Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
Random header image... Refresh for more!
Make a blogger happy, come back. Sign up for email post alerts!

Common Gore

No, that is not a typo. Common Core has now rolled out a science curriculum for elementary and high school that will warm the cockles of Al Gore’s heart, without, of course, producing any green house gases. This is not the place to guess what other noxious substances Mr. Gore generates. Some will recall that in 2007 Al Gore predicted that by 2014 all Arctic ice would be gone. Now, of course, we know that NASA Satellite photos taken in August of 2013 revealed a 60% increase in the polar ice sheet.

MoS2 Template Master

The Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) is heavy on Gore and progressive pedagogy and light on science. It belongs to the Gore and Obama school of, “The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

Heather MacDonald writes in National Review On Line:

The National Research Council framework for K-12 science education recommends that by the end of Grade 5, students should appreciate that rising average global temperatures will affect the lives of all humans and other organisms on the planet. By Grade 8, students should understand that the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels is a major factor in global warming. And by Grade 12, students should know that global climate models are very effective in modeling, predicting and managing the current and future impact of climate change.

The New York Times reported that one of the authors of the NGSS boasted…

… that teachers may well wind up covering fewer subjects, but digging more deeply into the ones they do cover. In some cases, traditional classes like biology and chemistry may disappear entirely from high schools, replaced by courses that use a case-study method to teach science in a more holistic way.

How eliminating these subjects will help prepare students for college was neither asked nor answered. Note to parents: whenever you hear “holistic” approach be aware that inconvenient facts are often omitted. That should be as much a warning signal as the touting of “critical thinking skills,” which often involve carefully selected “problem solving” based on leftist premises.

Even the Fordham Foundation, a Common Core advocate and apologist, finds the NGSS seriously deficient in “essential content.” A few excerpts from Fordham’s Final Evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards support their finding.

Grade to grade progression is also lacking. The result being that “some content that was never explicitly stated in earlier grades was never the less assumed in later grades.”

Recommended “practices’ dominate the NGSS relegating essential knowledge, which should be the goal of science education, to secondary status.

Fordham’s physics and chemistry reviewers determined:

In reality, 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…

On the question of whether the new standards prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses, Fordham answers “no.”

…(T)he content of NGSS itself fails to ensure that all students will be equipped with sufficient content to make real the option of taking more advanced courses in the STEM disciplines.”

As for the progressive pedagogy incorporated in NGSS, Fordham observes:

The purpose of K-2 science standards, therefore, is not primarily to encourage mastery of “practices” or to encourage “inquiry based learning.” Rather, the purpose is to build knowledge first so that students will have the storehouse of information and understanding that they need to engage in the scientific reasoning and higher level thinking that we want for all students.

That NGSS shares the deficiencies of Common Core math and English Language Arts (ELA) standards is not a coincidence. In an earlier post, WWTFT reported that James Milgram, professor emeritus at Stanford University who served on the Common Core Validation Committee, found that:

“The Core Mathematics Standards are written to reflect very low expectations and are as “non-challenging as possible ” He declined to approve them. Jason Zimba, lead writer of the math standards was pressed to admit, “If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need more mathematics than is in Common Core.”

Others have criticized ELA standards for a truncated approach that does not prepare students for college. Where the NGSS standards fail to ready students for STEM, the LEA emphasizes informational texts at the expense of the culturally and historically significant literature that is supposed to be taught in high school English classes.

In summary, The NGSS serves two purposes: it is a vehicle for inculcating K-12 students with the Common Gore agenda and to level education to serve the progressive agenda of “a homogenized education system that smoothes out the disparities in achievement by placing more emphasis on ‘critical thinking’ than on objective valuation of knowledge.” (Jane Robbins, author of Uncommonly Bad, Academic Questions, Spring 2013.)

To borrow a line from that earlier WWTFT post:

“That probably isn’t what most people thought the president meant by “closing the achievement gap.”


1 Herbert R. { 06.28.15 at 5:56 pm }

So-called scientific laws are based on the statistical assumption that the universe, which operates according to a fixed norm, will continue to do so. Science can observe, classify, describe, and apply these normative operations, but is powerless to control them.


2 Marcia { 07.05.15 at 1:58 pm }

But is the goal really to mitigate global warming/climate change? Or is the progressive agenda to level nations as well as individuals? Saddling America with economically devastating environmental laws and regulations would certainly accomplish the latter. No doubt there are true believers who nod and look concerned when Obama says of global warming, “no greater threat faces the nation.” But given the real and imminent hazards of ISIS, nuclear proliferation, and lurking insolvency, crediting Obama and his minions with veracity is more difficult than to believe they have another agenda.


Leave a Comment