How Can We Challenge the Standardization of Science and Other Aspects of Education?

Latest Story I received an email from Professor Emeritus Charles “Kip” Ault, Lewis & Clark University.   We’ve never met, but we have a connection through each others’ writing.  In 1992, I wrote and published a science education book, Minds on Science (Library Copy) and he used the text in one or more of his graduate classes […]

Extreme Earth: Coming to An Environment Near You

The Earth’s climate has changed rapidly over the past fifty years, but when people talk about climate change, they frame it as a future threat. David Popeik, in Scientific American guest blog, says that “climate report nails risk communication.”  He suggests that the National Climate Assessment that was released by the White House presented a powerful […]

Terrill L. Nickerson: The Paradox of the Common Core

 Terrill Nickerson commented on the previous post on this blog, 6 Reasons Why the Common Core is Not Progressive Ideology.  I thought his comments were important to share as a separate post.  Terrill Nickerson has written an interesting article on how he approaches the Common Core and high-stakes testing in his context of teaching, which […]

Science is a Way of Thinking: So, Why Do We Try and Standardize it?

  Figure 1. Carl Sagan and the Universe. Copyright sillyrabbitmythsare4kids, Creative Commons Science has been prominent in the media recently.  Stories and programs including the Bill Nye-Ken Ham “debate” on origins, anti-science legislation in Wyoming banning  science standards that include climate science, a new science program on the Science Channel to be hosted by Craig […]

Moving Beyond the Drama and Hyperbole that Dominate International Test Score Results

Moving Beyond the Drama and Hyperbole that Dominate International Test Score Results. The Guardian newspaper published a series of articles the 2013 PISA international test results.  In this post I want to focus on the article written by Finnish educator and scholar Pasi Sahlberg entitled, PISA 2012 scores show the failure of ‘market based’ education […]

NSTA's Uncritical & Authoritarian Position on the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Science Teachers Association released a position statement on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The NSTA statement is  uncritical and authoritarian.  It granted outright compliance with the NGSS, even though there is a groundswell questioning the use of standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards.  Should we endorse one […]

NSTA’s Uncritical & Authoritarian Position on the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Science Teachers Association released a position statement on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The NSTA statement is  uncritical and authoritarian.  It granted outright compliance with the NGSS, even though there is a groundswell questioning the use of standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards.  Should we endorse one […]

A Letter to The Fordham Institute

Dear Colleagues at The Fordham Institute, The American Education Research Association (AERA) developed a framework for Scientifically Based Research (SBR) in 2008.  The SBR definition described below was supported by the AERA Council as a framework that offers sound guidance to members of Congress seeking to include such language in legislation.  As you know Congress […]

Fordham Institute's Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science. In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess […]

Fordham Institute’s Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science. In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess […]

Why We Should Reject The Fordham Institute's Opinion of the Next Generation Science Standards

In this post I am going to give evidence that the Fordham Institute’s evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards should be rejected. The Thomas Fordham Institute is a conservative advocacy think tank which issues opinion reports written by “experts” on science education (other education issues as well).  I have reviewed earlier reports released by […]

Why We Should Reject The Fordham Institute’s Opinion of the Next Generation Science Standards

In this post I am going to give evidence that the Fordham Institute’s evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards should be rejected. The Thomas Fordham Institute is a conservative advocacy think tank which issues opinion reports written by “experts” on science education (other education issues as well).  I have reviewed earlier reports released by […]

Are the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology?

Are the Common Core and  Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology? A growing criticism of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards is that its way for progressives to inject their philosophies and ideology onto children and youth in American schools. Ralph Watts, a state representative from Iowa believes this, and […]

Special Delivery: NGSS Adoption Workbooks

Yesterday, I discovered a new organization, the U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDi). When I saw the name, I first thought it was part of the U.S. Department of Education, or the United States Postal Service. I was wrong on both counts. The EDi, formed in 2010 is another Washington D.C. non-profit founded by Sir Michael […]

Fordham Report on Next Generation Science Standards Lacks Credibility

On January 29, the Thomas Fordham Institute published a report, “Commentary & Feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards (Commentary).  Nine people wrote the report, none of whom are “experts” in the field of science education.  Yes, most of them have Ph.D’s in science, but they lack the experiential and content knowledge of science education, science […]

