Saturday, August 30, 2008

Always Fighting Ignorance

This Extra Credit blog echoes the situation in Hillsborough County, but the teachers there seem to have a more spirited CTA. At least it is able to express disgust. Anybody would be more lively than Hillsborough County CTA. If it were any less active in teachers' interest, it would be motionless. lee
file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Owner/Desktop/30supplies.html NYT articles on school supplies

Get Pad and Pen: The School Supply List Is Long

Published: August 29, 2008

I want to suggest that the board donate its frolicking travel money to the poor children of the county who can't afford supplies and hence can't participate in class activities. Susan's Valdes's $50,000 spent going to cities to pick up those ridiculous gimcrack awards that the education bureaucracy downloads on each other by the Dempsey dumpster would be better--much better--spent buying supplies for poor children.

Here's another issue I picked up in the NYT:

A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clashfile:


Why do I undertake such reading projects? In this case I wanted to remind myself about the Galapogos Islands' birds' beaks that made the evolution light-bulb go off in Darwin's head as a young ship naturalist on the Beagle in his early twenties.

When I finished the section on the Galapagos discovery, curiosity made me flip to the front of the book and continue reading through the four major Darwin books--The Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of the Species (most challenging), The Descent of Man, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, and the excellent two-book biography by Janet Browne: Voyaging and Pride of Place.

I have been such a reader since I was a child. The habit seems to be congenital. My father used to rebuke me, "Get your nose out of that book and go out and play and get some air. You are going to go blind if you don't stop reading so much."

I am now ready to take my state boards on evolution and extract from the board the status of evolutionary teaching in the science classes of the county. I asked my granddaughter (senior, Plant) if her science book discussed evolution. She didn't have it at home, and she said she wasn't sure. I wanted to see if it distorted evolution to propitiate the religious zealots who oppose science if it contradicts the Bible. You will recall that Elia buckled when the religious zealots from the fens and the bogs of the county stomped into the board room, called Muslims "towel-heads," and demanded that only Christian holidays get days off.

I bet my favorite pair of Manhola Blahniks that not one of the board will be able to define what natural selection is. lee

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