Archive for Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kansas expected to have hand in developing national science curriculum standards

September 14, 2011


— Kansas is expected to be named one of six lead states for developing national science curriculum standards, meaning it could provide strong input into the formation of those standards, state education commissioner Diane DeBacker said.

"We have it on pretty good authority that we will be named as a lead state," DeBacker told the state board of education Tuesday.

The lead states for the Next Generation Science Standards are expected to be announced next Tuesday.

Being among those states would give Kansas extra input on the drafts of the science standards, which are expected to be in final draft form by the end of 2012, said Matt Krehbiel, educational science consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education.

Education board members were told in July that if Kansas becomes a lead state, it would have to give "serious consideration" to adopting the national standards. But Krehbiel told the board Tuesday that no state will be required to adopt them.

"There's nothing attached to this that's an arm-twisting to adopt this," he said. "But I think we need to be open to what makes sense for Kansas."

Kansas is scheduled to review its state science standards in 2014, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports. The science standards are used to draft statewide tests to see how well students know the subject.

Board member Sally Cauble said she hopes the board will carefully consider the standards when the final draft is presented to the states.

"Kansas has always been a little controversial when it comes to science standards," she said. "Sometimes we get so focused on one particular area that we forget there are other areas of science."

The state's science curriculum has drawn national attention in the past when conservatives on the education board pushed through science testing standards skeptical of evolution. They last succeeded in 2005, but two years later, with moderates controlling the board again, the current evolution-friendly standards were adopted.

As part of the national standards process, each participating state board of education will be allowed to nominate representatives of business and industry to review the drafts.

The drafting of the standards is a joint effort between Achieve Inc., the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Research Council. The project is funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


somedude20 6 years, 9 months ago

cannot wait to see what these clowns cook up. "Um yes, the earth and universe was made by a spirt called god. People will say that there are other planets and universes out there but god did not make them and I do not believe in them. God made man and we did not come from any monkeys, women did though. I kid, really women were made from a man's rib. Back 2,000 years ago, snakes and bushes talked but then the dinosaurs would not conform to the pee party so man (not women since they are so inferior to men) killed and ate them. The Moon is made from seiten and pie crust and people of colour came from Mars. Jesus, the son of god helped with a few things here and there but mainly he just took up space, on a cross." Gotta love Kansas as it is just like the bell curve, maybe other states are dumb, but this state makes em look better. Never pee into the wind!!!

MisterBooster 6 years, 9 months ago

Mister Booster thinks this is ironic. Mister Booster thinks Kansas will also be selected to develop a national arts curriculum.

homechanger 6 years, 9 months ago

I keep wondering where the transitional fossils are located? Shouldn't there be tens of thousands by now?

Bradley Kemp 6 years, 9 months ago

Pretty much all species are transitional species. Thus, pretty much all species known from fossils are transitional species.

Stuart Evans 6 years, 9 months ago

there are literally millions of transitional fossils in museums around the world. evolution is a fact. the word theory is just misunderstood.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 9 months ago

But that "evolution" is such a generalized term that it is sort of meaningless. In a truly scientific context the questions of origin and its mechanism; motive for speciation and its mechanisms; the forces negating entropy and other natural forces; still remain unaddressed. There is still so much more not known than known that to presume that "evolution" is an answer more than a categorical label is what keeps it from being a definitive construct.

Gedanken 6 years, 9 months ago

The theory of evolution and the existence of god are not necessary mutually exclusive. It only is if you take a very literal reading of the bible.

Bob Forer 6 years, 9 months ago

This is wonderful news. Maybe we can convince the entire world that evolution is quack science, and that the earth and heavens was created by god in seven days around five thousand years ago. All that scientific evidence about fossils and such is simply a fraudulent creation of godless souls controlled by the devil. Repent you sinners, repent, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Taylor.

fossilhunter 6 years, 9 months ago

Homechanger - there are. Archeopteryx, Tiktaalic are a couple of the most famous, but take a visit to the basement of Dyche Hall. You'll see others.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 9 months ago

I loved it when Marion Bonner, father of the paleo preparator at the time and for whom a large exhibit of Western Kansas fossils is named, commented on the Archaeopteryx exhibit and its commentary in the 3rd floor of Dyche "the guys who wrote that don't seem to have ever seen a chicken" Gotta love "indoor" natural science.

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

Kansas and science standards like "crazies running the asylum", like "inmates running the prison", like "Brownback and Brownbackistan", like "fox guarding the henhouse"; you get the drift. What a joke, this should make Kansas appear even more bizarre than what Dorothy encountered in the Wizard of Oz and what the rest of the country thinks when "Kansas" is mentioned. I suggest Steve Abrams and that crazy gal from St. Francis (former Board member) be selected to represent us and defended by William Jennings Bryan as the home of the 21st Century version of " The Scopes Monkey Trial".

