Next Generation Science Standards Go All In With Climate Change

I’ve already written about the problems inherent with the Next Generation Science Standards based on a couple of review that had been published.  The Los Angeles Times published a story confirming that the Next Generation Science Standards which have just been released will “delve more deeply” into climate change.

For the first time, the proposed education standards identify climate change as a core concept for science classes with a focus on the relationship between that change and human activity. According to the Oakland-based National Center for Science Education, two-thirds of U.S. students in a 2011 survey said they are not learning much about the topic.

Among high school students, 86% take biology, and more than 50% take chemistry but fewer than 20% take earth sciences — the course that would cover climate change, said Frank Niepold, a climate education coordinator with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The current state of climate change education is poor at best,” said Mark McCaffrey, the Oakland center’s program and policy director.

In California, climate and weather are covered in earth science standards. But the proposed new standards will more explicitly direct students to examine the scientific evidence for how and why the climate is changing and its impact.

Perhaps it hasn’t been covered because it has been highly politicized and (contrary to what progressives will say) there is not consensus on this topic.

The Heartland Institute, based in Chicago, IL released a statement from James Taylor, their senior fellow for Enviromental Policy, who expressed his concern.  “The Next Generation Science Standards convey an anti-human message regarding human activities, population growth, and environmental impacts that is not scientifically justified. They certainly convey an environmental activist bias,”  Taylor said.  “These final Standards are an improvement over earlier draft versions, and are not as environmentally radical as many other proposed curricula and standards I have seen. Nevertheless, being somewhat better than environmentally radical propaganda is not the same as being objective, balanced, and scientifically accurate.”

The Heartland Institute has produced two volumes – Climate Change Reconsidered, and Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report – containing more than 1,000 pages of peer-reviewed studies questioning the “consensus” that a man-made climate change crisis is a plausible scenario.

Joy Pullmann, research fellow and managing editor of School Reform News at The Heartland Institute, also expressed concern.  She said, “Although the final draft of the Common Core science standards is much improved over the previous two drafts, it is still objectionable for two main reasons. The first is that it pushes scientific activities on students while stripping much of the knowledge base essential for science and scientific literacy, which research has shown is a failed teaching method. Children need both core knowledge and practical experience in every subject.”

Pullmann continued, “The second failure is that the standards impose alarmist global warming ideas on children from kindergarten forward, and assume people are a net negative for the Earth while ignoring the truth that humans have both positive and negative effects on the environment. This manifests itself in standards attempting to tell children that overpopulation is a grave danger, a 1970s false alarm that has been thoroughly debunked.”

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

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