Basically this is a lawsuit by Calvary Chapel Christian School of Murrieta, some of its students and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) to require that the University of California recognize some of the school's courses as fulfilling the requirements for Biology, English, Social Science high school classes that the UC system wants as prereqs for applicants (the a-g system).
Other ACSI schools do have their courses in the respective subjects recognized by the UC system and some even have religiously titled courses. For example Bakersfield Christian High School has approved courses (in the elective category) on "Biblical Literature" and "New Testament Literature". Woodcrest Christian school, another ACSI member, has approved courses entitled "Judeo-Christian Philosophy" and "Biblical History & Cultures".
First court hearing was to be December 12, 2005. The University of California requested a dismissal.
Judge cancelled the hearing of December 12 and will decide the case on the briefs filed.
Hearings held on June 27, 2006 for whether the case will be dismissed.
Lawsuit allowed to proceed on August 9, 2006 but claims against individual members of the US system were dismissed.
Motion for summary judgement to be heard, September 24, 2007
Trial supposedly set for November 2007.
According to Derek Keenan, Ed.D., the four major purposes of a Christian education are to "learn the knowledge of God, respond to God and His truth, to live in harmony with God and His truth, and to impact others with the knowledge of God and His truth". This is accomplished by continually striving to view every aspect of this world as it aligns with the truth of God's Word. This means, seeing everything in the light of God's Word, measuring everything against His Word, and accepting and acting on His truth. If a student is to 'plumb' everything against God's Word, he must first know God and his Word.
Comments: Outline is vague and lacks detail. Textbook is not appropriate. There is not activities or assignments that tie to the supplemental reading."
The course outline listed lots of authors but not which texts they would be reading (and for an American literature class it is odd that 9 of the 12 supplemental readings were written in England by English authors and 1 was French). I think UC was fully justified in rejecting the course.
Also it looks like the above course was first submitted as a history course then resubmitted as English (though the UC system may have made the error).
(a) History/Social Science-Two years required, including one year of world history, cultures, and geography and one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government.
A social science course, "Christianity's Influences on America" had more info than the English course so was not rejected for insufficient detail.
The following quote should help to illuminate Catholics on the attitude of the authors toward our faith: "With such a lack of spiritual leadership and the Romanist emphasis on works for salvation, it is little wonder that the common people lived under such spiritual bondage." (pg. 6) http://www.love2learn.net/redflag/rfhist.htmor as far as science
Rejection of biological evolution is a keystone in several fundamentalist textbooks. Glen Chambers and Gene Fisher's 1982 United States History for Christian Schools maintains that "Darwin's theory, or modifications of it, have gained wide acceptance, despite the fact that the key premises are unsupported by scientific law or investigation.... The main selling point for evolution is not that it has abundant support, but that it explains the universe without referring to God, and so it relieves man of any responsibility to his Creator." http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_n2580_v122/ai_13266603One of the topics covered in the course is "Darwinism" (not "Social Darwinism" but just "Darwinism" which seems to conflate the Theory of Natural Selection with Social Darwinism, two distinct topics).
I briefly looked at the sample chapter. It is definitely written with a bias towards Protestant Christianity and probably even narrower than that ("For a millennium Roman Catholicism had dominated the religious life of Europe. As the Roman church allowed church tradition and papal decree to supercede Scripture, spiritual darkness descended over the continent. ... Against this backdrop burst the Protestant Reformation, a movement that rediscovered biblical truth and shattered the religious monopoly of Rome."). The Teacher's edition intro for the 3rd edition has
The primary purpose of any Christian course of study is to produce students who are conformed to Christ's image. For the young student who is just discovering his own abilities and responsibilities in life, there may be no more valuable study than the lives of others in the light of Scripture. Throughout the history course are many examples of people who either followed God's standard or failed to do so. From these examples, the student will see the truth of God in action and develop values and principles for living.
From the complaint itself it seems a letter from the UC system included the following:
Good speaking with you.Another letter stated
Below is the standard language that we give to schools who submit biology/science course descriptions that include either the Bob Jones University Press or A Beka Books texts:
"In establishing and implementing the "a-g" subject area requirements, UC faculty's main interest is that students entering the University are well prepared to be successful at UC. The content of the course outlines submitted for approval is not consistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community. As such, students who take these courses may not be well prepared for success if/when they enter science courses/programs at UC."
Feel free to call back if you have further questions. (Jan. 12, 2004)
"biology courses that rely on texts from both Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books and physics courses that rely on the text from Bob Jones University Press will no longer be approved to meet the `d' lab science requirement," (Feb. 9, 2004)note this is only an excerpt, the full letter is not given.
I've lifted the following from the complaint, note the chopping of quotes and that none of the material is given in full in the exhibits.
