Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education
29May/13Off

Kopplin to Speak on “Why we need a Second Giant Leap”

zack-kopplin-current-2013Our Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, June 29th, 1:00-4:30 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the main lecture hall at Northrop Hall on the University of New Mexico campus.  Our speaker is noted Louisiana activist Zack Kopplin, who will be speaking on the topic "Why we need a Second Giant Leap."

Zack's efforts to overturn Louisiana's pro-creationist "Science Education Act" were discussed by Phil Plait in a May 5th blog at Slate.

More details about June's Annual Meeting will be forthcoming in the new Beacon.

Stay tuned!

Download this handy one-page flyer to give to your friends and social networks!

MAP TO NORTHROP HALL

unm_northropNorthrop-street

 

9May/13Off

The Elephant in the Classroom

The Elephant in the Classroom - Too Many Tests!

The Elephant in the Classroom - Too Many Tests!

 

This cartoon is a sneak preview of the upcoming Beacon, which should appear in the next few weeks.  We're releasing it early because it resonates all-too-well with an article by Hailey Heinz in the Albuquerque Journal for Thursday, May 9th entitled "Some N.M. students face dual final exams.And, we should mention that CESE's very own Lisa Durkin is prominently featured in the article!

A snippet:

Teachers, parents, students and school board members around New Mexico have pushed back in recent weeks against new state end-of-course exams being given in certain core high school classes.

Chief among their complaints are that the tests are taking more time away from instruction and that students who already spend much of the spring semester taking exams are now being tested twice on the same content.

“At some point, we’re losing so much instructional time that we don’t have time to instruct for the subject that they’re being tested on,” said Lisa Durkin, who teaches biology at Valencia High School in Los Lunas. “And the kids aren’t taking the test seriously, because they’ve had to take so many tests that it just doesn’t mean anything to them anymore.”

State education chief Hanna Skandera said this week she never intended for students to take the end-of-course exams in addition to their existing finals, and agrees that is too much time spent on testing.

Well said, Lisa!

24Mar/13Off

Zack Kopplin to be Keynote Speaker for Annual Meeting

CESE is pleased to announce that our keynote speaker for this year's Annual Meeting (to be held on Saturday, June 29th, 1:00-4:30 in Albuquerque, New Mexico) will be none other than Louisiana activist Zack Kopplin. Kopplin has led a vigorous opposition to that state's anti-science legislation, the so-called "Louisiana Science Education Act."

Read Zack's March 22nd 2013 op-ed in the Guardian (UK) here. Stay tuned to the CESE website for details of the annual meeting are finalized; click here for descriptions of previous annual meetings.

Also, read some of Zack's work at the "Creeping Creationist Vouchers" website.

Filed under: General, News Comments Off
2Mar/13Off

CESE Webmaster Goes on Speaking Tour

It's the Spring Break 2013 Climate Change Speaking Tour!

It's Spring Break at New Mexico Tech, and CESE webmaster Dave Thomas is taking a road trip to give a series of talks on the topics of science, pseudoscience, climate change and global warming denial. Here is the schedule. There is a small fee for the Lifelong Learning classes.

 

  • LifeLong Learning for New Mexicans: Science, Pseudoscience and the Battle over Global Warming
    Instructor: David Thomas, $14/2 sessions; Monday, March 11 & 18, 10 am – 12N;
    Faith Lutheran Church, 10000 Spain Road, NE, Albuquerque, NM
    The first of these two lectures will examine what makes science unique among human endeavors. While political, religious and legal arguments all involve making one's case by cherry-picking facts,science proceeds by cherry- picking those hypotheses that best explain all facts. We will consider the role of scientific consensus and peer review, Cargo Cult science, cognitive illusions and more. At the second meeting, we will consider how these concepts apply to climate change and global warming. Why is carbon dioxide more worrisome than other greenhouse gases? How can we tell man-made warming from natural climate change? Has the "Climategate" scandal really disproved global warming? Has science found human-caused global warming to be real, or do we need more data?
  • New Mexico Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), March 12, 2013
    Dave Thomas on "Climate Change: Just Nature, or are Humans the Problem?" The AWMA March meeting will be in the Banquet Room at the Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, (10415 Central Avenue NE, northeast corner at Eubank) in Albuquerque on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Dave, a New Mexico physicist and teacher, will talk about how can we tell man-made warming from natural climate change, why carbon dioxide is more worrisome than other greenhouse gases, whether the "Climategate" scandal really disproved global warming, if more data are still needed to decide, and more.
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21Feb/13Off

Comparison of CESE Results to PED Grades

How do CESE Canonical Correlation Results compare to PED Grades?

