Sunday, February 21, 2010


Texas-Style Education

The ridiculous Cynthia Dunbar will be leaving the Texas State Board of Education but voters will have scant chance of reducing the clown content of the board if they rely on the local Republican party. The three Republican candidates for Dunbar's open seat are: Dr. Marsha Farney of Georgetown, Dr. Rebecca Osborne of the Austin part of Williamson County and patent attorney Brian Russell of Austin and Travis County. Russell is Dunbar's personal choice, whose main qualification seems to be that he got the Texas Republican Executive Committee to pass a resolution calling upon the Republican members of the State Board of Education to support the retention of the "strengths and weaknesses" language in the Texas science standards, officially making the results of science and educational content a partisan political issue.

According to this report, the three stooges ... er ... Republican candidates had this to say about science education:

Mr. Russell said that he is a strong supporter of "intelligent design" and students should be encouraged to "critique, evaluate, and analyze all scientific data." Dr. Farney said that she is a Christian who believes that "God created the heavens and the earth." She said that "evolution should be taught as a theory only." Dr. Osborne said, "This is an area where I see a big disconnect between the classroom and the state board." She believes teachers should be prepared to handle discussions such as those that arise from issues such as these and teachers should not be afraid to discuss it.
Their take on sex education is equally blinkered, as far as I can tell:

Mr. Russell wants the public schools to teach "directed abstinence." Dr. Farney agreed but added that the abstinence classes should be taught by gender, with the male students taught by a male teacher and so forth. Dr. Osborne would like to encourage more parental involvement in this issue and more "character education" classes.
What the heck "directed abstinence" is I haven't a clue but bet it is a pseudonym for keeping children ignorant, much like "strengths and weaknesses" is to education in evolution.

Dr. Judy Jennings is apparently the Democratic candidate. Whether or not they know it, the school children of Texas wish her well.

General Phil Sheridan is supposed to have said 'If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas.'

I doubt he was referring to the TSBE, but he might as well have been.
The real problem with the TSBE is that, at least so far, most of the people who want to rent it are crazy.
..."evolution should be taught as a theory only."

Quite correct! All scientific theories should be taught as scientific theories and one should also teach what exactly a scientific theory is and why things like ID are not scientific theories!
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How to Support Science Education