Liberty275 6 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to see a history textbook with Jesus riding a dinosaur on it's cover.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 9 months ago

Don't be silly, Liberty. Everyone knows the dinosaurs didn't live during Jesus' time; they lived in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve (not Steve).

Liberty275 6 years, 9 months ago

OK, I'll be happy with Adam and Eve riding a dinosaur, but:

1: The Serpent has to be in the picture and have a name tag that reads "Steve". 2: The tree of knowledge has to be a banana tree.

"Jesus horses"

I always wondered what "dinosaur" really meant. Thank you, insightful Chootspa.

chootspa 6 years, 9 months ago

Don't be silly. Those are Jesus horses.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 9 months ago

Get off their backs for awhile and see what happens. The SBOE learned their lesson a few years back when some misguided SBOE members tried to return us to the Middle Ages. Sadly, Muscular Sam our governor and his weird little businessman jesus might do it on their own. Let's see how the staff and board complete this project. Dr. DeBacker is doing a good job leading the board through tough times. Let us see how it goes, shall we? Now, if my optimism proves unfounded, we can always go back to this:

Stuart Evans 6 years, 9 months ago

please don't let Brownback have anything to do with it. We don't need ignorance replacing facts.

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

Can Kansas hope to gain traction on the Science Standards since the other "K" State (no, not K-State but Kentucky) already has The Creation Museum and is building The Noah's Ark! Isn't one "K" enough, and we don't have the clout of Mitch McConnell! How did we miss out on being first here!

kansanbygrace 6 years, 9 months ago

Kansas science educators have for decades made enormous contributions to science. Emporia State's faculty provided science education materials for the entire nation for several decades. West Campus (KU) scientists had huge input to the space program. KU Med researchers are among the vanguard in the increase in understanding of human life, etc. Although we have a vein of "wacko" in our business/political/"religious" segments, we also have a significant resume of good scientists out here among the rest of us.

chootspa 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes, and it would be great if subject matter expertise trumped political ideology when it came to this appointment, but I think we all have our doubts.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 9 months ago

You get a point for that, Choo...I'm sometimes too optimistic...thinking reality should trump mythology.

chootspa 6 years, 9 months ago

I remember a day when people used to get hired for things based on their skills and not a political litmus test.

letsgiterdone 6 years, 9 months ago

No matter what happens with this people like sumdude20 will never be pleased.

somedude20 6 years, 9 months ago

good thing I have jesus's love to keep me warm at night!

Bob Forer 6 years, 9 months ago

Funny, most people require a nice blanket and the money to buy some fossil fuel on the cold nights.

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

As Tiny Tim said "God bless us, everyone----"

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 9 months ago

This is the most bizzare plan I have ever heard of!. I am sure that Governer God of Kansas will consult closely with Governer Hair of Texas, and Jerry Falwell's ghost to fabricate the book of Genesis into all textbooks (especially those sold in Governer Hair's state).

I wonder when sane and reasonable people are going to "get it" that these theocrats are far from the needed emphasis in education and vote them into the chapel counting house adding up the ill-gained "donations" to "God and his kingdom". And then increasing the salery of the clerical elite so they can pay the payments on their Caddys and penthouses.

verity 6 years, 9 months ago

Isn't gravity just a theory also? I got accidentally glued to the floor today---I think someone spilled something with sugar in it. I think something like that is keeping us glued to the earth.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 9 months ago

Nope, not really a theory, Verity. Gravity is the name we apply to a force we can't deny and can't explain.

Liberty275 6 years, 9 months ago

OK, here's a theory. The universe is still expanding (and I mean the universe itself is expanding, not just stuff flying away from other stuff). What we call gravity is an effect of the expansion, the earth pushing up from beneath our feet, not unlike the G forces an astronaut feels at liftoff. It's special relativity with a sketchy premise.

I know it has to be wrong, but I don't know how to prove it. If someone can disprove it, I'm all ears.

verity 6 years, 9 months ago

I still say it's glue and my theory is just as good as your theory!

Well, maybe not as interesting.

jonas_opines 6 years, 9 months ago

verity (anonymous) says… "Isn't gravity just a theory also?"

Please refer to it by it's proper name: Intelligent Falling.

verity 6 years, 9 months ago

Point taken, jonas. I will do so from now on.

Why are those people looking at me funny?

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

I read today on Yahoo about a brown dwarf star that was undergoing some dramatic changes. When I first saw the story I assumed that the story was about the mental Brown dwarf we have for governor.

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