Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who determines School Curriculum Standards?

I've started a little posting back and forth with someone who also reads editorials in Texas newspapers. His stand is interesting . .here, read it for yourself.

Robbie: " . . . The solution is simply to disband the chokehold the TEA [Texas Education Agency] and the US Department of Education has over the curriculum presented in the classroom by allowing parents the right to send their children to the school of their choosing and having individual school boards and PTA's set the agenda and curriculum for their individual school districts. Lets make the education of our young minds an individual community effort instead of the federal and state political wild card that it has become." another comment from Robbie: "While I am unaware of anyone suggesting the earth is flat, I do find it contrary to our country's design to allow a federal agency to dictate the curriculum of the classroom. School boards and PTA's should have the authority to design a curriculum based upon the needs of their students in relation to their communities and the standards that particular community upholds. Parents should be given the choice of sending their children to a school that upholds the particular standards of that family. It is quite arrogant of some people to take it upon themselves, in adherance with their particular beliefs, to push an education agenda upon other people's children. This is exactly what both sides of this arguement are doing, and the US Dept. of Education and the TEA have become politcal wild cards for each agenda. School choice and the design of their own curriculums will resolve this particular conflict and take the politics out of our children's education."
My response

Robbie, sSo it would be OK with you if a child attends one school and learns Astronomy and then moves to another and they teach Astrology? Because that is what you are saying. Let's create a PhD in Numerology for people to take. Feng Shui replaces Architecture, Alchemy for Chemistry.

I disagree! There has to be some leveling set of standards, or else nothing we teach will actually prepare our students for the future. Science should be taught in science class, and what determines science? Science has a huge community of people working in scientific fields. They have developed, over time, a methodology for what is science and what is not. Is it unanimous, no, but what developed by a committee ever is? But the vast majority of members of that community agree that Creationism/Intelligent Design does not belong in Science class. So rather than listen to the tens of thousands of scientists, you want to put it to a community vote to decide what is science? Sure, and when your kids go to school in another state they have to play catch up to learn things other states teach in elementary school?

Yes, the Discovery Institute can wave a letter signed by 700 Doctoral 'scientists' who say they dissent from Darwin. Only 700? Plus if you look at the list you will find only 128 biologists, and none of them are working in any field of evolutionary studies. Plus if you look deeper you will find the signers are Evangelical Christians, so their dissent has nothing to do with Science, but religious belief.

Ask the National Academies of Science what they think and what their members (over 2,100 members and over 200 Nobel Prizes between them) clearly support. They support science and when they say Biology, they include Evolution! Look up the requirements for membership, this isn't something you just call up and send in a check to join! These members are recognized for their contributions in Science!

So if Texas wants to teach science, they need to remove things like Creationism/Intelligent Design from curriculum consideration. Put them in a Philosophy class, or Sociology. You could use the Discovery Institutes's marketing campaign in a marketing class. But it is not Science and no PTA vote should have the power to make it so.
So his point of view is to allow local school boards and PTA associations to determine what we teach our children. To a point I agree. Local boards and PTA's should have input. There are things that might be endemic to a location that the school system could help. If an area has a lot of manufacturing, then I think courses in those areas would make a great deal of sense. Detroit probably has many automotive courses, perfect sense!

But there has to be a line to the power of the school board and PTA when you are advocating allowing them to re-define a discipline. Should they have to power to stretch the definition of science to include Metaphysics? How about let's redefine the value of Pi because the idea of a irrational number is just too hard for our students? Wasn't that tried somewhere? I forget. But let's redefine Mathematics to what suits us. Pythagoras, who was he? How about English? Remember the outcry when Oakland CA tried to institute teaching Ebonics?

I hope I have made my point. Input from local organizations are critical to the education of our young, but standards addressing things like the definition of science are equally as important. A PTA vote should not have the power to change what is science for one locality! HC SVNT DRACONES (Here be Dragons!)


