Overemphasizing Reading as a Skill

Dr. Gary Houchens is a  former teacher, principal, and school district administrator now serves as Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research at Western Kentucky University. He is also a member of the Kentucky State Board of Education.

He discusses Kentucky’s upcoming review of the Common Core English/Language Arts and Math standards required by SB 1 that passed this year and signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin.

He makes an observation about reading instruction that I think is spot-on.

I’ve grown deeply concerned about a shift that has taken place in reading instruction in recent years and the impact I think that shift has had on students of poverty. Specifically, I believe that an over-emphasis on reading as a skill has caused schools to neglect social studies, science, and arts in early grades, ultimately depriving many students of the domain-specific knowledge they need for reading comprehension and academic success in later grades.

Content matters. Houchens continues citing E.D. Hirsch:

Hirsch argues there is no such thing as a generic skill for finding the main idea in a passage. Citing research summarized by Daniel Willingham, he says that such generic skills can be effectively taught in as little as ten lessons, at which point instructional time should shift toward teaching students the domain-specific content knowledge they need to actually understand complex reading passages in later grades.

It’s also just the overall approach seen in Common Core and education reformers who promote those standards. They emphasize skills over content. They don’t want to encourage “rote” memorization of facts that students can Google. Instead, they’ll argue, let’s teach critical thinking skills.

This trend was prevalent when I reviewed Iowa’s new Social Studies standards. There was little content to be found.

Exactly what are students to think critically about or, as Houchens points out, comprehend as they get into Middle School and High School?

Grading Grit?

“Grading grit” is a trend we knew was coming, and Education Week reported that schools are now reporting “soft skills.”

Montgomery County Schools in Maryland, for instance, measure students on things like analysis, collaboration, effort/motivation/persistence, elaboration, evaluation, intellectual risk taking, metacognition, and originality.

They are not the only ones, and this is not an entirely new phenomenon.

The Sacremento Bee reported in 2015 that local schools added social emotional learning skills like “grit” and “gratitude” to student report cards.

Many of us wonder how in the world does one objectively grade students on things like “grit” and “gratitude” and “metacognition” (whatever that is).

How does a student get a good mark for being an “intellectual risk-taker”?

These things are horribly subjective and, frankly, are just another way students can be labeled. Plus, we parents also know that how kids behave in the classroom is not always the same as how they behave at home or in other environments.

These traits can also reflect on the quality of the teacher and classroom instruction.

Don’t get me wrong; I think it is good for teachers to communicate to parents not only the grade their student earns in class but also observations about their attitude and behavior. That requires communication beyond giving students scores on buzzwords on a report card that carry little meaning to parents.

Rigorous Preschool?

The New York Times highlights a new national study that preschoolers exposed to formal math and reading lessons come out ahead of preschoolers who don’t.

They write:

The study found that by the end of kindergarten, children who had attended one year of “academic-oriented preschool” outperformed peers who had attended less academic-focused preschools by, on average, the equivalent of two and a half months of learning in literacy and math.

“Simply dressing up like a firefighter or building an exquisite Lego edifice may not be enough,” said Bruce Fuller, the lead author of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you can combine creative play with rich language, formal conversations and math concepts, that’s more likely to yield the cognitive gains we observed.”

The study comes amid rapid expansions of taxpayer-funded preschool in cities like Washington, San Antonio and New York, where Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last month that he would eventually expand the program, now open to all 4-year-olds, to 3-year-olds as well.

The new wave of preschools provide playtime, but their major goal is academic “kindergarten readiness,” and the study could provide ammunition for policy makers who want to keep on that course. It could also help officials like Mr. de Blasio make the case for even more public spending on prekindergarten programs.

Let’s stop right there for a moment. “By the end of kindergarten” no doubt preschoolers who experience formal math and reading will have a leg-up on kindergarteners who don’t. The onset of Common Core with its age-inappropriate standards for kindergarteners has helped fuel the push for universal preschool.

My question is this. When a student reaches 2nd grade, 3rd grade and 4th grade will that time spent in a “rigorous preschool” mean anything.

If Head Start is any indication when considering the long-term effectiveness of preschool, I believe the answer would be no.

