Last month the Kansas State Board of Education voted to make Kansas the third state (following Rhode Island and Kentucky) to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
The “voluntary” (until adopted by state boards of education) NGSS are the brainchild of Achieve, Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by various state governors and business leaders and a major promoter of the controversial and expensive new Common Core Standards.
- allocating too little time to learning facts, “confer[ring] primacy on practices and pa[ying] too little attention to the knowledge base that makes those practices both feasible and worthwhile,”
- omitting crucial content,
- setting “assessment boundaries” that will yield lowest-common-denominator learning, not promote excellence,
- “failure to include essential math content that is critical to science learning,” and
- lacking the rigor needed to prepare students for college and careers.
“There is a real risk,” the Fordham review says, “… that students in states that adopt the NGSS, or those that use the course maps to define learning in high school physics and chemistry courses, will graduate having taken courses that carry an impressive label but don’t supply the requisite scientific content that the country urgently needs today.”
Those and more are real weaknesses in the NGSS, and parents, educators, and (local and state) school board members should carefully consider the whole of Fordham’s review.
But there are far more serious weaknesses in the NGSS. As Citizens for Objective Public Education points out in its critique, the NGSS turn science education into indoctrination in Darwinism, environmentalism, and atheism.
For generations America’s public schools have indoctrinated our children with the dogma of Darwinism: life arose and developed by chance, no Creator involved. The sad consequences surround us: loss of respect for human life, increasing immorality, and youths abandoning their faith as they enter adulthood.
Now the schools are poised to indoctrinate students with an environmentalist dogma: catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) — and with it a whole catalog of other exaggerated, sometimes fictitious environmental concerns, as rationales for strangling restrictions on personal liberty, property, and the free market, and for instituting socialist, redistributionist policies domestically and internationally.
Never mind that thousands of scientists reject the dogma, the theory fails to account for large numbers of empirical facts such as the lack of warming for over 17 years now, there is strong Biblical and scientific ground to reject the dogma, and policies pursued in climatism’s name would trap billions in poverty, impoverish millions more, and undermine God-given rights to life, liberty, and property.
Darwinism and climatism aren’t the only dogmas NGSS supporters want to impose. A more dangerous one underlies both. Atheistic naturalism strikes at the root of the Christian faith, and without it neither Darwinism nor climatism could survive.
NGSS’s flagship product, A Framework for K–12 Science Education, published by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, states it not as one worldview option among many but as simple fact that (not God but) “Evolution … explains both the similarities of genetic material across all species and the multitude of species existing in diverse conditions on Earth.”
The NGSS are related to the National Science Education Standards, all produced by the National Academies of Science, 93 percent of whose members are atheists or sympathetic to an atheist, Secular Humanist religious worldview. They are also promoted by the National Science Teachers Association, which actively promotes the Darwinian worldview.
How can Christian parents, educators, and pastors respond to this attack on the Christian faith through the nation’s public schools?
In “Science Standards: Political or Pure? How the Educational Establishment Threatens Americans’ Faith, Freedom, and Well Being — And How You Can Fight Back,” delivered to the Educational Policy Conference of The Constitutional Coalition earlier this year, I expose the deep and systemic flaws of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Curriculum being adopted nationwide. I show how they
- threaten students’ faith by systematically excluding all consideration of God from all science curriculum;
- threaten the integrity of science itself by promoting the dangerous new concept of post-normal science; and
- threaten American liberty and prosperity by indoctrinating students to give government vast new powers to control our economy through policies that will impede or reverse economic growth and exert intimate control over every aspect of Americans’ lives.
I point out a path to defeating these threats by reasserting the Biblical worldview and sound science, by parents’ taking control of their children’s education, and by Christian educators’ demanding curriculum standards that meet the First Amendment’s requirement of religious neutrality — and refusing to teach what doesn’t.
The lecture is available on DVD from the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. To find out how to obtain it and equip yourself for the defense of the Christian worldview, go to CornwallAlliance.org and subscribe to our free e-newsletter.
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.
Publication date: July 9, 2013