A Collection of ACE School of Tomorrow Survivor Stories
Here are all of the Accelerated Christian Education/ School of Tomorrow survivor stories I’ve received on this blog. Since many of them have been buried way down in the comment threads of old posts, most of my readers will not have seen them. You’ll notice positive stories about ACE are rarer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the tone of my blog, I don’t get many messages from ACE’s supporters.
I realise there are more here than anyone is likely to read in one go, but I want to leave them here in one place as a resource. The order is random.
I’d like to thank everyone who’s commented on this blog since I began. The standard of comment has been unbelievably high, and there are many comments not here that have really contributed to the discussion. Please keep giving me your thoughts.
Anti: David Seidell (via email)
I’m reading your blog at work and working my way through your earlier entries – it’s a very surreal experience for me.
I attended a private school in the US, and then was home schooled. It wasn’t until I started the 8th grade (age 11 or 12) that I moved to a public school. Both the private school and my education at home used ACE curriculum.
I had no idea that ACE schools were so widespread, and believed my experience was unique. After a transitional period where I entered the public school system and had a hard time adjusting to how different things were, I put it all behind me and rarely, if ever, thought about it.
I remember the ‘cubicles’ and the partitions. I remember raising the Christian flag when I had a question. I remember the character Ace, and his cartoon friends. I remember taking the speed reading tests. I remember being surprised, once I started attending public school, at how early other kids had learned things like long division, or how little they knew about Biblical history (clearly the only history that mattered, as I knew very little about presidents or American history, and almost nothing of world history).
I’ve identified as an atheist for some time now, and religion matters very little to me. After reading through some entries on your blog, though, I want to look for the materials I used in school. I am sure my mom still has them, and it would be very interesting to look through them now with a different perspective.
I can’t blame the ACE curriculum for all of the problems I had attending public school. (My poor socialization, my religion and a heavy-handed arrogance were all part of it too.) I do know, though, that if the education I received had been more well-rounded and focused on critical thinking rather than a bizarre mangling of facts, I would not have been so confused or offended by the things taken for granted at the public school.
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read my rambling message. The point of this was to thank you for putting so much effort into documenting and sharing your experience. You have certainly given me something to think about.
I attended a church/school in Soest, Holland (1979-1981) that used the A.C.E. curriculum. The curriculum was NOT my complaint; it was the atrocities inflicted on myself and the other students by the random psychopaths/sociopaths hired to operate the school. It was nothing more than a cult school run by sadistic control freaks who used fear, intimidation, witholding food, water, and bathroom breaks, humiliation, solitary confinement, after school detentions than ran as long as 7:00 – 8:00pm, NO extra-curricular activities, NO socializing. 8-9 hours a day were spent in a three-sided 2×2 cubicle with a light in it. The only way you could get “outside” communication was by raising a little flag and start praying to GOD that the freak in charge felt like answering flags that day. The irony of that “Blessed Education” is that when I FINALLY got out of it and graduated, I had no idea how to write a check, pay bills, or anything else of any REAL value. I am now almost 50, and am just now about to get my college education – up until now I wouldn’t set foot in a school. If you have any doubts about this, the “owners” of that school were Ken and Velda Black, and their minions were Bill and Linda Compton.
Pro: Anonymous (yes, he/she put “anonymous” in the name field)
So, to the author of this website – Your website is hilarious! LOL – I will give you that much! I would be ashamed if I were you… I am sure your parents raised you right, you just rebelled and turned your back on them and God in general, and are bitter and thus, created this website. It takes more faith to believe in a false THEORY of evolution rather than scientific FACTS. So, you can continue to illegally scan snippets of “booklets” (called PACEs) and you can continue to attempt to undermine, make fun of, and take copyrighted material out of context, that is up to you. However, I hope your spree is shortlived. I am an employee of Accelerated Chrisitan Education, in the copyright division. I can easily submit your website to the review of a lawyer, and you can be taken to court for copying our copyrighted material from our curriculum, ACE inc., and be punished to the fullest extent of the law. So, if I were you, I would watch what I post.
Have a great day, and God bless you!
I had the ACE curriculum from 1st through 8th grade, with a break for A Beka in 4th. I can’t even begin to tell you the ways that it has stunted my learning: from lack of a basic science knowledge to relying on rote memorization to pass tests. And yes, the other stuff, like the “Board of Education” [note: this is slang for the paddle, with which ACE students are spanked] makes me cringe even today (and it is been 25 years since I last was in an ACE classroom). I’m so glad you are posting this information in a readable, organized format. People need to know what their tax dollars are going toward and what fundamentalist kids are learning.
Pro: Samantha (a drive-by commenter, left a fake email address)
Apparently, you may have know someone or perhaps involved in the ACE program, but you have to be a part of it to see how much it has done for kids. Those coming from broken homes, those whose parents have no time to spend with them in helping them learning, those who haven’t the slightest idea of who God truly is, and has a result follow the rules of the world, and forgetting what he wrote in the Bible. Of cours you may, or may not be a child of God, but someone did create you, and someone did place Godly rules for us to follow. The program implements those rules, those taught many years ago, by parents who cared.
It is time of people like you to stop criticizing what good Christian schools are doing for children, and recognize that we are building strong believers in Christ. See for yourself, experience it for yourself, whether it is through the learning workshops or seminars, but with three children placed in its program none of my children have ever been paddled, for one I can do that myself, and two they need this type of discipline, structure to help them focus. The world already led us astray, why not implement a school that helps us retain our focus and what we lost many years ago, something that may perhaps better our children’s future.
Anti: Stephanie Badeau (née Pipher)
You have put into words how I have felt about ACE for so many years. I went through the whole program from kindergarten through 12th grade (K-3 in a christian school and 4-12 at home). ACE has no value other than helping students to learn basic math and English, each of which are taught in rote learning style. Even after mastering these skills, I would still have to do more busy (PACE) work. I never was required to exercise higher order thinking or do any type of writing other than, like you said, short answer. I would have learned so much more if I had been taught in a kinesthetic style an accredited curriculum. I had saved one of my science PACES from high school-one all about how evolution isn’t possible and it can be proven false. I saw how rediculously unjustified this information was given as fact.
At the moment, I am completing my Master’s in Special Education–it has been a long road because of all of the wasted time in non-accredited programs (After graduation from high school, I was encouraged by my church to attend a christian college, also non-accredited–although I didn’t realize what the importance of accreditation was at the time because of being sheltered from EVERYTHING).
When I was 16, I remember begging my mother to send me to a public school–she said they were of the devil. I was required to attend an IFB church 3 times a week and was not allowed to wear pants, attend movies, or go to parties (other than church parties). I was told that if I went to public school, the kids would try to get me to do these bad things, as well as swear and do drugs. When I think about the brainwashing I went through, it is very difficult not to think bitter thoughts of: “what if” I had been allowed to think for myself and use reasoning back then–”What if” I had attended a real school that had science labs and regents programs that I know I would have passed with flying colors! I feel like I was in my mid 20′s when I finally became a “teenager” and did these things. I like your blog in that, you don’t sound like you are bitter about your ACE experience, although that may be because you have overcome that bitterness or learned to use it in constructive ways. You expose ACE for what it is: a simple, non-accredited, excuse for an education system that is used to promote chistian dogma.
Pro: Dreamer8700 (a compilation of many comments by this user starting here; this isn’t even all of it)
Jonny, am reading your website with interest. Just wondering why do you not rather concentrate your insight and expertise on changing the UK public school system which sadly has often been found guilty of child abuse (e.g. Nigel Leat Case in January 2012), was recorded in 2008 as having the highest level of bullying in Europe, and holds educational standards which are in a state of worrying decline (see OECD PISA rankings). At least the ACE curriculum offers parents an alternative to this very unattractive prospect for their children.
I was educated for a time using ACE, so I do have close connections with the program. I have since trained as a secondary school teacher, and am currently completing a masters thesis on Northern Irish politics, as well as teaching.
In my capacity as a state school teacher of young people between the ages of 12-18, I have come across many distressing cases of both abuse and low educational standards. To anyone who knows, it is a non-debatable fact that the current public education system is in a state of decline on every level and is in need of urgent change.
The university classroom was the first classroom I ever stepped into. I do not wish to boast, but throughout every part of my academic career, I have been complimented particularly for my critical thinking skills, creativity, writing ability and general intellectual interest.
If one has had a bad experience with ACE, sympathy is in order. However I would warn against assuming that such an experience is the result of every encounter with ACE – many people are extremely thankful to ACE for enabling them to have the most positive educational experience of their lives. This includes children who have been the target of abuse in state schools – children who would otherwise have had to live out their formative years in the most damaging environment possible. It also includes children who have strong opinions and beliefs – children who would otherwise have had their individuality stifled to death by peer pressure.
My aim in referring to the low standard of the British school system is only to point out that no curriculum is going to be perfect. We need to be aware of applying unrealistic expectations when dealing with ACE or any other curriculum – lets treat all with an equal amount of realism. Your heavy-handed, one-sided criticism of ACE causes suspicion immediately and makes me wonder what your ultimate intentions really are. Even facts can be carefully chosen; what facts concerning ACE are you leaving out? Are your ‘extracts’ chosen at random, or are they carefully selected to prove one of your many negative points? Why, out of the entire ACE curriculum, which spans from pre-school to college preparation, does the one PACE about the Lough Ness monster have to be rehashed again and again on websites across the Internet?
[In response to my point that educational reviews of ACE have been overwhelmingly negative] Christian education as a whole has received very little academic evaluation. Given the general liberal, left-wing trend in universities since the 1960s and earlier, I would expect most journal articles to be negative, especially since they examine ACE from a sociological perspective and not from a practical educational perspective.
