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"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink



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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Good and Bad: Education 

I've written (and ranted) before about many problems with education in the US, particularly the bits involving naughty bits, and drugs. Faith-based sex-ed and DARE-style anti-drug programs ignore (at best) reality and science in favor of dogma and scare tactics. Well, the reality-based community may be starting to fight back: California school superintendent Jack O'Connell has urged all schools to drop Narconon, an anti-drug program tied to the Krazy Kult Church of Scientology, due to glaring scientific inaccuracies and falsehoods in the materials. Bully for him. When kids learn (they always do) that you lied about one thing in your anti-drug screed, then as far as they're concerned it was all lies, and thus disregard it entirely.

The American Psychological Association has released a study that shows, to no one's surprise, that comprehensive sex ed is the only kind effective in slowing the spread of HIV and teen pregnancy. We will continue spending all that money on abstinence-only programs, because results are less important than making the fundies feel comfortable on their moral superiority complexes.

Speaking of stupid, the oldest independent boarding school in the US will change its 242-year-old name for reasons that I feel could best be summed up by "we want to sound cooler." Granted, The Governor Dummer Academy makes for easy jokes. But then, if anyone concerned was clever enough, it could be pointed out that "Dummer" is a completely meaningless word in English: it's homonym, "Dumber," would be another story, but as it stands, well...clearly "oldest" doesn't mean "smartest."

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