Why Do We Promote Consumption And Not Inquiry

Why in a democracy do we promote consumption and not inquiry in science teaching?  Why are we so possessed to have teachers cover the ground and not helping students uncover their connection to the world around them? The second public draft of The Next Generation Science Standards will be released this December by Achieve, the organization […]

We Teach Science Not Because It Nurtures the Child's Imagination, but Because It Might Help Get a Job

Reform in science education for the past two decades is based on the ideas that American students receive an inferior education in mathematics and science, and as a result will not be able to compete for jobs in the global marketplace.  In this scenario, the purpose for teaching math and science is to get a […]

We Teach Science Not Because It Nurtures the Child’s Imagination, but Because It Might Help Get a Job

Reform in science education for the past two decades is based on the ideas that American students receive an inferior education in mathematics and science, and as a result will not be able to compete for jobs in the global marketplace.  In this scenario, the purpose for teaching math and science is to get a […]

NSTA Has Serious & Extensive Concerns About Achieve's Next Generation Science Standards

Standards development, such as in science, is a big enterprise, and one that will result in huge profits for corporations, and will cost school districts billions to carry out over the next few years.  For the past two years, Achieve and the Carnegie Corporation have teamed up to write a framework, and a set of […]

NSTA Has Serious & Extensive Concerns About Achieve’s Next Generation Science Standards

Standards development, such as in science, is a big enterprise, and one that will result in huge profits for corporations, and will cost school districts billions to carry out over the next few years.  For the past two years, Achieve and the Carnegie Corporation have teamed up to write a framework, and a set of […]

The Common Core Arrives in Georgia: Reasons for Caution

The march to standardize and uniform the curriculum is a dangerous movement in a democratic society, and especially in one that is so diverse in cultures, languages, and geography as America.  How can we really think that one set of statements of science objectives written by non-practitioners can be truly be valid for all learners, […]

How Standards are like Brick Walls in the face of Teaching and Learning

Note:  This is the fourth article in a series on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, suggested that brick walls are there for a reason.  The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

Why a Single Set of Science Standards in a Democracy?

Why are we supporting the notion of a single set of science standards which has been done in mathematics and language reading/language art?  We live in a democracy.  One the of founding principles of education is that elected school board members for the more than 15,000 school districts are charged with making decisions for each […]

Peddling Panic: Biased Survey Promotes National Science Standards

Achieve, Inc. stands to make a lot of money for its work creating new science standards. It might not surprise us, therefore, that a survey they commissioned favors the adoption of these standards. But we need to look at these results with skepticism. Does US competitiveness depend on our rankings on test scores? And will new […]

Georgia Senate Further Degrades Education, Approves Bill to Grade Each School: A B C D F

The Georgia Senate approved Senate Bill 420 which is an amendment to part of the Official Code Georgia.  The bill relates to the accountability assessment for K-12 education.  The passage of the bill further degrades education and Georgia, and applies punitive measures to further humiliate and disregard educators in the state.  The 5-Star evaluation of each […]

The Radical Idea of Helping Students Construct Their Own Ideas

Helping students construct their own ideas is considered by some educators a subversive idea that runs counter to the present impetus of the Race to the Top and NCLB Waivers. These Federal programs, especially NCLB, have created a narrowing of the curriculum, a data-driven, test-based school culture, and the despicable use of student tests as […]

Are Science Standards Taught as if they were Bricks?

In the last post we used science education research to show how accountability standards in science education today pose barriers to meaningful learning in science.  Today, we extend this theme, and show that the theory of learning underlying the accountability standards movement is in conflict with contemporary theories used to explain how students learn. Ideas […]

Do Standards Impede Science Teaching and Learning?

Over the next few weeks I am going to focus on standards- and test-based educational reform with an eye toward opening a conversation about how standards and high-stakes tests might actually impede science teaching and learning. We begin by examining the science standards, which have been an integral part of science education since the publication […]

Anthony Cody Writes: At the Department of Education, Warm Snow Falls Up

Guest Post by Anthony Cody As the Simpson family prepared to travel south of the equator to Brazil, Homer revealed some misconceptions. In opposite land, according to Bart’s father, “warm snow falls up.” Reading the latest press releases and speeches from the Department of Education, sometimes I feel as if this is where we have arrived. For […]

A Perfect Storm Hits Public Schools

Steven Sellers Lapham and Jack Hassard Public schools in America are under attack from many directions, and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) seems bent on delivering a lethal one-two-three punch. This decade will likely witness more neighborhood schools shutting down, crowded classrooms, excellent teachers fired, and children fobbed off to “online learning programs.” Let’s recall that Prince […]

Test-Based Reform: What Values are we Adding?

