33 jaw-droppingly bad multiple-choice questions from Accelerated Christian Education

“It’s the crapness!” yelled my mother, who almost never says anything more offensive than ‘oh blow’.

“It’s not the doctrine or the terrible science or the politics. It’s the… CRAPNESS!

In hindsight, leaving three boxes of Packets of Accelerated Christian Education (PACEs) at her house was perhaps not the kindest thing I could have done.

“It’s a bubble!” she continued, warming to her rant. “It’s stuck in a 1950s timewarp and it’s all so twee. Do you know what I read in a science PACE earlier? There was a lesson about the first heart transplant, and then it said have you had your heart transplanted by Jesus?

Seeing my mum rant about ACE might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen; if I could capture her on a podcast I’d blast the Pod Delusion into next week. But she’s got a point. What is staggering about ACE  is not the creationism or the conservatism – everyone knows fundamentalists believe that. It’s the fact that it’s just so obviously rubbish, and yet, in the UK at least, school inspectors seem to let this pass without comment.

The most obvious way ACE is crap is in its multiple choice questions (of which there are thousands). Here, for your general amusement, are some I found yesterday. I make no claim that these are the best (or worst) of it. They’re just a few I dug up in a cursory jaunt through the PACEs I have. I could go on much, much longer.

This is what happens when you leave education to people for whom religious conversion is everything and learning is a distant afterthought.

ACE students work through the PACEs at their own speed, so theoretically these questions could be for any age. Still, I’ve marked these with the grade and age that ACE thinks the average student will be. Prepare to utter the words for fuck’s sake! more than you ever have before.

There are only four grades represented here. That’s not because they are especially bad, just because I had them to hand. 

4th grade (9-10 years old)

Science 1045 4th ed tasty milk


Science 1047 fish skin


Science 1047 celsius bible


Science 1045 a brown car


Science 1048 cookies

But no special women, obviously.


They’re particularly strong when it comes to people…

Science 1048 Franceso Redi


Science 1048 Louis Pasteur


Social Studies 1046 4th ed 4


SS 1047 counsel


Social Studies 1045 4th Ed Dry ducks
Two. Dry. Ducks.


Social Studies 1046 4th ed 3


There’s a bloody picture!

Social Studies 1046 donkey supplies

7th grade (12-13 years old)SS 1073 4th ed Journalism


SS 1074 worship leaders


SS 1075 touch lives piano tutor

IMPORTANT: The correct answer, for those puzzled, is piano tutors. It’s not that ACE doesn’t believe that sports coaches or librarians can touch students’ lives. The point is that the exact sentence “Piano tutors can touch the lives of their students” has previously appeared in the PACE, and the student is expected to remember this. Verbatim regurgitation of previously seen material is the entire point of the ACE system.


SS1077 4th ed coast guard


SS 1076 homemaker

ACE never uses female pronouns in PACEs. Everyone is male… until they start talking about homemakers.


SS 1076 doctor


9th grade (14-15 years old)

SS106 Darwin's book

The title is actually On the Origin of Species…


From a history PACE on the discovery and colonisation of America:

SS 104 Lief Eriksen


SS 103 man or god


SS 99 alphabet FUCK


SS 105 Bloody Mary


SS99 Socrates


SS 107 Jimmy Carter


SS 107 Mohammed Ali


Biology 1107 hitler

Ah, the old Darwin-caused-Hitler implication again.


12th grade (17-18 years old)English 1135 soliloquy


English 1135 Macbeth

Um, I might have been getting a bit irritated by the time I got to that last one.

I found plenty more 12th grade questions with no plausible distractors, but none of them made me laugh. Stuff like this:

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.13.00

Mind you, by this point, it’s all starting to seem less funny.


Since he is so famously obsessed with ‘rigour‘, perhaps the secretary of state for education would like to pay some of these schools a visit.

Think this doesn’t affect you? 

In the United Kingdom, UK NARIC has deemed qualifications based on ACE to be comparable to A-level. Ofsted routinely whitewashes ACE schools in reports, and ACE nurseries teaching creationism receive government funding.

In New Zealand, ACE qualifications are accepted for university entrance.

In the USA, ACE’s Lighthouse Christian Academy is accredited by MSA-CESS. The curriculum is used in government-funded creationist voucher programs in eleven states.

In South Africa, based on HESA’s recommendation, a number of universities have signed up to accept ACE graduates.

ACE says its curriculum is used in 192 countries and 6000 schools worldwide. This is happening nearer than you think.

All this means that parents are more likely to choose this academically third-rate and theologically fourth-rate education for their children. This has got to stop.

Lists of ACE badness:

Related posts:

About Jonny Scaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on December 9, 2013, in Accelerated Christian Education, Atheism, Christianity, Creationism, Education, Faith Schools, Fundamentalism, School of Tomorrow and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 172 Comments.

  1. Unbelievable! I don’t think I’ve ever done so well on a test!

  2. Actually, to be serious, unbelievable. I’m glad you are on to them. These questions don’t actually “test” a lot, other than credence in a sound education. Keep up your great work.

    • I remember a lot of those questions. They were actually from the work leading up to the section review, known as checkups. Some of them were also in these checkups, then the pre-test, called the self test to make sure that you are ready to move on, and then a select number of them in THE test. The point of them being in the reviews and tests is to refresh your memory on what you learned in that section and then pace.

  3. I’ve got to admit, the first one threw me because I’m not sure any of them are the correct definition of “wisdom” (although I can guess what they thought the correct answer was).