  1. The distrust you express of those other than 'experts'' ability to determine curriculum is an indication in itself that we should consider the outflows of the current 'design' of the education system, if most people would not able to effectively determine what would be effective curriculum. Currently, the design of education is such that students are taught to absorb and memorize information, and repeat it. There is little focus on consideration of the practical application of the information or the relevance of the information within the entirety of existence, rather than simply within a 'closed system' of a particular system which is already accepted to exist within specific 'justifications'. In other words, if children were not promptly and effectively conditioned to accept what is already here as it currently exists, much that is here would NOT be accepted and allowed, as children before they are fully conditioned, see direct what is here and still have access to common sense, until they are conditioned with the pre-existing justifications of why things 'must be the way they are' in spite of what is common sense. Seen through the 'eyes of a child' what we are doing in this world is an abomination, and the current education system is fundamental to why it remains this way and we do not stop and change. The starting-point for the education system is and has been deliberately to support the existing systems in this world for the sake of those who gain from them, in spite of the extensive abuse that is caused, inherent in the very design of the system. Why do we not all stand up and stop this abusive system? Well, most of us are largely unaware of the actual outflows of the system which we are supporting. Which does not make us any less responsible for that which we participate in and support. If the purpose of education, is to educate, how is it that we are NOT educated about what is Actually Going On in this World and What and How we Create what is Here, and our Self-Response-Ability for what we Create, Accept and Allow to exist in this world, but are 'taught' to accept the current systems to serve the interests of those who 'benefit' from the current systems? The current curricculums are not created for the benefit of Life, but in the interest of the systems. These systems are not sustainable, already many are needlessly suffering and dying and if we do not face what we are creating, inevitably, we will ALL suffer. This world as it currently exist is a direct outflow of how the children are programmed, obviously, because it is the children who become the 'adults'. Consideration needs to be taken within not only the education system, which is a Major influence in how children are 'taught' to 'see' the world, but also within the current 'design' of 'parenting'. We need to see and understand how we create what is here, so that we may become equal to it and then be able to direct it in a way that actually supports life, rather than be directed by it, subject to our creations, thus enslaved and limited by them, living for the systems, and not living as ourselves as Life.

  2. So bottom line you have a problem with the current teaching methodology and educational systems and you think bringing Intelligent Design into the picture is going to fix it?

    I disagree! Yes, there are problems with our educational system and teaching methodology -- but those are separate issues from WHAT is being taught. Teaching Astrology will not improve the teaching of Astronomy, all it will do is muddle things up and make it harder for students to learn Astronomy. How can you study the Stars when the placement of certain stars . .as they appear from Earth, has some unexplained influence on life on Earth?

    Your argument does nothing to explain why Creationism/Intelligent Design belongs on the table alongside ACTUAL scientific theories. I have no problem teaching it in Sociology, Theology, or for heaven's sake a Marketing class (ID anyway), but as science? They do not fit the bill.

    If you want to fix the educational system, I agree . . .but adding something like this is not the way to do it.

  3. "Your argument does nothing to explain why Creationism/Intelligent Design belongs on the table alongside ACTUAL scientific theories."
    Correct. I was not speaking in regard to Creationism specifically. I am not 'on a side' of a polarity battle between two sides who oppose each other. It's not effective to have two sides who push each other and only create friction- what you resist persists. It is a back and forth ping-pong where two sides hold on to their position, and hurtle points at each other, fight and defend their position, and war do not solve anything. We have been doing this for Eons, lol, haven't we 'evolved'? It's fascinating, within a polarity battle, we take valid Points and try to Stab them into each other, haha, and within this we are coming from a 'charged' starting point. Haha, CHARGE! Where does this come from? Because we know the point is valid, but we must thrust it at 'them' because they will not hear, they will not consider, because their priority has become to defend their position, and to consider the 'other sides' point is to admit defeat! Lol. As though, we define 'to consider something' to be acceptance of it. This can be cleared up by changing our starting point from one of Survival Mode/Self Interest/Me vs Them'- to 'What is Best for ALL', within common sense, as it applies to this current reality. Obviously what is best for all is best for Self. And within this there is no 'debate'. I suggest we use Common Sense, unconditionally explore all Knowledge and Information and test to see if it actually can be practically applied and lived within the context of what/how this world currently exist. Knowledge without application is useless, what is the Use if it cannot be Used? Then knowledge is simply held onto for one's own self interest in separation, and thus irrelevant to what is Here

