In Science Teaching, What Does it Mean to Teach Evolution Objectively?

In a comment about the earlier post on this blog, Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas are Important, Dr. Robert Lattimer, President of Citizens for Objective Public Education, raised an important idea about science teaching.  When evolution is taught in our schools, it should be taught objectively.

In context, here is what Dr. Lattimer wrote:

You say “there is now no alternative explanation of evolution….” That is only true if you accept methodological naturalism (an unproven assumption) and ignore the lines of evidence listed above.

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How to Make Sense out of Educational Reform

P.L. Thomas explains that to understand U.S. educational reform, foundational differences among the various groups or camps of reform need to be clarified.  And, in a post he wrote this week, he has provided a map that we can use to help us understand educational reform.

He states that all reform is driven by ideology.  He says:

and thus, those ideologies color what evidence is highlighted, how that evidence is interpreted, and what role evidence plays in claims public education has failed and arguments about which policies are needed for reform.

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Georgia’s Governor Deal & Superintendent Barge Need to Think Differently

Political and corporate reformers claim that American schools and students have been left in the dust by schools and students in other counties.

The claim is based on faulty international and state achievement test analyses. And using faulty conclusions, a “weigh the cow” policy emerged in which we test the heck out of students thinking this makes them smarter. And to make matters worse we redefine how fat the cow should be each year.… Read more

Messing with Georgia’s Social Studies Curriculum

According to the Governor of Georgia, now is the time to write a new social studies curriculum. Why now? Well, Mr. Deal has signed on to the Common Core, but rumblings from his own political party, especially the right-wing Tea Party have caused him to possibly reconsider the Common Core. But why the social studies curriculum?

In my opinion, Deal’s order to review and possibly rewrite the social studies curriculum is probably more of a political move than one that has any remote connection to a scholarly examination of what is taught in history, political science, geography, economics, and other “subjects” of the social studies.… Read more

Trojan Horse On Midnight Ride to Manage How Georgia Teachers Will Be Paid

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When the state of Georgia received a half billion dollars of Race to the Top funds from the U.S. Department of Education, it agreed to carry out several mandates, but two that stand out are:

  • Adopt the Common Core State Standards
  • Use Student Tests Scores as a Metric for Evaluating Teacher Performance

In a recent article in the Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported the the School Board of Marietta is considering a new compensation plan that will essentially replace the current system in which teachers are rewarded for their experience and their ability.… Read more

Low Levels & Bottom-Feeders: Education Through the Eyes of Educationnext

A colleague in Massachusetts alerted me to an article in Educationnext, an opinion and research site sponsored by the Hoover Institution and The Thomas Fordham Institute.  The article, written by the editor-in-chief of Educationnext, Paul E. Peterson, and Peter Kaplan, an undergraduate, describes the view from these two men at Harvard and what they think of American education.

They are unhappy with the state of American education, and continue the right-wing cleansing of schools by claiming that American teachers are setting the bars so low that we come in at the bottom (feeders) of international test comparisons.… Read more

Fordham Institute’s Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science.
In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess the Fordham Evaluation.  The ten categories are definitions of junk science that emerged from a study by Michael Carolan (2012).  … Read more