Anti: Scott Bragg
Reading your blog brings back some of the horrors I’d forgotten from my 3 years in an ACE based secondary school. Argument after argument, detention after detention all for the “Sin of Hubris”. I questioned their scientific facts, their history, even the literature. None of it made any sense to me.
It wasn’t until I hit University that I realized that my “six years” of education I achieved in 3 years of schooling in the self paced school was worthless. The only thing that I took away that was of any value was math. Even they had a hard time screwing up calculus.
The final straw for me, in my senior year, was an argument with the Principal where he told me, flat out, that it was his God given duty to teach me what to think. I left the school shortly thereafter, got my GED and went on to University.
If i had it to do over, I would never have left public school, even with the hell on earth the Central Florida school system was at the time. My real education effectively stopped when I did.
Pro: Jennifer Almeida
I as well as my younger brother went through the A.C.E. program. I enjoyed it and would never refer to it as a monk’s cell. It was a classroom and there was plenty of interaction between students as well as teachers. There were some things that could have ben done different, but that goes of any school system. I would not trade the education I received nor the friendships I made for anything. I graduated from that school a year early at age 16, entered college when I was 17 and I am currently a web designer at a top hospital in Southwest Georgia. Education is what you make of it. My brother who also went to the A.C.E. school with me, later transferred to another school after I graduated. He did not finish school, did not receive his diploma and has not worked to get his GED. He always hated school and because of the decisions he has made as far as education goes, he has a tough time. Every child is different in how they learn and children have their ways of learning better in various classroom settings.
The ACE school I attended in California has just asked for alumni statements in order to get state accreditation, which made me critically think about the way the curriculum helped/hindered me/others. It’s precisely my academic success later in life (which I see people are presenting as evidence for ACE’s success) that has pointed out these shortcomings.
I found that ACE helped me with test taking, memorization, answering to please the grader, and sitting silently for 7 hours straight. It hindered me by not teaching me long-term retention, critical thinking, literary/historical/contextual analysis, participation in discussions, essay composition, and unbiased presentation.
If students only complete lower-level college courses (an Associate’s degree here), they’ll shine because grades are based primarily on tests. For upper-level learning (Bachelor’s degree and further), tests are almost nonexistent, giving way to critical analysis that ACE completely fails to prepare you for. (And indeed seems to condemn.)
Anti: “Geo Avenger”
I too went through ACE schools. I found them intellectually stifling and relentlessly uncreative. I felt completely unprepared for college. I had taken a class that was not offered (physics) at a local community college when I was in 12th grade so I knew the education I had received was a joke. About a decade after graduating from high school I did go to college. At that point it had been long enough that colleges did not require an SAT or look at my high school curricula (since I knew they would know it was ridiculous too). I am now writing my dissertation in… wait for it… GEOLOGY!
Anti: Samantha (compiled from two comments, here and here)
It’s funny how I came across your blog(this is the third post I’ve read of yours about ACE.) I was outraged at things I found in my ACE books and Googled the subject to see if anyone else realized the same. Thankfully, it seems as though a lot of people see the same thing.
I was going through some old ACE books in order to get my transcripts for my first year of highschool in order and noticed all of the places that I had highlighted wrong information or just blatant lies. It was atrocious! Most of them were in history because that happened to be my favorite subject but Science was chock full of lies as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Christian. But ACE played no part in my conversion. In fact, it put a bitter taste in my mouth towards any fundamentalist or organized religion. The fact that all of the work is reading comprehension and pretty much no creative writing sickens me. In the few years that I studied ACE I was in no way encouraged to voice my own opinion or do any kind of secular research to find things out for myself. I remember at one point, a “creative writing” project was to write a letter to my governor… My problem here? I was instructed to “thank him and show your appreciation for his policies and achievement”… Which I completely disagreed with.
I’m surprised that I’m as open-minded and critical as I am today considering how brain-washing that education is. Oh and don’t get me started on ACE’s view of Native Americans and their subtle racism.
I noticed a few people asking about the students that go through ACE and where they end up.. My boyfriend graduated with ACE. He didn’t like it but made the best of it and is serving in the Airforce reserves right now.. He’ll be taking college classes on graphic designing at the end of this year and is moving forward in life.
Most of the other ACE students I know of transferred after less than two years of studying ACE.
Growing up in a Christian home, you’d think that sex wouldn’t be mentioned but it actually was and still is. Of course, my parents discouraged me from sleeping around but they also told me that nothing they could do would stop me from making my own decisions… Which I took advantage of. Thanks to a really douchey guy, I made a decision to remain pure til marriage.. Because I realized that no matter how much he may have said he loved me, he wouldn’t be capable of the love that I would want to accompany intimate relations…
I must thank my parents and *insert name of certain teenage guy* for doing what ACE never did and saving me from being another statistic. Unfortunately, I know a number of girls that went through ACE and have narrowly escaped from being a teen mom. They continue on their self-destructive path of promiscuity, self-hatred, and insecurity thanks to ACE and parents that don’t really care.
Anti: “Vice Device”
I got spanked for alleged scoring violations. I never cheated intentionally. The two meanest and biggest teachers beat me with a paddle and then wanted to prey with me. What a joke.I Hate PACE and ACE and want it destroyed. It ruined my life. I’ve carried this hate since the early 80′s. If I ever see the people who abused me they are gonna pay. I was a skinny geek. Now i’m 250 lbs. 6′ of solid muscle(except for my beer belly) hell bent on revenge. Thank you for exposing this cult and the criminals behind it. I love this website and all the work you do in our behalf. What kind of sick F*^% likes beating a young boy?
The ace education system gave my brother the opportunity to learn as a child with A.D.D this was the only way that he could learn basic things which were so blatantly ignored in him before in a public school. granted it isnt as rigorous as most educational programs but it has it merits. i would also like to point out that physical abuse is something that occurs where ever there is a teacher who thinks that’s the best way of disciplining a child.
Anti: Kirbyyoung (message received via Reddit)
I was in the PACE program for two and a half years, and worked at a school that taught it for a year. In my relatively short time, I saw it was certainly not the best of systems. I can’t really remember anything wrong actually in the books, not to say there wasn’t anything wrong, as you have shown there is plenty. It is the system itself, the whole “work at your own pace” thing. I wasn’t in it for as long as a lot of other people who were posting in the comments of your post, so it hasn’t messed up my way of learning. I never had much of a problem with the program myself. If you are a fast reader and worker, the system can be beneficial just in that you can graduate early, though how credible that diploma should be is up for debate.
The problem lies in the students who aren’t self motivated, or aren’t the quickest readers or learners. The year I worked at an institution that used this system, about 4 of the 35 students in the high school were actually were they were supposed to be. One student was on the first book of his 9th grade science, and on the 4th or so book of his 9th grade social studies by the end of his 11th grade year. Keep in mind there are 12 books per subject per grade. Can’t quite remember where he was in the other books, but I think the highest may have been either the first book in his math or one of the early books in English 2. I knew the kid pretty well, pretty smart, maybe above average, but the motivation wasn’t there. I honestly don’t know what he did all day. I have known kids who either dropped out or seriously considered it because they were so far behind.
There is one thing I do like about the system, at least in theory. When you enter the school, you take diagnostic tests, starting from 1st grade or kindergarten and ending at high school. Every separate PACE book has it’s own small section that goes over the main subject of that book. If you fail the section, you get that book to give a refresher on what you might not have learned, or have forgotten, from past grades. The thought is that if you don’t know something from say, 6th grade math, you won’t be able to do some of the things 9th grade math. Like knowing the fundamentals of basketball before trying to play like a pro. Simple enough, though I am not fond of the execution. I don’t think there is anything that makes this system acceptable. Anything that the system does well is overshadowed by all of the problems it has.
More survivor stories:
Posted on July 27, 2012, in Accelerated Christian Education, Christianity, Faith Schools, School of Tomorrow and tagged fundamentalist abuse, School of Tomorrow. Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.
I have a unique perspective on this whole process. Like many of the other responses, I too spent most of my school years in the ACE curriculum (from fifth grade forward) in the US. But upon moving to Texas in 1990, I quickly became a part of the socially-crippled, anachronistic institution that was ACE.
As a legitimate educator, I can look back and clearly identify the ACE system as indeed over-simplified. It used to be a point of pride that I was able to easily graduate a full two years early (at 16) in a system that allowed me to be done with work by 10 AM each day and never required any form of “homework”. In retrospect, I can confirm that the schoolwork is far too simple, too rote and every bit as warped with indoctrination as others have illustrated.
Your recent piece on Carl Baugh reminded me how much my perspective has thankfully changed since those days. I had been to his nearby creationist museum (more a trailer home with dubious fossils). When I was told he was to be the commencement speaker at my graduation (as head of my graduating class consisting of two whole people!), I was beside myself. As a future historian and educator still firmly entrenched in religious belief, I was ECSTATIC.
My first job? Working at ACE… whose international headquarters (then in Texas) was literally a five minute walk away. I and all my friends started as part time employees, assembling curriculum orders for schools across the country. It was simply what everyone did.
There was a cult-like mindset there. The world seemed frozen in a mid-70s era of polyester uniforms with the red, white and blue flair of reminiscent of Evel Knievel. In the early 90s, the building was still a shrine to its founders Dr. and Mrs. Howard. Dr. Howard later disappeared in the midst of a hushed polygamy scandal, shadowing the company in even more of a cult/compound atmosphere in the years that followed.