    Also, whilst the 12th grade stuff might be equivalent to A-levels, is the earlier stuff equivalent to earlier degrees? 9th grade = GSCE, for example?

    • You think those 12th grade questions are equivalent to A-level?!

      To answer your question, the 9th grade questions pictured make up part of what ACE students in the UK would do instead of GCSEs, yes.

    • 12th grade = Year 13
      These questions = a particularly useless sunday school.

      Source: American who switched to the British system to take his A-levels after moving overseas (Bad idea.)

  4. I have to say Adam, as a teacher and a former student, that no matter what UK NARIC or ACE say, there is absolutely no way that ACE is equivalent to A-levels. And yes, the lower levels suffer the same problem.

    As far as accreditation goes, the lower levels do generally get recognised. On my CV it just says NCSC (GCSE equivalent) and some semi-made-up grades.

  5. @adam I expect that it is *defined* as equivalent for political reasons with no regard to actual comparison of content.

    • Which raises the question “why?” Is the ACE organisation capable of wielding vast political pressure? Are they raking in millions to fund pressure groups for politicians? Or is it just “oh they’re Christian, they must be nice.”?

      • Don’t know. One person has hinted at a cozy relationship between ACE’s UK distributor and UK Naric, but I have no evidence of that. The US ACE office is raking it in, but in the UK they haven’t got any money. I think your third answer is a lot to do with it.

      • In the US, probably 1 and 2. The Tea Party fundamentalists have pretty much taken over the GOP, and enough of the crazies are rich enough to wield a disproportionate amount of power.

  6. Can’t think of a less dodge way to phrase this, but I’d like to know more about your mum. does she still hold fundamentalist beliefs? Does she regret sending you to an ACE school in light of what she now thinks of the curriculum?

  7. Surely this isn’t school work?! They look like the quiz questions you get on a dodgy TV premium rate phone in.

    • They remind me of one silly quiz game that a morning radio show used to do when I was a teenager. It was called “The Answer Is Always ‘C.'” A would always be an obviously-wrong answer, B would be vaguely plausible, but the correct answer out of the three was the name of the show. You had to be the 9th caller or somesuch just to play, so it was the equivalent of “9th caller wins $X.” Except that nobody ever seemed to win–because they would always guess wrong.

      I’m not sure how this kept happening (maybe it was deliberately faked to make listeners feel smarter for not being That Person?) but it made me groan.

  8. Thanks for sharing this, Jonny. Good for a laugh! My favourite has to be the first choice for Socrates’ favourite saying: pure gold!
    Oh, and for future reference, the short title of Darwin’s book was changed to ‘The Origin of Species’ in the sixth edition. They do research some things! (a bit)

  9. Annari du Plessis

    I finished my matric in ACE and I am more and more horrified at their curriculum.
    Last I’ve heard, the universities in South Africa do not accept ACE students anymore.
    I’m glad I got accepted, but the line must be drawn somewhere.

  10. The “Reign of Terror” question seems like reasonable True or False one to me. Robespierre led the committee during the French Revolution. True.

  11. It is almost unbelievable to me how intolerant you people are. It is not these Christians who are trying to force their beliefs on anyone, it is so-called “progressives” and the people who believe in the modernist religion of materialism that are trying to force their religion on other people. The idea that the universe is nothing but a soup of molecules colliding randomly is a religion, not a scientific theory, let alone a fact. The universe is a soup of molecules; they might even collide randomly, but there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that such a condition is all there is to existence. Liberals, progressives and science-worshippers about the most close-minded, totalitarian people I can think of.

    • Please stay on topic. Other posts on this blog are about atheism and/or religion. This post is about education. We are not talking about whether God is real. We are talking about whether this constitutes good teaching. And regardless of content, it’s clear that this does not.

    • It’s amazing how you go from: “You are intolerant of other’s beliefs!” to “How can anyoney believe what you believe?!”

      As Johnny said, your digression into trying to prove God is irrelevant here. We don’t even need to go into the actual topics of the curriculum; these examples simply demonstrate appalling teaching methods. It doesn’t matter what religion or even ideology is behind the question.

      Whether its Christianity or baking bread being taught, verbatim regurgitation i.e. asking a student to pick an answer they’ve already been supplied, imparts no knowledge or developmental skills. It can be answered by someone who doesn’t even speak the language.

    • I will respect Jonny’s instruction to stay on topic here but I would like to address the things you said. Look me up on facebook or tell me where you would like to talk about these things.

    • Just because ACE is made by Christians doesn’t mean all criticism of ACE is also criticism of Christianity. No one is saying anything about Christians! Just that these crap questions from the ACE curriculum are just that–crap. So please calm down and realize no one is persecuting Christians by questioning one religious curriculum’s measurement standards.

  12. Shit, the questions are moronic beyond belief. How many people thought Francesco Redi was a volcano?

    This is no education at all.

  13. US grade system is one year off the UK system. So 1st grade is year 2. UK high school is 5+2 years – year 7-11, 12-13 is 6th form. So years 10-11 is GCSE (9th-10th grade), year 12 is AS level, year 13 (12th grade) is A-Level.

  14. Some of these red like a Monty Python sketch…”Louis Pasteur was a glass bottle”…

  15. Wow. Just, like…. wow. There is nothing you can actually say about this apart from show it to people and watch their reactions.

  16. Compared to the national Curriculum in South Africa, the ACE probably makes a lot of sense. and is much more advanced.

  17. They WANT people to be Stupid
    They TRAIN people to be Stupid
    Stupid people are not a Threat

  18. Andreas Müller

    Where’s the education in these questions? To me they look like the things you pick up just by being alive.

