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Monday, November 27, 2006

Brought to you by... Who?!?

In a Sunday article that not many probably noticed (except those looking for such things... and I am not one of them, I just happen to read them), the Washington Post had what may, from an educationtional standpoint, be the scariest article I have read in some time.

It would be easy to dismiss the article, Science a la Joe Camel as "just politics" on the surface. The initial points drawn out is how the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) turned down 50,000 free DVDs to screen An Inconvenient Truth in classrooms.

In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that other "special interests" might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn't want to offer "political" endorsement of the film; and they saw "little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members" in accepting the free DVDs.

The key however is in that last little statement. "little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members." Because, as Laurie David the author discovered, it is all about the "benefits." Exxon Mobile has given $6 million to the NSTA and holds a seat on the board (so much for steering free of special interests). Shell Oil and the American Petroleum Institute (API) are also large donors, and the
API also produced the film "You can't be cool without Fuel" which was distributed by the NSTA.

But this doesn't stop at just the oil companies, I mean the article goes on to point out Forestry Lessons that were, get this, written by Weyerhaeuser (a lumber and paper company) and Internation Paper as well as information in Biogenetic Engineering by Monsanto.

I don't know about anyone else, but to me this makes about as much sense as the Roadrunner asking for a safe route of travel from Wile E. Coyote. He may give "information" but you have to question the value and motives of the information.

Couple these things in with the all too well documented assault put forth by trying to pass off Intelligent Design as science, and it seems that today's text books are less like science, and more like science-fiction, or just plain fantasy. As the article concludes, "In the meantime, Mom and Dad may want to keep a sharp eye on their kids' science homework."

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