  4. Kelly,
    While I agree in principle, I cannot agree in reality. Do we really have the resources to explore everything? Plus what is the most appropriate arena for addressing specific subjects.

    Yes, I might be promoting a war between two entrenched groups -- but it's not those entrenched groups that I care about. I care about the teacher standing in front of the room trying to teach things they are unsuited to teach -- like the Dover Biology Teachers asked to read a nonsensical statement about Evolution. I care about the parent standing in front of their school board asking why a certain subject is being covered because of the religious beliefs on one member of that school board. I really care about the student who gets dropped in the middle and asked to make up their own mind without being given the tools to do so.

    The school system cannot possibly present all sides of all discussions. The most appropriate avenue for spiritual matters is not the school, just like the pulpit is not a good place for teaching Biology. In other subject areas there are processes for determining curriculum contents, yet here you are advocating cover it all and let common sense be the guide? Sure, let's try that with English and see what we get?

    Common sense sounds like a good idea, but it's a pretty poor judge in many areas. Common Sense for centuries told us heavier objects would fall faster than lighter objects. It told us that the Earth was the center of the Universe. It's a pretty poor filter! You cannot architect, engineer, or build something based on common sense. You need a better foundation.

    Let's use common sense in a better way. How much time should we devote in science class to non-science subjects? Common sense should say: Zero. Who gets to determine what belongs in science class? That should be the people who work in the area today -- the same people that will be hiring our students in the future!

    Look up the case of Nathanial Abraham, or it might be Abrahams. He was hired as an Evolutionary Biologist by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and after being hired told them he couldn't do something like 90% of his job because of a philosophical inability to accept evolution as a possible answer to the questions he was asked to study. He accepted a job for which he refused to perform. When they let him go, he sued -- so far he's lost, but he is still persisting. Do we want all employers facing such consequences? The Pharmacist who refuses to give out Birth Control pills because of his philosophy. The grocery baggers and cashiers who refuse to touch beef because of their religion. The butcher who is a vegetarian and refuses to cut, pack, or distribute meat? What recourse does a business have if the school system is forced to encourage such nonsense? In my opinion they should not.

    Students should learn what will prepare them for the future and a future in science means not being mislead and lied to over what is or is not science. Common sense is not the right guide in science, nor in any subject.

  5. "Do we really have the resources to explore everything?"
    This is an important point to take into consideration, preferably before we entirely strip-mine this planet which is supporting us to live here, which we are quite rapidly in the process of doing. We will need to change the current money-system, as it is keeping us 'stuck' in this never-ending consumerism cycle, oh actually, it has an end indeed, lol. Our end.

    "The school system cannot possibly present all sides of all discussions."
    Why would it? Hm..why can't it? What exactly is meant by 'present all sides'? Ah I see like as in: present all sides as valid? or without direction? Like: here is A, here is B, here is C, you decide. Yeah, at this point, we cannot be trusted on either side of that, as in, we canot be trusted in presenting, or in distinguishing what makes sense and what doesn't. The current 'state' of existence clearly idicate this. We have to first establish self-trust, by clearing up all self-dishonesty

    "The most appropriate avenue for spiritual matters is not the school, just like the pulpit is not a good place for teaching Biology."
    Why would you teach biology at a pulpit?

