Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education

The Beacon

The Beacon is CESE's quarterly newsletter.

Every single issue is online -- check them out!

June 2023 Beacon (XXV, No. 1) In this issue: President’s Message (Jesse Johnson), 2023 Legislature Public Education Bills, (Jack Jekowski), Why New Mexico High School Graduation Rate Calculations Do Not Align with a School’s Time-Opportunity to Impact Student Learning (Kim Johnson), NM State Science Fair Winners, A Toon by Thomas, CESE Annual Meeting, and CESE congratulates TODOS on its 20th anniversary!

May 2022 Beacon (XXIV, No. 1) This issue has a President’s Message by Jesse Johnson, a detailed look at "Luring Retirees Back into The Classroom" by Lisa Durkin, an article by Dr. Rebecca Reiss, on "Does Science Literacy Need a Booster Shot? (Yes)", 2022 Science Fair Winners, and a Toon by Thomas.

May 2021 Beacon (XXIII, No. 2) This issue has a President’s Message by Lisa Durkin, a detailed look at "What is Culturally Relevant Instruction in the Era of Yazzie/Martinez?" by Jessica Apgar, Ph.D., Education and Anthony Rodriguez, Ph.D., Education, and the second article of a series on genetics by Dr. Rebecca Reiss, on the status of gender and genetics, and a Toon by Thomas.

January 2021 Beacon (XXIII, No. 1). This issue has a President’s Message by Lisa Durkin, a major article by Kim Johnson titled "A New Way to Calculate NM At-Risk Funding Using the CESE Method: Introducing the Opportunity and Equity Index, pg. 2," and a Toon from Thomas.

May 2020 Beacon (XXII, No. 2) This issue has a president's message on "Teaching and Learning Online in a New COVID-19 World," an article on Distance Learning challenges for teachers and students, CESE news updates, a toon by Thomas, and more.

February 2020 Beacon (XXII, No. 1)  This special issue is devoted to one topic, "A Day At School in New Mexico." What it is like to be a teacher these days?

May 2019 Beacon (XXI, No. 2) President’s Message, Legislative Session Summary, Science Fair Winners, In Memoriam, A Toon from Thomas

January 2019 Beacon (XXI, No. 1) President’s message. Disentangling Test Talk by Lisa Durkin. Beyond More Money: How to Support and Retain Quality Teachers in NM by Dr. Jessica Apgar and Dr. Jesse Chenven.

October 2018 Beacon (Vol. XX, No. 4) President’s Message – Ken Whiton: What are we Looking for in our Next Secretary of Education? Main Article: Data Shw New Mexico's School Grading and Teacher Evaluation System Needs Systemic Change. A Toon by Thomas.

May 2018 Beacon (Vol. XX, No. 3) President’s Message – Jesse Johnson. What Will the Candidates for Governor do to comply with the A-B-C-D-F Schools Rating Act? State Science Fair Winners. A Toon by Thomas. My Genes, Your Genes Your Genes, we All Have the Same Genes.

December 2017 Beacon (Vol. XX, No. 2) President’s Message – Jesse Johnson. Editor’s Message - Rebecca Reiss. Next-generation Science Standards Versus New Mexico STEM Ready Standards, The Whole Story? A Toon by Thomas. Notes From The Trenches: Why we Lose Teachers - Lisa Durkin.

May 2017 Beacon (Vol. XX, No. 1) President’s Message – Jessica McCord. Editor’s Message - Rebecca Reiss. A Vindication of the Criticism of New Mexico Public Education Department’s Teacher Evaluation System- CESE. How New Mexico’s Teacher Evaluation System Translates to the Classroom – Lisa Durkin. Save the date! Annual meeting - June 24, 2017.

May 2016 Beacon (Vol. XIX, No. 1)  Editor’s Message – Kim Johnson. – Read a comparison of teaching before and after the No Child Left Behind Act from our president, Lisa Durkin – How did we do on the PARCC exam this year? Some more data to digest -- Toons by Thomas -- In Memoriam: Dr. Marshall Berman -- and Announcing the CESE Annual Meeting with a very special guest speaker, Dr. Lawrence Krauss, the Director of the Arizona State University “Origins Project”.

February 2015 Beacon (Vol. XVIII, No. 2) Editor’s Message – Kim Johnson. – Part II of the Beacon version of the briefing on NM educational performance and new teacher evaluation protocol (growth based portion) given to the Legislative Education Study Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee Joint Meeting in August 2014.

