As a school trying to eek out an existence in the Midwest of the United States, you might expect a certain conservative philosophy to pervade the halls and classrooms of the institution. That has always been the case, even when I roamed the building years ago.
However, that conservative bias has since warped into to a strong culture of ignorance, reinforced by poor lesson plans, factual distortions, and unqualified staff.
Never mind an incredibly slanted and dangerous sexual education program ripe with misinformation. New incidents of substandard scholarship have recently come to my attention.
In my youngest brother's biology course, the teacher introduced the film, "An Inconvenient Truth," as, "A boring movie that gets a lot of facts wrong." That in and of itself is not much cause for concern, except that the teacher then promised, "Don't worry, afterward, I'll show you a much better film about how global warming isn't a man-made phenomenon."
So here we have a science teacher not only rejecting a scientific consensus, (not to mention a film criticism consensus) but also teaching in opposition to it. What's worse is that this teacher wasted three consecutive days of class time showing films instead of meaningfully engaging with his students. Why not just send them to a theater? I understand the importance of climatology, but it is better suited for an Earth science class; wasting three days on films about global warming in a biology course is simply irresponsible.
In my brother's history course, the biblical stories of Abraham and Moses were taught as settled episodes of natural history despite the fact that no archaeological evidence corroborates the existence and events surrounding these characters. Apparently, the teacher regaled the class with the story of Abraham, how God tested his faith by ordering him to kill his son Isaac, and how an angel of the Lord stopped the sacrifice just in time!
This is not settled history and is, in fact, an unnecessary myth unrelated to the greater chronology of World events. Perhaps more disquieting is that this discussion of Abraham, Moses and the Exodus came before any exploration of the history of the ancient Greeks. It seems this teacher is not only flirting dangerously with the separation of church and state, but also with the actual sequence of civilization.
As a final, political note, I find it very disheartening that a once prominent science teacher from Zionsville Community High School has thrust his enthusiastic support behind the vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, a fatuous woman who believes the Iraq war is 'God's will,' that global climate change is not man-made, and that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Perhaps that is all I really need to say about the intellectual decay that now plagues my former school.
UPDATE: well this is eerily relevant. Someone just posted this video of Zionsville circa 1987 on youtube.
UPDATE II: More evidence of poor standards