Archive for the ‘green education takeover’ Category
What’s the big deal about Utah changing its science standards? Doesn’t “new” equal “improved”?
I have three items to share on this subject that come from other people, which I add to what I wrote in yesterday’s letter to the USOE Auditing Department, and then I’ll spout my own thoughts at the end.
1) First, I’m sharing an open letter of fellow Utah mom, Rhonda Hair, to the State Board, protesting Utah’s move toward inept common national science standards;
2) Second, I’m sharing a link to a review of the “science” in these standards by top biology professor Stan Metzenberg, published by Pioneer Institute;
3) Third, I’m republishing Alpine District board member Wendy Hart’s video alerting the public to the error of Utah adopting NGSS (also known as Utah’s New Science Standards or Massachusetts’ “new” draft science standards.
(If you want still more, read Utah scientist Vince Newberger’s blog, Science Freedom; see the side by side comparison of NGSS to Utah’s “new” standards (they are as identical twins with one freckle different); watch the video documentary to hear recorded promises of Utah legislators and board members who explained why Utah should/would never adopt federal/common science standards; read the furious report of parent Alisa Ellis who served on Utah’s parent review committee for these draft standards, read why Kansas parents for objective education sued their state school board for adopting these standards; watch the May 2015 public comment meeting in Salt Lake City about these standards, and read what Jakell Sullivan and I researched about NGSS many months ago.)
Then, contact the board: firstname.lastname@example.org !
- FROM A UTAH MOTHER, RHONDA HAIR:
Dear Utah State School Superintendent Brad Smith, State Science Specialist Ricky Scott, and State School Board Members:
I filled out the survey and would like to let you know a few things.
First, I am frustrated with the survey: it reads like a scholarly paper and is inaccessible to so many parents who intuitively know what is good but are intimidated by its complexity and minutiae. As a consequence, only parents who have obtained high-level education are going to feel confident about filling out such a survey. Are they the only parents who matter? I’ve been told you keep hearing from professors that these standards are great. Of course they think that. Your survey and standards draft are aimed at people at that level, and they live in a fairly insulated world of theory and numbers, not regular, real-world jobs.
Last time you offered a survey to parents, it was of a similar nature. I attended the board meeting when the results were reported. My survey was not counted; though I did give feedback, it didn’t fit your data set structure. If I remember correctly, only about 70 surveys had been filled out the way demanded. That is because what you are asking about is not what the parents are concerned about. You are asking about the cabins and furniture on a ship that has been hijacked.
While I do object to some specifics in the standards, what is most crucial in my opinion is the overruling of parental control that the Utah Board and Office of Education have done, with the legislature’s blessing. I don’t need to spend considerable time reviewing the standards (though I did) to know you are on the wrong track. These things should be decided at the very local level, where parents and teachers can work together to address the needs, wants, talents, and values of the families and individuals. The state Constitution specifies the Board is to have “general control” of education, which means what can apply to everyone, not “detailed control”. Your predecessors overstepped the intended bounds.
Please help remedy the situation by dropping these standards, rejecting federal strings and intervention, dropping state educational core curriculum, and allow the resulting vacuum to be filled naturally by the districts, schools, and families.
Parent of Utah public-ed students and homeschool students, B.S. in Elementary Education
2. FROM PIONEER INSTITUTE:
Study Calls for Draft Science and Technology/Engineering Standards to Be Withdrawn
“Astonishing” gaps in science content too large to be resolved editorially
BOSTON – Massachusetts’ draft pre-K through introductory high school Science and Technology/Engineering standards contain such startling gaps in science that they should be withdrawn from consideration, according to a new Policy Brief published by Pioneer Institute.
“The proposed science standards have significant, unacceptable gaps in science content,” says Dr. Stan Metzenberg, a professor of biology at California State University and author of “A Critical Review of the Massachusetts Next Generation Science and Technology/Engineering Standards.” “For example, they are stunningly devoid of Mendelian genetics and large parts of cellular biology. This is an astonishing oversight for a state that has notable institutions of higher education and a thriving biotechnology industry.”
