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August 9, 2004
Maybe This Is Why They Think They Should Vote

Fox News reports that several states have cracked down on a chain of schools that assists immigrants to America in getting a GED, the equivalent of a high-school diploma. That sounds like a worthy goal, no? Well, apparently they took the equivalency issue a bit too seriously, as their source materials are so riddled with errors that it almost sounds like a parody of American education:

California has joined other states in acting against a private school that claimed to award high school diplomas while teaching its immigrant students a curriculum riddled with errors, including the wrong years for World War II and the wrong number of states.

The California Alternative High School in Los Angeles targeted Hispanic immigrants, charging $450 to $1,450 for a 10-week course it said would lead to a valid diploma and help them get into college, find better jobs and get financial aid, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said last week.

But the school's certificate isn't recognized as a high school diploma, Lockyer said, and school officials ignored a previous court order that banned them from telling consumers it was.

Why isn't their program accredited? Their textbooks couldn't pass a third-grade civics class, for one thing:

The United States has 53 states but the "flag has not yet been updated to reflect the addition of the last three states" Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

World War II began in 1938 and ended in 1942.

There are two houses of Congress the Senate and the House, and "one is for Democrats and the other is for the Republicans, respectively."

Perhaps the school just entered into some wishful thinking. After all, had the Allies launched the war against the Nazis in 1938, it probably would have been over before 1942, and perhaps a lot sooner than that. And I'm sure that some people would love to just have two houses of Congress and divide it by political party, although I rather doubt that it includes Ralph Nader and Michael Moore, for instance. (Hmmm. Sounds better all the time.)

Decades ago, someone wrote a book translating common phrases into English for foreign travelers to Great Britain that was so full of errors that it became almost a satire in itself. Even Monty Python used it for the basis of one of their classic skits (John Cleese was the foreigner, Michael Palin the British shopkeeper). Having an entire school dedicated to illiteracy would be hilariously ironic if it wasn't for its thousands of victims, whose illiteracy will impact us for years to come.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 9, 2004 11:43 AM

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» California['s] Alternative [to] High School from damnum absque injuria
I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. So the school isn't accredited. Lots of schools aren't. So they get some basic history wrong. Big deal. All schools do that. Granted, some of these screwups seem a bit more egregious than most: The... [Read More]

Tracked on August 9, 2004 1:38 PM

» Education Choice Update from Jack of Clubs
Captain Ed has more comments but I just wanted to point out that this sort of thing has always been a major objection those of us on the pro-voucher campaign have had to put up with through the years. The argument is to the effect that, if voucher prog... [Read More]

Tracked on August 10, 2004 6:04 AM

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