Friday, February 10, 2006

UC -vs- Christian Curricula

A judge is expected to rule soon on a controversial case between Christian students at Calvary Chapel Christian School and the University of California. I posted about this last August and wrote an article about it in the fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse.

If you're not familiar with the case, The First Amendment Center has an excellent summary of what is at stake for both sides. UC wants the freedom to determine academic standards but the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) views this a "religious discrimination" based on curriculum content that is religious in nature. The texts in question are mostly Bob Jones and Abeka . Quoting from the First Amendment Center website,

Concerned about this slippery slope, ACSI hopes to stop what it characterizes as 'religious discrimination' against Calvary before the problem spreads to other schools and states. It's true that Calvary remains free to teach these courses and students are free to take them. But the fact that the courses don't count as a college-preparatory requirement for admission to UC puts Calvary students at a distinct disadvantage.

At lot is at stake for both sides. If the university's decision to reject these courses is upheld, ACSI fears that religious schools throughout the nation will be pressured to make sure that course offerings aren't "too religious" to qualify for consideration at public universities. But if ACSI prevails, UC worries about interference with the university's right to establish academic standards for admission.

The case could send a chilling message to private religious schools and homeschoolers nationwide. Keep an eye on this one.

(HT: Al Mohler)

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