At the high school level, the draft standards almost completely exclude Mendelian genetics. These concepts are not easily absorbed before high school, and their exclusion means students won’t be exposed to ideas that revolutionized biology at the beginning of the 20th century.
Their exclusion also makes it impossible to understand modern evolutionary theory and for students to grasp their own risk of carrying inherited disease. Massachusetts’ current science and technology/engineering curriculum frameworks include three Mendelian genetics standards.
The draft standards also exclude large parts of cellular biology, failing to teach high school students about the nucleus, mitochondria or chloroplasts.
Massachusetts currently has a curriculum framework for each of the body’s seven major systems (digestive, circulatory/excretory, respiratory, nervous, muscular/skeletal, reproductive and endocrine). But the draft would include these systems in a single composite standard, reducing students’ understanding and lessening their ability to talk to and understand their own physician and make healthy choices.
The draft standards never mention the name “Charles Darwin” and don’t adequately develop the basis for concepts of natural selection, making it exceedingly difficult to address Darwin’s theory of evolution in later grades.
Finally, the way the draft standards are written is overly complex, using sometimes ambiguous or grammatically incorrect language that fails to clearly communicate what students should know and be able to do. This ambiguity causes difficulty in the later grades.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Metzenberg is Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge. He has 20 years’ experience teaching biological science at the university level. He was a senior science consultant for the Academic Standards Commission in California (1998) and a state Board of Education appointee to the California Science Project (1999-2003), the California Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission (2003- 2006) and a content review panelist for development of the California Standards Tests (1999-2010). He has recently assisted the ministries of education of Saudi Arabia (2010) and Qatar (2015) in training teacher leaders to use newly adopted science instructional materials.
Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.
3. From Wendy Hart, board member of Alpine School Board, Utah’s largest public school district:
Thank you, Rhonda Hair, Professor Metzenberg, and Wendy Hart.
And now, a few closing thoughts of my own:
ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM
The entire nation of scientists do not agree on a common core of science. Why should kids be forced to do so? Science is a quest. Academic freedom to question with a fully open mind, matters. NGSS ends that for schools. NGSS’s vision of truth, including political underpinnings of “green” science, is the only correct science.
While some members of the USOE have pretended that the anti-NGSS people (like me) are anti-science people who would force God and intelligent design on all students, and that we would have public schools teaching nothing but the Old Testament as science school, that is not true. It is the pro-NGSS people who want to limit truth. They want the one-sided, politically charged version of science, slanted toward controversial “facts” being accepted by students as unquestionable scientific standards of truth; they want kids to believe that global warming and climate change is a fact, for example– even though in the real world of real scientists, that is a hotly debated and far from settled scientific issue. They want kids to believe that Darwinian evolution is flawlessly true. But that’s not what real scientists agree upon. Academic freedom demands the continuation of these huge questions in the classroom. That won’t happen with NGSS and the associated tests and curriculum defining scientific truth from a slanted perspective.
ON MISSING OUT ON MORE THAN JUST A FEW STRANDS OF SCIENCE
Beyond academic holes such as missing Mendelian genetics and missing math in NGSS, beyond the blind acceptance of Darwin and an overabundance of green-slanted “science” –there is an even bigger issue. In adopting NGSS, we are losing the freedom to set our own standards in the future because NGSS alignment stifles and shackles us with common, aligned tests and common educational data standards that tag our students’ daily work.
ON THE LOSS OF CONTROL OF STANDARDS, TESTING AND PRIVATE STUDENT DATA
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of preserving the right and power of our local teachers, principals, parents, scientists, and board members to influence what is to be taught as truth under the banner of science.
Adopting NGSS, which are not being called NGSS standards by the USOE, but which are, in fact, NGSS standards, (see the side by side comparison of NGSS to Utah’s “new” standards ) is more than adopting academically debatable, “new” but not “improved” standards.