January 2015 Beacon (Vol. XVIII, No 1) Editor’s Message – Kim Johnson; Special reprint of letter that went viral on NM teachers; Part 1 of the Beacon version of the briefing on NM educational performance and new teacher evaluation protocol (growth based portion) given to the Legislative Education Study Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee Joint Meeting in August 2014; Announcement of guest speaker - Michael Shermer for February 21, 2015.

June 2013 Beacon  (Vol XVII, No 1) Editor’s Message – Kim Johnson;  Darwin and Wallace, What did they really think of religion? - Dr. Paul Braterman;  School Testing – Lisa Durkin; Cartoon - Dave Thomas; Meeting Announcement at the NM Museum of Natural History – Announcing the CESE 2013 Annual Meeting with a special guest, Zack Kopplin.

November 2012 Beacon (Vol XVI, No 3) President’s Message from Ken Whiton. Message from Editor Kim Johnson - "Here They Come Again!"  Clarification on the Urey-Miller Experiment (initial creation of organic molecules on Earth) that creationists never get right, Dr. Paul Braterman.

June 2012 Beacon (Vol XVI, No 2) SPECIAL ISSUE: Some Commonly Held Beliefs about Education in New Mexico that are False and Misleading—Walt Murfin and Kim Johnson, President’s Message —Terry Dunbar, Announcement of the 2012 Annual Meeting

April 2012 Beacon (Vol. XVI, No.1)
President’s Message —Terry Dunbar, The Challenges of Teacher Evaluation —Kim Johnson, Comparison of CESE’s School Merit Score Performance Evaluation with PED Grades – Paul Braterman, Global Warming Updates

November 2011 Beacon (Vol. XV. No. 2)
President’s Message —Terry Dunbar; Of Pandas and Polar Bears– Paul Braterman; Our Continuing Undertaking – Improve Education in New Mexico —Kim Johnson

May 2011 Beacon  (Vol. XV. No. 1)
President’s Messages —Rebecca Reiss; A New Species of Humans? plus Behe’s Mousetrap --Paul Braterman; Instructional best practices -- Terry Dunbar, Incoming President of CESE; the Annual CESE Meeting

December 2010 Beacon (Vol. XIV. No. 3)
President’s Message —Rebecca Reiss; A special, in depth explanation of the Greenhouse effect -- Dr. Paul Braterman, providing a primer on Global Warming.

June 2010 Beacon (Vol. XIV. No. 2)
President’s Message —Jesse Johnson on self reflection and data based decision making; Dr. Paul Braterman has a wee bit of fun knocking the “fuzz” out of the fuzzy Dembski calculations, plus a short update on the modern man and Neanderthals; and remember - the CESE annual meeting on Saturday, June 26th with Dr. Jonathan Wolfe on Fractals!

March 2010 Beacon (Vol. XIV. No. 1)
President’s Message —Jesse Johnson; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; Book review excerpt of Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents written by Ian Buruma —Benjamin Moser;  Many Mechanisms
of Evolution — Dr. Paul Braterman

December 2009 Beacon (Vol. XIII. No. 5)
President’s message—Jesse Johnson; Settled Science—Dr. Mark Boslough; Ida, Ardi, Lucy, Eve—Dr. Paul Braterman; Creationist ‘Origin’ Distorts Darwin—Dr. Eugenie Scott; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas

August-September 2009 Beacon (Vol. XIII. No. 4)
President’s message—Jesse Johnson; Letter to the Editor—George Oppenheimer, Jr.; Comment by Thomas—Dave Thomas; Shrinking Sheep . . .—Dr. Paul Braterman

June 2009 Beacon (Vol. XIII. No. 3)
President’s message—Lisa Durkin; A message to President Lisa Durkin—George Oppenheimer, Jr.;  A Tiny Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; Team Report for Noticias—Cindy Chapman; Book Reviews—Dr. Paul Braterman; Annual Meeting Announcement

March 2009 Beacon (Vol. XIII. No. 2)
President’s message—Lisa Durkin; Jonathan Wells on Science, Origins and Design—Q& A—Lisa Durkin & Dr. Rebecca Reiss; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; Meaning of Methane On Mars—Dr. Paul Braterman

January 2009 Beacon (Vol. XIII. No. 1)
President’s message—Lisa Durkin, Rain Gauge, Thermometer, and Calendar—Dr. Paul Braterman, Dealing with Fractions Proficient—Walt Murfin,

September 2008 Beacon (Vol. XII. No. 4)
President’s Message—Lisa Durkin; About Lisa—Jerry Shelton; Interactions—Walt Murfin; Toon by Thomas—David E. Thomas; Early Evolutionary Example—Dr.Paul Braterman

