I was contacted by an international colleague yesterday who had questions about the School of Tomorrow, which is run by Accelerated Christian Education. I urgently need to know the program fo my project.
My colleague wrote:
According to the site, the program has 40 year history…. So, my questions are related to
- program quality
- evidence of student success (how many students entered universities, and they can easily get SAT scores, etc.)
Personally, I know nothing about this organization – in some quick Google searching, I came across the Wikipedia page about the organization (not the school), which included the following information:
Many aspects of the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum have come under criticism from educational researchers.
- D. Flemming and T Hunt of the educational journal Phi Delta Kappa wrote in a 1987 article regarding the emphasis on rote learning.
“If parents want their children to obtain a very limited and sometimes inaccurate view of the world — one that ignores thinking above the level of rote recall — then the ACE materials do the job very well. The world of the ACE materials is quite a different one from that of scholarship and critical thinking”
- Former President of the Division of Educational Psychology for the American Psychology Association and former President of the American Educational Research Association, David Berliner cites a study by Speck and Prideaux (1993) which notes the wide use of association and recall activities in the ACE curriculum, as well as other workbook based curriculum. “
Speck and Prideau (1993) state,”The work consists of low-level cognitive tasks that emphasize simple association and recall activities, as is typical of instruction from workbooks. Despite the reviling of B. F. Skinner by the Christian Right, the materials make heavy use of behavioral objectives, programmed learning, and rewards. “
- Having researched comparative performance on the ACT between public school students from one school and ACE students from another, private school in the same geographic area, one college student wrote in her thesis in 2005,
“a significant difference was found between the public school graduates’ scores and the ACE graduates’ scores in all areas of the ACT (English, Math, Reading, and Composite Score), except the area of Science Reasoning. Overall, the ACT scores of the ACE graduates were consistently lower than those of the public school students.”
- In the past, ACE has included controversial material in its curriculum. For example, a section from a high school packet regarding Apartheid in South Africa states as follows:
“Although apartheid appears to allow the unfair treatment of blacks, the system has worked well in South Africa . . . . Although white businessmen and developers are guilty of some unfair treatment of blacks, they turned South Africa into a modern industrialized nation, which the poor, uneducated blacks couldn’t have accomplished in several more decades. If more blacks were suddenly given control of the nation, its economy and business, as Mandela wished, they could have destroyed what they have waited and worked so hard for.”
But this was really all I was able to find in terms of independent evidence. Any one else out there have any additional leads or personal experience?