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(21-Dec-2005 at 02:15)
Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/nation...gn-051220.html
Quote:
'Intelligent design' cannot be taught in school: U.S. court
Last Updated Tue, 20 Dec 2005 20:06:03 EST
CBC News

A U.S. district judge ruled Tuesday that "intelligent design" cannot be taught in a Grade 9 biology class in Pennsylvania, saying it amounts to teaching a secular version of creationism.

The fight by the religious right to include intelligent design theory in the biology curriculum has been the biggest courtroom clash on evolution since the 1925 Scopes monkey trial.

Judge John Jones wrote in a 139-page ruling that the school board policy violates the U.S. Constitution, and should be struck down "to preserve the separation of church and state."

The fight began in October 2004, when a school board in Harrisburg, Pa., adopted a policy that required teachers to expose students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.

The policy required that students be told Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." Students were to be referred to the intelligent-design textbook Of Pandas and People, for more information.

Intelligent design proponents argue that natural selection cannot fully explain the existence of complex life forms, and say an unseen force is behind the development of humanity.

In August, U.S. President George W. Bush inflamed the debate by suggesting intelligent design be taught alongside evolution to show there were competing theories.

Many members of the scientific community hold that intelligent design is invalid as a theory because it cannot be tested and offers no hypotheses. Many respected scientists have gone so far as to call it pseudoscience or junk science.
About time the courts stepped in and tossed out Intelligent Design from being taught in public schools. We should not be teaching pseudoscience in our schools to our students.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 02:29)


I agree that it shouldn't be taught in a biology class. Does anyone know whether the judge ruled that ID can't be taught in public schools at all, or just in science classes? As has been stated many times, including the idea in a philosophy class is not a bad idea.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 02:32)


Good. I have to agree that this was nothing but a smoke screen to get creationism forced into the teaching mandates.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 03:20)


Despite not even being a theory, ID has been all but disproven. Until Darwinian Evolution can be debunked (I'd like to know about any of the so-called "gaps" in it because as far as I know the theory of evolution is airtight), it is what students should be learning in public schools, and in my opinion, all private schools as well.

There's room for ID, but it needs to be taught strictly as philosophy, alongside its many valid rebuttals.

On a more broad level, it's really a good thing that the separation of church and state is being upheld in courts and here's hoping that it continues to be upheld. If the religious right--or any group who uses pure religion as a basis for political ideology--ever get a hold of our government and especially our law, we are SCREWED.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 05:01)


Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Reichstag:
About time the courts stepped in and tossed out Intelligent Design from being taught in public schools. We should not be teaching pseudoscience in our schools to our students.
WTF? Who is this WE our Canadian commentator speaks of?

Originally Posted by tlhInganHom:
I agree that it shouldn't be taught in a biology class. Does anyone know whether the judge ruled that ID can't be taught in public schools at all, or just in science classes? As has been stated many times, including the idea in a philosophy class is not a bad idea.
As I understand it, it applies to only biology classes, and at that is only a ruling applicable to the area in Penn covered by this particular court. I can't imagine Canadian law has been impacted , but WE never know, do WE?

It would be nice if WE, in America that is, advanced the level of education in high schools to include ethics and philosophy courses in which ID could indeed be presented in an appropriate forum for discussion. I can only assume that WE would be better off with a more well-rounded education. Personallly I don't presume to tell THEM what THEY should do with THEIR public education system, and take offense when THEY attempt hijack ours.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 05:13)


Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Michael1:
"We" bullshit
Oh stuff it. You try to hijack international trade, we comment on domestic policies. "We" involves humanity as a whole, as well, so "we" can easily include Canadians and Americans, as they are still of the same species. And they're both first-world nations. So unless you want to look petty, I suggest you take your rantings and spew them elsewhere.

In any case, I do hope they present this in other forums. I know that my science teacher, quite explicitly, made it clear that while evolution is not the only "theory" that it's the one with scientific backing. We didn't go over it much in Social Studies, but that's because we were doing completely unrelated subjects. It would have been interesting, however, to debate it further.

And Michael, remember, it's 139 pages long. There's plenty of room for other clauses and conditions in there.

