Drag Queen Story Time at the Public Library
Libraries across the nation are inviting cross-dressing men to read to children, sometimes from books about “alternative lifestyles,” and sometimes from traditional children’s books. Parents bring their children to the events, enthusiastically embracing exposing their children to this sort of “diversity.”
On September 30, 2017, at the St. Louis Central Public Library, Desiré Declyne, whose real name is Zachary Alan Lee, read Giraffes Can’t Dance to young children. In the part of the book that says the giraffe was “clumsy,” the reader told the children and parents, “That looked like me my first time in heels.”
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “Following the end of story time, children filed out to decorate their own crowns made of paper, and many waited for pictures with the special guests.” One parent who attended said, “We’re a queer family.” She continued, “It’s good to see people who are different and like us.”
The St. Louis newspaper article says, “The library’s first-ever drag queen story time was an opportunity to show children about the importance of diversity and inclusion, said Jen Hatton, spokeswoman for the library.” The article’s author referred to it as a “playful event.” (9-30-17)
In California’s Central Valley
In Stockton, California, on December 17, the San Joaquin County Public Library and two other organizations sponsored a “Drag Queen Storytime.”
The flyer for the event said:
“Join us for a morning filled with stories, snacks, and activities, all put on by Drag Queens. Your child will hear stories about diversity, gender expression, and how to be who they really are! Filled with sing-alongs and crafts; this is a fun, free event for families of all backgrounds, and kids under 10.”
The Stockton event was co-sponsored by and held at the offices of the San Joaquin Pride Center. Their website says: “The mission of the San Joaquin Pride Center is to serve the diverse LGBTQQIA [Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Allies] community in San Joaquin County and the surrounding areas by creating a safe and welcoming space, by providing resources that enrich body, mind and spirit, and by educating the public in tolerance and respect for all people within the LGBTQQIA community.”
The third Stockton event sponsor was SJ Kids, also known as First 5. Here is the history of SJ Kids, as stated on the About Us page of their website:
“In 1998 voters passed Proposition 10, adding a 50-cent tax to each pack of cigarettes sold to fund early childhood development programs throughout the state. With this funding, First 5 San Joaquin provides financial support for critical programs such as health, preschool, and literacy programs, to ensure programs effectively meet the needs of families.”
First 5 San Joaquin County or SJ Kids website is SJCkids.org, with the initials standing for San Joaquin County. The email address is SJkids@sjgov.org, a county government web address. The website also states, “Working in partnership with San Joaquin County agencies and organizations, First 5 San Joaquin fosters the active participation of parents, caregivers, educators, and community members in the lives of young children, prenatal to five years old.”
Is anyone in California asking if a Drag Queen Story Time is what voters envisioned when they approved the tax hike to fund early childhood development?
Embraced by Michigan
The first Drag Queen Storytime in Michigan took place in December in a community north of Detroit. The event in Huntington Woods in Oakland County was scheduled to be held at the library but when the expected turnout exceeded capacity, it was moved to the recreation center. Nearly 100 children attended with their families. Similar events were scheduled for January and February of 2018.
Youth Services Director Joyce Krom invited the drag queens “to read and sing stories with children.” Krom says there is “tremendous support for this,” adding that she believes, “We are in the midst of a cultural shift.” She says, “We have had some push-back, but it was far outweighed by the positive responses.”
One of the presenters, Miss Raven, “wearing a white gown and sparkling tiara,” told the gathering, “Growing up, I was a Princess Boy. And people would laugh at me.” The presenter also said, “This crown is because I like to be proud, and you should be proud of yourself and proud of your friends, too.” Miss Raven also said, “We have to start at a young age so they can know about acceptance.” (Oakland County Times, 12-15-17)
Men wearing evening gowns, make-up, high heels, and tiaras are not only supposed to be accepted, they are to be praised and celebrated by our youngest, most impressionable citizens. This is promoted by public libraries that are taxpayer-supported governmental entities.
Reliable Colleges are Often Christian and Affordable
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) is an organization representing more than 150 colleges that offer a “Christ-centered higher education.” CCCU reports its institutions “experienced nearly an 18% growth in first-time, full-time enrollment from 2003 to 2015.”