July 2008 Beacon (Vol. XII. No. 3)
President’s Message—Lisa Durkin; New Mexico, the Nation and the World—Walt Murfin; Toon by Thomas—David E. Thomas; Genie Scott and CESE members—Photo by Jon Kring

May 2008 Beacon (Vol. XII. No. 2)
President’s message—Dave Thomas; Toon by Thomas; Book Review: Explore Evolution—Dr. Rebecca Reiss; Economic Value of Education—Walt Murfin; Annual Meeting (See page 9)

March 2008 Beacon (Vol. XII. No. 1)
President’s message—Dave Thomas; Toon by Thomas; Game Over in Rio Rancho—Dave Thomas, Kim Johnson and Marshall Berman; The Confidence Game—Walt Murfin; Court Decisions—Marshall Berman; Strange Days...
Tish Morris

December 2007 Beacon (Vol. XI. No. 4)
President’s Message—Dave Thomas; Toon by Trever Copyright Albuquerque Journal, 11-14-07—John Trever, used with permission; A Better Metric—Walt Murfin; Flock of Dodos (film) coming in February—see page 8.

September 2007 Beacon (Vol. XI. No. 3)
President’s Message—Dave Thomas; In Memory of Tim Moy—Kim Johnson;
Importance and Significance—Walt Murfin

June 2007 Beacon (Vol. XI. No. 2)
President’s Message—Kim Johnson; Evolutionary Theories of Aging–Part 2—Brian Berman, M.D.;  Scary Science of Sir Francis Galton and Jonathan Wells—Dr. Rebecca Reiss; Correlation—Walt Murfin; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; ANNUAL MEETING—Dr. David Goodstein, Guest Speaker

March 2007 Beacon (Vol. XI. No. 1)
President’s Message—Kim Johnson; Evolutionary Theories of Aging—Brian Berman, M.D.;  NAEP vs State Standards—Dr. Marshall Berman & Walt Murfin; Can We Meet Objectives—Walt Murfin

December 2006 Beacon (Vol. X. No. 4)
President’s Message— Kim Johnson; Evolutionary Medicine—Burt Humburg; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; Every School Left Behind—Walt Murfin

September 2006 Beacon (Vol. X. No. 3)
President’s Message— Kim Johnson, CSI; Socorro, Science Education for the Digital Generation—Dr. Rebecca Reiss, Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas, Back to Basics—Walt Murfin, and The War of the Weasels—Dave Thomas

June 2006 Beacon (Vol. X. No. 2)
President’s Messag—Kim Johnson; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; Most Children And Schools Left Behind—Marshall Berman; Instructional Coaching And Me—Cindy Chapman; Segregation In New Mexico Schools—Walt Murfin; Annual Meeting

March 2006 Beacon (Vol. X. No. 1)
President’s Messag—Kim Johnson; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Legislature—Jack Jekowski;  Can We Meet the Objectives?— Walt Murfin

December 2005 Beacon (Vol. IX. No. 4)
President’s Message—Kim Johnson; Intelligent Design?—Marshall Berman;
Scientific Answers To Some ID Creationist Questions— Kim Johnson and Marshall Berman; Making Sense Of Those Test Results—Walt Murfin

September 2005 (Vol. IX. No. 3)
President’s Message—Kim Johnson; Toon By Thomas—Dave Thomas;
When Experiments Go Bad—Walt Murfin; New Mexico Academy Of Science Statement On Rio Rancho Policy 401—Jayne Aubele

June 2005 Beacon (Vol. IX. No. 2) - (Scanned Copy)
President’s Message - Marshall Berman; Toons by Trever - John Trever; Milieu Effect Revisited - Walt Murfin; Remembering a Charter Member (Ray Rogers)

March 2005 Beacon (Vol. IX. No. 1)
President’s Report—Marshall Berman; Toon by Thomas—Dave Thomas; New 2003 TIMSS Results—Steve Getty & Marshall Berman; PISA 2003 and Status—Walt Murfin

December 2004 Beacon (Vol. VIII. No. 4)
President’s Report—Dr. Marshall Berman; The Drums Keep Beating—
Dave Thomas; Toon by Thomas; Golden Apple—Celia Merrill; The PISA 2000 Tests—Major Results—Walt Murfin; ( Lyrics) Bang! There Was Light—Stephen M. Baird, M.D.

