March 11, 2008

Oklahoma HB 2211 Would Be Disaster

Cleverly masquerading as a measure to promote religious freedom in the schools, House Bill 2211 is currently making its way through the Oklahoma legislature. This is one that should be watched by all who value education over indoctrination. Like many similar bills in other states (some actually passed), HB 2211 was written by Christian extremists and requires public schools to allow students to express their religious beliefs in class and in their homework without penalty. The implications of such a policy would be disastrous to the quality of education students receive.

According to a great op-ed in the Edmond Sun,
If a student’s religious beliefs were in conflict with scientific theory, and the student chose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question, the student’s incorrect response would be deemed satisfactory, according to this bill.
Thus, the bill would require teachers to award grades out of respect for students' religious delusion rather than their mastery of the material taught.
Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student’s belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit it as correct. Science education becomes absurd under such a situation.
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic here, it is the opinion of this author that such a measure would effectively signal the end of public education in America. How could we expect our children to compete in a global economy if we were to teach superstitious drivel over factual information?

H/T to Atheist Media Blog

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