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Author Topic:   On Sowing and Reaping (Re: Science Education in Big Spring, Texas)
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2245
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 1 of 18 (477892)
08-08-2008 7:48 PM


Thanks to the concerted efforts of some of the community, some so-called science teachers, and religious fanatics, all of whom are against science, both the high school and junior high school in Big Spring, Texas have been rated academically unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency.

See the following for details:

NewsWest9
Big Spring Herald

The unacceptable rating appears to be based upon standardized test scores in science among ethnic and socioeconomic minority groups but it is difficult to say exactly due to the piss poor professionalism of journalists around these parts.

The only thing I can think of now to end this travesty is to remind the populace that if there is no high school, there is no high school football.

As I have stated from the outset of my posting on forums, the war to preserve public education in the US is right here in Big Spring, right now.

I suppose that the evangelical/fundamentalist movement is gloating over this great victory. They have helped to prevent the disadvantaged from considering a career in science.

How does helping the poor to remain poor fit in with the Sermon on the Mount?

Free for all?

Crossposted to WorldWideWord Dreamcatcher.

Edited by anglagard, : clarity

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add the "(Re: Science Education in Big Spring, Texas)" part to an otherwise pretty worthless "On Sowing and Reaping" topic title.


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Taz, posted 08-10-2008 1:54 PM anglagard has responded
 Message 4 by steeley42, posted 08-10-2008 6:56 PM anglagard has responded
 Message 5 by Rrhain, posted 08-11-2008 4:24 AM anglagard has responded
 Message 6 by Adminnemooseus, posted 08-11-2008 6:35 AM anglagard has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 18 (477979)
08-10-2008 11:30 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 3 of 18 (477985)
08-10-2008 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
08-08-2008 7:48 PM


I think the problem lies in the fact that the general population does not realize how important science is to human progress. Genetic manipulation of crops and livestock have increased food production rate by god knows how much in the last century. Just about everything that defines the modern age, especially the latter part of the 20th and the early 21st centuries, is directly related to scientific progress.

As an example, you could simply pick out any random person on the street and ask him if the internet is related at all to science. Chances are he'll either scratch his head or say "no".

As for me, I'm just waiting for the next dark age to come.

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by anglagard, posted 08-08-2008 7:48 PM anglagard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by anglagard, posted 08-13-2008 1:07 AM Taz has not yet responded

  
steeley42
Junior Member (Idle past 4452 days)
Posts: 8
From: Ohio, USA
Joined: 05-02-2008


Message 4 of 18 (478001)
08-10-2008 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
08-08-2008 7:48 PM


Well, I gotta' say I can relate. My old high school been going down hill more and more over the years too. No one knows what to do. It's not the teachers, they are pretty much the same ones when I was there and everything was great; multiple validictorians going to major colleges, lots of kids passing the standarized tests for colleges, and full classes passing the tests for high school classes that counted towards college.

As an aside, that is the god-awfullest newpaper website I've ever seen. How anyone can actually read the news with all the damn ads changing every 2 seconds... hurt my eyes just reading the one piece.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by anglagard, posted 08-08-2008 7:48 PM anglagard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by anglagard, posted 08-13-2008 1:31 AM steeley42 has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 616 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 5 of 18 (478028)
08-11-2008 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
08-08-2008 7:48 PM


anglagard writes:

quote:
Thanks to the concerted efforts of some of the community, some so-called science teachers, and religious fanatics, all of whom are against science, both the high school and junior high school in Big Spring, Texas have been rated academically unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency.

Um...where in the stories you linked to do you find the justification for this? Yes, the second one mentioned the science scores, but how does this translate to teachers being "against science"?

There are plenty of reasons why the school may have failed the science exam without the kids being taught something other than science. They simply may have been taught poorly.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by anglagard, posted 08-08-2008 7:48 PM anglagard has responded

Replies to this message:
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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3933
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 6 of 18 (478031)
08-11-2008 6:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
08-08-2008 7:48 PM


On Sowing and Reaping
It would seem to me that a farmer planting corn is going to harvest corn. A farmer planting wheat is going to harvest wheat.

