Editor’s note: In the September issue of TheBlaze Magazine, Liz Klimas exposes the fight underway to tweak K-12 public school science instruction standards to include making sure students know all about man-made climate change. Using education curriculum research and interviews with people on both sides of the global warming debate, Klimas details the effort to determine what American kids will be required to know about climate change — starting in Kindergarten.
The full report, “Required Learning: Climate Change,” can be found only in TheBlaze Magazine.
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For years now, man-made climate change—and what, if anything, to do about it—has been fiercely debated by the world’s most-renown scientists, had a growing presence in the plots of the world’s highest governing bodies and been hyped by the mainstream media. It now is trickling down to one of the most fundamental and powerful methods of disseminating information to a population: the public education system.
Although climate change, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, falls in last place as a concern for voting Americans, the issue at the K-12 level continues to press forward as alarmists remain determined to convince the children of “unconcerned” Americans.
In fact, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science plan to release a second draft of proposed, new K-12 science standards for public review this fall. Thus far, 26 states have committed to the development and implementation of the “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS).
The new standards would serve to update documents that for the last 15 years have been used to set the teaching criteria for science and, according to the organizations behind the standards, would be “grounded in the most current research on science and science learning … [identifying] the science all K-12 students should know.”
Although global warming activists would lament that only 26 states have committed themselves to the standards, many parents and educators question just what climate science is truly imperative enough that it be required knowledge for K-12 students.
Joy Pullmann, an education research fellow for the free-market think tank The Heartland Institute, has called out the “re-education campaign” of the NGSS as integrating “global warming and other overplayed worries” into the science classroom. When the first draft of NGSS became available to the public in May, Pullmann reviewed the program and found that it is promoting climate alarmism on a topic where the available data is already “highly debatable among climate scientists,” namely how humans hurt the environment and are responsible for global warming.
For instance, she found that, in the NGSS, fourth graders would learn to “explain differences between renewable and non-renewable sources of energy”; middle schoolers would be educated to understand that “human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (‘global warming’)”; and high schoolers would be taught that “though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.”
Of course, merely pointing out the debate that continues to rage regarding human impact on climate change and suggesting the NGSS ought to be reworked to reflect that fact causes the global warming crowd to rally its own scientists to discredit those questioning the data, claiming skeptics are not experts in the field or not scientists at all.