Guest post by Jill Jennings
You may or may not know that I am on the Iowa Task Force for the possible adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I have been to Des Moines twice in the last two months for meetings to discuss this. We are scheduled to have at least one more meeting on Wednesday, October 16 at 10 A.M. At the Science Center of Iowa. Anyone is welcome to attend. The facilitator of this task force, Yvette McCulley (Science Consultant, Iowa Dept. Of Ed.), would like us to come to a consensus at this next meeting either for or against these standards. If we don’t, I’m not sure what will happen. These are a set of standards that were nationally written and are more or less another tentacle of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). At this point in time, the schools in Iowa are using the Iowa Core Science Standards. To my understanding, the Iowa Core was written by Iowans, but it was a small group.
As a task force member, I am supposed to share a survey (see instructions and link at the bottom of this article) regarding the NGSS, to give them feedback on what Iowans think about adopting them for our kids in our schools. I will be honest; I don’t like these standards at all. I don’t like Common Core either. In Iowa we have already adopted Common Core for English, Language Arts, and Math. If you have not heard of this or even if you have, you need to do research and see that they are basically nationalizing our schools. As more feedback is coming in and more parents are learning about what has happened right under their noses, we are learning what an abomination the CCSS are. Education is being dumbed down as it is being nationalized. They are taking away local control. In many cases it is already gone. In the document that I have attached I have included in the first half many of the reasons why I don’t like the NGSS. I have included sites to click on with articles for you to read. The second half of the document is a list of the survey questions. I listed them so you can do research ahead of time and make up your own mind. I don’t want you to just believe what I am telling you … Please read it for yourself. At the very end is the link for you to take the survey. The deadline is Friday, October 11.
In a nutshell, here are the reasons why I don’t like the NGSS:
1. I don’t think it’s constitutional. Our Founders wanted education and all educational decisions (such as standards and curriculum) to be the job of the states. (10th Amendment – "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.")
2. A big chunk of the content concerns Global Warming. Every day more information comes out disproving this theory. I always thought it was a hoax anyway. I do not want our kids being indoctrinated into believing they are at fault for anything to do with the climate or the weather. Plus, I think it’s pretty egotistical for anyone to think that we can actually change the climate!
3. NGSS hits evolution more than any previous standards with no mention whatsoever of Intelligent Design.
4. There is less content covered in NGSS. "Among the most egregious omissions are most of chemistry; thermodynamics; electrical circuits; physiology; minerals and rocks; the layered Earth; the essentials of biological chemistry and biochemical genetics; and at least the descriptive elements of developmental biology." (This quote is from the article "Problems with Next Generation Science Standards" written by Shane Vander Hart on March 11, 2013. You can find it at www.truthinamericaneducation.com)
5. The Fordham Institute gave NGSS a grade of "C." Can’t we do better than mediocre?! This think tank listed 5 states plus D.C. To which they awarded the grade of A or A- (California, D.C., Indiana, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Virginia) Why don’t we used their science standards as a road map for our own? http://www.edexcellence.net
Thanks for your time!
Warning! Do not click on the survey until you are ready to take it. I went into it just to look at the questions and when I went back, it said "thanks for taking our survey!" even though I hadn’t.
Here are the questions that I copied from the survey so you can read them in advance:
1. Which stakeholder group(s) do you represent? (parent, teacher, etc.)
2. Please indicate the process you used to review the Next Generation Science standards to form the basis for your survey responses. (multiple choice as follows) (editor’s note – you should read the standards before completing this survey)
Reviewed the entire document.
Reviewed the K-12 progression of standards through a particular core idea or topic.
Reviewed the full set of standards for all disciplines at a particular grade or grade span.
Reviewed a discipline (LS, ESS, PS).
Did not review the standards.
3. The Next Generation Science Standards are well-organized and easy to read. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
(The following questions ask about the content and rigor of the Next Generation Science Standards.)
4. The amount of content present in the Next Generation Science Standards will prepare students to be ready for college, careers, and other postsecondary options. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
5. The Next Generation Science Standards promote rigorous levels of learning to help prepare students to be ready for college, careers, and other postsecondary options. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
6. What are the strengths of the Next Generation Science Standards? (form field to answer)
7. What are the weaknesses of the Next Generation Science Standards? (form field to answer)
You can take the survey at the link below.