It’s a decision to shackle our students and teachers to a nationalized, common content that NGSS is promoting, and to shackle them to the testing and data mining of student attitudes about this politicized science. This move makes it efficient and easy for centralized power-holders (NGSS, federal government, state government, CEDS-aligned researchers) who have no business doing so, to not only dictate what truth in science looks like, but what student “achievement” in science will be. Why give them that power?
Note: the official site for NGSS states: “To reap the benefits of the science standards, states should adopt them in whole, without alteration”. That is what Utah is doing. Compare for yourself.
Opting out of standardized testing will not get around these problems, by the way, since “embedded assessment” (aka stealth testing) will make every student using technology in any form, a data-mining gold mine, daily.
Please, wake up, friends!
We are, right now, putting Utah on the conveyor belt of politically loaded, pre-packaged “true science” defined only by NGSS, with matching SAGE tests (or the upcoming, embedded tests) to monitor whether our kids are buying their version of “true science”.
This grave error comes with long lasting consequences. It will be as immovable as any long-lasting, formative decision. Long ago, we decided to build I-15. Theoretically, we can put it somewhere else now. But that is not very likely when the traffic (as NGSS-aligned technologies, codes, curricula, tests, teacher professional development, textbook purchasing and more) begins to barrel down that imperious boulevard.
ON THE WORD “NEXT GENERATION”
Big wigs have verbally crowned their crime against academic freedom with the glittering term “next-generation science.” Some people fall for the term; it must be the next great thing with such a title; but NGSS buy-in is an investment in long-term political and academic snake oil. There is nothing modern and magical about this slippery snake oil except the very big marketing dollars behind it.
Inform your representatives and board members that you say “No” to NGSS. (State board email: board@Utah.schools.gov)
Vince Newmeyer reported that:
“Board members have been told that the October draft is the existing standards updated with just the good stuff from the NGSS. To support their claim then produced a spreadsheet called the USEO standards crosswalk… I have taken their crosswalk and researched it further. The results are:
One new standard was written (6.3.4). Two standards originating from the current Utah Standards were added (7.2.4 & 8.1.2). Some existing NGSS standards went through a thesaurus translation but generally without change in character. Some NGSS standards remain word-for-word. Six standards were formed by combining two or more of the previous NGSS standards. Most of the previously duplicated standards were removed. Only one NGSS standard (MS-LS1-8) is not found. see also http://www.sciencefreedom.org/Issues-With-Oct-SEEd-Draft.html http://www.sciencefreedom.org/Oct-Utah-NGSS-Side-By-Side.html
USOE Admits that they Seek to generally adopt the National Next Generation Science Standard
USOE now admits in the materials distributed to the board members related to the October draft of the (UT SEEd) Standards October for their October 8-9, 2015 meeting that “Most SEEd standards remain based on the Next Generation Science Standards.” A similar statement is found in the foot notes of the introduction pages to each grade level of the standards released for the 30-day public review. (http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/science/Revision/SEEdStandardsDraft.aspx ) As we have seen in this text that “most” means that essentially all of the NGSS standard concepts are found in the October draft of the “Utah SEEd” with little added.
More details are at my ScienceFreedom.org webpage under articles.”
–From Vince Newmeyer
When Carie Valentine, a mother against Common Core, secured the proper permit yesterday to have a peaceful demonstration against Common Core this coming Friday, she also called the Salt Lake Police to let them know about the event.
The officer on the other end of the line told her that he was thrilled that Utahns are not backing down and asked her to continue the fight, saying that he spoke for many in his office.
So, this Friday, outside the State School Board’s monthly, all-day meeting, Utah teachers, parents and citizens will demonstrate against Common Core. The peaceful demonstration has been organized for many reasons.
1. Normally, the public may only speak at USSB meetings if a request is made ahead of time, and only two minutes are given per person, with a firm limit on numbers allowed to speak.
