Friday, June 4, 2010

SBOE Textbook Review - Letter to the Editor sent but not published

I commend the Austin American-Statesman for publishing “Two takes on textbook strife,” (5/18/10).

One take was written by the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), an organization that lost my trust.

Eight years ago, I volunteered to review textbooks for the Texas Board of Education. I was astounded by the number of factual errors I found. I conveyed these to the publishers, as well as some dangling concepts.

One textbook states “John Locke believed that all people are born with certain rights (‘inalienable rights’).” Locke’s reasoning was not explained. This was corrected by the publisher to read: “Locke believed that God created people who all, equally, had certain rights. To deny people these rights would be going against God ….Thomas Jefferson added these ideas to the Declaration of Independence.”

Notwithstanding the truth, the TFN cast me into their bucket of stereotypes as a far right promoter of Christianity!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher at a post-secondary college, possess earned post-doctoral credentials, and have taught and been an administrator in education for 40 years. That said, what education/teachers/administrators do NOT need now is more infusion of dollars! Case in point: How much money have states and the federal government spent since 1960 on just student attrition? Trillions of dollars. What was the drop-out rate between just the junior year and the senior year in public school nationally in 1960? 25% (statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau). What is the dropout rate now (again using U.S. Census Bureau data as reported in my Doctoral dissertation)? 25%. In fact, according to the Texas Education Agency the drop out rate freshmen to seniors is a whopping 50 %, such that the San Antonio "Express News" newspaper branded public schools in Texas as "drop out factories."No, not more money. Lets micro-manage education to 6-8 hours of core subject teaching only. Install a blend of Tech Prep, Dual and Concurrent Enrollment initiatives which start in the middle school years and carries through high school graduation. Example, Porter and Homer Hanna high schools in Brownsville, TX graduate students with ASE, Novell, C , CNC, etc., certifications before they graduate and it not even the University of Texas at Brownsville is capable of absorbing those students into a continuing degree oriented stairstep academic program. These young people are going to major universities who recognize the skills the students have earned and build upon as well as employers who take an interest in watching the students grow academically and then hire them even before they graduate.Six to eight periods a day of at least 50% fluff education is too costly, grossly inefficient and ineffective and to continue to "award" those in education for more of the same-old-same-old is patently stupid.BY Dr. Scott on 06/07/2010