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Subject: Release time for religious credit in public schools rss

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Jon Badolato
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Interesting:


Ohio Enacts Released Time Program, Effective In September

This weekend, the Cleveland Plain Dealer carried op-ed columns supporting and opposing Ohio House Bill 171 (full text) which was signed into law by the governor last month. (Legis. status report.) The law, which will go into effect in September, allows school districts to approve "released time" programs during which students can be excused from school to attend a program of religious instruction elsewhere. High school students can earn up to two units of course credit for participation in a released time offering. No public funds or school personnel may be used in the religious instruction.

In support:

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/07/ohio_made_r...

Against:

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/07/regardless_...

Full text of bill that was passed :

http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/BillText130/130_HB_171_PS...






 
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Josh
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I don't have anything against the program per-se. As long as:

A)No rebates etc are given to the parents of students to 'pro-rate' the time spent not on school grounds.

B)The credits obtained fall under the 'Elective' category. I don't see anything specifically unique about religion vs Non-religion when it comes to electives. They're all just interest driven courses anyway.
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James King
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Shadrach wrote:
I don't have anything against the program per-se. As long as:

A)No rebates etc are given to the parents of students to 'pro-rate' the time spent not on school grounds.

B)The credits obtained fall under the 'Elective' category. I don't see anything specifically unique about religion vs Non-religion when it comes to electives. They're all just interest driven courses anyway.

The issue boils down to this: Is what is going to be taught in the release-time courses simply religious education about the Bible? OR will it also entail Creationism and political propaganda against abortion, homosexuals, etc.?

None of the school officials can vouch for the content of what will be taught in those release-time courses.

Quoting from an excerpt of ACLU rep Gary Daniel's opinion column against the release-time bill: "In their zeal to have schools endorse sectarian teachings having zero relationship to academics, they also tied the hands of school districts to evaluate what is taught during released time. When schools go to decide whether or not to allow credit, they will learn they are barred from considering the religious content of what is taught. Ohio students can now learn dinosaurs died off millions of years ago ]during their regular science class] –– yet also learn that dinosaus lived only a few thousand years ago [during their religious release-time class] -- and potentially receive credit for both lessons."


The release-time effort is just another encroachment of Dominionism extending its tentacles to worm its way into all aspects of American life.



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William Boykin
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

...just another encroachment of Dominionism extending its tentacles to worm its way into all aspects of American life.



Geez, James-
Dominion isn't my favorite game either, but I don't think that its THAT popular!!

God, if all games were like Dominion, that really would be the end of America as we know it.

Darilian
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Walker
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The bill doesn't even require schools to allow this; it simply makes it possible for the districts to allow it. Looking at the text of the bill, the provisions relating to how credit is assessed don't seem substantially different for ordinary school courses, so you're no more likely to see people getting credit for learning young earth creationism or the like than they are otherwise. As usual, it appears James' fears are rather misplaced.
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Stephen Rost
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Darilian wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

...just another encroachment of Dominionism extending its tentacles to worm its way into all aspects of American life.



Geez, James-
Dominion isn't my favorite game either, but I don't think that its THAT popular!!

God, if all games were like Dominion, that really would be the end of America as we know it.

Darilian


No, no, no Dar, he's lamenting the rising demand for this late mediocre selection from gothic rock legend The Sisters of Mercy.



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Junior McSpiffy
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No idea what the big deal is with this. It's been SOP in Utah and Idaho for generations. It's an elective, no school credit as I recall (so no chance of finishing a semester early like many others did), it doesn't give a financial discount or anything. Four years of high school and you got Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenenats/church history.

The thing that interests me is how it gets run, who is sponsoring the classes, and how many different denominations they will cater to. Too broad, and I think it would be ineffectual. Too narrow, and you'll get Baptists up in arms with Pentecostals up in arms with Catholics and vice visa versa.

Now that I think about it, though, I wonder if other faiths had their own release programs. Never heard of any...
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James King
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Darilian wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

...just another encroachment of Dominionism extending its tentacles to worm its way into all aspects of American life.

Geez, James-
Dominion isn't my favorite game either, but I don't think that its THAT popular!!