2. There is a long history with most of the members of this board, that demonstrates a refusal do adequate research about the experiment called Common Core or to acknowledge that there are terrible, sobering academic flaws, and even unconstitutional flaws, in the new agenda. The board tends to use talking points rather than evidence or references, such as pilot studies, references to laws, or empirical data, to make their parroted claims that the Common Core system is legitimate. Many citizens feel that this atmosphere of no debate is an anti-intellectual, un-American stance.
3. There are numerous, serious concerns about the 518-page agenda to be addressed in the meeting, (including a tax-funded propaganda campaign to push common core acceptance on schools, media and parents).
4. The board did not provide a thorough public and media vetting of the transformative changes to our children’s educational experience prior to implementation; and Common Core cannot be amended without Utah asking permission from unelected D.C. groups who copyrighted the standards Utah uses. Local control has thus been opted away by the board.
5. There appears to be no escape now for parents who object to Common Core’s tests (for many reasons, including behavioral assessments mandated by HB 15). Why? SB 175 mandates that any child who opts out of Common Core testing will be labeled “non-proficient” and the child’s teacher is forced by the state to give the child a bad grade and the school will be punished. It reads: “A teacher shall consider students’ summative adaptive assessments in determining students’ academic grades for the appropriate courses and students’ advancement to the next grade level… Students not tested due to parent request shall receive a non-proficient score which shall be used in school accountability calculations.” Opting out of tests, standards or attendance quotas should be a parental decision, God-given. As long as we are a free country, the state should take a back seat to parental conscience. But most of the education reforms happening in Utah display a disregard for parental (or teachers’) conscience and agency.
Many who would stand up and protest can not do so; they have to be at jobs at 8:30 on a Friday morning; or they are children, who don’t have a voice to articulate their displeasure with the Common Core situtation; or they are principals, staff and teachers whose jobs depend on them appearing to agree with Common Core’s implementation in Utah.
Keeping that in mind, if you can make it, please come. Know that you likely represent thousands who cannot join us Friday.
Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114
When: beginning 8:30 a.m. this Friday, August 2.
Who: All are welcome.
From Carie Valentine, event organizer:
“…[W]hen I found out about Common Core I was upset and even angry that our state would make such radical and damaging changes to our education system. Since that time, many good parents just like you have worked tirelessly to get the word out about Common Core. Parents are not being educated by our own state school board and so we have had to educate ourselves.
The rally at the capitol was amazing. The [many hundreds of] people that showed up to voice their opposition was inspiring. I would like to continue that momentum and demonstrate in front of the state education offices. Their last meeting before the traditional school schedule begins is this Friday, Aug 2. Please join me to send them a message that we are in this for the long haul.
I have secured the proper permit for a demonstration this Friday at the State School Board Offices in Salt Lake City. This is considered a spontaneous demonstration.
…I have also called the SLC police dept. and they know we are coming and the officer I spoke with was thrilled we aren’t backing down. He asked us to continue the fight and said he spoke for many in his office.
If you have access to a bigger bank of people, please pass the word along. These are our children, our tax dollars, and our schools. You have my permission to give out my email address to others who want to come. Please try and make time. We are all busy but this is important.
This is a chance to let them know we are not going away. If you are coming, plan on attending the public comment period from 8-8:30 and the picketing will be from 8:30am-9:30am. Please make your own sign and if you have an button wear that. Here are the “rules”.
We can’t block the sidewalk or the entrance to the building. We can’t (shouldn’t) swear or yell through bull horns. We can hold signs and chant something clever about “no common core”. We can’t prevent movement of pedestrians on the sidewalk. Please email me your confirmation so I can have an idea of how many of us there will be.
If you would like to speak to the board directly the public comment period will be from 8-8:30.
You must sign up in advance. I tried attending and signing up at the meeting and they took the sign up away before I could put my name on it.
