Posted in: Creationist Propaganda at National Review
#382 lifeofthemind 7/09/2008 8:59:24 pm PDT
Charles I will attempt a serious comment on this. Please do not ban me. It is your site and I think it is ridiculous for people to complain about what topics you cover. If they do not like a thread they can get up, walk the dog, eat a meal, get a life. Personally as someone who has worked in education I come here to explore other topics and this does not trip my trigger but that is my concern and nobody else's. There are two issues I see being conflated in this debate.
First is what should be taught in publicly financed schools? Clearly the tax payers are entitled to some control over curriculum even though the unions want the saps to just pay up and shut up. Here it becomes an matter of insurgent parent amateurs or allied pressure groups trying to insert an ideological agenda into a position where they can prosper at public expense. Numerous left wing groups have been doing this for decades and now a presumptively right wing or conservative group is trying to emulate that process. In this case of Intelligent Design it probably is correct that it must be stopped or Islamists and others will pick up this ball and run with it.
Second is the question of what standard of education should the state government demand of any educational system, public, private, religious, or home? How can they ensure that children are getting the minimum standard of learning needed or them to function as citizens and not become a public charge later in life? This seems to be an almost exclusively positive process. That is to say that it seems proper for the state to draw up a list of certain skills and a body of knowledge that some standardized tests and inspections can verify have been taught. Scientific method and cartesian logic probably do belong on the must learn list.
There may be a small number of items that a public debate could consider on things that if they are being taught it would constitute a form of child abuse. That is to say things that are not simply untrue, such as saying the world is 6,000 years old or praising the fine work of modern architects but spreading damaging viewpoints like racism. We must be very careful on this and keep such an inspection authority from growing uncontrolled like the Canadian Human Rights councils. Hopefully the government will eventually get out of the business of providing education and focus on the business of inspecting that it has been delivered by others.