Voucher Schools Championed By Betsy DeVos Can Teach Whatever They Want. Turns Out They Teach Lies.

Dec 8, 2017

By Rebecca Klein

PORTLAND, Ore. ― It was late morning in an artsy cafe, the smell of coffee and baked goods sweetening the air, and Ashley Bishop sat at a table, recalling a time when she was taught that most of secular American society was worthy of contempt.

Growing up in private evangelical Christian schools, Bishop saw the world in extremes, good and evil, heaven and hell. She was taught that to dance was to sin, that gay people were child molesters and that mental illness was a function of satanic influence. Teachers at her schools talked about slavery as black immigration, and instructors called environmentalists “hippie witches.”

Bishop’s family moved around a lot when she was a child, but her family always enrolled her in evangelical schools.

So when Bishop left school in 2003 and entered the real world at 17, she felt like she was an alien landing on Planet Earth for the first time. Having been cut off from mainstream society, she felt unequipped to handle the job market and develop secular friendships. Lacking shared cultural and historical references, she spent most of her 20s holed up in her bedroom, suffering from crippling social anxiety.

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7 comments on “Voucher Schools Championed By Betsy DeVos Can Teach Whatever They Want. Turns Out They Teach Lies.

  • @OP – link – The textbooks used at all of Bishop’s schools were published by three of the most popular, and most ideologically extreme, Christian textbook companies: Abeka, Bob Jones University Press and Accelerated Christian Education. The ideas in these textbooks often flout widely accepted science and historical fact.

    Ah! The pseudo-science, pseudo-history, pseudo-intellect, pseudo-textbooks, and pseudo-education, of fundamentalist indoctrination establishments!!

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  • A few months ago I was watching one of those Amish tv programs about people who left the cult, got shunned and are trying to make it in the real world. After a bit of googling just now I think the episode was in the 2017 series “Return to Amish”. Anyway so this Amish girl has no qualifications so she’s struggling to get a job and goes to a tutor who tests her knowledge in various subjects to see how far along she is in maybe sitting a GED (General Educational Development) high school equivalency exam. Of course the result was basically nil, she knows nothing about anything other than basic reading and writing. The bit that sticks in my mind was her seeing a map of the world and how much more of it there was than just Pennsylvania. She was astounded to discover there was a South America as well as the real one. She asked the tutor “so do people live there too?”

    I’m pretty sure Betsy De’vil would like to get all American’s education down to the same standard as that Amish girl. Basic reading, writing, Bible studies and always vote Republican. Anything more is that evil Satan spawned “book lernin” that does no one any good and might teach them to think properly and vote Democrat.

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  • That is a disturbing article. It would have added an interesting perspective to hear the reasoning of some of the parents who choose to send their kids to those schools.

    That said, I think there is a place for smaller schools. In fact, it would be nice to see the larger multiple-grade schools go the way of the one-room classrooms of the past. Obviously, school choice is an important issue for parents, or these schools wouldn’t have sprung up in the first place. But there needs to be some serious change in how they are run, and the amount of government oversight they currently get.

    First, and probably most importantly, is the for-profit elephant in the room. In order to maximize their profits, they hire teachers fresh out of college, with no experience, no union, low pay, little benefits, and, as a result, high turnover. Often their administration is completely void of teaching credentials.

    Second, is government accountability and curriculum standards. It is unconscionable to accept government funds for a service without any means of verifying that service is being performed. For-profit schools that do get tested have consistently fared below standard in mandated criteria.

    State-funded religious education has been repeatedly contested, and has mostly been found in their favor, most recently here:


    I suspect this will continue, and I hope it does, since just bringing the subject to the forefront of a national discussion might open a few eyes to the potential benefits as well as the catastrophic downside of voucher programs, as shown in this article.

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  • @OP – Voucher Schools Championed By Betsy DeVos
    Can Teach Whatever They Want. Turns Out They Teach Lies.

    Its really about delusional memetic replication!
    The children have to be turned out as stupid, ignorant, and assertively know-it-all, as she is! . . . . and of course dominated by a replicated version of her god-delusion!

    They may be teaching lies, but they are approved as her “trroooo lies” and “alternative facts”!

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  • An addition to my previous post:

    It is worth pointing out that the cost of one of the non-secular ‘textbooks’ mentioned in the article is a fraction of the cost of an approved and certified textbook currently used in public schools. The for-profit angle of voucher programs cannot be discounted (pun intended).

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