September 2004 Beacon (Vol. VIII. No. 3)
President’s Report—Dr. Marshall Berman; Who Learns the Most?—Walt
Murfin; NCLB–Most Children and Schools Left Behind—Marshall Berman; Cartoon—Dave Thomas; The Lumbar Spine (Lyrics)—Dr. Stephen Baird

June 2004 Beacon (Vol. VIII. No. 2)
President’s Report—Dr. Marshall Berman; Book Report—Bill MacPherson; Cartoon—Sid Harris; Charter School News—Bill MacPherson and Jerry Shelton; Real Scores—Walt Murfin; CESE Needs Your Help—David Johnson;
Annual Meeting Info

March 2004 Beacon (Vol. VIII. No. 1)
New President’s Report, Dr. Marshall Berman; Toon By Thomas, Dave Thomas; Book Review, Steve Brugge;  Project Reach, Don Whatley; The Kid In The Next Desk, Walt Murfin

December 2003 Beacon (Vol. VII. No. 6)
Book Report, No Excuses..., Walt Murfin;  Todos, First In The Nation, Cindy Chapman; Joint And Marginal And Conditional, Oh My! -- Walt Murfin; Poem, Tony Kushner; Mailbox, Robert Gardiner

October 2003 Beacon (Vol. VII. No. 5)
President’s Message— Art Edwards; New Mexico Adopts New Standards—
Dave Thomas; Book Review, The Man Who Found Time—Bill Macpherson; Value Added—Walt Murfin; Csicop Conference, Toon By Thomas—Dave Thomas; Election Update—Jerry Shelton

June 2003 Beacon (Vol. VII. No. 3)
President’s Report—Special Election, Bill Macpherson; Annual Meeting, June 22; Book Review, The Zuni Enigma, Bill Macpherson; Unbelievable Statistics, Walt Murfin; On Education--Michael Winerip (NYT)

April 2003 Beacon (Vol. VII. No. 2)
Intelligent Design, Bill Macpherson; Cese Member Jack Jekowski Making A Difference--Jerry Shelton; Statistical Tests, Walt Murfin;  Special Event On April 13th; and Toon By Thomas

February 2003 Beacon (Vol. VII. No. 1)
Scientific Advisors--Bill MacPherson; CESE Members Making a Difference (featuring David E. Thomas)--Kim Johnson; Darwin Day--Dave Thomas; Book Review, Darwin Day Collection One, Amanda Chesworth—Finding Darwin’s God, Book Review by Bill MacPherson; How (and how not) to Present Data, Walt Murfin; Book Review, Deliver Us From Evil, Tim Schuster, MD

December 2002 Beacon (Vol. VI. No. 6)
High School Reform, Bill Macpherson; CESE To The Rescue; Book Review, Bill Macpherson; Toon By Thomas--David E. Thomas; Experimental Design--Walt Murfin;  Stand And Deliver-Revisited--Jerry Jesness

October 2002 Beacon (Vol. VI. No. 5)
A New Twist--Bill Macpherson; Meeting Highlights; Creationism In New Mexico--David E. Thomas; Uncertainty--Walt Murfin; CESE Happenings; Another Education Forum; and Toon By Thomas

August 2002 Beacon (Vol. VI, No. 4)
Inaugural Message, Bill Macpherson; 2002 Annual Meeting Report, Marilyn Savitt-Kring; Darwin Deified? Eva Thaddeus; Statistical Terms, Walt Murfin; Toon And NMSR News, David Thomas; NMAS Centennial, Marshall Berman

June  2002 Beacon (Vol. VI, No. 3)
Action-- Dr. Timothy Moy; Book Review-- Bill MacPherson; Deciding What’s Important-- Walt Murfin; Read to Me— 10 Family Reading Tips—Letter to the editor, Robert C. Gardiner;  Toon by Thomas, David E. Thomas; ANNUAL MEETING

April 2002 Beacon (Vol. VI, No. 2)
Judgment under Uncertainty--Dr. Timothy Moy; Book Review-- Bill MacPherson; Letter from Harietta; Understanding Regression--Walt Murfin' Junk E-mail and Filtering--David Johnson; Toon by Thomas--David E. Thomas

February 2002 Beacon (Vol. VI, No. 1)
Vigilance, Dr. Timothy Moy—The Shape of Life - PBS Preview— Book Review, Bill MacPherson—2002 New Mexico Science Bowl—Northwestern New Mexico Regional & Engineering Science Fair— CESE letter to Michael Davis, Timothy Moy—How Mathematics Can Complicate Your Life, Walt Murfin—Board Meeting Highlights — What’s Happening

December 2001 Beacon (Vol V, No. 6)
Nothing Endures but Change, Dr. Timothy Moy—Board Meeting Highlights—A Teacher Speaks, Michael David—David A. Thomas Museum, David E. Thomas— Book Review, Bill MacPherson— I Know What We Did Last Spring, Walt Murfin

