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Science Education

April 9, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
The politically touchy topic of climate change will be taught more deeply to students under proposed new national science standards released Tuesday. The Next Generation Science Standards, developed over the last 18 months by California and 25 other states in conjunction with several scientific organizations, represent the first national effort since 1996 to transform the way science is taught in thousands of classrooms. The multi-state consortium is proposing that students learn fewer concepts more deeply and not merely memorize facts but understand how scientists actually investigate and gather information.
February 14, 1993
In response to "Bacteria in the Meat? Just Turn Up the Heat," Commentary, Feb. 3: Elizabeth Whelan is correct in her assessment of the problems of contaminated meat. Unfortunately, our society is not just technophobic, as she states, but also techno-illiterate. On the news recently, I heard reference to food poisoning due to the "E. coli virus." Many people in the country truly don't know the difference between a bacterium and a virus, therefore, how can we expect people to understand that radiating food doesn't make food radioactive?
September 26, 1988 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Science literacy among America's schoolchildren is at a "depressing and alarming" level that may prevent many high school graduates from doing well in skilled jobs or college-level courses, according to a study. "The Science Report Card," a federal project of the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J.
August 21, 2012
Re "Rape remark sets off an uproar," Aug. 20 I thought we had finished the silly season of this campaign, but we have a new entry: Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Party's candidate for one of Missouri'sU.S. Senate seats. Thanks to him and some unnamed doctors (I bet they're glad), we ladies now know we have some sort of toggle switch we can throw and render any attack sperm sterile. It sort of sounds like a Star Trek episode gone bad. I have a question for the Republicans: Where do you find these people?
March 7, 1994
While I commend you for your editorial, "Why Bad Science Can't Be Good Education" (Feb. 27), on the threat to science education by pseudoscience from the left and right, I must take issue with your statement that " . . . evolution has been proven beyond any doubt . . . " The problem with this well-meaning but misleading sentence is that a scientific theory (in contrast to a mathematical theorem) can never be proved. We scientists prefer to use the term confirm. We confirm theories, we don't prove them.
February 26, 1996 | ROBERTO PECCEI and FRED EISERLING, Roberto Peccei is dean of physical sciences and Fred Eiserling is dean of life sciences at UCLA's College of Letters and Science
How does the United States produce Bill Gates, Steven Jobs and more Nobel Prize-winning scientists than any other country in the world and, at the same time, large numbers of scientifically illiterate adults who believe in astrologers and psychics and can't program their VCRs? While much concern has been expressed about the United States becoming a country of economic haves and have nots, there is also an increasing polarization between scientific literates and illiterates.
Sitting on the deck of the 45-foot boat, examining bloodworms in a petri dish, Ginger Machiele wondered aloud why her early science education was not more like this. "I remember we weren't allowed to bring bugs into science class," said Machiele, 25, who is studying to become an elementary school teacher. "In my class, we're going to have an entire bug house," she said exuberantly, above the whir of the engines of the D. J. Angus.
September 29, 1990 | ADRIANNE GOODMAN
Teaching science has taken a new tack this year for teachers at four Ventura County high schools. Hueneme, Westlake, Rio Mesa and Simi Valley high schools have received National Science Foundation grants, averaging $9,000 per school, to allow teachers to teach science subjects together, rather than in separate courses.
January 9, 1989
The California Board of Education has an opportunity in the coming week to sharpen the teaching of science and to set aside, as it certainly should, efforts of some groups to interject religious concepts in the teaching of scientific theories. At the heart of the dispute is the campaign of some Christian fundamentalists to have their ideas of creationism included in the public-school science curriculum. Only science should be taught in science classes, the new state policy statement affirms.
November 24, 1997
Re "Spurned Nobelists Appeal Science Standards Rejection," Nov. 17: Scientists, mathematicians, engineers, even parents are helpless to stop education experts from ruining education. From "whole language" learning to "new new math" to "integrated math" to "integrated science," our children are being dumbed down. Now, when prominent scientists with vast experience in education, including three Nobel prize winners, offer to write California's science standards for free, the Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards' educrats instead want to pay $178,000 to the same education professors and experts who wrote the vacuous science standards quoted in The Times.
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