"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Conspicuously Absent

The House Committee on Science held hearings today on K-12 education but the Republican majority denied requests from ranking Democrats to have a teacher represented on the panel. Afterall, what do veteran science and math teachers know about "Rising Above The Gathering Storm" -- could it be the facts?

Here's some information directly from Congressman Gordon's (D-TN) office in case you missed the hearings on C-Span:

The foremost reports and experts in the field agree,” remarked Rep. Gordon. “Without a solid teacher base, progress in K-12 STEM education will be difficult to attain.”

In fact, Committee Democrats requested that a distinguished 30-year classroom science teacher join the panel today and share her experiences in working with the federal education programs under discussion. Committee Republicans refused the witness, forcing the Minority to request an additional day of hearings on this important topic.

Committee Democrats also questioned panelists including U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings as to why the Administration’s FY07 budget claims to enhance K-12 education through the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), yet focuses 70% of the funding on math curriculum development at the Department of Education – a seemingly narrow area that ignores calls for improvement in both math and science education to provide a foundation for competitiveness.

“We should certainly concentrate some efforts on math curriculum development, but 70%?” questioned Rep. Gordon. “In a time of limited budgets, it makes much more sense to me to focus our efforts on funding current programs that are working and producing measurable results for students and teachers.”
Sense? Hmmm.... The Democrats need to dig a little deeper and so do the reporters.

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