According to U.S. News and World Report, costs at the 135 CCCU schools that submitted tuition and fee data to the magazine showed their price tags to be more than 20% cheaper than other private institutions.
Students choose Christian colleges because they are often more affordable and sometimes offer degrees that students seek and can’t find elsewhere. But Shirley Hoogstra, the president of CCCU, says students and their parents also like the match between academics and faith. She says, “People pick institutions where their values match.” (U.S. News & World Report, 12-6-17)
No matter the cost, as more people become aware of the leftist indoctrination that is ubiquitous on some college campuses, more seek schools where young people can grow into adulthood without the pressure to accept things that may run counter to their family culture and their own best interests.
Grove City College is located about an hour north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was established in 1876. The college website says they “seek to be faithful to our mission to equip students to pursue their unique callings through an academically excellent and Christ-centered learning and living experience.” Affiliate clubs not only include College Republicans but also College Democrats, which claims to be “loyal opposition” and to promote “a balance of ideas and a respect for all opinions.”
The college has nearly 28,000 alumni and well-regarded programs in liberal arts and the sciences, along with business, communications, and music, and includes extensive teacher training programs from preschool to high school.
Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. and is that state’s largest university. The school offers 550 programs of study, and has a school of medicine and a law school. There are about 15,000 students at the Virginia campus but the school teaches more than 47,050 undergraduate students, including those who study online. Liberty began its distance-learning program in 1985, back when the program meant that VHS tapes of lectures were physically mailed to students.
Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 and is now non-denominational. Tuition and fees for Liberty’s 2017-2018 academic year are $24,304, which is nearly 30% lower than the $34,699 average at other private institutions.
Wyoming Catholic College (WCC) graduated its first class in 2011, making it one of the newest colleges in the nation. It has what is called a Great Books Curriculum, with no majors, minors, or specialized degrees. Located in Lander, Wyoming, the college awards students a B.A. in Liberal Arts. Students who attend Wyoming Catholic College might look around and actually see the Rocky Mountains near the campus due to the school’s technology policy. Cell phones, televisions, and other gadgets are not in use on campus, with few exceptions for email or research. As the school’s website states:
“Cell phones long ago ceased to be a ‘useful tool’ and began to constitute a person’s social identity — or at least the chatter that passes for identity. WCC’s campus culture creates a unique setting for students to retreat and hear each other, not to mention the still, small voice of God, instead of the din and distraction they leave behind.”
In 2016, Wyoming Catholic became the second U.S. college to accept the Classic Learning Test or CLT as an admissions alternative to the SAT or ACT. Almost 100 colleges now accept the CLT, as more and more people realize that the SAT and ACT tests have been adversely affected by their alignment with Common Core standards.
Homeschool: Teach Them To Love Learning
As more parents and students become disenchanted with public schools, the number of homeschoolers is increasing. The first question those who consider homeschooling often ask is “how do we do this?” There are many ways to homeschool but most people choose from among a few options.
One choice is unschooling. The term might seem to indicate that parents who unschool don’t educate their children, but that’s not the case. This option allows students the maximum amount of self-direction but also necessitates much parental involvement. With no set curriculum, the parent provides resources according to what the child finds interesting. If a third-grade student becomes fascinated with sea shells, all kinds of information and activities related to that subject must be located and offered for study. Some parental direction is integral to the method; unschooling parents don’t fail to teach a child how to read simply because the child hasn’t shown interest in reading. Choosing to unschool doesn’t mean choosing to be irresponsible.
Classical education is another way to homeschool. A popular program is Classical Conversations (CC), which involves heavy emphasis on memorization and oral presentations, even for young children. The model’s theme is Classical, Christian, and Community. There are CC groups that meet weekly in cities and towns across the nation. The best way for a family to find out if this might suit their needs is to attend an open house about the method. There are online CC options available.
