Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Wrong '9th Circus' Ruling

Have a religion? Fuggedaboutit if you're in Ninth Circus territory.

This brief asks the Supreme Court to review a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which approved actions by the University of California system that effectively prevent private Christian, Catholic, and Jewish high schools from teaching courses in accordance with their faith traditions.

In essence, the UC system has declared that students from religious high schools will have difficulty being admitted to UC schools because those students will not be given credit for key courses such as biology, history, and literature when those courses are taught from a religious perspective.

UC officials stated in the lower courts that they considered religious perspectives - such as the role of divine providence in history - too narrow - minded. As a result, students from religious schools may be required to post higher test scores than their public school counterparts in order to be admitted to one of the ten UC schools, which include UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Given Californicate's budget problems, this may be moot before SCOTUS hears it.



Anonymous said...

a university has the right to have basic admission standards. let those kids go to community college if they aren't academically prepared to attend a state university.

Anonymous said...

Correct, 1st anony. It is up to religous and secular high schools to meet that criteria set forth by the state.

And now for the TRUTH, Dad29.

SOME of the courses rejected by California universities were in several fields. A literature class, for example, was rejected because it used an anthology as its only common assigned reading.
The state REQUIRES students to read at least some of the assigned works in their entirety as part of general classroom instruction.

Hmmm, no religious discrimination there!

Now, it seemed the majority of the "objections" by the colleges were science classes. The textbooks adopted by the religious high schools extensively or exclusively (key words here!!!) referred to Bible literalism and creation science, i.e. intelligent design. The curriculum therefore directed students in their inquiry of science from that perspective.

To illustrate, a textbook excerpt from Bob Jones University Press:

Historically, biology was the first major area of assault in the American classroom as evolution permeated the schools in the 1920's. Even today, evolutionism poisons biology textbooks and distracts from God’s glory in creation. high school students need to understand God’s living creation from a Biblical perspective, as God created it, and as man has learned of it.

The California university system countered, and the 9th Circuit agreed, that the content of those books consistently (another key word here!!!) lacked the academic rigor and relevance required of prospective students. In other words, the colleges felt the students educated with these particular textbooks are not adequately prepared for college level science courses.

The 9th Circuit ruled that:

"The district court correctly determined that UC’s [Universities of California] rejections of the Calvary courses were reasonable and did not constitute viewpoint discrimination. The plaintiffs offer no facts or evidence to disturb this conclusion. UC’s rejection letters and internal meeting notes demonstrate that UC denied approval not because the courses added a religious viewpoint, but because they were either not college preparatory, lacked necessary course information or materials, or had other procedural defects which Calvary [the plantiff] never bothered to cure."

So, you see Dad29, the religious high schools may continue to have those science classes in its curriculum, it's just that the courses do not meet the standards set forth by the state. The religious high schools have the CHOICE to create additional courses in order for their students to be accepted into those colleges.

Have secular school students been rejected from attending a university in the a similar manner, that being the curriculum was not deemed to be "of substantive content and methods of inquiry at the level required required for applicants"?

A resounding "YES". So where is the "inherent discrimination"???

Maybe the Supreme Court takes up this case, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Come out, come out, come out, where ever you are, Dad29.

Maybe this is why California universities were right in denying certain coursework from some church schools.

In all seriousness, I would venture to say that MOST religious schools do a wonderful job in educating their youth and prepare them for college. Pius and Marquette HS come to mind.