  19. It is completely bonkers! I once visited a school doing ACE who had no computers but had a photocopy of a keyboard and they were told what would happen when they typed in commands…no you could not make it up!!

    • What?! My school’s ACE Learning Center [sic] had the original Macintosh in 1995, but a photocopy of a keyboard in place of actual computer lessons is arguably educational malpractice.

      • But a photocopy of the keyboard lets the instructor dictate what the computer’s response would be. One more bit of evidence that ACE’s goal is indoctrination rather than education.

    • Joelle Martin

      Some A.C.E. schools cannot afford to have computers. Did you consider that?

      • Hi, Joelle. ACE graduate here.

        If a school cannot afford proper educational equipment, it needs to be closed for the good of the students. End of story. This is 2014, and computer literacy is a must in modern Western society.

      • Joelle Martin

        Not all governments are behind A.C.E. learning centers, therefore, it is hard for them to get funding.

      • Joelle Martin

        Also remember that A.C.E. was originally designed to be a homeschooling course, where the parents were responsible for the needed equipment. A.C.E. has only moved into schools in recent years.

      • Interesting! It’s news to me that ACE was originally designed as a homeschooling curriculum. When my family started using it to homeschool in 1983, it was already well established as a church school curriculum. Homeschoolers were the new kids in town at that point. My understanding is that it was designed as a teacher-less curriculum so that small churches could operate out of church basements without needing to pay professional teachers. I think it quickly became popular with homeschoolers in the 1980s and 1990s because it was very conveniently packaged as an add-water-and-stir program. I know that’s what drew my family in. But maybe you are privy to information I don’t have, Joelle?

      • Regarding your comment below, considering I went to an ACE school from ’84 – ’92, and there were at least ten schools close enough to hold track meets and conventions etc, I’m thinking you might have your facts wrong, Joelle. Not that I can blame you. You’re being taught a pack of lies after all.

      • Joelle Martin

        To what lies are you referring?

      • Joelle Martin

        Perhaps I have been misinformed. It is so hard to know what is true these days. I do apologize if I have offended anyone.

      • Each PACE is filled with bogus facts. Click on this link for one example:

        http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2014/02/21/adventures-in-ace-iv-when-creationists-drill-the-ocean/

        Though I must warn you there is some swearing in it, in case you’re easily offended by cuss words.

      • Joelle Martin

        You neglected to see that that was written by someone who was an evolutionist. I don’t believe in evolution, and I never will. Evolution states that we are all accidents; freaks of nature with absolutely no purpose at all (other than reproduction). We are far to complex for me to believe something like that. I know that each and every person that walks this earth has a purpose, and that we were all made to love and be loved. We are not mindless animals driven by instinct, we are intelligent beings that can make our environment work for us. Call me crazy, brainwashed, whatever; I don’t care because, in my opinion, it is harder to believe in evoultion (which by the way still cannot find that mythical “missing link” or how life even got to the earth after the “big bang”), than it is to believe in a loving Creator who made us with purpose and love. Also, I’ve seen real miracles occur, try and have science explain them sucker.

      • Um, whether or not this was written by someone who believes in evolution has nothing to do with ACE not understanding how volcanoes work etc. You’re letting your bias stop you for seeing what it right in front of your face. ACE Science PACE’s gets rocks and crust and volcanoes wrong. This has nothing to do with evolution.
        To state unequivocally ‘I will never believe something’ is the height of being closed off and anti-intellectual.

      • By the way, I have never called you ‘crazy’ or ‘brainwashed’. I don’t think you are. Rather I think you (like me) have been told incorrect information since you were a child and this makes it very hard to see past it to another way of thinking. There is no massive conspiracy of scientists trying to steal you soul. I have nothing but honest empathy for you, having been where you are.
        As for ‘miracles’, the human brain is capable of some incredible tricks.
        I highly recommend the following book by Patricia Churchland.

      • Joelle Martin

        Do you think that getting a whole new stomach (without a transplant), or an agressive brain tumor completely disappearing (without cemo or surgery), is a trick of the mind?

        “(You can) Call me crazy, brainwashed, whatever…” is what I meant by that. I was not implying that you had called me either.

        Clearly this is going nowhere, so I’ll leave it at this; you believe in what you believe, and I believe what I believe.

      • Yes, well, you came here to argue. Not the other way around.
        Brain tumours disappearing. New stomach growing in.
        Well, tumours are notoriously odd. They are just our own body cells replicating out of control after all. Who’s to say something didn’t just naturally switch and the problem corrected itself?
        Certainly I don’t think the first conclusion to come to mind should be, ‘a magical sky fairy must have done it’.
        As for a new stomach growing in, well, I’d have to see the evidence for that one. After all, in my time in Africa I had people telling me that they’d grown a man’s arm back through their traditional ways.
        Not through Jesus, as you would immediately accept.
        Would you believe that to be factual just because they swore it was? Or would you be skeptical?
        Anyway, it’s been interesting speaking to you.
        I wish you all the best.

  20. Anais Chartschenko

    Reading these questions *is* like being part of a Monty Python skit. That is how I know the education I received was a travesty.

  21. I can’t believe that someone would actually accredit this program. I am honestly wondering how parents would consider this a good program to send their kids to. Although as a smart ass I would have answered true to the question about Leif Ericsson. After all, how do they know he didn’t if they weren’t there.

    • Joelle Martin

      They would know the answer if they were paying attention to what is in their PACE. They throw in questions like that for comic relief. It made me laugh when I came across it.