The company ran it’s own on-site “Pilot School” (the name hilariously changed after too many inquiries from future aviators to the MUCH less confusing “Model School”). After college, I briefly returned as a teacher (strike that, “supervisor”) at this school. At this point, I was waking as an adult from coma of religious dogma (having developed the dreaded “open mind” in my years in a religious-yet-still-liberal-arts college far away). I believe I was the only “supervisor” who was an actual college graduate with an accredited diploma and traditionally recognized educator training (gained while teaching in a *gasp* PUBLIC school no less!).
Which leads me to the “International Institute” of ACE, the onsite four year college-substitute for future educators that provided a diploma-ish piece of paper for its graduates. As I understand it, lack of educational qualification drove them to shutter the program. It may very well continue in a new incarnation where the company has relocated (Florida, I believe?).
As I found my place as a post-religious adult, the conflict was simply too much. I couldn’t remain onboard as someone who would (mis)lead young people in a manner that was rapidly becoming unrecognizable and outright deplorable.
The strictness of the environment struck me as a young boy once came to me in tears, confessing to hitting another child, absolutely terrified of the “corporal punishment” that was heading his way with the certainty of a death sentence. I once nearly lashed out at a co-worker for literally inserting God and “his will” into the most minute detail of each day, leading students down long and winding discussions in lieu of legitimate, helpful education during school hours.
Despite my comfort and familiarity with the system (a Montessori-like environment which, solely as an individual-based learning concept I still quite admire), I abandoned it in favor of teaching in a traditional classroom, where my conscience was at ease. Yet in the back of my mind are the many students left behind that had no alternative to ACE. A feeling of responsibility nagged at me as I realized that those kids were doomed to the same hyper-strict indoctrination that I once gladly accepted as the “only way”.
As a naïve fourteen year old, I arrived in Texas and was genuinely excited to be a part of this system. Until that time, I had languished in a world where ACE was an obscure thing to all those outside: friends and family. From my perspective, being a small part of ACE Headquarters seemed as though a privilege akin to being “called up to the major leagues”. A small “world” where everyone was dressed in (literally and metaphorically) the same ideas.
But looking back, I feel only shame, disappointment and wasted time.
Comments like this are why I’m glad I started this blog. Thanks for your insight; it’d be great to have you comment more.
I’ve been told a fair bit about the Donald Howard scandal, but I’ve refrained from publishing it as I don’t have evidence, and I might be betraying my friends who told me (people who, like you, used to work at ACE HQ; you may even know them). From what I can tell on their website, ACE now has a base in Tennessee, but the Texas office still exists.
It’s my conscience for the kids still in the system that makes me so interested in this, too. I get accused of being bitter, sometimes, but I genuinely don’t feel angry (at least not often). I just think this is something that deserves attention.
As a former ACE student, I am intensely curious to know the details of this scandal.
I’ve heard a lot about it. I’m in two minds about publishing what I’ve heard though, and I’ll probably keep to myself. As much as I’d like to expose it to the world (as scandals go, it’s a good one), I don’t have any proof yet.
You have me puzzled. I was a principal in 4 different ACE schools and I taught Christian Philosophy of Education on a college level. I, too thought ACE was an inferior system until I became involved in it. Both of our children are graduates of ACE and excelled professionally in lives. Their personal lives are also successful. Concerning the facts: McGraw-Hill tested our students 1980(?) and found that at the end of their freshman year, they tested 12.6. They had the equivalent of a high school education! ACE students also had character training. The curriculum was totally redesigned, based on Judeo-Christian values rather than Secular Humanism values. It has a mastery approach and students are not allowed to progress unless they master the material. There is no social promotion to the next level.
Dr. John E. Russell
Some of our difference here may be in our opinions of standardised tests: I think even the better ones are not useful measures. I also think the ACE tests are so badly designed that they do not offer any evidence of whether the student has mastered the material.
After reading all the posts and comments on here, I’m beginning to see a pattern. Many of the comments about academic or professional success after an ACE school also feature a parent or teacher who was a successful educator in their own right. Perhaps that’s key here?
Another common thread in the “pro” posts is a balanced life while at an ACE school. If I had been in a less-oppressive ACE school AND and some kind of balance outside of school, perhaps I wouldn’t have the strong feelings I have. For me, I was at church/school 8:00am to 4:30pm five days a week. Then I was back from 7-9pm on Wednesday nights, and 10:00am to 12:00pm and 6 to 9pm on Sundays. The only day of the week I might not have been there was Saturday and we often had youth group Saturday nights so I was there 7 days a week. This was my entire social group; my whole life wrapped up with adults who didn’t like me and made no attempt to hide it.
You might say it’s not ACE’s fault. But ACE is designed by and marked to people with extreme Fundamentalist, “separatist” beliefs. These awful situations are bound to be common.
This makes me feel a little less alone.
Then these should make you feel much less alone:
(Be sure to read the comments on that one)
I attended an ACE school from the time that I was thirteen until I was seventeen. That was 1972-
1978. Berean Christian School was its name. The school was in East Saint Louis, Illinois and has
moved to Fairview Heights, Illinois since then. I found your website while I was looking to see if ACE
schools still exist. I was hoping that they went down a long time ago. Unfortunately, they have not.
All of the experiences that I have read about on this site were the same experiences that I had at
Berean. No one is exaggerating. Although other students were paddled, some pretty often, I never
was. I was pretty quiet but rebellious in my own way. I remember once being shown a film from Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist university. The film dealt with the American Civil War and starred the founder of the university, Bob Jones himself. He played a Confederate General. His son also starred in the film and played Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. I remember seeing only three Blacks in the film and only two had speaking parts. A Black woman playing a slave simply helped a white character with her jacket. Two Black men were used for comic relief when one of them put too many beans in a pot and it boiled over. It was typical racial stereotyping, just like, Amos and Andy. The white Confederates were portrayed as the most Christian and kindess people one could ever meet. I was sixteen when I saw this film and I remember thinking that if the people who made it had their way, the South would have won the Civil War. I recently read an article about Christian school textbooks printed by Bob Jones University in which American slave owners in the South are looked on favorably and the Ku Kluz Klan are described favorably. It does not surprise me, after remembering the Civil War “Epic” that I was forced to sit through.
When I was fourteen a boy in my Phys. Ed. Class took the shoe of another boy and hid it in another nearby room. It was at the end of the day and we all started looking for this poor kids shoe. It was eventually found. The teacher demanded to know who hid the shoe. No one confessed or snitched. The teacher said that if we had to we would wait all night until someone confessed or told on the person. When he said, “all night” I assumed that he was using a figure of speech. Well, I was wrong.
After putting all of the high school boys in a room by ourselves, which by the way is something that a good teacher would never do, we were supposed to search our souls and come up with the offender.
Instead of doing that, we started singing and clapping our hands. We were then told that since we were so disrespctful that we would be staying there until 7:00 PM as punishment. This was at 3:00 PM and we had not eaten since 12:00 PM. It reminded me of the film, Cain Mutiny with Humphrey Bogart were he plays the crazy naval officer who demands to know who stole his strawberries from the galley. So there we were. Sitting at our cells with nothing to eat for four hours after having sat at them for most of the day. The boy whos shoe had been hidden and then found, was allowed to go home at 3:00 PM. It did not endear him to the rest of us.
When I was seventeen I was sitting at my carol or cell one day and the male principal came up to me and putting his hands of both of the dividing walls of the carol he leaned in next to my face and whispered into my ear, “Greg, you really need to get new pants. ( I was wearing the normal navy blue uniform school pants) I have noticed that for the last few days ( at this point he started to chuckle) you look like you have been poured into your pants.” I honestly did not know what he was talking about. They were the same school uniform pants that I always wore and I was not trying to rebel by wearing tight pants. I remember thinking two things when he was whispering into my ear. 1: I am so embarassed by him talking about this and 2: This is creepy. He never said any more to me about it. Which in some strange way made it even creepier.
One day around 1976 I found a new book in the bookcase. Apparently, it had just been placed there by someone who did not read it. In it was a letter from the head of the ACE company explaining that he had recently travelled to Chile and had meet with President Pinochet. He said that President Pinochet was very impressed with ACE and had given enough copies of this book for every ACE school in America. I was appalled when I looked at the book. It was in Spanish and English and on every left page it showed pictures of how terrible Chile was before General Pinochet took over and on the right it showed current pictures of how wonderful things in Chile had become after President Pinochet had taken over. It was pure dictator propaganda. I took it up to a teacher and showed it to him expecting him to be as outraged by the propaganda as I was. Not quite. He said that he had never seen it before and how nice it was. “I am going to use this to teach my Spanish Language class!”
When I was fourteen, on our first day of high school, we were given a paper to read and sign which had come from ACE headquarters. In it we were asked to promise that we would never wear at home or anywhere else, “bell bottoms pants or other hippie style clothes.” The girls were asked to promise to not wear mini skirts at any time. This was 1973. We were also asked to promise to never listen to rock music nor dance. We also were asked to promise to never use drugs or smoke or drink alcohol. No one could believe what we were reading especially about the clothes and music. We could not understand why they would want to control what we did at home.
Eventually, we were told that either you sign or leave. I wish that we had walked out en mass. But, we did not. We learned one of our first life lessons in lying big. We signed the form promising to not do those things all the while knowing that we had no intention to keep those promises. I was once asked to take the role of an angel in a school Christmas Play. I really did not like the role and did not want it. I refused to take it. The principal told me that he believed that I was a boy who, “Needs more disicipline.” This was the same guy who commented on the tightness of my pants that he had been looking at for a few days. He said that he and another teacher were planning on coming to my home and forcing me to come and perform in this play. He was another ACE control freak who was reflecting the ACE company’s strong desire for control over the student’s entire life. When he said this to me I was thinking, ” Good luck with that. My parents are horders. We cannot even get to the front door much less let you in. My parents will not let anyone into our house.”
