Observations in Defense of the Obvious
Whatever you do, don't teach those kids any facts.Facts. Who needs them?
On the side favoring the standards we have an actual scientist and someone who was a teacher. On the opposed side we have no scientists and no educators.Hmmm..who should I believe about matters of science education?
Anonymous,No educators? I have been an educator and curriculum developer for almost 20 years. I have helped co-found two successful schools and an online school. I have also written several school programs.And your qualifications are what?
Anonymous,Do you think a scientist could have spotted any appearances of plants, animals, or minerals in the science standards?
What science curricula have you developed? Tell us about their content.(a different anonymous)
Did you ask what experience Blaine Ferrell had in developing any curriculum? Did you ask what experience Rep. Graham had in anything scientific?--after all he's helping to decide this issue, I'm not.How about the State School Board? Have you inquired about their scientific expertise (or their expertise in actually developing curricula)?Why are you apply these criteria only the critics of the standards?
Actually, I know Dr. Ferrell from his teaching at WKU's Biology Department. So, what do your schools teach? I read on here they use Abeka biology texts.
Anonymous,You're shifting the ground of your argument now. Are you not going to answer my question about the double standard you are employing?
Too bad you won't discuss the Abeka curriculum in your school.
Anonymous,If you're referring to Highlands Latin School, they do not use A Beka in their curriculum. Now, what about that double standard?
If you're referring to Highlands Latin School, they do not use A Beka in their curriculum. The books that HLS replaced the A Beka series with are just as bad.
And what books are those Art?
'And what books are those Art?'Well, for example on the HLS 'Science' page it specifically lists a book by John Tiner as part of the science curriculum.Here's what some of the positive reviews of the book on Amazon gush about:'This biology book covers topics from the different kingdoms (animal, plant, fungi, etc.) to biological names, digestion, animal and plant life, and more. And, as always, it is done from a Creationist perspective. You don't have to worry about your child getting any evolutionary ideas from this book! It correctly gives God the glory for the wonders of Creation.' Or:'--The material was evolution free and had an underlying scriptural focus. The NIV translation was used for all of the Bible references.'So a biology textbook that is free of evolution and apparently spends an entire chapter attacking evolution is what a good science curriculum should be based on, Martin?A science book that has a scriptural focus?And, to top it off, it contains blatant inaccuracies that can be spotted even in the sample uploaded to Amazon. For example, on page 7, chapter 1, Tiner writes:'Biologists discovered that mushroom cell walls were more like those of animals than plants.'In fact, animal cells do not have walls.Gee, I wonder why the scientists in charge of writing the science standards don't listen to people who this kind of stuff makes a good science curriculum?
Singring,You apparently think HLS uses Tiner in the high school. So here you are, criticizing the books for containing a factual inaccuracy when you don't even have your facts straight. You and Art make a good team.The Tiner books are used at the elementary level. All the books used at the high school level are by major publishers. HLS uses Modern Biology by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston and Modern Chemistry by the same publisher. ANd Physics: Principles and Problems published by Glencoe. The biology text has three chapters on evolution which you have to cover in order to take the AP test.HLS students have the highest test scores in almost all areas in the Jefferson County School District and it sent one student to MIT last year on scholarship.Where did you go?
'You apparently think HLS uses Tiner in the high school.'What was that about topic-hopping, Martin?I don't care at what level those books are used.My point is simply that someone who thinks those kinds of books are good for any kind of science curriculum, anywhere, at any level, should not be surprised when their opinions are not taken seriously by science educators.
Singring, I tell you what: You start a school as academically successful as Highlands has been and then you can start giving lectures to other people about it. Until then, its kind of hard to give much credence to your criticisms.
I tell you what: You start a school as academically successful as Highlands has been and then you can start giving lectures to other people about it.Let's see. HLS gets kids at an early age, tests applicants, asks parents to agree to certain rules, and probably selects (through the fact that it charges tuition) for students from wealthier families. HLS probably also does not have to deal with sizeable numbers of so-called special-needs students (although I may be wrong - its just that I can find no indications that HLS has any staff devoted to special needs students). Given these, one would expect HLS to match public school programs that adopt some (but not all) of these filters. Given this, why is it the the average HLS student would rank in the lower quartile of this program? It would seem to me as if HLS actually underperforms, given their decided advantages.It's not that I have anything in principle against schools like HLS. But it is quite misleading to imply that schools like this are in some way better than comparable situations in public schools. Because they are not.
Art,Thanks for all the hard data. On what objective basis do you say "the average HLS student would rank in the lower quartile of this program"?And did you factor in the difference in the amount of money spent per pupil (federal, state, and local)?And where are the test scores?I thought you were a scientist?
Try this link.
And did you factor in the difference in the amount of money spent per pupil (federal, state, and local)?Well, slap my face. Martin just admitted that throwing money at an educational task can improve outcomes.Always full of surprises, this blog is.
Art,LOL. Okay, out of the goodness of my heart, I'll give you one last chance to back out of your contention that the two situations are comparable before you embarrass yourself.
Go ahead, Martin, tell us how my comparison is less appropriate than the one you made a few comments earlier.
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