31 January 2012

Texas passes the science test

The Austin American Statesman is reporting that Texas gets a passing grade for its K-12 science standards. It’s a C, to be exact. But who’s doing the grading? The Fordham Institute, which the article describes as a conservative think tank. The American Statesman article says:

“The high school biology course is exemplary in its choice and presentation of topics, including its thorough consideration of biological evolution,” according to the report being released today.

But the evaluation also found that evolution is largely absent from middle school and elementary grades, which means that “students are not prepared to learn what they need to learn at the high school level,” said Kathleen Porter-Magee, senior director of the High Quality Standards Project at the Fordham Institute.

The report for Texas is a short, readable four pages. And while the phrase “conservative think tank” conjures bad images of other institutions, this one does not sympathize with creationism or intelligent design. Here’s a clip (my emphasis):

(T)he seventh-grade standards mention the Galapagos finches, giving the impression that the Darwinian paradigm is being presented. Unfortunately, it is not. Instead, the example of the finch Geospiza fortis apparently refers to studies by Peter and Rosemary Grant on beak size in this species, made widely known by Jonathan Weiner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Beak of the Finch. Creationists often distort these important findings to argue that Darwinian macroevolution does not occur—instead, microevolution does.

The Austin American Statesman article continues:

Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science and a longtime critic of the board’s conservatives, said the Fordham analysis overlooked some glaring problems with Texas' standards.

He pointed to a separate examination from the National Center for Science Education that found Texas’ standards contain “creationist jargon” and “reflect political and religious agendas, rather than good pedagogy and strong science.”

There are reports for every state, here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

After watching this, I just have one thing to say to DaeSung…”GET SOMEEE!“

Also, if you missed SBS Big Show, you can rewatch the Tonight, What Is Right, and Cafe performances on Big Bang’s official Youtube channel.


JT’s 4th Mini-album Big Bang VN
big bang
I’m really impressed with this mini-album. It shows how much BB has grown in 2 years they’ve been away. I have to say, this whole mini-album was very J-Pop influenced, well considering “Hands Up” and “Somebody to Love” were originally Japanese songs.

Yes, Cafe deserves it’s own paragraph. Cafe is really an amazing song. It’s like there’s a bunch of upbeat J-Pop-ish K-pop then there’s this one chill song at the end. Just like on the “Stand Up” mini-album, all K-pop songs, then there’s “Oh My Friend.” It’s one song that completely stands out. Just like DaeSung said during SBS The Big Bang Show…