Classical education unrelated to Classical Conversations can best be understood by reading Susan Wise Bauer’s book The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. It was published in 1999 and most recently revised in 2009. Bauer is a professor of English at the College of William and Mary and a leader in the classical homeschool movement, which holds that young students should focus heavily on math, reading, and writing. This gives them the tools to learn other areas of study. Bauer’s book offers extensive resources for studying various subjects, including literature, history, and science.
Another homeschool option is based on themes or topics; it is sometimescalled Unit Studies. If a family chooses Egypt as a topic, subjects including history, spelling, math, and reading will be based on ancient Egypt. Children might learn about the construction of the pyramids; some of their spelling words would be based on the topic; math might center around the height of pyramids or how long it would take to get from one city to another in ancient Egypt, as well as methods of travel; geography would include the topography of the area and the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
The Montessori Method of homeschooling is done with manipulative materials that help children learn through doing. Depending on the age of the child, this might involve tracing sandpaper letters, working with number rods, or if the child is a preschooler, giving a doll a bath at a “practical life” station. Like other methods of homeschooling, pre-owned materials can be purchased from other homeschool families who have finished with them. Reading Maria Montessori’s own work is a good place to start; this would help parents to determine if her views about “follow the child” align with their family culture.
Charlotte Mason is another homeschool powerhouse. Some will choose to read the works of this author, but others will find the 100-year-old language daunting. The popular interpretation by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay titled For the Children’s Sake is engaging and accessible. The Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling is based on great literature and the outdoors. Children read or are read great works and spend lots of time outside exploring; they draw and describe what they observe. There are Charlotte Mason groups in communities that gather for nature studies and other activities.
Some families choose an online program, some of which are run by corporations. The largest of these is K12, which operates as a for-profit corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It has been around since 1999 and might not be what those who seek to remove their children from the rigamarole of public school seek. K12 must satisfy its investors, as well as parents and students.
Another online option is Freedom Project Academy (FPA). According to its website, it is a fully accredited program “rooted firmly in the Judeo-Christian values as promoted in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, who strove to guarantee the preservation of our God-given liberties.” FPA was founded in 2011 and is expanding as it is adopted by homeschoolers, churches, and private schools. FPA offers instruction, grading, and testing. It does not rely on Common Core or other state mandates. (FPEUSA.org)
Programs like Charlotte Mason and unschooling require the choice of a math program. There are myriad math books and materials available. Some parents prefer Abeka, which was created at Pensacola Christian College and has options for preschoolers through 12th graders. There is also Saxon Math, which is available as close as the local Barnes and Noble bookstore. Other homeschool families like Right Start Math for their children, or Math-U-See, which involves experiencing and manipulating materials, similar to but not the same as Montessori materials.
Keep Calm and Proceed Little by Little
Parents need not be overwhelmed by the decisions they’ll make. Experienced homeschoolers suggest taking it slowly and not making a large commitment to any particular style or curriculum right away. It is advisable to work in smaller timeframes, looking at what is needed today and next week, or even next month, and avoiding any urge to make long-range decisions for a future that is years away.
Homeschool families say to keep in mind that different children within a family learn differently, so what works for one child may not be the best choice for another.
It is important that parents try not to become overwhelmed. Attend local homeschool community fairs. Network with other homeschool families from the neighborhood or church. Don’t be afraid to try different options and to ditch those that may work for others but aren’t working for your family.
Most methods of homeschooling involve books, materials, and supplies. Although some workbooks need to be new and unused, other literature curricula is available at local libraries or can be purchased at used book stores or from online resellers.
A main goal to keep in mind is to do nothing that makes a child lose his/her innate desire to learn. Children learn to hate school and that’s what parents must try hardest to avoid. Relaxed parents who enjoy educating their children are critical to the children remaining eager to learn.
Homeschooling is as individual as each child. Most families choose homeschooling in order to avoid the cookie-cutter atmosphere of thirty or more children in a one-size-fits-all classroom. Be confident that as parents you will know what is best for your child.