    • Joelle Martin

      Have you ever actually worked through a PACE?

      • I lived through eight years of ACE, Joelle. Eight bloody years. From grade ‘one’ to grade ‘ten’. So yeah, I did a PACE or two. Aside from learning how to read and basic arithmetic, everything I learned ‘educationally’ in those eight years was worthless.

      • Joelle Martin

        Well if that is the way you see things, then there is not much I can really say, other than, I know A.C.E. works for me and I am very grateful to have it.

      • Are recently finished ACE? You may find that your opinion of it will change when you start to fully understand just how much rubbish filled each PACE. Assuming you have the honest curiousity and intellectual drive to challenge your childhood beliefs, of course.
        I truly hope you will dare to ‘risk’ reading and studying the facts you’ve so missed out on so far. The world is a much more incredible place than ACE would have you believe.

  22. You are too generous. Learning is not an ‘afterthought’ to these people — it is a real and present danger.

  23. Bahahahaha! I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I’m just getting such a kick out of the adventures of the scientist/missionary airplane, that sat and listened carefully and then did experiments with milk! Holy fuck! Oh, and apparently volcanoes can think. Seriously, this looks like a joke test and it is just embarrassing that this curriculum is accepted anywhere. Oh my god. I’m not sure whether to be more horrified or whether to just keep laughing my ass off. Maybe both.

  24. I went to an ACE school for the entirety of my K-12 education. I was lucky to be accepted into more than one university based on my ACE scores (which I have to say. are extremely easy to manipulate and/or outright cheat). I went into college very proficient in my writing,, but I was *extremely* lacking in science and math, to the point that I could barely pass a class in those subjects. It was only though a lot of hard work and studying on my own time that I was able to graduate with 2 degrees and land myself a decent job. I did all that DESPITE my ACE education, not thanks to it. I would never, ever send my kid to one of these indoctrination factories, nor would I wish that education upon anyone.

    So many problems I don’t even know where to start.

    1. They’re science teachings would be hilarious if the weren’t so irresponsibly bad.
    2. They’re ENTIRE U.S. history is skewed to fit their world views (ie, Israel is #1!!!!, and all liberal presidents ruined the country).
    3. Unbelievably misogynistic. I grew up learning repeatedly that a woman’s place was in the home, and that women entering the workforce lead to the downfall of America.
    4. Sex education? WHO NEEDS IT?!? Let them figure it out on their own. That should work.

    I’m 25 and I made it out ok, but it took a solid 2-3 years of proper education to rid myself of their brainwashing. I am sad to say that many of my former classmates were not so lucky. Several did not get accepted into college, and many that did quickly failed out because they did not have the proper skillset needed to succeed. This “educational” program has quite literally ruined the lives of dozens of my peers, and the saddest part is that most are not even aware of it.. A.C.E. takes bright young kids and attempts to completely quell their inquisitive minds, as the answer to every tough question is simply taught as, “God did it. No further questions”.

    The ironic part is, one of the married founders got caught up in a cheating scandal back in the early 2000’s because he was caught shagging his African assistant while on a “missions trip”. The institution quickly swept it under the rug and you can barely find a sniff of it reported anywhere.

    The sooner A.C.E. goes under, the better. They have a lot of genuinely nice people teaching in their systems, but their educational system is not just bad, it’s legitimately harmful.

  25. This is so funny it makes me crack up, except the poor kids.

  26. True confession, I teach at a public middle school in the US (ages 11-13) and I occasionally write silly multiple choice quizzes for my students. That said, I find these examples appalling, especially that the readings and quizzes make up the entire education. I can’t imagine how boring this is, for the teachers and the students. A good education gives kids a chance to think, to make things, to get frustrated, to explore and I see none of that happening.

    • Oh, I had tests from some of my better teachers in high school, wherein most of the questions were good ones and ONE question would have the silly answers, on a regular basis. It guaranteed that everyone would get that 1 out of the 20 questions correct unless they were just randomly guessing and not paying attention. Another good way they used to catch this sort of thing was to have the same question at the beginning of the test and near the end, but with the answers in a different order. If you said a different answer, you got a little chat with the teacher.

  27. Having read about ACE, and your various blog posts detailing both its insanity and your own thoughts on whether it (and programmes like it) should even be legal, I want to agree with you wholeheartedly that indoctrination has no place in the modern world and should be illegal.

    Parents are the stewards, not the owners of their children; it is up to parents to prepare their children for adult life in the real world, and part of this should be ensuring that they have the ability to think for themselves, even if that means that they may eventually come to reject the beliefs their parents hold dear. In democracies, freedom of religion is a right valued by all, because we all realise that it could be our own preferred belief system on the receiving end of state persecution. But freedom of religion is extended to all individuals, and this includes minors. Parents violate their children’s fundamental rights when they indoctrinate them, especially when the indoctrination takes place in the pre-teenage years when children don’t have access to the higher-order thought processes that allow an individual to seek the truth for themselves using their own rational faculties. Western society is secular now, but fundamentalists are acting (often with the support of the state) as if their religion was still mandated by the state. They would not hesitate to cry foul if they learned of a family in which the young children were taught that religion was evil, God was a lie, and Christians were not fully human and shouldn’t be afforded the same rights as non-Christians, and yet claim the right to teach their own children that they shouldn’t trust their own reasoning, that worshiping God is the most important thing in life, and that anyone who causes them to question those truths is trying to lure them to Satan and an eternity of torture in Hell.

