Rip Snort: Ohio requiring schools to give kids credit for the wrong answer on a science test if it’s based on a religious belief!

DEAR DAWG:  Snort, here.  Rip Snort.  Intrepid Reporter and Friend of the Truth.  Dawg, the State of Ohio has jumped off a cliff.  The legislature in the state is on the verge of adopting a law that will require teachers to give kids credit for WRONG ANSWERS if the answer is based on a religious belief! Can you believe it?  Thought you might want to take a look at HB 164, working its way through the Ohio legislature faster than a Buckeye halfback.  Take a look.   SNORT.

DEAR FRIEND OF THE TRUTH: Wrong, Snort.  That’s not what it says. We have seen numerous headlines making the same claim, but we wonder if the headline writers read the bill before writing the inflammatory headline. 

Let’s all take a deep breath and read what this bill actually says.  The bill does not require teachers to give credit for wrong answers on a science or history test.  It says that grades are to be calculated “using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including legitimate pedagogical concerns.”  It also requires that teachers “not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student’s work.” 

Let’s consider some examples: 

*The assignment is to write an essay on a subject of personal interest, and the student writes of her religious beliefs, (or lack of religious faith).  The bill requires that the teacher should grade the assignment on the quality of the writing, without regard to the religious or anti-religious content. 

*The assignment is to create a work of original art, and the student does a painting with overtly religious symbols.  The bill requires that the teacher grade the art based on its quality, not its message. 

*The assignment is to research and write a paper, supporting a position on a controversial issue. The student writes about same sex marriage and supports his position with citations from the Bible.  The bill requires that the paper be graded based on its content, not its viewpoint or its religious foundation. 

Settle down, Friend of the Truth. 


Tomorrow: Just what you need: a new acronym!!