To sign up to speak at the board meeting in advance, contact Board Secretary Lorraine Austin at (801) 538-7517.
To picket outside, there is no need to sign up in advance, but if you want to give us a head count, email Carie Valentine at email@example.com
Tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. there will be a Common Core informational meeting at a home in Syracuse, Utah. If you live nearby, please feel free to stop by and bring a friend. Dalane England and I will be speaking about the Common Core. Address: 2532 South 1300 West, Syracuse, Utah, 84075.
We plan to answer the following questions:
What is Common Core, and why are so many people fighting day and night to repeal it?
Does it harm my child?
Did all citizens and legislators get a chance to vet Common Core prior to its adoption by the state school board?
How does it kill local control of education, of privacy and of local values?
Why is it constitutionally threatening? / How are voters shut out of the decision making processes of Common Core?
Why don’t teachers or principals dare speak out against it?
Why must Utah’s state school board ask permission from unelected D.C. groups to modify ed standards in Utah, under Common Core?
How does unwanted student (and teacher) data mining and tracking rely on Common Core tests and standards?
Why has the Department of Education been sued for its Common-Core-test related changes to the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act?
What are intended and unintended consequences of having students take the Common Core tests?
How does Common Core affect homeschoolers and charter schoolers?
How is parental consent of student information sidestepped by the Common Core agenda?
Who paid for Common Core’s development, tests, and trainings and who will pay for Utah’s future Common Core costs?
Who gets wildly rich when Common Core aligned curriculum are virtually the only salable education products in America?
Why are both the Utah Chamber of Commerce and Utah’s Governor involved in promoting Common Core as part of Prosperity 2020?
What does the anti-common core legislation look like in those states that are withdrawing from Common Core –and can we do this in Utah?
Is there any evidence that Common Core can raise academic success or economic success in Utah? / Was there ever a pilot study or a field test of the standards? / Which lead creator of Common Core admitted that these standards only prepare students for a nonselective 2-year college?
Why did the main creator of Common Core get promoted to be president of the College Board and how will it dumb down college standards?
Which source documents from the Department of Education mandate teacher redistribution, sharing of student level data, not adding more than 15% to the standards in any state, and asking permission of D.C. groups to make amendments to these common standards?
How do we reclaim our now-lost educational power?
With all your free time this summer, here’s something fun. Study the reports of the global monitoring group at the U.N.’s International Bureau of Education, and see how much of what they say aligns with, or has inspired, Common Core.
No? Okay, fine. I’ll do it.
Here’s just a peek into the International Bureau of Education and the Global Monitoring Report. These sound like something from a horror movie or a chapter in Orwell’s 1984, I know. But they are actually real.
“Education for All” is a United Nations project that uses the same catch phrases used by Common Core proponents in the United States. For instance, the stated goals of the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) –which of course, sound good on the surface– mirror recent U.S. education reforms: Emphasizing equity. Emphasizing measurability. Emphasizing finance.
Click here: GMR Proposed post-2015 education goals: emphasizing equity, measurability and finance.
But what do those three concepts mean for U.S. citizens?
Equity – Education For All promotes the redistribution of world wealth so that ultimately, no locality or individual has ownership over his/her own earnings, and global government owns all, so that global government can ensure fair distribution to all. This is not voluntary sharing; this is punishable, forced redistribution— it is legalized stealing of local taxes, by governments abroad.
Measurability – this means increased surveillance and testing of all teachers and students so that all can be compared and controlled by the global governance.
Finance – In the powerpoint presentation that was given at a Brussels, Belgium meeting last month, ‘Education post-2015: Equity, measurability and finance’, you can see that it is the United States that is being told to “donate” to make this global educational governance possible. Annually, the U.S. should “donate” 53 billion, the powerpoint presentation states.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6O8_EjUkaU (GMR “Education for All” video link)
So when you watch this Global Monitoring Report video, you’ll hear the presenter describing the sad facts of poverty in foreign countries as if she were leading a fundraising effort for a charity.
