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posted by LaminatorX on Friday May 16 2014, @03:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the Head-in-the-Tar-Sands dept.

Time Magazine reports that Wyoming, the nation's top coal-producing state, has become the first state to reject new K-12 science standards proposed by national education groups mainly because of global warming components. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of science standards developed by leading scientists and science educators from 26 states and built on a framework developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Wyoming science standards revision committee made up entirely of Wyoming educators unanimously recommended adoption of these standards to the state Board of Education not once but twice and twelve states have already adopted the standards since they were released in April 2013. But opponents argue the standards incorrectly assert that man-made emissions are the main cause of global warming and shouldn't be taught in a state that ranks first among all states in coal production, fifth in natural gas production and eighth in crude oil production deriving much of its school funding from the energy industry. Amy Edmonds, of the Wyoming Liberty Group, says teaching "one view of what is not settled science about global warming" is just one of a number of problems with the standards. "I think Wyoming can do far better." Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has called federal efforts to curtail greenhouse emissions a "war on coal" and has said that he's skeptical about man-made climate change.

Supporters of the NGSS say science standards for Wyoming schools haven't been updated since 2003 and are six years overdue. "If you want the best science education for your children and grandchildren and you don't want any group to speak for you, then make yourselves heard loud and clear," says Cate Cabot. "Otherwise you will watch the best interests of Wyoming students get washed away in the hysteria of a small anti-science minority driven by a national right wing group "and political manipulation."

 
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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Friday May 16 2014, @04:31AM

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 16 2014, @04:31AM (#44104)

    I just had a thought (don't worry, I'm fine)....

    If the problem is that states are corrupted and hijacked to local business interests following the Kettering Plan (as I now like to call it), then why not bypass the states entirely?

    Why not have a national educational system using online tools, open licenses on all content, and supported financially by parents, large non-profits, and corporations wanting to invest in the future?

    The corps obviously have no say over the content available to students, since it's a collective effort of all teachers in the US, and strongly supported by academia.

    We could have Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and new unknown charismatic educators providing exciting examples, narration, actual demonstrations, etc. You want to learn about WWII? The finest historians would contribute to that and we could have Morgan Freeman walking us through the invasion at Normandy.

    So many people talk about education as being the most important thing for our country period. How about we let them put up or shut up? I'm willing to bet you would easily get the participation of the Hollywood elite actors in such a system.

    Eliminate the middlemen entirely and give the finger to the bureaucrats. Education can finally be free of all of their moronic value judgments and demands it align with religious and financial interests of those who can't see the end of the line coming up quick.

    It may be difficult since the state controlled (read industry controlled) incumbents will not give up those tax dollars, but we are also eliminating huge costs. Children could study at home, meet up at libraries a few times a week, and have a few days a month where there are guest lecturers and hands on PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS where children can see how we use this knowledge on a day to day basis. Show our children directly how knowledge lets us pwn the stupid on a daily basis.

    Just an idea of a silly dreamer...

    Another thought.... why not have the whole world participate? One of the best ways to say fuck you to Boko Haram is give them cheap laptops connected to Internet with mesh networks allowing their young girls to learn in safety in very small groups. Mobile education available with a tiny device. Let the Muslim zealots try to push their anti-intellectual misogyny then.

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  • (Score: 1) by calzone on Friday May 16 2014, @06:22AM

    by calzone (2181) on Friday May 16 2014, @06:22AM (#44115) Journal

    The logistics are more than I care to ponder atm, but superficially, at least, I love this idea. Would be awesome to flesh it out and make sure it could actually be pulled off (correctly and feasibly) somehow.

    --

    Time to leave Soylent News [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16 2014, @01:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16 2014, @01:41PM (#44187)

    Why not have a national educational system using online tools, open licenses on all content, and supported financially by parents, large non-profits, and corporations wanting to invest in the future?

    awwww that is sooooo cute. That way instead of having to corrupt thousands of districts you could do it in one fell swoop and indoctrinate everyone exactly the same way. You could have the gov pick winners and loosers.