When I was seventeen a group of friends from school had a party at one of our friends. It was a Saturday night and the boys parents and other family members were upstairs. It was 1977 and we listened and danced to disco music. It was the most fun that I had in high school. we drank colas and ate Sloppy Joes. When I look back on it now I am struck by how innocent we all were. No illegal drugs, no alcohol, no wild sex orgies. Just music and dancing. It was great. However, on Monday morning the principal did not seem to feel as good about it as we did. ” I have been told that some of you have forgotten that you signed this paper.” He held up the paper that we had signed as freshman. He then read through it. He reminded us that we had best to remember this. Apparently, his brat daughter who did not get invited to the party found out about what she had missed and ran straight to her father to snitch. Most of us never seemed to feel the least bit guilty. We loved the party and thumbing our noses at the school.
One of the things that bothered me the most about this school was the lack of classic literature. The literature that I should have been reading was replaced with fundamentalist hack books. I read on my own at home books and stories like Romeo and Juliet, Catcher in the Rye and The Diary of Anne Frank.
I am Gay and was becoming ever more aware of it when I was in high school. Being Gay at Berean Christian School was a miserable experience. That is really saying something considering what a miserable experience the school was for even straight kids. We were supposed to decorate the front wall of our cell with things that we liked. Most of the time I left mine as undecorated and dreary as I always felt. However, there was this one time when I found a drawing of the two main characters from, The Great Gatsby, Jay and Daisy. It was done in ink and was very Art Deco. I covered the back wall with the shiny side of aluminum foil and decorated the corners with more Art Deco lines with the picture in the center. It looked great. I now realize how very Gay this was, but at the time I at least consciously did not have a clue. I just knew that I liked it. As homophobic as the principal, teachers and moniters were they could not figure it out. To be honest, I do not think that any of them could define Art Deco if their life depended on it.
When it came time to graduate I was informed that since I had not finished the Algebra or Business Math courses I would not be graduating. I was in good company though. About half of the senior class were in the same situation. I had never been retained in any grade, First through Seventh, before coming to Berean. Just one more year and I could graduate. Well low and behold at the end of my second senior year I still did not have enough Paces finished in Alegebra to graduate. And once again, I was in very good company. Half of this class was not allowed to gradute for the same reason. I did notice that the year before a girl who was in the same situation that I was in as far as Algebra and Business Math were concerned, miraculously was able to suddenly whiz her way through both of the courses just in time for graduation. This girl’s family was very close to the principal. The next year another girl struggling with the Algebra and Bussiness Math Paces experienced the same miracle and passed the last test on her last day of school! Her mother had been a moniter at the school for years. I also noticed that the kids who were not allowed to graduate were the children of parents who were not involved at school in any way as far as volunteering or attending meetings.
I finally gave up. I studied for, took the test and received a G.E.D. It is the state equivilency of a high school diploma. I eventually learned that it was better than a diploma from Berean because the G.E.D. is accredited by the state. The diploma from Berean is unaccredited.
When I left Berean Christian School I had no self confidence or self esteem. Throughout high school and for many years after I often had suicidal thoughts. My poor parents had actually paid money to have me tortured pschologically, emotionally and spiritually.When I finally did start to take very cautious steps toward a college degree I struggled with writing papers. It was not until I was in my junior year in college that I started to believe that I was intelligent and really was capable of learning. I went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Education. I have been a teacher in a public school system for twenty years and I love it. I have a wonderful son and two wonderful Godsons who are thriving in our local public school systems. I have a female cousin who attended Berean Christian School after I did. Her father is a very good carpenter. She would work with her dad and build furniture which she would enter into the National Ace School Woodwork Competition. She was the only girl who would compete. She won the First Place Award for the two years that she competed. After her second win, it was announced that from then on, the Woodwork Competition would be open to boys only.
My spiritual journey has twisted and turned since I left Berean Christian School. I understand why some of the survivors of ACE are atheists. I never believed that the Jesus presented to us at Berean was the way Jesus really was. One day in a Bible Study Class at Berean some of us asked why would God tell Joshua to kill everyone in the cities that the Israelites had conquered, even the babies and the elderly. The teacher told us that the sin of those people was so great that it had infected even the infants and that they would have sinned just like their parents if they had been allowed to grow up. I later learned on my own that the Nazis used this same arguement to justify killing Jewish babies. I rejected the fudamentalist beliefs of ACE and my family. I am a member of The Episcopal Church U.S.A. (Anglican Communion, Chuch of England) I do not have to check my brain at the door when I enter an Episcopal Church. We ordain women as bishops, priests and deacons. Our church recently approved a liturgy for the marriages of LGBT people. I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ. I hope that most people know that when fundamentalist Christians use the term Christian, they are only talking about themselves. They do not believe that Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Eastern Orthodox, or really anyone else are Christians.
When I was at Berean Christian School I remember thinking how horrible it would be if these Christian Fundamentalists were ever in charge of the Federal and State Governments of the United States. Little did I know that thirty five years later we would be fighting to keep that from happening.
Any success in life that I have had since I left the ACE system has been in spite of my experience with ACE not because of it.
Wow Greg. Thanks for posting such a detailed story. I’ll definitely feature this on the front page some time; it deserves to be seen.
I attended an ACE school in the U.K. from a very young age, right the way through to graduation. Many of my peers and I went on to succeed academically beyond our time in an ACE. One close friend thrived studying Math at University, another Computer Science. My ‘supervisor’ throughout the last few years of school did not have a university degree. Yes, she did have to take a PACE away every now and again to study it before she could explain it fully, but I have never met more dedicated and loving staff as I did in that school. It incorporated a healthy balance of PACE work and practical lessons. Yes, it is methodical and rigorous, but I believe I’m better off because of it. I am not homophobic nor ignorant of the world around me. I can look back, and acknowledge where there is room for improvement but what ACE offers CAN be quite exceptional. I have observed many staff over the years from School of the Lion, Oakwood, Locksley, Victory in Bath, Paragon etc. and I can confidently say that they successfully prepared many young people for university, life and a relationship with the Lord. Have CEE made mistakes in the past? It’s very likely. Does that give anyone the right to start mud-slinging? I think not. You won’t get a response from many staff members from CEE and schools that use ACE, not because they are backed into a corner but because they know where the truth lies. I for one am happy to stand up for the selfless, though human, generation that has gone before us.
“There is only one way of victory over the bitterness and rage that comes naturally to us – to will what God wills brings peace.” Amy Wilson-Carmichael
Hello. Just stumbled across your website as I was looking for overviews of ACE programs. I’m actually considering a return to ACE, believe it or not 🙂 We started home schooling with ACE many years ago, but changed to some other programs for various reasons. After a few years of working at other programs I can see some of the merits of the ACE program.
Like Dave in your comment section, I am also a “legitimate educator”. I attended public schools and did my four year teaching degree at a secular university. I’ve taught in many different public schools. Years 5, 6 and 7 Japanese, year 10 science, year 10 “remedial” english, year 8 and 9 english etc…. Let me tell you, I don’t see any major deficiencies in the academic side of ACE when I compare it with the material students are learning in the public schools. The grammar in ACE leaves public education standards for dead. Even the year 8 English is more comprehensive than public senior education standards. My children, who went through the ACE reading program, were well above their so-called reading level that would have been assigned to them in public school. My oldest child is in his 8th year of HSing at the moment, so I can’t say what the academic side of things are like in the later high school years. However, there are many ACE graduates who continue on with academic studies without any issues of “gaps” in their education. In fact, my ACE educated nephew was asked by his secular university lecturer to help the “normal” school kids learn how to write an essay correctly. Academics is a non-issue.
A couple of people have commented on your site said that they were spanked at an ACE school. I do not at all condone this practise, but I do wonder what makes anyone think the same thing wouldn’t happen in public schools? I remember getting hit over the hand with a ruler by my public school teacher for talking in class. In grade one I was dragged out the front of the class and smacked with the big metre ruler in front of everyone because I turned around to tell the boy behind me to be quiet. ACE is not perfect, their teachers aren’t perfect, and neither is the public school system. I completely disagree with teachers smacking children. However, I would argue that there would be many more instances of physical abuse in public schools than in ACE schools.
As far as the belief that ACE indoctrinates, I would contend that EVERY curriculum has an underlying set of beliefs. So, I disagree with the idea that ACE indoctrinates children while “normal” schooling does not. Children will be taught a worldview either way. Parents who choose to educate with ACE are no more indoctrinating their children than parents who send their children to public schools. The difference is in the worldview. As a parent, I choose to teach my children my beliefs. Are atheists going to send their children to a christian school so that their children get a balanced view of life? No, parents educate their children according to their belief system. All children are being indoctrinated, just like I was in the public school system. I grew up believing that truth is relative, that there are no absolutes, that life evolved, and so on. I wasn’t taught that there is another worldview that disagrees with these ideas. So, just like some of the people who have commented on your site, I can say that I was indoctrinated.
I’m not sure that many people have a perfect education or upbringing. I know that some have horror stories to tell in so far as they are physically abused etc. I don’t see the ACE books themselves as being responsible for abuse. Perhaps it’s the ACE school system, but I can’t comment on that as I have no experience with it. I see there is no need for ACE to be ashamed of teaching children about Christ and the christian worldview. In fact, I think it’s fantastic that there are Christ-centred programs out there.
