Science Educators Raise Alarms about Revised K-12 Standards

May 21, 2018

By Melissa Sevigny

The standards for teaching Science, and History, to Arizona schoolkids are undergoing their first revisions in more than a decade. A committee of 100 educators, parents and community members hammered out the Science document in a year-long process. But the Department of Education made unexpected last-minute changes, shifting from big ideas to vocabulary words and watering down the concept of evolution. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, some experts are alarmed.

If you think back to your grade school science classes and Schoolhouse Rock episodes, you might remember memorizing a lot of vocabulary words.

But science is more than words. It’s about wonder, curiosity and experimentation. The new Arizona Science Standards are meant to encourage a messy, hands-on approach to science. The Department of Education’s revisions [shown in green, here] shifted the focus—backward.

“As a professional, as a science educator, I just could not support teaching students this incorrect idea of what science is,” says Lacey Wieser, the department’s former director of K-12 science education. She resigned rather than implement the changes made during an unprecedented internal review.  

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One comment on “Science Educators Raise Alarms about Revised K-12 Standards”

  • A committee of 100 educators, parents and community members.

    A committee of 100 educators and scientists?

    Americans (too many) deny expertise, and demand democracy that undercuts every check and balance a representative democracy could offer them. Privileging popular opinion over reason and evidence destroys true democracy and delivers ever more effectively the tyranny of the masses.

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