In my last article I exposed the outrageously alarmist 7th grade lessons on climate change just published under the so-called Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
There are now two fundamentally different systems of science education in American schools. The radical NGSS have been adopted by 20 States and so govern what about a third of our children learn in public schools. The other two thirds of America’s public school students are still under the regular standards, which have been developed over many years of practice.
To understand this strange situation it is useful to know what is taught to 7th graders under the regular standards. Several years ago I led a project that cataloged the average content of these standards for all grades. My sponsor was the US Energy Department’s Office of Science, the world’s biggest funder of research in the physical sciences.
Below are the topics that middle school students (grades 7, 8 & 9) typically cover. There is some variation from State to State but this list is a good indicator, especially because it is very different from what NGSS teaches. There is nothing at all about climate, much less scary made-up climate change.
A lot of important topics are covered, from a wide range of sciences. This is typical of every grade. There is a lot of real science to learn, without wasting time on climate alarmism.
Note that there is some redundancy because this list is used for a computer search algorithm that estimates the grade level of a science education document based on the terms used. Stemming is not used because in some cases the singular and plural occur at different grade levels. For example, moon versus moons. In many cases the singular and plural actually refer to slightly different things, so both occur frequently in the list.
Middle school topics typically taught in science education
Milky Way galaxy
solar system formation
solar nebular theory
SOLAR SYSTEM FORMED
SOLAR SYSTEM FORMS
FORMATION OF PLANETS
Theory of Gravity
PULL OF GRAVITY
FORCE OF GRAVITY
PULL OF THE MOON
There is nothing about climate, much less alarming human caused climate change. The topic of climate is taught in high school, plus I know of no regular State standards that include alarmism when climate is taught. The NGSS are truly radical in this regard.
In addition, given that class time is very limited the NGSS must have dropped a lot of the real science that this regular standards list includes, to make room for the 18 extensive new alarmist lessons. I do not know what has been dropped but my impression is that the NGSS teach a lot less science in every grade.
The newly published alarmist lessons have yet to go into effect. We must try to stop them wherever possible.
David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/ Available for confidential research and consulting.
EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.