That kid’s at it again

April 17, 2008

The kid in Kearny, New Jersey, who caught his U.S. history teacher peddling religion instead, is at it again.

This time he’s targeting a textbook on government — and it happens to be one written by the most right wing of the semi-mainstream government text writers.

Education Gadfly has the story here, with the Official Fordham Foundation cynicism at anyone who professes to be the the left of Ayn Rand (it’s an endearing cynicism, really — it makes the stuff much more readable, and it indicates that there is gray matter in action behind the comments).   CNBC  has the Associated Press story here.

Matthew LaClair complains about the book’s slant on climate change and church-state relations — two hot-button issues, to be sure.  One wonders why a government text has any view on climate change, and one wonders how anyone could get the church-state thing wrong without criminal intent — but go see for yourself.  LaClair, you recall, recorded his U.S. history teacher going on about the glories of Christianity, and blew the whistle.  For that Matthew got slapped around unjustly in the local media.  He was correct, before, about church state relations, so we might cut him some slack on this complaint. 

Read it all; and remember to trust your textbooks no farther than you can throw them.  The Bathtub tends to agree with the Gadfly that texts should be accurate, and that the selection processes for texts is out of hand (as defined by Diane Ravitch).  But on the other hand, it appears to me that James Q. Wilson and John Dilulio, the authors of the text in question, got some things wrong.  They can fix it, and do so with a smile.

Will they?

See also the other bias on the issue, from the Center for Inquiry — with a detailed critique.

Oregon claims ownership of laws, asserts copyright

April 17, 2008

The comments at Boing-Boing are a lot smarter than the action by Oregon. Oregon mailed cease and desist letters to on-line providers of the texts of Oregon laws.

No, not to the big, hugely for-profit publisher West; only to smaller, on-line providers.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Dr. Bumsted.

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