Thursday, November 03, 2005
Our mission, in partnership with family and community, is to educate students. We emphasize sound basic skills, and nurture the diverse needs of our students as they strive to become lifelong learners and contributing members of our global society. (emphasis added, RSR)
So how does the mission of the Dover School District square with the intellectual incuriosity of school board members elected to lead the district? Check out these examples of how Dover board members are setting an example of what it means to be a lifelong learner:
- Despite involving the district in an embarrassing and costly lawsuit, Dover Area School Board President Sheila Harkins still doesn't "have a way to describe intelligent design." (From the ACLU of Pennsylvania blog, Speaking Freely)
- Pentecostal minister and school board member Ed Rowand believes ID is science, although he admits he doesn't understand it. How does he know? "Well, it sounds like science, doesn't it?"
- School board member Jane Cleaver, a resident of Dover who was appointed to the board in 2002, admitted in her testimony she hasn't read a newspaper since she was appointed to the board. Cleaver also told the court that no one on the board had done a study to assess whether the book, Of Pandas and People, was suitable for high school age students. No one bothered to find out whether the science in this 1993 book was current, either. Cleaver told the court she didn't really understand ID, to her it was just another theory.
- Heather Geesey, a Dover Area School Board member, testified last Friday that she believed intelligent design was a scientific theory because fellow board members Alan Bonsell and William Buckingham told her so, "it wasn't my job," she told the court to learn more about intelligent design, because she didn't serve on the curriculum committee.
RSR guesses that Dover school children will have to look somewhere besides their district's elected leadership to find suitable role models for lifelong learning. The citizens of Dover will have a chance to change all that in less than a week. Will they throw these bums out?