Archives for June 2006

Teaching Evolution: A Case Study of a Courageous Science Teacher

There was an article (Evolution’s Lonely Battle in a Georgia Classroom) in the New York Times online edition on June 29 about a middle school teacher by the name of Pat New. She stood alone in her small north Georgia school district of Lumpkin County, which is located in the mountains, and decided not to […]

Denial in the U.S. Senate: Head in the Sand Politics

All around Washington, D.C. a deluge of evidence runs through the streets and buildings, and you would think that the U.S. Senate’s Committee Environment and Public Works would stop denying the scientific evidence of global warming. Yes, there is debate within the scientific community regarding global warming. But instead of engaging the scientific evidence, the […]

Butterflies and Global Warming

I was struck by the breadth with which Elizabeth Kolbert approached the evidence to evaluate the issue of global warming. In her book, one chapter is entitled The Butterfly and the Toad. What could butterfly’s and toads have to due with global warming. Here the story on butterflies. People in England, and other parts of […]

Glacial Retreat: Evidence of Global Warming

We just returned from a trip to the Rockies, and spent several days in the Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking, watching wildlife, and simply enjoying the majestic scenery of these western mountains. A million years ago, these mountains were covered with glacial ice, and the erosion caused by the ice created many “glacial-features.” One for […]

Small is Beautiful: A View from the Gates Foundation

In a recent issue of BusinessWeek magazine, an article appeared that is entitled Bill Gates Get Schooled. The article focuses on the struggle that Gates and educators working with funds from Gates Foundation experience as they try and reform high schools. The foundation is trying to find out what makes high schools work so that […]

Sad State of High School Graduation Rates

In an earlier post, which was critical of an editorial in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, I pointed out that reform in science education needs to focus on what is happening in urban high schools (or what is not happening). We are losing many of our students, and in some urban cities, we […]

State-Wide Testing: A Recent Trend?

I wrote in the last two posts I openned a discussion about the phenomenon of state-wide testing that determines whether students are retained or passed (out) on to the next grade. The results, as I pointed out in Georgia, are not exactly “world-class” although Governor and Superintendent of Schools have that as one of their […]

We'll Make Them World Class Students, By George!

So says Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Cox, and Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue. We’ll make the bar higher; make the curriculum tougher; and test them till the sun goes down. Not a quote, but that’s their idea. According to Cox, “we could not wait any longer.” “The world is going to have high expectations for […]

We’ll Make Them World Class Students, By George!

So says Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Cox, and Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue. We’ll make the bar higher; make the curriculum tougher; and test them till the sun goes down. Not a quote, but that’s their idea. According to Cox, “we could not wait any longer.” “The world is going to have high expectations for […]

Lots of Kids Left Behind

Yesterday I wrote about the hoax of standards, and the call to throw out state-wide tests. Recently the Georgia Department of Education released preliminary results based on the CRCT tests that were administered state-wide in the spring. You can go the Department of Education, and view the results by grade level. It might make you […]

State-Wide Testing, The Hoax of Tough Standards–It's Time to Stop Testing

I wanted to write about our nations obsession with testing the daylights out of students in our schools, K-12 about a week ago, but got side-tracked by writing about climate change! Go figure. The State of Georgia released the results of its state-wide testing program, and the results showed that more than 25% of Georgia’s […]

State-Wide Testing, The Hoax of Tough Standards–It’s Time to Stop Testing

I wanted to write about our nations obsession with testing the daylights out of students in our schools, K-12 about a week ago, but got side-tracked by writing about climate change! Go figure. The State of Georgia released the results of its state-wide testing program, and the results showed that more than 25% of Georgia’s […]

Lessons from Hurricanes about Climate Change

If you live in Florida, one word you don’t want to hear on the evening news is “hurricane.” I lived in Florida in 1972 and 1975, and I don’t recall a concern about hurricanes. But now, friends that I have that do live in Florida have been affected for the past two-three years by the […]

Climate Change Debate

One on the things that Al Gore’s book has done is to bring the issue of climate change (global warming) to the surface via his book/film/appearances/interviews, and also independent reviews and discussions in local neswspapers. In the Atlanta Journal today, there was a very good article on the Issues page entitled “Studies Change Debate’s Climate.” […]

Does Global Warming Cause Hurricanes?

No. That’s the short answer. No one factor causes hurricanes, cyclones or tornadoes. However, global warming, (especially the warming of ocean surface temperature) could contribute to an increase the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. Recent studies suggest that hurricane intensities (say more category 4 or 5 storms) may have increased. One scientist, Kerry Emanuel, published […]

It's Getting Hotter in Atlanta

Well, hot temperatures are arriving in the Atlanta area; but its been hot in Texas. What’s the fuss. It’s summer. Well last year, 2005, was the hottest year during a period of temperature measurements from 1860 to today. These measurements include combined annual land, air and sea surface temperatures. Take a look at the graph […]

It’s Getting Hotter in Atlanta

Well, hot temperatures are arriving in the Atlanta area; but its been hot in Texas. What’s the fuss. It’s summer. Well last year, 2005, was the hottest year during a period of temperature measurements from 1860 to today. These measurements include combined annual land, air and sea surface temperatures. Take a look at the graph […]

Measuring CO2 in the Atmosphere

In 1958, Roger Revelle and Charles David Keeling developed with funding the Mauna Loa research station for measuring CO2 in the atmosphere. Samples are collected every hour from 5 towers standing above the volcano. According to their website, “Air samples at Mauna Loa are collected continuously from air intakes at the top of four 7-m […]

An Inconvenient Truth

I’ve been thinking about writing something about Al Gore’s new book, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.A book such as this naturally controversial, but from at least two points of view. Firstly, its a scientific book written by a “recovering” politician (a term Gore used […]

Global Warning

Global Warning? Global Warming? Which is it? Well, probably both if you take the position of Al Gore, and many climate change scientists. As you know, Gore put together a slide show on the danger posed by the warming of Planet Earth, and then was approached by film producers to use the slide show as […]