Common Core Science at the Door

The below message is from Vincent Newmeyer. If any of you are able to attend the meeting tomorrow, please do so.

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Common Core is Missing Parts. That is, Common Core is lacking the Science and Social Studies components. It is not that there was any intent for creators of national standards to skip such components, it is that these components have come later in their effort. The National Science component is and has been finished for some time now, and there has been powerful efforts to get it adopted in Utah.

The National Common Core component for Science is called “The Next Generation Science Standards” or NGSS. The State Office of Education has been in the process of advancing these standards for adoption for some time now, beginning with grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. The plan seems to have been to fly it in under the radar. When NGSS was sent to the legislative required “Standards Review Committee” the document was titled “Utah Science and Engineering Education Standards” or “UT SEEd Standards.” At the time these documents reached the review committee, it appears that even the Board of Education members in general, had no idea that these standards were really the NGSS national standards.

The legislative intent for the “Standards Review Committee” was to get input from the community on proposed State School Standards, particularly from Parents, hopefully to avoid some of the backlash that has arisen from situations like the adoption of national Common Core standards.

There has already been one early report on the working of this committee. For some background you may review:

Are you ready to have national science standards in UT? https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/are-you-ready-to-have-national-science-standards-in-ut/

Though there has be minor verbiage added to the NGSS in the effort to move their adoption in Utah, let me assure you that the proposed science standards are the Next Generation Science Standards and are marketed as the compliment to Common Core. The proposed standards match the NGSS in the following:

  • Performance Expectation are word-for-word copies of the NGSS
  • Boundary statements were very, very similar
  • Clarification were very, very similar
  • Uses essentially the same indexing scheme of NGSS for science topics
  • References Common Core Math, and Literacy concepts with the same index numbers and their related topics
  • Cross Cutting Concepts are essentially word-for-word

Reading from the NGSS website http://www.nextgenscience.org/frequently-asked-questions , formulators of these standards state:

Will the new standards be the Common Core State Standards for Science?

To reap the benefits of the science standards, states should adopt them in whole without alteration. States can use the NGSS, as they are using the CCSS [Common Core State Standards] in English language arts and mathematics, to align curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional preparation and development.

This has apparently been done as there is no substantial deviation in Utah’s SEEd standards draft from the NGSS. To further clarify this issue we can read from the NGSS Trademark and Copyright Guidelines

States … that have adopted or are in the process of adopting the NGSS in whole shall be exempt from this Attribution and Copyright Notice provision of this License.

http://www.nextgenscience.org/trademark-and-copyright-guidelines.

Those who have reviewed the standards when they were first proposed to the State Board of Education have noted that there is no attribution to the NGSS in spite of the essentially word-for-word duplication. So, either there is a legal infringement of copyright, or there is a tacit admission of an effort by individuals in the state office for wholesale adoption of the standards. The effort for wholesale adoption of the standards was denied, or in the least not confessed, even when Sarah Young (the previous state science specialist) and Ricky Scott (the current science specialist and one of the “writers of the proposed Utah science standards”), was questioned about the source of the standards in the standards subcommittee meeting held in the evening of the 5th of February, 2015. Sydnee Dickson, the Deputy State Superintendent, who was also present, did finally admit at one point that the proposed standards did borrow heavily (or words to that effect) from the NGSS. Yet again, we see no documented attribution to that effect….

The subcommittee did vote down the advancement of the standards that night, however it is almost certain that there will be additional efforts to cloak NGSS again in such a way that it will pass the State Board of Education. If such a proposal is again brought, even if there is some attribution to NGSS, we should demand a clearly defined list of what was adopted, what has been changed, and why.

To be ready to meet that challenge, a group has been holding sessions every Tuesday at the State Capitol, educating people on the issues with the standards and the developments in science that are challenging the politicized science like Darwinian Evolution and Global Warming, etc.

There is only one meeting left in the Capitol series. We encourage all who can to come. We also encourage citizens to contact their legislators, School Board Members, the Governor, and the State Attorney General and request their attendance.

DATE: 10th March 2015   •   Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm   •   Location: “Capitol Board Room” On the East side of the Capitol Rotunda just below the Supreme Court Chambers

Thanks,

Vincent Newmeyer

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A second announcement from Vincent

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Science or Doctrine?

 

“The theory of evolution has also deeply influenced our way of thinking about ourselves. … One reason is, of course, that evolution is in contradiction to the literal interpretation of the Bible. Another difficulty is that it seems to diminish human significance. … [T]he new biology ask[s] us to accept the proposition that … we are not fundamentally different from other organisms in either our origins or our place in the natural world.” (Invitation to Biology fifth edition Curtis and Barnes p 11).

I found this statement of faith in the Utah Biology textbook that was used by my son and my oldest daughter in their high school AP biology class. In fact, the first 11 pages were a big setup between the “science of evolution” and traditional religious belief.

As it turns out, it is not uncommon to find this type of statement in Utah’s biology textbooks. True, the above is one of the more blatant statements, however, this type of dogma is in fact found even in the recently proposed update to our current science standards.

Most importantly, this and similar statements which are claimed to be made from “solid science” are actually not supported by the data.

Please join us for a discussion about these issues and learn the evidence to the contrary and why we should reject such dogma passed off as science in our Utah classrooms.

There is only one meeting left in the Capitol series. We encourage all who can to come. We also encourage citizens to contact their legislators, School Board Members, the Governor, and the State Attorney General and request their attendance.

DATE: 10th March 2015 • Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm • Location: “Capitol Board Room” On the East side of the Capitol Rotunda just below the Supreme Court Chambers
More Information can be found at: ScienceFreedom.org

Thanks,

Vincent Newmeyer

2 thoughts on “Common Core Science at the Door”

  1. I am not able to go, but want to add my thanks to others for Vincent and his careful time spent in reading and informing us. It is the effort of working together like this that will help us slay the beast! I am also not very knowledgable about the science core and appreciate teachers and experts in THEIR field who put in their critical information. It all adds up to protecting our children. Thank you again.

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