Our elected school board chairperson responds to email query on Neil Armstrong with suggestion to take it up with the teachers. Considering that certain members from the Houston area on the board consider public education an abomination to God and ironically are on the board to only support only home schooling and the majority would be more comfortable in a private school where truth is let us say, more malleable, I find it incredible the current chair person - who succeeds the guy who uttered the phrase Someone needs to stand up to these experts! in the context of the science in the classroom debate vs. creationism in the classroom can suggest without a giggle to take it up with the teachers that bring ideas to the board by way of the TEA? I wonder if I were to ask any given teacher about who sets content of the textbooks and curriculum? You cannot have it both ways. Leadership is sometimes about leading. People in responsible positions need to behave responsibly. Period. Not sneaking your craptastic agenda into the public domain. You see no one should have to debate this nor should we need to have a discussion on this type of topic. We still have a Constitution?
We have not met in person. However, I have had the opportunity to speak to you on a few occasions regarding the science in the class room vs. faith is a private issue best left out of a science class room. As the board did have basic confusion over the essential meaning of the word 'theory' in that specific case, the board has demonstrated that it has lack of understanding of the basics of science. If we do have teachers in our system making such Orwellian suggestions on revising historical context, well - that is truly terrible. If you do not know, the central character in the novel, 1984 had a job. This job was to take historical figures and turn them into 'unpersons' by removing them from any documents or literature because they conflicted with the 'party' agenda. The board should be objective and balanced. It should also have the scruples to discern between nonsense and legitimacy. For that very reason, instead of entertaining such nonsense, the person(s) who suggested it should have been challenged on whom else fails to meet 'these standards' and by what exactly are these? Then apply them universally. Followed up by a review of their own credentials. There has to be some merit. There has to be some standard. I believe the Texas public education received when I exited the system is far stronger than one being offered today and I am in my mid 40s. That should not be the case. We have better tools, better information available, yet our system is falling down. You do have a leadership position on the board? We were taught critical thinking skills. If our teachers and board lack this basic skill - what hope do we have? I expect more. Our kids deserve more. We cannot be forever importing talent into the state while our recently educated students best hope is to get jobs at Wal*Mart because they were ill prepared and non-competitive, beyond being overly prepped on TAKs because our system failed them due to our board being busy with obscure nonsense right out of a fictional book. But it does make sense if your proposing teacher is teaching to the test. Remove info and facts and have a smaller test.
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 8:42 AM,
I'm not sure we've met before, although you seem quick to blame me for the removal of Neil Armstrong from the social studies curriculum standards. A panel of classroom teachers that was named by the Texas Education Agency to review our standards has recommended the removal of Neil Armstrong, apparently because he is not a "scientist." The State Board of Education has instructed the review panel that we believe Armstrong should remain in our history standards, as his walk on the moon marked a significant contribution to American space exploration. The issue will come back to us for further discussion in November. You might have to ask the teachers of Texas to stop making such embarrassing recommendations to the elected board.
Gail Lowe State Board of Education