    Public schools are the great social equalizer; perhaps it is no wonder that social mobility is so low in the UK and USA if schools like this are systematically sabotaging the educational and economic outcomes of their students, while elite private schools following advanced, reason and science-based curricula lead to 100% university attendance (and 50+% attendance at Ivy League and Oxbridge schools) of their students, many of whom end up with professional degrees that guarantee them top-paying jobs. It is time for fundamentalists to grow up and start focusing on what happens in THIS life, the only life we are guaranteed, the only life we have any evidence exists at all. And if they cannot do that for themselves, they should at least ensure that their children have all of the opportunities they can possibly have to lead happy, fulfilled lives on Earth. If they aren’t on board with that goal, they have no business being parents, and if they insist on programmes like ACE which sabotage their children’s chances of becoming well-adjusted, happy, intelligent adults, such programmes should be illegal. When cultural practices lead to actual harm to individuals who were never given a real choice in whether they were okay living with that harm (or indeed individuals who are not mature enough to make such a choice), the state needs to protect their interests.

  28. Is there an easy way we can independently verify the accuracy of what you are saying here? As some have said, this really truly is “unbelievable”. On balance, I guess you are probably not making this up. But… I dunno, it would almost be easier for me to believe that you fabricated this, than e.g. the question about whether Francesco Redi is a scientist or a volcano.

    • You have just isolated the most heartbreaking and frustrating aspect of my campaign. There isn’t an easy way for you to verify (that’s why I post pictures rather than just typing out the text). These books aren’t in any libraries I know of, and they’re not online.

      The result of this is that ACE is able to operate effectively in secret, and that’s how they get away with so much. I’ll email you.

      • For those following along at home — Jonny has contacted me privately with supporting evidence. Yup, it’s real. Thanks!!!

        To be clear, I never really believed it was fabricated… but then again, I was having trouble making myself believe these questions were real. How does one choose between two entirely unthinkable alternatives?

        In any case: It’s legit. Terrifyingly, impossibly legit. :/

    • It seems everyone who comments here on this question is assuming that all kids know what a scientist and a volcano is. Perhaps they should know, but then again maybe they don’t.

    • For whatever it’s worth, here’s one BCE/ACE graduate who can confirm that Jonny is indeed posting the real deal. If you’ll notice, even Jonny’s detractors don’t suggest he’s making this up.

  29. I have a few cousins that were ‘educated’ in this manner right on up until 9th & 10th grade until their family hit a spot of financial trouble and they had to resort to going to public school. Needless to say, I’m not sure that they ever managed to get caught up by the time they were essentially aged out of the educational system (managed to get barely passing grades) and sent on to the entry-level blue-collar jobs they retain 20 yrs later…

  30. There should be a Royal Commission into the state of the Education system in the UK generally, but these “schools” should come under particular scrutiny for dumbing their students down. How have people tolerated this? Don’t they understand the long-term damage this could do?

  31. It can be both _The Origin of Species_ (after the second edition, I think) or _On the Origin of Species_.

  32. I went to a school with this program now luckily I figured out I was in a cult and got unbrainwashed. I took it upon my self to learn well, real science and now I’m a content and informed atheist that now fears creationism seeping into our public schools and getting into my kids education.

    • Joelle Martin

      Your gonna get one heck of a shock when you die and find out that there is life after death. The soul is immortal and where its gonna go is up to you.

      • This seems to me to be implicitly threatening alyssa with hell. Don’t do that again.

      • Just because you fell for it doesn’t give you the right to threaten other people, Joelle.

      • Joelle Martin

        It is NOT a threat, it is simple fact.

      • If its simply fact, then where does faith factor into this belief? Isn’t fact the antithesis to faith?

      • It’s a simple fact? So where is your evidence for life after death? You see evidence makes for facts. Not just wishful thinking.

      • Joelle Martin

        It takes faith to believe in anything about this world. Faith is not just a religious term; to have faith in something, is the same as believing in something. It takes faith to believe in evolution, creationism, you name it.

        Perhaps I should not have called it fact (and I apologize), because your right, life after death cannot be proven, but neither can evolution.

      • Actually Joelle, there is plenty of evidence for evolution. I’d suggest you start your research by watching the recent reboot of ‘Cosmos’. The real world is full of incredibly interesting stuff, more than ACE could ever hope to come close to being a part of. Having a curious and bright young mind as you seem to possess, you owe it to yourself to take a closer look at the actual evidence; rather than just goes with what ACE, AiG, etc, pretend to know.

      • Joelle Martin

        Accept, evolutionists still cannot explain where the mythical space dust, that became earth during the “big bang,” came from, how life came to earth in the first place. Plus they do not have substantial and reoccurring evidence of transitional fossils (the “missing links”), and there is no evidence of continuing evolutionary change, which blows the whole evolution theory out the window (those first two in particular).
        As for that “Cosmos” series, sure all that stuff is very interesting, but most of it is circumstantial. How I see it, is that evolution is mans finite knowledge trying to explain away all the wonder mysteries of our very vast universe.

      • *Except :)
        Evolution has nothing to do with ‘where did life begin?’. Nobody knows where life begins (though there are some great ideas), not even people who declare, ‘it was God’ like that’s actually some of an argument.
        There are plenty of transitional fossils.

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Transitional_fossils

        and as for ‘continuing evolutionary change’, you do realize that evolution happens very very incredibly slowly yes?

      • *Nobody knows the origins of life, to be more precise.
        And you have to know that just saying, ‘that means there must have been a creator’, is not an argument.

  33. I remember some of these questions from when I was homeschooled. Not educational at all. Just by knowing the fundamentalists and what they believe you can guess at the answers.