But that’s not what it is. It is a justification for global communism, which religious leaders have been warning us about for many, many years; communism is, frankly, a captivating tool of evil. And many are falling for its lure because it beckons to the envious as well as the charitable. It asks both to give away self reliance, self respect and freedom– in favor of forced redistribution.
My point today is that a Common Core of cookie-cutter education is not just an American phenomenon. Globalists want it, too. And they don’t care if some people lose academically or financially, so long as everyone ends up the same. The very same.
One particular character who reveals the Common Core / Global Core same-same connection is British globalist Sir Michael Barber, CEA of the world’s largest educational sales company, Pearson.
Barber praises and promotes nationalized educational systems in many countries, lumping Common Core in with the rest. Watch and listen to his Council on Foreign Relations video and audio interviews. Watch his speeches on YouTube. He specifically mentions irreversible global reforms, global data collection, and the American Common Core. He says education should be borderless. He defines all education as needing to be “ethically underpinned” by the environmental movement. He says that all children in all places should be learning the exact same things. He promotes global databases to compare all people in global educational. He has written a book (“Deliverology”) dedicated to American education reformers, telling them how to force “irreversible reform”.
He also likes the terms “sustainable reform” and “revolution” and uses these in his Twitter-tweets, (along with rantings about the need for gun control in the U.S.) Oh, and his company, Pearson, has aligned all its textbooks, teacher trainings, early childhood education products and other merchandising, to Common Core. Of course.
Sir Michael Barber is highly praised and quoted by our U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan– openly, lavishly, in public speeches.
Sir Michael Barber. The man who bridges Common Core to Global Core.
Don’t let him out of your sight.
Hot off the press– a NASBE press release that lets us know Common Core science standards are on their way to local schools –unless parents, teachers and legislators rise up and say no.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Steve Berlin
March 7, 2013
703-684-4000 , ext. 1118
NASBE Launches Next Generation Science Standards Policy Initiative
Arlington, VA — As states work to implement new math and English standards, policymakers from 26 lead state partners are participating in the development of the voluntary Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-12 education, which are now nearing completion. The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is embarking on a yearlong initiative to provide state board members with information, analysis, and resources about the new standards so they are fully prepared to make the best, evidence-based decisions for their states. The project is supported by a $319,000 grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
NASBE has been a leader in the effort to assist states as they adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards, and it will apply that experience to help state board members understand the development, history, and future of the Next Generation Science Standards. The development of the science standards – now in their second draft, with a final version expected in March – is being spearheaded by Achieve in conjunction with the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“State education policymakers, like many others, are working hard to answer the national call for greater emphasis on science, and the Next Generation Science Standards will provide them with a critical tool to do this,” said NASBE Deputy Executive Director Brad Hull. “But the existence of the NGSS is just a first step. The state board members who must adopt them need targeted resources and opportunities to discuss the meaning, content, and policy implications of the standards in order to effectively do their jobs. NASBE, in partnership with other education stakeholders, including those involved in the NGSS development as well as other state-level policy organizations, is uniquely positioned to provide this assistance to state boards.”
The NGSS are focused on four areas: physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology, and practical applications of science. The standards, which were built upon on a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies’ National Research Council in 2011, seek to move science instruction from an inch-deep, mile-wide approach to one that is centered on deeper learning and helping students grasp concepts that stretch across traditional scientific disciplines.
During the year, NASBE will host regional symposia at which state board of education members can develop adoption plans and conduct policy audits to identify other policy areas affected by the NGSS, such as assessments, teacher professional learning, and educator licensure. In addition, NASBE staff will provide state board members with online and print resources, webinars, and toolkits – all with a special emphasis on communications – to help inform policymakers and other local, district, and state-level stakeholders.
The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. NASBE exists to strengthen State Boards as the preeminent educational policymaking bodies for citizens and students. For more, visitwww.nasbe.org.