Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Christian crybabies

If you're the sort of liberal who thinks activist judges should be imposing standards on public instiutions, head over to Cross Currents where Yaakov Menken is urging the California courts to force the University of California to accept a set of courses the college has already judged inadequate.

Those of you who watch Cross Currents closely, have already understood that it is Christians, and not Jews, who Yaakov is defending. And, of course, you are right. To quickly summarize, a Christian high school and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) are suing the University of California system, because it won't accept credits from private Christian high school courses that don't "adequately teach the subject matter."

Yaakov would have you believe that "the public university —in California, at least— is trying to get religion out of the religious schools also [sic]" but that's nonesense. Students are free to continue attending Christian schools, and the private Christian schools are free to continue educating their students as they see fit. And students from the bible schools who qualify are still admitted to the University of California. The issue here isn't admission, but course credit. (The college created a course, and asked UC to credit it. The college reviewed the material, and said, sorry, no, this sucks. The kid can still get into UC. He just can't get credit for biblical math, or whatever.)

If the University of California believes that the courses at these schools are inadequate that is a question of academic standards, best left to be answered by the College itself. No university - state universities included - is required at provide credit for courses that don't meet standards, even arbitrary standards. Rather then running to court hoping for a friendly judge who will lower the bar, the bible schools should go back to the drawing board and make their courses more rigorous. As any opponent of affirmative action will tell you, there is no protected right to receive college credit. The Bible schools can do as the like, but they must live with the consequences of those choices

If someone must be sued in this sorry case, let the parents sue the Bible School for providing a sub-standard education, one that includes courses that are ineligible for credit at some universities.

[A word about bonafides: I have always opposed affirmative action, and I believe that a public univeristy has not just the right, but also the obligation to mantain standards. Yaakov and the crew at Cross Currents, on the other hand have, in the past written against activist judges, and his collegue Toby Katz has published more that one stinging critique of Woman's Study Programs. If the high school was skewing its courses to accomodate a woman's perspective instead of a Christian perspective, you can bet Yaakov and his gang would be (correctly) siding with the college.]