  34. ACE: “People suffering from an illness or injury are treated by (doctors, veterinarians, dentists)”

    Any of these three could be correct. Gingivitis is a disease, to give just one example of diseases dentists treat. I could even make a good case for being treated by a veterinarian in an emergency, when no one else with medical training is around.

    On the other hand, many of the questions seem to be designed so giving the wrong answer is next to impossible.

    For example: “Mr. Francesco Redi was ([A] a famous scientist; [B] a volcano)”

    You can’t fool us; he was a volcano, much like Joe Versus (or was that spelled “Verses”?) /snark

    You’re doing good work here, Jonny. Keep it up.

  35. Well, I really don’t know what to say… Not only do the ACE schools need to be shut down, but also the universities that accept these students! I cannot imagine such a student succeeding in university studies. I say that having experiences with french, greek and spanish universities (where I know how things are taught). Also, apart from what is taught, the multiple choice evaluation system is not the best way to test the knowledge at all levels and ages…

    • I agree that these schools should be shut down. But you must realize that it is not the students fault that they have been put into these schools. They have been victimized by the people who run ACE schools. If the students are properly placed they can still succeed academically. If they do not get a higher education they will just have a bunch of children and send them to ACE schools. Not allowing them to get into a proper school where they can learn critical thinking skills is just kicking a child when they are down in my opinion.

      • Yes, you are completely right. The students should be able, no matter their age, to get a proper education. The right to education (and free education actually) is one of the most basic rights of a citizen, why aren’t the concerned governments more involved in the quality of the education they provide to their children?
        The matter of the universities that accept ACE students is the same, what quality of education they themselves provide…

      • “why aren’t the concerned governments more involved in the quality of the education they provide to their children?”
        This is a really good question that get’s to the heart of the matter. A lot of this appears to be about political power and just getting or not losing votes, at least in America and from my point of view. If politicians do the right thing and shut down these schools and others like them they will lose votes. If they allow and or encourage systems like this (even in public schools) they will produce adults without critical thinking skills. The last thing a politician wants is an electorate with critical thinking skills. The truth about these schools has been available for decades now and I’m pretty sure that the concerned governments are aware of that truth. This is not just stupid it’s targeted and deliberate stupid.

        As for the university part I don’t know enough about it to comment.

        These are just my opinions. Everyone concerned about the quality of a child’s education should keep looking into these matters and find out for themselves and form their own opinions. I think that if more people subscribed to this blog and researched the things presented in it than a lot of lives could be changed for the better without much money or effort.

    • I went to an American Christian University (unnamed) for my first year of college. They were willing to pay me a small fortune to get my test score into their statistics. One of the strange things about this college was that all incoming freshman had to take English 101. This was true even if you had relevant AP courses and excellent scores under your belt.

      On the second month of the semester I realized why; the school had a policy of accepting every student that applied to it from its own denomination. Many of these students were home-schooled on the ACE program. Some of them were even quiverfull kids, who I suspect had even less study time than their peers. A peer-editing assignment was due at the end of the month. The paper I was supposed to edit did not have paragraphs, punctuation or capitalization. A “college-level” paper. My mind boggled so hard I gave the kid his essay back without extensive mark-up, fearing he would be traumatized by his badness the same way I was. It was clear from this assignment and later ones that non-ACE students were expected to tutor the ACE students in basic English.

      I transferred out the second semester.

      • Ha. That’s exactly what I would expect from ACE students. Interestingly, some do go on to do very well at university, and I have various theories about why that is. Thanks for sharing that.

    • Joelle Martin

      The Universities here in New Zealand say that the A.C.E. students are some of the finest students to walk through their doors. I have been raised on A.C.E. and let me tell you that I read, write, and retain information far better than many other public school students of my age. In fact I am of the best writers in my school, and I give the credit to A.C.E.

      • Hi, Joelle! I was also ACE educated (actually, its earlier version, BCE) from grade 2-12. I’m curious about what the writing instruction looked like in your school? In my experience, there was very little–mostly concentrated in one or two PACEs. Now that I’m an adult, I find this approach troubling since educational research shows that writing skills are best gained by consistent practice–not in one isolated gulp. Of course not all schools handle writing the same way which is why I am curious that you’ve mentioned this specifically.

      • Joelle Martin

        I have been educated through the A.C.E. Curriculum since I was four. All my “writing instruction” came from the English and Literature PACEs. I believe that the courses have been well updated since you did them, as I find them to be well balanced.

      • I’m glad to hear that ACE’s writing instruction is an improvement over BCE’s. Can you say more about this? How, specifically, is it different?

        (Leaving this comment here since it there’s no reply option under your comment below.)

      • Joelle Martin

        I can’t say. I never did B.C.E., so I have nothing to compare it to.

      • You probably did some; what she is calling “BCE” is the 2nd edition ACE stuff which is now packaged as “Basic”: Basic New Testament Studies, Basic New Testament Church History, the world history Social Studies PACEs; basically anything all in black & white.

      • So then if you aren’t familiar with BCE, it would be hard to say if/how ACE is different, wouldn’t it? My younger brothers used ACE, and I can assure you that it was certainly no more academically rigorous. In fact, the greatest difference that I noticed was that it was more colorful than BCE, but instead of BCE’s rote fill-in-the-blank exercises, ACE had a lot more multiple choice. Even less writing instruction, in other words. Even back in my most devout days, I was very troubled at the way ACE materials insulted the intelligence of students.