Get ready for the push for preschool with “rigor.” (I just threw up in my mouth a little writing that.)

They continue.

Many who are college-educated are wary of academic preschool, worrying it will quash the love of learning before their children make it past their holding-hands years. At one prekindergarten information session in the affluent Brooklyn Heights neighborhood last year, parents asked not about math or reading, but about how often their children would be exposed to art and music.

The long-term consequences, like quashing the love of learning, is not something that should be taken lightly.

My kids are way beyond preschool (my baby is going to be a high school senior next year), but if I were a young parent today, I don’t think I would want my wife and me to do anything differently. We spent time reading to our kids and let our kids be kids.

Maryland Receives Pushback Over PARCC

Maryland students have been taking PARCC, and the state received pushback from students. In response, they are considering shortening the assessment or pushing it earlier in the school year.

Which will probably do absolutely nothing to ease concerns.

A local NBC affiliate reports:

The PARCC tests Maryland has used for the past few years consume a lot of time near the end of the school year, and some students and teachers are not happy with that.

Maryland education officials are considering shortening the test or moving it to earlier in the school calendar

“We worked to get them shorter,” Maryland’s State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said. “We’re looking at having them more integrated into the school schedule rather than be daylong events. And that’s a goal of the governing board I serve on. We talk about it all the time.”

Salmon said the agency received very little feedback about the PARCC tests, but at a public meeting in Baltimore, a group of Prince George’s County high school students asked state officials to scrap the PARCC test or at least shrink it.

“When you have a school that has a lot of lower socioeconomic students issues there is a lot of other concerns, like maybe problems at home, so testing is not their main priority maybe as it is getting good grades and trying to work and helping out their families,” Laurel High School sophomore Yarold Bautista said.

“I took two PARCC tests this year and I’m here to tell you that it’s not working and that it should be eradicated,” Laurel High sophomore Sydney Houston said.

I’m sure we’ll see an exercise in tone deafness ensue.

Report: School-Issued Devices Spying on Kids

Photo credit: Brad Flickinger (CC-By-2.0)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a report in April that is a must read for those who are concerned about student privacy. In a nutshell, they found these devices are spying on kids who use them, and their parents are blissfully unaware.

From the report‘s executive summary:

Student laptops and educational services are often available for a steeply reduced price, and are sometimes even free. However, they come with real costs and unresolved ethical questions thrroughout EFF’s investigation over the past two years, we have found that educational technology services often collect far more information on kids than is necessary and store this information indefinitely. This privacy-implicating information goes beyond personally identifying information (PII) like name and date of birth, and can include browsing history, search terms, location data, contact lists, and behavioral information. Some programs upload this student data to the cloud automatically and by default. All of this often happens without the awareness or consent of students and their families.

Here are some of the concerns they found after their two-year study of educational tech:

  • Lack of transparency. Schools issued devices to students without their parents’ knowledge and consent. Parents were kept in the dark about what apps their kids were required to use and what data was being collected.
  • Investigative burdens. With no notice or help from schools, the investigative burden fell on parents and even students to understand the privacy implications of the technology they were using.
  • Data concerns. Parents had extensive concerns about student data collection, retention, and sharing. We investigated the 152 ed-tech services that survey respondents reported were in use in classrooms in their community and found that their privacy policies were lacking in encryption, data retention, and data sharing policies.
  • Lack of choice. Parents who sought to opt their children out of devices or software use faced many hurdles, particularly those without the resources to provide their own alternatives.
  • Overreliance on “privacy by policy.” Schools generally relied on the privacy policies of ed tech companies to ensure student data protection. Parents and students, on the other hand, wanted concrete evidence that student data was protected in practice as well as in policy.
  • Need for digital privacy training and education. Both students and teachers voiced a desire for better training in privacy-conscious technology use.

They also note the weakness in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in preventing school districts from disclosing student data from interested third parties.

…it has limitations: it only applies to certain types of student information and there are exceptions that can be exploited. e law is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, which can cut o funding to noncompliant schools.

FERPA protects students’ “education records” including personally identifiable information. The law also protects information about students’ online activity when they are using school-issued devices, when that information is tied to personally identifiable information; according to the U.S. Department of Education, FERPA protects behavioral “metadata” unless it has been “stripped of all direct and indirect identifiers.

