Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
(NOTE: Don Kennedy is also the facilitator for the Tempe Unified School District #4 Education Action Committee and also the Kyrene Unified School District #28 Education Action Committee)
Here is an analysis I made of a new Geology textbook which is under consideration for use by the Tempe Union High School District. The book was on display for the public to read for only two weeks. I was lucky in that I happened to be talking with Dr. Kenneth Baca, the Superintendent, at the right time otherwise I wouldn't have known of the book. Parents in the TUHSD should be up in arms about this textbook. If some of them are readers of your blog, perhaps they should make a personal visit to the Superintendent's office and ask to review the book themselves. As far as I know, I was the only member of the non-teaching public which reviewed the book.
This letter was presented to the TUHSD School Board on 4-18-12, I think. I dropped it off at the Superintendent's office and didn't get to follow through to see if it was brought to the floor for consideration. The Board meeting conflicted with another which I thought was more important.
A textbook critique
The book: Earth’s Changing Surface
Publisher is Prentice Hall—Science Explorer
Generally speaking, the text is accurate and factual on a geological level with a couple of exceptions which will be discussed later.
As you read the book, you get the impression it’s designed for a 12 year old.
It’s my understanding the book will be used as a Geology text for students in grades 9-12. If that is the case, and the reading level is for a 12 year old, then the authors are either condescending or they feel they shouldn’t ask much of the student. This violates an old axiom which says if you don’t expect much, you don’t get much.
Further, the units of measurement used in the book are all metric. The U. S. hasn’t officially adopted the metric system. So...why is this? Is this subliminal indoctrination to wean us off of the English system of measure? From what I can determine in my research of the subject, there is a quiet movement to take us off of the English system by a slow transition. The plan originates in Washington, D. C. This textbook is a good example.
There is a discussion of acid rain (which has been with us since time began) which implies it’s a man-made phenomenon. Indirect implication is that it’s caused by use of fossil fuels. This is not necessarily true. There is scientific evidence that says it seems to be a cyclical occurrence. This smacks of environmental indoctrination at its finest.
If you will recall, there was a lot of controversy about 35 to 40 years ago on the subject, and it was finally put to rest. We’ve heard little or nothing about acid rain for several years. Somehow it has magically disappeared.
The textbook teaches the earth started as a ball of dust, rock and ice in space. There is no mention of another possibility. This is a serious omission and may be found to be offensive to those who believe the earth was made by a supreme being and not by accident. To be politically correct, perhaps it would be wise to ask the publisher to omit any such reference. It isn’t necessary to the teaching of geology. The subject of the origin of the earth is controversial and can’t be proven by academia or the theologians.
On page 146 is a table which refers to historic events, mostly wars. Somehow WWII and the American Revolution have been omitted. However, it mentions the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Are the omissions by accident or by design? If they’re by design, the authors should be questioned about the reason for the omissions. The American Revolution and WWII were two of the most important wars in U. S. history. The former enabled the establishment of the United States of America while the latter made it possible to maintain our republican democracy in spite of the odds.
On pages 173 and 174 are a series of math skill exercises which seem to be very elementary in that the skills should have been learned in the fifth through the eighth grades. Is this a remedial plan which is needed because the student body lacks the skills, or is it further condescension by the authors?
All in all, in my opinion, the textbook should be rejected. It isn’t worthy of our school system.
April 16, 2012