God, if all games were like Dominion, that really would be the end of America as we know it.

Especially if it were re-themed with a Dominion theology bent.

However, having encountered with one of those Dominionist worthies who asserted modern/Euro strategy games were "satanic", under Dominionism, you most likely wouldn't be able to play Vaccarino's "Dominion" card game anymore without its being re-themed with Dominion theology bent to it.


 
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James King
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twomillionbucks wrote:
The bill doesn't even require schools to allow this; it simply makes it possible for the districts to allow it. Looking at the text of the bill, the provisions relating to how credit is assessed don't seem substantially different for ordinary school courses, so you're no more likely to see people getting credit for learning young earth creationism or the like than they are otherwise. As usual, it appears James' fears are rather misplaced.

On the contrary, although the concept of release time, whereby students leave public school during the day for religious instruction offsite, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1952, it’s important to remember, however, that public schools are NOT required to permit outside groups to run release-time programs. If a school chooses to do so, it should not promote the plan or encourage students to take part in it. In addition, schools should not punish students who choose not to take part. Students who don’t want to participate in release-time programs should not see their education suffer. They should be given meaningful instruction while the program runs.

But even though the school system is not even allowed to evaluate the content of the offsite programs, the religious organizations sponsoring them have nonetheless made inroads because the school system is expected to award credit to the students completing the release-time courses.


 
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GameCrossing wrote:
No idea what the big deal is with this. It's been SOP in Utah and Idaho for generations. It's an elective, no school credit as I recall (so no chance of finishing a semester early like many others did), it doesn't give a financial discount or anything.

The version in the OP gives you school credit. So a kid could potentially miss out on some education compared with an after school or Sunday school type program.
 
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James King
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sbszine wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
No idea what the big deal is with this. It's been SOP in Utah and Idaho for generations. It's an elective, no school credit as I recall (so no chance of finishing a semester early like many others did), it doesn't give a financial discount or anything.

The version in the OP gives you school credit. So a kid could potentially miss out on some education compared with an after school or Sunday school type program.

That's why one must question whether such release-time programs are more geared toward Education OR Sectarian Indoctrination.

I infer it would be the latter.

 
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Go for it. Make your kids dumber. As long as they figure out how to flip burgers for my kids they can pray all day long instead of learning that satanic math and science if you want them to. The McDonalds instructions don't even require a mastery of English.
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Junior McSpiffy
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rylfrazier wrote:
Go for it. Make your kids dumber. As long as they figure out how to flip burgers for my kids they can pray all day long instead of learning that satanic math and science if you want them to. The McDonalds instructions don't even require a mastery of English.


They won't be missing science or math classes. They'll be missing... hell, I don't remember. Typing? Wood shop? They won't be missing any of the fundamentals. And if you think that an hour of learning about God will make an hour of learning about chemical bonds dribble out their earhole, then you think God is far more powerful than I do.
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Scott Seifert
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

That's why one must question whether such release-time programs are more geared toward Education OR Sectarian Indoctrination.

With the state of our public schools, its really just trading one indoctrination for another.
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GameCrossing wrote:
They won't be missing science or math classes. They'll be missing... hell, I don't remember. Typing? Wood shop? They won't be missing any of the fundamentals.

Depends what's core in your school district. For me it was English and maths only, with science being an elective. Though when I went to primary school region was core and I had to get special dispensation to swap it out for reading novels.
 
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Lynette
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sbszine wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
They won't be missing science or math classes. They'll be missing... hell, I don't remember. Typing? Wood shop? They won't be missing any of the fundamentals.

Depends what's core in your school district. For me it was English and maths only, with science being an elective. Though when I went to primary school region was core and I had to get special dispensation to swap it out for reading novels.


Most USA high schools have required amounts of math, science, language skills (writing, speech/debate, literature), social sciences, physical education, and history that must be completed at some point during the 4 years of attendance. Which there are electives ways to get those fulfilled, for example business math vs algebra, general survey science vs more concentrated one subject science like Chemistry, etc. But nobody can get a diploma without some set of core ideas being presented to them.