Wait a minute. This isn't an agriculture topic, is it?

Then how about a less worthless topic title?

Topic title modified by Adminnemooseus.

People, no replies to this message. Just give me topic titles that actually give some information about the topic theme.

Adminnemooseus (Mooseus crankeus)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by anglagard, posted 08-08-2008 7:48 PM anglagard has not yet responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2245
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 7 of 18 (478206)
08-12-2008 10:29 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Rrhain
08-11-2008 4:24 AM


Rrhain writes:

Um...where in the stories you linked to do you find the justification for this? Yes, the second one mentioned the science scores, but how does this translate to teachers being "against science"?

You are right, the stories alone do not support what I said concerning "the concerted efforts of some of the community, some so-called science teachers, and religious fanatics, all of whom are against science." The sources I am using go beyond these news stories and are due to my contacts within the community, which include my direct experience at the local junior college concerning the 'quality' of education the local high school graduates have received in too many cases.

There are plenty of reasons why the school may have failed the science exam without the kids being taught something other than science. They simply may have been taught poorly.

I could just reiterate what my daughter has told me about her junior high science teachers but since she is a member here I have asked her to post her experiences. To be fair, she has not complained to me about her high school science teachers, just junior high.

Watch this space in the future for direct witness testimony.

Edited by anglagard, : add "in too many cases" as some HS graduates are quite knowledgeable (just as some are appallingly lacking in basic skills)


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Rrhain, posted 08-11-2008 4:24 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2245
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 8 of 18 (478224)
08-13-2008 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Taz
08-10-2008 1:54 PM


Taz writes:

I think the problem lies in the fact that the general population does not realize how important science is to human progress. Genetic manipulation of crops and livestock have increased food production rate by god knows how much in the last century. Just about everything that defines the modern age, especially the latter part of the 20th and the early 21st centuries, is directly related to scientific progress.

While ignorance in matters of science may be prevalent and even encouraged in parts of the US, particularly the 'Bible Belt,' I think one should be cautious in inferring from this that this observation is universally true. From what I understand in at least some parts of the world, scientific illiteracy is being actively combated.

As for me, I'm just waiting for the next dark age to come.

I reiterate, the dark ages may be a more provincial phenomena that exists only until the US is militarily/economically conquered by foreign powers as the enemies of science education so earnestly desire.


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Taz, posted 08-10-2008 1:54 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2245
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 9 of 18 (478227)
08-13-2008 1:31 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by steeley42
08-10-2008 6:56 PM


steeley42 writes:

Well, I gotta' say I can relate. My old high school been going down hill more and more over the years too. No one knows what to do. It's not the teachers, they are pretty much the same ones when I was there and everything was great; multiple validictorians going to major colleges, lots of kids passing the standarized tests for colleges, and full classes passing the tests for high school classes that counted towards college.

I went to High School in Morro Bay, CA in the early 70s where biology was taught by the formidable Mr. Boudreau. Here are a few select quotations from the best of my memory:

quote:
This is a college prep class, therefore I am going to teach it as a college class. College is for adults. If you don't act as adults, you are out.

quote:
In this class, I teach evolution. If you disagree with evolution you don't belong in this class.

Or words to that effect. I took both general and marine from the guy and over 15 years later when I took general biology in college (for HS teacher certification, of all things) it was a breeze.

My concern is for this community and the quality of education the average HS student receives.

As an aside, that is the god-awfullest newpaper website I've ever seen. How anyone can actually read the news with all the damn ads changing every 2 seconds... hurt my eyes just reading the one piece.

You think the online presence is bad, you should see it in print. Actually the local newspaper is a large part of the problem as they do not allow any letters to the editor that say anything more than how great Big Spring is, and how everyone here is far 'above average.'

