Update from Montana: State School Board Approves Subpar Science Standards

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This summer Montana education officials proposed science standards that were remarkably similar (ie practically identical) to the Next Generation Science Standards, but were not called that.

Surprise, surprise, surprise…. Last week the Montana Board of Public Education approved the Next Generation Science Standards, but shhhhhh…. They aren’t calling them that so it’s *OK.* They just graduated from eating a crap sandwich on white bread to eating a crap sandwich on a croissant.

You still are getting a crap sandwich. Yes, it may be an improvement, but they could have done so much better. If you take the Fordham Institute’s word for it there are 23 sets of science standards out there that scored higher than the Next Generation Science Standards.

If Common Core cheerleaders like Fordham don’t even like these standards that’s pretty bad.

Montanans should ask the candidates in the Superintendent’s race what they think about these standards.

One of These Things Is Just Like The Other

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I’m sooooo tired of educrats trying to pull the wool over the eyes of its citizenry. Example #9,156,999 comes out of Montana.

From the Billings Gazette:

When Montana education officials proposed new science standards Thursday, they emphasized the standards’ local roots.

“They are truly Montana’s science standards,” said Jael Prezeau, the Office of Public Instruction director of content standards and instruction.

The standards also bear a striking resemblance to Next Generation Science Standards, which were developed by a 26-state group in 2013. The proposed standards, which the Board of Public Education signed off on, are endorsed by many education and industry groups, including ExxonMobil, and are praised for being more rigorous and encouraging more critical thinking.

They have also been controversial, particularly for linking climate change to human activity and for explicitly addressing evolution.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau emphasized that committees who wrote the standards reviewed examples from 17 states; she never actually used the phrase “Next Generation Science Standards” during repeated questioning about the relationship with the proposed standards.

“That was one of the resources that they looked at,” she said. “There was tons of opportunity for people to have input into this. At the end of the day, whatever the draft looks like, that’s what it reflects.”

I *love* it when states say standards are local because they were reviewed prior to plagiarizing them. Montana joins the parade of states who decided to double down on stupid and adopt or plagiarize all or part of the Next Generation Science Standards which even a number of Common Core advocates hate.

As far as “reviews” go I’ve yet to see a state change course after doing one of those.

Common Sense on the Common Core in Montana

I love this guest op/ed in The Helena Independent Record written by Barbara Rush, a retired teacher from the Helena Public Schools.

An excerpt:

According to the Montana Common Core Standards Document, issued by the Office of Public Instruction, the standards were written to “fulfill the charge issued by the states.” Where did this “charge” come from? The work was “led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA).” My question is this: When did Montana begin to be represented by associations and councils rather than our elected representatives in the legislature? Denise Juneau, our state superintendent, went to the Montana Board of Public Education, an appointed body of seven, to gain approval to mandate Common Core in all our schools. The Pioneer Institute published an in-depth financial analysis of Common Core and determined that it would cost the state of Montana about $40 million to implement. Where will that money come from, and why wasn’t the legislature the body to decide if this was the right path for Montana schools?

If she would have stopped there it would have still been fantastic.  Ms. Rush asks the million dollar question when considering the Common Core.  “When did (fill in your state) begin to be represented by associations and councils rather than our elected representatives?”

Exactly!

Be sure to read the whole thing, it’s worth the time.