October 2001 Beacon (Vol. V, No. 5)
Terra Incognita from the President, Dr. Timothy Moy; Meeting with the Albuquerque Business Education Compact and Our Mission, Dr. Marshall Berman; Board Meeting Minutes, M.Savitt-Kring; Test Engineering, Walt
Murfin; Toon by Thomas, Dave Thomas; Remember the Skyline © 2001, Courtesy of Richard Forno & Ronald Baklarz

August 2001 Beacon (Vol. V, No, 4)
Greetings from the President—Dr. Timothy Moy, Annual Meeting Minutes—Dave Thomas, CESE 5th Annual Meeting—Dr. Marshall Berman, Book Report—Bill MacPherson, Sampling—Walt Murfin, Hawaii—M.Savitt-
Kring, Collaboration—Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Letter to Senator Santorum—Dr. Andrew Petto, and more.

June 2001 Beacon (Vol. V, No. 3)
Hope to See You Soon—Steve Brügge, Charter Schools—Jerry Shelton & Bill MacPherson, Who’s Who on Proposed Board ,Galileo, Part Two—Timothy Moy, Louisiana—Dave Thomas, No Transitional Fossils? Acanthostega gunnari—Dr. Jane Clack, Predicting College Outcomes, Walt Murfin, Young Scientists—Harry Murphy

April 2001 Beacon  (Vol. V, No. 2)

February 2001 Beacon (Vol. V, No. 1)
In this issue: Looking Ahead—Steve Brügge, President; CESE Joins Education Partners—Bill MacPherson; Biggest Science Project Growing—Dr. Tim Moy; Cindy Chapman Elected to NTSM Board; In Memoriam, Tom Manaster; Intelligent Design Proponent Blitzes New Mexico; Failed Books?—Steve Brügge, Another Opinion—Walt Murfin

November 2000 Beacon (Vol. IV, No. 3)
It’s the Little Things–Steve Brügge, Kansas–Steve Lopes, Book Report–Editor, Internet Learning and State Board of Education– Marshall Berman, World’s Biggest Science Research Project–Tim Moy, Friends of Darwin Awards–Kim Johnson, Instructional Materials Commission–Marilyn Savitt-Kring, SEDL Fall Forum–Steve Getty, A Parent’s View–Diana Royce

July 2000 Beacon (Vol. IV, No. 2)
From the President - Steve Brügge, Dr. Berman on S.B.E. and Accountability,  Book Report - Steve Brügge, Annual Meeting Report - David E. Thomas, Quotation - Thomas Jefferson.

May 2000 Beacon (Vol. IV, No. 1)
Annual Meeting, IMC Reprieve - Marilyn Savitt-Kring, Dr. Berman on S.B.E., Dr. Getty’s Colorado Report, Steve Brugge -Dallas trip, Lessons Learned - Eva Thaddeus, CroSSlinks, Find ET.

November 1999 Beacon (Vol. III, No. 3)
We‘ve done it! NM now has a good set of science standards. 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt, Non Profit Status at Last! Focus on HOTSPOTS. Science Advances. “Just” a Theory. Instructional Materials Commission. Visit our web site:

May 1999 Beacon (Vol. III, No. 2)
The CESE annual meeting – Teaching teachers science content – Teaching math concepts – Moy speaks on science and religion – What are the creationists up to now? – Tectonics and sprinting plates: surely you jest? – News from the State School Board – Nonprofit, tax-exempt status – Science fair awards, and more. Try!

February 1999 Beacon (Vol. III, No. 1)
CESE members have been busy – Message from the President – Dr. Eugenie Scott gives talk to CESE and New Mexicans for Science and Reason – A summary of the last two Board of Education Meetings – Do you really understand what standardized tests measure? – How much influence can we have on the public? – Blanchard does it again, and more.

May 1998 Beacon (Vol. 2, No. 1)
Marshall Berman Runs for Board of Education

November 1997 Beacon (Vol. 1, No. 2)
SBE Meets At Ruidoso, Flunks Math; Rio Rancho Schools Evolving Toward Creationism?; Ben Franklin A Creationist? CESE Contacts Congregation; DOE Funding Reinstated; APS Resolution; CESE Sends Letter, SDE Replies; Moy On KOB; Berman On Behe; The Second Law; Russell Humphreys Gloats; Letter To The Albuquerque Journal

May 1997 Beacon (Vol, 1, No. 1)
Public Meeting