Next Generation Science Standards
New Proposed Science Standards for Utah
The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) held a series of meetings and an on-line comment period to hear public reaction to the controversial Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) proposed for use in Utah.
The NGSS are basically Common Core for Science: fundamentally flawed standards that were nationally developed yet deceptively sold to us as a Utah product.
Standards Development and Content
- Common Core for Science
- Just as happened with the Common Core Math and English standards, the USOE has tried to claim these nationally developed standards were created in Utah. However, repesentatives of the USOE have since publicly admitted that teachers will not use the draft standards currently available in the review period and will instead use the official full version NGSS.
- See video from April 28 Public Meeting in Vernal that shows this as well as a good summary of the Science Standards process HERE
- While some in the USOE have admitted the standards that will be used are the NGSS, others still try to claim the draft standards available for review will be used instead of the NGSS. However, this point is meaningless because the only real difference between the draft standards and the NGSS is that many sections have been renumbered and rearranged. The actual content remains essentially unchanged.
- Side by side comparison showing extensive use of the NGSS verbatim in the supposedly Utah created standards HERE
- The NGSS do not officially include the name Common Core, but they were developed by the same company (Achieve, Inc) and have the same effect: fundamentally flawed standards that were nationally developed yet deceptively sold to us as a Utah product.
- Inferior Standards
Source: Fordham Insititute Review
- Rated Utah's current standards as "clearly superior" to the proposed NGSS standards.
- Of particular concern is this statement in their review regarding the controversial Common Core Math Standards:
"Also problematic is the alignment of NGSS math with the Common Core State Standards for mathematics."
- Questionable Content
- NGSS is not scientifically neutral or objective. The NGSS framework and Standards promote secular humanism, essentially anti-religion as a religion.
- The Utah State Superintendent, Brad Smith, admitted at an education forum recently held at Westlake HS that some of the standards present a one-sided view of issues, but he hopes to "tweak" the standards to make them acceptable.
- One of the NGSS reviewers, Ze'ev Wurman, testified before the Ohio House of Representatives that the NGSS will creator science consumers, not science creators.
"The proposed New Generation Science Standards are flawed and aimed at preparing science and technology consumers rather than technology creators. They offer a false promise of enhancing STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] preparedness..."Source
- The NGSS have been rejected in South Carolina, Wyoming, and Ohio, with a lawsuit pending in Kansas over them.
- Examples of Teacher and Parent Feedback from Wyoming NGSS Review Period
- From Judy H, a grandmother and former teacher:
... said her concern is about objectivity. She pointed out that NGSS addresses the religious questions “Where do we come from and what is the nature of life?” Judy said the standards “then use a doctrine/rule [methodological naturalism] that permits only materialistic or functionally atheistic answers.” Three specific areas of concern were mentioned: “evolution is taught as fact; global warming/climate change is taught as fact; emphasis [is on] the negative impact of humans on the earth.” She stated that the standards “seek to infuse students with a particular political view regarding climate change, sustainability, renewable energy and other environmental matters.”
- From Terri B,
“Fordham Institute shows concern at every level of K-12,” she said. She specifically mentioned high school chemistry and physics as weak areas in NGSS, as well as the lack of mathematics. Referencing a lack of clarity in the standards, Terri asked: “How can a standard that is vague, poorly worded, cumbersome and difficult to navigate be the best?”
- From Cynthia M, a mother and former public school teacher:
She argued that the standards “indoctrinate children with assumed conclusions about politically charged issues.”
- From Judy H, a grandmother and former teacher:
What Can I Do?
The State School meets Thursday August 6th to vote on adoption of the NGSS. Please contact your board member immediately and ask them to vote against the adoption of these standards. We should be seeking to improve our current standards that are already superior to the NGSS, not throwing them out and moving backwards. Find out who your State School board member is here and their contact information here.
On-line Public Comments
On April 9th, the Utah State Board of Education announced a 90-day Public review period for the standards.
5 public meetings were held throughout the state discussing the standards.
- Thursday, April 23, 2015.
Washington School District Office Board Room
121 Tabernacle St., St. George, UT 84770
(Enter through front side doors)
- Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Uintah School District Office Board Room
635 West 200 South, Vernal, UT 84078
- Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Provo School District District Office
280 West 940 North, Provo, Utah, 84604
- Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Cache County School District Office
2063 North 1200 East, North Logan, UT 84341
- Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Salt Lake Center for Science Education Media Center
1400 Goodwin Ave., Salt Lake City Utah, UT 84116