Anyway, there’s another perspective on it.
hi There, just came across your site. I went through Ace in London, Uk and my kids now go through the same system. I can understand what people are saying anti and pro but I think it’s not the curriculum’s fault. People are imperfect, education is imperfect and there is no formula for educating people. Me and my sisters went through the system and I can see the faults like the curriculum is from bible belt America and have some wierd views. The good thing is that our school, which is run from a post-church community that I am part of, can find it’s baffling issues and talk about these with the students. Our teachers in the school are mostly (not all) Christian and are open to the child’s individuality and progress. These fundamentals can be talked and challenged, they are not law.
The great thing about ACE is that anyone can teach it and when some kids are struggling in a classroom, they can go to their own pace and set their own goals whilst working with the teachers to fulfil that. I live in Tottenham which you could send your child to a local school which offers education in oversized classrooms or you you can try and get into another catchment area and place your child in a slightly posher school but I would struggle putting my kids in that community. Our kids are excelling in this environment. It takes some work as parents but I think its worth it. I wish that there was a more secular ENGLISH based system but there isn’t and I don’t trust state education, every ten years a report comes from the government saying it’s not working. The greatest achievement of the Ace system is that when you go into college and the workplace, I feel it sets you up for getting on with it. Not relying on being shown the ropes. I hear many stories where people find the jobs they do after ACe making sense and easily understandable. The math standard is also very high, at 14 years I was almost at the end of algebra and doing calculus for fun. Its all about how you approach it and having your parents alongside you.
I wish there was more supporters for this kind of education cos I think that it would only get better if there was but we live in an age where everything crap if its not big so were all screwed. I’ve lived my whole life with people attacking this system and now I am a parent I get the same thing. One day I may have got it wrong, wouldn’t that be weird for someone to blame there parents for their childhood – NOT!
Ah, I see you are from Adrian Hawkes’ Phoenix Academy. Adrian and I exchanged a couple of emails earlier this year. I’m aware of Adrian’s stance on allowing the children to question the curriculum, and I’m glad to hear it confirmed by you.
While what you’re discussing is a good thing, it just doesn’t make sense to me. The ACE materials are so unequivocal in their views. They state so clearly that the views in the PACEs are “God’s point of view.” They switch between teaching facts, stating opinions, and preaching religion without making any distinction between the three – all are depicted as equally true. Those who disagree with the views of the PACEs are depicted as ungodly and sinful. The PACEs even actively discourage children from reading material that might contradict these views, with dire warnings of how it will corrupt them (see English 1129, for example). And these are given to children, who are meant to trust the authority and wisdom of those who educate them.
So when a child spends 60% or more of their working week working from these books, there can’t be someone on hand to help the student question it every time the PACE says something indoctrinating or questionable, because PACEs say objectionable things on virtually every page. And if you did do that, surely the children would end up thinking, “Why am I using these books? Everything in them is wrong.”
It’s like saying, “We’re your teachers. We believe the moon landings were faked. We believe the evidence points to the moon landings being faked. Not everyone believes the moon landings were faked. But we believe that they were.” Imagine basing a school on that and giving them twisted evidence that seems to disprove the moon landings. Imagine making children read literature which argues that people who believe in the moon landings are sinners, and then expecting the children to be in a position to make up their own mind about the truth.
For the sake of curiosity (and why not fun) why don’t you collect experiences of other schools and compare them to these? Again, as an educational investigator I give you a sneak peek you’ll find a great deal of similarities.
I’ll give mine for starters, even though I grew up in a christian family I never went to a religious school, the custom in my country is that religious schools are mostly catholic and have a VERY known reputation for sexual abuse, I’ve met tons of people in that unfortunate situation. So I went to school as normal people do. I remember very clearly that as early as 1st grade my classmates would discuss sex, obviously as a child I was curious, and made jokes that even though none of us understood stuck to our minds. I was that age the first time a boy exhibited himself to me, we were in class and me and my friends looked under our desks and saw him, our teacher didn’t even notice it. Now that I think about it we did all kinds of stuff while we were in school and our teachers never realized it. We spoke of so many things that nobody ever explained. I even got punished for smiling once, haha so silly. In secondary school many of my classmates were drug addicts and many others lost their virginities to the teachers, in high school one of my classmates got AIDS, and others had babies. In my firts semester of universities we were around 40 people, by the end there were less thant 10, when I was 19 my boyfriend broke up (other word for cheating) with me because I wouldn’t have sex with him, my parents discovered that we almost did it once, it was not good, I lost many friends and the guy humilliated me I tried to kill myself once, Jesus saved me then. I can not say I had the perfect school experience as many others but I can say it was the people not school itself that failed, God didn’t gracefully :D.
Sadly, as some people comment, child abuse is very wide spread in schools around the globe. And obviously the ACE SYSTEM is as imperfect as any other. The fact remains that the abuse of authority is the issue and not the system, just like you said, teachers say we are the owners of all that is true and this goes to people who are not certain of their faith and attack those who question them (because the don’t know what to answer) as much as it goes to people so inmerse on a scientific paradigm to attack people who believe differently. I give this example, you are on a fundamentalist society and question their beliefs you will become an outcast, people will critizice you and judge you, those who believe in GOD (that way) will call you sinner, those who believe in science (that way) will call you stupid. Even more sadly, this blog is a result of what I call scientific fundamentalism. If you don’t believe in science blindly you will get judged.
Anyway, the bottom line is this neither is addressing the real problem which is intolerance, and it is because we as humans suffer of short sight or what psychologists call reasoning fallacies, particularly the one that states that people tend to believe everybody thinks the same way oneself does and that we are always right. Experiments actually show that this type of reasoning may impair us on the task of finding solutions to problems. That’s why your arguments rarely take in count the subject as a whole.
Here is an interesting exercise, ask yourselves (christian and science believers alike) why do I believe what I believe? do I really know what I believe (really deeply)? do I become agressive when someone thinks differently? Is science or God the problem or is it people who discriminate(including yourself)?
For the sake of honesty I’ll answer these questions. I believe in Jesus because he saved me, when I thought no one cared about me he spoke to me, I believe in God because I’ve met him and have shared the same experience with so many people, to me it is as certain as I can see my mother and when they tell me not to believe in him to me is as extrange as if they told me my mother never existed, He is where i come from, who made me be born (one time and again). My experience with GOD has been great, and life without him was not (to say the least) I would epitomize it using this phrase, I don’t know about you “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works” (Psalm 73:28)
Second question, I may never get to fully understand all of what the Bible says but this I know that Jesus saved me from my sins and changed my life and all of the promises he made to me are true (and have lived it). And nothing in this world gives me any evidence whatsoever that my experience is a figment of my imagination. I believe God loves me and wants me to love him back only by not hurting myself and other people and love everyone as He loves them (pretty hard to do).
Third question, yes, obviously like everybody does, but only whern someone asks me something that I don’t know how to answer, yet it is God who reminds me not be angry but loving, and teaches me not to loose my faith, and more so what are my mistakes, although I know I’m not perfect and sometimes I loose my temper.
Final question, science is amoral and I believe in a God who is love, so the problem is people and the mistakes we make, and the fact that we can’t acknowledge our responsibility and use ideas (or even worse other people) as scape goats. Bottom line the problem is within ourselves but we are too proud to address it.
As a parent of an only child who didn’t do well with the isolation of the individually paced schoolwork, I can definitely see the dark side. On the other hand, this system enabled very small groups to educate their kids outside a public system whose curriculum and teachers held views often opposed to their own. Unfortunately, some students need the social interaction of the classroom as my son did. My son still lives with me. At 41, he still blames many of his issues on that small ACE school. Here’s the rub: The supervisor was a true intellectual with a huge personal library, and the most effective teacher to whom I have ever listened. Two other boys were there; one is the dean of a Christian college, and one is a heart surgeon. The 7 or 8 girls have, for the most part, done well. The success or failure of an ACE school really depends on the people running it, their ability to teach beyond the PACE curriculum, and a healthy concept of balanced and fair discipline. The “C” in ACE is “Christian”. If the system, in whole, has driven our kids away from life as a Christian, then it has failed. Am I Pro, Con, or somewhere in between? The results of ACE are mixed, as are my thoughts about it.
Just stumbled across this while searching for information on Dr. Howard’s death. (Dr. Howard founded A.C.E.)
I know A.C.E. from many different angles. I went to an A.C.E. school from kindergarten through graduation. My parents worked for the A.C.E. headquarters for over 20 years. My mother worked there for nearly 30 years. My older siblings all went to the “college” operated by ACE which was rampant with sexual abuse. I worked at the headquarters when I was 14 and again when I was about 18 or 19.
I can relate to the poster who had to sign a pledge not to drink, smoke, dance, do drugs, go to movies or listen to anything but Christian music and that we would abide by the dress code even at home. Supposedly I signed one of those when I was 5. When I was in high school, several of us went to a birthday party for a church friend who went to public school. At this party, not all of the music was Christian and there was some dancing. Plenty of adults present, no alcohol or shenanigans. My parents (and several other parents) came into the party to look around and make sure everything was pure before they let me stay. It was probably over by 9:00. And yet I was called into the office the next morning and threatened with expulsion because I was at a party where some country music had played. They pulled out this pledge and waved it in my face like I was deliberately defying them… I also had the pledge used on me when I bleached my hair over summer break…
When I was young, maybe 9 or 10, there was a phase where guys and girls took separate breaks and lunch and even used separate entrances… because, you know, if prepubescent kids talk to each other, the girls will get pregnant or something.
I wish it was all just stories about their disturbingly odd beliefs, but the stories quickly become more painful.