32. The BOARS Chair, via an aide, confirmed that courses that use the BJU PressI would be most interested if anyone has the full "University of California Position Statement: `A-G' Course Approval for High School Science Courses Taught from Textbooks from Selected Christian Publishers,""biology and physics textbooks are not"acceptable for a-g course requirements. Wilbur confirmed that"[n]on-approval of high school biology courses that rely primarily on texts from A Beka Book or Bob Jones University Press"was based on both"the way in which these texts address the topics of evolution and creationism"and"their general approach to science"in relation to the Bible (with copies sent to the Regents, the President, and Galligani). Defendants issued a "University of California Position Statement: `A-G' Course Approval for High School Science Courses Taught from Textbooks from Selected Christian Publishers," giving reasons why defendants will not approve textbooks that present the standard course material and then that give religious reasons for disagreeing with the majority view of a topic. That Statement was in its very caption directed at "Selected Christian Publishers," and contained a section on "Concerns about `A-G' Course Approval for High School Science Courses Taught From Textbooks From Selected Christian Publishers." It then said what Christian schools could do to have approved science courses"develop and submit for UC approval a secular science curriculum with a text and course outline that addresses course content/knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community."Defendants will only accept secular viewpoints, not religious ones, that conform to generally accepted viewpoints, not minority viewpoints, in science. Defendants' real "concern" and reason for rejecting science texts from Christian publishers, and Christian school courses using them, is what the faculty member reviewing the texts candidly called"concern over evolution theories,"an objection to the texts presenting Darwinian evolution and then giving scientific reasons why Darwinian evolution may be false and stating that the Bible's teaching on the subject is true.
To qualify for admission to the University by examination alone, you must satisfy the same examination requirement as students who are eligible in the statewide context. You must achieve a test score total, as calculated according to the UC Eligibility Index, of at least 3450 (3550 for nonresident students). Additionally, students who take the SAT Reasoning Test must score at least 580 on each of its three components; students who take the ACT Assessment plus Writing must score at least 25 in math, science, reading and English/writing. All students qualifying by this path must score at least 580 on each of their two SAT Subject Tests.
Q: What if my home schooled student does not meet the Eligibility by Examination Alone criteria? Is there another path to UC admissions?From http://pathstat1.ucop.edu/servlet/StoneGround?templateName=faq/index#C68
A: Yes. Students who do not meet the Eligibility by Examination Alone criteria in order to become statewide eligible (to all UC campuses), may still apply to the University and hope to be admitted by exception. To do so, students should do everything possible to demonstrate subject matter competency in each of the a-g subject areas by taking SAT II subject area exams and/or community college courses. They should also take the SAT I or ACT exam. In their applications, students should demonstrate other skills and strengths, whether in leadership, community service, athletics, the arts, or other areas.
The English and American Government courses failed even to provide sufficient information for the UC system to make a full judgment (though in the American Government course including an unverified and unlikely quote by Madison in the course description probably raised a red flag). The American History course was judged to be too narrow for the history/social science requirement and the American Government too long for the same requirement though the narrowness and length may not have mattered if these were college prep electives category rather than for the history/social science category. I suspect that looking at the actual textbooks for the American History and American Government courses would reveal other major flaws. Or as the rejection stated for both
The content of the course outline submitted for approval is not consistent with the empirical historical knowledge generally accepted in the collegiate community.The English course probably would have passed muster if it included
1. Course descriptions for English courses should always include (a) a detailed reading list, noting which works are required and which are optional, which are read in their entirety, and which read in part, and (b) the number, length, and type of writing assignments.The A-G Requirements: Helpful Hints
The full requirements insist upon
Reading . Acceptable courses must require extensive reading of a variety of literary genres, including classical and/or contemporary works. Reading assignments must include full-length works. Excerpts from anthologies, articles, etc., can be supplemental but cannot constitute the main component of reading assignments.The A-G Requirements: Specific Requirements: English
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments or God." James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," stated simply that the Christian philosophy which so suffused the era was the foundation of the government of the United States as outlind in teh Constitution. In early America, the social contract embodied primarily in the Constitution efficiently allowed the government organs to act as agents of the People. In the post-modern era, with Christian principles and ethics increasingly sidelined, how have the changes in the American citizen changed the American government and social contract? This course aims to teach students to examine the beliefs and institutions which shape how "We the People" govern ourselves and the necessary changes and continuations which will allow American government to continue. The students will compare our way of government with the alternatives in the Eighteenth Century, as well as today. They will also learn the relationship between the branches of the federal government, as well as that of the federal, state, and local governments. Finally, students will convene and draft a workable constitution.(page 99 of the plaintiff's complaint)
No evidence supports Madison having made the above quote. See Is it true that Madison said. Basically the earliest reference is from 1939.
A rebuttal can be found at Wallbuilders which more or less states that we can't confirm the quote but we think it is something James Madison would have said or perhaps his father or cousin said it. Harold K. Lane, Liberty! Cry Liberty! (Boston: Lamb and Lamb Tractarian Society, 1939), pp. 32-33. See also Fedrick Nyneyer, First Principles in Morality and Economics: Neighborly Love and Ricardo's Law of Association (South Holland" Libertarian Press, 1958), pp. 31.