Post 2.  Read Post 1 here. This post  was published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialogue. Practicing teachers, clinical professors, and researchers who work in the field know that assessing teachers or students requires much more than simply looking at test scores.  And indeed, researchers who have examined the value-added assessment system which purports […]

Test-Based Reform: Where is the Common Core Leading Us?

Part 1 Posted on Anthony Cody’s Living in Dialogue blog. In a post last week, I reported that Georgia’s Cobb County School System rejected the superintendent’s proposal to hire 50 Teacher for America teachers for schools located in South Cobb.  Many of the South Cobb schools are underperforming schools.  I suggested that this was a good decision, […]

The Fordham Report on Science Standards Gets a “D”

Even reports published by prestigious institutions can be flawed and deserve a low grade.  In my own view, this is the case for the Fordham Institute’s new report entitled The State of State Science Standards that was published recently. Yet when you do a Google search for “Fordham review science standards” there are hundreds of […]

The Fordham Report on Science Standards Gets a "D"

Even reports published by prestigious institutions can be flawed and deserve a low grade.  In my own view, this is the case for the Fordham Institute’s new report entitled The State of State Science Standards that was published recently. Yet when you do a Google search for “Fordham review science standards” there are hundreds of […]

Fordham Institute Review of the State Science Standards: Use with Caution!

The Fordham Institute published The State of State Science Standards 2012, a document that details evaluations of the science standards developed by each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and even the NAEP.   The 217 page report includes an evaluation of each state’s science standards.  The authors evaluated each state by assigning a score to […]

We Have Low Expectations for American Students in Math & Science!

Who the #@!% would make such a statement? Why would such a statement be made about America’s youth? If you go the Broad Foundation Education page you will find the answer to the first question.  This is the first of four statements about American youth, followed by “stark” statistics.  The Broad Foundation says: We have low expectations […]

We Have Low Expectations for American Students in Math & Science!

Who the #@!% would make such a statement? Why would such a statement be made about America’s youth? If you go the Broad Foundation Education page you will find the answer to the first question.  This is the first of four statements about American youth, followed by “stark” statistics.  The Broad Foundation says: We have low expectations […]

Quality Science Teaching

The No Child Left Behind Act is linked to the data that shows schools in California are teaching less science because teachers are pressured to prepare students for the required math and English high-stakes tests. Valerie Strauss writes that Virginia is moving to require that students would only be required to take tests in math […]

Standards-Based and High-Stakes Science Education: Frivolous, Capricious & Unreasonable?

Science educators, especially during the past 50 years, have been instrumental in developing curriculum and teaching methods that are intelligent, prudent, reflective, and thoughtful.  Underlying science education has been the well-advised and deliberate attempt to encourage inquiry- and problem-based teaching.  Not only has this been on solid ground in the U.S., but in most nations […]

Standards-Based and High-Stakes Science Education: Frivolous, Capricious & Unreasonable?

Science educators, especially during the past 50 years, have been instrumental in developing curriculum and teaching methods that are intelligent, prudent, reflective, and thoughtful.  Underlying science education has been the well-advised and deliberate attempt to encourage inquiry- and problem-based teaching.  Not only has this been on solid ground in the U.S., but in most nations […]

NCLB Waivers: The Details in the Devil’s Bargain

This post was also published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialog at Education Week, January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants to insure that every teacher in the U.S. is evaluated on the basis on student progress on high-stakes achievement tests.  To achieve this, the DOE will issues waivers on some […]

NCLB Waivers: The Details in the Devil's Bargain

This post was also published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialog at Education Week, January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants to insure that every teacher in the U.S. is evaluated on the basis on student progress on high-stakes achievement tests.  To achieve this, the DOE will issues waivers on some […]

NCTE Says No to High-Stakes Testing

An article on Education Week reported that the National Council of Teachers of English considered proposals about high-stakes testing and the use of standards in public schools.  According to the authors of the report: the decision unfolded at the organization’s annual convention this past weekend in Chicago. As it does every year, the group accepts […]

In High Stakes Testing, Science Trumped by Math & Reading

This is a post I wrote five years ago today, and it sheds some light on the pressure that school districts experience as a result of high-stakes testing.  In particular, I draw attention to Atlanta cheating scandal which appears to have had its origins about five years ago when I first wrote this post.  There […]

In High Stakes Testing, Science Trumped by Math & Reading

This is a post I wrote five years ago today, and it sheds some light on the pressure that school districts experience as a result of high-stakes testing.  In particular, I draw attention to Atlanta cheating scandal which appears to have had its origins about five years ago when I first wrote this post.  There […]

Can Inquiry Continue to be a Primary Goal of Science Teaching?