  36. Yeah… this stuff is not limited to the UK. I was homeschooled with this crap growing up in Ohio, and needless to say, I’ve had to find a HUGE chunk of actual education from elsewhere. Truly ridiculous and very sad.

  37. Please tell me that anyone who fails one of these tests gets “Warning! Grade A Moron” branded in all caps across their face. No? *sigh* (loses a little more faith in mankind)

    • Joelle Martin

      Those are not questions from the tests. Those are found in the PACE content. The test is never as easy as what is in the PACE and I know kids that have failed, and not for lack of trying.

      • I remember the test questions being drawn exactly from PACE and Self-Test questions. Even in math the exact same equations were trotted out for the test. One just had to memorize by rote, no actual studying required. I was an Honour Roll student (according to ACE standards) and yet to this day I still have lousy study habits. If you had a good memory (some kids don’t), the only way to fail a test was due to your soul having died after years in an ACE office, couple with your will to live having committed suicide.

      • Joelle Martin

        That’s a little harsh. I like sitting in an office; it cuts out distractions and helps me to focus.

      • Calling someone a ‘rat’ is rather harsh. But it didn’t stop you from saying it, now did it.

      • I was sort of joking in any case. I don’t actually believe in a human soul.

      • Joelle Martin

        Well there are worse things I could have said. “Rat” is pretty tame compared to most of the foul language that is thrown around nowadays.

  38. Richard Braakman

    The answer to the Godly homemaker question is “business”, right? Proverbs 31?

  39. I was educated under this system…I’ve spent so long trying to forget it exists. This is NOT education, this is brainwashing. How in the hell can this be seriously accredited anywhere? In the US maybe i can understand (I grew up in the South, so believe me I know…) But Europe? I cant believe their are kids the world over learning from this garbage! It just makes me hurt so much. I can barely keep myself from crying. This system is a major reason along with my ADHD as to why i’m 29 and still trying to play catch up in education. Why my study skills, grammar skills and math skills are so lacking, why i’m having to fight so hard in college to move forward. I hate these people and their system. Something has to be done about this!!!!!

    • Joelle Martin

      A.C.E. has one of the top English grammar courses in the world, and I am on of the best writers in my school because of it. I don’t know what you are going on about.

      • The best in the world. Wow. Very interesting, Joelle. Can you say more about this? Who did the analysis and what curriculum was it compared to?

      • Joelle Martin

        Fine, let me refine my statement, it has one of the top grammar courses in New Zealand. Sorry for being over zealous, but I believe in this curriculum and I have seen many positive outcomes from those who have also studied using A.C.E., particularly those with learning disabilities.

  40. The plan here seems obvious:
    1) Create a for-profit curriculum for religiously-minded home schoolers.
    2) Make the questions horribly easy so students appear to be academically successful.
    3) Tout these successes as proof of the curriculum’s efficacy.
    4) Profit!

    Then, if anyone complains about these questions, cry, “Discrimination!” Not only does this scare some critics away, it serves as a selling point to like-minded fundamentalists. “If the secular humanists and their so-called education ‘experts’ hate ACE, then it must be perfect for Jesus!”

  41. Dear Jonny.

    My heart sank after I have discovered such a non-sensical pseudo-education. I cannot imagine all the harm doing to kids in that way .

    As I promised in my response to your email, I wrote about my progressive Christian view on ACE.
    I would be glad to receive your comments (and your corrections if I made mistakes) but also the opinions and testimonies of other former fundamentalists having gone through this ordeal.

    I want you to know that all victims of fundamentalist education have my whole compassion and support and if can do something to help you, I surely will.

    Lovely greetings from Lancashire.

    • “I want you to know that all victims of fundamentalist education have my whole compassion and support and if can do something to help you, I surely will.”

      Can you send cash or gifts? That would help my healing process. :-)

  42. Reblogged this on Gokuentou.

  43. My children, now 21 and 23, both attended an ACE school, sent there by their father after we divorced. He actually obtained a court order to force me to permit it when I protested.
    My daughter dutifully attended until she graduated. Afterward, however, she attempted to go to a public college instead of a “lighthouse” university and washed out after her second semester due to the horrendous gaps in her education.
    My son, aware of what a piece of crap education he was receiving, at age 16 deliberately and with malice aforethought got himself expelled so he could go to a public school. Even so, the people that ran the school, with full intention, did it in such a way that he had to sit out nearly an entire year of school before he could go back. This was their TRUE punishment of him for DARING to do such a thing. He tried to go to public school but thanks to what the ACE church school did to him, he was so far behind he couldn’t keep up. He dropped out when he turned 18 and still hadn’t graduated and, instead, studied for and passed the GED test solo. He’s doing a little better than his sister and is on his second year of college.
    If you would like more information on my and/or their experiences with ACE, please feel free to e-mail me.

  44. Wow. I recalled the tests being ridiculous, but forgot HOW ridiculous. Good to have a reference page to show people when I tell them about it as i often do. Unreal. It’s enough to make me a) grow an extra arm b) angry c) a volcano.

    • “My son, aware of what a piece of crap education he was receiving, at age 16 deliberately and with malice aforethought got himself expelled so he could go to a public school. Even so, the people that ran the school, with full intention, did it in such a way that he had to sit out nearly an entire year of school before he could go back.”

      This is exactly what I did. For a moment there, i thought you were my mother commenting, no joke.

  45. Now I understand why I completed 11th & 12th grade in less than nine months, with the top GPA, and totally unprepared for college. I think a comic book would have provided a better education!