FERPA generally prohibits school districts from sharing student information with third parties without written parental consent. Sometimes school districts use a loophole in the law to get around the parental consent requirement by characterizing ed tech companies as “school officials.”

This report is disturbing, and that is an understatement.

20 PreK-12 Education Programs Trump’s Proposed Budget Eliminates

Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss and President Donald Trump at St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, FL

President Donald Trump released his full budget today, and it eliminates 20 programs within the U.S. Department of Education related to PreK-12 education. Below are the programs, the amount of money cut from the budget eliminating the program reflects, and the administration’s justification for eliminating the program.

21st Century Learning Centers (- $1,164,500,000)

The 21st CCLC program enables communities to establish or expand centers that provide additional student learning opportunities through before- and after-school programs, and summer school programs, aimed at improving student academic outcomes. While limited evaluation and survey data from certain States and individual centers highlights benefits from participation, such as improved behavior and classroom grades, overall program performance data show that the 21st CCLC is not achieving its goal of helping students, particularly those who attend low-performing schools, meet challenging State academic standards. For example, on average from 2013 to 2015, less than 20 percent of program participants improved from not proficient to proficient or above on State assessments in reading and mathematics. Additionally, student improvement in academic grades was limited, with States reporting higher math and English grades for less than half of regular program participants. Low attendance rates at the program’s centers likely are a key explanation for the program’s limited impact on academic outcomes. For example, States reported that fewer than half of all students served (752,000 out of 1.8 million) attended programs for 30 days or more during the 2014-2015 school year. These recent results are consistent with findings of the last rigorous national evaluation of the program, conducted in 2005, which also found the program had limited academic impact and low student attendance rates.

These data strongly suggest that the 21st CCLC is not generating the benefits commensurate with an annual investment of more than $1 billion in limited Federal education funds. Moreover, the provision of before- and after-school academic enrichment opportunities may be better supported with other Federal, State, local or private funds, including the $15 billion Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies program.

Alaska Native Education (- $32,400,000)

This program makes formula grants to States, which award local subgrants to support before, after, and summer school programs that provide safe spaces and opportunities for academic enrichment for nearly 2 million students at roughly 11,500 centers.  This program lacks strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improving student achievement.

American History and Civics Academies (- $1,800,000)

This program supports efforts to improve the quality of American history and civics education through grants for intensive workshops for teachers and students and for evidence-based instructional methods and professional development programs.  The program has limited impact, with American History and Civics Academies grants reaching only a small number of teachers and students. (Each academy may serve no more than 300 teachers or students annually.)

Arts in Education (- $26,900,000)

This program supports arts education projects and programs for children and youth, with special emphasis on serving students from low-income families and students with disabilities.  Arts in Education has limited impact and funds activities that are more appropriately supported with other Federal, State, local, and private funds.

Child Care Access Means Parents in School (- $15,100,000)

The CCAMPIS program subsidizes campus-based child care services for low-income parents in postsecondary education programs.  While the CCAMPIS program provides an important service that benefits low-income student parents, subsidizing expenses associated with child care is not consist with the Department’s core mission.  The Administration maintains funding for existing child care programs within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants (- $189,600,000)

The Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants program makes competitive awards to States to improve literacy instruction from birth through grade 12. The program has limited impact and duplicates activities that may be supported by other sources of both Federal and non-Federal funds. For example, the Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies program provides over $15 billion to more than 14,000 school districts that may be used to support effective, evidence-based reading instruction. By comparison, the last cohort of Striving Readers grants served only six States and just a handful of districts in each State. Moreover, a 2015 study by the Institute of Education Sciences indicated that a majority (six out of ten) of the interventions implemented by the 2009 and 2006 grant cohorts had no discernible effects on reading achievement.  States or school districts that want to test or expand the use of evidence-based literacy instruction may seek funding under the Education Innovation and Research program, which provides grant awards for scaling up effective practices that are comparable in size to those available through the Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants program.

 

Full Service Community Schools (-$10,000,000)

This program supports projects that involve a school as the locus for the provision of comprehensive academic, social, and health services that respond to the needs of students, their families, and community members.  The program has limited impact and largely duplicates activities that are more appropriately supported through other Federal, State, local, and private funds.

Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property (- $66,700,000)

The primary purpose of the Impact Aid program is to help pay for the education of federally-connected children, and fund programs that serve federally-connected children. The Payments for Federal Property program compensates school districts for lost property tax revenue due to the presence of Federal lands without regard to whether those districts educate any federally-connected children as a result of the Federal presence. When this authority was established in 1950, its purpose was to provide assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) in cases where the Federal Government had imposed a substantial and continuing burden by acquiring a considerable portion of real property in the LEA. The law applied only to property acquired since 1938 because, in general, LEAs had been able to adjust to acquisitions that occurred before that time. The Administration believes that the majority of LEAs receiving assistance under this program have now had sufficient time to adjust to the removal of the property from their tax rolls.

Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program (- $26,900,000)

This program makes competitive grants to improve literacy through support of school libraries, professional development for school librarians, and the provision of high-quality books to children and adolescents in low-income communities.  School districts and schools that choose to focus on libraries and the provision of free books as part of their early literacy strategies may use Title I funds for this purpose.

International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic and Overseas Programs (- $72,000,000)

While the Administration recognizes the critical need for our Nation to have a readily available pool of international, regional, and advanced language experts for economic, foreign affairs, and national security purposes, it is unclear that this goal is consistent with the Department of Education’s core mission. Other Federal agencies, whose primary mission is national security, implement similar programs and are better equipped to support this critical objective. Therefore, the Budget proposes to eliminate these duplicative programs. The authorization for these programs expired in 2014.

Javits Gifted and Talented Education (- $12,000,000)

This program supports research and other activities to build local capacity to identify gifted and talented students and meet their special educational needs.  Limited Federal education dollars should be focused on our most disadvantaged children, and programs for gifted and talented students can be supported with State, local, and private funds.

Native Hawaiian Education (- $33.300,000)

This program supports supplemental education services for a very high-need student population facing unique challenges in obtaining a high-quality education.  The program largely duplicates services that may be funded through the $127 million in other Federal elementary and secondary programs that support Hawaii as well as State, local, and private funds.

Preschool Development Grants (- $249,500,000)

The Preschool Development Grants competition supports State efforts to (1) build or enhance a preschool program infrastructure that would enable the delivery of high-quality preschool services to children, and (2) expand high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities that would serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families.  Note that this program was funded at the Department of Health and Human Services in FY 2017.

Ready to Learn Programming (- $25,700,000)

This program supports the development and dissemination of high-quality educational television programming.  The program is less relevant and necessary with the rise of the internet and the increasing number of private providers that create and disseminate programming, online games, and “apps” that are both educational and entertaining.

School Leader Recruitment and Support Program (- $16,300,000)

This program grants fund activities to improve the recruitment, preparation, placement, support, and retention of effective principals and other school leaders in high-need schools.  This small program has limited impact and effectiveness and duplicates other Federal funds that may be used to support local efforts to recruit, train, and retain effective school leaders.

Special Olympics Education Programs (-$10,100,000)

This program supports a directed grant award to a not-for-profit organization.  Funds are used to expand the Special Olympics and the design and implementation of Special Olympics education programs.  Such activities are better supported with other Federal, State, local, or private funds.

Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (- $277,000,000)

The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program, newly authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, consolidated four previously authorized programs: Mathematics and Science Partnerships, Advanced Placement, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, and Physical Education. The Program provides funding to school districts for activities that support well-rounded educational opportunities (e.g. arts, STEM), safe and healthy students, and the effective use of technology. Subgrants can be awarded by formula to all school districts that receive Title I, Part A funds, which at the current funding level of $400 million, would result in award amounts of less than $30,000 for the vast majority of school districts. The Administration does not believe limited Federal resources should be allocated to a program where many of its grants will likely be too small to have a meaningful impact. Furthermore, the school districts that do receive at least $30,000 must follow funding restrictions that prescribe a minimum amount that must be spent on the program’s different categories of activities, further diluting the program’s impact and removing discretion that is best left to local decision-makers. Also, the activities authorized under this program generally can be supported with funds from other Federal, State, local, and private sources, including similarly flexible funds provided under the $15 billion Title I Grants to LEAs program.

Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants (- $2,345,000,000)

The Budget proposes eliminating Supporting Effective Instruction (SEI) State Grants program. While the SEI State Grants program authorizes a wide range of activities, in school year 2015-2016, 52 percent of funds were used for professional development (PD) and 25 percent were used for class-size reduction. An LEA that identifies either activity as a key strategy for responding to a comprehensive needs assessment may use Title I, Part A funds for the same purpose. Title I funds also may be used to recruit and retain effective teachers. In addition, professional development, as currently provided, has shown limited impact on student achievement. For example, a recent evaluation of an intensive elementary school mathematics PD program found that while the PD improved teacher knowledge and led to improvements in teachers’ use and quality of explanation in the classroom, there was no difference in student achievement test scores on either the State assessment or on a study-administered math test. Additional Department of Education-funded studies of PD have found similar results. While class size reduction has been shown to increase student achievement, school districts used SEI State grant funds to pay the salaries of an estimated 8,000 teachers in school year 2015-2016, out of a total nationwide teacher workforce of roughly three million teachers. These data suggest that eliminating the program is likely to have minimal impact on class sizes or teacher staffing levels.

Teacher Quality Partnership (- $43,000,000)

The TQP program supports partnerships to create a variety of effective pathways into teaching and increase the number of teachers effective in improving student outcomes. The TQP authority is overly restrictive and does not provide States, school districts, and institutions of higher education sufficient flexibilities to meaningfully design systems of teacher preparation, recruitment, and induction that meet their staffing needs. In addition, funding to support partnerships that enhance professional development activities and training for current and prospective teachers and staff may be provided through Elementary and Secondary Education Act formula grant funds (e.g., Title I), as well as from competitive grant programs. There is also limited evidence that demonstrates this program is any more effective than other State- and locally-driven initiatives designed to train and retain highly effective teachers in critical shortage areas.

 

 

Oregon Drops Smarter Balanced for High School

The number of states using either Smarter Balanced or PARCC as state-wide assessments has dwindled from 45 to 20 states and the District of Columbia. That number doesn’t include states that are just using those assessments for younger grades. Take Oregon as an example, the Oregon Department of Education confirmed that they will no longer use Smarter Balanced for high school students, but will continue to use the assessment for 3rd – 8th-grade students.

The department in a released statement said the change “comes in response to feedback received from stakeholders around the state that the statewide high school assessment should provide a direct benefit to students beyond meeting graduation requirements.”

This change reflects a desire to cut back on assessment time. Also, more states are starting to use ACT and SAT as their statewide assessment for 11th graders. Using a college entrance exam provides more motivation for students to do well.

Education Week noted that Smarter Balanced, seeing this trend, wants to develop a college entrance exam.

Smarter Balanced issued a solicitation in February to see if it could partner with a big testing company—presumably ACT or the College Board—on an assessment that could essentially kill two birds with one stone: It could provide information states could use in accountability reports, and also serve as a college-admissions exam.

Oh goody.

West Virginia Homeschoolers Threatened With Common Core

I did not realize that West Virginia was not a friendly state for homeschoolers, and it became less friendly during debate on the West Virginia Senate floor.

HSLDA reports that State Senator Michael Romano (D-Clarksburg) thinks homeschoolers should have to follow Common Core:

Governor James C. Justice vetoed legislation that would have granted homeschool students equal access to public school vocational classes and sports. And a senator who opposed the 2016 homeschool modernization law has continued to disparage home education and suggest new ways to thwart it.

During floor debate on House Bill 2196, which would have made homeschool students eligible for public high school extracurricular activities, witnesses heard Senator Michael Romano propose that homeschool students be required to follow the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Romano has been a vocal opponent of homeschooling in West Virginia for a long time. He has done everything he can to oppose improvements in state laws that would benefit families who have chosen to exercise their fundamental liberty to educate their children at home.

Romano’s invoking the Common Core is tantamount to calling for increased government control over home education. Many parents reject the Common Core’s one-size-fits-all approach as antithetical to homeschooling’s ideal of providing individualized education.