At the school, I was tormented by an abusive principal with significant rage issues and his wife who worked at the school intermittently throughout my time there. I was abused physically and psychologically by them in ways that I do not care to discuss here. I was also sexually abused there when I was young but I want to be very clear that I do not accuse the principal. Some people reading this will know who I am and unfortunately the school has spread a rumor that I’ve accused the principal of sexual abuse but that is not true. I am not a lone victim of sexual abuse. Since I went public a few years ago, 4 other people have come to me with their own stories of abuse. Even worse, we all had different abusers. Some were abused for years. Only 2 of us have spoken publicly about the abuse and both of us instantly had our reputations attacked by the company/school. In my case, they broke my confidence and made my story public, misrepresented the facts and said I made an accusation I never made. The other victim suffered worse, even ending up in the local papers.
I could write a book about the abuses at the school, but that does not mean that ACE is responsible, it means that this was a horrific school. However, ACE is set up to foster horrific situations like this. Any person or group of people can decide to open one of these schools. There are no required qualifications or screening. At best, 1 or 2 people fly to the headquarters and take a 1-week, self-taught course and then are sent back to be responsible for the education and well-being of a group of children. The school I went to, which was 100 yards away from the ACE headquarters, had 4 registered sex offenders with access to the students during the time I was there. One was even hired as a custodian of the church where the school was located! If this is happening at the headquarters, what is happening around the world?
The ACE curriculum I used was very ineffective for long-term retention. Everyone knew that all the questions on the tests were going to be covered the day before the test on a pre-test. Just memorize that and forget everything else. AND you had access to that pre-test from the beginning so all you had to do was read the 20-40 questions on the pre-test and you literally just had to fill in the blanks.
Math and science were a complete joke. If you couldn’t teach yourself Algebra and Geometry from their books, you were out of luck. And what they represented as “science” was downright laughable. It was inaccessible to many students because they weren’t able to teach themselves and it was downright misleading. I’d question anything they teach past simple machines…
The company was corrupt from the get-go. It was founded by a philandering sociopath who surrounded himself with people just like him. He was known to have affairs around the world and to make advances on the girls in ACE’s college (which ended up closing abruptly because it turned out it was illegal). One of the smajor scandals when I was in High School involved one of the college girls who was demanding a paternity test for her baby which she claimed was his because they’d been sleeping together. One married female member of my family traveled with him in the company jet for about a month and after the first couple days, refused to be near him or be alone in a room with him because of his advances. He even went so far as to send the room mate of my family member out on an errand and then tried to come to her hotel room to make a move on her while she was alone.
They are purposefully deceitful for their own gain. The standard response when a customer questioned the prices of the curriculum was “Well, we are a Christian business, not a ministry”. But at the same time, they paid their staff far below market rate by telling employees “We’re a ministry, not a business”. Meanwhile, the founders are millionaires many times over…
This place is heartbreakingly abusive with many similarities to a cult. At the headquarters and in the curriculum, you are taught to mistrust any source of information that contradicts their dogma. Any kind of disagreement with their teachings is labeled a sign of a rebellious spirit and if you don’t recant fast enough, you will be smeared publicly. The control of people’s personal lives was frightening. I remember hearing a sermon about colors that were sinful for a man to wear. When I was young, it was a sin to have a TV in your home or for a woman to wear pants. THIS is the foundation of the company. I hear things have changed, but honestly, I don’t see it. I still know people there and the posts I see on Facebook still smack of the abuse and legalism I remember from my childhood.
Christopher, if you get this, will you please contact me? I need to know about a situation you may have witnessed or heard about. It is important to the victim, and to a current situation.
My e-mail address is Cindy g at ipi dot org
As one who is both pro & anti the ACE system, I, too, have many of the same experiences mentioned. One thought, however, comes to me. What are these memories for us–a mill stone or a stepping stone? One will drag us down, the other will help us move forward.
Thanks for the comment twaiku. It would be great to hear more about your experiences; please consider writing a guest post.
I think this blog is an attempt to turn the memories into a stepping stone. ACE was a damaging thing for me and many of my commenters, but thanks to analysing ACE, I’ve learned a lot about real science vs pseudoscience, I understand many aspects of psychology better, and I’m getting a PhD.
I attended the A.C.E system and it changed my life. Before I went to this school things were not going so well. I attended a private school and I found it difficult. I was behind every one else and the school did not help. They told my mum that my learning problems would only get worse. No one picked it up that it was related to my eyes. My mum took me to a physiologist. She told my mum that I would not make it to year twelve and don’t even think about university. My mum cried. As a result she pulled as out of the school and moved us to a new school with the A.C.E system. I also went to the eye specialist and got better glasses. I was grateful I was able to work at my own level because I was behind. My learning improved and so did my life. I was able to catch up and understand things I did not understand before. At this school I became a Christian by free will because I saw that the teachers believed in me. I still faced ups and downs but life was so much better. Life began to have meaning and purpose. I finished year 12 with my sister. I was so grateful that some people took the time to believe in me when many did not. When I finished school I studied at tafe and later university for nursing. I graduated university and I am grateful for the support of the school and my family especially my mum. I never thought I would go to university. I am grateful for becoming a Christian and going to a school were you could learn at your own level. I am not saying life is always easy and it has been far from that but even little miracles can give a person hope. God has changed my life.
Thanks Laura. From your description of your schooling, I’m guessing you’re from Australia. Is that right?
First off – Thank you for maintaining this blog. Had I not stumbled across this, I would have thought I was one of only very few people who knew what a “School of Tomorrow” was.
I attended an ACE School of Tomorrow in the South East U.S. from about 1991-2001, 1st through 10th grade. All of the stories above have brought back memories which part of me wishes would remain hidden and part of me is fascinated by revisiting.
The terms “Supervisor,” “Monitor”, and “Learning Center”, have caused a flood of memories of those horribly odd colored photocopied Demerits with quaint little sayings on them. Those flimsily stapled together paces that would lead to a gold star on my chart (with a little help from the score book, of course!) With enough gold stars and blue Congratulations slips, I could get a nice little trophy at the end of the year when I donned my retarded red tie and blue dress pants for the end of year ceremony.
Those cheap trophies embodied my years of sitting alone in a little cell to take a test, raising my American Flag to ask to go to the bathroom. Feeling completely confused trying to read A Pilgrim’s Progress, dreading “Physical Education” because it meant playing kickball with kids ranging from 6 to 18 because there were just enough of us to form two teams. Getting detention for drawing a Metallica logo inside my notebook during Wednesday Chapel Service – Then again when my sarcastic attempt to use whiteout on it only made a large Metallica shaped logo in white. Wasting time alone while locked away in a room where I was supposed to be watching a 1980’s VHS explaining Algebra – and struggling with Algebra because no one there could help me since they barely graduated Highschool themselves and Algebra wasn’t a real strong point of their 1950’s education.
The ACE school I attended was a breeding ground for contempt and rebellion. Many of my classmates turned into lousy white trash with no social skills, multiple failed marriages and a few DUI’s. The worst ones attempted suicide and even one was convicted of murder a few years ago. A few turned out OK by going to the military where I suppose they adjusted quite well after their strict discipline in school. I like to think I’m a success story, having adjusted as well as I could in public school during my final two years and going on to college and starting a decent career. I can’t name very many others who spent that long in School of Tomorrow with the same results. It is truly a sad, sad situation and I’m happy knowing that the school I attended is shut down completely now.
Hello, all fellow former ACE students. I hated my entire ACE school experience. I went through kindergarten all the way to grade 12, but I didnt graduate from there. My parents finally saw how bad it was and pulled me out thank god I dont have a diploma from that mockery of education. Not only was my mother the head of my particular school, but my grandfather started the church it was based out of. After he died a new guy took over long story short he’s and egotistical and selfish man, with little regard for anyone else. But that leaves a lot of family ties. My biggest issue was the fact that secular music was demonized. I’m a musician and from what I’ve heard a good one, I was never allowed to play music in church or school because of my fondness for the awesome musical stylings of bands such as The Beatles, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, and hundreds of others. This of course was not acceptable to the youth pastor/supervisor and I was berated an yelled at almost daily they would say things like “why don’t you go pray to your god’s of nirvana and the beatles to save you”. I never once yelled back at him, he wasn’t worth the argument he used his authority to try to squeeze me out of my “liberal ideals” of Rock and Roll, Pacifism and Equality for gays. He was a simple ultra conservative gorilla and I grew to loath him. Good thing my mom finally realized what was going on and pulled me out of there before I snapped. Well thanks for listening to my rant and thanks to ACE my punctuation is probably fucked
I just mentioned from a previous post that I’m an A.C.E. student. So to expand on that:
We’re not fundamentalists and I was actually born to catholic parents who converted to born-again christianism when I was 6. They eventually discovered an A.C.E. school very near our house. The school’s name is Christ Baptist Academy and it’s based in the Philippines. Coming from regular schools before, it took me a while to get used to it.
*From the way the sections/grades are called (Nursery, ABC, Primary, Intermediate, Juniors and Seniors for us)
*How come I have to self-study instead of being part of a whole class
*Why I can’t write on the PACES and have to either photocopy the pace or write my answers on a notebook (Our PACESs were imported and the school was too poor to do mass printing, and I’m not sure if School of Tomorrow Philipines had locally printed PACEs during that time. We eventually had them when I was late into Juniors)
*Why I score the whole textbook by myself
*Why we didn’t have PACEs covering local subjects (we were able to get one during my highschool years. that’s 4 years of no Filipino subjects and only learning pure Christian American studies)
*Why there’s no teacher, why my classmates have different subjects and all the other things which were very foreign to me.