Can science as inquiry continue to be a primary goal of science teaching in the burgeoning culture of common standards, and high-stakes testing? This is a question that I raised about a year and half ago. I am returning to the question now since the National Research Council released its report entitled A Framework for K-12 […]

The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science: A New eBook

The Art of Teaching Science has just published a new eBook entitled The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science. The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science is a new eBook published by the Art of Teaching Science Weblog, and made available free. This eBook is based on blog posts that were written over the past […]

High-Stakes Testing = Negative Effects on Student Achievement

In earlier posts, I have advocated banning high-stakes testing as a means of making significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course—end-of-year-tests, being promoted, and graduating from high school).  I suggested this because the research evidence does not support continuing the practice in American schools. The research reported here sheds light […]

Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting?

This is a link to  Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog. If you have been reading about banning high-stakes testing, and my criticism of the Common Core State Standards, and more recently the Next Generation of Science Standards, then you will find Vicki Davis’ blog post very pertinent and important.  It […]

Will Technology Help Science Teachers Think Different?

Will Technology Help Science Teachers Think Different? I watched a lecture  presented a couple of years ago by Allan Collins which was hosted by The Learning Sciences Group at Penn State, and organized by Penn State Professor Richard Duschl. The title of the talk was Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, and is title […]

With Out Science Inquiry Activities, Science Test Scores Are Better

In an article in the The Palm Beach News, science teachers discovered that when they threw out the recommended science inquiry and hands on activities, their students improved their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I am not writing this as a protest against these science teachers.  They know their students better than […]

With Out Science Inquiry Activities, Science Test Scores Are Better

In an article in the The Palm Beach News, science teachers discovered that when they threw out the recommended science inquiry and hands on activities, their students improved their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I am not writing this as a protest against these science teachers.  They know their students better than […]

When It Comes to Science Education Reform, Are We Stuck in the Muck?

Education reform in general, and science education specifically is based on a standards-based reform (SBR) model that has its roots in outcome-based education (OBE).  The intent of OBE  in science education was largely student-centered, in that education was focused on measurable student performances, that are called outcomes.  In fact, many of the progressive models that […]

Corporate Science Education Standards—Far From the Classroom

I got a Tweet from Christopher Emdin, Professor at Columbia University Teachers College linking me to his recent article on the Huffington Post entitled 5 Reasons Why Public School Teachers are Occupying Wall Street.  His reasons, which I will list below, resonated with me with regard to the way in which corporate boards, through organizations […]

Review of the NRC’s Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of […]

Review of the NRC's Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of […]

The Next Generation of Science Standards: Covering Science with Factoids

The Next Generation of Science Standards are under development by Achieve, Inc. and will be published next year.  Achieve will identify content and science and engineering practices that all students should learn from K – 12, regardless of where they live.  The science standards will cover the physical sciences, the life sciences, the earth and […]

4 Reasons We Need New National Science Education Standards

As you know, there are new science standards coming your way, and they are being developed by Achieve, Inc., with funds from the Carnegie Corporation, and other large corporations and foundations.  According to Achieve, 20 states are leading the effort, and about 40 teachers have been selected to write the new standards.  The teachers have […]

Common Corporate Science Standards?

My choice of a title for this blog post is not a play on words, but describes the current effort to write the next generation of science standards.  The next generation of science standards is being developed by Achieve, Inc., a corporate and foundation support-type organization that was established in 1996 by governors and corporate […]

Achieving a New Generation of Science Standards Published!

The latest in a series of science teaching eBooks was published today and is available from The Art of Teaching Science blog. You can download a free copy of Achieving a New Generation of Science Standards here.