One of the questions that is most asked of CESE when we present the CESE method is how the CESE Method results compare to the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) grades.  Here is a two-page introduction that summarizes and provides context for a 29-page briefing which provides detailed comparisons for 2012 New Mexico school grades.

12Feb/13Off

Introduction to the CESE Method

We have published an update on the CESE Method, here. The CESE Method is a method for showing schools how to improve, as opposed to the current New Mexico Public Education Department system, that only shows schools how well they are doing compared to standards.

15Jan/13Off

Message from CESE President Ken Whiton

I am Ken Whiton, a retired APS teacher, writing to introduce you to The Coalition for Excellence in Math and Science Education (CESE).

CESE is composed of interested citizens throughout New Mexico and the nation, including scientists, engineers, educators, university faculty, members of the clergy, community leaders and parents. CESE is non-profit, non-partisan and non-sectarian, and welcomes members of all religions and political philosophies. The Coalition works to improve all education, concentrating on science and math literacy for all citizens. We also provide support to teachers, students, the public, and to public officials, when requested.  Recent newspaper articles about CESE are posted on our website: http://www.cese.org.

As you will see, we have analyzed the Public Education Department’s method of grading schools, and found it to be needlessly complex and unjustified in some of its assumptions. It also combines factors that offer no added information concerning school performance. This can cause a school’s grade to be out-of-line with respect to the school’s actual performance.

CESE has created an evaluation system which takes into account those areas in students’ lives that are beyond any school staff’s control. This method actually provides a means of showing schools how to learn and not just telling them how they are performing. This is not to excuse poor performance or lack of achievement, but to make sure educators are not penalized by an evaluation system which does not capture the realities of a school’s population. Using our method, CESE statisticians have found that many low-scoring schools are actually “out-performing” as predicted by their demographics. This leads to the method for identifying the schools that should be studied for best practices to pass on to those with similar demographic profiles. This also provides for recognition of the outperforming schools and personnel that would otherwise be non-existent.

CESE is the only organization working to improve education that wants and actively seeks educator and school staff input and membership. Five of the 15 members of our board currently teach in our public schools. What we do not have and are now seeking is administrators’ input. We all recognize the importance of effective leadership in all schools.  We need you! 

I invite you to visit our website to learn more about us. I also invite you to join us and participate in our discussions at whatever level of involvement your time permits. We would appreciate your permission to e-mail relevant items to you for your comment, again, as your time permits.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your time,

Ken Whiton, President, CESE

21Nov/12Off

The November Beacon is On Line!

The November 2012 Beacon  (Vol XVI, No 3) is online!

Contents Preview: President’s Message from Ken Whiton. Message from Editor Kim Johnson - "Here They Come Again!"  Plus "Clarification on the Urey-Miller Experiment (initial creation of organic molecules on Earth) that creationists never get right" by Dr. Paul Braterman.

You can browse previous issues of the Beacon here.

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23Sep/12Off

CESE Welcomes New Board Member

CESE is pleased to welcome our newest Board Member at Large, Patty Finely.

Patty is a chemical engineer who taught high school science for many years and middle school science for one year. Patty's interests include statistical analysis, which she worked on in quality control years ago.

Welcome aboard, Patty!

The full board is listed here.

24Aug/12Off

And Now, the Los Alamos Monitor…

... has joined the growing list of media outlets giving a nod to CESE's research on New Mexico's proposed A-F Grading System.

 

 

 

 

 

The guest viewpoint by Sherry Robinson appeared in the Monitor on August 4th, and is reproduced here for the benefit of CESE readers.  It does not appear to have been posted on the Monitor's website, but we will add a link to the article if it is posted in future.

Here are few teasers to whet your appetites for the article!

Now we're starting to hear from parties that don't have a political agenda, and it's official: The state's grading system of schools is too complicated, and the methodology is questionable.

The nonpartisan Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education says the state's A-F school grading system is hard to understand, and the system combines elements that are not only apples and oranges but tofu and cheeseburgers. As a result, the results can swing dramatically from year to year.

The coalition's only agenda is to improve math and science education in the state: its membership is weighted with scientists and engineers, many with national lab backgrounds. I've always found them reliable.

Thank you, Sherry Robinson!

Also new this week: Minutes of the 2012 Annual Meeting, featuring outgoing president Terry Dunbar and incoming president Ken Whiton's remarks, as well as a riveting presentation by former State Senator Pauline Eisenstadt on her tumultuous career at the New Mexico roundhouse.