The Association of Christian Schools International, representing more than 800 schools, filed a la wsuit in August against the University of California system, accusing UC admissions officials of discriminating against students graduating from Christian schools that teach Christian viewpoints and creationism.
The lawsuit states that UC rejected student coursework because the texts used in the courses were produced by Christian publishers and approached the subjects from a Christian perspective. The biology texts, for example, pointed out problems with Darwin's theory of evolution and presented creationist beliefs.
The suit claims that history, English and social studies coursework was rejected due to its Christian perspective. One rejected history course was titled "Christianity's Influence in American History."
In disqualifying certain textbooks and classes, UC decided to discount the affected students' grade point averages, forcing them to score in the 98th percentile on ACT tests and in the 96th percentile on SAT tests for admission into the UC system. Thus graduates of Christian schools are forced to score higher on standard college entrance exams for admission than counterparts from public schools.
"This is not in any sense [only] a creationism-versus-science suit," said an attorney representing the plaintiffs, arguing that UC policies violate the rights of students and religious schools.
A UC spokeswoman stated that the UC system has the right to set course requirements and standards. "These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed," she said.
What is truly ironic about this sad state of affairs is that students who attend private schools such as these, or who are homeschooled, consistently do better on standardized tests than public school students regardless of the subject matter. Rather than fighting private schools, it seems that institutions of higher learning should focus more on finding out what they're doing that's working and encouraging public schools to do more of it.