Planet Gore

Great Lecture, Too Bad About the Math

A recent article describes a school-wide presentation on global warming done at the Towanda Senior High School in rural Pennsylvania. For all practical purposes it was political indoctrination. It presented impending disaster created by man-made global warming as a foregone conclusion and, par for the course, ended with “things you can do to help.”

With no apparent irony, the presenters (who by the way “received technical training to become experienced presenters using a computer-based slide show” – I guess this means learning how to hit the forward arrow in PowerPoint) told the students to “act as if they were jurors in deciding their positions on global warming…listen to the evidence, weigh the evidence and make an informed decision.” This, however, was a special kind of trial where only one side gets to present a case.

Now the funny thing is that if you look up the performance of this school in actually, you know, teaching science, it’s pretty striking that 60 percent of 11th-graders fail to perform at even a “proficient” level in math.

Maybe they ought to have a school-wide presentation on algebra II.

In isolation, something like this is probably pretty harmless, but this kind of indoctrination is happening at schools all over the U.S. every day.

Jim Manzi is CEO of Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), an applied artificial intelligence software company.


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