Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The (Pearson) Next Generation Science Standards

Building on the Common Core math and English/Language Arts standards adopted by 46 states, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released today.

The website boasts that they are "For states, By state" but like the Common Core math and English Language Arts Standards, the public doesn't own them.  The Next Generation Science Standards have trademark and copyright restrictions.   The process was completed behind the scenes and a collaborative effort managed by Achieve, Inc.   To date,  26 states have agreed to consider the standards.

The NGSS Writing Team Leader is Michael Wysession, Ph.D.  He is also a writer of the new Pearson science textbooks.   Pearson  already has "next generation" science textbooks written to accommodate the new standards despite the fact that public commentary on the standards ended in January of 2013.
Pearson is proud to present Interactive Science, a next generation K-8 science program, featuring an innovative write-in student edition that makes learning personal, relevant, and engaging.  
Pearson also happens to have it all packaged together neat and tidy for you to understand on their PearsonSchool: Next Generation Science Standards website. That's quick work!

And when it comes time to test, Pearson has "next generation" assessments too.
Assessments are no longer just fill in-the-bubble testing they were when we started doing them almost 60 years ago, but the goal remains the same, equal access to quality public education for all children. 
I think there was a typo in that last quote.  It should be equal access to "Pearson" education for all children.  The Next Generation Science Standards they appear more to be "By Pearson, For Profit" than "By States, For States."

Pearson is positioning itself to be a leader in curriculum and assessments as standards move forward.

Pearson was awarded contracts by Smarter Balanced Assessments and PARCC to develop the online  assessments in 2012.   Pearson's Chief Education Adviser, Sir Michael Barber, is an advocate of global education.  He believes local control is a fundamental flaw in our educational system.

They are actively marketing to homeschoolers through PearsonHomeschool  and currently do NOT demonstrate any alignment to Common Core or NGSS despite their obvious investment and interest in the standards.  That's intentional and deceptively attracts independent-minded homeschool parents who do not want to align with the Common Core.   A representative in a private email told me that Pearson Homeschool is not aligned "for now."  They own Connections Academy which is a "free" aligned and used by many states.

Whether aligned or not, the standards and related curricula WILL affect homeschoolers.
"Students who are educated in accordance with them will have a far better chance for success in college courses and in competition on the employment market than those steeped in creationism design, new earth theory, and alternative accounts."
The Educational Freedom Coalition has a complete listing of homeschool curricula and who is and isn't aligned to the Common Core.

UPDATE:  Michigan Department of Education is asking for public commentary. The standards will be decided by the State School Board.  The board is an elected office.  Call and let them know you say NO to NGSS for Michigan.

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