Like all ACE schools, it comes with a church (called Christ Baptist Church, heh)where 99.9% of the students and 100% of the staff are members. And let me tell you, they know how to make non-members feel like outsiders. And even tho you’re already a Christian, they’ll only recognize you as a believer if you do some hullaballo to become a member and get yourself baptized in front of the whole congregation. And they were judgemental. VERY judgemental. Every wednesday chapel hour, they teach us that everything that’s not taught in the bible is evil. And you have an entry with a list of the exact same things they taught us was worldy and will get us possessed by the devil and many more. Up to this day, I still laugh at the times my classmates cowed in terror when they held a presentation about backmasking and consumer products where the mark of satan (666) are hidden. This stupidity eventually extends to the PACEs themselves. Disregard of evolution, subtle racism (i bet half my classmates with a brain secretly chuckled at how stupid and naive the comic slips really are), more focus on religious propaganda than education and a lot more that has already been mentioned. ‘
And it may just be me but the system definitely made me feel insecure and at times stupid. I have classmates who were already working on PACEs way more advanced than mine and it’s frustrating that I couldn’t keep up. The only advantage to that is I could ask those classmates for the answers. (I wouldn’t have passed my final PACE test in Physics if my classmate didn’t give me a cheat sheet).
I eventually finished the curriculum. I started there when I was 8 (primary level), graduated highschool at 16. A lot of things has happened since then. I’m an atheist now and I actually learned a lot more outside of that school. The only thing I could give them credit for is for letting me learn how to read and write in english well. (tho I guess that doesn’t apply to the other’s who are native englsh speakers. hehe)
I had the same bad experience with an ACE school. The name of the school is La Union Bible Baptist Academy in San Fernando, La Union, Philippines. The pastor is an American Missionary.
I was able to enter college through the Philippine Educational Placement Test because this ACE school did not apply for proper government accreditation by the Department of Education during the years I was enrolled (1984 to 1988), so they could not issue school forms, E.g Form 138. When I needed some documents in line with my Placement Test to enter college, there was also no assistance from this school. How could a Chrisitan school operate without the proper accreditation from the government authorities? I thought, as they taught, Christians should be good examples, law abiding, which means: “secure the proper government accreditation first before operating your business”. Otherwise, your business is considered illegal. I still carry the trauma of those 4 wasted years in a so called “high standard” ACE school.
Interesting website. I have only skim read peoples responses and was surprised cause I thought it was only me that hated ACE schooling. I attended a few ACE schools during the 80’s in Australia. All my schooling except two years in primary school and year nine in high school where in the ACE system. Guess which year of high school I enjoyed the most?
I don’t know where to begin to describe what I felt but when I think of my schooling I feel rage. I could list instance after instance of things that happened and when taken in isolation they don’t amount to much but over the period of your school life they add up to a negative impact on my life.
I smiled when I recalled the self scoring of your work and how it was meant to teach honesty. It did help me with my short term memory. It was just a matter of memorising a bunch of answers on the next page before sitting back at your “office”.
As for that “office”, I viewed it as a prison cell. I vividly remember counting down my school years wasting my life away. Whoever thought that putting 16-17 year old boys in a cubicle (a time when they have testosterone flowing through their veins and need some excitement, action, whatever) was a good idea had rocks in their heads. That to me was one of the most soul destroying aspect of the whole system. Sitting in that “office” for hours on end.
Six inch rule for socialising with the opposite sex, getting in trouble for looking at girls, separate swimming lessons so we did not see girls in bathers (even though there were other girls at the pool), school holidays at different times to “normal” schools so we did not associate with the world, learning about the evils of rock music, alcohol, sex, full contact sports (yep no footy, soccer, when playing ball sports we had to keep the ball below knee height!!! Once again, think back when you where 16-17 and tell me if that was even possible.) One day the principle decided that all us boys (the whole half dozen of us) needed some discipline instilled in us, so he had us marching around in circles. LOL!!
I leant more about American history than I did about Australia.
When I finished my schooling and started looking for work, that was a real shock to me. I had quite a few rejections when after looking at my resume they said things like, “We don’t know if you have been at school because we don’t recognise your school certificate.” What a waste of schooling!!
I know have kids of my own and am doing everything possible to make sure they get a good schooling. Looking at them they have been to more school dances, sports events, etc then I had in my entire schooling and they aren’t even in high school yet.
I have one question to anyone considering sending their kids to an ACE school. What advantages does it have over a “normal” school? From someone who spent basically their whole school life in an ACE system, I cannot think of one.
I like your website
I was in an ACE school for 12 years, primarily in the 90’s. That curriculum taught me excellent rote memorization skills and test taking skills. Not much else. There is no room for critical thinking skills in that curriculum. I don’t consider the School of Tomorrow to be real school Fortunately, I was a voracious reader and tried to read every book the public schools literature classes required because I knew I was missing something huge. A few years ago, I was reflecting on the curriculum and those horrid little cartoons and realized that they reflected blatant school segregation. How was there no parents protesting that? The most damaging part of the system is the absolute power over students that is placed in the hands of the supervisor. Ours was a manipulative individual who regularly refused to answer student’s flags for hours, forcing them to sit still in silence and then end up with mountains of homework, among many other cruel behaviors.
You seem so sad and angry. You seem to use this site to tie abusive psudeo-Christians to the program of ACE/PACE. None of the books teach anyone to abuse children.
Each subsequent post is about corrupt educators not about the actual coursework.
I loved my ACE/PACE education. I was failing in public school.
I was happy to learn that years later the program is still available. I’m enrolling my child, who’s very smart into this program so she can move through her grades faster and cure her boredom. I will be working with her at home.
I loved the material and enjoyed the Bible study. I lived a full and adventurous life and felt like I had a great foundation to build upon. To each their own. But, nope no sad sap sorry luck story for me. I went on to get three college degrees up to and including a Master’s.
Perhaps you should be attacking false Christians and not ACE/PACE? Well, you’ll do what you like, but I thought I’d post my thought.
I’m more than a survivor of PACE I’m a celebrator and grateful student.
I’ll pray for you, you’ve met your share of false Christians and it makes sense that you’re hurting.
I have spent some of my 40 years as a Christian in Fundamentalist circles, and I have some very dear friends who continue to travel that road. However, very early on I developed concerns about the ACE schooling process. It was shortly after graduating as a Primary School Teacher from a secular university, and having studied the education philosophy of the behaviourists, and in particular B. F. Skinner’s ‘teaching machine’. I said to myself, “Dr Donald Howard has taken Skinner’s ideas and applied them to Christian education.” I did not get a job at the ACE school that was associated with the Church I was attending at the time, and I am thankful that I did not. I then proceeded down a path of 25 years of teaching in ‘regular’ schools: state, private, Christian, Indigenous, and even spent some time working with homeschoolers. My conclusion, after all those years, is that schools and schooling are the problem. I am writing a PhD and looking at the issue of deschooling society (i.e. Ivan Illich-1970), and exploring the idea of unschooling. An education is the desired outcome, and schooling is not the only means by which an education can be delivered. In fact, I would argue, it is the least efficient and least effective means.
My experiences have not shifted my Christian convictions. In fact, they are more firmly entrenched. However, tacking Biblical proof-texts to a dehumanising system such as Skinner’s teaching machine does not make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
My son attended a private Christian school in Cincinnati, Ohio for kindergarten through second grade and had a wonderful experience. The school did use the ACE curriculum. He absolutely LOVED his school and his teacher and would literally skip through the school in the morning singing “Mr. Bob, Mr. Bob, mister, mister Bob” to the tune of Jingle Bells. After second grade we moved to China and my son continued to be homeschooled using the ACE curriculum. ACE instilled in my son a love for reading and he became a very well-read young man. Concerning the origin of life, ACE covered both the theory of evolution and also the belief of Creationism. The only criticism that I, as a father and educator with an engineering background, would give ACE is that the math curriculum is not as strong as I feel it should be. Other than that, my son actually had a better understanding of science and language arts than most of his public school classmates had. In addition to that, after I placed him in public school for 10th grade, he was found to be among the top students in his grade. In his senior year he took classes at the local community college and graduated with honors. He is now in his second year of engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical Engineering University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and I am very proud of him.
I credit the ACE curriculum with keeping the truths of God and his word before my son’s face. Christian character traits, morals, and ethics are faithfully presented in each lesson, and the student is encouraged to repent of sin and have his or her own personal supernatural experience with Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I am so thankful that my son had access to the ACE curriculum and for the eternal truths it presents. I am also thankful for the faithfulness of God and his Holy Spirit for searching out my son and convicting him of sin and righteousness and judgement. And finally, I am so very thankful that my son yielded himself to the tender embrace of the loving Savior and that he is serving the Lord with gladness of heart and walking the Highway of Holiness.
I would like to say just one more thing before I close. For all of you who claim to be “anti” ACE, your problem is not, nor ever was, ACE. Your problem is that you have refused to accept the Savior and His loving kindness. It is only Jesus who can satisfy that longing in your soul and bring any meaning to his life, and it is only He who can heal your broken and disappointed heart. Amen.
I have been with ACE for more than 30 years. And through these years, I saw young people learned to live the way God expected them to live and they did well in life. My children for one are now living as good Christians, and their education in the ACE program coupled with our examples and training at home helped them. However, I also saw many who attended our schools using the ACE System did not do well in their in their later life. In fact, there was one particular person who blamed ACE for his failures. But you know what? The ones that made the difference are the outlook of these people — their response to the Godly, Scriptural teaching of the ACE Curriculum and their relationship with their Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. When a person comes to know Jesus as Savior and make Him the Lord of his life, his outlook in life will be positive. However, when a person is not saved, even the best thing in life becomes the worst to him.
