Friday, August 22, 2008

"Anonymous" Revealed


Your respecful reply is very much appreciated. You have succeeded where supposedly neutral journalists failed - to discuss what happened plainly and objectively.

You have a rather well thought out perspective as well as knowledge of the course approval procedure. Are you affiliated with the University?

You know, I could only go on what I heard from the sources I looked at. The articles I read on both sides were designed to persuade me that the other side is wrong, and of course, I brought my own opinion to the table.

A key element for me is the understanding about the "primary text". I guess as a homeschooler I don't always have a "primary" text.

Frankly, your explanation also clarifies for me why our online Christian school frequently includes secular offerings in its science and elective courses like sociology and psychology that seem out of character for its mission statement. But I was on the site today doing some planning and scheduling and noticed that the courses are accredited.

Can I have a light bulb, please?

I'm not a journalist, just a blogging mom who is concerned about this ruling being twisted in the future to further prevent the Christian worldview - including intelligent design - from seeing the light of day anywhere on college campuses, ever. Couple that with an innate distrust of home schooling on the part of some state schools especially, and you have the potential for increased discrimination against Christian home schooled students rising out of this ruling.

This concern is neither new nor unfounded. If you have never seen the discussion on this website about discrimination against homeschooled students on the part of colleges, I hope you will take a few minutes and read this discussion from The Chronicle of Higher Education from 2003.

Thanks again for your response - and for including your name. :) You still aren't quite revealed, but you are not anonymous anymore, either.



1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:58 AM


    Thank you for your reasoned reply.

    I’m not the same “anonymous” who posted in reply to your first post on the Calvary Chapel lawsuit. I just posted using the “anonymous” button because I don’t have a google/blogger identity.

    Yes, I’ve worked for UC for most of the past 20 years, although as a plant scientist, not in admissions. Since UC is also one of my alma maters, this case has been of interest to me since it was filed. Unfortunately, the national press coverage has been very confused, mostly because California is the only state with a public university system big enough to run such a course-approval system. There were also some highly inflammatory press releases from Calvary Chapel early on that led people to believe that UC had placed a lifetime ban on any student using the problem texts, not simply told them that they wouldn’t be able to count those particular courses towards the admissions requirements.

    If you are interested in looking at original sources, the National Center for Science Education has posted most of the legal documents at . The UC expert reports go into significant detail about what UC is looking for during the approval process and why these particular four courses were rejected. I will only add that the approval process is very open: anyone who cares to look around the UC admissions website can find out exactly what a course must have to qualify for approval, see annotated sample course outlines that were accepted and rejected, and so on. In addition, UC offers feedback and guidance during the process. (As an aside, if you are trying to design a college-prep high school curriculum for your own kids, you could do a lot worse than use the UC admissions site as a resource. A kid who qualifies for UC admissions won’t have trouble being a serious applicant at any top university.)

    You were wondering how this case affects admissions for homeschoolers. The answer is that it doesn’t. UC only offers the course approval process to accredited high schools. Homeschooled students (and out of state students) must use one of the alternative pathways to admissions: high test scores, relevant subject tests, courses taken at a community college, and so on. It places a slightly greater burden on homeschooled kids, but the quality of homeschooling varies tremendously and it’s just not practical to vet coursework that only one or two students will take.

    I do know that bright and motivated homeschooled kids who plan ahead can get into UC just fine. There are also plenty of Christian kids on campus. What’s rare is to find kids who don’t have a good grounding in academics. That suggests to me that the UC admissions process is working.

    As a general rule, I’ve found that academia is not so much hostile to religion as indifferent to it. Looking back, I can honestly say that I’ve only known the religious affiliation of about 20% of my colleagues and fellow students. Almost all of those were people whose religions impose dietary restrictions and came up in the context of lab potlucks. While it’s true that anybody who works in academia has to use standard academic methods while on the job, nobody cares what worldview you have or where you worship when off duty.