  46. This brings back memories from my tutoring days. The ACE work is so dreadfully boring and simplistic. I remember being bored just sitting there watching my pupil. It leaves no room for creativity. I’m glad people are reading your blog and finding out about ACE had I known about it before I ever took that job I would have never said yes to it and would have tried to earlier to persuade the parents using it to stop.

  47. Danielle N. Lodixa

    Oh God help us all. I remember all of this and more. I try to block it out but it keeps coming back. Why me?

  48. Here in the Philippines, it’s less strict. I actually quite like ACE, though some of the parts in the PACEs are just too ridiculous. Also, there are black characters in the comics, but we NEVER saw them with the white ones. Well, not yet at least. My friend had told me that there was a possibility that they went to different schools, which is kind of racist.

    • They do go to different schools. The black kids go to Harmony (where Pastor Gentle runs the church and Mr Trueword is supervisor), and the white kids go to Highland (with Pastor Alltruth and Mr Friendson).

  49. Their MATH is fucking hard.

  50. Joelle Martin

    Your’re cheeky, self serving, rat you know that. You’ve gone through and picked out the most ridiculous sounding questions just to get people to side with you. Some of the questions are there to make the students laugh (the Leif Ericsson question for example), but if you actually did A.C.E. as you claim, then you know full well that there are much harder questions then the ones you have posted. As for the definitions, they are kept simple, because they explain them in more detail later.

    As for indoctrination, that is absolute rubbish. The curriculum is Biblically based what would expect to find; drivel that contradicts the Scriptures? Of course you will find heavy Biblical influence throughout, but it is entirely the students choice whether to believe it or not. No one is forcing any one to become a Christian.

    For those of you who doubt whether A.C.E. works, just try asking some of its graduated students. I know of a family of four children who were really struggling in school. One of the brothers was so depressed about what his teachers were saying to him, that he tried to kill himself. His parents immediately pulled him out of school and started him on A.C.E. upon which he thrived. The two older brothers have now graduated; one became a pilot, and the other became a research scientist. The two younger siblings (twins) are still finishing, but they are already planning and preparing to go to Uni to study (one wants to be a surgeon and the other wants to be a vet).

    A.C.E. is also an excellent curriculum for those who have learning disabilities because it allows you to work at your own pace and you do not have to worry about the stress of exams. I know plenty of children whose parents pulled them out of school because they were failing or being bullied (you can’t always blame the student, sometimes it is because of the teacher and how he/she speaks and teaches his/her students). They were started on A.C.E. and all began to do much better. Their grades came up, as did their self esteem. Children who had been told they were useless, began to see that they could actually achieve something. In a classroom the student must struggle to keep up with the teacher and fellow classmates, the A.C.E. course is almost completely self teaching, and parents need only intervene when the child does not understand.

    My own personal account of A.C.E. is I don’t think I would have survived in school, and I am glad that I have had A.C.E. over my years of homeschooling. I suffer from partial dyslexia that causes my to work much slower than others, and have a problem with my eyes that makes sitting in a classroom difficult (and yes I do wear glasses). I also appreciate the solid Biblical foundation on which A.C.E. has been built. I believe that being home-schooled on A.C.E. has helped to protect me from a life of drugs and alcohol. A.C.E. has also helped me to see what I want to do in life. No one cal tell me that A.C.E. does not work and I intend to use to school my own children when I have a family.

    P.S. I live in New Zealand, and in my opinion, our public education system is going down the drain. Half the children I teach in Sunday School cannot read, write, or spell properly (these are 7-13 year olds).

    • Timothy Allman

      Hello Joelle.
      I had nothing but ACE and when I was in that system I thought it was great just as you seem to now. When I got out and encountered the real world in the Army a civilian employment and other students when I tried to go to college I realized that ACE was really quite bad. There are people who get out of ACE and do well in higher education. Some members of my family included. But they do well in spite of ACE not because of it. Perhaps some children do just need to get away from all other children in order to concentrate on school work and those children do better academically than others. But the academic success comes at the expense of developing interpersonal skills required for the real world that are just as important.

      Dealing with learning disabilities takes a lot of work and the expertise of trained professionals. There are a lot of different learning disabilities and a lot of different ways to deal with them. I am dyslexic and I speak from experience when I say that ACE is crap.

      In another post here you said that ACE was originally developed for home schools. I see that you realize that you might have been miss informed so I won’t say much about that. But my parents opened a school in the early 70s only a couple years after ACE began and it was not developed for home schools. Please try to remember who told you that wrong information and question everything else that person told you. And it would be a good idea to question what the people around that person told you as well.

      “It takes faith to believe in anything about this world. Faith is not just a religious term; to have faith in something, is the same as believing in something. It takes faith to believe in evolution, creationism, you name it.” I remember hearing things like that from the pulpit and Wednesday chapel and bible studies. It takes faith to sit in a chair and believe it will hold you they told us. This is something you need to think about a lot if you would like to go through life without being made a fool of on a daily basis. There is a big difference between faith and reasonable expectations. It is reasonable to assume that a chair will hold your weight. I don’t have faith in chairs. If I doubt that a chair will hold me I can test the strength of the chair in the real world. But faith is not the same thing. Mark Twain said it very well, faith is believing what you know ain’t so. There are many ways to verify and study biological evolution. Even ways to study why we believe in things like gods and spirits. I am happy to recommend a lot of books and videos if you or anyone else reading this is interested.

  51. O man I have enjoyed this thread. Thanks everyone and especially thanks to Joelle. Keep up the good work. Top stuff!

  52. Oh and also is there not some kind of petition I can sign to help stop this madness?

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