I didn’t realize it until I read an op/ed in The New Mexico Political Report that New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has been a roadblock for the Next Generation Science Standards’ implementation in her state.
Good for her.
Bill McCamley and G. Andrés Romero, two Democratic State Representatives, write:
Next Generation Science Standards focus on hands on, problem solving based learning rather than rote memorization and teaching to a test. They also equip students with the updated science information and skill sets needed to compete for 21st Century jobs.
Unfortunately, Susana Martinez has failed over the last four years to put these new standards in our classrooms, even after her own staff professionals recommended them. That’s why we sponsored the Next Generation Science Standards bill in this past year’s legislative session. During one of the committee hearings, a former member of her staff admitted the reason for the governor’s decision. “Toward the end of my tenure at the Public Education Department, I was tasked to edit and change some of the language in the standards to make them politically sanitized.” After having passed both the House and Senate, the governor vetoed the bill.
We didn’t know what was meant by “sanitized” until last week, when the governor released her version of the standards. The word “evolution” was replaced with the term “biological diversity,” language documenting the earth’s rising temperature (which has been proven over and over again) was replaced with words describing temperature “fluctuations” and the age of the earth (widely seen by the scientific community as 4.6 Billion years) was completely stripped; all in an attempt to politicize science education.
Granted, I think the Next Generation Science Standards have problems beyond its doubling down on evolution (introducing the topic to junior high students) and man-made climate change, but those are issues. Saying that Governor Martinez is politicizing science education is ludicrous. These standards are already politicized and include junk science.
Give me a break. I hope Governor Martinez would reject even the “sanitized” version as Next Generation Science Standards are awful.