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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:11 PM
Original message
Science Teachers’ Organization Distributes Oil Industry Funded Propaganda
Science Teachers’ Organization Distributes Oil Industry Funded Propaganda, Rejects Copies of Inconvenient Truth

In tomorrow’s Washington Post, global warming activist Laurie David writes about her effort to donate 50,000 free DVD copies of An Inconvenient Truth (which she co-produced) to the National Science Teachers Association. The Association refused to accept the DVDs:

In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that other “special interests” might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn’t want to offer “political” endorsement of the film; and they saw “little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members” in accepting the free DVDs. …

(T)here was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place “unnecessary risk upon the capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.”

As it turns out, those supporters already include “special interests,” including Exxon-Mobil, Shell Oil, and the American Petroleum Institute, which have given millions in funding to the NSTA. And while the NSTA showed no interest in helping educators get copies of Al Gore’s movie (which scientists gave “five stars for accuracy“), it has distributed oil industry-funded “educational” content, like this video produced by the American Petroleum Institute:

more
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/11/25/oil-propaganda/
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pooja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'll take them... shoot they would make great x-mas presents..
Walmart (ha ha) was selling them for $20.00 which means they are a hot item.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. I guess American science teachers reject Scientific American
Edited on Sat Nov-25-06 01:26 PM by depakid
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=CA1F51BD-E7F...

This is yet another good example of why America has very poor prospects for the future.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. It's not the teachers
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's the "science teacher's association"
Which I won't even lend credence to by capitalizing. Again, it's good example of why America and Americans have poor prospects for the future. The amount of science illiteracy in this country is astounding- the extent of which can be seen on many DU threads.

And this is a progressive site.

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Did you read my post?
Someone has to buy the supplies the science teachers need. School districts can't afford them. There is a very serious funding problem all over the USA in many many school districts. What do you propose science teachers do? Or any teachers?

I also suspect the NSTA is corporate funded anyway. I am not a science teacher but I do know there are a couple other teachers assns that are funded by textbook publishers and corporations. I do look into that when I consider joining professional assns. So this story really didn't shock me.

If you are really concerned about science illiteracy, tackle it as a funding issue.

Here is something else to piss you off - in our elementary schools, we have been told to "not worry about teaching science or social studies" since they are not tested. So if you are concerned about science illiteracy today, just give it 10 years and see what today's 2nd graders are like when they finish high school. :scared:
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Your post is accurate and well stated.
Where is your school district?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. MO
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I taught in LA
And I can tell you that we were always strapped for cash. I never knew where all the money went. LA Unified gets a good chunk of state and federal money, but the school buildings always seemed behind in repairs, there was always a huge textbook shortage (I was using texts that were 20 years old) and equipment was often laughable. Even something as simple as dry erase markers for a white board (many rooms did not have blackboards) were impossible to come by. I can't tell you how much of my own money I spent on supplies.

It's almost as if the classroom were being deliberately starved while the money went somewhere else. But I never knew where the money went.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Our new supt makes $250K a year
and he gets a $25K bonus if test scores go up this year. He just bought a new reading program that cost $9 million.

That's where the money is going.
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mcg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Huh? While the teachers are underpaid? An outrage. nt
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Building new schools in new areas.. that's where the money goes
and to "administration".. Money always gets siphoned off top-down
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. They are closing schools in our district
We have been hit hard by charter schools. Enrollment is way down. We find out soon if they plan to close our school next year.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Charter schools= non union/privatized
It's a fantastic thing if YOUR kid gets into a chi-chi new school. but of course they can pick
and choose their students so they will "appear" to be successful, thus driving another nain into the coffin of public schools...and making the teachers at those schools even more uncertain of their futures..
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. They bounce kids back and forth
Edited on Sat Nov-25-06 09:14 PM by proud2Blib
Charters can be picky about who they let in and they can throw kids out very easily too. So we have lots of 'problem' kids who bounce from charter to public, back to charter, to a 2nd charter, back to public, etc. I am sure you get the idea.

I have a new student who has been in 4 schools already this year. My friend teaches 4th grade and has a kid who has been in 14 schools since kindergarten.

In the public schools, kids are protected by state laws that guarantee them hearings and due process. Not so in the charters.

It is messed up.
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smoogatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-26-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #13
34. My wife grew up in LA--
(I assume we're talking Los Angeles and not Louisiana). She tells me LA Unified is plagued by corruption--all that money is going to patronage, bogus maintenance contracts, etc., and has been for two generations now. The only solution is a clean sweep of the school board and the administration, and that ain't gonna happen.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-26-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Thanks. I tend to agree with her
The way LA schools are left to rot is a crime.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. Could be I did
Edited on Sat Nov-25-06 07:29 PM by depakid
And made a rational choice to say "NO." I'm sorry that you and yours- in your part of the country haven't come around to see the choices that you may need to make, yet.

In Missouri and elsewhere.



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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Do you realize how little say we have?
We do not get to make the choice.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
21. Typical. Those damned teachers!
:sarcasm:

FYI: There are countless foundations, associations, etc.. surrounding the education industry. Just because a group calls itself the "science teachers organization" doesn't mean that all science teachers are members, or even know about that particular organization.