When a teacher told students in his southeast Los Angeles County classroom that members of the military were “the lowest of the low,” his rant was caught on tape. Gregory Salcido, who taught history at El Rancho High School, the same school from which he had graduated, was fired by the district after news of his comments spread and were found to be unacceptable by many. He told his students various things, including that those who join the military are not “high level thinkers,” and “they’re dumb.” (Los Angeles Times, 3-20-18)
“News reports in 2014 celebrated ‘the first clear evidence that America’s youngest children have turned a corner in the obesity epidemic.’” But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), those reports were wrong. Examination of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that although it was earlier suggested that childhood obesity had declined, it has not. An AAP journal report says, “The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States remains high, with 1 in 5 children having obesity.” Obesity trends remain high for both young children and adolescents. (Pediatrics, 12-14-17)
At the end of last year, Moody’s Investors Service changed and downgraded its ranking of higher education from stable to a negative rating. Their statement read in part, “The annual change in aggregate operating revenue for four-year colleges and universities will soften to about 3.5% and not keep pace with expense growth.” The Hechinger Report elaborated, “The comprehensive fee – tuition, fees, room and board – will approach $70,000 a year at a number of high sticker priced colleges and universities.” Hechinger Report continued, “Students and their families are voting with their feet, with 46% of first-time students beginning or having had some experience in community colleges.” (Moodys.com, 12-5-17 and HechingerReport.org, 2-22-18)
Book of the Month
Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, Israel Wayne, Master Books, 2018, $12.99
Israel Wayne’s newest book is much more than a defense of the decision to homeschool; it is a comprehensive guide for parents and others interested in a movement that is sweeping the nation.
Wayne and his wife are both homeschool graduates who have chosen home education for their nine children. For more than twenty years, Israel has shared their journey in his writing and speaking engagements.
The author had pioneering parents who began homeschooling their children in 1978. Starting with the basics of legal hurdles and state requirements, Wayne guides parents through the why and the how of at-home education. He explains that homeschooling doesn’t mean “sheltering” children from the “real world.” He busts myths about the lack of socialization among those who are homeschooled and offers parents assurance that they are indeed qualified to teach their own children.
It might seem daunting to remove a child from government schools, but for some it is difficult to imagine leaving their offspring’s education up to the system currently in place. Teachers unions, schools of education, and political indoctrination in the classroom create situations many families wish to avoid. Home educators of all political, religious, and philosophical stripes choose to decide who influences their children, at what age they’ll be introduced to certain topics, and how the flow of learning matches with each individual child’s stage of development.
The author’s previous book, Education: Does God Have an Opinion? might help Christian families, the majority of which still choose public schools, be more aware of the impact that choice has on their family culture.
To encourage parents who worry that they don’t know “everything,” Wayne assures them that no one does. He also reminds them, “No one knows your child, or cares about him, more than you do.” He says, “One of the most important things is that you don’t destroy your child’s love of learning.”
The book provides a brief introduction to many homeschool options and lists the “upsides” and “downsides” of each. For example, what he calls “curriculum in a box” can be expensive but it offers the structure parents might crave, especially at first. Online education is easier on parents but they give up much personal involvement.
This book recognizes brave parents like Wayne’s own who fought “the authorities” when homeschooling was illegal. It is important that everyone, homeschoolers or not, carefully protect parents’ rights to make decisions about their own children.
FOCUS: Ten Reasons to Reject NGSS Common Core Science Standards
by Christel Swasey
A version of this article was posted at Common Core: Education Without Representation (WhatIsCommonCore.wordpress.com) on January 18, 2018. Reprinted with permission.
What’s wrong with common Next Generation Science Standards? Aren’t they just a modern, scientific update for K-12 education? No, they are not.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aren’t standards to which anyone should aspire — not even those who support global warming and evolution curricula, and not even those who believe that standardizing education nationally and globally is a good idea.
It’s a matter of huge consequence whether to give away the power of finding and defining learning for children and to instead have it be determined by a corporate-federal partnership’s board meeting. NGSS are a bad idea.
Here are ten reasons states should reject NGSS.
1. NGSS Dodges Math
NGSS standards were rated a “C” by The Thomas B. Fordham Institute (EdExcellence.net). Fordham says states seeking science standards updates should check out Massachusetts’, South Carolina’s, and Washington D.C.’s superior science standards. They say, “NGSS aren’t the only alternative and, in the judgment of our reviewers, they aren’t nearly as strong as the best that some states developed on their own. A state with shoddy science standards should also consider replacing them with those of another state that’s done this well.”
