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Try this link: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jbrQTGc...v8kvcwD8VTVOE80

Here’s the text of the article.

Student Sees Problems With H.S. Text

By NANCY ZUCKERBROD – 14 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Talk about a civics lesson: A high-school senior has raised questions about political bias in a popular textbook on U.S. government, and legal scholars and top scientists say the teen's criticism is well-founded.

They say "American Government" by conservatives James Wilson and John Dilulio presents a skewed view of topics from global warming to separation of church and state. The publisher now says it will review the book, as will the College Board, which oversees college-level Advanced Placement courses used in high schools.

Student Matthew LaClair of Kearny, N.J., recently brought his concerns to the attention of the Center for Inquiry, an Amherst, N.Y., think tank that promotes science and which has issued a scathing report about the textbook.

"I just realized from my own knowledge that some of this stuff in the book is just plain wrong," said LaClair, who is using the book as part of an AP government class at Kearny High School.

The textbook is designed for a college audience, but also is widely used in AP American government courses, said Richard Blake, a spokesman for the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co. Blake said the company "will be working with the authors to evaluate in detail the criticisms of the Center for Inquiry." Blake said some disputed passages already have been excised from the newest edition of the book.

Both authors are considered conservative. Dilulio, a University of Pennsylvania professor, formerly worked for the Bush administration as director of faith-based initiatives. Wilson is the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Neither responded immediately to calls seeking comment.

LaClair said he was particularly upset about the book's treatment of global warming. James Hansen, the director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, recently heard about LaClair's concerns and has lent him some support.

Hansen has sent Houghton Mifflin a letter stating that the book's discussion on global warming contained "a large number of clearly erroneous statements" that give students "the mistaken impression that the scientific evidence of global warming is doubtful and uncertain."

The edition of the textbook published in 2005, which is in high school classrooms now, states that "science doesn't know whether we are experiencing a dangerous level of global warming or how bad the greenhouse effect is, if it exists at all."

A newer edition published late last year was changed to say, "Science doesn't know how bad the greenhouse effect is."

The authors kept a phrase stating that global warming is "enmeshed in scientific uncertainty."

While there are still some scientists who downplay global warming and the role of burning fossil fuels, the overwhelming majority of climate scientists and peer-reviewed scientific research say human activity is causing climate change. Last year an international collection of hundreds of scientists and government officials unanimously approved wording that said the scientific community had "very high confidence," meaning more than 90 percent likelihood, that global warming is caused by humans.

LaClair also was concerned about the textbook's treatment of U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding prayer in school. The book shows a picture of kids praying in front of a Virginia high school and states, "The Supreme Court will not let this happen inside a public school." Blake said the photo was cut out of the most recent edition.

The textbook goes on to state that the court has ruled as "unconstitutional every effort to have any form of prayer in public schools, even if it is nonsectarian, voluntary or limited to reading a passage of the Bible."

Those examples are not correct, says Charles Haynes, a religious liberties expert at the First Amendment Center in Washington.

"Students can pray inside a public school in many different ways," Haynes said, adding they can pray alone or in groups before lunch or in religious clubs, for example.

Haynes said students can't disrupt the school or interfere with the rights of others. The court has said the prayer can't be state-sponsored, so a teacher can't lead a prayer and a school can't require it, Haynes said.

Another part of the book that the report criticizes deals with a Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas law banning sexual contact between people of the same sex.

The authors wrote that the Supreme Court decision had a "benefit" and a "cost." The benefit, it said, was to strike down a rarely enforced law that could probably not be passed today, while the cost was to "create the possibility that the court, and not Congress or state legislatures, might decide whether same-sex marriages were legal."

Derek Araujo, the report's author, said that's a matter of opinion and that gay-rights activists, for example, see it differently. "The major problem with this is they describe the costs and benefits of the system in a very political way," he said.

LaClair added that he perceived a bias in the book too.

"All the statements for the most part were trying to lead the reader in one direction and not giving a fair account of everything," he said.

It's not the first time LaClair has raised alarm bells over teaching at his school. A few years ago, he tape recorded a teacher making religious remarks to his students. Many people at the school were upset with LaClair for raising the issue.

"I'm not looking to cause a huge controversy, but I want the students to be taught correct information," LaClair said.

His mother, Debra, says she thinks her son is giving his peers another kind of civics lesson.

"When he sees something that is incorrect, he wants to fix it," she said. "That's him. That's what he does."

AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.

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This is hilarious. I wonder if young LaClair will be able to detect the bias in his college textbooks.

I doubt it. For the most part that bias will agree with his own knowledge and as such will be fine.

He's giving a civics lesson in whining.

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Guest Keith
Try this link: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jbrQTGc...v8kvcwD8VTVOE80

Here’s the text of the article.

Student Sees Problems With H.S. Text

By NANCY ZUCKERBROD – 14 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Talk about a civics lesson: A high-school senior has raised questions about political bias in a popular textbook on U.S. government, and legal scholars and top scientists say the teen's criticism is well-founded.

They say "American Government" by conservatives James Wilson and John Dilulio presents a skewed view of topics from global warming to separation of church and state. The publisher now says it will review the book, as will the College Board, which oversees college-level Advanced Placement courses used in high schools.

Student Matthew LaClair of Kearny, N.J., recently brought his concerns to the attention of the Center for Inquiry, an Amherst, N.Y., think tank that promotes science and which has issued a scathing report about the textbook.

"I just realized from my own knowledge that some of this stuff in the book is just plain wrong," said LaClair, who is using the book as part of an AP government class at Kearny High School.

The textbook is designed for a college audience, but also is widely used in AP American government courses, said Richard Blake, a spokesman for the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co. Blake said the company "will be working with the authors to evaluate in detail the criticisms of the Center for Inquiry." Blake said some disputed passages already have been excised from the newest edition of the book.

Both authors are considered conservative. Dilulio, a University of Pennsylvania professor, formerly worked for the Bush administration as director of faith-based initiatives. Wilson is the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Neither responded immediately to calls seeking comment.

LaClair said he was particularly upset about the book's treatment of global warming. James Hansen, the director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, recently heard about LaClair's concerns and has lent him some support.

Hansen has sent Houghton Mifflin a letter stating that the book's discussion on global warming contained "a large number of clearly erroneous statements" that give students "the mistaken impression that the scientific evidence of global warming is doubtful and uncertain."

The edition of the textbook published in 2005, which is in high school classrooms now, states that "science doesn't know whether we are experiencing a dangerous level of global warming or how bad the greenhouse effect is, if it exists at all."

A newer edition published late last year was changed to say, "Science doesn't know how bad the greenhouse effect is."

The authors kept a phrase stating that global warming is "enmeshed in scientific uncertainty."

While there are still some scientists who downplay global warming and the role of burning fossil fuels, the overwhelming majority of climate scientists and peer-reviewed scientific research say human activity is causing climate change. Last year an international collection of hundreds of scientists and government officials unanimously approved wording that said the scientific community had "very high confidence," meaning more than 90 percent likelihood, that global warming is caused by humans.

LaClair also was concerned about the textbook's treatment of U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding prayer in school. The book shows a picture of kids praying in front of a Virginia high school and states, "The Supreme Court will not let this happen inside a public school." Blake said the photo was cut out of the most recent edition.

The textbook goes on to state that the court has ruled as "unconstitutional every effort to have any form of prayer in public schools, even if it is nonsectarian, voluntary or limited to reading a passage of the Bible."

Those examples are not correct, says Charles Haynes, a religious liberties expert at the First Amendment Center in Washington.

"Students can pray inside a public school in many different ways," Haynes said, adding they can pray alone or in groups before lunch or in religious clubs, for example.

Haynes said students can't disrupt the school or interfere with the rights of others. The court has said the prayer can't be state-sponsored, so a teacher can't lead a prayer and a school can't require it, Haynes said.

Another part of the book that the report criticizes deals with a Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas law banning sexual contact between people of the same sex.

The authors wrote that the Supreme Court decision had a "benefit" and a "cost." The benefit, it said, was to strike down a rarely enforced law that could probably not be passed today, while the cost was to "create the possibility that the court, and not Congress or state legislatures, might decide whether same-sex marriages were legal."

Derek Araujo, the report's author, said that's a matter of opinion and that gay-rights activists, for example, see it differently. "The major problem with this is they describe the costs and benefits of the system in a very political way," he said.

LaClair added that he perceived a bias in the book too.

"All the statements for the most part were trying to lead the reader in one direction and not giving a fair account of everything," he said.

It's not the first time LaClair has raised alarm bells over teaching at his school. A few years ago, he tape recorded a teacher making religious remarks to his students. Many people at the school were upset with LaClair for raising the issue.

