Category Archives: curriculum

Parents Of Nasal Learners Demand Odor-Based Curriculum

The image from the Newsweek article in the post right below this one reminded me of the image of the student pictured here (at left). Click on the photo here to see the article on parental demands for odor-based curriculum. I think that article is actually very relevant to a point I’d like to raise […]

Defending science, history, etc.: A promising precedent?

It seems to me that the case of David Rudovsky and Leonard Sosnov v. West Publishing Corporation (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 2010), provides an intruiging suggestion for defending genuine science and social studies materials for school curriculum. A December 21 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the outcome of this case. In […]

Texas Standards and the “Quality Counts” report

Being ignorant is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is nothing to be particularly proud of either. A large and disruptive segment of the Texas State Board of Education is not only ignorant — a state that we all share at various times and on various subjects — it is proudly and aggressively ignorant, […]

CERU: 12th Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends

The Commercialism in Education Research Unit, a partner center of the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University, has released Click: The Twelfth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends: 2008-2009. The word “Click” is part of the title this year (not just part of the link), since this year’s report is concerned with children […]

Mooney & the “new atheists”: another round

Another round in the ongoing Neuatheismusstreit was touched off by an opinion piece in the L.A. Times by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, authors of the new book Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. They write: It often appears as though Dawkins and his followers–often dubbed the New Atheists, though some object to […]

NY Times: “Flexbooks” displacing textbooks

Lewin reports that “Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.”

This is interesting in many ways. For one thing, it underscores the necessity of having teachers who understand their subjects well. “Flexbooks” could greatly increase the importance of the teachers relative to state boards and legislatures.

Obama team’s support for portfolio assessment

Thanks to Checker Finn’s shop (where they’re not wild about this), we have this news: Tuesday morning on the Diane Rehm Show … Obama staffer Melody Barnes expressed her candidate’s openness to using portfolios to assess student achievement under No Child Left Behind . I don’t have time to blog more now ( I’m turning around […]

TX Ed Agency defense in evolution case

The Texas Education Agency [TEA] has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Chris Comer, who lost her job as the TEA’s top science education specialist after forwarding an email announcement of a talk by Barbara Forrest. ‘a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, a co-author of “Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse” and […]

Momentous TX education hearing

A truly momentous and impressive public hearing by the Texas House Public Education Committee has just wrapped up in Austin (July 16, 2008). I did not hear all of it. I heard State Board chairman McLeroy’s presentation and some of the questioning. Hours later I heard the witness before Steven Schafersman (Texas Citizens for Science) […]

TX House Committe testimony by Texas Citizens for Science

Testimony by Steven D. Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, is now posted at the TCS website. Here’s an overview of their recoomendations: I urge you to take even more powers away from the SBOE. Specifically, I urge you to revise the law so that textbooks in Texas are adopted by each individual school […]

TX GOP 2008 platform on Education

The Republican Party of Texas has now posted its State Party Platform for 2008. I have also excerpted and posted here the four pages of that platform with the Preamble, Principles, and positions on Education. As usual the Texas GOP takes interesting positions on many things, but in this post I’ll just quote their statement […]

Bradley: Teachers “got spanked” by Texas Bd. of Ed.

Added June 6, 2008: NY Times: Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy Steven Schafersman, President, Texas Citizens for Science: Critical Review that covers developments reported in the NY Times article and the article (linked below) by Gary Scharer, as well as reaction by Intelligent Design proponents. ============= A story by Gary Scharrer for the […]

TX School Bd member seeks replacement of Bd chair

The previous post on the “Texas English / Language Arts standards debacle” has raised questions about intentionality — whether this just shows incompetence, or whether the right-wing board leadership and majority are acting with nefarious intent. A May 21 article by Gary Scharrer for the Houston Chronicle is suggestive, I think. It reports that in […]

Tom Chapin: “IT’S NOT ON THE TEST”

Extra (Oct. 21, 2008): Breaking news on NCLB & assessment under President Obama ===================== You can play this video here, but be sure to visit Tom Chapin’s site for “It’s not on the test.” Includes Lyrics, Statement, Fact Sheet, Press Info, Advocacy …

Fred Hess & AEI: What Students Don’t Know

Another one of those reports. You know the drill. Half of students surveyed did not answer the correct half-century for the Civil War. Etc. See,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

Texas forebodings: textbooks and science standards

Although the specific textbooks involved this time were in elementary mathematics, the broader concern here is that, if the Board is allowed to get away with rejecting textbooks without and explanation, they could use that practice to censor textbooks for ideological reasons in controversial areas such as teaching about evolution in biology.