Now on top of those core there are still a couple of hours a day for electives like band, choir, drama, foreign languages, typing, shop, and dozens of other similar offerings. Including time release for other pursuits like art classes at community colleges and/or including part time on the job training in things like "office work", or auto repair, vet assistant etc. So this isn't some totally new idea or concept it is just letting kids earn credit for learning something the school doesn't officially offer on campus. A long time well established practice in most school districts.
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As long as the kids get the three R's and as long as no funding is provided (as well as they still have to sit the same exams, and their "extra curricular education is not taken into account") I have no issue with this.

Of course this will lead to demands that these kids are indeed going to get their own exam papers that take into account their "sciecne" lessons.
 
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Dave G
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I took plenty of elective classes in high school. I don't see the problem, and I think this is preferable to the school system offering religious classes on campus.
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As long as it seves basicalkly as elective classes and all religious can do it, I don't see a fundamental objection. Thus, Jews could do Jewish studies, Catholics whatever it is Catholics do and so on.
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bjlillo wrote:
whac3 wrote:
As long as it seves basicalkly as elective classes and all religious can do it, I don't see a fundamental objection. Thus, Jews could do Jewish studies, Catholics whatever it is Catholics do and so on.


I don't think we want to let the Catholics do whatever it is they do.

I was referring to Catholics generally, not perverted priests. I don't think they're any more representative of Catholics than televangelists are representative of your our beliefs.
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i think the big question is how are the elective sessions assessed?

In the UK each school sits a subject exam paper from one of the exam boards of which there are several. so schools A/B/C may sit an exam from exam board X, and schools L/N/M sit one from board Y. but both exam boards papers are assessed to make sure they are roughly the same weight etc; so a student getting an A on one boards should be as good at maths as one getting an A from the other exam.

in a similar way universities set their own exam papers but they all have to be peer assessed to make sure they are good enough etc.

if schools are being forced to accept credit from an external 'board' for religious studies, then surely something needs to be done to assess how good the external board is?

for example a single school could have kids going to (for example) a Jewish studies school; a middle of the road catholic school; a westbro type school or young earth school. the idea that we should let them assess the students and force credit on schools is laughable.. as is the idea that young earth nutjobs should get as much credit for anything..
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My problem is the credits. It undermines the legitimacy of the education to have external, unaudited, arbitrary curriculum be counted as part of the High School Diploma, which is kind of a certificate of achievement to some extent. If you want to cut out study halls, non credit classes and free periods so the kids can go to 3rd party tutors, then fine. Just don't extend the public stamp of approval by validating them with credit hours.
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TheChin! wrote:
My problem is the credits. It undermines the legitimacy of the education to have external, unaudited, arbitrary curriculum be counted as part of the High School Diploma, which is kind of a certificate of achievement to some extent. If you want to cut out study halls, non credit classes and free periods so the kids can go to 3rd party tutors, then fine. Just don't extend the public stamp of approval by validating them with credit hours.


that's pretty much what i meant but in a more coherent manner.

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Boaty McBoatface
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TheChin! wrote:
My problem is the credits. It undermines the legitimacy of the education to have external, unaudited, arbitrary curriculum be counted as part of the High School Diploma, which is kind of a certificate of achievement to some extent. If you want to cut out study halls, non credit classes and free periods so the kids can go to 3rd party tutors, then fine. Just don't extend the public stamp of approval by validating them with credit hours.
I am not that up on the US credit system, but as I understand it it just is a means of showing they have actually attended school for a given length of time? It is not an actual academic qualification, just a statement "this kind did not bunk off or drop out", correct?

So a question, if (as some are suggesting) this law will damage kids academically, will that not show up in their grades, irrespective of their graduating? If this is the case, I am not sure it's that bad a thing. Look at what a person did, not how long they sat in the classroom for should be how you judge a persons schooling.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
I am not that up on the US credit system, but as I understand it it just is a means of showing they have actually attended school for a given length of time? It is not an actual academic qualification, just a statement "this kind did not bunk off or drop out", correct?


Somewhat, the credits ensure the students spend a certain amount of time in approved instruction with accredited instructors. You can, as a student, decide to forgo uncredited time and take classes worth higher amounts of credit and graduate early. So, it's not really just "straight" time, it is "quality" time.
 
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