"I'm not looking to cause a huge controversy, but I want the students to be taught correct information," LaClair said.

His mother, Debra, says she thinks her son is giving his peers another kind of civics lesson.

"When he sees something that is incorrect, he wants to fix it," she said. "That's him. That's what he does."

AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.

Good for you Matt! Keep up the good work! Apathy is a cancer.

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Guest Guest
This is hilarious. I wonder if young LaClair will be able to detect the bias in his college textbooks.

I doubt it. For the most part that bias will agree with his own knowledge and as such will be fine.

He's giving a civics lesson in whining.

No, he's giving a civics lesson in getting things done. He has top people working with him, including a major figure from NASA, and he has gotten the publisher and the college board to re-evaluate the text.

You're giving a lesson in whining. I notice you don't address the contents of the text.

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Guest Twizzler
This is hilarious. I wonder if young LaClair will be able to detect the bias in his college textbooks.

I doubt it. For the most part that bias will agree with his own knowledge and as such will be fine.

He's giving a civics lesson in whining.

You're the last person to tell anyone about not seeing his own biases. Just a few days ago you were whining about a "chilling effect" on religious expression in schools. Matthew just stood up to make sure kids aren't misinformed about the fact that they have the right to pray in school.

So is it whining, or is it a "chilling effect?" The least you can do is decide which side of your mouth you want to talk out of.

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Guest A proud Canadian

While your sad little town turns against this intelligent, courageous young man, the rest of the world looks at you and shakes their heads in disgust and disbelief. Almost every day I thank God that I am not an American, with your puritanical, fundamentalist, anti-scientific and anti-intellectual "values". Matthew -- even if the idiots in that town don't support you, the rest of the world does. Good luck, and I wish there were more people like you out there -- the world would be a better place.

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Guest Keith
This is hilarious. I wonder if young LaClair will be able to detect the bias in his college textbooks.

I doubt it. For the most part that bias will agree with his own knowledge and as such will be fine.

He's giving a civics lesson in whining.

Even if you don't agree with him Bryan, you should be proud that he's a teenager that actually gives a damn. Perhaps you would rather have him just smokin' weed and riding skateboards?

You accuse him of whining? Now [i]that's[/i] ironic!

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Will the world ever be perfect enough for our greasy crusader?

THERE WILL BE AN EMERGENCY REHEARSAL FOR THE WHINERS' CHORUS IN MR. PASZKIEWICZ'S CLASSROOM AFTER THE CUSTODIAL STAFF LEAVES FOR THE EVENING. PLEASE BE ON TIME. WE HAVE A LOT OF WHINING TO DO!

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Guest *Autonomous*
This is hilarious. I wonder if young LaClair will be able to detect the bias in his college textbooks.

I doubt it. For the most part that bias will agree with his own knowledge and as such will be fine.

He's giving a civics lesson in whining.

How pathetic. I suppose this:

Talk about a civics lesson: A high-school senior has raised questions about political bias in a popular textbook on U.S. government, and legal scholars and top scientists say the teen's criticism is well-founded.

They say "American Government" by conservatives James Wilson and John Dilulio presents a skewed view of topics from global warming to separation of church and state. The publisher now says it will review the book, as will the College Board, which oversees college-level Advanced Placement courses used in high schools.

...is just whining as well?

In case you missed it, btw, it is a college textbook.

The textbook is designed for a college audience, but also is widely used in AP American government courses, said Richard Blake, a spokesman for the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co.

Oh yeah, I forgot-to Southern Baptists college is a den of liberal scum and villainy. No wonder so few go.

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Even if you don't agree with him Bryan, you should be proud that he's a teenager that actually gives a damn. Perhaps you would rather have him just smokin' weed and riding skateboards?

He still has time for that, so far as I know.

You accuse him of whining? Now [i]that's[/i] ironic!

Actually I called it a civics lesson in whining. If every student did this type of thing the lawyers would be 100x richer than they are and the schools could not teach. Bias is rife in the public school system, usually with a leftward bent. I do think that his complaint may have some merit, but as with the Paszkiewicz situation it hardly calls for the type of melodrama brought to it by the LaClairs.

