Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Heading Over The Edge



If it isn't already obvious to everyone, here's more evidence that what's really going on with a large swath of the charter school movement -- the publicly funded charter school movement! -- is the dumbing down of education by those who claim the opposite. Namely, the replacement of science with bible studies:
Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies. Now a major push to expand these voucher  programs is under way from Alaska to New York, a development that seems certain to sharply increase the investment...
We've become inured to the steady erosion of the wall between church and state; as more and more right-wing Christians rend their garments and wear sackcloth in town squares, wailing of their persecution far and wide, they are, in fact, simultaneously succeeding in their real goal, from which this disingenuous crying is deliberate distraction. While the courts, so far, seem to be ignoring or forgetting what they've said before, time and again, we come ever closer to undisguised theocracy.
... Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do. A POLITICO review of hundreds of pages of course outlines, textbooks and school websites found that many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story of the six days of creation as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often distort basic facts about the scientific method — teaching, for instance, that theories such as evolution are by definition highly speculative because they haven’t been elevated to the status of “scientific law.” ...

How can one not despair for our country? On what basis is there reason to feel optimistic about our future? Increasingly, as the world becomes more complex, our problems more difficult, people -- in the exceptional USA USA USA, anyway -- are checking out. Turning to magic, to wishful thinking, to pre-failed solutions, ignorance, and pretending it'll all go away. To rationalizations for selfishness and short-sightedness. 

These are, indeed, the end-times. Brought on not by gay rights or food stamps. Brought on by the willful ignorance of those who so conclusively misread all the signs, and call it by all the wrong names.

[Image source]

Budget Goodness

My upcoming newspaper column: Reading their budget and health care solutions has changed my mind about Donald Trump and the people in c...