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Archive for Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Think your job stinks? Try teaching biology in Kansas

Popular Science magazine says only human lab rat, manure inspector positions are worse in the field

November 1, 2005

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Teaching biology in Kansas is a job only slightly better than inspecting manure or being a human lab rat, according to the new issue of Popular Science.

The magazine ranked the Kansas biology teacher as the third worst job in science on its annual ranking.

"We're just a national joke," said Janet Waugh, a member of the state board of education.

The board's conservative majority supports changing the state's science standards to allow for standards criticizing evolution. The board is expected to adopt the new standards on Nov. 8.

The Kansas biology teacher job is just better than the one where workers have to inject a nerve agent into their eyes for scientific research, the report said. But teaching biology in Kansas is worse than being an orangutan-urine collector, a semen washer or a volcanologist who must face the wrath of a volcano.

"They're poking fun at Kansas," said Lynda Allen, Lawrence school district's math and science director. Biology teachers "know they have a tough job, but teaching is tough."

Popular Science magazine recently ranked Kansas biology teacher as one of the worst jobs in science. Lawrence High School teacher Bob Hubert thinks that the rankings are a big exaggeration. Hubert is pictured at his home Monday with his dog Shea.

Popular Science magazine recently ranked Kansas biology teacher as one of the worst jobs in science. Lawrence High School teacher Bob Hubert thinks that the rankings are a big exaggeration. Hubert is pictured at his home Monday with his dog Shea.

Bob Hubert, a Lawrence High teacher, who is among about a dozen in Lawrence to hold the "worst" science job, laughed at the magazine's report.

"That's a big exaggeration," he said.

Hubert said the Lawrence school district hasn't changed the standards, and he continues to teach the current standards, including evolution.

"I love teaching AP (advanced placement) biology at the high school," he said.

Waugh said she believed that if the standards were changed, Kansas teachers would continue teaching "good science."

"I think it just speaks volumes to what the mainstream science community thinks about what we're doing with the standards," Waugh said of the magazine article. "This is extremely sad for Kansas that we're being made a mockery of."





Beats volcanology

Is this the third-worst science job? Job: Kansas biology teacher. Responsibilities: To teach youngsters the science of life or living matter. The key issue of origin of life could be changed by the state school board on Nov. 8. Experience: At least a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 grade-point-average; must pass both a content test and a test of pedagogy. Pay: A new teacher in the Lawrence school district makes $29,550 annually.

Comments

BOE 8 years, 5 months ago

wlfaulk

Since your focus is mainly on creationism, you seem to be applauding their courage for introducing it into Ks science standards.

Well, here's the deal; the majority of 6 that you applaud, have been making the explicit claim (on record) that they aren't introducing creationism.

=

"Few individuals have bothered to learn the details of creationism yet have no difficulty ridiculing it." -

Well, since we're on the subject of "bothering to learn details"...

- " Further, there are so many serious lapses in evolution theory, anyone believing that homo sapiens evolved from chimpanzees, gorillas, etc has a very " tough case" to prove. " -

..details elementary to evo will tell you that it doesn't claim "that homo sapiens evolved from chimpanzees, gorillas, etc".

Mega dittos on the " tough case" , though.

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wlfaulk 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm a teacher in Los Angeles. I've taught for 17+ years, am National Board Certified, hold a doctorate degree and have recently been named to "Who's Who Among America's teachers (nominated by an honors student). I applaud the Board for their decision--it's courageous and it will make for a more accurate curriculum. Evolution theory does not necessarily conflict with creationism as the former does not even begin to attempt to answer how the physical realm (or universe) came to be. Creationism tackles the complex issues regarding matter, space and time including relativity and quantum theory. Evolution theory makes no attempt to address these issues and begins instead at "square 2". Evolution theory begins its "discussion" with the entire universe and living organisms already in existence. Likewise, while portions of "Big Bang" theory appear correct, it too does not attempt to explain the origin of the matter (gases) that caused the explosion. The best offered by anti-creationism is found in the works of Carl Sagan et al who believed that the universe simply always existed. This feeble theory has been riddled with holes by avant garde creationism. For example, if it can be explained how matter could exist infintely into the past without time existing infinitely into the past as well, we might consider his theory more seriously. However, if time (i.e the sequential unfolding of existence in the physical realm) has no beginning, then we would never reach any point in time---but we have reached myriad points in time thus the theory that the universe (time-matter-space) had no beginning is revealed to be what it appears even to the casual observer: absurd. While organisms obviously evolve over time, this does in no way diminishes creationism. Few individuals have bothered to learn the details of creationism yet have no difficulty ridiculing it. Further, there are so many serious lapses in evolution theory, anyone believing that homo sapiens evolved from chimpanzees, gorillas, etc has a very " tough case" to prove. Regarding a few of the disgraceful comments I've read here: Whether "teaching" is tough I do not know. However, successful teaching and excellent pedagogical practice are difficult. To "magnificentbastard"---before you attempt to viciously insult someone without cause in writing, perhaps you should learn to spell (and please don't tell us that "cook" was a "typo"). Finally, unfortunately I'm not surprised that so much credence is given to "Popular Science" or as it is known among some scientists: "Popular Pseudo-Science".

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wendt 8 years, 5 months ago

Shardwurm:

"1. Teaching isn't 'tough'.

  1. Who gives a flying flip what other people think about Kansas?"

=== If teaching was easy, then I guess standardized test scores would be higher.

If teaching was easy, then we would be able to convince the State Board of Education that evolution exists and the Intelligent Designer doesn't.

The point of making our state look good............never mind.

If you can't see the sense in becoming known as a geographic location where "smart people" reside, then my words won't instill any intelligence where none has yet to find purchase.

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Arminius 8 years, 5 months ago

I think we should laugh at Illinois. Here's a state that would not send Lincoln to the U.S. Senate yet thought it was appropriate to elect Dick Durbin to that great legislative body.

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Calliope877 8 years, 5 months ago

How frightening that the people we choose to lead us are so...well...mediocre. Thanks for the boston.com article OMB.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

A 2.5 GPA? Seems high when compared to the apparent GPA requirement to be President of the United States.

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Confrontation 8 years, 5 months ago

What bothers me more about this article is the fact that a teacher would only need a 2.5 GPA! I know someone who flunked the teaching test 3 times and is now teaching young children! How do they expect Kansas/American kids to ever compete when the teachers were hired on such low standards? I think the pay should be increased ONLY if the qualifications are raised much higher.

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magnificentbastard 8 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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kpippen 8 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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blue73harley 8 years, 5 months ago

Shardwurm -"Who gives a flying flip what other people think about Kansas?" - Since this article refers to Kansas public education, the answer is anyone that lives here with kids that may someday want to get an out-of-state job! I do agree with getting rid of the state school board but I consider them uneducated idiots not conservatives.

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Shardwurm 8 years, 5 months ago

  1. Teaching isn't 'tough'.

  2. Who gives a flying flip what other people think about Kansas?

We make fun of other states ourselves. Quit whining about it. There are options:

  1. Leave the state.
  2. Homeschool.
  3. Vote out the Conservatives.

Can you think of more? I'm sure you can. Now why don't we all either shutup about this or do something about it?

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R_Kobe 8 years, 5 months ago

I had Bob Hubert for biology at the alterntive high school its was like takeing a class frome mr garrison (southpark) students were crule to him. But it was all a blur maybe the pregnant drug problem kids would be better for knowing a Bob Hubert.

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