Papas Fritas writes:
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."
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.