science trailLast week I noted my concern about the Common Core curriculum for our schools and how it appears to be a beer bong for American education. In many ways, it is a vehicle for progressive activists to spread their philosophies and propaganda to our children through a conduit designed very effectively to serve their needs.

My concern was heightened this week by an article in the New York Times announcing a new system for teaching science throughout our K-12 education system. The same group that was the primary authors of the Common Core has also coordinated Next Generation Science Standards to be used to instruct our children on a science related curriculum. It follows the same pattern as the Common Core has for Math and English instruction so it effectively can be called the Common Core Science Standards.

In a nutshell, after reviewing the information, I have to conclude that the Next Generation Science Standards are more about promoting an ideology than they are about science. Throughout the curriculum the topic of global warming (climate change) is taught as a fact rather than a concept. In addition, the syllabus is full of references to humans’ negative impact on our environment and what can be done about it. It suggests throughout that industry (meaning the private sector) causes irreparable harm to the environment. In addition, the study of chemistry is eliminated along with chemistry labs.

This is one more instance that confirms to me that centralization of education, especially on a national basis is a colossal mistake and a classic failure. One might conclude that we could refuse to implement these teachings on a state level, and we could, but I suspect the clowns that put this together have already been to the book publishers to get it written into texts that will be used by most of our schools.

Photo credit: University of Salford via Flickr (CC By 2.0)

3 comments
    1. There are no Common Core Chemistry standards, since there technically are not Common Core Science Standards.

      There is a link to the NGSS framework. Read through those and you’ll see that chemistry is not directly mentioned, nor is there a chemistry section. I was rather surprised. Perhaps there are aspects within the standards that they plan to implement in chemistry classes, but it is pretty unclear.

      1. Speaking as a scientist and college professor myself, these new science standards are horrible. Sometimes I wonder whether the intent of these new standards is to do away entirely with disciplinary boundaries. The standards seem to point to twelve years of general science – at least as I read them – and, by the timing of various planned learning goals, it seems impossible to achieve them if one is to have the flexibility to take specific courses in biology, chemistry and physics. There is simply no room to teach these disciplines AS DISCIPLINES.

        This would seem to go along with the rampant ideology that proclaims the superiority if interdisciplinary studies .. But which fails to recognize that a prerequisite for interdisciplinary understanding is mastery of disciplines. One key thing that leapt out at me the first time I saw these documents was the plans to teach – hold onto your hat – ENGINEERING in the THIRD GRADE! Third grade kids have no business being taught ostensibly engineering principles… They should be exploring nature, and having fun learning about the world and some things about the variety of things one can try to understand. Trying to pitch “engineering” as a subject appropriate for the third grade classroom is just plain stupid. We aren’t going to gain anything by such tomfoolery, and we stand to lose much more.

        I’m also concerned with loading all these step by step standards onto teachers, especially in the early years but also later into high school, whose training in science is already suspect. Some of the things I’ve heard about or seen myself in middle school science classrooms are atrocious – and this largely because teachers are really not prepared well to teach science. The problem in secondary Ed is usually one of training in sciences that they do not teach. Physics teaching in particular suffers greatly at that level, with physics teachers often teaching the subject with only one year of college physics or less. How teachers at either of these levels, educated as they are, can appropriately judge what in the standards is just plain stupid and what is useful, I cannot imagine.

        These developments are really disheartening for those of us who will be teaching kids who were brought up according to these standards … I shudder to think of how hard it’s going to be to undo the damage done in terms of students’ understanding of science and the scientific endeavor. It’s already hard enough to get them out of the “what good is this for me?” framework when teaching physics… And it will only get worse.

        Todd

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