What was Fordham’s “C” rating of NGSS based upon? Its review includes the following:
• “Our expert team was disappointed by what they found, and didn’t find, by way of math, especially in relation to physics and chemistry…”
• “Far too much essential science content was either missing entirely or merely implied.”
• “There is virtually no mathematics, even at the high school level, where it is essential to the learning of physics and chemistry. Rather, the standards seem to assiduously dodge the mathematical demands inherent in the subjects covered.”
And then there is this:
• “Where NGSS expectations require math in order to fully understand the science content, that math goes well beyond what students would have learned in classrooms aligned to the Common Core.”
2. NGSS is Common Core For Science — From The Same Funders and Developers
The Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core were each birthed and funded by Achieve, Inc., with the Gates Foundation. It’s no secret: NGSS boasts of being aligned with
Common Core. See Appendix A #7, which states: “The NGSS and Common Core State Standards (English Language Arts and Mathematics) are aligned.”
Achieve, which is the architect of Common Core English and math standards, is the developer and partner of NGSS science standards “on behalf of the lead states and other partners.” NGSS explains: “Achieve is leading the effort… Achieve coordinated the second phase of the NGSS development process.”
3. NGSS Scrambles and “Integrates” Science
A Common Core-shared attribute of NGSS science is the integrating of science subjects.
This means dissolving distinct classes in biology, chemistry, physics, etc., as we know them today, to be replaced by concept-based (not math-based) integrated science. At every grade level, children will be taught a watery version of these integrated subjects. This dilutes the expertise of teachers who must change from teaching the richness of biology or chemistry or physics, to teaching a simplified, mostly “mathless” conceptual mix of all the science subjects integrated at all grade levels.
4. NGSS Threatens Inquiry for Students
NGSS standards for sixth graders include this: “design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment.”
The assumption that minimizing human impact on the environment is always the right thing to do is unscientific. Think of all the remarkable human decisions that have blessed the earth’s environment. The assumption that humans should be monitored is politically and academically narrow-minded.
How can students learn the scientific method — creating hypotheses then proving or disproving theories with evidence, reason, and intellectual debate — when NGSS holds assumptions and many scientific theories as already settled science?
NGSS sets into concrete certain things that the scientific community has not settled. Is global warming a theory or a fact? Is Darwinian evolution one of many theories, or is it a fact? Is the idea that humans are to be blamed for the globe’s problems a settled science, or a fact? Is the theory of intelligent design (God) a scientifically mentionable, debatable question, or a settled fact?
Even though I side with intelligent design (a literal, actual God) I would not force this belief or its opposite into the science curriculum as the only allowable conversation. Scientific, political, and religious freedoms demand open-minded discussion and debate.
But NGSS frowns upon this.
Some who believe that NGSS is just “updating” school science say that any opposition to NGSS comes from closed-minded creation believers who want to push their religions into schools. But both Darwinian evolutionists and Bible-based creationists should hope for freedom of thought and of scientific inquiry and debate.
Otherwise, there’s no freedom nor true science at all — just dogma.
5. NGSS Actually Opposes Objectivity
In Kansas, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) sued the state for adopting NGSS because of a lack of objectivity. The lawsuit wasn’t based on the idea that NGSS dismisses intelligent design (creation) — although it does — but instead, was based on the idea that the NGSS promotes a religion of its own that crushes objective thought about the design and/or evolution of the earth.
So, NGSS stands accused by COPE of being its own religion (evangelizing the sustainability movement at the expense of scientific discussion) — while NGSS accuses opponents of the same thing.
Science standards should not be about Darwin vs. God. They should promote open inquiry for truth. As board member Wendy Hart of the Alpine School District in Utah wrote:
“I know many believe the opposition to NGSS is purely religious. For me, it is purely scientific. … I don’t think science standards should compel or repel belief one way or another. It is not our role as public educational entities to dictate belief systems for the students in our purview. True scientific inquiry does no such thing.”
