If House Study Bill 186 becomes law in Iowa, a “private residential program for troubled youths in Fort Dodge” could have unlicensed educators teaching an unaccredited curriculum to students in its care.
The legislation would specifically let the Anchor Character Training Center use the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum, which offers questions that would be laughable if they weren’t so sad, says snow can generate electricity, and tells kids that the only way to be happy is to avoid hanging out with sinners.
It gets much worse than that, but you get the idea. Leave it to Iowa legislators, though, to try and shine a shit.
The curriculum is accredited in several states, according to a state lawmaker.
“It’s a singular fix for a singular problem,” said state Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Missouri Valley Republican who grew up attending the Harvest Baptist Church in Fort Dodge, which has served more than 600 youth since it opened in 1996.
That line about the program being accredited is a lie, says Jonny Scaramanga, who studied the curriculum for his Ph.D. At least he never came across any evidence suggesting any state finds value in ACE lessons. He added that allowing the facility to use the ACE curriculum would hurt the very kids who need the most help:
It is hard to think of anything that would be ‘fixed’ by allowing Anchor Character Training Center to use ACE. It claims to be a home for troubled teens. If you’re the kind of teen that the adults in your life are calling ‘troubled’, then your odds of success in life are already too low. The last thing you need is for your chances of going to college or getting a job to be further knocked by having an unaccredited high school diploma. Somehow, that’s exactly what the Iowa House is considering.
It is not just that ACE teaches young-Earth creationism as fact, or that it contains sexist, racist, and homophobic elements. It is that ACE’s teaching methods are so bad that even if you are a sexist racist homophobic creationist, you should acknowledge that ACE is simply a poor method of teaching. Young people in Iowa deserve better.
This is a “singular fix for a singular problem” that doesn’t fix anything and makes the problem worse.
Any Iowa legislator who cares about children should vote against it.
(Image via Shutterstock)