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Last edited by Jarlaxle Baenre, 21-Dec-2005 at 05:14.
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(21-Dec-2005 at 05:16)


You know, I don't think it would be far-fetched to assume that our Canadian friend meant "We" in the context of "we educated humans" should not be teaching pseudoscience to our children in science classrooms. Also, what a silly thing to emphasize. It just distracts from the real topic of the thread and comes darn close to an infantile personal attack.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 06:13)


im all for it NOT being in a science class...

however introducing it as a classs on its own during the latter years of highschool as an alternative class, that i have no problems with. makes perfect sense that if people WANT to be exposed to this and learn about it they should have the option, just like persuing more science... the first bit of science in the early grades has nothing or very little to do with biology and what it does from what i remember (a whole 4 years ago) is within humans plants and cell generation on a low key level.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 08:52)
Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Money Mathews:
however introducing it as a classs on its own during the latter years of highschool as an alternative class, that i have no problems with.
You don't *need*a class. Intelligent Design can be explained in less than a minute:
"Hey, the world looks real complex, maybe it was kind of designed by someone? We don't know who, when or why and we can't make any predictions but it sure sounds nice doesn't it? And we all know who that someone really is, nudge, nudge, wink, wink".

All the rest is just obfuscation.
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(21-Dec-2005 at 13:02)


I agree with this decision.

Teach science in the science subjects and religion in the religion subjects.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 16:36)


Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Jarlaxle Baenre:
Oh stuff it. You try to hijack international trade, we comment on domestic policies. "We" involves humanity as a whole, as well, so "we" can easily include Canadians and Americans, as they are still of the same species. And they're both first-world nations. So unless you want to look petty, I suggest you take your rantings and spew them elsewhere.
It was sarcasm that was admittedly a bit overdone, but considering here, here, and here Reich made it very clear that when an event or ruling occured that he didn't like, he wasn't part of us but now that a ruling is made that he likes ... oh, never mind. It wasn't that long ago when he was spewing "The U.S. education system will be the laughing stock of the world!". It just kind of strikes me as 'pointing a finger' in accusation, then wanting to 'join hands in victory' when all along, you were an outsider.

Quote:
In any case, I do hope they present this in other forums. I know that my science teacher, quite explicitly, made it clear that while evolution is not the only "theory" that it's the one with scientific backing.
That's the problem. The ruling appearantly prohibits a science teacher from even mentioning that other 'theories', even those without scientific backing, exist. That's wrong because people who believe in God generally want their kids to understand that God does indeed have something to do with the existence of life. To talk about the origins of life, even in a science class, and to not at the same time acknowledge that the discussion is to many broader than just a scientific one is a disservice to the students. Not all kids are dumb. Some can figure out exactly what's not being addressed.
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We didn't go over it much in Social Studies, but that's because we were doing completely unrelated subjects. It would have been interesting, however, to debate it further.
It absolutely would be. Some people are so intolerant of other points of view that they consider it a complete waste of time, case in point:

Originally Posted by Bernel:
You don't *need*a class. Intelligent Design can be explained in less than a minute:
"Hey, the world looks real complex, maybe it was kind of designed by someone? We don't know who, when or why and we can't make any predictions but it sure sounds nice doesn't it? And we all know who that someone really is, nudge, nudge, wink, wink".

All the rest is just obfuscation.
Attitudes like that are what we should fear. It sounds as if some find no value in ethics classes because they already know what it is safe and appopriate for everyone else to be exposed to.

Originally Posted by Jarlaxle Baenre:
And Michael, remember, it's 139 pages long. There's plenty of room for other clauses and conditions in there.
There might be clauses and conditions, but all that means is there will be other cases brought in other parts of the US. I suppose that even if the secularist get their way and the notion of intelligent design is considered banned speech in public schools, it will only be good because the more exposure the issue gets the more parents will realize that the US public education system is incapable of providing a well-rounded education.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 17:38)
Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Michael1:
That's the problem. The ruling appearantly prohibits a science teacher from even mentioning that other 'theories', even those without scientific backing, exist.
Doesn't it just prohibit the schoolboard from requiring science teachers to mention ID? If an individual teacher wants to bring up ID, that some once believed the earth was flat, that some believe in astrology etc he is free to do that. Explaining why some "theories" are wrong or at least not science can be useful, but should be left up to each teacher. Given that I understand very little time is spent teaching evolution in US schools because it is such a controversial topic there isn't much room to explain why it is the only scientific explanation for the observations made.