I don't teach science. This summer I got frequent emails from students, including some of the 8th graders we sent on to high school in September. The most frequent topic of conversation was the group trip some of them took--to see "An Inconvenient Truth." They all urged me to see it, and to join them in supporting the message. My teaching partner, their science teacher, got the message as well. Somehow, they were confident that their teachers would want to see it and discuss it.

Funny how they weren't worried about their teachers rejecting or dismissing the film.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
And the beat goes on... :kick: :eyes:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well it is like this
Teaching Science is expensive. School districts are scrapping for funds everywhere they can get them. Fund your public schools appropriately and this crap won't happen.

I can remember the day when accepting corporate donations was strictly banned by many school districts. In the district my oldest kid attended, they could not even hang up posters with corporate logos on them.

And in spite of the ban, we were literally deluged with junk mail from various corporations wanting us to buy their products. That of course continues today.

My school district has frozen our accounts and we can't even buy paper for the copiers. So if a corporation sent me a letter today offering me copy paper for trying a product, I would have a hard time saying no.

That's how it is. Please remember this every time public school funding comes up in your community.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
29. Teaching science is expensive. That's why they turned down
free science videos. Makes perfect sense to me.

:sarcasm: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. They actually discourage showing too many videos
No way will administrators fight to get these free videos.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. Special interests??
Like the fracking human race!

Kicked and Recomended
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boolean Donating Member (992 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
11. Repeat: GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT A POLITICAL DEBATE
Repeat it.
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halobeam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thats it in a nutshell. I'd add that they should stop spinning it that way
to get around the science. Or is that too many sentences for them to understand!?! This exact point just makes my blood boil. I'll keep repeating it, and then some.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Everything is a political debate in this Country!
What our children are taught, what they eat, if they eat in some cases, if they are immunized, if they are insured, will they see a Doctor? Will they be taught Creationism as Science?
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. That's the problem, actually. There are some things that shouldn't be politicized.
Edited on Sat Nov-25-06 04:14 PM by Nikki Stone1
If the planet is warming, that should be a fact, not an article of faith. From everything I have read on the subject, the planet does appear to be warming and pollution caused by fossil fuels is the main contributor. (For the record, I haven't seen the Al Gore film.) Now, if there is objective, scientific research (not paid for by an oil company) that refutes this, I'd be interested in seeing it. But global warming should not be in the same category with the existence of angels or political sloganeering.

Edited for spelling
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
17. K&R
:grr: :grr:
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
19. Is there a list of state/ districts that refused the offer
I was thinking about buying a couple of copies to donate to my kids schools.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. That is the best way to fight this
May I suggest you give them to teachers personally rather than donate them to the school? If you give them to the teachers, they will definitely be shown.
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
22. That'll go good with the Nuke industry propoganda that's been handed out for years.
I remember that stuff from my high school years twenty years ago and I'm sure they're still handing it out to whoever will take it.
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Klimmer Donating Member (426 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
27. Well, I'm a HS Science Teacher . . .
and I teach Physics and Earth Science. I have had "An Inconvient Truth" on my Amazon wish list since I first saw the film at the theater. Screw NSTA. I have learned that member organizations can sometimes play politics and even for the wrong side.

The CTA endorsed Bruce McDiebold in CA, and I argued with our CTA rep in our Union in San Deigo, and she said "Well, the Union is a memebrship organization and some of our members are Republican. Bruce has always been a friend of education." I said, "Well if we don't have the integrity of our vote we don't have squat. I'm voting for Debra Bowen." Thank God the people overwhelmingly voted for Debra Bowen regardless of who the CTA supported.

Sometimes member organizations don't listen to their members. Can you believe that?
(Sarcasm)

I will be purchasing a copy for my classroom. My students will see and hear the truth, regardless of who pays NSTA to say otherwise.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. Good for you!
We do have a few good guys on our side:

Children’s book author Patricia Polacco alleges that educational publisher SRA/McGraw-Hill tried to censor her remarks at the International Reading Association’s (IRA) annual conference in Chicago, earlier this month, after hiring her for several speaking engagements—a charge that SRA/McGraw-Hill denies.

. . .

It wasn’t until Marcie Mutters, an account coordinator at Buchanan, asked Polacco to hand in advance copies of her speeches and to avoid speaking about “anything political” that the author became suspicious about who was actually sponsoring the events, Polacco says. It was then that Polacco says she discovered that the sponsor was SRA/McGraw-Hill.

Polacco told Mutters that their request violated her First Amendment rights. “I told them they didn’t have the right to modify the contents of what I was going to speak about,” Polacco says. “Giving me an honorarium doesn’t mean they’re hiring me as a proponent of the company line. They’re hiring me to hear my remarks.”


http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6333496.h...
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stephinrome Donating Member (494 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-26-06 05:29 AM
Response to Original message
33. please call or write the NSTA
From their web site:

NSTA
1840 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington VA 22201-3000 USA

Phone: 703.243.7100

Web: http://www.nsta.org

Or fill out the feedback form:
http://www.nsta.org/feedback

And this page lists email addresses for Board of Directors, Council, Division Directors, and more...
http://www.nsta.org/boardofdirectors

Steph
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-26-06 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
36. What is the capital campaign?
“unnecessary risk upon the capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.”

They need to explain this.
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