    Do not think for one second something of that scale would not be corrupt.

    The closest you will come are the home school crowd (which is about what you described). They are basically willing to pay the taxes for their kids to go to school and choose to still do it themselves. I personally think they are crazy but can see where they are coming from. I live in a state that ranks near the bottom every year. Having met people who come out of said public system who can not even read and have a HS diploma. I can see why someone would say screw you I am doing it myself.

    Show our children directly how knowledge lets us pwn the stupid on a daily basis
    Not to be an ass, but this is how you use your knowledge? I like to use it this way. http://xkcd.com/1053/ [xkcd.com] Not to be a jerk or anything but if this is the way you treat people please be quiet from now on. You create division and make people distrustful of 'smart uns'. Dont hoard your knowledge and whip it out to make yourself 'look smart'. Use it to make the world better. Realize the difference between opinion and fact and show others why fact is better. Yes people are 'stupid' but whos fault is that? Theirs or yours for coming off all superior every time they ask something?

    • (Score: 2) by TK on Friday May 16 2014, @02:05PM

      by TK (2760) on Friday May 16 2014, @02:05PM (#44192)

      The closest you will come are the home school crowd (which is about what you described). They are basically willing to pay the taxes for their kids to go to school and choose to still do it themselves. I personally think they are crazy but can see where they are coming from. I live in a state that ranks near the bottom every year. Having met people who come out of said public system who can not even read and have a HS diploma. I can see why someone would say screw you I am doing it myself.

      From my experience, there seems to be two camps when it comes to homeschooling:

      • Religious parents who don't want their children to be corrupted by the secular world
      • (Overly?) cautious parents who don't want their children to be corrupted by a flawed educational system/prison for children

      Both groups probably qualify as "crazy", but only for the "does not think like the majority" definition of the word. /offtopic

      --
      The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
      • (Score: 1) by hoochiecoochieman on Friday May 16 2014, @04:18PM

        by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Friday May 16 2014, @04:18PM (#44247)

        Because it's so much better if your children grow inside a bubble. That will make them functional adults. A society full of isolated groups full of ignorance and fear about each other is such a great fucking thing, isn't it?

        Instead of being selfish recluses, they could help change the education system they are so afraid of.

        I can understand the former don't want to do it, because deep inside they hate Humanity. Nothing less than imposing the Christian Sharia on everyone would satisfy them, and they know it's impossible. So instead of changing themselves, they give up on Mankind and hide inside their safe little bubble, covering their ears and screaming "la la la".

        But the latter could come down from their high tower and ask "do you need a hand?".

        • (Score: 2) by TK on Friday May 16 2014, @05:17PM

          by TK (2760) on Friday May 16 2014, @05:17PM (#44295)

          At the risk of opening a can of worms...

          Change should be encouraged, but not at the sacrifice of what's best for your children. Why should anyone send their kids to a failing school when there are better alternatives available and within their means? Not attending the public school system does not preclude other forms of community involvement, including influencing the local, state and federal politics that dictate the administration of those schools.

          There's also no rule that they must be insulated from the world around them. Extra-curricular sports exist, so do museums, libraries, parks, social clubs, and homeschooling collectives.

          Granted, some homeschoolers are isolationists, but they do not represent everyone.

          --
          The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16 2014, @05:47PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16 2014, @05:47PM (#44315)

          Instead of being selfish recluses, they could help change the education system they are so afraid of.

          I am sure they are plenty who would fit into the category of wanting to impose their version of sharia, much to their shame. On the other hand, I am sure there are quite a few who feel like they are voiceless and marginalized, so instead of trying to change the system, they have opted to do it themselves. That way they can sidestep all the nasty politics and name-calling and get on with the business of educating their own kids. I am not a global warming denier, by any stretch of the imagination, but frankly both sides seem to be engaging in political battles under the guise of "science education". Under these circumstances. if I were a parent I would be seriously considering voting with my feet too.

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday May 16 2014, @06:32PM

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 16 2014, @06:32PM (#44337)

          I was not proposing home schooling, or depriving children of the ability to develop social skills.

