Indiana Proud !

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
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Frank Hoffman
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Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:18 pm

Really? Do we have to keep fighting this over and over again? :(

From Fort Wayne's wane.com Jan 21, 2015:
"A bill filed by Sen. Jeff Raatz of Connersville and Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse of Auburn calls for school officials to create an environment for students to learn about differing theories on what it calls controversial scientific subjects. Raatz tells the Journal & Courier he’s not bothered by people calling the proposal an anti-evolution bill. He says it aims to allow discussion of competing theories in the classroom."

Note the phrase state "Senate Education Committee Chairman". I'll see if I can find out where HE went to school.
Last edited by Frank Hoffman on Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:22 pm

Connersville is home of the guy that wrote Ben Hur, Gen. Lew Wallace. And it's just like you'd imagine of place that could produce such a writer.

Kruse was born in Auburn, Indiana.
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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Gord » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:07 am

Frank Hoffman wrote: "...He says it aims to allow discussion of competing theories in the classroom."

"Goddidit" is not a competing theory.
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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby clarsct » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:43 am

"Godidit" isn't a theory, it's barely a hypothesis.

I was considering moving to Indiana. I now would prefer my chikld received an education worth having.
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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:21 am

Clarsct;
Give us here in Indiana a little time to work against this; I am relatively sure we will be able to dump this nonsense... along with the politicians responsible. I wish I could be sure it wouldn't reappear, however.
I have emailed the state Senators who have districts in and around Fort Wayne, and I have found a website for the National Center for Science Education which may be useful to give me ideas how to fight this. I am sure others are doing the same.

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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby clarsct » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:10 am

Well, the job for which I most recently interviewed is local...


I hope you get the politicians dumped, preferably in the lake.
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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:28 pm

clarsct wrote:I hope you get the politicians dumped, preferably in the lake.


Lake Erie will thaw soon, so I'll just have to wait a bit. :)

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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:50 pm

Frank Hoffman wrote:Clarsct;
Give us here in Indiana a little time to work against this; I am relatively sure we will be able to dump this nonsense... along with the politicians responsible. I wish I could be sure it wouldn't reappear, however.
I have emailed the state Senators who have districts in and around Fort Wayne, and I have found a website for the National Center for Science Education which may be useful to give me ideas how to fight this. I am sure others are doing the same.

Indiana, the state where there's no fort in Fort Wayne, you have to north to get to South Bend, and French Lick is badly, and sadly, misnamed. :mrgreen:


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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:53 am

Good News! Indiana State Senator Jeff Raatz says he is withdrawing the bill (though as of tonight it is still on the Senate website as being in committee). I choose to credit this success to my scathing letters to legislators and the media :) , but I guess some small credit should be given to the (U.S.) National Center for Science Education (whose research and suggestions I copied into my letters) and the Indiana State Teachers Association, both of which fight these battles day after day, year after year.
Last edited by Frank Hoffman on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Gord » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:03 am

Did he give a reason? Hopefully it was something reasonable, such as his lawyers told him it would fail in court like it always has before.
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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:09 am

Gord wrote:Did he give a reason?


He said that the media had so misconstrued the legislation as pro-creationist, that it would be difficult to bring out of committee. Which is to say, the media clearly understood and reported its intent, making it politically controversial… something local politicians usually try to avoid.

Here is some info from Mr. Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education, somewhat re-written for use as part of the letters I sent;

I believe the legislation is unnecessary to promote critical thinking or science education in Indiana schools. Indiana's state science standards already promote critical thinking throughout science education. The standards earned a grade of A- from the last evaluation of state science standards by the Fordham Foundation in its 2012 evaluation of state science standards.

If, however, the intent of SB 562 is to encourage the unconstitutional presentation of faith views like creationism, then it should be rejected on those grounds. It's no reassurance that the bill specifies that it can't be construed to promote religious beliefs, because creationists -- whether they accept "creation science" or "intelligent design" -- insist that their views are scientific. And the bill offers teachers and administrators no way of resolving such a disagreement.  Individual educators would be permitted, under SB 562, to tell their students that the scientific information in the state science standards and state-approved textbooks, which they are trained, paid, and expected to teach is, basically, not worth knowing.

Other states have successfully defeated this ill-advised legislation.  Since 2004, legislation promoting creationism has been introduced at least than 50 times in 17 states.  Only Louisiana and Tennessee have passed such legislation -- in both cases, over the protests of state and national organizations of scientists and of science teachers. A call for the repeal of Louisiana's law has been supported by over seventy Nobel laureates.

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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:56 pm

It is now 13 Feb, 11 days since Indiana State Senator Jeff Raatz said he would withdraw the bill, and it is still on the legislative website. So perhaps I celebrated too soon.

___________________________________________

Update: Everything is still OK; Just received the following email from Mr. Branch at the National Center for Science Education.

"The bill should die at the close of the day on February 25, which is the last day for bills to pass their originating houses. That assumes that it's not passed out of the Senate Education & Career Development Committee, but since that committee meets only twice before the deadline, on Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, and since SB 562 isn't on the Feb. 18 agenda, it seems like a safe assumption."

I'm very glad there are folks like Mr. Branch and Ms. Reid at NCSE who know how government actually works, and keep track of these things. That does not relieve me of responsibility, but it does ensure that SOMEONE is on the job.

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Re: Indiana Proud !

Postby Frank Hoffman » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:54 pm

My home, the great state of Indiana, continues to be in the forefront of progressive thought, as long as the movement is backward. Our governor just signed into law;

"…a religious objections bill that some convention organizers and business leaders have opposed amid concern it could allow discrimination against gay people.
Indiana is the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. The measure would prohibit state and local laws that “substantially burden” the ability of people — including businesses and associations — to follow their religious beliefs."

... "At present, nineteen states—including our neighbors in Illinois and Kentucky—have adopted Religious Freedom Restoration statutes. And in eleven additional states, the courts have interpreted their constitutions to provide a heightened standard for reviewing government action."

(http://wane.com/2015/03/26/pence-signs- ... edom-bill/)

The way I see it, it is not at its core a religious issue; but more dangerously, it is a continuation of the position of the U.S. Supreme Court in the "Citizens United" ruling which gave businesses and organizations freedom of speech (in the form of unlimited political donations). Now corporations are people too.


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