6. NGSS Puts a Ceiling on Science Through “Assessment Boundaries”
The Fordham Institute notes that the “inclusion of assessment boundaries would place an unintended but undesirable ceiling on the curriculum that students would learn at each grade level.” Why would science standards control or limit assessment boundaries? I can only guess that the standardization of tests is more important to NGSS than the power of a student to learn science.
7. NGSS Offers No Legitimate Updates
The dull, gray flavor, language, and goals of the promotion of NGSS is the same as for Common Core. For example, “The NGSS are designed to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship” and “Science concepts in NGSS build coherently from K-12.”
If NGSS came up with the idea of preparing kids for college, what were classic science standards doing before now? How did our previous standards manage to churn out Nobel Laureate scientists and amazing U.S. astronauts, doctors, and engineers? Were former science standards an incoherent scrambled mess? Are we helpless without top-down education dictators? The truth is that this is not an update to science, but a skewing of it, to become a political tool to influence young people.
8. NGSS Deletes Learning
Fordham notes, “Far too much essential science content was either missing entirely or merely implied.” NGSS literally deletes some scientific subjects, and grossly minimizes others. This is probably the most egregious and grimly ironic of NGSS’s academic crimes.
What does that deletion of science look like up close?
Dana Wilde, a science teacher from Morgan County, Utah, wrote:
“My biggest concern with the NGSS is that key science concepts are missing… Why is matter and energy repeated throughout 6th-8th grade as almost an overkill of that subject, whereas other key science concepts are completely removed from the new standards? This is very concerning to me as a 6th-grade science teacher… Virtually all the science concepts we have been teaching in 6th grade are not part of the new standards, with the exception of heat energy. The new standards are very environmentally heavy and move [away] from talking about microbes, heat, light, sound energy, space, and astronomy to mostly global warming and human impact on the environment… The new proposed standards are not exciting topics for 11- and 12-year-olds, nor are students mature enough at this age to sift through all the information and misinformation that is out there about global warming (one of the performance tasks required in the new drafts). It’s not that I don’t think students should learn about these topics, it’s that I don’t believe it should be in the 6th-grade curriculum… I believe the Next Generation Science Standards were not written by anyone who has spent the last 20 years in a room full of 6th graders.”
Another 5th- and 6th-grade science teacher from southern Utah, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote a letter to Utah’s superintendent, which included the following:
“I don’t have faith that those of us that have a different opinion will be allowed to voice our opinions without repercussions… I love helping young people discover their potential, but these standards are stifling my ability to do just that. I will never sabotage my students’ learning for a political agenda….”
This teacher’s letter listed three examples of political sabotage in specific sections of the new science standards:
6.2.4: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century
6.4.1: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment
6.4.3: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
The teacher continued:
“These are very odd requirements to put in 6th-grade science standards. These belong in a college level environmental debate class, not in a 6th-grade classroom. I have seen the other NGSS standards for the lower grades, and they do not allow a teacher to delve deep into each concept. They require a very shallow teaching of the standards. I understand that the theory behind this is that each year will build on the previous year. That is not how younger minds work. Students need an understanding that they can take with them.”
A science and math teacher who has been compelled to teach Common Core math and NGSS science standards at Mar Vista Heights High School in Imperial Beach, California, wrote, “At the high school level, NGSS standards require integrated science, just like Common Core requires integrated math. My school tried integrated math in the 1990’s and abandoned it as a bad idea.”
The California teacher continued: “However, science is different than math. Most math teachers have enough background in algebra, geometry, and statistics to teach any level of integrated math. It is the rare science teacher who has expertise in all science domains: earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics.”
This teacher also said:
“NGSS writers posited that chemistry and physics principles like Newton’s laws, the gas laws, and atomic structure would be so thoroughly apprehended by 8th grade that it would not be necessary to teach them in high school. In high school, students are to create reports and videos that explain the energy transformations behind global warming and how Darwin’s laws of evolution correctly explain the development of life. There are almost no high school chemistry or physics standards in NGSS.
