|This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Here is the Feb. 3 edition. Inclusion of a blog post does not necessarily indicate my agreement with—or endorsement of—its contents.
At FortBoise of Idaho, Tom von Alten writes—Not the sharpest tools in the shed:
Here we go again, on the way to burnishing our national laughingstock status: after “experts from throughout the state that were working on this issue, some of our best and brightest science teachers and professionals in industry” made another attempt at spelling out standards for science education in Idaho schools… the partisan, “citizen” legislators in the majority of the House Education committee voted again to eliminate those parts of science they don’t care for.
One of them fatuously announced his vague suspicions about the “supporting content” behind the revised standards proposal. He was unmoved by two dozen members of the public taking the time and trouble to come testify before the committee. As was the leader of the anti-science vigilantes, Scott Syme.
“I learned a lot about these standards over the last year,” Syme said. “When we have conclusions over standards, it stifles inquiry, and I don’t think that is the intent of the (State Department of Education) to stifle inquiry.”
Last week, Syme said he didn’t care if students come to the conclusion the Earth is flat, so long as that was the student’s own conclusion.”
I assumed the “supporting content” was some detailed set of demonstrated facts, but Eye on Boise reports it was considerably more direct—and considerably more incomprehensible what was the source of their objection. […]
If this were a reality TV show, it would be droll. But since we compete with countries not hamstrung by absurd anti-science ideology (to which we occasionally send trade delegations to see if they’ll buy our commodities), this is not going to end well.