Monday, March 24, 2008

Teach The Children

This is not a Daily Show clip.

For advocates of vouchers, until you show me how this can be prevented I cannot cross over to your side.

h/t: PZ


Unknown said...

"Evolution is a religion."

"Because of what the tour guide is saying, the kids are gonna start thinking for themselves.”

Blackjackk said...

Well - I'm glad the Creationists explained themselves fully....

Anonymous said...

Well I guess I can quit my job studying molecular evolution because now I know that "Jesus did it". So many wasted days...

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Man, those home schoolers are the best with the mind-control thing. I can't even get my kid to believe that "Mommy knows best," let alone go to church.

Unknown said...

Chilling. The part about the T-Rex, etc being vegetarians before "The Fall" is a new one for me. The call and response with the children was creepy, too.

MTHEORY said...

Jesus wept, I'm walking into a lion's den here but vodka and insomnia have made me brave, so here goes:

1. I'm a Christian -though I don't wear that on my sleeve- who believes in evolution. Special niche in hell for me, I guess. (What kind of world is it where I have to say I "believe" in evolution?)

2. WTF does this have to do with vouchers?

3. Idiots are idiots, and you will find them everywhere.

4. The public schools are not teaching anything that ends up being useful to adult life. After you get past parts of speech and algebra I, it's all a bunch of worthless crap. Wanna argue? Tell me about the credit card class you took in high school. (Didn't take one, did you?) Then tell me which has affected your life more since you got out of high school, science/biology/evolution or credit cards.

5. WTF does this have to do with vouchers?

6. I attended public and private schools, and cannot tell you the content or purpose of any field trip I took. Yeah, yeah, anecdotes are not data, but COME ON! It's a field trip! Or a church camp outing. Or something.

7. WTF does this have to do with vouchers?

8. According to the clip, these were home-schoolers. Which means that their parents paid the property taxes to secure them a "public" education, but chose (and paid for) another means of educating their children. You or I might find their teachings objectionable, but it's no different than a private education at many Christian schools.

9. T. Rex was not a vegetarian, and neither am I.

griftdrift said...

Well I've had a few beers so I'm only going to answer three of your questions (five if we're getting technical).

4. They teach you to think.

And number 8 is exactly WTF has to do with vouchers.

MTHEORY said...

(4) Well, they're SUPPOSED to teach you to think, but look around and see if you see any significant evidence of that. I don't, but maybe my expectations are too high.

(8) So which is it that causes you to oppose vouchers: Using public dollars to teach religion, or using public dollars to teach stupidity?

griftdrift said...

4. Well we could certainly debate the quality of education but that was not the original premise. Teaching such "worthless crap" as biology may not have a direct affect on your current life but it certainly made you more aware of the way your world works and that is ultimately beneficial in your ability to understand concepts that go beyond 2+2=4.

8. Ah M, you will not catch me in that trap. Public funds are used to teach religion all the time. In compartive religion classes, philosophy classes and even in some history and comparative literature classes.

However not in science classes. The Supreme Court has been quite clear in Edwards vs Augillard and Kitzmillar vs Dover that religion, i.e creationism or intelligent design, in a place where it has no context such as a science class is a breach of the establishment clause.

The reason this has to do with vouchers is because even though philosophically I support vouchers I cannot realistically support vouchers until you guarantee me there will not be religious entanglement.

Otherwise inevitably we will have public funds teaching as fact the world was created less than 10,000 years ago, rides on the back of a turtle or whatever your particular religious preference.

Rusty said...

I can't wait to see the econ classes:

Solomon contracted demons to build his temple. Demon labor was cheap and plentiful thanks to HIFTA (the Hell-Israel Free Trade Agreement). Witness the free market at work!

MTHEORY said...

Grift- I wasn't trying to trap you, I actually wanted to know. If I understand your argument, teaching religion in public schools (or using public dollars via vouchers) is OK in the context of comparative religion, history, or literature classes, just not in science class. If that's the case, then what you're opposed to is poor quality education, and not necessarily the funding mechanism for education itself.

My general beef with public education is that it fails to prepare students for the important day-to-day aspects of life -a basic familiarity with the law and contracts, what compound interest can do for (or to) you, how to assess risk and make decisions- those kinds of things. Instead we get caught up in debates about how much sex education should be taught and whether Adam and Eve rode "Jesus horses." It seems crazy, no?

griftdrift said...

M, I think you got me right but I think you missed an important nuance. I do object to the funding mechanism if there is no safeguard against the money going to the type of garbage up above.

But I disagree with you if you are saying teach nuts and bolts to the detriment of the rest. As I said before there are certain more estoric classes which although you may never reference directly in daily life contribute to your ability to think conceptually. I think those are just as important.

MTHEORY said...

I guess that's where we disagree: I think vouchers themselves would BE the safeguard/quality control mechanism.

And no, I'm not saying nuts and bolts to the detriment of the esoteric, touchy-feely stuff. I'd settle for a little more (ie; SOME or ANY) emphasis on the practical.

That said, I know my views on education are best described as either "unique" or sometimes "insane." I blame my degree in Philosophy!

griftdrift said...

And you are the second conservative I've heard say that. Sorry. I just don't believe it. If tax dollars are going to be involved there have to be some standards. And any money distributed to a school where the science standards consists of teaching about the Jesus Horses is not only not fiscally responsible but probably unconstitutional.

Unknown said...


It seems to me that we put an awful lot of pressure on our education system to be all things to all children.

My friends who are teachers tell me that the demands to pass the tests, control the children, and keep everyone safe, leave little time for teaching of anything that I would consider "touchy feely" or "nuts and bolts".

The problems with public education are not really problems with public education. They are problems with society and parenting. We have come to rely on teachers to teach, discipline, feed, cleanse, and entertain. Oh, and be the "moral compass". All for a small fraction of what a professional hockey player makes.

Oh, and don't throw Sex Education under the bus with Jesus Horses. In study after study, we learn that Sex Ed is the single-best way to cut down on unwanted teenage pregnancy. That we should be teaching. How to take a test that means nothing? Not so much.