I personally believe that the existence of global warming caused by human activity (burning fossil fuels) is settled science. I also think Darwin was a gifted scientific observer, whose theory of evolution is well-founded. On the other hand, why overweight the standards with these two controversial topics? I am not saying ignore them, but they are central to these new science standards and they do not need to be.
NGSS was never pilot tested and was rushed into existence before people had a chance to vet it. Therefore, NGSS is full of errors and horribly misaligned. NGSS is another of those dreams held by a rich powerful man that has been ramrodded into existence. Louis Gerstner, the former CEO of IBM, started campaigning for these standards in 1995. In 1996, he talked the National Governors Association into making him chairman of a new non-profit named Achieve Incorporated. Achieve was charged with making his standards dream a reality… Like Gates’s Common Core, Gerstner’s NGSS is terrible education policy that came about because America’s democratic process and the principal of local control of education were sundered.”
Julie King, a PTA mom who serves on the Community Council in Utah’s Alpine School District, wrote, “There are holes in the NGSS. There is a lack of computer science as well as chemistry, and the lack of any human anatomy is what raises a red flag for me. Why would we completely eliminate human anatomy?”
“There is obvious bias in the standards… Part of true science is being willing to question things and doubt. We need to look at what our focus is. When there are over 50 mentions of climate change and only one reference to electric circuits, we are overemphasizing one idea and excluding others. Am I ok with my kids learning about climate change? Absolutely! But I am not okay with my kindergartener being asked to solve global warming. The following is a kindergarten standard: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.”
King concludes kindergarten should “largely be about reading and learning to follow rules.” She says kindergarten science should be about “the five senses, weather, and the life cycle of a butterfly and ladybug. Maybe planting seeds and learning about how plants grow.”
Visit NGSS’s vague and hogwashy website. Doesn’t it sound scienc-y and savvy? How can a math-slaying, science-erasing set of science standards look so slick?
Now visit a state office of education’s website for evidence that NGSS is being used. It’s hard to find. States know that the public is against common standards as a movement. In my state, the officials pretend they have no intentions of using NGSS. But that’s not really so.
To silence its critics, NGSS will call critics unfashionable, or religious, or stupid. Utah’s superintendents promised citizens that they’d never adopt common science standards but they are in the process of doing just that. In fact, for some grade levels, Utah’s been secretively using NGSS for years. Extreme dishonesty has been going on at the Utah state office of education concerning science standards. But why the state office chooses to hide its headlong dive into using the common NGSS science standards is a mystery; another mystery is why teachers and parents have not already risen up in absolute rebellion against NGSS.
10. NGSS Removes Local Control
Maybe most importantly of all, NGSS removes our ability to choose. We give decision-making power away when we adopt distally controlled national standards. Like the math and English Common Core standards, the NGSS science standards are locked up by the people who made them, and are double bolted by the tests and curriculum to which they are aligned.
A local, nobel prize-winning scientist or a state superintendent or a dad or mom will have absolutely no say in what students will learn as truth when we’re all shackled to NGSS. NGSS-based tests may label your child or your school as incompetent if he or she has freedom of thought that goes beyond NGSS “scientific” assumptions and standards.
The U.S. Constitution is still the supreme law of this land. That means people, not bureaucrats or corporations, are to have the governing power over their own lives — and it means that education is to be a local issue, not determined by federal authority or corporate greed and the political goals of Microsoft, Pearson, and the United Nations.
NGSS is no friend of local control.
Utah and other state offices of education may believe that saying “no” to common science standards is too much like swimming upstream. That would be because of the standardization of education data standards, the standardization of unconstitutional federal mandates and the conditional money that comes with them, and the standardization of federally approved school testing.
Maybe we don’t believe anymore that we have the power to say no. Maybe we believe other people are better off deciding for us what’s best for us. If so, we are wrong.
We can say no by standing up and making our voices heard.
Christel Lane Swasey is a Utah credentialed 1st-grade to post-secondary teacher who has taught in a variety of settings, including public and charter schools and at Utah Valley University. She writes the blog Common Core: Education Without Representation, found at WhatIsCommonCore.wordpress.com.