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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Texas Taliban Poisons the Science Teaching Well

This wouldn't be such a big deal if Texas did not have such an influence on the what shows up in science textbooks nationwide. Texas citizens should know that their State Board members have made Texas, once again, the laughingstock of the nation, while advancing the kinds of ignorance and superstition that would destroy the world just to prove its prophecy correct. From the NYTimes:

. . . . The board tentatively decided in January to drop the “strengths and weaknesses” language. On Thursday, Democrats and moderate Republicans on the board blocked a proposal by social conservatives to reinstate it. Even with one moderate board member missing, the measure was blocked with a preliminary 7-to-7 vote.

The full board is set to take a final vote on Friday.

Failing to overhaul the curriculum broadly, conservatives instead attached a series of measures specific to subjects like biology, where teachers would be newly required to “analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of natural selection to explain the complexity of the cell.”

In the earth-science curriculum, conservatives weakened language concerning “the concept of an expanding universe” to address instead “current theories of the evolution of the universe including estimates for the age of the universe.”

With protesters on both sides of the issue carrying signs outside its meetings, the board has heard impassioned testimony from science teachers, parents and others.

A conservative board member, Bob Craig of Lubbock, expressed satisfaction with the overall changes.

“I personally believe that language is good language,” Mr. Craig said in an interview. “It allows for full discussion of all sides of the issue.”

Dan Quinn, a spokesman for the Texas Freedom Network, a nonprofit group that promotes the teaching of evolution, said the vote would not end the debate.

“If they don’t get the political strategy, they’ll go piecemeal,” Mr. Quinn said. “The State Board of Education pretty much slammed the door on ‘strengths and weaknesses,’ but then went around and opened all the windows in the house.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:11 PM

    What do Texans know about Science??? In my home town of Berne, Capital of Switzerland where the brainy Einstein lectured, we are happy to make some space for ignorant Texans to get the message - Evolution, not Intelligent Design!! But then, this would turn off the taps of "easy money" for the crazy Sunday School preachers - Texans love to flock by the thousands to those "Intelligent Design" preachers only to screw one another in business and otherwise during the week... Will they ever learn???