America’s desire to return to the Dark Ages continues unabated.
Another state has left its school board without a clear idea of what to do with recently formulated science standards. Following the lead of Wyoming, an Oklahoma House committee voted to reject the state school board’s adoption of new standards that were built on top of the Next Generation Science Standards. If adopted by the full legislature, the move will leave the state stuck using out-of-date standards that were recently given a failing grade in an independent analysis.
The legislators’ reasons for objecting to the new standards aren’t clear, but an audio of the hearing at which the standards were rejected is available. In it, Tiffany Neill, the director of science education for the State Board of Education, describes the process by which the new standards were created. Although Oklahoma did not adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, the committee that formulated the new rules was heavily influenced by them.
As the questions began, one legislator started by saying that the standards appear harmless: “It all sounds very innocuous and again, something you might even think kids ought to be studying.” But he then went on to say that appearances could be deceiving:
You know, there’s been a lot of recent criticisms in some sectors as to maybe some of the hyperbole—what some consider hyperbole—relative to climate change. I know it’s a very, very difficult, very controversial subject. The president made some recent pronouncements on it. Very dire pronouncements actually. Do you believe that those sections specifically relating to weather and climate, particularly at the early ages, as it’s emphasized here in the new standards, could potentially be utilized to inculcate into some pretty young, impressionable minds a fairly one-sided view as to that controversial subject that is very much in dispute among even the academics?