Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oklahoma GOP State Legislator Wants Oklahoma Science Teachers to Have the Freedom to Question Their Textbooks

Can I say I am tired of Baptist in our Legislature with their 6,000 year old earth and dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans theories?  Not saying that Rep Blackwell subscribes to these theories but know of plenty of Baptist in Oklahoma who won't allow their children to visit the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History on the OU campus because it dates the earth back millions of years.  They don't want their children to hear the truth preferring to feed them the hard right religious version of history of the world.

It is a fascinating place to visit and my children and now my grandchildren love visiting.  It is so well done making it easy to follow as the earth went from one age to the next.

Kids love going up in the elevator to the second floor to be greeted by the dinosaur head -- little kids get so excited. There is a workshop area for kids and on the second floor they cover the wildlife here in Oklahoma where you can hear the birds, see the buffalo, the snakes with their rattlers moving, roadrunners, and all kinds of animals on display that you have to look twice to see they are not real.  It gives a whole history of wildlife in this part of the Country.

Oklahoma used to be under water and today we have the Wichita Mountains which are actually 5,000 feet tall but have gradually been sinking into the ground.  Now the hard right comes along and wants to teach their version of science in our public schools -- how about confusing children or more important why are children of the non-hard right going to be forced to learn junk science that has been debunked. If my kids had not graduated and came home from school with a theory the earth was 6,000 year old from a a science teacher, that school principle would wish my kids were not in their school.  I value a good education and some things are not subject to interpretation and the junk science of the age of the of the earth being 6,000 years old is one of them.  It is mixing someone's religion and science no matter what Blackwell says as this has been part of the curriculum change in the Platform at the State GOP Convention for years.

Several years ago they demanded the Bible be taught in classrooms and made the mistake of asking which Bible and got told there is only one -- have a lot more then that in my home.  I find this bill goes against everything I believe about a public education and time the legislature got their noses out of the classroom.  If they don't like what public schools teach, then send their kids to a private Christian school.  This Country is not theocracy and was not founded on the Bible no matter how much the hard right wants to rewrite history.

Another example of a legislator in Oklahoma trying to tell schools what they can teach.
New bill gives Oklahoma science teachers the freedom to question their textbooks 
Posted on: 4:02 pm, March 27, 2014, by Paige Hill, updated on: 04:17pm, March 27, 2014

OKLAHOMA – The debate over how science should be taught in Oklahoma classrooms is back. 
Lawmakers say teachers need more freedom. 
The Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act makes its way on the agenda every year. It gives teachers the freedom to editorialize hot button issues like evolution and climate change. 
The author, Representative Gus Blackwell believes science is wide open to a range of theories, while science educators disagree. 
“This bill really is misunderstood by a lot of people,” says Blackwell. 
Blackwell says the bill’s current language doesn’t mandate teaching creationism in the classroom, but instead gives teachers the right to talk about it and other scientific theories. 
“We just say a lot of people say it so it must be true and that’s it and you need to accept it,” says Blackwell. 
Blackwell says his law is needed to protect educators who want to explore what he calls controversial scientific issues, like evolution and climate change. 
“Many times they just say, ‘I don’t want to do anything that might rock the boat. I’m worried about it,” says Blackwell. “I think this bill says no you do have the academic freedom to explore.” 
The Oklahoma Science Teachers Association is concerned. They say current text-books describing evolution and climate change are more than wild theories that you can pick and choose. 
Board member Bob Melton says, “There is no doubt, or discussion, or controversy about evolution or climate change.” 
Melton says this bill opens a door for teachers to stray far from accepted science.
“Established theories are that. They are explanations of how the world works and they’re based on solid evidence and that should be the focus of our science and structure,” says Melton. “Any controversy is actually a political controversy.” 
The bill will not allow teachers to teach their own opinion unless they use existing scientific theories. 
It also specifically states teachers do not have the freedom to promote a certain religion or religious doctrine. 
If passed, it will be in effect by next school year.
Freedom to the hard right I have discovered after living years in Oklahoma is freedom for them to say and do what they want and the rest of us have to follow along!

Won't be silenced nor will millions like me who have had it with the religious right and their version of history and now science.  The United States of America's Constitution says freedom of religion which means we are free to choose how we want to worship without state interference.   It would do Republicans some good if they remembered that but it would mean they would have to read and comprehend what something says which they have a hard time doing today.  Common sense has left the Republican Party.  We can thank President Reagan for that when he brought in the religious right types to win his primary and election.  The culture of the white male was  brought back to prominence -- we are paying a heavy price for that today.  Just ask women and minorities about the culture of the white male dominated society they want where they don't want any of us to vote.

We have a chance in Oklahoma to start to right the ship and bring some common sense back to our public schools instead of the nonsense from the heavy Republican Legislature and Governor.  Rep Joe Dorman is the person to get the job done -- he is going to need help of not only parents but all Oklahomans who value a good education.  Many of us have had it with the hard right school agenda they are trying to foster on our public schools!   Let's get behind Joe and take Oklahoma back Blue to Common Sense on November 4, 2014!

Note:  I am not paid or employed by any political campaign.  The views are my own. 

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