    In other subject areas there are processes for determining curriculum contents, yet here you are advocating cover it all and let common sense be the guide?"
    It's not the subjects that is really the primary issue. We will sort that out. But first it's the 'starting point' so to speak, of the education system. And establishing/rebuilding self-trust within the children. We are so far deluded that we cannot/do not even trust ourself to see or understand what is 'common sense'.
    For example:
    "Common sense sounds like a good idea, but it's a pretty poor judge in many areas. Common Sense for centuries told us heavier objects would fall faster than lighter objects. It told us that the Earth was the center of the Universe."
    Common sense do not 'judge', common sense is here and only exist in the moment, it is we who see it or do not. If something 'is not common sense', then it is not common sense. Common sense. Common sense is not to do with our mind's interpretation of things. The mind do not function in common sense, it is a programmable system based on stored information as memory connected to thoughts feelings and emotions thru which behavior is pre-preprogrammed.
    Within this comment what you are doing is taking things that you know are not common sense, saying that they are common sense, then saying that they are not common sense. This is an example of how we have separated ourself from common sense. We haven't 'stood up' -within ourself-, and actually applied what we realize within what is common sense and what is not, thus we also do not trust 'others' to see common sense either, because we 'know' we don't ourself. What/how we 'see' what is 'outside' ourself is a direct reflection of how we 'see' ourself. Thus we are actually only ever talking to ourself, hahaha, fascinating. Until we realize this, we only see ourself as an 'observer' 'reacting' to what is here, and do not see our self-responsibility in how we create what is here. Fascinating.

    "Sure, let's try that with English and see what we get?"
    What do you mean 'try that with English'?


  6. The Nathaniel Abrahams case:
    Haha, fascinating, a battle over/between 'belief systems'. If you have a look at the physical, you see it functions according to equations, it is mathmatical, it is, in fact, a 'design'. Fascinating. If you have a look, 'evolution' and 'creationism' are two sides of the exact same coin. They serve the same underlying purpose, the exact same goal, to 'figure out' 'what' is 'responsible' for how/where we are now. They are both points in which we attempt to place responsibility for this existence, and in this, we ignore US. Within the religious aspect, we attempt to place responsibility on an imaginary 'god being', with the 'evolution' aspect we place it on the mathematical equations of the physical. Where are we in this? We place ourself as an 'observer' or a 'subject' to what is here. Like we are just a 'bystander', so to speak. From the individual level to the world level, our accepted nature is ignore-ance of our Self-Response-Ability. In this we 'give away' our ability-to-respond. Thus we are just a 'victim' and are not accountable. We have become limited liability corporations, hahaha, as above so below.

    "The Pharmacist who refuses to give out Birth Control pills because of his philosophy. The grocery baggers and cashiers who refuse to touch beef because of their religion. The butcher who is a vegetarian and refuses to cut, pack, or distribute meat?"
    Enslaving oneself to a belief system, is nonsense indeed. We use belief systems as justifications for our actions. Thus, our current actions already are largely due to us living as belief systems.
    Lol- How could you be a butcher and not handle meat? You would not be a butcher long, lol. Why would you even become a butcher in the first place? Oh, ok, this brings up a good point, wherein many people have compromise themself in order to do what it takes to survive, within the current system, which does not support all equally.
    "What recourse does a business have if the school system is forced to encourage such nonsense? In my opinion they should not."
    See, within this, we are living for businesses. The school system functions to support businesses, by training us as employees to staff the existing businesses, to power the systems, lol, we are farmed as human batteries for the system. We spend=pay our 'youth', being trained to be integrated into the system, then spend the rest of our life powering the systems feeding off our physical and inevitabley begin to shrivel up, and then we die. We call this Life? Hahaha, actually it's not so funny is it. We have made the system our god and enslaved ourself to it. We have placed it as 'more' than we are, and do not stand equal to it, wherein we could direct it, within the principle of what is best for all equally, so that all may have a dignified life, and no longer have thousands dying of starvation each day, while those of us who are comfortable say 'that's their problem' in ignorance of how the system we all support actually operate to create inequality.