In university it's a different matter, there you have time to both go into some detail about evolution and then explain what the leading proponents of ID claim. In fact, doing so has been shown to be a more efficient way of convincing student that ID is nonsense.
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That's wrong because people who believe in God generally want their kids to understand that God does indeed have something to do with the existence of life.
Then I suggest the parents tell their kids that. I know some parents are too busy to talk to their kids much, but not *that* busy. ID shouldn't be taught as some kind of alternative to evolution in a science class, because it isn't science. Besides, aren't you aware that ID supporters are doing their best to keep god out of the debate? ID isn't supposed to be about God, it's about life being designed by something, whether God, aliens or time travellers. You don't want to teach ID you want to teach creationism! (And the supreme court has already decided that isn't allowed)
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To talk about the origins of life, even in a science class, and to not at the same time acknowledge that the discussion is to many broader than just a scientific one is a disservice to the students.
You can mention it if you wish, but apart from that there really isn't anything to say in a science class. There is no scientific contents in ID. I think even you agreed on that before.
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Attitudes like that are what we should fear.
I agree, and that's why the court decided it shouldn't be taught in science class
Quote:
There might be clauses and conditions, but all that means is there will be other cases brought in other parts of the US. I suppose that even if the secularist get their way and the notion of intelligent design is considered banned speech in public schools, it will only be good because the more exposure the issue gets the more parents will realize that the US public education system is incapable of providing a well-rounded education.
The schoolboard that started this whole process by trying to put ID into the curriculum had already been voted out when the verdict came. It seems the majority doesn't agree with you.
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(21-Dec-2005 at 17:48)


Maybe once the school system actually gets more funding, said philosophy classes and the like will actually be introduced. Until then, we'll just be waiting until college/university to learn that Thomas Aquinas thought of ID in the 13th century.

Oh yeah, last I checked, you learn about God in church, correct? So why does it also need to be taught in school if one already has been taught about God by family and/or their religious group?

In any case, ID shouldn't really be taught by a science teacher. ID isn't science. And evolution..well, when I was in biology class, we barely even mentioned it, and even then, she stressed that it was only a theory.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 18:09)


Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Bernel:
Doesn't it just prohibit the schoolboard from requiring science teachers to mention ID? If an individual teacher wants to bring up
No, it in effect prohibits it.

Quote:
In university it's a different matter, there you have time to both go into some detail about evolution and then explain what the leading proponents of ID claim. In fact, doing so has been shown to be a more efficient way of convincing student that ID is nonsense.
Why would you even bother to mention it in a science class?

Quote:
Then I suggest the parents tell their kids that. I know some parents are too busy to talk to their kids much, but not *that* busy. ID shouldn't be taught as some kind of alternative to evolution in a science class, because it isn't science.
Again, to discuss the origin of life and not acknowledge that for most, the debate doesn't begin and end with scientific theory, is a disservice. Why are you so afraid that a child might hear a rumor about something or someone, nudge, nudge, wink, wink?

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You don't want to teach ID you want to teach creationism! (And the supreme court has already decided that isn't allowed)
I don't want to teach creationism or ID in science class. Haven't you read what I've said? I simply want science teachers to be able to acknowledge that there are other theories regarding the origin of life.

Quote:
You can mention it if you wish, but apart from that there really isn't anything to say in a science class. There is no scientific contents in ID. I think even you agreed on that before.
I believe with this ruling, you can't. Some believe that the very notion of an 'Intelligent Designer' are words banned from public discourse. Hell, I'm not even arguing for ID, I'm arguing for an acknowledgement that many believe evolution is the be all, end all.

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I agree, and that's why the court decided it shouldn't be taught in science class
How does your intolerance have anything to do with what a court decides?

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It seems the majority doesn't agree with you.
Oh, the majority sure as hell agrees with me that public high school education isn't very well-rounded. Of that, there is little doubt.

Originally Posted by Hollow Bastion:
Maybe once the school system actually gets more funding, said philosophy classes and the like will actually be introduced.
Actually, I'd prefer to privatize education. That makes much more sense to me than increasing taxes and funneling them to an inefficient dinosaur.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 18:47)
Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Michael1:
No, it in effect prohibits it.

Why would you even bother to mention it in a science class?
Because in university you have already chosen what you want to specialize in? And there theories of all kinds are discussed?

Quote:
Again, to discuss the origin of life and not acknowledge that for most, the debate doesn't begin and end with scientific theory, is a disservice. Why are you so afraid that a child might hear a rumor about something or someone, nudge, nudge, wink, wink?
Because it have no place in a science class, its place is in a class about religions and philosophy.

Or perhaps some people dont belive in any higher beeing and they hate to get stuff thrown at them in which they do not belive. That is a sad thing about most school systems, you are forced to sit through preaching about your own religion and there is no way you can switch it for something else

Quote:
I don't want to teach creationism or ID in science class. Haven't you read what I've said? I simply want science teachers to be able to acknowledge that there are other theories regarding the origin of life.
Why should they acknowledge non scientific theories in a science class? That would be like learning to students that what was belived in ancient times about materials got scientific grounds...

