"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Utah's New Science Standards: National and Lower Quality

You have until Monday, November, 9th to comment on the proposed Utah Science Standards that are, essentially, the Next Generation Science Standards. 

Please watch and share this video, and then comment for our State Board. 

Why The Next Generation Science Standards Are Wrong For Utah

Comment here: http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/science/Revision.aspx  Even though, the form requests specific comments on specific standards, it is perfectly acceptable to provide general comments on the standards as a whole or the process as a whole.

Unless massive amounts of people speak up, the adoption of these standards is already a done deal.

The legislature has made public comment and parent committees a requirement, since We, the People, complained about this lack when the Common Core standards were adopted.  Take advantage of the opportunity to weigh in on what our children should learn about science in this state, and how much of it should be exactly the same as every other state.  (Just curious how we get diversity of thought in scientific inquiry, if everyone is taught the same things in the same way?)

Here is a link to the Next Generation Science Standards that, if we adopt grades 6-8, will almost assuredly be adopted throughout K-12.  http://www.nextgenscience.org/  For fun, search certain terms in their search box to see where the emphasis of the K-12 standards would be.  Make sure to put things in quotes, e.g. "digestive system" or "climate change" or electron to look for those words as a pair.  Utah has made some adjustments, but if they are essentially NGSS, rest assured that all the materials that will be used in the classroom will be based on NGSS.  The changes Utah has made will have minimal impact.

Every set of standards, of late, that has been adopted or considered has been based on national standards.  There is no evidence that national standards improve education, but it is true that parents have less say and less impact on what is taught in their local schools the further away they are from those who make the decisions.

For more information on the standards, see my previous posts.  Please share with 5 of your friends and submit your comments to the State Board!

State Board needs to Prove the new standards are better: http://wendy4asd.blogspot.com/2015/05/state-standards-burden-of-proof-rests.html

Science is Absolute, but Man's Understanding of Science is what Shifts: A Parent Letter

NGSS and SEEd: National Science Standards?


  1. Why is Utah ingested in this? What's driving it? We desperately need more STEM students for our growing tech sector. Stop messing with education!

  2. Thank you Wendy for your diligence in researching this issue and your energy in helping to spread the word about the serious risks of adopting NGSS. I'll be sharing this post with everyone I can. Oh, and of course, the State School Board will hear from me too!

  3. As a side note, I love your sub-head quote by Thomas Jefferson.
    There is a reason why our Founders actively rejected the idea of Government Schools - Propaganda is such a slimy business.

  4. Don't indoctrinate our kids - EDUCATE them. Keep our Utah education standards in place. Lock the Washington bureaucrats and their agenda out of Utah, for good.
    Also, I'd love an UBER-like effort among parents to rectify Michelle Obama's school lunch debacle.

  5. Why are we changing something that is good. The NGSS has not been tested on children and our current standards are better. Why change? Teachers go to college and specialize in particular subjects like Chemistry, biology, etc. Under this NGSS teachers will teach all subjects of science, where they are not specialized in certain areas. How can this be better for our children. Please leave Utah's science program alone.

  6. That's the thing, I don't know. At least with CC ELA and Math, there was the Race to the Top. With this, the best I can figure is that we just don't want to be 'left behind' the rest of the states. Utah has an inferiority complex, and we just can't handle not being part of the 'popular crowd.' I keep researching and asking, and I have YET to get any sort of understanding as to why. The USOE science committee said they looked at higher ranked standards like CA and MA, and they rejected them in favor of NGSS. The best argument they could come up with was the 'cross-cutting' design of the standards, where things are more integrated and less discipline-specific. They referred to 'all the research shows' that this is the best way, but nothing more than that. No argument as to why or what the research actually pointed out. I'm stymied. And I still haven't received a response about what our standards are lacking and any evidence that the NGSS will provide it...other than cross-cutting. Starting to dislike that phrase as much as 'rigorous', and my guess is it will have as much meaning: trust us, we know better.

  7. Thank you for making this excellent video to help alert Utah parents to the problems of Next Generation Science Standards. I found it very helpful and will forward it to friends and neighbors.

  8. I added my comments on the survey. Thanks for the heads up.

  9. Like the others, I appreciate the the informative video. I hope everyone will take action! I believe our government would love nothing more than to "dumb down" our children. This is about control. Without great minds, great thinkers and innovators, there is very little opposition, just more people dependent on the government. I can liken this to "the parable of the boiled frog". Don't let this happen to our children!

  10. Like the others, I appreciate the information and the video. I believe our government would love nothing more than to "dumb down" our children, it's about control! Without great minds, great thinkers and innovators there's more conformity and more dependency on the government. I liken this to the "parable of the boiled frog". Don't let this happen to our children!

  11. In response to the proposed science standards, I wrote the following letter to the board yesterday: When I attended the Board of Education meeting in early February 2015, Governor Herbert’s Education Director Tami Pyfer reported the results of the governor's survey, meant to address the public's concerns of the Common Core math and language arts standards. She breezed over 4,900 objections as "philosophical" (those who "do not support the standards" and those who "do not support having uniform statewide standards"). Are you kidding me? This is not an election! You don't win by 1 vote! These are 4,900 parents and teachers around the state pleading to be heard. Is that not a weighty number? We were told that we could voice our concerns to the governor through his website. But I saw at that meeting that we were simply labelled philosophical objectors and tossed into a pile to be smirked at.

    I watched you sit in your comfy chairs during that meeting. I listened to the governor talk about the vast amounts of money his tests were bringing in. I wished I knew what was in your hearts as you listened to him. My heart was full of fear. I left that meeting in tears.

    Yesterday I went to the schools.utah.gov link to read the proposed science standards (I had tried a few months ago but left frustrated) and was again overwhelmed. Standards aren't comprehensible. I have absolutely no idea what they mean and I believe they have been intentionally written that way. Every concerned parent who tries to review them will doubtless turn away.

    I can reasonably conclude that the Utah Office of Education doesn't want my comments about the science standards. It is clear from the way the review form was created. The UOE doesn't want to hear my "philosophical objections" to cut-and-pasted, reordered, renamed national standards. It wants me to nit-pick individual standards, which I am not capable of doing. I simply can not break down a standard line-by-line and offer suggestions. You and I and they know that is not possible. The Office of Education created a clever and legal way to keep parents away from their precious national science standards. The deceit and hypocrisy are palpable.

    So what should concerned parents and tax payers of Utah do to respond to the cut-and-pasted, reordered, renamed national science standards? How do we play this game with the Utah Office of Education? How do we offer comments that will be heard? Using the only path left open to me, I am reaching out to you. Those of you elected and, therefore, accountable to me, the tax payer.

    In the most clear language I can muster, please hear me. I, parent and taxpayer in the State of Utah, vehemently oppose the adoption of ANY and EVERY national education standard. Prove to me, first, that they are worth adopting before you do so. Lose the smoke and mirrors, the vague and elusive verbiage in the standards. Show me that the standards will benefit our children. Show me that the standards are BETTER than the standards already in place in Utah. Don't do this thing unless it is the BEST choice for Utah's children.

    1. Jen, I believe you shared what a lot of us are thinking and feeling. Thank you!

  12. STOP trying to fix something that isn't broken!!! They keep trying to supposedly fix the education but they just keep making things worse just STOP! Everything they try to do just makes things worse. I would love to keep my kids in school but won't be able to if they won't be given a good education.