so terrified to be away from home, and even worse, in a classroom setting with lectures, and slides, and having to take notes, which I didn't know how to do.

SO my opinion, is that ACE curriculum is very bad, because it is very rote, and unrealistic. There is no opportunity to learn, only to memorize. There is no debate or thinking, only repitition. How can you call that an "education"?

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: FaithC ()
Date: September 25, 2006 07:04AM

Years ago I looked into a private school for my son. We went to an interview with a school who used the ACE curriculum, I was mortified. The principal went on and on about how education was not their primary goal with the kids, but that they were more interested in the spiritual. He talked about all the church services, etc. He said that the kids at his school did not always test as high as the rest of the nation, but that they were more rounded spiritually. I could go on and on, but needless to say, we did not put our son in that school. In the end he just went to public school and graduated with honors. He is now in college and doing wonderfully.

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Accelerated Christian Education
Posted by: GentleStormi ()
Date: November 18, 2006 02:28AM

from **"__Religious Schools v. Childrens Rights__"**

by James G. Dwyer

page 16

Fundamentalist Christian Schools

Christian fundamentalism is a conservative religious movement that arose early in this century among members of various Protestant denominations that were united by the aim of maintaining traditional interpretations of the Bible and what its adherents believed to be the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith. The Fundamentalist movement was in large part a reaction to the emergence of a liberal Protestant theology that endeavored to recast Christian teachings in light of modern scientific and historic thought. Harold Bloom describes Christian Fundamentalism today as dogmatically anti-intellectual. Fundamentalists profess strict and unquestioning adherence to a list of core principles, the Fundamentals, .....Bloom asserts that despite their insistence on the inerrancy of the Bible, Fundamentalists actually manifest great ignorance of the Bible and substitute for a close reading of it the highly subjective polemic of poorly educated ministers, who use the Bible simply as a totem with which to impress upon their congregation the transcendent authority of their preachings.
......
....biblical inerrance is for Fundamentalists "an unconscious metaphor for the repression of all individuality" . For Fundamentalists , the principal battle ground for the hegemony of this public and private orthodoxy is children's schooling.

Fundamentalist schools operate in secrecy and in isolation from the larger communities in which they lie because of a suspicion that outsiders will try to interfere with their religious mission --as by state regulation of educational content and selection of teachers-- and because of a determination to shield their children from the influences of the secular world. Almost all children in these schools are white and most are from lower-class or lower middle class families. There are two basic types of Fundamentalist schools , with much variation among individual schools within the two categories.
At last count, roughly on-third of the students in Fundamentalist schools attended "self=paced curriculum" schools , such as Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) schools. These are small, often one-room , K through 12 schools with an average total population of thirty five to seventy students. Their "teacherless" curriculum consists of a packaged set of work booklets that the schools purchase from a Christian publishing house. The second type of Fundamentalist school is structurally more similar to a public school, with children at different grade levels in different classrooms receiving instruction from teachers that integrates oral presentation and discussion with reading of texts.
In an ACE School, students spend their days alone at individual workstations, or "offices" silently completing workbooks that assign "low level cognitive tasks, mostly consisting of association and recall activities" or "rote memory techniques". Some ACE Schools supplement the packaged materials with their own writing assignments, "since the canned curriculum concentrates on regurgitation of information rather than on creative thinking" But the creators of the ACE curriculum have purposefully omitted speculative methodologies, such as laboratory and field work, group activities, inquiry learning and research investigations. " In these schools, an adult supervisor, whose training generally consists only of reading a manual supplied by the curriculum publisher, and who typically has no education herself beyond the 12th grade, is present to answer questions about the reading and to authorize trips to the bathroom, but otherwise students have no interaction with other persons during "instruction" time.
The A.C.E. curriculum, written by graduates of Bible colleges, teaches the usual core academic subjects but always with a heavy ideological overlay, interweaving religious and political commentary with "factual" information. The materials offered accounts of historical events, scientific findings, and political or religious views of other persons an groups that mainstream scholars deem to be severely distorted and often simply inaccurate.

<<<Snipped

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