Category Archives: Intellectual and Academic Freedom

Kentucky anti-science act

It’s that time of year again, when legislatures throughout these united states are opening new sessions after the elections, and fundamentalist legislators renew their campaigns against teaching science in the public schools. One of the first out of the gate this year is Kentucky, where this “Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act” has been […]

Gay 14-y-o Graeme Taylor supports teacher at School Board meeting

Click the photo of Graeme Taylor (at left) to see the video of his very impressive testimony at a local school board meeting, in support of a high school teacher who was disciplined for his stance against a student’s statement regarding homosexuality. Also, you can click the image at right to see video of Graeme […]

New book on teaching evolution or creationism in US classrooms

This post is simply to call attention to Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms, an important new book by Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer. As described at Who should decide what children are taught in school? This question lies at the heart of the evolution-creation wars that have become a regular feature […]

SBOE’s Dunbar @ “liberty”. “edu”, on CBN, etc.

I don’t believe I’ve ever had such an extensive post here devoted as much as this one is to the antics of Cynthia Dunbar. Hence, it’s tempting to use something like “Dumb and Dunbar” as the title of this post. (Is it really possible that nobody has used that title before?) I can’t do that […]

the debate I wanna see (Will Phillips v. Carrie Prejean)

On CNN Monday morning (Nov. 16, 2009), ten-year-old Will Phillips his reason for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance in his fifth-grade class: I’ve grown up with a lot of people and I’m good friends with a lot of people who are gay and I think they should have the rights all people should, […]

Mass., Va., etc. “students’ religious freedom” bills

There’s “An Act Relative to Protecting the Religious Freedom of Students” pending in the Massachusetts legislature which, according to Antoinette Pizzi reporting in the Cape Cod Times, “has bipartisan support and is expected to pass favorably through the Joint Committee on Education.” Folks at the National Center for Science Education have taken particular notice of […]

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 […]

Chris Hedges | BookTV | Colbert Report

On Sunday, October 11th at 12pm noon (ET), BookTV on CSpan2 will be re-airing their “After Words” interview of Chris Hedges on his new book, Empire of illusion: the end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle. I saw this segment last weekend, and then I bought the book. Hedges has more depth and perspective […]

Louisiana procedures for disputes over anti-science materials in biology classes

WILL SENTELL of the [Baton Rouge] Advocate Capitol News Bureau reports that “Procedure [have now been] crafted for handling evolution-materials complaints“:

ICR tries again in suit over grad “science ed” degree in Texas

Unwilling to deal with the hilariously hideous complaint that was filed initially by the Institute for Creation Research in their attempt to get accreditation for their graduate degree program in “science education,” the judge ordered ICR to file an amended complaint, and then a second amended complaint, with a maximum page limit of 20 pages. […]

Comer decision appealed

added 8/31/2009: The case of the banned band T-shirts in Missouri may be eerily related to this case. ========= Chris Comer, who was forced out of her job as Science head in the Texas Education Agency for forwarding an email announcement of a talk by Barbara Forrest in Austin, has filed her brief appealing the […]

NCSE: Science coverage better, but creationism creeping in

A new study by NCSE staff (available in html and pdf) finds improvement in state science standards, marred by the creeping influence of creationist language. Here is the abstract: In 2000, Lawrence Lerner and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation reviewed state science standards in 49 states and the District of Columbia, specifically with respect to […]

Dembski’s students: Trolling for Grades

At Free Range Talk, we find this , on a course being taught by ID proponent William Dembski: 

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.

Haynes: “religion by any other name is still religion”

Charles Haynes, senior scholar with the First Amendment Center, has posted and syndicated an excellent new column on the First Amendment’s prohibition of religious teaching in public schools — even when such teaching is not explicitly “religious.” The column responds to a controversy reported in the Los Angeles Times over the “Spirituality for Kids,” program […]

Update: appeal v. U Cal win on admissions policy

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has posted an update on developments in the case of Association of Christian Schools International [ACSI] et al. v. Roman Stearns et al. [The University of California]. The suit was brought against U.Cal. by Christian schools complaining that UC’s refusal to count certain courses in their schools for […]

ICR post re: Texas lawsuit

An article has now been posted on the ICR website with the title “Censorship in Texas: Fighting Academic and Religious Discrimination.” It’s more of the same, but I think it vindicates a couple points that I raised more speculatively in my previous post on the ICR lawsuit: 1. I wrote, “It’s written in the kind […]