Friday, 15 September 2017

Nebraska Education Department Committing Suicide

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Living in extremely liberal Massachusetts, this writer expects (hopes?) that fellow Americans in our nation’s midsection still possess enough good sense to reject leftist policies and trends. Looking over the region not close to either east or west coast lunacies, the perception is that traditional political, economic, and cultural standards haven’t been jettisoned. States such as Nebraska, for one, seem far enough away from the coasts to resist joining the mob and plunging off a cliff into political correctness and its ideological offshoots.

But on September 8 by a vote of 6 to 1, Nebraska’s Board of Education approved new science standards that have conservatives outraged. In 2012, the education watchdog Thomas B. Fordham Foundation said of the Cornhusker state’s science standards for primary and secondary schooling:

The Nebraska science standards are inadequate in nearly every way. They lack sufficient depth and breadth at every grade span, and critically important areas receive woefully inadequate attention — or are completely absent.... Taken as a whole, Nebraska’s science standards do not articulate nearly enough of what students need to know and be able to do.

Local civil engineer Henry W. Burke found that the 2017 Nebraska Science Standards are based on the failed Nebraska 2010 Science Standards. He fought unsuccessfully to alert DoE members about the deficiencies of these newly conceived standards. With bachelor and masters degrees and 45 years of experience in his field, he felt sufficiently qualified to register an opinion about the matter. He concluded that the state’s Department of Education was being asked to approve standards that are “more interested in promoting global warming and climate change than providing an academic understanding of science.”

After studying what was being considered by his state’s education board, Burke added a further opinion: “Global warming is presented as if it was proven science, rather than political narrative. This global warming agenda permeates the Science Standards from kindergarten through high school.” “These standards,” stated Burke, “do not present an objective, academically-based and scientifically-based approach to the topics.”

The veteran civil engineer recommended looking at his Internet posting as he addressed the matter of carbon dioxide being a significant culprit:

When it comes to global warming, raw subjectivity has replaced scientific method. Many scientists and researchers began with preconceived notions and theories and then proceeded to find ways to support them. Ideology is controlling the conclusions instead of true science. No authentic scientific data proves that there is a correlation between man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming.

Backed by numerous representatives of the state’s colleges and universities Omaha World-Herald reporter Joe Dejka wrote approvingly of the decision adopting the new standards. He correctly noted that, in addition to worries about global warming, students would also be exposed to insistence that evolution is a fact, rather than what many believe it to be a widely discredited theory.

The new standards for Nebraska schools will not be reviewed for another seven years. The conclusion: Nebraska has joined the left wing in the world of education. Watch for some parents to opt out and consider homeschooling.

A great home schooling alternative is our affiliate FreedomProject Academy. Learn more about the online school today!

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the Fordham Foundation quote was from 2012.

 

John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society. This column appeared originally at the insideJBS blog and is reprinted here with permission.

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