'21st Century Learning Is Dangerous!'

That’s from a tweet by an anti-CSCOPE fanatic in Texas today. Seriously. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

6 thoughts on “'21st Century Learning Is Dangerous!'

  1. Zach Kopplin had one of his articles published in the Rice U magazine the other day in which he claims SBOE will be “debating” whether to include evolution
    in Tx science textbooks going forward.
    He also says there will be an open format allowing people to make statements before the board about this issue.

    Is this an accurate statement?
    If so, is it really wise to testify before the board in behalf of evolution, the established science theory concerning diversity of life on the planet.
    Scentists are giving credibility to religious magical explanations and the anti science lobby by doing so
    I most certainly think so.
    One of the goals of creationists and ID creationists like the DisHonesty(oops) I mean Discovery Institute, is to suggest to the ill educated and the religious right, that there is some sort of controversy about the scientific credibility of evolution.
    They also want people to think they have some sort of alternative “theory” which they don’t.
    It seems to me, that a better strategy, would be to attract as much science, newspaper and network and TV coverage as humanly possible to these people , in order to demonstrate to Americans what a farcical and illegal dog and pony show these Dark Agers are putting on. America doesn’t need people trying to explain evolution to these clowns.
    If SBOE memebrs haven’t been able to understand it by now or think there is a valid scientific alternative,they aren’t going to understand now. They’ve had an entire life time not be ignorant and have chosen stupid, arrogant and reactionary.
    Its better that as many Americans as possible see that and bring these disreputable activities out of the shadows and under greater scrutiny.
    There is no debate. Why give them ammo suggesting there is, by testifying before them? These clowns don’t deserve it and the sight of reputable professionals squealing in shock and surprise or even earnestly trying to convince them of something the SBOE creationist crowd has willfully and arrogantly rejected, is what creationists want to happen.
    Its that simple. The SBOE creationists are now operating outside the sphere of science, education and the law if there is actually to be a “debate” about whetehr evolution belongs in science textbooks.
    Gail Lowe’s Noahs flood geology idealogy
    doesn’t deserve the time of scientists and educators pleading to an SBOE containing a dangerous group of creationists. Better for the public to see them exposed in the court of public opinion to get them ID’d for what they are. Idiots. I say institute and aggressive media lobbying effort to bring these behaviors to light rather than give them credibility by suggesting there is some form of debate.
    A scientific and educator boycott is a better solution by far. Testifiers is what they want.

  2. Ariel’s pearl of wisdom # 37 (or is it 36?):


    The absolutist christian dominionists must not be allowed to “win” (in their own mini-minds) since that would allow them to damage yet more generations.

  3. doodlebugger says: “Zach Kopplin had one of his articles published in the Rice U magazine the other day in which he claims SBOE will be “debating” whether to include evolution
    in Tx science textbooks going forward.
    He also says there will be an open format allowing people to make statements before the board about this issue. Is this an accurate statement?”

    Yes and no. There WILL be an open public hearing before the SBOE on Tuesday, September 17, at 1:00 p.m. to hear comments presented regarding instructional materials submitted for adoption under Proclamation 2014. In practice, these comments will be about the treatment of evolution in high school biology instructional materials. For some reason, no one ever makes comments about physics, chemistry, etc. instructional materials. Any person may register to testify. TFN will explain what to do for those who want to do this.

    The State Board will NOT debate anything Tuesday. However, on Wednesday-Friday (and much more likely in November), the Board may debate forcing publishers to make textual changes in their instructional materials based on Tuesday’s testimony and on documents submitted by the Creationists planted on the Biology review panel by Creationist State Board members. The issue will NOT be “whether to include evolution in TX science textbooks” (the TEKS require that evolution must be taught–although many times it is not by Creationist biology teachers) but rather to what extent the topic of evolution will be marginalized, distorted, watered-down, disparaged, weakened, and misrepresented by subtle changes in textual language and tone. This is what the Creationist Board members aim for (not outright elimination, which would be illegal as well as anti-scientific). They want Texas students to be deliberately confused and misinformed about evolution, thereby strengthening the Creationist pseudoscience they learn in churches, Sunday schools, etc. They want evolutionary biology to appear to be weaker and less explanatory than it actually is.

    As TFN has reported, and I can confirm, there appears to be no publisher self-censorship this year, which is a good thing. Evolution is presented matter-of-factly as a valid principle of science. This won’t sit well with the Creationist reviewers or SBOE members. Ray Bohlin, Walter Bradley, Ide Trotter, et al. will author a report or reports that point out “errors” they have found or the passages that they claim don’t “meet the TEKS requirements,” the only two reasons that allow textual changes to be made. Of course, their claims will be based on their Creationist ideology, a pseudoscientific belief system that mainstream science textbook publisher ignore. However, the radical religious right-wing Republican Creationists on the State Board will take these criticisms seriously and attempt to make changes anyway. All it takes is eight votes since the Board has 15 members and the majority has the power to make changes.

    Bohlin, Bradley, and Trotter were “fortuitously” each appointed to one of the three Biology instructional materials review panels. I’m sure this distribution didn’t happen by chance or accident but was managed by TEA staff sympathetic to the Creationist Board members, probably at Barbara Cargill’s manipulation. Thus, at least one aggressive Creationist who has mastered Creationist pseudoscience was able this year to review ALL the biology materials, unlike the previous biology review in 2011 when only one publisher got zapped by such a Creationist (David Shormann), since all the other panels lacked such a Creationist. According to the TEA’s policy, if even ONE reviewer objects to a passage in a publisher’s text, claiming it is erroneous or does not meet the TEKS, the publisher is forced to write a response defending the passage. THEN the Board can debate that criticism and the publisher’s response, voting to make amendments that alter the wording of the criticized textual passage. For each passage and Creationist criticism, a separate vote will be held, giving the Creationists numerous opportunities to make changes. They will argue speciously and unscientifically and try to persuade their fellow SBOE members (essentially by fooling them) to vote to accept the amendment (i.e., the motion that requires science textual misrepresentation or inserts a distortion), thereby politicizing the content of science instructional materials if they are able to obtain eight votes. For every vote the Creationist Board members win, Texas students lose, since the student will be forced to use censored, distorted, weakened, and damaged biology instructional materials for the next ten years. This is the (potential) future of public science education in Texas.

    If this possibility makes you angry, write to your State Board member and ask him or her to ignore the criticisms of Bradley, Bohlin, and Trotter and vote against the amendments of the anti-science, anti-evolution Creationist Board members (Mercer, Bradley, Bahorich, Rowley, and possibly Cargill (she would have to turn the meeting over to Thomas Ratliff for her to make such motions, and I doubt she’ll do this!).