Next Generation Science Standards

I am a retired Air Force Reserve Colonel, a mother of 3 school-aged children, and possess bachelor and master degrees of science.

As with the Common Core Standards, there is much about the Next Generation Science Standards that are concerning to parents and teachers.

Again, there is no field-testing of these standards, just widespread implementation.

Again, what about the cost to the state? California is budgeting $1.25 billion to implement Common Core this fall. Where is the cost analysis of what this will cost Kentucky taxpayers?

Specific to these science standards, no one from KY was on the 41-member writing team.

The Fordham Institute, who endorsed the Common Core Math and Language Arts standards, has been very critical of the NGSS, stating that:

• a great deal of essential content has been omitted

• the standards have imposed such a rigid format that the goal of science education becomes secondary

• the standards often lead to a dumbing down to a one-size-fits-all that won’t be too challenging for students, limiting how far and deep advanced students can go, as well as putting boundaries on curriculum builders and those constructing assessments; these boundaries are also often used to strip science of critical math content

• key terms are ill-defined and inconsistently used

• the standards blur the real meaning of “engineering”

• the structure of the standards are complex and cumbersome. In fact, they are so difficult to read that an instructional video had to be released as well as a 5-page set of written instructions for interpreting the standards. Even the “How to” guide is complicated and confusing.

• there appears to be a conscious effort by the drafters not to expect much science to be taught or learned that depends on proper math, further weakening the field of science
One very troubling aspect of the science standards is how science is presented by consensus. Science is not deemed fact by popular vote or even so-called experts. I’m reminded of the flat-earth society. This pop-science methodology undermines real science.

Imposing alarmist man-made climate change as fact on children from kindergarten and up, stirring fears of overpopulation, is irresponsible and reckless. These outdated ideas from the 1970s have been thoroughly debunked.

When the core of science education is how humans are destroying life as we know it, science has been sacrificed to politics.

Presenting evolution theory as fact while ignoring evidence against evolution runs contrary to the very principles of science. How is critical analysis and thinking encouraged when you tell the children what to think and conclude?

Is the goal of science education to earnestly seek truth, or is it to push a political agenda?

Kentuckians want truth, not politics, for our children’s education.

Finally, I am submitting two sets of written comments.

1. Because the standards lack objectivity and are not religiously neutral as would be expected, but instead are profoundly religious, I’m submitting a letter outlining how they actually encourage closed-mindedness, promoting only one religion – each and every tenant of Religious Secularism – leading the student over their thirteen years of education to accept an atheistic worldview.

To be sure, they are not politically neutral either, pushing solutions that increase government control while limiting personal freedom.

2. I also have written comments for submission from Dr. Sandra Stotsky. Dr. Stotsky has been a reviewer of language arts standards for the Fordham Institute, a co-author for

Achieve Inc’s high school exist standards (Achieve, Inc managed the development and writing of the NGSS), and she served on the Common Core Validation Committee.

She is opposed to Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.

In conclusion, true science should be objective and utilize the scientific process to arrive at evidence-based conclusions.

The Next Generation Science Standards are subjective, heavily-skewed politically and religiously. Real scientists should be concerned and embarrassed.

Valerie O’Rear

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