The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) program is something out of a dystopian science fiction novel; it’s like Minitru for people who love the idea of Oceania but can’t stand that it’s Big Brother, not Big Jesus. This propaganda program pushes creationism, it undermines the scientific method, and it places obedience and faith above all else.
And because irony is officially dead, it brands itself as the “School of Tomorrow.”
As is only fitting for an entity calling itself the “School of Tomorrow,” ACE has refused to acknowledge the world is changing. It was only just recently their marketing department made the bold move of stepping into the early 2000s by creating a Facebook page. Prior to this, ACE lacked a social media presence — which might have been a positive thing for them.
See, ACE is not a good program, and there are a lot of people with bad memories of the program. As we all know, unhappy customers typically mean unhappy, one-star reviews and, if you’re really unlucky, review bombs.
Guess who got really unlucky?
As noted by the blog Leaving Fundamentalism, prior to last Thursday, the ACE Facebook (I’m shocked they didn’t try something dull with it, like FACEbook) page had 74 reviews, with 70 of them positive.
Then the link got passed along to a Facebook group devoted to ACE survivors.
It got so bad that ACE, which couldn’t delete individual reviews, actually yanked their review page so nobody could see the negative comments. But the text from some was saved; for all of them, you can head to Leaving Fundamentalism, but I want to focus on two of them. This one by Nevin Crouse:
Nevin Crouse reviewed ACE School of Tomorrow—1 star.
ACE curriculum is based on rote memorization — literally, the parroting of things heard. Thinking is often not required, so the most shallow possible learning takes place. Further, rote memorization does not prepare students to educate themselves when they leave the school setting. Interestingly, rote learning is also common in communist and other totalitarian societies. China has recognized this, and that it does not prepare their students to think, thus preventing innovation, so they are sending many students and teachers to the United States to learn to think. The methods of teaching in ACE curriculum are exactly what any country or people need to move away from.
And this one by Barry Makepeace:
Barry Makepeace reviewed ACE School of Tomorrow—1 star.
It is unfortunate that this review will likely be deleted. However, it must be said. This curriculum is a poor tool for education. It does not account for diverse learning styles and does not adequately measure real learning–only rote memorization. It presents skewed material that is damaging for children. For example, I was taught that the Loch Ness Monster was real in high school and that a dead basking shark was really a dinosaur. I was taught numerous falsehoods throughout the Biology course that are easily refuted if one has access to outside information. I don’t know which is worse–telling outright lies or omitting truths, but there is no positive intent in telling children scientific lies.
Crouse hits on a very important point that I don’t think liberals hammer home enough — the only difference between the Religious Right and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is the language. Both are authoritarian, both are collectivist, both discourage independent thinking and both embrace tradition with a patriarchal figure at the head. You don’t rock the boat in either because the group will make sure bad things happen if you do.
Makepeace illustrates perfectly what happens when you have lunatics running the asylum, which is basically ACE in a nutshell. Just accept what we tell you, and don’t question. It’s stuff right out of Nineteen-Eighty-Four.
It’s good that they got review bombed, but there are still communities that use this program to indoctrinate their children, because they agree with the content and methods — which is why, more than ever, we need extensive federal government oversight of education and a unified, national curriculum.