Joined: Mar. 2007
|Quote (skeptic @ June 10 2008,20:29)|
|Sorry for the long delay, I've been busy.|
No, I do not support the legislation but I would advocate a course of action that makes such attempts useless. Back to that in a sec. As far as accreditation, the process is approved at State levels but those are based upon national standards. This dilutes the impact of any one State's attempt to dictate these standards. Ultimately the endusers are the Universities as they review accreditations when determining placement and acceptance and that gives them tremendous power in setting these standards. Here's how I propose it would work: first at the private university level, student records and course descriptions could be reviewed and students rejected or remedial courses required based upon course content. In short, students from school systems teaching YEC or ID as science would be required to take a course in the scientific method the summer before acceptance or just rejected out of hand. The next step would be to influence the accrediting boards to withhold accreditation from systems teaching YEC or ID as science or to break out science separately from other courses and give subject accreditation; such as, english, math, literature, science, etc. This would also assist Universities in placement and remediation decisions.
On the other side, teach biology and evolution in the same way as chemistry and physics...without bias. Discuss the pros and cons of the theories, describe the evolution of the theory itself, discuss the current unanswered questions and potential future discoveries. Appropriately separate origin of life discussions from evolution. In short, stop tweaking. This would adequately satisfy the vague "strengths and weaknesses" clause and to just require robust scientific review of those areas would eliminate any YEC or ID material being added. It then couldn't be said that evolution was being taught in a biased manner and the legislation loses any relevance.
That's my idea and it has flaws and it may not even be workable but that's the theme I'd love to see applied and an end to this meaningless, seemingly endless argument.
Wait...I think I hear "Kumbaya."
That's funny; I think I hear "I Wanna Be Sedated".
Without going into all the details, all I can say is that this approach is based on some very naive notions of how universities can influence secondary education. In addition, why should universities be required to both accredit secondary school courses from the millions of high schools in the country, and offer remedial courses in situations where students have been ill-treated by their secondary school? I think we already have plenty of unfunded mandates, thanks.
I think it is abundantly clear to me (as a parent and as a college professor in a state that is prone to stupidity about science education) that strong standards at the state level, and vigilance at the local level, will do a LOT more for science education than any top-down policing by universities. This will also ensure that students who never go to a university (but who will probably vote) are well-educated, despite the forces of ignorance that want to bring us all back to the 17th century.
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
- Pattiann Rogers