Reading the comments and articles on this blog, I notice that the differences of opinions comes because of the person’s relationship with Jesus Christ. I am sad to note that many young people attend Christian Schools (like those using ACE) but are never saved. They remain unbelievers and are bound to Hell in spite of all the teachings of Christ and His salvation integrated in the Curriculum, which they read, studied yet did not respond and apply. I am saddened again to note that these young people were like King Agrippa in the Book of Acts, who was almost saved but lost. These young people have been at the edge of being a Christian, but refused to let Christ rule in their hearts and therefore continued to be lost and are on their way to Hell. Sad also for those who claim they are Christians but failed to see the beauty of biblical teaching of the ACE. Praise God for those who, because of their positive responses to the Word of God, came to know Jesus as Savior and continued to learn the principles of God’s Word in Christian curriculum like ACE, who are now happily serving the Lord. Many of them do not have worldly riches but are successful in the field they are in.
ACE has been a blessing to my family. I wished we already had this system of education when I was young. I love it and will continue to promote it. It is the best.
ACE does a great job teaching the way it does, but does a poor job preparing students who are weaker in writing, to go off to college and then just be emersed in a four year long life of always writing papers and essays.
After reading through most of the anti/pro comments above, I was compelled to respond with my own ACE experience, and also to address some of the comments made. I have quite a bit I’ve been thinking about, but I’ll condense it as best I can.
I came across this website while searching for an ACE school for my child to attend. She currently attends one I am quite happy with, but I am relocating so I am looking for another. I also attended and graduated from the same ACE school she is attending now.
From the comments I have read above, it appears to me that some of the writers have had some serious problems since high school. Is it possible that they are now looking back on their life now, looking to figure out where it all went wrong? I think this is possible. It also appears that some of the writers may have had bad experiences at individual schools, and I believe them. Bad people do bad things wherever they are, whether that is in a public, a Catholic, or an ACE school. This is not an indictment of any particular system unless there is a clear indication of systemic abuse, and I do not believe this is the case with ACE.
What are the negative commentators here comparing ACE to? I live in the U.S., and the public education system here is sub par. Polls vary, but not one that I have seen has the U.S. anywhere near the top. PISA in 2012 ranked U.S. at 36th in the world and UK came in at 26th. Many people here have commented about the lack of critical thinking in the ACE curriculum. I guess that they are assuming that other private and public schools are full of critical thinking, well read, open minded students? This has certainly not been my experience at all. Quite the contrary.
After graduating from my ACE school, at the top of my (3 person!) class, I was offered academic scholarships at a few different universities based on my grades, rank and also high ACT scores. I started on my chosen major, but halfway through I realized I didn’t like that major, and switched into the biology program. Most people in this major were pre-med students. Almost all of them had had very good high school careers, and most had taken AP classes in high school. Hardly any of them displayed what I would call high level problem solving skills or much “critical thinking” at all. I graduated with high honors, and at number one in this class (although not official, since I hadn’t started with the original class). When finished I still wasn’t sure what path I would follow, but I took the MCAT exam to open that door. My advisor called me in the summer to tell me I had the highest score of the class. He advised that I consider a medical career, and I did. I am now a successfully practicing doctor. Not one other person in that pre-med class of 40 to 50 students went on to medical school. I am not writing this to brag about myself (no one here even would know who I am anyway!), but to illustrate that my story is not the only one like this. From my same school came graduates who are engineers, run their own businesses, or teach. The majority of students are employed in blue collar professions, and some are homemakers. And some are not doing well at all. There is at least one girl I went to school with who is homeless, and several others have struggled to make their way through life.
This brings me to the most important point, and that is that ANY school is simply a microcosm of the society it resides in. ACE schools are no different. Re-title this website something like “Leaving Chicago Public Schools” and I guarantee that you would receive ten times more stories about kids being left behind in curriculum or who did not feel adequately prepared for college, stories of physically or sexually abusive teachers, or stories of being harassed and bullied by other students. These scenarios are problems in ALL schools. Within my school we had some highly motivated people who excelled at the curriculum and went on to very successful careers. Some struggled with the curriculum, and did not attend college. It is possible that a different style of learning may have benefited these students. I am well aware that in a self motivating, work at your own pace system, certain students lacking motivation can definitely fall behind. This could be a fault of the curriculum, but it could also be a consequence of external situations the student may be in. One misconception I believe that people have about education in general is that it is all done in schools. Family life, and the experiences passed on from parent to child are also quite a large part of any education experience. Almost without exception, the students who did not have a quality home life in my school did not do well. This is also true in public schools. If you have parents who are not making a child attend school, preventing truancy, or who are incapable of helping children with homework, or who can not at the very least pass on valuable life skills to their children, we cannot as a society expect schools to pick up all the slack. Education starts at home.
I am not promoting ACE as the cure for all that ails you. But my experience was positive, and my child’s experience has been positive. I do see the flaws in the curriculum, but i suspect that all curriculums have flaws. Maybe this is because human beings are not made in cookie cutter fashion, but each are unique individuals.
One final thing I will address is the complaint that some here have been forced to think a certain way. No one can force you to accept an idea. They may tell you what the “right” answer is on a test, or what doctrine is “correct”, or they may enforce a certain standard of conduct expected of the students. But no person can actually control or change a thought or idea that you have in your head. The ultimate choice of what you believe in lies solely with you, and you have complete freedom to think what you will. Now, you may not be able to freely express those ideas while you are part of a certain organization. While in college, there were some topics in religion, politics or ethics that I did not agree with the teachers on. They presented their ideas, I examined them, and i either rejected or accepted them. I took the tests, I answered the questions, and I moved on with my life. Fortunately, we live in a country where we are free to practice our religion, or to not practice one at all. What you choose is your choice and yours alone. Thank you for running this website and I wish all of you the best that life has to offer.
ACE system is NOT a good system. I was stuck from 1st to 8th grade. Luckily for me I got out before high school began. I was in a school with 7 other students (5 finished the program) The 5 that finished the ACE program 3 were addicted to drugs within 2 years after graduation. The one girl in our class was pregnant by her 1st boyfriend freshman year of college. The other I lost touch with so, I am not sure as to the outcome of his poor education. These poor kids were subjected to a sheltered life and once REAL life hit them they got chewed up and spit out…..I attended a great public high school and I attribute those 4 years to learning what the real world was like and how to deal with all types of people…I finally got to LEARN things in a classroom setting and what very successful in my high school education. I didn’t just sit in a cubicle and literally read how to do long division and then be expected to do it. The teachers were not qualified nor were they effective. They are not held to any standard or regulated in any way. I would not be surprised if they do not background check these teachers…(I know they couldn’t have in my school)
They do brainwash you into ministry. That’s nice and all but, with dreams of going to college and making a REAL career from a foundation of ACE education is virtually impossible. I feel sorry to children that are subjected to this garbage education system that is flawed at best. To the poor children that are stuck dealing with this garbage education for their high school education especially I am truly sorry. Chances are they are doomed to have life run them over before they know what hit them.
I grew up with ACE system from Yr 1 – Yr 6 the best thing about it was that you could go back over your notes. I wasn’t a good listener at school so I liked the idea of reading over information and then being tested for it later. I found that stuff just stayed in my head better than a teacher just talking at me. I think overall I was smart anyway but it gave me great building blocks to continue with my learning. Sure it has its flaws it may have been quiet boring but it suited me at the time. Now I am a born again Christian with a bachelor degree in health.
Christopher, I was in the LAB school from 77-83, during which time my father was the head of production. Wondering if you attended during that time and/or your parents were working there during this time period? You can contact me through Jonny’s facebook pages….
I used ACE Paces for most of my schooling and went to private schools when not homeschooling. I started 8th grade in a private school, but transferred at semester into the public school system. I noticed right away how far behind everyone else was. Within the first few months at my new school my parents were called in. We were that this school would never be able to match the level of education I would need in order to maintain my interests. They felt I would be better suited for a college prep school. I was transferred to Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and it was okay. I was the one all the kids ran to for help and the one everyone took homework from in an effort to cheat. I was made to tutor kids that did not want to be in school. I never really felt like I belonged, and I did not know until later that many of the kids assumed I was a Quaker. At 14 my parents were once again called in. They were told that they needed to think about enrolling me into college, and that is what they did. I began taking classes at the local college. My mom paid one of the students to drive me around campus. He never spoke to me. I think he did it for the money, but he was never really happy about it. Within the first year I had a major breakdown. I dropped out, and I took a year off school. From there I went to a small town country high school and they allowed me to start where I would have been if I had never left. In short, I feel the ACE Paces program is a major advantage over any other school or curriculum because it actually teaches the material. I was recently able to quit my job and my family and I are living in Italy so my kids are benefiting from being able to travel Europe. I am now using this curriculum to home school them. My oldest is in 10th grade, and she excelled in school surpassing all of the standardized tests. I thought she was doing well until we had her take the diagnostic test provided by ACE. Shockingly she is at a fifth grade level in many of her studies. She is going to have to work extra hard to make up for where the school system lacks. I have faith she will do well, but it is not fair that our society allows such a sub par education. I am very disappointed by the amount of slander on this site. Most of the complaints seem geared more at trying to fight back against Christianity as a whole and has little to nothing to do with this curriculum itself. I fear that this is Satan’s greatest triumph and I believe the need to fight so vehemently against this curriculum is because they can feel God calling them back, so they are fighting it tooth and nail. Satan is powerful, but God is the almighty.
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