          My idea is online content accessible from their devices, which allows them the ability to learn anywhere. This gives them the flexibility to learn at home, parks, museums, libraries, food courts, or other gathering places.

          What I am proposing is creating *real life* for children. That means year round schooling, since adults work the entire time too. Keep a shorter Summer break, and distribute the off time throughout the year. Just like adults, if they want to take 2 weeks off it's possible. Children will learn at their own pace and schedule while still being able to work with each other and meet specific deadlines, and that also sounds just like real life.

          Half of the time they are at home (when possible), or just like carpooling, will proceed to a neighbors house or some local center to complete their work. Hell, they could do it at a park or a Starbucks. It's their responsibility to get the work done.

          At least 1/4 of the time they can proceed to libraries and museums, where we are supporting those places to do so, to receive hands on demonstrations and participate in activities with teachers and other educators. This way teachers would be at the museums and libraries all day long and not subject to the control of draconian and backward school district officials. The children arrive in manageable groups throughout the month.

          For the rest of the time, it would be larger groups participating in group projects that have 6-12 month deadlines, and more personalized testing with a teacher to verify proficiency in a given subject. Make them build and manage real technology that has immediate practical applications once passing K-12.

          Children needing help with a subject they aren't grasping on their own can seek out each other, or online tutors in the system. I would gladly offer my time with a specific subject if it was online.

          As for the social skills.... KICK THEIR ASSESS OUT OF THE HOUSE. This is what my parents did. A swift kick in the butt and I was outside playing with my friends. Children will socialize all by themselves if you give them a safe opportunity to do so. Quite frankly, that problem works itself out since I'm not trying to shelter the little precious children from life or ideas I find religiously offensive.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday May 16 2014, @07:04PM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 16 2014, @07:04PM (#44350)

      awwww that is sooooo cute. That way instead of having to corrupt thousands of districts you could do it in one fell swoop and indoctrinate everyone exactly the same way. You could have the gov pick winners and loosers.

      It's funny that you attack my character for doing exactly what you are doing now. I would suggest you learn about cognitive dissonance.

      I said it was a beautiful dream didn't I? I also SAID it was a community driven FOSS project that was privatized. It's not subject to any government regulations, just as private schools today are not overly burdened by regulations hampering their teaching methods and content either.

      You can let your cynicism provide you doubt, but don't be fooled into thinking it has any value in this debate other than worthless emotion.

      Not to be an ass, but this is how you use your knowledge?

      No, it isn't. When I said "pwn" I was attempting levity and relevancy with the younger crowd.

      You could say the "stupid" here are the anti-intellectuals who find no value in intelligence, but crude and prurient actions instead. There is going to be a percentage of children like this.

      What I mean by "pwn" in that context is a general statement about life in general. I am MUCH better off then some jackass who refused to do anything in school and never made anything of himself simply because he refused to improve himself at all. As adults, we know this is true in a myriad of ways. So it has nothing to do with the exploitation of these people.

      So it's not that I am better than the building maintenance staff, which you would rightly find offensive. What I am trying to teach the children is that with knowledge you are not waiting for others to fix your Ethernet connection, or change that light bulb. Knowledge makes you vastly more capable and adaptable to change, more so than those who would refuse knowledge.

      Show kids how as adults we run circles around these anti-intellectual people all day long, and how these people really are nothing more than adult children that are a drain on society. I will specifically single out the anti-intellectual thug culture that spread throughout our youth. I would teach them how their knowledge allows them to escape the suffering guaranteed to be prevalent throughout a thugs entire life.

      Of course it goes without saying to teach them that those with medical or genetic reasons for their lack of sophistication need to be taken care of and offered some kind of opportunity to contribute.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 2) by tathra on Friday May 16 2014, @07:42PM

      by tathra (3367) on Friday May 16 2014, @07:42PM (#44380)

      That way instead of having to corrupt thousands of districts you could do it in one fell swoop and indoctrinate everyone exactly the same way.

      the fact that you consider education to be "indoctrination" shows that you really can't be trusted to have any valid input on the subject.