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Guest Keith
While your sad little town turns against this intelligent, courageous young man, the rest of the world looks at you and shakes their heads in disgust and disbelief. Almost every day I thank God that I am not an American, with your puritanical, fundamentalist, anti-scientific and anti-intellectual "values". Matthew -- even if the idiots in that town don't support you, the rest of the world does. Good luck, and I wish there were more people like you out there -- the world would be a better place.

Dear Proud Canadian,

I hope you don't let this stupid little blog completely skew your view of all Americans. While what you say is very true, there are millions of us who are not that way. Unfortunately there are far too many Americans that fit within the description that you laid forth. Patriots they call themselves, as if they really knew the meaning of the word. Anyway, please don't throw the baby out with the bath water. It's nice to hear the view of our neighbor so keep on posting.

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How pathetic. I suppose this:

...is just whining as well?

If you're talking about the high school student's complaint then we're still talking about the same thing (there is no "as well"). If you're talking about the experts, you can just never tell how a journalist went about getting the opinions (except when the transcript of the interview is available). I'd read it that they agree that the text contains some hints of bias, not that they're up in arms about it. They probably realize that textbook bias is endemic to the teaching profession.

In case you missed it, btw, it is a college textbook.

That makes Matthew an even bigger whiner. I'm sure he'll be much more comfortable in school once he's in a cocoon of liberal bias.

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While your sad little town turns against this intelligent, courageous young man, the rest of the world looks at you and shakes their heads in disgust and disbelief. Almost every day I thank God that I am not an American, with your puritanical, fundamentalist, anti-scientific and anti-intellectual "values". Matthew -- even if the idiots in that town don't support you, the rest of the world does. Good luck, and I wish there were more people like you out there -- the world would be a better place.

I also thank God that you are not an American. :angry:

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I do think that his complaint may have some merit, but as with the Paszkiewicz situation it hardly calls for the type of melodrama brought to it by the LaClairs.

And as with the Paszkiewicz affair, a slew of people who are far better credentialed than you are disagree with you.

What you're really saying is that you don't like it when people who disagree with you are effective. If his complaint has merit, as you admit it does, then he should press it. Do you really think anyone would have paid attention to him if he had just written the publishers on his own? Come on.

These authors are known right-wingers. One headed Bush's so-called faith-based initiative. There's no explaining the comments on school prayer except that they did it deliberately. Obviously they wrote these texts to advance their far-right political agenda. With people like that, you have to smack them hard, or they don't listen.

So once again, Matt LaClair got someone's attention who wouldn't have paid attention otherwise. Good for him.

It must really piss you off that he gets it done.

But hey, you go for it, Bryan. Maybe tomorrow you'll make the papers. :angry::):lol:

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Guest Kearnite and proud of it
Dear Proud Canadian,

I hope you don't let this stupid little blog completely skew your view of all Americans. While what you say is very true, there are millions of us who are not that way. Unfortunately there are far too many Americans that fit within the description that you laid forth. Patriots they call themselves, as if they really knew the meaning of the word. Anyway, please don't throw the baby out with the bath water. It's nice to hear the view of our neighbor so keep on posting.

I first thank God that this so called Canadian is not an American. He has alot to talk about with his own messed up country. No coincidence that the LaClairs were originally Canadian, does it? Secondly Keith isn't even from Kearny either yet chooses this blog to vent and post his frustrations with society. Another loser. Two mental midgets in a giant world. Both sponsered by the LaClair foundation. What a wonderful life it is going to be when junior leaves. The only reason Paul comes out of the closet again at this time is because its getting close to graduation for his so called young lad. The LaClairs are going to make an interesting graduation ceremony. I am looking forward to getting a front seat. There is a reason this kid is an outcase in his school system. People need to stop being scared of his father the Lawyer and live their lives. I would vote again and again for Paul Castello for the Board in a heartbeat over and over and over again. He tells it like it is. I'm looking for Kearny High School being a high school again not an adgenda for some Lawyer to try to gain fame. Hoping it starts at the principal and he gets some nerve. Enough said.

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You're the last person to tell anyone about not seeing his own biases.

As you shall demonstrate?

:lol:

Just a few days ago you were whining about a "chilling effect" on religious expression in schools.

Correct, with the caveats that there was nothing whiny about it and my statement reflected jurisprudence reflected in Supreme Court decisions.

Matthew just stood up to make sure kids aren't misinformed about the fact that they have the right to pray in school.

Possibly, though that remains to be seen. I think there's a good chance that Matthew took the passages on that topic out of context, though I trust that that incidence involving the photo caption was accurately conveyed (photo captions might be provided by the editors rather than by the authors).