Quote:
I believe with this ruling, you can't. Some believe that the very notion of an 'Intelligent Designer' are words banned from public discourse. Hell, I'm not even arguing for ID, I'm arguing for an acknowledgement that many believe evolution is the be all, end all.
There is only one scientific theory about the origin of life, if you can find another one with evidence to back it up then it is another ball game...

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Oh, the majority sure as hell agrees with me that public high school education isn't very well-rounded. Of that, there is little doubt.
Yes i agree that american high school education is a bit bad. Might have something do with low funding...

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Actually, I'd prefer to privatize education. That makes much more sense to me than increasing taxes and funneling them to an inefficient dinosaur.
Yes that must be why the scandinavian countries got so good schools because they are private... yeah right.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 19:41)
Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Michael1:
No, it in effect prohibits it.
I truly doubt that. This was a process against a schoolboard setting up a curriculum, not against an individual teacher. As I said, in university many teachers do bring up ID and so far I haven't seen any of them get sued.
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Why would you even bother to mention it in a science class?
At university level you are supposed to learn a bit more about the scientific process and then it is good to come across failed theories as well as succesful ones. It helps you once you start to try to research yourself. It would be great if this could be taught ealier, but as I said, there just isn't enough time allocated. Like it or not, at basic level science is mainly the teacher telling children how the world works, rarely do they tell how people have come to believe this.
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Again, to discuss the origin of life and not acknowledge that for most, the debate doesn't begin and end with scientific theory, is a disservice. Why are you so afraid that a child might hear a rumor about something or someone, nudge, nudge, wink, wink?
I'm not. As I said parents can tell the children, it can be mentioned in whatever education they have in religion or philosophy. It just doesn't fit in a science class, because that might give the children the idea that ID is science.
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I don't want to teach creationism or ID in science class. Haven't you read what I've said? I simply want science teachers to be able to acknowledge that there are other theories regarding the origin of life.
But there isn't! Not in the scientific meaning of the word "theory", which is what I'd expect a science teacher to use. Nor was this what the Dover process was about. It was about putting ID on equal footing with evolution.
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I believe with this ruling, you can't. Some believe that the very notion of an 'Intelligent Designer' are words banned from public discourse.
Then I guess you will get a visit from a cop after this discussion
You make this sound a lot more serious than it really is. It is not a ban on free speech.
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How does your intolerance have anything to do with what a court decides?
Apparently irony isn't your strong point. It's not intolerant to expect a science teacher to teach the best available science.
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Oh, the majority sure as hell agrees with me that public high school education isn't very well-rounded. Of that, there is little doubt.
Then why did the school board that tried to indroduce ID get kicked out?
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Actually, I'd prefer to privatize education. That makes much more sense to me than increasing taxes and funneling them to an inefficient dinosaur.
That's great for kids with parents who have money and care. On the other hand there is a large group of children who would be left totally outside society. I don't understand this American idea that it is better to pay for your huge prison system than for decent schools for everyone. (Because that's where lots of those kids who neither have good parents or get to go to a decent school will end up. Maybe they will even be able to get some kind of education in prison).
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Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Messenger:
Or perhaps some people dont belive in any higher beeing and they hate to get stuff thrown at them in which they do not belive. That is a sad thing about most school systems, you are forced to sit through preaching about your own religion and there is no way you can switch it for something else
The only indoctrination done in public schools is the insistence of the absence of a God, any God. I only mentioned that the existence of 'other theories' should be mentioned regarding the origin of life.

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Why should they acknowledge non scientific theories in a science class? That would be like learning to students that what was belived in ancient times about materials got scientific grounds...
Why should they acknowledge scientific theories in language arts classes? Letting people know that there are other points of view is wrong only if you are a supporter of ignorance.

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Yes i agree that american high school education is a bit bad. Might have something do with low funding...
Evidence?

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Yes that must be why the scandinavian countries got so good schools because they are private... yeah right.
I wasn't looking to do a 'whose got the best schools' comparison. Scandinavian systems aren't necessarily best for non-Scandinavian countries.

Originally Posted by Bernel:
But there isn't! Not in the scientific meaning of the word "theory", which is what I'd expect a science teacher to use.
Mentioning that this particular scientific theory doesn't satifsy the entire school of thought regarding the origins of life isn't wrong. High school education need not be a rigid and cynical as University Science prof's tend to be.

