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Comment Re:summary is of course very misleading. (Score 1) 157

"I admit that if you have schools whose goal is to get students to pass standardized tests, rather than to understand science, then you don't need a science teacher who is current in the field, or even a science teacher. All you need is a proctor who can teach students to memorize textbooks and short answers, from workbooks published by Pearson or McGraw-Hill, based on 10-year-old material."

I suggest you try that. Get back to us when it fails miserably. And 10 year old curriculum is common. You don't need current curriculum to understand science. Facts change.

"The best high school science teacher is a Nobel laureate"

What data do you have to back that up? And since we are using anecdotes, my worst science teacher told me tales of working with really good scientists. Also, I don't think Linus Pauling would have been a great science teacher...

"Of course, if you do that, you'll have another Sputnik moment, when the U.S. is overtaken by the Europeans and Asians, who (in their best schools) do have a good science education."

First, we actually want to teach ALL of our students. Second, we already produce more scientists than we employ. There is no STEM crisis (unless you mean unemployment crisis in their field of training). Third, any Sputnik moment will be caused by those opposed to science running the government (centered largely around the Republican party at the moment, but not limited to it).

Comment Re:summary is of course very misleading. (Score 1) 157

And do you understand the difference between chemistry and biology?

DNA, the human genome, evolution, etc. are taught in Biology.

Chemistry, not so much.

If you don't want your kid's science teacher to lack knowledge then I would suggest reducing their work load in other areas. Implementing cutting edge discoveries into the curriculum isn't exactly a priority to administrators or a requirement of the standards.

Comment Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (Score 1) 106

You really want to state that there is no correlation between what a school district spends per student and success? Then I propose that you take a school district of your choice and educate them with no money (that means no facilities, no transportation, no teachers, no curriculum, no materials, etc) and I'll take the Washington DC school district. They will go to class every day for their entire K-12 education. Then we'll compare outcomes.

But, as a rule, you can predict how students are doing on a broad scale by looking at the statistics of the communities that they live in. Wealthy areas have students that do well, poorer areas, less so. It takes a lot of money to fix that. Much more than most districts have available.

Now if we fixed the inequalities, then we would have to spend less on schools. But people don't like that form of redistribution. So we use the less effective method of schools.

Comment Re:This is a scam (Score 5, Interesting) 399

There is no teacher shortage.

When you hear that schools are having a difficult time getting teachers, that indicates that the school/district/state is an awful place to work.

It's not unusual for there to be five applicants for every science position. There could be 30 for an English position. It's even worse for primary education. The only place there might be a shortage is in Special Education.

Comment Re:Suing the wrong party (Score 1) 399

Please explain how getting rid of due process and property rights will improve teaching? Why should teachers not be protected by the Constitution? That's what you are advocating when you "tenure" should be abolished.

You are aware that teachers are evaluated every year? That new and more rigorous evaluation systems are being implemented? That if they are not proficient (a pretty high bar) they can be removed?

If poor teachers are in the classroom then the administration and the school board (and hence the voters) are not doing their job.

Comment Re:Tenure? (Score 2) 399

It would help if you would understand what tenure is and what it is not in state funded primary and secondary schools. That does require some knowledge, however

If you are against "tenure" you oppose the following: the right to bargain, contracts, due process, and property rights.

It has little or nothing to do with: seniority, lifelong guaranteed employment, academic freedom.

Furthermore, the US is not very meritocratic. If you think it is, you are deeply ignorant. For one thing, I couldn't largely predict student achievement and success by looking at income.

Furthermore, if you consider the US education system better than Japan, what exactly is the problem with the current system?

Comment Re:My experiences (Score 3, Informative) 399

I'm sorry but the statement that "nothing could be done" is a lie.

If the teachers were truly ineffective or incompetent, then you should have complained to the school's administrators and insisted that your students be removed. That is your right. If they refused, then you take the issue to the school board. If that doesn't work, you file a complaint with the state (and also against the teachers license if you actually have evidence).

If you failed to do that, it indicates to me that maybe the teachers really weren't that bad. Because if you did nothing despite knowing there was a problem, you are part of it. When you find ineffective teachers you also have ineffective administrators and schools boards. You can't have one without the other.

Comment Re:"Presume" there's no pipe? (Score 1) 141

Chris Dixon is lying, an ignoramus, or quite possibly both. Which probably means the taxpayers are screwed.

I'd also guess that he is an engineer versus a geologist.

You don't generally remove casings from drilled wells after use, since they have probably been welded together. If it is a monitoring well like this one, you'd leave it in place in case you want to use it again. If you decommission it, you fill it with bentonite clay or cement and cut the top off to prevent groundwater contamination. Of course if someone had bothered to check the Washington Dept of Ecology's web site, they would have known this (where the information for the well would have been submitted).

Comment Re:The problem isn't GMO (Score 1) 419

If someone proposed this labeling scheme, I'd vote for it.

But it would be useful in many ways, take up a lot of room, and really embarrass too many people so I'm going to say no chance, ever. Heck, I'd like to see it get on the ballot so it could be opposed by both sides.... That would be fun to watch.

Comment Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (Score 1) 1010

Do you really think that 68% of the population doesn't have a basic science education?

That is the percent of the population that does not accept evolution according to the survey. Only 32% accept evolution.

The major similarity between the concepts of God did it, God guided it, and I don't know is that those groups don't accept evolution. The difference is how much they oppose the obvious policy consequences.

Comment Re:Self-Serving Nonsense (Score 1) 100

That's odd, because every one of the incidents you listed (they are not accidents) was the employers fault. They may have also been the employees fault.

Here's the deal, if you have lazy employees, those who don't wear PPE, take shortcuts, etc., then what is the employer doing about it? If the answer is "nothing" or the equivalent, then the employer does not value safety. I've worked at places where those things will result in termination or significant discipline and where they won't. Guess which places care about safety?

Finally, if your workers are taking shortcuts, then that implies that your assumptions about workflow are wrong. You are making people work too fast. Or your PPE sucks. In any case, once again, the employer is at fault. The employee is making a rational choice: lack of performance will get me fired, safety violations won't.

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