Considering Romano is a Democrat in a Republican-controlled chamber I’m not concerned about this coming to fruition, but it is disconcerting nonetheless.

Parents, Here’s a Resource to Help You Protect Your Student’s Privacy

Photo credit: Bartmoni (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Even parents who understand some of the threats to their school-age children’s privacy may not know how serious the situation really is, especially in the increasingly technology-driven classroom. All parents should download the Parent Toolkit just released by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy to educate themselves about the problems and learn how to protect their children.

The Toolkit is a well-sourced guide to statutes that affect student privacy and to parental rights under those statutes. It includes guidance on how to protect privacy, both at home and at school; how to evaluate a school vendor’s privacy policy; how to talk to schools, teachers, and districts; and how to advocate for better protections. Parents will especially appreciate the clear FAQs and model forms for opting out of certain types of data-collection and -disclosure.

Policymakers won’t pay serious attention to student-privacy issues until parents begin to demand it. Armed with the Coalition’s information, parents can better protect their own children and advocate for greater protections for all children.

Nebraska Seeks Public Input on Science Standards

Robert Lattimer with Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) informed me that the Nebraska Department of Education has opened up their draft science standards for public comment. The commenting period closes on June 23, and you do not have to be a resident of Nebraska to participate.

The survey link can be found here.

Lattimer shared his thoughts about the standards in an email:

I have reviewed the standards and find them to be a clone of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  There is some rearrangement of NGSS performance expectations, and a few slight modifications have been made.  Like NGSS, the thrust is materialistic with respect to biological evolution, and there is an activist environmental agenda.

I would suggest you provide input on the following performance expectations on evolution and environmentalism.  Note that there is a comment space on the web form for each grade level.

Page 23 (Grade 6, SC.6.12.4.c).  Change “rise” to “change.”  Change “past century” to “past several centuries.”

Page 25 (Grade 7, SC.7.7.3.d).  Change “minimizing” to “changing.”  State that human impact can be either positive or negative.

Page 29 (Grade 8, SC.8.9.4.a).  State that nearly all mutations are harmful or neutral and lead to a loss of fitness for the organism.

Page 30 (Grade 8, SC.8.10.5.a).  The standard implies that there was no teleological causation in the Earth’s past.  This is an assumption or hypothesis, not proven fact.

Page 30 (Grade 8, SC.8.10.5.b).  The standard assumes that homologies result from evolutionary relationships.  This is an unproven assumption that eliminates the possibility of teleological causation.

Page 30 (Grade 8).   Standards SC.8.10.5.a and 5.b relate to macroevolution (unguided common descent), and SC.8.10.5.c and 5.d relate to microevolution (adaptation or small-scale change within a species).  This distinction should be made, since micro is well-established but macro is an unproven hypothesis.

Page 30 (Grade 8, section SC.8.10).  These standards relate to biological evolution, which is age-inappropriate for Grade 8.  These standards should be moved to high school Life Sciences.

Page 37 (Life Sciences, SC.HS.8.3.b).  Change “elements” to “molecules” or “chemical compounds.”

Page 38 (Life Sciences, SC.HS.10.5.a).  This assumes that common ancestry (macroevolution) is true.  Evidence that infers teleological causation should be included.

Page 38 (Life Sciences, SC.HS.10.5.e).  Change “new species” to “new varieties.”  If a “new” species results from environmental change, it will closely resemble its predecessor.

Page 38 (Life Sciences, section SC.HS.10).  Standard SC.HS.10.5.a relates to macroevolution, while the other four relate to microevolution.  This distinction should be made.

Page 39 (Earth and Space Sciences, SC.HS.11.5.b).  Coverage of Big Bang theory is OK, but the standard is incomplete.  Add (a) the implication of the Big Bang (a beginning to the universe), (b) comparison with other hypotheses (steady state, multiverse, oscillating universe), and (c) fine-tuning of physical constants for life.

Page 40 (Earth and Space Sciences, SC.HS.12.1.b and 1.d).  Global climate models are known to be inaccurate and are often used to predict dire consequences for the future.  Either eliminate these standards or add precautionary language.

Page 41 (Earth and Space Sciences, SC.HS.15.4.e).  Note that human “modification” can be either positive or negative.