Members of the Public: Now is your only chance to comment on Minnesota’s new Science Standards. My suggestions: Take out the woo, dampen down the special interests, and please, consider NOT removing biology from the High School standrds!!!!!
To comment, go to this web site and read the context, the standards, and use the resources available there. And/or visit one of the public meetings listed on that site.
Overall the standards are probably an improvement on prior standards. A few questions to consider:
Looking at these standards, it seems as though High School Biology has been removed from the standards and moved to the Middle School. This could allow or even prompt the removal of Biology from high schools, and thus the removal of those pesky high school biology teachers, who have lead the fight to keep creationism out of the schools. This may be a concern.
Another major change is the increase in engineering in the standards. I have two objections to this:
1) Engineering is almost raised to the level of a classic science. I don’t think this reflect reality; and
2) I wonder if the increase in attention to engineering and the removal of biology from the high school standards is a way of telling the creationists (allied to engineering) that they are good and the evolutionists (allied to biology, of course) that they are bad.
Am I being too paranoid? Are they being too subtle? Please read the standards and say what you think!
Another thing to look out for: Some of the specific points made in the standards are too specific, or over determined. Clearly, a special interest of some small group or individual is being overstressed here.
Finally, there is a mention that humans interaction with the environment should include learning on Minnesota Native American populations. That is clearly pandering to a special group. I’m not sure if specifying that particular route to understanding the science of human-environment interaction is appropriate in the science standards. Let’s remove that.