The Quality of Education

The Cobb County Board of Education is disappointed in today’s ruling and maintains the textbook stickers are a reasonable and evenhanded guide to science instruction and encouraging students to be critical thinkers. However, in light of Judge Cooper’s decision, the board and its attorney plan to review the ruling in its entirety and determine whether the board will file an appeal. The decision will not affect the quality of education in Cobb County, where instruction in all subject areas meets state and national standards, and where schools continue to rank among the top-performing public schools in the state and nation.

This is the statement the the Cobb County School District has released on its website (permalink now available here). My opposition to Cobb County on this one is no secret, but I find the last line the most telling. The decision will not affect the quality of education in Cobb County… Let’s look aside the fact that “the decision” has an unclear antecedent (are they talking about the judge’s decision – mentioned as a “decision” in the previous sentence – or are they talking about the decision to file an appeal – not labeled a “decision” in the previous sentence? Do they still have English teachers in the Cobb County School District). The thing is this – of course filing an appeal will affect the quality of education in Cobb County. And the board members know it. Obviously, the school district believes that it will affect the quality of education in a positive way. If they didn’t believe it would, then they are so derelict in their duty that it is unthinkable. But, of course, even in this they are wrong. You don’t even have to talk about the first amendment to argue this point. To begin with, the stickers give the completely wrong impression about what a scientific theory is (it is not just a guess – as the Board would have their students believe – it is an explanation of many many facts). So, in that way the Board is negatively affecting their student’s education. Secondly, the stickers say that evolution is a scientific theory about “the origin of living things” and it isn’t – it’s a scientific theory about how life develops (so, at the very least, it’s incomplete in how it describes evolution).

It’s sad that the Board of Education of Cobb County doesn’t think it is important to get it right on this one. It’s even sadder that they don’t think that getting it right “affects the quality of education in Cobb County.” I thought that that was their job.

As a note, Kathie Johnstone (post 6 – chairman of the board) and Laura Searcy (post 4) both voted against the appeal. You can send e-mail to them or all the other commissioners here. Know that the Board Attorney General has agreed to work on the remainder of the case for free – I guess $74,000 to embarass a school district is enough – so this will cost the county nothing additionally except the quality education of their students.

[Updated – 2:35 p.m.] Humorously, here is a page of other stickers that Cobb County might want to consider.

3 Comments so far

  1. Nikki (unregistered) on January 18th, 2005 @ 12:06 pm

    How is it that I attended a Presbyterian collge that managed to keep science and religion in their separate departments? I mean, really. The school’s mission statement directly references Jesus, yet this isn’t a problem. Why are Cobb County’s parents so up in arms about this? Why does religion need to be part of school? I don’t get it.

  2. Daniel (unregistered) on January 18th, 2005 @ 12:39 pm

    Nikki, I’m utterly baffled by it as well. Though, I suspect it is because Davidson (I’m guessing by your e-mail address) has something that I like to call intelligence. But humans gain that through natural selection, so Cobb wouldn’t have it.

  3. Thomas (unregistered) on January 18th, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

    I’ve sent a long email to the five who voted to appeal, copied to the two dissenters as well. I am still deciding whether or not to post the text of the letter as an open on my weblog, but I hope they read it and carefully weigh this decision to appeal.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.