At least if the community was allowed to express their feelings and opinions in this matter via the local newspaper as in the rest of the free world, there would be an opportunity for dialog. As it is, evidently the Big Spring Herald exists to tell the community what to think and not to ask what they think.


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by steeley42, posted 08-10-2008 6:56 PM steeley42 has not yet responded

  
Beatle Addict
Junior Member (Idle past 4284 days)
Posts: 13
From: Big Spring, TX, USA
Joined: 06-04-2006


Message 10 of 18 (478640)
08-18-2008 11:55 PM


There are plenty of reasons why the school may have failed the science exam without the kids being taught something other than science. They simply may have been taught poorly.

While I attended Big Spring Junior High School, I had three different teachers deny some aspect of science.

My seventh grade history teacher stated that she "[thought] the date for crossing the Bering Strait [in our history book] was too long ago."

My seventh grade science teacher, after being badgered by a few members of the class said that she did not believe in evolution.

In both of these cases, neither are too horrible and are merely stating their views as an opinion. Both are somewhat excusable.

However, it was my eighth grade science teacher who did something of particular offense.

She was reading a TAKS (state standardized test) review question that began "Scientists who believe in the Big Bang Theory...". She inserted "...are insane." without any provocation.

Whereas my seventh grade teachers merely stated disbelief, my eighth grade teacher practically attacked a scientific theory. Mind you. all of the courses in question were advanced (G/T) classes.

Even though I was taking honors classes, evolution was only mentioned once as a couple paragraphs in 9th grade biology.

If you take all of this with the fact that Big Spring has some 33 Baptist churches in a town of 20,000 people (excluding the 5,000 in prison or nursing homes), it's not surprising that the children would do poorly in science.

If someone is bombarded with assertions that evolution is false from both church and school, how do you expect them to take evolution or the rest of science seriously?


  
Deftil
Member (Idle past 3199 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 11 of 18 (478649)
08-19-2008 4:49 AM


Texas, Louisiana, and Florida don't seem to be good places for young people to get an education in science from what I understand.

Religion (specifically Christianity) and science can coexist, but where the religiousity is too fundamental, science seems to suffer.

Edited by Deftil, : typed "Florida" twice, instead of "Texas"


Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by bluegenes, posted 08-19-2008 5:47 AM Deftil has responded
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2008 8:34 PM Deftil has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1221 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 12 of 18 (478650)
08-19-2008 5:47 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Deftil
08-19-2008 4:49 AM


Floridas
Deftil writes:

Florida, Louisiana, and Florida don't seem to be good places for young people to get an education in science from what I understand.

Do you think that both Floridas are equally bad in this respect?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Deftil, posted 08-19-2008 4:49 AM Deftil has responded

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Deftil
Member (Idle past 3199 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 13 of 18 (478701)
08-19-2008 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by bluegenes
08-19-2008 5:47 AM


Re: Floridas
Do you think that both Floridas are equally bad in this respect?

No, not at all. I think that Florida is probably much worse than Florida in this respect, but I think we can ALL agree that neither is as bad as Florida. I mean, seriously.

(editing!)


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RAZD
Member (Idle past 149 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 14 of 18 (478703)
08-19-2008 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Deftil
08-19-2008 4:49 AM


In Mississippi, my son's english teacher said 'ain't'

Religion (specifically Christianity) and science can coexist, but where the religiousity is too fundamental, science seems to suffer.

It seems to be to be rather a lack of ability to use, understand and appreciate logic. It's like logic and fundamentalism can't coexist, science has nothing to do with it.

What I can't figure out is which causes what or are they both due to some other factor (like florides in the water)

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : .


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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onifre
Member (Idle past 1694 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 15 of 18 (478726)
08-20-2008 1:48 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
08-19-2008 8:34 PM


What I can't figure out is which causes what or are they both due to some other factor

I would say that fundamentalism removes logic from the equation making the person not appreciate the beauty of logic.

So its not that they can't co-exist, its that they ain't supposed to co-exist. If you have logic you wouldn't have fundamentalism, if you have fundamentalism you don't find logic.


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