Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

January 23, 2008

So who’s going to stop them?

Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » So who’s going to stop them?

Just think, with the decision of the majority of the Texas SBOE to reject a textbook for reasons other than failing to meet basic state curriculum requirements, McLeroy now doesn’t even have to bother with the analyzing the “strengths and weaknesses” rule to reject textbooks that teach evolution. Before, the Board would have to go through the motions of documenting that the textbook didn’t demonstrate the weaknesses of evolution in order to reject the book. The Board could have demanded the publishers to include so many “weaknesses” in the textbook so as to make the evolution section appear a travesty of unscientific reasoning.

See the complete post at my new website www.texasedspectator.com.

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January 16, 2008

You can teach creationism as long as it’s quality creationism

Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » You can teach creationism as long as it’s quality creationism
Texas delays decision on offering science degree at creation college | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas News on Yahoo! | The Dallas Morning News

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board said Tuesday that it will wait until April to decide whether the Institute for Creation Research can offer an online master’s degree in science education. The board was supposed to take up the issue next week.

In November, a team of educators and coordinating board officials visited the institute’s graduate school in Dallas and concluded that it offered a standard science education curriculum. In December, an advisory council recommended that the board approve the institute’s application.

So what does this mean? The team that visited the program said that is was “a standard science education curriculum.” So why is the board delaying? What has the board found out since then to suggest that it might not be teaching at a graduate level? If so, why didn’t the original advisory council indicate the problem before?

See the complete post at my new website www.texasedspectator.com.

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January 6, 2008

Special privileges for Bible classes

Filed under: education, Religious Right, Separation of Church and State — texased @ 10:13 pm
Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » Special privileges for Bible classes
MySA.com: Metro | State

Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee the bill’s author, said that if 15 or more students express interest in the Bible as Literature course, districts must offer it.

“A lot of schools don’t know they can have the course, and this bill notifies them that the Supreme Court ruled school districts can offer it,” Chisum said. “School districts should know they can offer the course because it better prepares students for college literature and history classes.”

So why do students have this right for only one class? Why shouldn’t they be able to petition for calculus, Greek, Shakespeare, or microbiology? Surely they help better prepare students for college work as well? Why is the public school system giving special preference to a specific course?

Complete post at my new website www.texasedspectator.com.

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June 21, 2006

Define “worldview”

Some people just can’t help to pick and choose their facts to favor their beliefs even when they realize they probably don’t know everything that is going on. They heard a catch phrase and that’s enough. Case in point…

Spunky of Spunky’s Homeschool Blog initially posted information about a Belgium homeschooler being unfairly persecuted by the authorities under an entry “Stupid in Belgium.” Fortunately, Daryl with his HE&OS blog and on the Homeschool Watch list found some additional information that would indicate things aren’t necessarily as they seem.

HE&OS:

So, the parents are members of a political party that, if not banned outright, skirts the very edges. I think it might be best if the conservative/homeschool bloggers (AND HSLDA) just sit this one out.

Valeria over at HEM backed him up.

News & Commentary Home Page » Blog Archive » Belgian editor-author summoned to police station because of homeschooling:

Many of us object to the ‘one world government’ being imposed upon us via our government signing U.N. treaties, but yet we are in favor of a U.S. viewpoint of law as the standard for all other countries.

So Spunky comes back and acknowledges that

SpunkyHomeSchool: Clash of Worldviews:

I’m sure there are many facets to this case we don’t know or understand.

in a post entitled “Clash of Worldviews.” Let’s see, so she is sure that there are many facets that she doesn’t understand BUT because she found the quote below, she thinks it is just a symptom of a greater clash of world views.

SpunkyHomeSchool: Clash of Worldviews:

I came across this quote by the Mr. Belien that tells a little more about their family’s worldview,Europeans have foolishly replaced God by the State as the one on whom they rely to take care of all their needs from cradle to grave. The religious vacuum has led to a demographic vacuum, because those who lose faith in God lose faith in the future as well. A civilization that has created a religious and a demographic vacuum is bound to perish.

If this is indicative of what the “separatists” stand for, I can see why the state is trying to keep him quiet.

It’s all so calm and reasonable and she has her escape route by prefacing her statements with “if” and “appears.” The quote she provided also makes it seem rather reasonable–if you don’t look too closely. Substitute “Christian” for religious and “white European” for demographic and things take on a new meaning. And given the context of the quote, I would argue that is what by all “appearances” Paul Belien means and what Spunky actually thinks. Here is what appears directly before and after the quote:

Is This the End? | The Brussels Journal:

I have repeatedly defended the view that Muslim immigrants are not to blame for Europe’s predicament. The latter is entirely of our own making. Europeans have foolishly replaced God by the State as the one on whom they rely to take care of all their needs from cradle to grave. The religious vacuum has led to a demographic vacuum, because those who lose faith in God lose faith in the future as well. A civilization that has created a religious and a demographic vacuum is bound to perish.The lights are turning out for Europe. If America follows Europe’s example Christendom is lost.

This is about the rule of Christendom. It doesn’t matter if the Muslim immigrants become Flemish or not because even the Flemish are abandoning Christendom. They’re just one symptom.

Why does this bother me so?

1. Despite even saying she doesn’t know what all is going on, Spunky had to put in the last word of support of this guy since he “appears” to share the same beliefs.

2. She presented the belief as something within the context of national socialism versus religious belief. This is sure to be accepted by most Americans: socialism-bad, religious freedom-good. I know she never says this but this is the way it “appears” to me, making it seem a reasonable “clash of world views.”

3. I can accept a reasonable argument about to what extent immigrants need to assimilate into their new, chosen society. But this is really about the need for a nation to be Christian.

“If” she generally believes the preceding than it would “appear” that someone like me wouldn’t be welcomed into her community even though I have relatives who have fought for this country for seven plus generations. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the fact that she “seems” to think the United States should look just like her community.

It’s a bait and switch and I’m seeing more and more of it. For example: “It’s not freedom ‘from’ religion but freedom ‘of’ religion.” It’s neither, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion.”

I don’t know if it’s deliberate on her part or not but it doesn’t matter since in either case it is making it a more difficult country for me to live. But then again, I guess that’s the point.

June 12, 2006

They aren’t just homeschooling, they want to take over.

Daily Kos: A Carnival of Theocrats:

Flames shot out on stage and a team of Navy Seals was shown on the big TV monitors in full camouflage creeping forward down the hallway from the locker room with their M16s. They were hunting us, the future Christian leaders of America. Two teenage girls next to me burst into tears and even I, a jaded middle-aged male, almost jumped out of my skin. I imagined for that moment what it must have felt like to have been a teacher at Columbine high school. 10 seconds later they rushed out onstage and pointed their guns in our direction firing blanks spitting flames. About 1000 shots and bang, we were all dead.

These are the people they’re worried about when they talk about the problems of homeschooling and “socialization.” I’m not one of “them.” I am appalled and frightened of “them.”

Over 25,000 youth and young adults attended BattleCry Philadelphia. I’m sure many were homeschoolers. But many more were from public schools, some might live across the street from you, and maybe a few even attend your church. It would be a mistake not to take them seriously because from all indications, they are taking you and your acquiescence seriously and intend to use it their advantage. This is not a homeschooling problem, this is a challenge to who we are as a nation.

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