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That's great for kids with parents who have money and care. On the other hand there is a large group of children who would be left totally outside society.
Privatization need not reduce the amount of public funding, therefore no child needs to be left behind. Private schools already can educate better per child for less than the public system. All that's needed is voucher systems to take root. Had you not noticed, the large group of Democrats most in favor of school vouchers are poor.

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I don't understand this American idea that it is better to pay for your huge prison system than for decent schools for everyone.
I would happily privatize the prison system to an extent, and were that not possible certainly cut expenses. You don't understand any American idea simply because you believe in a large government that babysits citizens from cradle to grave.

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(21-Dec-2005 at 23:22)
Re: Teaching Intelligent Design Unconstitutional: Courts

Originally Posted by Michael1:
The only indoctrination done in public schools is the insistence of the absence of a God, any God.
Where do you find such a school? I think you'll have to look hard to find one in USA given that atheists are one of the most hated groups in the country.
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Why should they acknowledge scientific theories in language arts classes?
Most of the time they don't. Some science may be useful say when mixing colors, but that is because science, unlike religion, is obviously useful in many situations.
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Mentioning that this particular scientific theory doesn't satifsy the entire school of thought regarding the origins of life isn't wrong.
When non-creationists talk about evolution they mean the development of life after it had started. Don't get yourself hung up on the origin of life, that is an issue where we still have large gaps in our knowledge and which a high school teacher is going to say very little about. Nevertheless, some thinking is simply wrong and there is no reason that any science teacher should have to bring it up. In science you talk about astronomy, not astrology etc. As soon as you get beyond the basic "maybe some superior being created the world at some point" what ID supporters say is nonsense.

There is no principle that all theories are created equal regardless of whether or not there is any evidence i support of them, nor is science decided by majority vote.
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High school education need not be a rigid and cynical as University Science prof's tend to be.
At the contrary, as I said it's in University ID can be brought up in any reasonable way.
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Privatization need not reduce the amount of public funding, therefore no child needs to be left behind. Private schools already can educate better per child for less than the public system. All that's needed is voucher systems to take root.
That is true. When you started to complain about taxes I assumed you meant that financing should be private too. OTOH one reason is that private schools get better results is that they tend to get the better students, leaving the worst, those who don't care about working to get into a good school for the public system. As long as the private schools aren't driven by any extreme ideology I see no reason to oppose them, however. Nowadays we have plenty of private schools in Sweden too.
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I would happily privatize the prison system to an extent, and were that not possible certainly cut expenses. You don't understand any American idea simply because you believe in a large government that babysits citizens from cradle to grave.
US prisons to a considerable degree already are privatized, and do their best to operate at minimum cost while squeezing the most out of the prisoners. Tax payers still have to add a lot of money, however. The problem isn't that I don't understand the US system as much as that I don't like it. I prefer "babysitting" rather than throwing such a huge number of people in prison that USA is doing. Help is better than repression.
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(21-Dec-2005 at 23:47)


Quote:
Evidence?
Considering my dad works for the school system and how he constantly mentions the lack of funding. 'course might be because of the rural area I live in.

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Please don't debate whether or not American public schools have funding problems. Every school I went to had to cut advanced classes and electives and fire teachers due to funding problems, and I went to average midwestern schools. It's worse in big cities, and I hear it's also really bad in some places in the south.

So that considered, a philosophy class is probably not going to happen in High School. However, we did have a world religions unit in 10th grade social studies class, and I think that would be an appropriate time to introduce ID ideas, especially since many different religions have ID theories, and also since most students take Biology in 10th grade. And it wouldn't require creating another class.

Also, I don't think that anything besides, "I know many of you have different beliefs about life, and I'm not here to disprove them, but while we're in class, we are going to learn about the scientific theories in the textbook, and that's what you'll be tested on." is required to be said in a biology class. That's what my biology teacher said. (Actually it's what my Physics teacher said too.) Anyway, it's straight-forward; "We are in science class and are going to learn about the scientific process and scientific theories. I'm not going to say your beliefs are right or wrong, but you still need to learn what the science says about this stuff."

And actually, my school had a petition that parents could fill out and return to the school to get their kids out of the evolution unit, no questions asked; they'd do an alternative curriculum for the, what, week and a half that we discussed evolution & natural selection. While I personally don't see what benefit this would be to the student (since understanding evolution is the only way to intellectually rebut it or, alternatively, choose to believe otherwise, which could only stregenthen one's faith, not to mention there are those who believe that evolution itself is the design of a free will), I think it's perfectly reasonable for those who care stongly about what their kids are exposed to... err, outside of their faith? You can't please everyone, but this seems like a pretty good compromise, doesn't it?

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