RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

    
  Topic: Minnesota Machinations, ID Targets MN< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 18 2003,06:58   

EDUCATION: State names 85 to panels (Pioneer Press)

Quote
Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke will ask the committee to consider an amendment that Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, tried unsuccessfully to add to the federal No Child Left Behind law. It says that when controversial topics — such as biological evolution — come up in the classroom, the curriculum should help students understand other views as well.

One of the alternatives Santorum has written about is "intelligent design," which says an organism's complexity is evidence of an other-worldly designer. The amendment passed the Senate and was included in a conference committee's report, but was struck from the final version of the law.

"We're not making grand claims that No Child Left Behind requires us to do this," said Education Department spokesman Bill Walsh. "But saying that NCLB and the Senate gives us guidance, (Yecke) is recommending that the committee go this way."


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 18 2003,07:05   

Remarks by Cheri Pierson Yecke, Ph.D., Commissioner of Education, July 31, 2003

Quote
This time, we are faced with some controversial issues in the area of science. Scientific theories such as biological evolution can be the basis for a lot of emotional debate, as strong feelings are held by good people on both sides of such issues.

To prevent such issues from becoming a stumbling block to the science committee, I am suggesting that some congressional language be inserted somewhere in the science document. It might be appropriate, for example, to place this language in the first part of the conceptual framework where the history and nature of science is discussed. In this way, we make it clear that decisions on the issue can be discussed and decided at the local level.

This language is part of the conference report that articulated congressional intent and accompanied the No Child Left Behind Act. It had wide bipartisan support in Congress, having passed the Senate by a vote of 91-8.


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 18 2003,07:09   

Academic Standards Committee Members Chosen for Science and Social Studies

Quote
(St. Paul, MN…) Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke announced today the members of the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee for Science and Social Studies. Eighty-five members were chosen from over 600 applications. The law establishing new academic standards instructed the Commissioner to use a public process to develop these standards and present them to the legislature next February.

“The quality of the applicants for the Science and Social Studies Committees was outstanding,” said Yecke. “I have no doubt the people we’ve chosen today will produce excellent academic standards for our schools.”


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 18 2003,07:13   

Minnesota has provided a list of the people selected for the Standards Committee:

Science/Soc Studies standards committee members

These are the people Yecke is urging to incorporate the Santorum language into science standards.

Wesley

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 18 2003,07:44   

Minnesota has also provided the timeline for the creation and adoption of new standards.  It appears that the first draft will be released for public comment on September 8th.

Science, Social Studies standards timeline

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 12 2003,09:37   

State Department of Education will hold hearing here Sept. 30 (Princeton,MN)

Quote
In science, sixth-graders will learn how personal bias can affect the results of “scientific experiment.” Seventh-graders will learn about plate tectonics and evolution – how science explains the presence of fossils and similarities among living things.

The science standards include nothing about religious creationalism – that God, not random events, guided the path of development.

“You can’t teach creationalism in the classroom,” said Yecke, citing a 1987 Supreme Court decision.

Still, local school districts are free to teach the idea of intelligent design, she said.

Such a standard is not found in the proposed standards, she said. But that is not to say local school districts can’t include it in their curriculums, she said.


The anti-science nature of the ID movement comes through even in this excerpt.  Now it is part of the science standards that children be taught that science is untrustworthy.  What children should be taught is that the personal bias of individual experimenters can lead to wrong conclusions, but that over time the scientific community finds -- and fixes -- such anomalies, and that science's track record on self-correction is unparalleled by any other "way of knowing" in human culture.  It doesn't look like that's what they'll be getting in Minnesota, though.

Yecke's specific comments giving local school boards the OK to incorporate "intelligent design" into curricula are just irresponsible.  ID doesn't meet any of the criteria for inclusion in a science curriculum, and simply opens up local groups for protracted and expensive legal action.  If the Discovery Institute can't even think of what should be taught about "intelligent design", why is it even an issue for anybody else?

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
  5 replies since Aug. 18 2003,06:58 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]