Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Political tomfoolery

Lot's of things have happened while I was away over break. First the Dover school intelligent design trial has finished and intelligent design ruled to be religion NOT science. What many people forget is that this controversy is just part of a larger problem namely the politicization of the educational process and use of the educational system as a battle ground in the "culture wars".

For instance at UCLA a mysterious group called the Bruins alumni association (http://www.uclaprofs.com/)offered pay for students to tape professor's classes and give the group notes and handouts from classes to document left wing bias among UCLA professors. Since this has been exposed, the group has retracted the pay offer but still wants student volunteers to weed out what is billed as non professional behavior. Of course looking at the list of targeted professors , they are all liberal or granted in some cases radical left wingers.

The politicalization of education is nothing new in this country, after all in the 1970's scientists such as E.O. Wilson who is hardly any sort of extremist got assaulted from the left because of his views on genetics and human behavior. Public schools are of course pawns in these sorts of political wrangling. As anyone knows who has followed the various book censorship controversies. For instance our esteemed board of education is getting into the act by asking if certain books might be in violation of state obscenity laws.

Of particular note is that while school districts do (as they should) offer parents options for their kids reading one of the board members chairman Steve Abrams claimed that this in some way stigmatizes kids. Naturally there is no evidence for this and I can't help but wonder if Dr. Abrams would support programs to promote tolerance of LGBT students whom the data shows are victims of bullying. Gee.
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