Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Good News, Bad News
There's not much more to say about this:
On the other hand:BOISE, IDAHO -- Members of the Idaho Science Teachers Association have approved an official position against teaching intelligent design in Idaho's public schools.
Rick Alm is the president of the ISTA's board and a science teacher at Bonneville High School. He says teachers in public schools are charged with teaching methodology that's been approved by the scientific community..He also says the teachers' group isn't taking a position against teaching religion. But he says under the law, religion has its place, and it's not in the science classroom.
Idaho state standards contain no mention of intelligent design. Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna says he'll leave it up to local school districts to decide whether or not to teach it..
The Thug Report
Please read the story before you go off on your ranting. The statement is the official position of the Idaho Science Teachers Association, which they have every right to publish.
The statement says nothing about determining curriculum.
Of course the local board sets the science curriculum. They also get to defend it against Constitutional challenges - and, hopefully, pay out all the legal fees if it fails the test.
Be that as it may, any local board that doesn't listen to what the professionals have to say about what ought be taught should be removed as incompetent before it does the kind of damage to the district and the students the Dover board did.
Aw hell... I was wondering when the ID thing would crop up here, considering the U of I has a DI fellow on the faculty and also considering the rather prominent religious population in the state. I really hope the districts are smart enough to shy away from taking an anti-science stance, but somehow I think we'll have ourselves a fight in the near future.
Actually, it is a well established legal principle that local school boards or districts hold a great deal of authority over the curricula in their schools - within broad guidelines. Curriculum includes a lot more than basic content. It extends to the teaching methods that are to be employed, the books and other educational tools to be used, and the level of material to be presented.
We tend to get wrapped around the situations where a few highly publicized school boards make silly decisions about science. But we shouldn't forget that there is a lot more going on in education, and that most local boards do a pretty good job most of the time.
IMHO, local control is a good thing. Local people know their local conditions better than some Federal or state bureaucrat.
Getting rid of local boards because of a few bad apples would be overreaction.
I hear a lot about "local conditions" but I'm not sure quite what it means when it comes to the range of courses that are taught.