So is it whining, or is it a "chilling effect?"

Both. Matthew is trying to chill conservative bias out of school textbooks, which will leave liberal bias (though as politics shifts left I suppose some of the now-liberal biases will turn "conservative" and those will have to be excised from the curriculum as well.

The least you can do is decide which side of your mouth you want to talk out of.

Great demonstration, Squizzler.

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I first thank God that this so called Canadian is not an American. He has alot to talk about with his own messed up country. No coincidence that the LaClairs were originally Canadian, does it? Secondly Keith isn't even from Kearny either yet chooses this blog to vent and post his frustrations with society. Another loser. Two mental midgets in a giant world. Both sponsered by the LaClair foundation. What a wonderful life it is going to be when junior leaves. The only reason Paul comes out of the closet again at this time is because its getting close to graduation for his so called young lad. The LaClairs are going to make an interesting graduation ceremony. I am looking forward to getting a front seat. There is a reason this kid is an outcase in his school system. People need to stop being scared of his father the Lawyer and live their lives. I would vote again and again for Paul Castello for the Board in a heartbeat over and over and over again. He tells it like it is. I'm looking for Kearny High School being a high school again not an adgenda for some Lawyer to try to gain fame. Hoping it starts at the principal and he gets some nerve. Enough said.

It certainly was. Nothing like a little bigotry.

You can vote for Castelli if you want to, but if he messes up like he did on this, you're going to be paying for it. He has a very bad temper, loose lips and poor judgment. He doesn't tell it straight, he tells you what he thinks you want to hear. Talk is cheap until the bills come due.

As for Kearny high, it's functioning mainly as it always has. Classes go on just like they always did, except when you want to blame the LaClairs for everything from your car breaking down to global warming. Personally, I think they're more scared of the kid than of the dad, but either way the crocodile tears are a little much.

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QUOTE (Twizzler @ Apr 9 2008, 03:35 PM)

You're the last person to tell anyone about not seeing his own biases.

As you shall demonstrate?

No, Bryan, as you've demonstrated in the more than 1,500 posts you've authored since you decided to make Kearny and Matthew LaClair your personal causes.

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Guest Book 'Em

A quick question after reading the article - it seems the "global warming issue" was addressed in a new edition of the book even prior to Matthew's complaints. Any idea as to why the newer edition is not in the classroom, i.e., was it unavailable or is it a budget thing (remember kiddies, new books cost money).

I think it's odd that these are college textbooks. Maybe times have changed, but most of the books I had to read in college slanted much more to the left. Also, even though they're referred to as "college" textbooks - do we know where else these text are used outside of Kearny (if anywhere)? I would be interested to know which "colleges" are actually using the text.

Anyway, thanks to Matthew for raising the issue. Let the debate begin.

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Guest Kearnian sick of fools
I first thank God that this so called Canadian is not an American. He has alot to talk about with his own messed up country.

Yeah, nine/ten straight years of surpluses in Canada--I only wish the US was "messed up" like that.

No coincidence that the LaClairs were originally Canadian, does it? Secondly Keith isn't even from Kearny either yet chooses this blog to vent and post his frustrations with society. Another loser. Two mental midgets in a giant world.

You wish, you ignorant fool.

Both sponsered

Great that you can't even spell "sponsor" while you call others mental midgets.

by the LaClair foundation. What a wonderful life it is going to be when junior leaves. The only reason Paul comes out of the closet again at this time is because its getting close to graduation for his so called young lad. The LaClairs are going to make an interesting graduation ceremony. I am looking forward to getting a front seat. There is a reason this kid is an outcase in his school system. People need to stop being scared of his father the Lawyer and live their lives. I would vote again and again for Paul Castello for the Board in a heartbeat over and over and over again. He tells it like it is. I'm looking for Kearny High School being a high school again not an adgenda for some Lawyer to try to gain fame. Hoping it starts at the principal and he gets some nerve. Enough said.

1. What the hell is an "outcase", you mental midget?

2. No one should be scared of anyone who defends the Constitution like the LaClairs do. There is a reason people the world over lauded Matthew for his efforts.

3. The fame claim is just as much BS now as it ever was. Stop crying over it already; your preacher teacher buddy got caught in the act, and that's the end of it. Dry your eyes already, it's getting pathetic now.

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