New eBook: Achieving a New Generation of Common Science Standards

This week, The Art of Teaching Science will publish its third eBook on science education topics based on blog posts at this site.  The new eBook is entitled Achieving a New Generation of Common Science Standards.  The eBook will be published tomorrow, and will be free to all who visit this blog. The following text […]

The Race To Write The Next Generation of Science Standards

There is another “race to the top” in education, but this time it’s the race to develop a new generation of science standards. Twenty states will collaborate with Achieve, a standards writing organization that uses donated funds from large corporations and foundations to carry out its tasks. There is a lot of excitement, especially for […]

The Race To Write The Next Generation of Science Standards

There is another “race to the top” in education, but this time it’s the race to develop a new generation of science standards. Twenty states will collaborate with Achieve, a standards writing organization that uses donated funds from large corporations and foundations to carry out its tasks. There is a lot of excitement, especially for […]

Misconceptions about International Math & Science Test Scores

Why is it that the perception of science education in the U.S. (and other countries as well) is driven by rankings of students on international test score comparisons?  The perception is that U.S. students are not competitive in the global market place because of their position in the rankings of the scores obtained on tests […]

Misconceptions about International Math & Science Test Scores

Why is it that the perception of science education in the U.S. (and other countries as well) is driven by rankings of students on international test score comparisons?  The perception is that U.S. students are not competitive in the global market place because of their position in the rankings of the scores obtained on tests […]

Some Reasons why the national standards movement is not good for learning

For several years, I have written about the National Standards Movement, and in general, have been critical of the movement, and suggested that in a liberal democracy such as our, common standards seems to the antithesis of our beliefs in the education of citizens. Sometime ago, I wrote this about standards: Standards represent the dogmatism […]

In a Liberal Democracy, Can Inquiry Science Teaching Flourish with Common Standards?

Can science as inquiry continue to be a primary goal of science teaching in the burgeoning culture of creating common standards, and common high-stakes assessments? This is a question that I raised about a year and half ago. I am returning to the question now since the National Research Council just released its report entitled […]

5 Attributes of the Framework for K-12 Science Education

According to the committee that drafted and wrote the final edition of the Framework for K-12 Science Education, American science education needs a complete overhaul, currently lacks vision, and does not prepare students for a scientifically and technologically-based society. Helen Quinn, Chair of the National Research Council’s Conceptual Framework for K – 12 Science Education […]

5 Criticisms of the Framework for K-12 Science Education

The standards devote insufficient attention to the need for an interdisciplinary curriculum, and represent a contracted view of the “common core” that disregards the role of schools in preparing students for citizenship.  William G. Wraga, Professor, University of Georgia as quoted in Education Week You probably know that the National Research Council has published A […]

Some Problems with the New Framework for K-12 Science Education by the NAS

Why is there little criticism of the Framework for K-12 Science Education that was released by the National Academy of Science (NAS) on Tuesday? The organizing committee of the NAS worked for more than a year to develop a new framework for the teaching of K-12 science education.  It was released to the public on […]

National Academy of Science Releases new Framework for K-12 Science Education

What do you want to see in a new framework for K-12 science education? According to the report published today at The National Academies Press, the Framework for K-12 Science Education outlines a broad set of expectations for students in science and engineering in grades K-12. These expectations will inform the development of new standards for […]

Eight Reasons to Study the New Framework for Science Education

Eight reasons to pay attention to the National Academy of Sciences’ release on a new framework for science content K – 12.

Wake Up Next Tueday July 19 to a New Framework for K-12 Science Education

When you wake up next Tuesday, July 19th you’ll only have to wait until 1 P.M. Eastern Time for the announcement from the National Academy Sciences the publication of A New Framework for K-12 Science Education.  You’ll be able to access the framework here after the announcement. You are invited to go to the meeting […]

More than 90% of Students Learned in Spite of the CRCT Erasure Scandal?

Are you surprised? You probably know that Atlanta Schools are in the middle of a test cheating scandal in which student bubble answer sheets were changed by erasing wrong answers to right answers.  Did the students learn, in spite of some teachers’ and administrators’ behavior.  They did because the the teaching practices that were initiated, […]

Corporate Reform Movement Cause of Atlanta Cheating Scandal

As stated in the Governor’s  Investigative Report a “culture of fear” took over the Atlanta School System, and led to a conspiracy of silence which enabled the bubble sheet erasure scandle to happen. But in the last two posts I have opened the door to examine causes that go beyond the Atlanta School District.  The […]