Monday, March 15, 2010

Talk Radio & Homeschooling

Tuesday Thom Hartman will interview Professor Jerry Coyne

Hour Two: Why is the religious right dumbing down homeschooled kids? Thom talks with Professor Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago about the missing link in textbooks…evolution 

A better question would be why is the religious right dumbing down kids. Public School Students aren't immune from the rights agenda, just look at Texas.

The Huffington Post Texas Textbook MASSACRE: 'Ultraconservatives' Approve Radical Changes To State Education Curriculum

The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum's world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

History's first draft: Newt Gingrich but no liberals Textbooks being written for Texas students appear to lean to the right

The Rehabilitation Of Joseph McCarthy? Texas Textbooks Process Grinds On
What's at stake here is not just what Texas students learn in high school. Because the state represents one of two largest markets in the country, publishers tailor their books to the Texas standards. Those same textbooks are then sold in smaller states around the country.

While amendments to the history standards may be easier to understand, McLeroy and the rest of the conservative bloc are at least as passionate about leaving their mark this time around.

He told the Washington Monthly (in a lengthy feature very much worth reading):
 "The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation. But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan--he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes."

Texas Textbooks

Glen Beck, Texas Textbooks, And The Erosion of Separation Between Church and State.

In tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine, Russell Shorto has a story that looks at the battle over the soul’s of the Founding Fathers and how the Texas School Board and affiliated organizations (the Legal Right) work to establish that not only was the country founded on Christian principles but that the US’ laws are Biblical in origin. Barton makes an appearance, below. In the article, Shorto writes that like last year’s battle over “intelligent design,” this year’s battle over the religious birth of the nation has a long history:

If you think science textbooks in Texas fared better think again Texas Board of Ed Neuters Science Textbooks' Global Warming Language

A setback for science education in Texas

At its March 25-27, 2009, meeting, the Texas state board of education voted to adopt a flawed set of state science standards, which will dictate what is taught in science classes in elementary and secondary schools, as well as provide the material for state tests and textbooks, for the next decade. Although creationists on the board were unsuccessful in inserting the controversial "strengths and weaknesses" language from the old set of standards, they proposed a flurry of synonyms — such as "sufficiency or insufficiency" and "supportive and not supportive" — and eventually prevailed with a requirement that students examine "all sides of scientific evidence." Additionally, the board voted to add or amend various standards in a way that encourages the presentation of creationist claims about the complexity of the cell, the completeness of the fossil record, and the age of the universe.
According to a 2008 study ["Evolution and Creationism in America's Classrooms: A National Portrait" from PLoS Biology 2008; 6 (5)], 16% of US science teachers believe humans were created by God in the last 10,000 years."

Maybe the focus should be on the textbooks Texas is adopting instead of the textbooks a minority of homeschoolers choose to use to teach their students. 

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